Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hines Drive and the MGA Adventures!

Preparing for GeoBash, I’m a little behind in our adventures. 

The day after the Historic Caches of St Clair County was the Hines Drive adventure: Hines Drive Mill Tour Wherigo GC4CR39 put out by DougPeterson.  Hines Drive is a series of connected parks that follow the Rogue River from Dearborn to Northville (17 miles long).  Per Experience Detroit:

Prior to European settlement of the area, the Rouge served as the road through this country for local Indian tribes and for French and English trappers.  Later, the river was a pathway for escaped slaves on their way to Canada along the Underground Railroad.  Hines Drive was built in 1949 with land donated by Henry Ford and was named after Edward Hines, head of the Wayne County Road Commission.  Along the way there are a number of historic mills, some of which Henry Ford used to make automobile parts.  In addition to mills, Hines Drive is lined with baseball and soccer fields, hiking and biking paths, fishing docks, and picnic areas.  Exploring the cities of Dearborn, Plymouth, and Northville is an added bonus when traveling this multi-faceted parkway.

Mills Race Village

Doug’s Wherigo led us on an 11-mile curvy tour of the Historic Mills.  At each stop, you must answer a question to lead you onto the next leg of the tour.  Have you ever done a Wherigo?  They can be fabulous when done right – Doug deserved his favorite points for this one!  Here are a few (of our many, many) pictures!

Mills Race Village
This was definitely Henry Ford country.  Almost every mill on Hines Drive was "Henry Ford bought this property....", "Henry Ford built engines parts here.... ", "Henry Ford was the first to..".

Northville Valve Plant
I have to admit…. I had a “DUH!” moment.  I’ve cruised Hines Drive over the years (mainly during the annual Wayne County Light Show).  I’ve heard of Nankin Mills, Meads Mill, Mills Race…. Never actually struck me it’s because there were MILLS there!  I thought the labels were artifice like Farmington HILLS or Dearborn HEIGHTS or Grosse Pointe FARMS.

TaGeez at Meads Mill

Meads Mill
It was fascinating returning to Meads Mill in the summer.  You might remember our Arctic explorations this past March.  Totally the opposite experience this time!

Rogue River
Here's an example of the historical markers along the way.  This one excited me.  The workers at the Phoenix Mill were all women, and Henry Ford paid them the same rate as the men working comparable jobs!

Phoenix Mill
It was quite the fascinating history lesson. Steve and I read every historical marker and sign.  We had a little trouble at the final - the skeeters were doing their darnedest to protect the cache - but we were victorious. Favorite points for a fabulous journey!

Nankin Mills

The following day was MGA14.  With his recent medical situation, TaGeez hadn’t been able to do the MGA Caches (Lower Huron, Willow, and Oakwood) with the rest of the Free Range Lobsters.  We went out and did a major run, ending in Rockwood, to catch him up!

The only easy part of the Freckles Puzzle!

We love to eat on our adventures
Stopped off at Big Bear Lodge in Rockwood
After lunch, we moseyed out to the back of the restaurant's parking lot for a cache.  Concealed up on a hill under some greenery was a cemetery!  Completely closed off and abandoned. Fascinating to stop and look at the stones in the tall grass.

Who knew?
It was a whirlwind weekend.  Port Huron on Friday, Hines Drive on Saturday, 3 Huron Metroparks on Sunday and the Detroit Zoo on Monday - with 6 special caches!  Stay tuned for that last adventure!

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