Sunday, March 1, 2009

More Island Geocaching

Well, it wasn't like this.

And it certainly wasn't like this.

But we did some island geocaching yesterday. The difference, this time we walked to the island.

I admit, that concept might confuse our faithful California readers. But around here, walking on water isn't an exercise reserved only for the Faithful. The water looked something more like this.

Lolas Lakehouse1

This is a shot of Lola's Lakehouse back on dry land.

And here's an aerial view of the lake. Lola's was our starting point, directly south of the island. For reference, it is exactly 1/2 mile from shore to the island at that point.

Lake Waconia 1

We scored the two geocaches on the island, but the really cool part was the winter walk. (Sorry.) I'm talking about 18 degrees of cool - with a 10 MPH breeze. It was a brisk walk out there. Once in the shelter of the island, though, it was quite comfortable.

The island is hilly and crisscrossed with trails. Once we neared the caches we did some bushwhacking that took us through knee-deep snowdrifts.

in 1886, Lambert Naegle purchased the island in Waconia Lake for $5,200 and built on it a resort hotel. He named his resort the "Coney Island of the West." The name could have come from as many as three sources: 1)It was named after the more famous Coney Island of the East, in Brooklyn. 2)It is a shortened version of the town's name, Waconia. 3)It was named such after the area's high population of "conies," or rabbits.

In 1889 Reinhold Zeglin bought and operated the hotel complex. Legend has it that period celebrities such as Mark Twain and Al Capone visited during this period.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Frank "Shorty" Dvorak owned and operated the dining, dance, cottage, day camp, and launch facilities on the island.

Today, it's all in ruins - the resort cabins, lodge buildings, and homes.

Waconia Ruins 1

Waconia Ruins 2

Waconia Ruins 3

A great day of geocaching!

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