Fall In Michigan

September was passing us by much faster than we hoped. October was knocking on the door promising cooler weather and shorter days. You might remember, I don’t like the cold very much, actually not at all. I was fairly ready to join the southern migration!

One thing we hadn’t taken the time for yet, was another one of those “Michigan things”. We had to go to Cops & Doughnuts! The first Cops & Doughnuts opened in Clare, Michigan. The site had been a bakery since 1896. It was within weeks of closing when all nine members of the Clare Police Department decided to come to the rescue. According to their website, the business plan was written on the back of an empty pizza box. (I’ll bet they didn’t take that to the SBA) It didn’t take long for Cops & Doughnuts to become “a Michigan thing” We didn’t want to drive all the way to Clare, but lucky for us, the business has been so successful, they have opened up several other precincts, including Jay’s Precinct in Gaylord, MI.

Unfortunately, I was caught up in smells so good they aught to be illegal that I forgot to take any more pictures. The interior is decorated with police memorabilia and branded souvenirs. I ordered what they call a “Long John” It is their version of an eclair and Steve had a maple glazed cinnamon bun.You’ll just have to take my word for it, they were huge and delicious!

Only a few miles away was the other reason we had gone to Gaylord. The city maintains an 80 acre park for a herd of Elk. The city has been the caretaker of this herd since the 1980’s. There are several viewing areas where you can sit comfortably (aka warm) in your vehicle and watch the elk. Late September is mating season and we watched the dominant bull strive to defend his breeding rights. All of the cows were lazing up near the feeding area, every so often a bold young bull would walk up the hill to take his chances. Every time, the dominant bull would bugle and charge after him. Chasing him back down the hill to join the rest of the bulls. If one of the cows would wander to far, he would round her up and return her to the feeding area…

“Let’s go! Back up the hill with you.”
the dominant bull
young bulls
“Hey you with the camera, I’m only one years old. Aren’t I cute?”
“Hey babe, how’s about a kiss?”
“You always know just what to say handsome”
If you’ve never heard an elk bugle, this is what it sounds like

I really enjoyed watching the elk, but it was time to head back to Bambi Lake. We would be caravan-ning with Mike and Dawn to our next location and there was still plenty to pack up before we left.

Now, we were ready to say goodbye to Michigan (until next time)…

Up Next…

In a southwesterly direction

Captured On A Pirate Ship

Well, now we’ve done it. The pirates have locked us below deck while they go ashore, no doubt for a healthy ration of rum. Mike, Dawn, Steve and I only have one option, we have to figure out how to get topside and sail out of the harbor before the pirates return. The clock is ticking. We only have an hour to figure where the keys to freedom can be found. If the pirates return, they will surely make us walk the plank.

Why don’t we call for help you ask? They confiscated our phones! As we look around we are overwhelmed about where to even start…

We each pick a part of the room to search, nervous laughter escapes from us as we struggle to find the clues…failure is not an option. Then we could hear it, a soft voice whispering a clue…”I’ve heard pirates like to hide things under the stairs?” We followed the clues, deciphered the ciphers and solved the mind-bending puzzles only to get stuck on the very last lock. We could hear the pirates coming across the bay in their rowboat. Singing, “Yo, ho ho and a bottle of rum. Arrrrgggh” With only moments to spare, that faint whisper said “Follow the clue exactly, hurry” In our race against the clock, we had been overlooking one step on the lock. With literally seconds to spare, we burst through the door and made our way to freedom.

Well, how did we get into such a pickle to begin with? We had booked an adventure with Northern Michigan Escape Rooms, LLC in Grayling, MI. None of us had ever experienced an escape room first hand but we had all heard stories of how much fun it could be.

The Forrester family opened their escape adventure rooms in 2016. On the night we were there, it was Stan’s wife, Mary Jo who was the faint whisperer of clues and encouragement. She never gave us any direct answers, but her hints would spark an idea. Without her helpful prodding the pirates would have made us into shark stew for sure.

Mary Jo showed us the other escape rooms they offer. They have a speakeasy…

And a very cool room for two , submarine. A perfect date night adventure…

Mary Jo even showed us the newest room in progress, Hetephere’s Tomb. (Since completed) We were amazed at how resourceful the Forrester family is, nearly everything was either repurposed, recycled or homemade, but the results were incredible.

It was a fantastic way to spend an hour with friends. When we arrived, our attitude was, “What the hell, we’ll try it”, by the time we finished our attitude was “Wow! I’d do that again!”

Have you ever done an escape room? Did you enjoy it?

Up next…

A visit to Elk Park