Author to share stories of Great Lakes adventures

Posted 7/15/16

STANDISH — Loreen Niewenhuis has always loved Lake Michigan, but became more closely acquainted with the lake during a 1,000-mile hike, which led to more 1,000-mile adventures. She will share stories from her latest adventure in Standish July 18.

Niewenhuis will speak at the Northeast Art Center July 18 at 7 p.m. in a free presentation sponsored by the Iosco-Arenac District Library, Friends of the Mary Johnston Memorial Library and the Northeast Michigan Arts Council. She said her first hike was completed as a personal challenge.

“Ever since I was a little girl, Lake Michigan has been my favorite place,” she said. “When I turned 45, I decided I wanted to take on a great challenge, something that I was a little bit scared of. Something I wasn’t sure I could complete.”

Niewenhuis realized, though, that she didn’t want to stray too far from Lake Michigan. That led to the first of her three 1,000-mile adventures, a 1,000-mile hike around Lake Michigan.

“I walked all the way around it,” she said. “I got to know it step by step. I had a lot of fun doing that. I met fascinating people.”

Her second adventure was also a hike, and the third adventure was a 1,000-mile trip exploring islands in the Great Lakes. Niewenhuis will talk about what she discovered during that exploration in Standish Monday.

“I encountered a black bear on the Apostle Islands,” she said. “It was the first time I saw a bear face to face.”

“Getting to know the geology of the Great Lakes and getting to know how geology dictates how people interact with the Great Lakes was fascinating,” Niewenhuis said. “I’ll be talking about the geology of the Great Lakes during the presentation.”

Iosco-Arenac District Library Director Stephanie Olson said she has seen Niewenhuis speak in the past, and that it was very entertaining.

“A couple of years ago, when she had just written the second book, she was approached by one of the friends groups up this way in East Tawas, and they had her do the presentation in East Tawas,” she said. “I went to it and she was just fascinating. When they were looking for program ideas, someone else that attended it said, ‘Why don’t you recommend Loreen Niewenhuis?’”

Olson said she always likes to have speakers or performers with Michigan ties, and that the Great Lakes theme holds special ties to the area.

“She walked the coastline through Au Gres and Omer, the coastline that goes by those places,” she said.

Niewenhuis incorporates multiple types of media and personal anecdotes in her presentations, Olson said.

“She’s got some great stories, because she walked these,” Olson said. “There is also a little bit of video in it. She has some pictures in it.”

For more information on the program, contact the Iosco-Arenac District Library at 989-362-2651. The art center is located at the corner of Grove Road and US-23 in Standish.

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