Have you ever wanted to build something with your own hands? Have you ever wanted to go on adventure that might leave you feeling like you’re living in a bygone era? Well here’s an inspiring story for those with a bit of old-fashioned wanderlust:

Packed only with essential camping and boating supplies (plus documentation tools like cameras and journals), best friends Amy Lukas and Mary Catterlin, who call their project “Two Girls and a Tree Named Makeba”, recently set out on a trip to circumnavigate Lake Michigan in their own hand-made dugout canoe. The trip itself took the two women exactly three months to complete and they ended up traveling close to 1,200 miles in their own boat! I’d consider this a daunting task in a ready-made store-bought canoe, let alone one of my own design and creation!

The boat itself, made from a cottonwood tree and weighing in around 300 pounds, took Catterlin 4 years to complete and once finished, Lukas helped fit the boat with a sail and outriggers before the voyage.

Catterlin and Lukas say they, “spent a quarter of a year camped on beaches, campgrounds, sleeping aboard boats, and in the homes of many new found friends.” That doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend three months if you ask us!

The two friends have recently been touring around the northern United States giving presentations to captive audiences. Oh and if you’re wondering, Catterlin says, “Makeba is named after Miriam Makeba, a calypso singer from South Africa who spoke out against apartheid, in link to the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau and his boat named Calypso.” So there ya go!

Check out this video of their excursion and let us know what grand trip you might be plotting out and remember, ACK is the place to be if you want to outfit your adventure!

Trent @ACK