In March, Crickhollow Books of Milwaukee published the book about her 1000-mile hike around Lake Michigan, the fifth-largest lake in the world. The book, A 1000-MILE WALK ON THE BEACH, was recently named a Finalist in the Science/Nature/
Niewenhuis has a full schedule of events in the Metro Detroit area in June. She will begin at the Johnson Nature Center in Bloomfield Hills on Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30pm. There she will give a lecture with photos from her adventure. She will also appear at two libraries, the Salem-South Lyon Library on June 16 at 7pm, and the Brighton District Library on June 29 at 7pm. An additional appearance in Brighton will be a book signing at Art in Bloom in downtown Brighton (http://artinbloom.wordpress.com/
She will also give a lecture with photos from her adventure at three area REI stores. Wednesday, June 15 at 7pm, Niewenhuis will be at the REI store in Northville. Saturday, June 18, she will appear at the REI store in Ann Arbor at 11am. And on Tuesday, June 21, she'll be at the REI in Troy at 7pm.
Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor (http://www.nicolasbooks.com/
Niewenhuis tackled her 1000-mile hike around Lake Michigan in 2009. It took 64 days of determined walking, and she averaged 16 miles a day. Niewenhuis said, “I encircled the lake with my footsteps, recorded it in my muscles and bones.”
Niewenhuis is an author of literary short stories (she was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction in 2009), a mother, and scientist. She has been constantly drawn to the shores of Lake Michigan and was the perfect person to undertake the adventure and to write about it with a clear voice, avoiding romanticizing the lake or her own undertaking.
Niewenhuis has worked as a medical researcher in the past. She has a bachelors of science from Calvin College and a masters of science from Wayne State University. In her book, she offers witness to both the natural beauty of much of Lake Michigan's lakeshore and a concern for the lake’s health as she explored the long and troubling pattern of ecological abuses and environmental challenges.
Niewenhuis discovered that Lake Michigan, like all great places, is not a uniform experience, but is different each day, every step to round the next bend, each beach or bluff. The hike was a discovery of this incredible variety. Niewenhuis takes us along on the hike from the urban blight of South Chicago, to the popular state parks with grand dunes and sweeping vistas, to small towns and lakefront cottages, to the isolated wild stretches where few people go.
She walked the lakeshore in rain and snow, in gale-force winds and calm sunny days. She had to navigate obstacles ranging from limestone cliffs to deep rivers to steel refineries, to nuclear and coal-fired power plants. The journey was filled with many challenges that she had to overcome.
Niewenhuis explores how vital the Great Lakes water system is to the entire country as these five lakes contain 90% of the fresh surface water in the nation. Niewenhuis conveys a sense of the magnitude and diversity of the lake she loves, a place elemental to the four Midwestern states that form its shores. From a ground-level perspective, the book explores the natural and human history of Lake Michigan and raises important questions about preserving our wild places and protecting fragile ecosystems.
A 1000-MILE WALK ON THE BEACH will offer inspiration to anyone interested in Great Lakes environmental issues (from invasive species to water quality to tourism) and to anyone interested in what it means to take a really long walk and look closely at oneself and one’s place.
Her complete book tour schedule and a link to her blog can be found on her website http://LakeTrek.com
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About Loreen Niewenhuis: Loreen Niewenhuis is the author of A 1000-MILE WALK ON THE BEACH (the account of her hike around Lake Michigan), the novella ATLANTA, and many literary short stories. She gives lectures about the Great Lakes and readings from her work. She blogs about Great Lakes issues and her website is: http://LakeTrek.com
Contact her at LakeTrek@LNiewenhuis.com