Five Ways to Get Out and Explore During a Pandemic

We can’t believe it’s already July!

Wait… what do you mean it’s August 21st??!

Ugh, what a year this summer has been. It’s been an adjustment for us as we’re used to talking tours instead of slinging sani, but 2020 has spoken and no one has figured out how to shut her up yet, so here we are.

Covid has cancelled a lot this year, but we’ve found that it’s been fun to come up with new ways to explore our city pandemic-style.

Thus, we present to you five ways to enjoy your hometown during this and all future pandemics:

     1.) Stop and read the signs.

You know that statute that you always walk by? No, not that one, the one that’s right on the corner of the thing and there’s all the pigeon poop on it. No, it’s on the street before that one. Yes, now you’ve got it. We suggest you stop and read the statue inscription! We’ve had plenty of reminders this year that our statues mean something (and those things are not always good). Take some time to pause and read the signs on the statues you see frequently. Who are they honoring and why? 

We recommend picking an area that is statue-heavy (usually downtown) or going on a statue hunt by foot, bike, scooter, etc. Grab a coffee and read away! 

The Newsies Statue on Belle Isle featuring special guests: our hand sanitizer and a dog.

     2.) Geocaching.

Remember when you needed a handheld GPS to go geocaching? Now we literally carry those around in our pockets all the time, so we’re just an app away from a world of treasure hunting waiting right under our noses! If you’re unfamiliar with the geocaching phenomenon, we’re hella jealous that it’s all still in front of you. Let me break it down:

  • Someone takes a container (a Tupperware, an old film case, a lunchbox, etc.) and hides it somewhere. This is the geocache. 
  • They post the coordinates of where they hid the geocache on geocaching.com or the geocache app
  • You use your phone (or a handheld GPS if you’re oldschool) to find the coordinates. 
  • You look around until you find the geocache- this is the tricky and fun and treasure-hunty part!
  • Find and open the geocache!
  • Sign the log to show who you are and when you found it. 
  • Some geocaches have trinkets inside- take a trinket and leave a trinket for the next person!
  • Return the geocache to where you found it. 
  • Go start again with another one! 

We recommend bringing and using hand sani during this activity. If you need some, we’ve got you covered here

Also, maybe we hid some sani in some Geocaches around Detroit- THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT.

The sweet victory of finding a hidden lil treasure!

     3.) Take a stroll in a graveyard.

Graveyards are often the most underrated green spaces in cities. Many cities have historic cemeteries that are designed for a peaceful stroll or to while away an afternoon. Graveyards have generally remained open to the public during the pandemic and can be a great chance to get out and stay distant. While you’re strolling look for:

  • Wildlife! Many animals also enjoy these open green spaces. 
  • Names on headstones that are significant to your town (street names, company names, building names, etc.) 
  • The oldest grave you can find. 
  • The types of headstones you see. 
  • Different languages on headstones. 
  • Coins on graves. These are traditionally left behind on veteran’s graves to show the families that someone paused to thank their loved one for their sacrifice. 

Detroit is riddled with excellent graveyards and you really can’t go wrong, but Elmwood is our low-key favorite (DON’T TELL MT. ELLIOT WE SAID THAT). 

Goes without saying, but always be respectful when visiting a graveyard, especially if there are burials happening on site. 

Throwback to last February when we took our Dark Valentine’s tour through three of Detroit’s most iconic cemeteries!

     4.) Try a photo scavenger hunt.

Like, literally just make one up. Get some friends to contribute ideas to a google doc (something green, something that you’d only find in Detroit, a bald eagle, something funny) and go out with your quarantine buddy or socially-distant friend to photograph your list. Set a time limit, come up with a point system, and/or get a neutral party to judge your photos. Share your photos with each other using your technology of choice and declare a photo champion!

Picture McPictureson up in here.

     5.) Read a book. 

Where my nerds at? Never underestimate the power of a good read in a nice setting. This summer you could catch us reading in woods, streams, and lakes all over eastern Michigan. Some of our favorite places to read include Island Lake State Recreation Area, Belle Isle, Lake Erie Metropark, Elmwood Cemetery, Lakeport State Park, and while taking a stroll around our neighborhoods (please attempt only if you are good at multitasking and always stay aware of your surroundings). 

We recommend making a list of your favorite outdoor spaces and adding a few that you’ve never been to (we just use Google Maps for this part). Pick a spot and remember the 3 Bs: blanket, beverage, book. 

Always bring a mask and some sani and be sure to stay 6 feet away from anyone not in your quarantine pod. 

A perfect sunset in Midtown complete with an excellent read from Book Suey.

And that’s that, friends! We’d love to see you enjoying any of these activities and to hear any other suggestions you may have! Leave us a note in the comments if you have something else we should try and use @detroitbuscompany to show us how you’re enjoying yourself this summer!

Happy Jul…erm… August, everyone!

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