Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm Number One !! (For A Week)

Because of several one-point games, and a fluke win by Georgetown over Kansas in overtime, I turned up at the top of our family brackets! I get to enjoy my position for an entire week, because the Final Four doesn't begin until next weekend. I must say I probably know less about NCAA men's basketball outside the Big Ten than anybody else in the family - I just got lucky (faint)!

Go Big Ten!

Here's a list of our standings - I apologize for the format - the template wouldn't transfer.


Group Standings
Rank Team Name Score Correct Best Score Best Correct Champion
1 Nancy Steiger 83 47 103 50 Ohio St. (117)
2 Roger Steiger 82 47 88 48 Kansas (144)
3 Melanie Henion 81 45 101 48 Georgetown (146)
4 Barb Hardy 80 49 86 50 Kansas ()
4 Steve Reamer 80 48 100 51 Georgetown (158)
6 Jackson Steiger 78 47 92 49 Florida (142)
7 Richard Steiger 76 45 96 48 Ohio St. ()
8 Adam Hardy 75 45 95 48 UCLA (165)
8 Megan Steiger 75 45 95 48 Florida (151)
8 Susan Steiger 75 46 89 48 Ohio St. (89)
11 derek washington 73 45 87 47 Ohio St. ()
11 Sharon 73 43 93 46 Georgetown (142)
13 KDUB 72 43 92 46 Georgetown (138)
14 Melissa Hoyt 69 41 89 44 Ohio St. (134)
15 Michelle Clark 63 40 83 43 Florida (156)
16 Tom Steiger 56 37 56 37 North Carolina ()
17 John W 55 38 69 40 Ohio St. (115)
18 chris charland 52 34 72 37 Florida (181)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

High Water

How to have the perfect birthday:

1. Go to the gym for an hour

2. Go out to breakfast

3. Play WoW for a couple of hours

4. Go to the movies

5. Go out to dinner

I had a really nice day. Tom and Jana sent me goodies in the WoW mail - unbelievable things. I think that Laurie is sending flowers, because we got a call from the florist but we weren't home, so that will happen tomorrow. I spoke to all of the kids today - always a pleasure.

The Outback Steakhouse is such a great place. I thoroughly enjoyed everything - it was a concession on Dick's part because he hates movies and he's not too fond of the Outback - but I had a wonderful time, and a terrific day.

Meanwhile, last night we had a torrential rainfall, and the river is about as high as we've seen it. Our dock is under water, our riverside deck is partially submerged, and the river is flowing rapidly over the boardwalk. Our house isn't in any danger, but we're glad we have that flood plain out in front.

This is the canoe dock:

Here is the riverside deck and the boardwalk.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blue Tractor

Lunch today with Tim and Susie was a lot of fun.

We had originally planned to meet, greet, eat, and go caching. It turned out to be a dismal, dreary, rainy, wet, gray day.

We just sat in the restaurant and talked and talked and gave in to the rain gods.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sugar Bush

The annual Sugar Bush Pancake Dinner was on St. Patrick's Day this year. We got to James and Sheryl's around 11 a.m., and there were already many caching teams there. The final count at the end of the day was 42 teams in attendance - kind of hard to do an actual head count.

Dick grabbed some green food coloring at the last minute from the grocery store on the way over because he thought it would be fun to make a couple of green pancakes in honor of the day. The green pancakes turned out to be a big hit - who would have thought?

Things were very well organized and everything went smoothly. The only real glitch all day was that the circuits in the Township Hall couldn't handle all of the pancake griddles - but with the help of a generator it was accomplished.

Sheryl is a super event organizer - she had the cooking all figured out down to the last stick of butter. It was a beautiful day weather-wise - cold but with blue skies and warm sun - it was perfect.

The CacheHound and Mrs. Bend, Susie and Me, Dick and Dino

Monday, March 12, 2007


We left South Haven fairly early, picked up a couple of caches, and then made a bee line for home. I was thinking that after all of our travels over the past week that driving home might be old hat, since we've done it so many times. Not so! First of all, Michigan is scenic! We have forests, lakes, hills, trees, and snow - each beautiful in its own way. Secondly, it's comforting to see familiar signs and familiar places and it was very far from dull.

We stopped in Big Rapids for lunch at our favorite spot - Bennigans. You must try their mix and match appetizers!

I was born in Big Rapids in a nurse's home in 1936. We moved to T.C. when I was 5 years old. Then FSU was known as Ferris Institute (Rootedy-toot, rootedy-toot, We're the girls from the Institute!) It's surprising how much I remember about Big Rapids since I was so young. Maybe I'll tell you about it sometime!

Got home, started the laundry, opened the mail, wrote thank you notes, paid bills - now THAT'S what is old hat!


1. The riverboat cruise on the Mississippi was the highlight for me.

2. I feel I could actually live in Arnold, Missouri - it's beautiful, rocky and hilly, clean, and complete with everything you might need. It's a suburb of St. Louis, and while St. Louis may not be a very choice city, it has great suburbs.

3. Tracking down your forefathers is fun, absorbing, educational, and rewarding.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Today we drove through flat, boring Illinois, and then through flat, boring Indiana. We took a little side trip to see the Purdue campus in West LaFayette. I know it was Sunday morning, but we didn't see a single soul on the whole huge campus. I don't think that there's a time of day or night that you could drive through the Michigan campus and not see one person. It was a little bit spooky.

In northern Indiana they have lots of sandhill cranes - we don't know if they were migrating or if they live there all the time. A lot of the small towns have a crane as part of their logo.

We had lunch in Niles, glad to be back in Michigan, where we have hills, trees, forests, and scenery! Found 3 caches in that area.

The last time we stayed in South Haven, Clementine's was too busy and we didn't want to wait in line. Tonight, we only waited for 10 minutes, and we had a great dinner and a fun waitress. Left the restaurant feeling very very mellow.

We want to do a few caches in the morning and then head for home - we are both ready.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Dad's Birthplace

Crossed the Mississippi for the last time this morning and said goodby to Missouri. Hello Illinois! Illinois is a very bland State - flat and agricultural like so much of the land that we have seen. We're thinking this must all have been prairie before the western expansion - how boring for the Indians!

At Vandalia we saw the Madonna of the Prairie statue - very nice indeed - a Mom and small children facing the West with courage. Vandalia is the western terminus of The National Road established in 1806 by Thomas Jefferson. Vandalia also boasts the one-time capital building - It was the capital of Illinois from 1836 to 1839. Abe Lincoln got his law license here and also served in the legislature.

But the best adventure of the day was getting off the highway to find Arthur, Illinois where Dad was born. I expected a wide place in the road with an old broken down gas station and that's about it. What we found was a vibrant, colorful small town full of activity. The most interesting thing is that Arthur is the center of the Amish culture in Illinois. The Amish farms are everywhere, and buggies are going up and down the roads, and into town regularly. The town has special "parking places" for the horses and buggies - plenty of space for the horses to be under cover while they wait. There is a disadvantage to having so many horses around - think Mackinac Island. I can't help but wonder how they manage to clean it all up every day.

We knew that not all Kanitzes had moved to Michigan from here, so on the off chance that we might find a gravestone, we went to the Arthur cemetery. Dick spotted the first gravestone from the car - it turned out to be my great-grandparents, William (Wilhelm) and Caroline.

Altogether we found and photographed 6 or 7 Kanitz memorials - it was quite satisfying and exciting. I googled this:

This village was laid out in September, 1872, by M. H. Warren and William Kanitz. These gentlemen laid out twenty acres each, and donated half to the Paris and Decatur, now the Illinois Midland Railroad. The line dividing Moultrie and Douglas counties, ru ns north and south through the centre of the plat, and the railroad through from east to west. It was re-surveyed and platted September 1, 1873, by Abraham Jones, county surveyor, and filed in the office of county recorder September 2, 1873.

We found 2 Illinois caches today. Later on, we plan to go take a look at the campus of the University of Illinois - we're spending the night in Champaign.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Some You Find, Some You Don't

The Mastodon State Historical Site is located in Imperial, Missouri, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from our motel. We were there this morning before it opened - saw the slide show, felt the mastodon teeth, were amazed by the size of the sloth and admired the mastodon skeleton. Didn't find the cache, though.

Drove to downtown St. Louis to do some people watching along the riverfront. We parked in the Cathedral parking lot for visitors only and walked over to the Gateway Arch, and went in and found a good spot for people-watching.

Busloads of school children were there, and tourists from everywhere in the US and beyond. The lines for the north and south trams were jammed - we decided against going up. Besides, been there done that (in 1975!)

Stopped at Dylan's Sports Bar and Grille in Arnold, MO on the way back - because, well you can figure it out! The man there actually has relatives in T.C. (David Andrews III, whose wife is a schoolteacher and whose daughter Laura is a world class skater). His grandson is named Dylan - such a coinkydink.

Daniel Dunklin started the public schools in Missouri, and was the 5th governor. We found his gravesite in Herculaneum, and enjoyed the view of the Mississippi. We found that cache :)

At another little park we watched a gigantic coal barge making its way down Old Man River - a unique sight.

When I did the Kanitz family tree I learned that my great-grandparents arrived in this country in New Orleans, rode a boat up to St. Louis, and moved to Illinois. I checked in the phone book, and while there are 27 Steigers in this area, there's not one single Kanitz.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

We're in Missouri, We're in Missouri

Drove today from Memphis to St. Louis through Arkansas and southeastern Missouri. Eastern Arkansas and southeastern Missouri are the same....flat and agricultural, with huge, huge pieces of farm equipment kicking up dust across the fields. As we got closer to St. Louis, the terrain changed gradually from rolling hills to really significant outcroppings of rock, and big hills. It was nice to have some real scenery again - with trees and vegetation.

After driving all day, Dick still had the energy to go find 8 caches in the area of our motel. We saw some nice places and some very sad places - vandalized and littered.

Here are his cache logs for today:

Found it 3/8/2007 You found Geocache (Traditional Cache)
We left Michigan a week ago seeking signs of spring and an escape from snow and single digit temperatures. this is our first Missouri cache after finds in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. A nice walk on a great sunny spring day. Signed the log, dropped a TB that wishes to visit old caches, in and out and left a stuffed toy.
Thanks for preserving an historical cache.

Found it 3/8/2007 You found Creek Bend (Traditional Cache)
On a caching/vacation trip and looking for old caches. Then this one is just a few hundred feet further, "Go for it". Signed the log, and left a geode.

Found it 3/8/2007 You found Pond Scum (Traditional Cache)
This was the third find in the Strawberry Creek area today. No deer or turkeys but did see a hawk scooping up a deer mouse appetizer. Yummy! Really enjoyed the walk on a perfect sunny spring day.
Signed the log and left a glass lady bug. Thanks for the hunt.

Found it 3/8/2007 You found Old Blue Eye (Traditional Cache)
I generally avoid micros in the woods but we were right across the street so ---
Signed the log about 4:00 and drove on to the next cache.

Found it 3/8/2007 You found Fishing for Cache (Traditional Cache)
We came back to this area planning on seeking a different cache nearby but we didn't like the looks of the place. Then we saw that this one was only 400 feet away. There is an apparently stolen bike just down the hill.
Signed the log and left a glass lady bug. TFTC

Found it 3/8/2007 You found Father's Day Cache (Traditional Cache)
This is a very picturesque area. We enjoyed our visit. Signed the log, left a lady bug.

Found it 3/8/2007 You found The Girl from Ipanema (Traditional Cache)
On a caching vacation down to Mississippi and back, we checked in to our motel room and saw this was 400 feet away. Quick grab, TFTC

Found it 3/8/2007 You found The Next Level (Traditional Cache)
We left Michigan a week ago in a blowing near blizzard storm with wind chills below zero. Our goal was to find spring, to drive south until we could see daffodils and could comfortably drive with our arms out the windows. We found caches in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. We found flowers in bloom and temperatures in the 70's. On our way home, we wished to add Missouri to our state list and this cache jumped out at us as being an interesting one. Wow! What an understatement!
It was a little confusing trying to determine what to do but the hint saved the day. Some what timidly, the cache was opened. Signed the log, took a TB and left a stuffed toy.
Thanks for this most memorable cache

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Flat, Flat, Flat

Found 5 caches in Arkansas today. They seem to like the wet cache in the light pole the best. Oh well.

Poor Eastern Arkansas is not the most lovely region I've ever seen. It's flat, flat, flat. It's really just a flood plain for the Mississippi for miles and miles. They grow rice, cotton, and soy beans that we know of. It's 90% junky looking with only 10% nice looking homes. Sorry, Arkansas.

We drove on a loose gravel road on the top of a levee for several miles in search of a cache that we could not find. When we turned off the levee, we went across a stone bridge - we thought it had a dead animal along one side, but it turned out to be two dogs curled up together and sleeping on the warm stone.

The temp. got up to 73 and it felt like summer -nice breezes all day.

We met a man whose house had been destroyed a year ago by a tornado - he owns 4,000 acres and grows mostly rice. He owns all kinds of huge farm equipment. We were parked at the farm cache of his son when he pulled up in his pickup and said "Didja find it?" He loves to travel and loves to talk. This man lost his home, his workshop, and many pieces of equipment, but he was very cheerful. He said his brother was just elected to the Arkansas legislature as a representative. He invited us to have a ham sandwich, but we said we had more caches to find. His name was Charlie Brown, I kid you not.

We did like the city of Marion - it seemed more like a real place - a county seat with a nice residential area - but even Marion has a major highway through the town - such bad planning. We ate lunch at Big John's and talked to the waitress - she has family in Greenville.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Full Day

This is the home of Team Sprout just across the State line from Memphis, in Mississippi.

Here is 3 year old Danger Ranger, a part of Team Sprout.

It began in Mississippi at 8:30 in the morning, where we had located a promising cache which was close-by the State line and which would be our Mississippi cache. It was in the front yard of the cache owner, in a beautiful new subdivision. We met the owner, Team Sprout, who came out to take his son Bony Maloney to school along with his 3 year old, the Danger Ranger. It turns out that Sprout had lived in Ann Arbor for 10 years and I think he was kind of happy to see Dick's M hat. We left a travel bug there - one which wanted to reach Mississippi - and we were glad to help it reach its goal. This is a log by Team Sprout that I found online this evening:
Cache Logs
March 6 by Team Sprout (511 found)
This morning Danger Ranger and I were inspired to hit the caching trail after running into a caching couple from our home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Team Sprout was in our usual rush out the door to get to work and school when I noticed a small SUV parked in front of our house. I didn't think much of it at first - but then I noticed it had all the tell-tale signs of being owned by a geocacher. It had out of state plates, a "GEO" country code sticker on back, and a Magellan Explorist plainly visible on the dash.
Of course I had to stop and introduce myself. I immediately noticed they were wearing U of M wear (That's University of MICHIGAN - not Memphis or Mississippi) and after a brief conversation to say hello found out that the couple was from from my old stomping grounds up North. They were hunting my Chateau Shinault cache so they could cross Mississippi off of their "states cached" list. Anyway, to make a long story short, they got me motivated go after some of the puzzle caches I've solved but not yet found.

Altogether today in Mississippi and Tennessee Dick and I found a grand total of 9 caches - mostly urban micros, but still unique.

Back in Memphis, we had lunch at Perkins. This is where I finally learned how to order the kind of iced tea I want - you don't say sugar-free, or no sugar please, or unsweetened tea. You ask for unsweet tea.

Then we set out to explore Memphis and check out where the riverboat tour was, etc. Stopped at McDonald's for Dick's decaf and had to wait for them to brew it. When the coffee was brought out to the car, we were given a free apple pie for having to wait. That has never happened before!

We drove through some of the less tasty sections of Memphis but found downtown with no trouble. Arrived at the riverboat place at 1 p.m. and since the tour started at 2:30 we decided to do it today. While we waited, we went over to the Memphis Welcome Center - big and beautiful. It's actually called the Elvis Presley and B.B. King Welcome Center and it boasts large statues of both men. We wanted to find the Welcome to Memphis cache, but two workers (who were definitely non-working the whole time we were there) were lounging around right where the cache would be. We tried to out-wait them, but we failed. So off we went to the riverboat ride.

It was the shortest hour and a half on record. I loved every second of it. The narrator was terrific. His explanations were clear, interesting, and understandable. His most dramatic story was the tragic sinking of the Sultana at the end of the Civil War. The name of our boat was the Memphis Queen and it was a little down-at-heel but it was comfortable and had easy access and a nice bathroom. The older I get the more important these things are!

When I was in junior high I used to enter competitions where we would recite poetry. One of the poems I learned and recited back then was Jim Bludso. I couldn't help remembering bits of it as we toured the Mighty Mississippi.

Tonight we had ribs at the Pig'n'Whistle in Bartlett. We had our choice of dry, wet, or muddy. Muddy turns out to be a combination of both wet and dry, which is the way Dick does them at home.

Things that are blooming here:
some blossoming trees

Monday, March 05, 2007


Travelled today from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Memphis, Tennessee. It was a beautiful, sunshiny, clear day - a perfect day for a road trip.

Things we don't have in T.C.:
1. Piggly Wiggly

2. Jack-in-the-Box (There used to be one on Washtenaw in Ypsilanti during the 60s)

3. Rock extrusions

4. Kudzu

5. Tractor-trailers by the dozens on every stretch of highway in both directions.

6. Civil War Battlefields (Shiloh, Fort Pillow, Parker's Crossroads)and:

7. Kroger's with Kroger Gas Station out in front. (When we were kids, there was a Kroger's in T.C., but we've never even heard of a gas station out in front of a Kroger store like they have at Meijer or Sam's Club)

8. Things named Hatchie. Today in Tennessee we went by the Hatchie River and the Loosahatchie River. In Florida we've seen the Loxahatchie Wildlife Refuge. Texas and California each have a city named Waxahachie, but we don't have hatchies or hachies in Michigan.

9. A cache hidden in Civil War earthworks. (Fort Webb, Bowling Green) Dick's log for Deserted Webb:

We were excited at the prospect of touring some Civil War sites, we hoped that we would be able to find a map or directions for a motor tour but were disappointed. It was interesting however walking the small site and reading the signs. Thanks for helping us find it. We picked up a TB and left a stuffed toy.

10. At 12:30 p.m. on March 5 it was 60 degrees F, and there were daffodils alongside the highway. We actually have found SPRING!!!!!

11. Sam at the Comfort Inn in Bowling Green (home of Western Kentucky University) calls daffodils "March flags".

12. Favorite bumper sticker of the day: Wag More, Bark Less

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Vette Ville

Leaving Michigan today. we were impressed with the Indiana Toll Road. Several times we saw signs that said "Animal present when flashing":. OK, we figured out that the mini-towers had solar powered motion detectors on them so that if deer were about to cross the highway, you would get a warning. It was a very elaborate, extensive set-up, so they must have a significant deer problem.. We did see one deer browsing in a field.

We picked up an Indiana cache in a cemetery south of Anderson. Along I-65 we saw signs that said "Alert when flashing". What about when it's not flashing? Is that when it's OK to daydream? And alert for what, exactly.... When we entered Kentucky the snow disappeared. They claim to have had some, but there's no evidence.

Both Indiana and Kentucky have a preponderence of museums, flea markets, and scrapbooking stores. Especially museums. Several of the museums are Corvette museums - along the way down I-65 I think we saw five Corvette museums. The grand-daddy of them all is here in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This one claims to be the National Corvette Museum The others must be just lame wannabes. GM must be proud.

Our AAA trip-tik has a special notification on the map near Bowling Green - it says that State Police surveillance is increased in this area because of several recent fatal accidents. Are they implying that we should be worried about the surveillance, or about the fatal accidents.....hmmm.. There are so many 18 wheelers on the road here that it's easy to see why there may be many accidents. They are sometimes quite intimidating - to me at least.

In Bowling Green Subie got a much needed car wash, and we found a cache at (where else?) the National Corvette museum. In the parking lot we ran into a young local cacher. We forgot to get his name. He hadn't been able to find the cache, but after he left Dick found it in about 10 minutes. Hooray.
There's a road sign near our motel that points the way to Louisville, Nashville, and Scottsville. Many, many 'Villes and not one Burg.

Dinner was at Toot's, which turned out to be a sports bar. .. a loud sports bar. The people weren't loud, but the TV volume sure was. They had a sign on the door that said " The quiet place is across the street." The waitresses were cute, friendly, and Southern. Another sign on the door said "Members and non-Members only."

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Off to See the Wizard

Our trip south has been in the planning stages for 10 days now. We've
been packed and ready for 3 days! At first we were delayed because Dick
caught a horrendous cold, and felt too sick to hit the road. When he
was feeling better, Mother Nature put in her two cents, and sent some
really nasty weather our way - not really good driving conditions! When
the weather improved, then I came down with Dick's cold, so we were delayed another day.

Finally today, we're off and running! Our plan is to go to Memphis for two or
three days, and then head up to St. Louis for another couple of days,
and then take back roads home. Our real aim is to do caching in
Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi,
Arkansas, and Missouri. The REAL aim is to eventually find a cache in
every State of the Union. In Memphis we also want to have ribs at the
Rendezvous (if we can find it again), and maybe do a steamboat ride on
the Mississippi.

When we left today the roads were snow covered. The highway was like a two track in the snow. The snow fell steadily and created a kind of "snog" - a snowy condition that resembled fog. It was like that all the way down to Three Rivers, where we stopped for the night. We did some caching in the area -Sturgis, Nottawa, Centreville, etc. At one point the highway sign said Underground Railroad Memorial Highway We had no idea it was there.

It's Amish country around Three Rivers. We passed three or four buggies during the afternoon. We couldn't positively identify Amish homes, but we could tell there was heavy horse and buggy traffic by the number of road apples decorating the shoulders of the road. The stereotype of the Amish is that they are good people and wonderful neighbors, but they do make things more difficult for joggers and dog walkers along the road!

Here is Dick's log for the covered bridge cache we did today:

Found it 3/3/2007 You found Covered Bridge Cache (Traditional Cache)
We are on a trip south to find spring and we found heavy snow
warnings with blowing and drifting. We wanted a cache that was not a Micro in a parking lot and this was just the ticket. Found it today a little after 3, just after checking in to the motel. Nice area, with the snow and wind we had the park to ourselves.
Took a winter candle, it seemed appropriate, and left a stuffed toy, a couple of match box cars, a pencil sharpener and a glue stick. We loved the bridge and we did honk but with the heater cranked up we could barely hear it. Thanks for the adventure.

Dinner tonight at The Oasis was another adventure. First of all, we waited with others to be seated, and we felt right at home (!) with the Nascar and Harley jackets, the 48 hat and the cap from The Anderson's of Maumee. After we were seated, the booth behind Dick filled up with two couples, one Mennonite couple with the wife wearing her crisply starched cap and the husband with a full Amish-type beard. The other couple was a typical farm couple - not Mennonite. I thought that maybe the two couples were neighbors.

It snowed relentlessly the whole time we were there - I think we got at least an inch during dinner.