Wednesday, June 27, 2007


This has been a most excellent, loverly day. We began by going to recycling, and then to McDonald's for decaf and iced tea. Then we headed to Suttons Bay to put out three new caches in area parks on the bay.
Dick's description of the first cache site, which is located in a sweet little park on the edge of town:
The plaque in front of the rest rooms indicates that Suttons Bay was established by Mr and Mrs Sutton in 1854. That plaque, placed to commemorate a centennial celebration shades the history of this spot a bit. Harry Sutton did establish a station for the shipping of wood from this well protected and deep harbor in 1854, and did own the land together with his son-in-law. They named their little settlement Suttonsburg. The village proper was laid out by a missionary priest Father Herbstrit who hoped to found a Catholic settlement which would include a church and a school. With hopes that exceeded reality he planned a college he tentatively named National University. It was to be the focal point of his town which he named Pleasantville City. The church and school survive.
By 1880, the village, now known as Suttons Bay, was home to more than 250 people and had daily stagecoach service to Traverse City and Northport. It was a bustling place with two hotels, a sawmill and a number of stores.
The cache is among the rocks between the rest rooms and the water.

Here Dick is preparing to hide the "Sutton" cache in a Suttons Bay Township Park.

Dick organized a cache to place in the Vic Steimel Park near Suttons Bay. The road leading up to it is called Lover's Lane. Here's Dick's description:
Suttons Bay Township actually has a street named Lovers Lane. Where the short street meets Grand Traverse Bay there is a park dedicated to Vic Steimel who arranged the transfer of the property to the township thereby guaranteeing access to the public forever. Although at this time the park lacks a sandy beach and playground equipment, it is a very pleasant spot for a picnic or just to pause and enjoy the view of the water.

We placed a micro cache at this pleasant little park. Can you read the sign? Don't you think they should have put "Have a Nice Day" at the bottom? ;) Dick's cache description:
This is a log-only micro at Hendryx park near Lee Point on Grand Traverse Bay. You can drive to within 10 feet but bring your own pencil. If you try to get much closer you might hit a rock.
Then it was time for lunch, and we took back roads to Glen Arbor to try the soup at Art's.

Art's Tavern, a Glen Arbor hangout.

Dick took a picture of the light over the famous descending pool table (on an elevator).

Chip's alma mater is proudly displayed on the ceiling at Art's.

The friendly waitress spotted our camera and offered to take our picture. She's saving her money to move to Colorado to become an elementary teacher - she just graduated from college and is working two jobs.

This is the interior of Art's Tavern - it's comfortable with a great staff and always good food.
It's always fun after leaving Glen Arbor to stop by the sand dunes and watch the climbers. There weren't many climbers today, but we saw cars from all over - Georgia, New York, Alabama, Texas, Massachusetts, as well as the usual Big Ten States. It's amazing how many tourists come here from all over the country.
After the Sleeping Bear, we always drive on the Pierce Stocking Trail - you can't have one without the other! There was moderate traffic on the Trail today. The day was sunny and clear, and the woods were deep and dark. "This is the forest primeval, the murmuring pines and the hemlocks, bearded with moss..."

I told Dick I didn't know what a hemlock looks like. Ever the ecologist, he found a tree and took a sample so I could ID it. This is on Shauger Hill Road, right next to the Pierce Stocking Trail.

Hemlock, up close and personal. Notice the size of the cones! The needles are flat and friendly, just like a fir tree.

We had a little cache maintenance to do at one of our S2S cache sites at Garey Lake. Both campgrounds were totally deserted - made me wonder why people complain so much about muggles here.

On the way home, we stopped at Moomer's for a treat - the most enjoyable treat in our area! It's also enjoyable since this means that we won't be cooking dinner. Yaaay!

Back in Traverse City, we were treated to a beautiful blue bay, and picturesque white sails.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Golden Wedding Anniversary

This is our Golden Wedding Day. Happy 50th Anniversary to us! We were married on June 22, 1957 in the First Congregational Church on Washington Street. The church building is now part of the new court building. It was 90 degrees and windy on our wedding day. The reception was in the church parlor, and it was very modest by today's standards. For our honeymoon, we took a road trip from Traverse City to Detroit by way of Ontario. We crossed the Straits of Mackinac on the ferry because the Bridge was not yet open to traffic, although it was almost finished.

Since we already celebrated this event in the best way in April with our kids on the Caribbean cruise, today was fairly low-key. Two beautiful 50th Anniversary cards came in the mail from the Hardys and the Washingtons - really lovely. We went out to dinner, and Dick gave me a GOLF CAR !! It is so exciting! When you drop in to see us, I'll gladly give you a tour of our property! It's a neat, neat gift, and I am a happy camper.

The Proud Owner

At The Wheel

It Seats Four!

Pleased As Punch

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

B-Day Party

It's Father's Day but we didn't do anything special at home. All of the kids called to talk to Dick, and that's always the best part anyway!

We were excited about going over to Grayling for Susie's Surprise Birthday Party! We had a marvelous time. It was interesting and fun to meet the neighbors that Tim and Susie talk about so often. The party was at the lovely home of Phil and Arlene on the Manistee River. We were so glad to be included! Now we know why Tim and Susie want to stay on Shady Lane.

Happy Birthday Susie!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Sniders have been here for a couple of days, and besides all of the wine tasting (very mellow) and touring the peninsula, we stopped in at AAA and began planning a Scandinavian cruise for next May (2008).

It's very exciting to think about, even from this far away. The cruise will begin and end in Copenhagen, and will stop in Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Talinn (Estonia), Gdansk (Poland), and Oslo. Woo Woo! We'll be going on the Crown Princess. The brochures won't be available until the end of this month, and we're all on the mailing list.

It's lovely to think about it and the four of us are all very excited already!
I haven't been able to get this song out of my head - I've known it for decades - it was in the old Danny Kaye movie musical about Hans Christian Anderson - maybe we really will sail up the Skagerrak and sail down the Kattegat!

Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Friendly old girl of a town
'Neath her tavern light
On this merry night
Let us clink and drink one down
To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Salty old queen of the sea
Once I sailed away
But I'm home today
Singing Copenhagen, wonderful, wonderful
Copenhagen for me
I sailed up the Skagerrak
And sailed down the Kattegat
Through the harbor and up to the quay
And there she stands waiting for me
With a welcome so warm and so gay
Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Friendly old girl of a town
'Neath her tavern light
On this merry night
Let us clink and drink one down
To wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen
Salty old queen of the sea
Once I sailed away
But I'm home today
Singing Copenhagen, wonderful, wonderful
Copenhagen for me

Here's what another blogger had to say about this song:
Wonderful Copenhagen
(and the meaning of "Kattegat")
I'm off to Copenhagen for the weekend. I made the plans some time ago, just to add my minor support for a country that did so much to protect Jews during WWII and that suffered from boycots because of the cartoons published last year.

Before going, I decided to refresh my memory about the lyrics to the Danny Kaye song "Wonderful Copenhagen" from the movie Hans Christian Anderson (but I have since been warned not to whistle or sing that song while I am there — too bad; I loved the movie when I was a kid.)

After I downloaded the lyrics, I wondered, "Where and what are the Skagerrat and the Kattegat that he sings about?"

I sailed up the Skagerrak
And sailed down the Kattegat

The Skagerrak is the strait between Denmark and Norway, and the Kattegat is the strait between Denmark and Sweden. So it makes sense, when you look at a map, to say that on your way to Copenhagen from the Atlantic Ocean, you've sailed up the Skagerrak (it runs up to the northeast) and down the Kattegat (it runs down to the southeast).

But check out the origin of the word "Kattegat"!

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Kattegat:

The name Kattegat derives from the Dutch and Middle Saxon words Kat (cat) and Gat (hole). It refers to the medieval navigation, where captains spoke of this area to be as narrow as a cat's hole, since there are several flats in the sea, which made navigation difficult.

The second segment of the name is of greater antiquity, appearing, for example, as Codanus in Pliny's Natural History (4.13.96). It is described as a sinus (bay) between Scandinavia and Jutland. Julius Pokorny (Page 423) repeats the hole derivation, listing the Proto-Indo-European root, *ghedh-, "to defecate, hole".

In keeping with sailors' well-known use of the language of bodily functions, one might paraphrase the concept by stating that, to seafaring men who must use it, the Kattegat has always been the anus of the Baltic.


Monday, June 11, 2007

CSI Series

The CSI Series of geocaches is in honor of a book (Abomination) which is a murder mystery in which at least one body is found by geocachers.
It's a unique series of a dozen caches placed in many different areas
of northern and central Michigan. We regarded it as a real challenge.

We went to the U.P. last week to find some CSI
caches, and some others, too. The weather was cool and clear, and we
had a marvelous time. Crossing the Mackinac Bridge is always a special
treat. We spent the night in St. Ignace.

This week we left on
Sunday to finish the series, and we were successful. This time we spent
the night in Clare. The weather was wonderful again, but about 20
degrees warmer - in the 80s instead of the 60s. Because we finished in
a timely fashion, we'll be receiving a couple ofgeocoins, and an autographed copy of the book Abomination when it comes out next fall.

Here's Dick's log for the final caches in the series:

Home again after our second two day excursion seeking the CSI
series. We have had a fantastic time. On the way home we were in
agreement that these have been our favorite, most enjoyable caching
days yet. The weather was fantastic all four days, the caches were fun
and we saw a lot of new and beautiful territory. All told, we logged
880 miles, spent $230 for food and gas, spent two nights in motels and
logged 18 other caches in addition to the CSI series along the way. It
is hard to pick a favorite cache. Carp River scores high because of the
unusual route in, the scenery along the way and of course because one
drives across the "Mighty Mac". We give Peaceful Mountain high marks
because of the drive in on Kolka Creek Rd. It really appealed to us. An
award should also be given to Solitude. We didn't expect to find what
we think of as a true northern Michigan cache down in the "flatlands".
It was nearly five PM when we drove to the area where our solution of the
coordinate puzzle told us we should. We felt a great deal of relief to
see public lands with a trail just where we were hoping one would be.
After finding the well hidden container, we signed the log, took a
shell necklace and the "coin", left our now signature bug wipes and
returned the ammo can to its resting place. We are pleased with our
accomplishment but are left with a slight sense that it's closing night
and the final curtain has come down on our play. What are we going to
do tomorrow?
Thanks and our appreciation to Capt. Bud, Craig 333, Sleepy Weasel73, Vanman
30, Coy Chev, Gideon, (whoever you might be) and all who helped put
this series together. We are aware and appreciate the work required to
pull it off.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Round Robin 2007

Here we are, 54 years ago! What the heck happened??

Once a year the Round Robin letter appears in the mailbox. It's filled with pictures, letters, and stories from my High School friends (Margo, Freda, Sandy M., Sandy N., June, Donna, Betty, Nola, Ann, and Mary) at Traverse City Central High School, class of 1953. It came this weekend, loaded as usual with news, health issues, happiness, sadness, travel and empathy and understanding. I sent it off today, with new pictures of our cruise, and a letter of our past year. This is it:

Great timing for the arrival of the Robin. I love it when it comes before the happy confusion of summer in T.C. The pictures are fascinating - it’s a wonderful way to watch those grandkids grow up.

Looking back over the past months since I last wrote makes me think of the famous quotation “ It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” (Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities).

The Worst of Times:
Briefly, I had a back injury last summer resulting in severe sciatica, nerve damage and weakness in my left leg. I lost the whole month of September, being heavily medicated with pain meds. I began aqua therapy in November. and regular Physical Therapy six weeks later. After months of P. T., Dick and I are continuing to go to the gym twice a week. Improvement is coming slowly but surely (emphasis on the “slowly”). Today, my leg is still noticeably weak, and I use a cane for distances.

What I learned through that whole ordeal is that I picked a peach in the garden of love. Dick’s favorite thing is Univ. of Mich. football - and he only went to one game last season - he stayed home with me the rest of the season. He did go to the Mich.-Mich. State game, but he arranged for a good friend from Belleville to come here and “babysit” with me while he was gone. He took care of the house, cooking, shopping, laundry and everything for several weeks. He’s a real winner in the human race!

My Mother spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s in the hospital, and was discharged to a skilled nursing facility instead of back to her assisted living apartment. Mom passed away in February at the age of 98. Her last days were peaceful and quiet. She was ready to go.

The Best of Times:
In March we took a road trip to Memphis and St. Louis for 10 days, finding a geocache in each of 7 different States. It was wonderful to see daffodils and blossoming trees after such a gloomy winter. One of the highlights for me was finding the burial site of my Kanitz great-grandparents and long forgotten relatives in Arthur, Illinois.

But the highlight of the entire year was a Caribbean cruise in April with our whole family to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Our kids gave us the cruise for Christmas, and the best part is that they all came with us! Dick and I were in a lovely suite with lots of closets, a living room, and a huge balcony. We sailed from Miami to Belize (Mayan Ruins), Cozumel, Costa Maya and Grand Cayman. It was such a marvelous experience - a once in a lifetime event. We were thrilled by the whole thing. The cruise was with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines - the ship was The Explorer of the Seas.

Our kids are all fine and they are all in the same places - Laurie, Chip and Dylan, the world’s greatest grandson, live in Palm City, Florida. Laurie and Chip both work for American Airlines, and Laurie spends a ton of time volunteering at Palm City Elementary. I knew that degree in Education would come in handy someday! They come to stay with us every July, and we’re expecting them again this year - it’s the best time of the year for us. I think you all met them at one of our reunions.

Tom lives in San Diego and works for Cymer Corporation designing lasers for computers. He’s a mountain biker on the side, which means he keeps a good supply of bandaids! He was just here last week for a long weekend to attend the wedding of a cousin. We love having him around.

Jana is in Washington, D.C. working at Congressional Quarterly. She has a great position and she does a terrific job. Last September she came home to stay with me for a while when I was down and out. Her bosses sent me flowers - I was very impressed! She came back home at Christmas time which she likes to do every year - she loves the snow and Christmas at the river. Tom goes to Florida for Christmas to be with Dylan!

Dylan is 9 ½ years old, just finished the 3rd grade and can hardly wait to get to T.C. He loves tennis, camping, geocaching, biking and computer games. He’s a delightful boy and we feel that even though we have only one grandchild, somehow we managed to get the best one!

The National Governors Conference will be held in Traverse City the weekend of July 20. Dick will be working long hours the whole weekend - he’s in charge of the 75 volunteers who will be at the Cherry Capital Airport meeting and greeting the Governors and their families. They will help the visitors get to their lodgings, get rental cars, and just generally ease their arrival. He’s just hoping that no luggage is lost along the way!

The kids will all be here again on July 28th when we host GenFest, the annual Steiger family reunion of all living descendants of Dick’s Mother Gen.

A couple of you mentioned the possibility of a 55th class reunion next summer (2008). As of this weekend there’s no date posted yet on the Central High web site for the Class of ’53 for next summer. As soon as I hear something I’ll let you know so you can make plans. We’ll be here, “the good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise” so you can plan on a pre-reunion reunion.

Stay well, spoil those grandkids, and keep in touch.