Mary Catterlin and Amy Lukas are two and a half months into their 1,200 mile voyage.
MONTAGUE, Mich. (WZZM) - The high waves are subsiding, so a pair of 23-year-old women from Michigan City, Indiana plan to resume their journey around Lake Michigan aboard a handmade canoe.
Mary Catterlin and Amy Lukas are two and a half months into their 1,200 mile voyage. Strong winds and rough water this week forced them to take temporary refuge on the beach near the White River in Muskegon County.
"The wind shifted faster and harder than were hoping," explains Catterlin. "The waves started picking up so we had to pull over."
When they graduated from college this year, Catterlin and Lukas say they were looking for a challenge and an adventure. They decided to travel the entire circumference of Lake Michigan in a canoe Catterlin carved from a log.
"I wanted my own boat but I couldn't afford one," she says. "I decided to make one."
Once the canoe started to look more like a boat and less like a log, the two high school friends started thinking about a big trip. They decided to take on Lake Michigan.
"We really just wanted to see the lake from all sides and have an adventure," says Catterlin.
"A lot of people told us it isn't possible or feasible," laughs Lukas.
"I think that's our secret weapon," suggests Catterlin.
"Right," agrees Lukas. "We don't know we can't do it so we are doing it."
The travelers say they have been overwhelmed by the hospitality of friends and strangers they've met along the way.
"We weren't counting on so many people reaching out to help us," says Lukas.
"[They are] giving us housing and feeding us," says Catterlin. "The kindness of strangers goes beyond what we thought or expected."
The young explorers aren't sure how much longer it will take them to get home to Michigan City. It depends on the weather. They are hoping for a September 23rd homecoming, which is also Lukas' birthday.
"It's been great," says Lukas. "We had some expectations but we far exceeded those. It's been quite the adventure."
"It's been fun," agrees Catterlin. "[We have] no regrets."
You can read more about their progress and adventures on their blog, lakemichiganinadugout.blogspot.com.