Several weeks ago, instead of spending a day trying to get from here to there, I declared it a free day. My SO likes to ramble the countryside, looking for interesting subjects to photograph, and he suggested we visit Kokiwanee Nature Preserve.
(Note about "rambling": When my SO rambles, he really rambles, arbitrarily turning left and right. He does this in town and out. I am more destination oriented, however, and frequently responded to these random changes of direction with "Why are we turning here? This is the wrong way." And I kept saying this, even though that little voice in my head was telling me "SHUT UP! Just SHUT UP!")
Kokiwanee is near Lagro. Readers of The Sun may recall that frequent contributor Doug Crandell grew up near Lagro. In fact, on our ramble we passed the now-idle ceiling tile factory where his dad worked.
Kokiwanee is owned by Acres Land Trust, one of my favorite local organizations. Founded in 1960, they have purchased almost 5000 acres over the years, preserving them as islands of nature in our over-developed world. Volunteers maintain these properties, keeping them accessible for hikes and special events.
We assumed the name of this property was of Native American origin, but no. It is actually derived from Kokomo Kiwanis, who originally purchased the property for a Girl Scout camp. A bit of memoir about this history may be found here. While most of the buildings are in ruins, the platforms for the tents still exist, and it looks like the salvageable structures are being resurrected.
I did take more pictures than these, but they did not turn out very well. Better ones may be found here. I wish we had known about letter-boxing, which I assume is the precursor to geo caching, as we could have tried locating some of them on this property.
After our hike, we toodled into North Manchester and ate world famous pork tenderloin sandwiches at Mr. Dave's. I am an alumnus of Manchester College (now University) and lived in the area after graduation, so I have more to say about our visit there, once I digest it a bit. To be continued....