Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Singing the Ambitious Charters Praises - Power Island

How exciting is this?  After the fabulous Power Island adventure, I sent an email to Captain Mike and submitted a testimonial to the Ambitious Charters website. I can’t swim.  I’ve never been on a boat like the Ambitious and was really nervous.  Prior to the trip, I had scoured the sites looking for words of comfort, so I thought I’d share my A++ experience for others “in the same boat” (HAR HAR!).  He published it!
In case you can’t read the text or click the link, here’s my testimonial:
“Have I mentioned I’m very nervous around water? And have never been on a boat smaller than a ferry?
On a geocaching trip of a lifetime to Power Island, I confessed my anxieties to Captain Mike. With patience and confidence, he explained how to board the Ambitious, seated me in the cockpit and let me know what to expect.
With great humor and charisma, he gave a guided tour of the bay, and, before I knew it, I was standing on the sandy beach of Power Island. The journey there and back was just as enjoyable as the destination.
Thank you, Captain Mike!”
I still stand behind every word.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What is Geocaching? WDIV - Detroit

Our local news station did a pretty decent segment on geocaching. With one minor correction (caching doesn't always start with a cell phone), we give it a thumbs up! 

Click the link & see some of my buds in Southeastern Michigan - this was filmed during one of our Winter Livonia meets.

Did you catch me? My claim to fame is a few seconds of tape displaying my Dragon trackable's foot, me reaching in to grab a cookie, and my signature on a logbook. Oh well!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Countdown To Midwest GeoBash 2014

Every day for the last 10 days I've posted a countdown post in the Southeastern Michigan Geocaching Facebook group to prepare everyone for the ultimate fun!  I can't believe it's tomorrow!

Here's the list:


And counting down to GeoBash! Proud that my nephew Andrew is attending the Scout class.


If you use a smartphone for caching or Wherigos, phone service can be spotty (Steve has good service - my AT&T is useless on the fairgrounds). To get around this, you can either create PQ's for offline lists or you can pay for up to 4-days wifi. Or, as Ben pointed out, load your GPSr.


My family loves the annual Poker Run on Friday morning. It's free (except for the gas you use or any goods you buy). Eligible players pickup a card at the swag store. Each card contains coordinates for several businesses in the community. At each stop you pickup a bar-coded sticker for your card (and you sample the local wine, buy ice cream, shop the local goods...) Cache along the way... Return your card by 3pm - typically the best & worst Poker card wins a GPSr!


According to this website, Midwest GeoBash will have LAB caches! So... How many of you are going to top your "most icons in a day" record on this trip?


In addition to the 32 new caches on the fairgrounds, local cachers annually place several new challenge caches around town (many on the fabulous Wabash Cannonball Trail). There are 5 new challenges this year. Do you qualify?


Around this time next week, I will be shaking rich dirt out of my sandals and handing my metal detector back to the volunteer while clutching my collectible trackable in my other hand. Tickets are $5 each for the Treasure Hunt. Speaking of swag, what is the coolest or most unusual item you ever found in a cache?


Nothing as fun as doing a night cache with a crowd! Handyman's "Night Creatures" had 152 Fave points before it was archived. With a new night cache in place, what is your best "night caching" tip for newbies?


Some of the best "Bash" stories surround Area 51. By day, you can attend a cast iron cooking demo or competition. At night is the bonfires. After 10, you will see unmarked pitchers containing glow-in-the-dark liquids. If you are lucky, you'll meet a lackey or get some A51 swag. Don't forget your tin foil hat on Thursday!


In addition to the fabulous Wabash Cannonball Trail (TaGeez and I spent a peaceful Sunday there last year), the surrounding area is dotted with older cemeteries with some older caches. Recently, many of these cemeteries were vandalized. If you see any in bad shape, CITO if you can.


And, of course, you can't forget about the travel bugs and path tag trading. Don't forget to bag the TB's, print out the info sheets & code their destinations. You can find the trackable guidelines here:

I can't wait to share my adventures with you! I just wish the entire family would've been able to make it this year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Where In The World... Are All The Cemeteries?!?

Another adventure before TaGeez returns to work.  We had heard a rumor that mmc881's Where In the World? caches were being archived and decided, after all that work, that we needed to go on a puzzle run.

You might think, "No big deal".  Right?  But it was.... We drove from Troy to Ortonville to Fenton to Milford to Ferndale.  It took us 10 hours and 147 miles to grab 9 WITW caches... plus a few extra!

Our WITW target caches

Have I mentioned I like cemetery caching? Southeastern Michigan has some fabulous old cemeteries.

This was an interesting stop..... TCO SQ - Pet Sematary GC34VZJ.  It's along the main road in Ortonville, and it was established in 1962 by a husband and wife who live next door.  We ran into the owner as he was cutting the "sematary" lawn.

Pet Memorial Garden

This, by far, was the most curious piece of swag I've ever spied.  It was an animal skull in the cache container.  TaGeez and I are wondering if we should've removed it before re-hiding the cache?  We shared this picture on Facebook and the first response back was, "I thought Groundspeak disapproved of cash in containers?" - oh my.

Um... swag?
On an unrelated note, the prior "searcher" decided not to search for this cache for fear of "catching malaria".  That made me chuckle - it was really an easy, skeeter-free find.

After grabbing a few more, we started heading West.  We were glad to finally make the find at SQ - Hadley (my sister's last name).  The family had been here before.  This was our first zinc find of the day.

Still grabbing the Where in the World caches and any other interesting one in our path, we discovered a hide in the Lake View Cemetery sign.  Talk about taking you places you'd never knew existed... who knew this was just down the road?  We were surrounded by many zinc stones including this Civil War monument.

The cache is called Freedom Isn't Free - Gettysburg GC3GCNH

The find definitely deserved the Favorite Point

Another Zinc nearby

Zinc detail

Warren Mausoleum

Warren Mausoleum - stained glass

Warren Mausoleum - door detail

Bissell Mausoleum

Bissell Mausoleum - door detail

Seen near Bissell Mausoleum

We finally hit Fenton - the northwest point of our journey.  They were having some kind of summer art/music festival, but you couldn't hear it here.  Oakwood Cemetery and Old Prospect Hill was peaceful and fascinating.

Oakwood Cemtery

Oakwood Cemetery - at the gate

Oakwood Cemetery - in the newer section

Wonder what was here?
Attached to Oakwood Cemetery was Old Prospect Hill Cemetery. Many of the Fenton founders and notable men, including the Founder of Dibbleville, are buried here.

What do you do on YOUR dates?

Very well-tended spot

What an epitaph! That's it?

Ok, the 3 year old came out in me. What's funnier?
"Cockawasaw" or Dibbleville?
I couldn't find anything, really, online about either.

Continental Army - Revolutionary War

If you make it to Fenton (or Imlay City or Davisburg or Clio or Bay City), definitely stop at Lucky's Steakhouse!  The meal was FABULOUS!  TaGeez had the chicken & shrimp pasta while I enjoyed the grilled pork chops.  AMAZING!

We decided since we were so close to stop at the Tyrone Memorial Gardens.  I told you all about the history of this gem during our February 2013 visit. We were geeked to see it not covered in ice but surrounded by lush greenery.  We were excited to see the stones without having to chip away at the snow and ice.  We were excited until we saw that the bridge is missing (winter fatality?) and the stones buried in a see of tall grass.  Hopefully it will be repaired on our next journey out there.

The Angel weathered Winter well

This was the last solve and the last find in the Where in the World? series.  We had a great time, but those last few caches were a little more challenging with the uber tall grass and skeeters the size of crows. TaGeez laughs - he says my "speed of find" is directly related to the "plethora of skeeters" - there's something in that.

Hot, sweaty, and victorious, we stumble into another festival in downtown Milford while looking for drinks.

Milford Flatiron Buidling

Milford Water Wheel Sculpture
Our final total was:

2 cachers grabbing 22 caches over 147 miles
9 Where In The Worlds/Out Of This World
14 Spirit Quest caches in 11 cemeteries
8 Zinc headstones/monuments
3 art festivals 
2 deer & 1 low-flying duck
2 1897 cannons
2 silver lion heads & 2 stained glass windows
1 skull as swag
1 sunken garden with a sunken bridge
1 fabulous adventure.... priceless!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Have You Grabbed Your Vitamin Z Lately?

Every year the Detroit Zoological Gardens sponsors a series of caches hidden by snowbird2.  You would think they’re simple because they are “family friendly” but she has to hide them well so as not to be muggled by the million + visitors on an annual basis.

Last year I had FTF on 5 of the 6  caches (I live about a half mile from the zoo and have an annual membership).  At the end of the season I received an email from snowbird2 congratulating me on finding all 6 caches and winning 4 passes for the next year!

On Monday, TaGeez and I decided it was time for our annual caching expedition at the zoo.  We missed all the releases as they came out around our Traverse City trip.  It was particularly humid, but, being a Monday, not too crowded.  As we walked past the exhibits, you could see the annuals raising their resting heads to us and imagine them thinking, “Fools!  Only humans would be walking about in this!”

I don’t want to give away any of the hides so I thought I’d share some pictures from our visit.  Hopefully it will inspire you to come for a visit!

Melty Camels

I don't think people stop and appreciate the flowers at the zoo enough.

And, yes.  We found all 6 again!  We are quite the team!