Our Mystery at Gun Lake
Hike Length about 2 miles. Somewhat hilly on marked trails.
If you are going to reenact our visit to Gun Lake, please bring some extra baggies. Since this box is a bit further from home, I’d appreciate it if you could change the bags if needed. Updated reports would also be appreciated! The first box was reported slightly chewed by the FF...if you can't find it, look in the area it might have been moved. Please let me know if its been eaten!
Uncle Al had told us of a wonderful resort lake in southwest Michigan. After hearing about Gun Lake for so many years, Coffee Beans and I decided to vacation on its shore. We spent the first day of our vacation hiking some of the trails in Yankee Springs Recreation Area (by the way, a day pass will set you back $6/8, depending on if you live in MI) as there are boxes by Azobox, Grandvilla, Doglvrs, and Spring Chick to find. On day two, we rented a pontoon boat and cruised the lake and swam. While docked near “party island,” we got a chance to talk with a few locals. They told stories of another Al, one they referred to as Public Enemy #1. Fifty years, or so, earlier, the area was rumored to be a vacation spot of some of our home town’s most ruthless citizens. There are pictures that some think are of Capone, himself, seated at a cabin on Chicago Point. Although we took most of this with a grain of salt, we decided we’d better keep our eyes peeled while out and about the area!
On our third day, we went back out hiking in Yankee Springs. This time, we started at the eastern edge of the park just south of Gun Lake Road on Yankee Springs Road. A large sign indicated the start of the “North County Trail” on the west side of the road. At the trailhead, we read the sign, and we were amazed by the length of the trail we were about to hike (it evidently runs from New York to North Dakota.)
“Hey, what is that down there, down the hill?” Coffee Beans whispered as she pointed past a few blue blazes.
“I don’t know. Looks like there is someone down there.”
“Think we should follow?”
“Sure...but maybe we should keep our distance!”
As we wandered, slowly, down the hill, we followed a mysterious character. I didn’t really think the guy was doing anything crooked, but yesterday’s stories had got me thinking. As we crossed a small bridge, I joked, “These mob guys sure like the remote trails!” When we approached the blackened pine forest, I began to change my tune. The man in black had rendezvoused with a few others! What are they doing out here?
We must have been making too much noise because the group quickly went dispersed in two directions. The guy we had first followed veered to the left, and the others disappeared to the right. We pursued the original character to a multi-armed ‘V’ pine on the right. He quickly hid near the base of a smaller ‘V’ (or is that ‘U’) tree at 290 degrees and 29 paces off the trail.
Although suspicious, “The Shady Character” wasn’t very interesting.
“What do you think those other guys were doing?” I asked Coffee Beans.
“I don’t know,” she responded. “Lets go see!” With that, we cautiously pursued the others along the sandy trail.
“Watch out!” I warned as we stepped around some of the smelly obstacles that were left along our way.
As we entered a clearing, we heard some noises in the distance. Moments later, we saw a few black, tortured bodies which might have (unlikely though) been the source of the sounds.
Back into the woods, our hearts began to pound in anticipation of what we might find ahead. We continued following the blue markings of the mobsters down and up and down and up.
At the innocent post, we stopped.
“BANG, BANG!” shots were heard in the distance.
“WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?!!!”
“I don’t know!” However the innocent post told me we were 1 ‘something’ from somewhere and 5 ‘somethings’ from somewhere else.
“I doubt its anything...just our imagination. Come on, let’s go check it out. Just a bit more.”
After 32 paces, we stopped again. The scorched multi-body left us with an ominous feeling. We filled further with dread when we noticed the dead body on the ground at 60 degrees. The body was pointing away from the trail to two live witnesses. As we investigated the pile of sticks just behind these two peaceful guards, we stopped cold as we spied what had happened to the “Curious Attendant.”
“Perhaps we should stop tailing these guys,” I suggested. “You know what happened to the curious cat...”
“Yea, let’s retrace our path to the car and get out of here!”
And with that, we concluded our little adventure for the day. Perhaps it was just a bit too much of our imagination running wild, or just not enough sleep, but we were sure we had stumbled across something we shouldn’t have seen. Whatever it was, it will always remain as our Gun Lake Mystery.