Monday, July 15, 2019
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Saturday, July 13, 2019
Thursday we found our Mystery at the Museum Detective, and TaGeez & I spent the last two days collecting "clues" from caches in Holland. Looking forward to grabbing gemstones tomorrow on the way home.
Two souvenirs down - two to go!
First night in a 10-person Dark Room tent. Dark technology keeps the morning light out and keeps the tent cool during the day. We had the tent up and everything setup within 10 minutes. Now that we have a home base, we'll head out for some caching (except for the MSPCGT cache - we'll wait until the team is back together).
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Isn't that just a Michigander thing?
"Where are you going this weekend?"
"Oh, just upper lower."
TaGeez, ShelleyJean and I had a fabulous weekend in upper, lower Michigan (top of the mitten!) doing the Michigan State Park Centennial geotour. This tour included Wilson SP, North Higgins, South Higgins, Hartwick Pines, Otsego Lake, Clear Lake, Onaway, Burt Lake, Aloha SP, Wilderness SP, Petoskey SP, Young SP, and breathtaking Fisherman's Island.
Starting off early on a Saturday - sunny and clear - we headed off to the first of many beaches and birdhouses. Ah, it's a good sign for a fun time!
Admittedly, this leg of our tour was a little different than the last. The last one was sensory overload of beautiful sites, stunning beaches, blue water. This one started of a little more history-focused, and it was a little eye opening for me. I've read about the Civilian Conservation Corp, loggers & lumber barons, but this was real! We visited CCC villages, the woods they managed, nurseries, logging museums... it sounds like a cliche but the history books came to life.
|North Higgins CCC Village|
North Higgins and South Higgins were so different. North Higgins had the CCC Village & Woods where South Higgins was public beaches, beach ball, and power boats.
But even South Higgins was a site of contradictions. There were tons of bodies on the beach (above) and in the parking lot and at the concession. Yet on the other side (below) where the cache was hidden was almost ignored and so much more beautiful! That teaches a lesson that if you don't like where you are there is probably a more beautiful site just around the corner!
|My favorite pic of TaGeez on the trip|
The next surprise was Hartwick Pines, Michigan's oldest growth forest. This was on SJ's bucket list, and, I admit, I had never heard of it.
We started at the Visitor Center (gift shop/museum), and then took the entire circle tour including the chapel and logging village.
The trees towered! The silence under the canopy was so peaceful. Kudos to the people who designed the information boards - interesting, educational but not too wordy. Sad to see the Monarch lost its crown.
The Chapel was beautiful in its simple way. I won’t give anything away about the final, but the actual hide was a little unexpected and made me laugh out loud! I know this is one state park I will return to, so peaceful walking among the big trunks.
We, of course, had a few novelty stop along the way! We started with SJ's first Michigan Lost Town! Hey, can you guess what it was called?
|MLT - Big Rock GC41G4X|
... and who can pass up a 45th parallel cache? Not us!
|Halfway There Once Again GC6NZ9F|
Oh, this sweet cache was one of my favorite on the trip! It housed a very nice ammo can, where I dropped a sweet little present for the next finder. Woot!
Speaking of novelty. This is the turtle that peed all over TaGeez. Peed and kept peeing.
Luckily TaGeez survived the shower because we were in the parking lot of one of my favorite places: the Awakon Park - Moran Iron Sculpture Park in Onaway, Michigan. Why is this place not a Virtual in its own right?!? Check out the nearby You must be a MORAN to miss these!
After a night in a very shady hotel where we ate very yummy pizza (B.C. Pizza in Indian River), we headed out early (before the hotel got raided by the Bunco squad). First stop: Burt's Lake and a House Divided. I made sure I was the last cacher out - GO GREEN!
I think every Michigander knows what Indian River is known for. We detoured to the Cross in the Woods as a tribute for my Mom. This was her favorite stop up North. TaGeez and I walked around looking for her memorial paver, but the place was too big and all the helpers were at service.
Next, we headed to a different kind of woods. Do you notice what we're wearing in the Aloha State Park picture? Bug nets! OMG! The fish flies coated everything! I will never forget the crunch and squish underfoot as we walked from the car to the sign - ugh. It was like popping zits on Mother Earth.
|Aloha State Park|
|How can you not love that face?|
Finally! Wilderness State Park - Dark Park in Mackinac! Lovely views of Lake Michigan and the bridge, and the site of my face-to-hissing-face confrontation with a thick black snake. As I was dangling over Lake Michigan, looking for a cache at high tide, it slithered back upon itself trying to get away. As I'm floundering and trying not to fall into the lake, SJ shouts out from behind me, "Did you get a picture of it?" Ah, that's friends!
|Go, Super Sexy Trio!|
Enjoying beautiful views...
... and cherishing all the gifts these parks give us.
We ended this segment of the tour with one of the most surprising of State Parks, Fisherman's Island.
FAVORITE POINT! For a beautiful park, enjoyable letterbox with a fabulous view featuring the best this park has to offer, and the personalized stamp.
I never knew this park existed, so I’ve told all my family about the amazing campsites at water’s edge. We saw swans, seagulls, and an adorable Beagle near the final. After making the find, we frolicked on the beach, and I, for the first time this trip, got my feet wet! Lovely way to end our last find for the day. We’ll be back!
|View from the Letterbox|
That's it. Until next time...