Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Memorial Weekend: Our Thumb Adventure

Saturday of Memorial Day weekend dawned, and the weathermen were wrong. It was sunny with blue skies, a light breeze and in the 70's. Perfect weather for an adventure!

With no real plan in mind, TaGeez and I decided on a driving tour of "The Thumb". Yes, Michigan is shaped like a mitten and Michiganders give directions by pointing out spots on their hand. When my sister & I went to Galena last week she pointed out she was off her map!

(Source: Wikipedia)

The Thumb is known for it's peaceful country roads through farmland leading to the beautiful, blue waters of Lake Huron. We had a vague notion of site seeing, shopping and grabbing lunch on our road trip.

And, of course, geocaching. Our first stop was a fitting one - a Veterans Memorial in Sanilac County. We were able to make finds in 4 counties - filling out TaGeez's map on Project-GC.

Veterans Hill GC2Z3HW

We just missed the ceremony at the Sanilac Cemetery and the parade in Bad Axe. We did make it to the quilt shop before they closed. No enticing caches nearby, though.

Taking a wrong turn in Albuquerque... er.... Bad Axe, we ended up at Harbor Beach. Funny thing about Michigan, even taking a wrong turn you eventually hit water. We grabbed a special Multicache (Finally! Stage 1 and the final were 100+ miles apart!) and then headed to Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse on the tip.

We met some lovely ladies who stamped my lighthouse passport in the gift shop and then enjoyed taking pictures near the water's edge. We also grabbed Keepers of the Light where TaGeez found it humorous in taking his time to sign the log while I was knee-deep in the greenery. Did I mention the two boys behind us who just found a pair of live snakes?

Keepers of the Light GCKXFC

While leaving the lighthouse we received  a message from Mibbs and family (dear friends we met through geocaching) who were at their cabin near Caseville. We turned our car westward to join them for dinner, still grabbing caches on the way. It's fabulous having a geocaching friend who understands "geocaching time"!

We didn't want to miss the Michigan Lost Town Cache Series (MLT). "The Michigan's Lost Towns Cache Series has now celebrated Twelve years of existence! This cache series was created to promote geocaching in towns that have little to nothing left. It has spread from the middle of the mitten to the Upper Peninsula and continues to expand!"

MLT - Huron City GC30PAT

For many of these towns, the geocaches are sometimes the only remains of a once-thriving community. Be sure the read the geocache pages.

MLT - Historic Grindstone City GC30DD6

Many of these towns disappeared as the lumber boom ended. Flooding and disease wiped out many towns, too.

MLT - Village of Port Crescent GC26KQ8

We also had to stop for several of Mibb's geocaches, too. Nobody Beats Walt's Meat and Your girlfriend will love Walt's Meat  are two of my favorite signs at our next stop!

Poor Walt GC3K7RT

Here's the beaches near  The Yeps GC3QF1G in Sleeper State Park.

TaGeez, Scrapcat, and Mibbs

As they day wound down, TaGeez and I stopped off in a park near Caseville to enjoy the lovely sunset.

An amazing way to end our day!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Team Lareau: emosewA eB

Have you met Team Lareau yet? 

They are a husband and wife team out of southeastern Michigan - as suited for each other as rootee2t & Y2Compliant, SCOOK & CITOcacher and Ratspazum. And, as of today they are on day #2342 of their cache-a-day streak!

Brian likes to design special path tags and will post contests on his Instagram account page.  Are you following him yet? I like watching his daily posts and guessing which cache they're at!

Last week or so he offered their latest motivational creation: "Be Awesome" path tags, and I won one!

"Be Awesome" is meant to be worn as a necklace and spelled backwards so you can see this awesome message in a mirror! Brilliant!

So, are you following him yet? I'm sure another contest is right around the corner. Thank you, Brian!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Gallivanting in Galena

I spent a lovely week in Galena, Illinois with WikidKriket and Missouri Mom. Galena is a wonderful historic town in Northwest Illinois - 8 miles from Wisconsin and 15 from Iowa. It's nestled in a mountainous range along the Mississippi floodplain.

It's hard to tempt you with pictures as it rained and every day was overcast. Plus you can't smell the Garlic Fries from the DeSoto Hotel (oldest restaurant in Illinois), the Lobster with squid ink Ravioli from Fried Green Tomatoes, the Paddy Melt (from Frank O'Dowd's Irish Pub) or the homemade Cinnamon Rolls (Otto's Place).

However, I can tempt you with some of the geocaches along the way.  No geocache names as there are Virtual involved, but the Galenian geocaches were top-notch.

First stop on the road - a good sign

Freeport was fascinating (no spoiler pics here). Not only was it the site of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates...

Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Freeport
... It was also the site of a miniaturized Wrigley Field plus...

... an attack duck! This was the last shot of this duck in Krape Park before it made a beeline for me and attacked. Imagine seeing a plump, gray-haired geocacher bent at the waist, shooing off this foul fowl  with her shoe and shouting, "No! No! No!" as she is scrambling for safety in reverse.  The duck got my shoe and my toes and my calves and my dignity. Luckily a heroic bystander grabbed the little single-minded assailant as I scrambled to my sister's car. Thankfully, her phone was tucked away in her pocket - no video of the attack survives!

And now we enter Galena...

Steps going up, up, up the hill!

Geocaching is hard work

At the top looking down

B&B's on the top of the hill

The cache pages shared interesting historical tidbits about Galena's past including the stairs up to the high school, the last Blacksmith and the Steamboat Capital of the US.

Walking bridge from Galena to Grant Park

Home of Ulysses S. Grant and Family

Contrary to popular opinion, she doesn't look
like Mrs. Butterworth to us!

View from Grant Park

And then heading back home...

Great fun with WikidKriket - hopefully we can make it back soon!