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Posts Tagged ‘travel bugs’

A few weeks ago we were invited to a geocaching event on Saturday, April 30th.  It was being hosted by a couple of cachers from the South Branch area and we were to meet in South Branch at a local restaurant for breakfast.  Robert and I have never attended a geocaching event before, so we were a little uncertain about going, but after seeing the “cache names” of some of the people that were attending, we decided to go.  We have either seen their names on the logs of caches we found, or have found the caches that they put out.  So we thought it would be nice to be able to put faces to their names.  We had a very enjoyable time meeting our fellow cachers from the Northeastern Michigan area and even sharing a story or two.  (Breakfast was pretty good too!)

Since we knew we were going to be in South Branch, we decided to try to get the caches around the Alcona Pond area that we were unable to get to three weeks ago due to the road conditions.  Since we’ve had a lot of rain in the Au Gres area recently, we weren’t sure if the roads, (I use that term loosely, I should probably say “two tracks”) were going to be underwater, or mud bogs, but we had to try.

Our first cache was tricky at best.  The name of it is “Between The Waters”, (put out by the couple that hosted the morning’s event) so we knew water was going to be a factor.  We found the parking area at a very nice little pond, and then we started following the gps.  The name of the cache became evident pretty quickly.  All we had to do, was figure out how to get to it and stay somewhat dry.  Without giving anything away, we found it ‘between the waters’ and decided to drop off a travel bug that we put a few miles on.

A few caches later, we found ourselves on yet another two track, I was happily bumping along until we came upon a portion of a tree that was in our way.  Robert opened the door to get out and just a few feet away, a grouse was walking around.  He immediately turned and pointed it out to me and then it flew off.  I was amazed that it didn’t fly off as we approached it!  We bumped along a little more and then we came upon a rather large tree across the trail.  We were unable to move this tree without cutting it first, and since we had no hand saw we knew we couldn’t go further.  So reluctantly I turned around and headed back out.  Not far from where we seen the grouse, two deer jumped across the trail in front of us.  I stopped and watched them for a bit.  They turned and looked at us, we said ‘hello’ , which perked their ears in our direction, and then they strolled off.

We noticed a lot of vehicles in the woods and we initially thought they were turkey hunters, but after passing a couple traipsing through the woods with a mesh bag in hand, we knew right away it is morel season!  Since I have yet to find a morel mushroom, I began looking as we walked to each cache.  I realized I have to educate myself on where to find them and what to look for.

After finding our last cache at around 7:00 pm, we were on our way back towards the Oscoda area and as I came around a corner, I notice two deer near the edge of the road.  I stopped and Robert grabbed the camera for me.

Two deer trying to figure out what I was doing!

Like the other two deer earlier, they stopped and stared at us for the longest time.  A truck came up behind me and stopped and asked if we were ok.  He notice the very large branch we were dragging under the Jeep and thought we may have been broken down.  I had no idea I was dragging anything!  We were able to dislodge it, and were very grateful he stopped and told us about it.  I guess we would have noticed it eventually!

We had a very good caching day, our wildlife sightings totaled 6 deer, 1 grouse,  3 sandhill cranes, and 5 hawks.  And we were able to get all but one of the caches that we couldn’t get earlier.  It was a good day indeed!

Happy Caching,

Sheri

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When we were planning our spring trip to the Gulf Coast of Alabama, geocaching was number two on our list of things to do while down there.  Wondering what number one was?…..Visiting our “playground”, Dauphin Island, and having a shrimp po-boy at The Common Loon, was number one on the list.  After the horrific oil spill last summer, we were very concerned about the wildlife, sea life, and the overall health of the island and beaches. We didn’t know what to expect upon our arrival, but after just a few minutes, we were greatly relieved to see that the clean-up along the island was very well done.  Now I know that oil just doesn’t disappear after it’s spilled.  I am aware that oil lurks on the bottom of the Gulf, and I’m sure if I had dug down deep enough with my little plastic shovel that came with my kiddie bucket, I’d probably find some oily residue, but the overall cleanliness of the beach was very reassuring to see.  I believe we were there near the end of “Spring Break Season”, and there was quite a few young people enjoying the beach just as we were, so that also belayed the fears that our favorite trinket shops and hang-outs wouldn’t be open.  They were open and we left some of our hard-earned and saved monies on their counters.  So as far as Dauphin Island is concerned, I’m very relieved that they are doing well.

So now we could concentrate on number two on our list, geocaching.  Since our hostess didn’t have the internet in her home, we became fixtures at the local McD’s and also the Starbucks off Airport Blvd.  We had already researched a lot of the caches around the Theodore and Dauphin Island area, so we had an idea of where we were going, but we had no idea that our first caching day was going to be so bloody and painful!  You are probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about, did we get attacked by alligators, wild hogs, or any other flesh-eating creature?… No, we were attacked by the prolific “wild briers”, they are so numerous that a couple of times I didn’t think they would let me go!  Now, being from Michigan, whenever the temperature is above 60 degrees in April, you know we are going to don our shorts and tank tops and thaw out.  Well, we were not going to dispel that stereotype.  The temperature was in the mid 80’s on our first caching day, so off we go, in our shorts, tank tops and beach sandals.  Now our hostess is dressed in jeans and tennis shoes, should we have taken the hint?  Probably, but like I said, it was HOT and we wanted to feel the sun on our skin, and of course, work on our tans.  When we returned that evening, from finding only 10 caches, we looked like we’d been attacked by a rabid kitten.  After an absolutely excruciating shower, I learned my lesson!  No more caching in shorts and tank tops!

Overall, the caching was pretty good down there.  We also cached in Florida and Mississippi, (got our souvenirs on our stats page), logged a total of 59 caches, came home with three travel bugs, wanted them to experience some Michigan culture, (have already placed them in caches up here), we are already looking forward to our next trip to our “playground”!

Happy caching,

Sheri

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