Tuesday, August 5, 2014

On The Road to GeoBash....

Amazing, fun adventure this year with TaGeez!

How long does it take to drive from Detroit, Michigan to Wauseon, Ohio?  Rumor has it all my other friends drove the 80 miles in an hour and a half.  TaGeez and myself?  Somehow it turned out to be 247 miles in 11 hours!  Not a surprise when you see our travel plans!

I've uploaded some of my favorite or most memorable pics from this trip leading up to Midwest GeoBash 2014.  It doesn't cover all the Virtuals and cemeteries but a good representation of them all.

We slept in on Thursday, July 24th so we didn't take off until 6:42am.  I haven't camped in 36 years, but TaGeez was convinced we'd fit all the gear in my little Focus.  I've never been more impressed!

First camping trip in 36 years! And it all fit in my Focus!
Theme for MWGB is "Christmas in July"
We knew we would be on the road all day. Our goal was to pickup several caches as challenge qualifiers as well as the challenges themselves.  Even with a sizable list, we've always found last minute adds enhance our adventures.  There was no plans to stop at this TB hotel, but there was too much FB chatter to miss it. LOVELY manicured trails right to the GZ.

Our first stop was an unplanned one!
Old Fire Barn & Trackable Exchange GC4719A
This was a biggie for us.  The Tamarack cache GCBA53 was the last cache needed for the Historic Caches of Monroe County Challenge GC37ETV.  It was awful.  The vegetation was jungle-thick and the moment we walked into the wooded area the skeeters attacked.  Afterwards, TaGeez did the victory bear pose out front of Cabellas!

Tamarack at Cabella's was the last cache needed for the
Historic Caches of Monroe County Challenge
Our route took us along many of the southern counties in Michigan.  It was fascinating driving through the small towns seeing the railroad history.  You forget it was these tracks that shuttled goods and people during Michigan's golden rail age between Chicago and Detroit.

In addition to picking up multiple counties, we also knocked off a few more pages in the DeLorme map and picked up some puzzle finals.  The one below was solved well over a year ago, and we were finally in the area for the grab.

Tecumseh, Michigan
Puzzle solved over a year ago!
We enjoyed 7 Virtuals: LaPlaisance GCBEA4, HLG Pothole GCJDP0, Time To Go To Hudson GC8848, Over the Hill to the Poor-house GC8845, Over the Hill to the Poor-House II GCJVE8, Moses Who? GC9931, and the Tri-State Marker GC2018.

First Virtual of the Day
LaPlaisance GCBEA4
MSU's Hidden Lake Gardens was a fascinating stop on our adventure. Although we intended to spend time at each virtual, we weren't prepared for the 2 hours here, but it was GORGEOUS! Hidden Lake Gardens is a 744-acre expanse in Tipton, MI.  It is a botanical garden and arboretum that features a scenic drive and nature trails, Hidden Lake, the Hostas Hillside, and a mini-conifer greenhouse.  There's even a glacial pothole in back!

HLG Pothole Virtual GCJDP0

Cool tree behind the HLG boulder

HLG Pothole

Hosta Hillside at Hidden Lake Garden

View of Hidden Lake from the Hostas Hillside

TaGeez snapped a lot of flowers

scrapcat at the HLG mini-conifer garden

HLG mini-conifer greenhouse
One of our challenges on the trip was starting and completing the Historic Caches of Lenawee County Challenge GC56FXB. To qualify, you needed to find 5 of Lenawee County's 7 oldest caches.  We thought it was quite doable as 4 of them were virtuals!  It required driving from the eastern county border (Podunck Michigan GCNPDX) to its western border (Time to Go to Hudson GC8848).  Podunck was a treat - since it was listed as a puzzle cache we were nervous about it being our first stop but it was really a Traditional off a nicely mown nature trail.  The caches in between each added to the adventure.

Hanging in downtown Hudson

1871 train bridge in Hudson
Our primary target in heading this direction was the Tri-State Marker GC2018.  It is the point where Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana connect. Besides the novelty, this Virtual is another square on my JASMER grid (November 2001).  I had been vowing since my first GeoBash to make it out here.

An added bonus is another Traditional cache (3 States, 1 Cache GC3499B) just 128 feet away. You park in Michigan, walk through Ohio, and find it in Indiana.  TaGeez earned his Indiana badge!

Caching Fire at the Tri-State Marker GC2018

scrapcat and Caching Fire

TaGeez at the intersection of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana
Southern Michigan and Northern Ohio are dotted with historic cemeteries.  We were on the lookout for cemeteries on the entire drive, but we didn't find the first Michigan one along our route until late in the day. Not only are the headstones fascinating, but SQ hides tend to be larger and a better quality.  Any SQ's grabbed today added towards our SQ - Chubbs Challenge back home. 

Our first Michigan cemetery for the day
And many of the Ohio SQ's qualified us for one of our last challenges of the day the Old-Timers of Fulton County Challenge GC3B612.  

Our first Ohio cemetery
It was funny responding to 3inaTree's message, "Where are you?"  We had to tell them we just left Indiana and were on our way!  Indiana?!?  They weren't as surprised as I had expected.  11+ hours later, we rolled in to the 2014 Midwest Geobash GC4N58M.  Tired, but ready for the next leg of our adventure!

Final count for the day:

  • 2 cachers and 1 dragon
  • 247 miles across 3 states in 11 hours
  • 31 caches logged including:
    • 1 Mega Event
    • 4 Challenges completed (3 Historic County Challenges and one on the Wabash Cannonball Trail)
    • 7 Virtuals
    • 6 cemeteries
    • 1 Jasmer (Nov 2001)

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