Hello all! It is a pleasure to be writing to you all as the new spring intern here at MyGreatLake. My name is Jeff Ekdom and I am currently a junior at Hope College. I am super excited to join the MGL team, and look forward to meeting some of you. To make these future conversations less awkward for you (and leave all the awkwardness to me), I will give you a few details about myself. I was born and raised in Holland, MI. I attended Holland Christian schools all throughout, and loved my time there. My main hobbies depend on the time of the year. Fall = Soccer and Sleeping. Winter = Snowboarding, Hockey, and enjoying the snow. Spring = Slow pitch softball, hiking, and a good ole bonfire. Summer = The beach, working (to somehow try and afford a Hope College education), and just plain relaxing. The Great Lakes have been a great part of my life, from growing up swimming in Lake Michigan, to taking family vacations to Niagra Falls and Mackinaw Island. The lakes provide great memories from my childhood, and I am positive they will create even more in the future. Thinking towards the future, (and also inspired by this great article from the Great Lakes Echo “http://greatlakesecho.org/2012/01/17/my-great-lakes-bucket-list/”) I will make some sort of my own “Great Lakes bucket list” if you will.

  1. Ski Mount Bohemia, Again.

I had the privilege of traveling to this “closest-to-out-west-skiing-in-Michigan” mountain when I was a junior in High School. I went with a buddy of mine and his dad. I can remember the drive up to the mountain being so excited, and then seeing feet of snow on the branches outside of the car only adding to this excitement. There are only two chairlifts on the mountain, both bringing you to the top. Once you are there, there is only one thing to do: Find your way down. I can remember some of the best powder snowboarding I had ever ridden and thinking to myself “There is no way this is Michigan”. I can also remember suddenly finding myself in some tree split moguls. The next thing I know my back is being split by one of these trees! Once you find your way down, there is a trolley constantly going around the mountain that picks you up and brings you back to the lift to go do it all again!

  1. Learn to Fly Fish on a Great Lakes River

I have heard that the rivers of the Great Lakes have some of the best fly fishing in our region. Coming from someone who used to despise fishing, and was grossed out by putting the worms on the hook (shamefully admitted), I would love to become an avid fly fisherman, but I need to learn first!

  1. Golf the Acadia Bluffs

I will admit that I am someone who should keep their golf game strictly on the beautiful greens of Craig’s Cruiser’s.Nevertheless, I have heard only good things about Arcadia Bluffs and even though I would feel 100% out of place, I think it could make for a great afternoon. I will just have to bring a fat wallet along, and plan on it coming home empty.

  1. Take a Hiking trip in Northern Michigan

I have been up north in Michigan a few times. It is (arguably) one of the most beautiful places on this earth. Each season has its own unique beauties, and experiencing these beauties while hiking up north would be a great memory.

  1. Always live within “easy-driving” distance from a Great Lake

So with my last item on my bucket list, I am going to get a little “deep” and “real life”. But you have already read almost 85% of this blog so just read on, you are almost done. Living near a great lake has been one of the greatest things in my life that I take advantage of. When I hear of people who have never swam in a big body of water, or who have never been out on a boat, I realize how privileged we are to have the Great Lakes so close. I want to always live near a great lake, but I guess I should have entitled this fifth item as “Live close to a great lake, and not take it for granted”.

As I said before, I am excited to be on board here at My Great Lake! I hope you enjoyed reading the first post of the first blog. Feel free to post comments, your own Great Lakes bucket lists, critiques of my writing skills, etc…

Have a wonderful day, and always remember how great the Great Lakes are!