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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Have fun at Isle Royal! I wanted to get over there when I was up on Superior recently, but just couldn’t spare the time – if only I had a few extra days! That and Voyagers will definitely be a trip in the not-so-distant future.
Jason’s Travels recently posted..Five Things to See in Yellowstone National Park
Thanks Jason. Less than two weeks I will be Isle Royale bound.
Those hangover’s do tend to get the best of us!! But hey you had a great time. Really enjoy these photos my favorite lake are Indiana Dunes and Lake Ontario. I cant wait to start traveling.
Thomas | Jus Getaway recently posted..How to Find Deals on Weekend Getaways
I should have known better to plan a trip on the way back from Toronto. Indiana Dunes is a great local place here close to Chicago.
That sunset is freaking insane!!!!!!
I am going to get some crazy sunsets next week in Isle Royal.
I love it – I want to be a Great Lakes master too! Have done kayaking on Superior and boat cruise on Lake Ontario…can’t remember if I have done anything on Lake Erie, other than perhaps the Erie Canal…have a little work ahead of me here! I’m with Andi – that sunset is amazing! Love it.
Anita Mac recently posted..Missing the boat when Spiderman came to town!
I hope you make it into the Great Lakes Masters group. May the force be with you.
Hahaha, any time you mention Toronto and #RWTBEX I get ridiculously happy. For obvious reasons. (That photo of you on the couch is ALSO a favorite of mine!)
So, I’m definitely not a Great Lakes Master…yet! However, two years ago, I swam in Lake Michigan, which I believe makes me pretty cool. 😉
Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Music Monday: One Day.
It seems you have at least two lakes down as you were with me on the Lake Ontario adventure. You need to swim in Lake Superior next. That is a little more of a daunting task as the lake is always freezing.
I think a great lakes MASTER is a worthy goal. I am kayaking on Lake Huron in September, kayaked Lake Ontario in May, and will be doing another Lake Superior trip in September – a 5 day hike along the north shore in Pukaskwa National Park. I need Lake Michigan and Lake Erie so it looks to me like between the two of us we have the lakes covered.
Leigh recently posted..A Trip to Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick – On Foot & By Kayak
Lake Superior and Huron are probably the two best and beautiful of the group, so I can see it would be difficult for you to pass those up to make Michigan or Erie.
That sunset is out of this world. So beautiful! I think that the goal to become the lakes master could be quite something!
@mrsoaroundworld recently posted..My hOtel: Four Seasons Hampshire, UK @fshampshire
It would be cool to have an amazing sunset picture on each lake.
i think it’s awesome that you will become a Great Lakes Master. you know in Toronto you had other duties to attend to this go round 😉
lola recently posted..The Top 6 Florida Beaches
Under the circumstances, I was lucky to get the ferry and boat ride in. I will do something more adventurous on the lake in the future.
Ted, you are the consummate outdoorsman. I have no doubt that if there was such a thing as a Great Lakes Master then there’s no doubt you’d be him.
Leah Travels recently posted..A Private Tour & Tasting at Vienna’s Wieninger Winery
Thanks Leah. Maybe one day I will make a club kind of like the Travel Blogger Hall of Fame and make myself the first member.
You’ve tried and that’s what counts. I actually love the Great Lakes and my experience doesn’t compare. My favorite, of course, is Great Lakes beer in Cleveland, but I’ve been fortunate to spend some time on Lake Erie. And that island in Lake Ontario, its name is very simple: Toronto Islands.
Trips By Lance recently posted..Why We Stay in Vacation Apartments
Thanks for letting me know and solving one of my Toronto mysteries.