The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Invasive Round Goby

There are many invasive species in our 
Great Lakes. The majority of them were transported here in ballast tanks of ships from freshwater ports all over the world.

One of these recent hitchhikers is the Round Goby native to central Eurasia. They arrived in the 1990s and in less than a decade had spread to four of the five Great Lakes.

Water snakes are loving this fish...for dinner. Since Gobies tend to just sit on the rocks on the bottom of the lake, the clever water snakes sneak up on them and grab them by the head.

They then drag them to land and swallow them whole. I captured this "revenge on invasive Gobies" struggle on Manitoulin Island.

And, no, the Goby doesn't look too happy about it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Handfuls of Manitoulin Island

While on Manitoulin Island -- the largest island in the Great Lakes basin -- I found many fascinating fossils and stones:

Crinoid and quartz

This last one is a fossilized sponge

Manitoulin Island is the largest island in the 
Great Lakes. This is one of the many islands I explored for my upcoming book.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A GRAND Finale

On October 26, over 40 friends and family and followers of my adventures gathered on 
Mackinac Island for the Grand Finale of my 
1000-Mile Great Lakes ISLAND Adventure.

We had a gorgeous day for the hike 

Hiking final miles with Stephanie "Stew" Lyon 

Over 25 people hiked the final miles of this adventure on Mackinac Island.

 I brought along the walking stick carved for me by Bette Hartig of Big Rapids, Michigan. It was an honor to hike the final miles of my final adventure with this custom walking stick.

Hikers ready to head out

Milene, Leslie, Marlene and Theresa stand and wave to the crowd (photo by Shelly Kehrle-Sulser) 

The final steps up to the Grand Hotel (photo by Shelly Kehrle-Sulser)

Giving a short talk before dinner (photo by Shelly Kehrle-Sulser)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Toronto's indie bookstore


As you all know by now, I am a fan of indie bookstores. While in Toronto exploring the Toronto Islands (yes, there are islands there), 
I found Ben McNally Books.

Interior of Ben McNally Books

What a great store! I bought two books on the history and geology of the area.

Window shopping

Stop in next time you're in this Great Lakes city, or check out their website HERE.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Second Anniversary of Great Lakes Walk

Two years ago, I completed my
1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk 
at Niagara Falls.

The dramatic finish line

The final miles were along the Niagara River 

Many friends and family members hiked these final miles with me

Gorgeous fall hiking!

The enthusiastic hikers!


Now, two years later, I am on the cusp of completing my 
1,000-Mile Great Lakes ISLAND Adventure
on Mackinac Island.

I'll blog about that finale soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Toronto Islands

I explored the Toronto Islands 
for my upcoming book. 
These small islands tuck up against Toronto's shoreline and are accessible by ferry.

Map of the Toronto Islands

The view from the islands back at Toronto

View from the ferry

Mature trees give these islands a lush, natural feel

They are a wonderful retreat for Toronto's residents and visitors.

Boardwalk along the Lake Ontario side of the island

Plaza and fountain on one of the islands

The ferry

Learn more HERE.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Green Door B&B, Brockville, ON

While on my Great Lakes Adventures, I've 
brought you glimpses of some of the special inns and historic B&Bs where I've stayed.
In the town of Brockville, Ontario, I came across one of the most ambitious building transformations I have ever seen.

The Green Door B&B used to be a church, the Pentecostal Tabernacle, built in 1929. 
Lynne and Peter Meleg purchased the empty building in 2005 and undertook a bold renovation. They detail the transformation of the building on their website HERE.

Entry to the Green Door B&B

Lynne & Peter in the brilliant kitchen

There are four rooms with private baths at the B&B and two apartments in the building that used to be used for Sunday School.

Dining area for gourmet breakfasts

Breakfasts at the inn were amazing. 
Here are some of their specialties:

  • Eggs Benedict, Green Door style. Mouth-watering!
  • Lemon ricotta pancakes drizzled with raspberry-maple coulis. Heavenly!
  • Asian-inspired poached eggs. A vegetarian delight!
  • Citrus French toast with berries, mint and warmed maple syrup. Yummy!
  • Gathering area -- check out those windows!

    The renovation preserved much of the large, open spaces in the building and the windows....
    the windows!
    The space is bathed in natural light.

    Gorgeous detail in the floor

    This is the perfect place to stay while exploring historic Brockville and the Thousand Island region of the St. Lawrence River.

    Private bath in my room

    I had the "boathouse room", and, yes, this was my private window

    Promotional consideration given.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    Boldt Castle

    Passing under the Thousand Island Bridge

    While exploring the St. Lawrence River, I hiked Heart Island, the location of Boldt Castle. 
    This castle is connected to great sorrow, because when George C. Boldt (owner of the Waldorf Hotel in New York City) was having it built as a gift for his wife, Louise, she died. The exterior of the summer mansion was finished and the interior was swarming with over 300 craftsmen working to complete the job.

    A smaller building on the island that housed the power generators

    Heartbroken, Boldt sent a telegram telling the workers to lay down their tools and leave the island. The building remained unfinished for decades.

    The main entry

    The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority obtained the island in 1977 and have been restoring the property ever since.

    Glass dome

    Finished bedroom

    View from the room

    Exterior still undergoing restoration

    Dining room

    It is quite a castle, and a fascinating story that I'll share more of in my upcoming book.


    The nearby boathouse