Wednesday, September 11, 2019

MSPCGT: Lower Upper Western

Oh, the texts are already flying around. ShelleyJean and I are getting the travel itch! Time for another Michigan State Park Centennial GeoTour adventure in the works!

We've completed 72 parks so far!

We’ve hit a few parks during the work week including Belle Isle (where I got FTF, remember?) I had to let me teammates into the act.

We also hit William C Stirling SP near Monroe. Surprising part? I kinda (shamefacedly) thought this would be a blow-off park, but we spied more wildlife here than any other park! And it was a beautiful walk! As we walked to the cache, the trail divided a clear lake on one side and a beautiful marshland on the other. Blue herons, cranes, swans, and many deer.

We also crossed paths with history. Haven Hill in Highland State Park was the summer residence of Eleanor and Edsel Ford. We hiked up the hill (yes, “hill” in “Haven Hill” should have been our clue!) to visit the foundation remains.

We also had a big weekend cache run in the Lower Upper Western (only a real MICHIGANDER will figure that out!). We headed up to Charlevoix to Traverse City and onto the Leelanau Peninsula before heading South.

Here are a few of my favorite photos or stops from that trip - with spoilers! BEWARE!

Halfway There, Almost Anyway Virtual GCGB0R

Traverse City SP GC801RA

Did some shopping at the Bear Den near Suttons Bay - LOVED IT! And then onto the Cherry Country Quilters Quilt Shop downtown.

Keeper of the Cache
Monarch season of Lake Michigan!

Grand Traverse Lighthouse at Leelanau State Park GC801NH
Buffaloed GC1R686

Interlochen GC801MN

Our favorite part of Mitchell SP was the nearby Earth Cache: The Mystery of the Clam Lake Canal GC1BJ3R. I actually learned something, and we had a lot of fun watching the campers enjoy the waterway. 

We crossed paths with the Linear State Parks, which meant they were stops along a rails-to-trail. Not much to report – no wildlife, flowers, points of interest along the way. Also no state park signs to pose with so we had to get creative.

Seen along the White Pine Trail
Although peaceful to cache together, the caches were getting a little unexciting. We were happy to find this “welcoming” smiley 😊

Lovely sunflower patch near the last Linear State Park

Can you read the badge?
Ionia RA GC801MQ

To supplement the State Park caches, we detoured for some quiet cemeteries, Virtuals, and "county caches" for SJ. I mean…. when else will we be this close to Belding, MI – home to two virtual rewards. My favorite, however, was the Virtual Reward – Clem Sohn GC7B6A0 – the grave of an Aviation Pioneer buried near Pewamo (no spoilers below).

Corunna Historical Village GC1YZ7N

Twenty-eight caches to go. I’m loving our pace because we are enjoying the sights and sounds and smells and tastes of each interesting park and town. Next up is Lower Middle Western Michigan, and the colors are already changing!

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