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Posts Tagged ‘Rifle River State Game Area’

We have had some AWFUL weather here the last few days.  The wind had been howling up to 40-50 mph with sideways rain!  It’s hard to sleep when all you can hear is the wind rattling everything on your deck, and when you hear a crash, you’re not sure what just happened.  We were forcasted for sunny weather on Monday, so we spent Sunday evening eagerly picking out caches to do to try to reach our next milestone…300 caches found!  My husband decided on the Rifle River area and the Rifle River State Game Area.  We’ve done quite a few along the Au Sable River, and felt it was time to give the Rifle River some of our time.

The Rifle River’s headwaters are located near or in Grebe Lake in the Rifle River State Game Area, just east of Rose City, Michigan.  This picturesque river has humble beginnings, and as it moves south,  it meanders along through state forest areas, farmlands, past campgrounds, hiking trails, and other little known access points.  It is a popular river for fishermen (we spotted quite a few while caching the area), kayakers, canoers, and people just floating on tubes.  It finally enters the Upper Saginaw Bay in the vicinity of the Wigwam Bay State Game Area.

The river made headlines when, in August of 1998, a canoer was given a ticket for cursing after falling out of his canoe.  This incident brought to light a century old law in the State of Michigan concerning the use of indecent language in front of women and children.  The case has since disappeared from news headlines, and speaking for myself, that is ok.

Monday was sunny as promised, so once again, I packed a picnic lunch and gathered all of our caching stuff and off we went.  It was still windy, but once we moved inland, away from the shoreline, it warmed up nicely.  Our first couple of caches were inaccessible due to high water so we trudged on to the next few that were along the Rifle River.  Our second find of the day was at a kayak/canoe launch that was nestled between some very steep banks.  We followed the trails up, up and up some more!  I knew this cache was going to be dry.  At times, I wish I had crampons on my shoes, the leaves were still wet and rather slippery, and from the description of the cache, the owner warns of getting too close to the edge, as “it’s a long fall into the water”.  Needless to say, I didn’t want that to ring true!  We found the cache and the trip back down the bank was just about as treacherous as the way up, but I did notice that the Trillium were beginning to bloom, what a treat that was!

We continued on our trek up the Rifle River, most of the caches were found, but some were still surrounded by water, will have to come back to them at a later date.  Another reason to come and enjoy this beautiful area.  We then moved on to a cache that took us to an abandoned eagle’s nest.  The owner of the cache stated that the eagles have moved to a new location, but hopes that maybe some of their offspring will re-inhabit the old nest.  We couldn’t see any eagles, but did hear the call of a bird of prey, not sure if it was an eagle or a hawk, still cool, none-the-less.  We then headed into Rose City for an earth cache.  We have never done this type of cache before.  It usually highlights a unique feature that you have to answer questions about to be able to claim it as a find.  This one concerned an artesian flowing well, once we located the flowing well, we wrote down our answers and marveled at its location.

By late afternoon we had worked our way up to the Rifle River State Game Area.  There were three caches in the Game Area that we wanted to get to, we found the first without much problem, just a short walk through a grassy field. But the other two were accessible only from hiking trails that were over a mile from the parking area, and since it was after 6:00 pm by then, we decided to move on to the last two just outside of the game area.  We needed these last two finds to reach our goal of 300 caches found.  We headed out of the Game Area and over to George Lake.  Very pretty lake, we’ve seen a lot of them today, most of them, I never knew were even there!  Finally, on to our last cache of the day, and #300.  We found it easily and happily signed the log.  Did a little jig to celebrate this milestone and headed back home.

Our wildlife count for the day: 3 hawks, 2 turkeys, 1 snake, 1 eagle, 1 grouse, 1 chipmunk.  Another good day!

Happy Caching,

Sheri

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