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Posts Tagged ‘Saginaw Bay’

Early Spring!…

“I have noticed in my life that all men have a liking for some special animal, tree, plant, or spot of earth.  If men would pay more attention to these preferences, and seek what is best to do in order to make themselves worthy of that toward which they are so attracted, they might have dreams which would purify their lives.  Let a man decide upon his favorite animal and make a study of it, learning its innocent ways.  Let him learn to understand its sounds and motions.”  Teton Sioux Medicine Man Brave Buffalo

These past two weeks have been a dream!  Mid 80’s, sunshine…who could ask for anything better after a winter of little snow, cold, and cloudy days?  When we moved here to the shores of the Saginaw Bay in 2007, we brought with us an offspring of the Pink Pussy Willow that I planted at our previous house.  It is now planted in my small flower bed and seems to be loving it.  It has reached a height of at least 10′-12′ tall and I have always enjoyed the pink furry catkins that come out in the spring.  This usually doesn’t happen until early April and they don’t usually “fluff” out until late April.  But with our “early Spring” this year, the catkins have already “fluffed” as you can see from the picture.  Hopefully Mother Nature will not play the “Gotcha!” game and revert back to the Winter we never really had!

This beautiful weather has awakened the geocaching urge in us.  We are planning to do some tomorrow, hopefully the weather will hold and we will see something neat and interesting.  Until then…

Happy Trails and Caching,

Sheri

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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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Shortly after Robert and I started geocaching, we realized that we wanted to put out a cache of our own.  Since there are not a lot of caches in our area, we wanted to get people to stop and see how beautiful our little area on Saginaw Bay is.

Task number one, find the ideal hiding spot.  We have a wild area across the road from us so we hit the trails and came up with a great spot.  Not too far off the trail, and not too far from the road.  Perfect.  We recorded the gps lat/long with our newest Garmin gps, but also compare it to our older model’s reading and they were almost identical so we knew we were good on that aspect.

Task number two, name the cache.  Since we live right on Saginaw Bay, the number one activity around here is fishing.  Spring and summer bring in the walleye fishermen, while the perch fishermen show up in the late summer and fall.  We knew we wanted to have a fishing themed cache and planned on initially loading it with lures, bobbers, and most anything else fishing related.  Now the name…hmmmm.  Walleye, Perch, Fishing, Saginaw Bay.  Eureka!!  “Wall-eye C U Perching Fishing”.  When standing at our cache, you can look out and see Saginaw Bay, and may even spy some passing boats, so we were pretty pleased with this name.

Task number three, decide on a container that can handle all the weather that is thrown at us here in Michigan.  We purchased a clear plastic, screw top container that had a very good seal, big enough to hold our log and the “swag”, but still small enough to fit in our hiding spot.  Robert then broke out the camo “duck” tape and decorated it.  We loaded it up and went on to task number four.

Task number four, submit our request to the gurus at Geocaching.com.  We filled out all the required information, set all the attributes we felt applied, suggested parking areas and the best place to enter the area.  Hit ‘submit’ and waited to be approved or disapproved.  The following day we received an e-mail saying our cache was posted/added to the site.  Yeeha!  We have an active cache!

We weren’t sure if anyone would come to our cache this late in the season (mid-November) or if it wouldn’t be found until spring.  But just a few days later, we received an e-mail stating our cache had been found.

It is now spring, and as owners of a cache, we were curious as to how it had wintered in its hiding place.  Since the water had gone down in the ditch that surrounds the area, we decided to check on it.  Unfortunately, the water hadn’t gone down as much as we thought and I got two wet feet trying to jump the ditch, but our cache was in good shape.  It was a little more exposed than we wanted, so we picked up some surrounding leaves and such, and covered it a little better.  Can’t make it too easy, now can we?!

We plan on putting out a couple more caches in our area, have to start back up at task number one, but it really is a lot of fun.

Happy caching,

Sheri

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