Mike Link and Kate Crowley took a 1,555 mile walk two years ago. Around Lake Superior. For 5 months. As close to the shore as possible the entire way. Why? To explore, to meet people, to gather environmental information, and to call attention to the needs of, and the concerns for, the lake. In their book, as was the case in the interviews and presentations they gave throughout their walk, their message about fresh water and Lake Superior, their concern for the future, is delivered in the context of a story, the story of a walk around a lake. A big part of the story is the sharing of the stories of people they met.
The idea started out as a whim, but the journey became a passion for the 60+-year-old couple. Link was retiring after nearly 40 years with the Audubon Center of the North Woods. “Think of it,” they say, “as lassoing a dream and creating the perfect summation for your career and life.” The purpose of their adventure? To learn, to teach, to research, to observe, and to record.
Why Lake Superior? For one thing, it holds 10 percent of all the fresh water on the surface of the earth and preserving that heritage is crucial to them as naturalists. Along the way, the authors set an example for their grandchildren and generations to come — an important intention for them. They also surveyed 570 people, monitored their dietary and health status, and videotaped folks sharing their feelings and concerns about the Big Lake. They took 300 point samples, one roughly every 3 miles of shoreline, gathering GPS waypoints, taking photographs in the four cardinal directions, and writing field notes to compile data they shared with a number of academic institutions.
Photographs abound in this engaging story that is part personal journal, part investigative journalism.
The website for Full Circle can be found at: http://www.fullcirclesuperior.org.
Going Full Circle: A 1,555-mile Walk Around the World’s Largest Lake by Mike and Kate Crowley (Lake Superior Port Cities, Inc.; 304 pages)