Niewenhuis reads from her book and shares her adventure at the Madison and Chicagoland REI stores and other Chicagoland independent bookstores in early December, 2011.
Niewenhuis kicks off her Wisconsin tour by giving a lecture with photos at the Madison REI, 7483 W Towne Way, Thursday, December 1 at 7pm. Before heading to Chicago, Niewenhuis will give a lecture at the Muskego Library on Saturday, December 3 at 1pm.
Niewenhuis's Chicagoland book tour begins on Monday, December 5 at the Oakbrook Terrace REI, 17W160, 22nd Street and continues Tuesday, December 6 at the Lincoln Park REI, 1466 N. Halsted Street, Wednesday, December 7 at the Schaumberg REI, 1209 E. Golf Road and Thursday, December 8 at the Northbrook REI, 88 Willow Road. All REI appearances begin at 7 p.m. Her Chicagoland book tour concludes on Friday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. at The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka.
When Niewenhuis turned 45-years-old, she felt compelled to break out of the day-to-day routine and to take on a big challenge. She decided to walk all the way around her favorite place: Lake Michigan. “Instead of having a mid-life crisis,” Niewenhuis said, “I had a mid-life adventure!” Niewenhuis tackled her 1000-mile hike around Lake Michigan in 2009 beginning and ending on Navy Pier. 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.” In March 2011, Crickhollow Books of Milwaukee published the book about her 1000-mile hike around Lake Michigan, the world's fifth-largest lake.
Niewenhuis is also 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. In her book, 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 and Facebook Fan Page can be found on her website LakeTrek.com.
Author Loreen Niewenhuis visits Madison and Chicago for the book tour of her bestselling book “A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach”, which chronicles her adventure along with the geology, ecology, and other fascinating aspects of this Great Lake. In Madison, Niewenhuis gives a lecture with photos from her adventure at the REI Store, December 1, 7483 W Towne Way, at 7 p.m.
Niewenhuis will give a lecture at the Muskego Public Library, S73 W16663 Janesville Road, on Saturday, December 3 at 1pm.
Niewenhuis' Chicagoland book tour begins Monday, December 5 at the Oakbrook Terrace REI, 17W160, 22nd Street and continues Tuesday, December 6 at the Lincoln Park REI, 1466 N. Halsted Street, Wednesday, December 7 at the Schaumberg REI, 1209 E. Golf Road and Thursday, December 8 at the Northbrook REI, 88 Willow Road. All REI appearances begin at 7 p.m.
Her Chicagoland book tour concludes on Friday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. at The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka.
Niewenhuis continues to blog about important issues that effect the Great Lakes on her blog. Next year, Niewenhuis will undertake another 1000-mile hike. In January, she will announce the route of her hike on her Facebook Fan Page.
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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.