Modern-Day Adventurers Present Lake Michigan in a Dugout on June 8

By: Porter County Museum Last Updated: June 6, 2013

Mary-Catterlin-Amy-LukasWhen Mary Catterlin started hand-carving a 2600 lb cottonwood tree into a dugout canoe, Amy Lukas knew they were in for an adventure. “The sailing was rarely easy and the paddling was even worse, but every moment of this adventure was worth it,” said Amy Lukas, one of the two determined young women that circumnavigated Lake Michigan in the summer of 2012. The two traveled over 1,200 miles of shoreline in 93 days.

Amy and Mary brought their adventure to the Porter County Museum in the form of Lake Michigan in a Dugout—an exhibit chronicling the depth of their journey. “Mary and Amy accomplished an incredible adventure and continually strive to achieve on their own terms in unconventional ways,” remarked the Museum Director Kevin Matthew Pazour. “These two young women were just as methodical in their planning and implementation as they were conscientious of their limits.

Aside from numerous artifacts and pictures, the premier piece on display is Makeba, the eleven foot hand-carved dugout canoe. “Our boat was a hybrid of mixed engineering and scrap yard know-how,” shared Mary Catterlin, builder of the boat. Many have weighed in on whether or not the boat should have made it, but in the end she proved her worth when she landed back home three months later. The exhibit concludes on June 15.

The general public is invited to join Amy and Mary in the laughter and daring of their maritime adventure through photographs, video footage, and lively storytelling Saturday, June 8 at 6 o’clock at the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso, Indiana. Afterwards, attendees are encouraged to come meet Makeba at the Porter County Museum next door. Complimentary wine and cheese will be provided by Porter County’s very own Restaurante Don Quijote.

For tickets to this event, contact the Porter County Museum at (219) 465-3595 or email Seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot right away. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.