Taking the Next Step

Whether by chance or choice, adventure is always there for the taking.
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Taking the Next Step
Photography by Ryan Spencer Reed

Their goal was no small thing.

In August of 2012, Jeff Tow and his wife, Sara, aimed to become the first married couple to swim the 50-mile-plus expanse of Lake Michigan. But the title isn’t what inspired the Tows to embark on their incredible journey, or fellow Michigander Joan Young to become, at age 63, the first woman to walk the entire 4,600-mile North Country Trail, America’s longest footpath (page 46).

Sometimes, adventure comes packaged in a personal crusade.

Other times, it just inherently drives somebody like Lorenzo Lizarralde to become, without any formal training or education, a pilot and a winemaker (page 78).

But it’s always there for the taking.

“Stepping into the world on an ordinary day is adventure enough,” reflects BLUE columnist and Michigan author Jerry Dennis (page 80). “But when you take the next step — to a lake, say, beneath a night sky, in company with a child — who knows what the outcome will be?”

While adventure comes at us early in a parade of milestones — high school graduation, college, first job, marriage, parenthood, first home — life each day after the confetti settles can become more about putting one foot in front of the other instead of “taking the next step” if we lose sight of opportunities right in our own backyards.

“People are looking for places to travel that are close to home,” says Nancy Cain of AAA Michigan, which notes perennial top summer spots to drive statewide on page 32. No matter where “home” is, this special edition of BLUE offers intriguing new things to discover and do.

Fly through northern forests on a vast system of zip lines and suspension bridges (page 24), or soar higher for your first skydiving jump (page 32). Swap routine for history-rich pampering at one of Michigan’s landmark hotels (page 26), swing easy at an 18-hole putting course (page 30) or savor an RV getaway with vintage vibe (page 21).

Whether taking marked trails to hidden cascades (page 40) or blazing a custom pedal-paddle path of your own (page 22) is more your style, invite your kids, grandkids and good friends along for the ride — or pick and choose something new to experience together from BLUE’s Excursions (page 59).

From watching Dragon Boats race to renting Aqua Cycles (page 32), there’s no shortage of adventures to take or memories to make in the Great Lakes State. Be sure to share your favorites with us at facebook.com/mibluemag.

We look forward to embarking on BLUE’s 2014 Special TRAVEL & ADVENTURE Issue together with you.

With heartfelt thanks for reading,

Lisa M. Jensen, Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine

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