"We want to gain an understanding of the impact that Lake Superior has on its surrounding communities while creating a platform of education about ways to keep Lake Superior pristine."
Where did this idea start?
It started as an dream, transformed into a mission, and will soon become a reality.
Dylan brought up the idea of riding around Lake Superior to record and share the oral history of the Lake to Ryan while they attended the inaugural Fresh Coast Film Festival in Marquette, Michigan. After some cinematic inspiration, Ryan told Dylan that he was going to join him, even though Ryan didn't have any proper gear or experience. Right then and there, the seed for the idea was planted.
Later that day, Ryan mentioned the plan of the trip to Olivia while they were volunteering at a different venue for the film festival. With barely finishing a description of the ride, Olivia said, "Oh cool. I'm coming!" It wasn't an option for her to join, she made it clear that she was going to be on the trip. And suddenly we had quickly formed a unique yet reliable team for the adventure.
Later that week, Dylan, Ryan, and Olivia gathered over burritos to discuss what they wanted this journey to be. They developed mission and vision statements while also a larger motivation for sharing the value of the Great Lakes. This trip is so much larger than any one person or group and thus Great Lakes Great Stories was born.
The idea started as a small seed and has grown into a full plan with support. We can only hope that our drive for conversation between people and planet will grow into bigger and better happenings.
Where will the bike tour take you?
To find the specific route, you can click on the image here.
We will be starting in Marquette, Michigan, the current city in which Olivia, Ryan, and Dylan live. On May 8th, we will head east towards Grand Marais, Michigan. We will continue to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. We will pedal along the North Shore to Thunder Bay, Ontario before making our way south again to Duluth, Minnesota. After that, we plan to continue our journey up the Keweenaw Peninsula to Copper Harbor. We will finish the circumnavigation of Lake Superior back in Marquette, Michigan on May 24th, 2017.
Our trip will be in a counterclockwise direction around the Lake. We plan to keep our route as true to Lake Superior as the roads allow. However, there will be some sections of that we won't be able to stay right next to the Lake. We are leaving on the Monday after we finish our classes at Northern Michigan University and returning by the end of the month because all three of us have siblings that are graduating high school. W think it's important to attend their graduation ceremonies.
Are you adding members to your team?
We plan on keeping our group to just the three of us. We've been planning this trip since the beginning of October 2016 and we have built a solid team chemistry since then. Bringing more riders onto the team would be a difficult transition to make at this point in the process. Additionally, we've been training and planning a lot together and it would be difficult to synchronize another schedule with our already crazy-busy lives. Our close proximity and unique friendships make us who we are as a group.
With that said, if you are still looking to support us, you are more than welcome to meet us at one of the locations along our route or donate to our mission. We would be more than grateful for your support!
Lake Superior is also open to everyone--that's what makes it so great! If you'd like to embark on your own journey around the Lake, go for it!