Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Time to Spoil the Grandtwins, Day 2

Copyright 2012, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Day two, what to do, what to do?

There is a geocache out in the next county over that I have been wanting to take the girls to. It is also happens to be near (well, sorta near, well, not that close, but, we have hours to fill and a drive there will fill part of those hours) where Man's parents spent their honeymoon.  After Man's mother died we discovered the name of the hotel and a dance hall they went to on their honeymoon, both buildings are still standing.  The dance hall has changed it's name and in fact is now for sale.  The hotel is now an apartment complex.  I have been wanting to go visit both sites and take photos of the current conditions of both.  Watch for a future post on this part of our day.  Oh, and, by the way, the girls did indeed like this part of the day, they thought it was pretty cool to see where their "Gramma Millie" spent her honeymoon!

Onward to the cache.  I knew just where it was, a park, W. H. L.  McCourtie Estate Park, near Somerset, Hillsdale County, Michigan.  McCourtie was in the concrete business and made a nice hunk of $$ over the years.  About 1930 he hired Ralph Corona and George Cardosa, two itinerant Mexican artisans who knew the art of el trabeio rustico to built 17 bridges on his property, crossing a small meandering creek that ran through the property.  El trabeio rustico is a Mexican folk tradition of sculpting concrete to look like wood.  They begin with steel rods to form the structures and then apply wet cement by hand and sculpt it to look like planned lumber, rough logs, rope and even thatch.  It is said that this collection of el trabeio rustico may be the largest in the United States.

Man and I were there well over 10 years ago when the park was in a bit of turmoil, funding was an issue and the concrete was starting to show the affects of time, revealing the steel rods beneath.  There was some talk of trying to hire some artisans to repair the bridges.  We were so delighted to see that the repairs have been done to most of the bridges, they are beautiful and enchanting.  The grandtwins delighted in the entire area.

Below, crossing one of the 17 bridges:

This particular bridge has a seat on each side, a thatched roof and this "hole" that looks like it would make a great place to grow a summer annual, maybe some bright red geraniums, looks just like a rotted out stump, doesn't it?

Man and the grandtwins standing on one of the bridges:

After a very enjoyable hour or so wandering around the park we learned something new about geocaching, NOT all caches have a physical find.  This park is what is called a "virtual" cache.  You must take good notes or photos of the area, so you can answer some specific questions about the cache in order to earn the "find".  We took good notes/photos, we earned our "find."

On the way back to the stick built we stopped at another cache near a historical marker.  We did not find it, however later we met another cacher who lives in the area who told us that we were definitely in the correct spot.  A revisit will be done!  It is close to the house, easy peasy to revisit.  LOL

Around the corner from the fail was another cache, and this one was almost too easy, of course, it was much larger than the prior fail, which was a mini.  OH, and this tree, is a real live tree, not concrete.

So, score for the day, honeymoon hotel and dance hall - - win.

Virtual geocache - - huge win!

Cache at the local historical site - - partial win, we know we were in the right area, the GPS was on, we were off, or the cache is now MIA, to be continued.

Cache by the tree - - easy - - win.

Back at the stick we had dinner, watched more of the Olympics and enjoyed our evening - - win.

Not bad,  4 wins, 1 half fail.    Fun total for the day - - HUGE win!



Ginger Smith said...

Sounds like a great day! Love the bridges! Hope you can go back and find that cache!

Michelle Goodrum said...

Sneaky! Lure the Grandtwins into your addiction, er hobby, by taking them Geo caching and then checking out where grandma spent her honeymoon. Good job planting the seed. Keep it up!

The park is now on my must see list if we ever make it to Michigan. Incredible! When I looked at the first picture I could've sworn it was a wooden bridge the girls were crossing.

Super fun day!

Joan said...

What a grand day. I remember when I took my youngest granddaughter out on Lake of the Woods (Klamath County, Oregon) and showed her the big old log at the Girl Scout camp, where I would sit and wait til Doc drove the speed boat up and anchored while we called sweet nothings across the water. Seemed quite romantic to that 15 year old that I was.