Monday, March 15, 2010

Alden Park and Greensky Hill

Our Greensky Hill cache is over near Charlevoix. When a cacher reported that the cache needed maintenance, we were happy to have an excuse to go over there. First of all, it's a delightful location. It's an old Indian mission and burial ground, and it's very sacred to the native Americans. The grounds are well maintained, and many of the markers have native language inscriptions.

As long as we were heading that way, we had noticed that the Alden Search Party had put out a new cache in the Alden Park. That darn Ron and Barb! This was a very tricky hide! We were turning over every stone and kicking gravel for twenty minutes before we decided that we were skunked. Then Dick had an inspiration, and voila! There it was! Whew. That was a toughie.

Lunch at the Juilleret Restaurant in Charlevoix. We were the only ones there. It was hard to figure out why, because their food is really good. When we got the check, we figured it out. It was $30 for sandwiches and coffee. Live and learn.

Then off to Greensky Hill. Here is Dick's description on the cache page:

This cache is located adjacent to the grounds of the Greensky Hill United Methodist Church also known as The Pine River Indian Mission. It was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1972. Take the time to look around, visit the medicine garden next to the parking lot and as you take the path to the east toward the lake, seek out the sign by the grave enclosed by a picket fence.
The church was built over 150 years ago under the direction of Peter Greensky alongside a circular grove of trees which had long been used by the native people as a religious gathering place. Notice the replica circular grove in the modern cemetery west of the parking lot.
The Greensky Hill Church is a rectangular, front-gable wooden structure built with walls of hewn logs, below the clapboard gables. It measures thirty-five-feet long by twenty-five-feet-wide. In the early 1940’s the entrance was changed by the addition of a low vestibule and porch with a hip-and-gable-roof surmounted by a square, louvered belfry. The church and grounds are recognizable in many of Ernest Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories.
One of the oldest churches in continuous service in west Michigan, today it serves a small local congregation of about 50. Approximately half are Anishnabek and half are non Native Americans. In the worship service the congregation continues the use of the Ojibway language in some of the hymns and prayers. On some weekends in the summer, camp meetings are held which feature activities designed to perpetuate the ancient skills and crafts used by the people before the arrival of the Europeans.
In addition to the small church and the new fellowship hall, the entire 20+ acre grounds are sacred to the parishioners. While you explore the site, please observe the reverence the area deserves.

It was a beautiful day and an inspiring place to be. Dick had the cache replaced in no time at all. I enjoyed walking around and reading the stones.

On the way out, we took a wrong turn. If we hadn't, we would have missed seeing this one of a kind trailer! Does this make you want to go camping?