Sunday, February 7, 2016

2015-06-23: Road Trip Day #4 Geocaching and Hiking Around Mackinaw Island

Wow, what a great day! We work up to a surprisingly cold morning. Being from Florida, we were NOT prepared for that. I mean it's June right. We didn't bring any jackets, so that was first on our agenda!

We knew a big day was ahead so it was an early start and all the stores downtown were still closed. Luckily when we arrived at ferry dock, they had a gift shop there with plenty of jackets and sweaters to choose from!

When you're used to seeing cars on the streets, Mackinaw Island was a strange place to visit. Since 1898, all motorized vehicles are prohibited except snow mobiles during winter and emergency vehicles. Walking through the downtown area kinda reminded me of walking through Main Street at Disney World.

OK, first stop was a little breakfast cafe for some food followed by a Starbucks. Then it was time for some sightseeing, hiking, and Geocaching! Our first cache was just a block off the main road on Market Street. It was an easy cache disguised as a birdhouse. I grabbed the log sheet and ... wait... DARN! I forgot our stamp in the car back on the mainland. No problem, I'll use the old fashion p... Oh wait, I forgot the pen back in the car! It's a good thing we didn't go very far! Back to the shops and I find a store to buy a pen and some extra batteries for the GPS just in case. We go back to sign the log and move on the next one.

Next was a hill climb. As you walk away from the shoreline, the elevation increases. A nice little workout for a cache and a good view of the harbor.

From there the plan was to hike the 8 mile perimeter around the island and grab as many caches as we could. I had every cache on the Island saved into my phone, but only the perimeter caches saved into my GPS. Back down the hill we went.

The next cache of interest is an earthcache for Dwightwood Springs named after Dwight Hulbert Wood, the son of Edwin O. Wood of Flint, MI. In 1909 he donated money towards the springs in memory of his son.

From the springs, you take a hike up some stairs 100 feet almost straight up to get to the Arch Rock, and another earthcache. It was an incredible view from up there.

Before heading back down the stairs to the perimeter road, we followed a hiking trail through the woods to grab another geocache up there.

Several caches later and about the same time, both of our phone batteries died. So no more photos from us. Luckily, I did program the remaining perimeter caches into the GPS.

In total we hiked about 9 miles and managed to find 52 geocaches. We didn't get to see everything we wanted to see. One day we'll be back to stay longer. Maybe if we're lucky enough we'll stay at the famous Grand Hotel.

By the end of the day, the skies had cleared and we enjoyed the relaxing view from our hotel.

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