Monday, April 10, 2017

The Sun on Belle Isle

Saturday was one of those breathtaking days that cause chores to be left incomplete and geocaching packs thrown on your back. Luckily, TaGeez, ShelleyJean and I had plans to attend the annual event on Belle Isle.

In its twelfth year, the Belle Isle Cachers released 45 new caches (traditionals, puzzles, letterboxes and Multis) around Michigan's newest state park. They are a great mixture of hides - clues embedded in old bridges, containers tucked inside the island breakwaters, geotrails around the sound. We walked, biked, drove to the Scott Fountain, circled the Kahn Casino, letterboxed next to the aquarium, and visited the only all-marble lighthouse in North America. 

And we did this under blue, 70 degree skies.

ShelleyJean for the find!
The event this year started a little differently - no breakfast at Big Boy's across MacArthur Bridge. Instead we congregated at Pavilion #8. Shelley, Steve and I won 4 first-to-find attempts (given 15 minute head starts) during the drawing. We succeeded in snagging three first-to-finds -- 1 traditional, 1 Mutli, and 1 puzzle. All three very memorable.

The first was a lovely ammo can next to the Model boat pond (great find, Shelley!)

The second was a jewel - it turned out to be a creative 4-stage multi involving a historic bridge, a stump, a wooden footbridge, and the final. We wandered awhile - not knowing it was a 4 stager, and we never found stage 3 (we were clued later). I made the final based on a wild guess and geosenses -- clean log!

The last was a puzzle across from the Belle Isle Nature Center. We were joined midway by a new friend, Mikey Mac, visiting from Grand Rapids.  

One of three true FTF's for us
This whole experience was about friends. Shelley and I racing for clean logs. Yellowjeeperman (Mr and Mrs) down from Frankenmuth. New friends Slumberbear and his Dad visiting from Massachusetts. Brummelbear making a cameo appearance during the potluck. 

In the morning, with his broken leg, TaGeez stayed behind at the pavilion to cook the hot dogs. Our good friend, Othum, was at his side manning the grill. Know how to get an extra hot dog? Sleep with the cook!

Steve x 2: TaGeez and Othum at the grill

Every loves a HOT DOG!
In the afternoon, TaGeez joined us and we raced for a total of 18 finds. A glorious day to be out.

And, yes, we ran into friends again. Funny how they kept turning up!

Geoconsumer - ProBob - ShelleyJean
scrapcat - Hawaii Vi
One of our last finds of the day. On the day of the Belle Isle event, you can hunt for the 45 new ones as well as the 45 old (the old ones get archived that night). This was one of last year's hides. You'd think we would've grabbed it sooner with X marking the spot!

X definitely marked the spot!

This one had bonus swag- four birds eggs nesting on the stump. I'm glad this cache has been archived so they can rest undisturbed.

A different type of cache - 4 eggs!
TaGeez and I did go back the next day. The Isle was twice as busy as the day before - fisherman, roller bladers, weddings, bikers, and geocachers! Seems Commander Overlord and Madame V were there also! 

Can't keep a good Cacher down!
Alas, the remaining caches will have to wait until Fall. The Grand Prix is already under construction and the bugs are already making an appearance. Best to let the marshes solidify. 

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