Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Letterboxing at the Lakeshore

I loaded up the van with almost all of my daughters and headed off to the Lake Michigan shoreline on Monday. The temperature was cool and sunny. A perfect day for snakes to be sleeping.

We decided to try to get more of the boxes that are located in a small town that is a mecca for tourists during the summer months. One box was located in the bushes next to a bed-n-breakfast. My oldest daughter was going to approach the bush (one person is much less noticeable than the 5 of us in a group.) As she reached the bush, someone came out of the B and B and stood in the drive, looking around the yard. A second person came out of the house next door and began to speak with the first person. My daughter continued walking down the street and discovered that she was on a dead end street. She crossed to the other side of the street and eventually climbed back into our van. We drove around the block and parked in the bank's lot across the street.

We watched for 10 minutes as one person walked in and out of the building 6 times! As we were about to drive off, everyone left the yard and went inside. My daughter jumped from the van and carefully crossed the street. She was able to grab the box without being seen. After logging and stamping, the return was easy. Success!

The second box was easy to find. The box overlooked a channel to Lake Michigan. We all read about the history of the area, then returned to the van to stamp and log our find.

The next few boxes were located near the lake up a large hill. There were 282 steps to reach the top of this "mountain." My 5 and 7 year old girls ran up the steps following my 12 year old, who quickly reached the top. I was left far behind. After eventually reaching the top, we were awed by the beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River.

The next box required us to follow a trail along the top of the dunes. The path on each side was steep and contained a lot of trees. I was apprehensive that the 5 or 7 year old girls would fall down the steep incline while we searched for the box. One daughter located a huge geocache, but we couldn't locate the hallow tree that contained the letterbox.

The other box at the top of the dune contained easy to follow clues. My 7 year old proudly located the clue. The stamp was beautiful.

After resting from our climb, we headed back to the stairs. The trip down was so easy! We met several people on our way down, and were glad that we had found our boxes before other people arrived in the area.

We managed to snag a few more boxes on the outskirts of the small town, then headed back to the center of town to get one remaining box located in a garden. The clue required us to figure out clues to discover the location. After solving the riddle, we realized that the garden was across from the bed and breakfast from earlier in the day! Unfortunately, four people were working in the very small garden. There was no way to get the box without being seen. Another trip to the lake shore will be required to get this box. There are 6 other boxes available in this area. I hope that we can return before the snow flies.

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