If you have clicked on the page and you are wondering what a Great Lakes Master is, you might be sorely disappointed that I made it up. There is no such thing as far as I know.
For the purpose of this post a Great Lakes Master is someone who has had an adventure on every one of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes comprise of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.
For most of my life I have only had the pleasure of experiencing adventure on two of the five great lakes: Lake Michigan and gitche gummee herself, Lake Superior. I have had my fair share of exploration on those two lakes.
I have hiked many times along Lake Superior in the Porcupine Mountains State Wilderness Area in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan including last year seeing an amazing sunset on her shores. I have also hiked Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. I have also hosted an amazing guest post from Hike Bike Travel on kayaking the enormous freshwater lake.
Along Lake Michigan I have hiked along her shores in the Nordhouse Dunes and Sleeping Bear Dunes. I have been on tours where I have boated out into the lake here in Chicago. I have fished in Door County, Wisconsin, and I have skied, hiked, and swam in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Indiana.
The other three Great Lakes have proved elusive until early this summer. Then in almost blitzkrieg fashion I conquered the other three in a little more than a month. Well, kinda sorta I did.
In Toronto I drove over the border at Port Huron and experienced Lake Huron. Then I continued on to Toronto. I took a ferry out to an island in Lake Ontario in Toronto as part of the TBEX travel blogging conference. Then over the 4th of July weekend, I visited Cleveland and kayaked along the shoreline to a great overlook that viewed the city skyline.
If there was such a thing as the Great Lakes Masters, my inclusion would definitely be greeted with skepticism and derision and for good reason. Although my adventures along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior are bona fide, and the kayak trip on Lake Erie would also pass the test, I know my forays on Lake Huron and Lake Ontario are dubious at best.
My plan was to hike Bruce National Park in Ontario for a night on my way home from TBEX Toronto, but I was too hungover. The best I could do was stop at a city park in Port Huron and take a few photos of Lake Huron. It was a Great Lakes drive by.
In Toronto the best I could do was hop a ferry to some island. I am still not sure of the name of the island. It had beautiful views of Toronto and they served beer, but one could hardly call this an adventure. The rest of my days in Toronto were more of the same: beer drinking and being hungover.
This post is a good opportunity to unveil my next adventure. At the end of the month I will be hiking for one week in Isle Royal National Park in Michigan. I will drive up to Copper Harbor, Michigan and take a three hour ferry. I am looking forward to a week of moose, hearing wolves, and no social media.
It will not make up for my Lake Huron and Lake Ontario failures, but it will be a great hiking adventure.
Are you a Great Lakes Master? Have you done and adventure on all five lakes. If not, which ones have you experienced and are there any on a future bucket list? Please comment below.
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