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How to find Lake Superior Agates

Buying Agates
Agate Tips
Hunting Agates
Path Less Traveled

Semiprecious stones called agates make Lake Superior far more attractive than any other lakes in the world. These gems formed some billion years ago during volcanic activity that created the continents we know today. Glacial activity around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago distributed the agates stone across the country particularly in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. Agates stones come in different variety of shapes, sizes, and even colors. Collectors and jewelry makers sought after their famous banding and luminescence.

These are hidden gems from the ordinary rocks that often hide their beautiful colors and they are most treasured because of it. Agates are so loved in the country that the Minnesota state made them their official state stone since 1969.

Cool Enough to Buy

A number of gift shops and souvenir shops throughout the Upper Midwest sell them polished and ready to be adored. But most people treasured them because of the challenge finding them in the shorelines of Lake Superior. It’s a fun and rewarding activity for the whole family to enjoy during vacations.

When hunting for agates, it’s important to know its characteristics and special features. Expert agates hunters spent years spent countless hours even years hunting down the semiprecious stones. One can only develop an eye for unpolished agates after picking up thousands of stones from the shorelines. Agates stones are mostly translucent but some are opaque. The best give away of the stone is its waxy and glossy rock surface.

Tips to Find Agate

Here are some tips on how to train your eye in finding agates in Lake Superior:

Check for pitted husks. Oftentimes softer mineral formed around the agates, hiding from plain view. Don’t disregard a stone that has pitted husk; instead turn them over to check for cracks that may reveal the beautiful branding which the agates are famous for.

Hunt in the early morning or late afternoon. Agates, when held up in sunlight, gave a particular glow because of its translucent and waxy luster. It’s best to hunt them when there is enough daylight or when the sun begins to set.

Hunting Agates

Dig not just near the shoreline but also in gravel pits and dry land. Most people look near the shorelines if not in riverbeds as well.  Agates can easily sparkle underwater; so many people will search the shores. It may sound a good idea until you notice everyone is searching the same spots. Timing will be your best ally when hunting for agates. These gems will surely surface after a big storm or high waves. So tune in for weather forecast and be sure to head to the beach before once it’s safe. Your chances of finding agates will drastically go high.

Carefully check other ‘ordinary’ bigger rocks. Agates are usually formed in holes or hidden in larger host rocks. Don’t disregard any ordinary stone just because they don’t actually match the polished agates bought in gift shops. Check crevices for any signs of branding that appear to be brown, orange, and translucent. Then weigh the suspected agates from other rocks that are lying nearby. Agates are made up of a type of quartz which makes them dense and hard.

Listen to your instinct. When hunting for agates make sure to turn off your pretty rock syndrome. Do not check for prettier rocks that somewhat appear attractive to you. Instead, focus on the special characteristics of agates. Picking up every stone that catches your eye will only leave you unproductive. You may end up with a lot of river stone but fewer semiprecious gems.

The Path Less Traveled

Walk a different path. When the beach seems overcrowded in one spot, look for agates where people don’t usually venture to. Tread carefully though, as you may be entering a private area. You can find more agates in an area where nobody cared to search for. Fewer people hunting down agates on the beach, there’s more of chances of finding one.

And while looking for those beautiful stones, make sure to keep comfy in one of our Michigan hoodies so you can keep the hunt going as long as you need.

from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/find-lake-superior-agates/

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Let’s Take a Look at Clawson City

Early Beginnings
Early 1900s
Clawson Continues to Grow

The “Little City with a Big Heart”, Clawson City is part of the Oakland County in Michigan which part of the Detroit metropolitan area. The city is best described as a neighborhood that has a super friendly environment where amenities are within a walking distance of 2.2 square-mile community.

Clawson city is one of many places in the country that’s a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Visitors are drawn to their events like the acclaimed Fourth of July celebration, Lion’s Club Show, Fall Festival and Cinema in the streets. Many people travel to Clawson because of their great seasonal outdoor Farmers Market during summertime and their indoor Market during cold winter.

But what makes Clawson City so charming, lively, and entertaining?

Early Beginnings

Two million acres of Michigan land was to be granted for the war veterans after the War of 1812. But the land surveyors claimed that the land was unfit for habitation, thus delaying settlement. The government then sent out new surveyors in 1818 to re-assess the land. The new discovery proved that the first land surveys were wrong and the land sales quickly started.

First Settlers

The first settlers came to the area and occupied the land sections now known as Bloomfield Township (3 and 4 of Town 1, Range 11 East and sections 33 and 34 of Town 2, Range 11 East).  Town 1 and 2 became Troy Township in 1827. Royal Oak separated from Troy in 1832 which became Royal Oak Township. This little town continued to grow within the following years until the village was incorporated in 1920.

First Roads

The first ever road was made in 1827 between the section lines. Known as the Niles Road in earlier times it’s now called the Main Street. It was named after Johnson Niles, who lived in Troy at square Lake and Main. His houses still stand today for anyone who wishes to see where the original main road was. Another one is the Rochester Road, an Indian Trail in 1829 before it was made as a plank toll road called Paint Creek Trail. 14 Mile road was first called Townline Road before and was constructed in 1874, now known as Clawson Road.

First Businesses

With the constructions of the road, it provides easy access to town. Small businesses and several industries first established near these roads. Two of the first establishments in Clawson were sawmills. James G. Johnson first dammed the Little Run Creek in 1832 which covers Red Run through his land crossing Main Street. He then built the first ever water-driven sawmill in Royal Oak Township. Dewitt Williams and Lorenzo Chillson built another mill in 1849 near the corner of 14 Mile and Main Street.

Early 1900s

During the early 1900s, Clawson city continued to grow. More houses were built, some were prefabricated – many of them are still standing today. As Businesses began thriving, more and more people chose Clawson as their abode.  As their desire to make their community a better and more beautiful place to live in, the Improvement Club was organized in 1903; it was later called as the Clawson Literary Society. Hoping to have “improvement in the community”, they first planted flowers along the railway station before moving into town.  The club changed its name to Clawson Woman’s Club in 1920. It was now known as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Clawson, the oldest club in the city.

Motions Approved

Many residents showed their dissatisfaction in town due to lack of utilities and other major conveniences. There were several repeated movements to incorporate so they would have a local government of their own. On May 29, 1920, Governor Albert Sleeper approved their motions after injunctions by Royal Oak and Troy Townships.

As soon as their motions approved, the new village commission immediately began plans for a new sewer system in town. It ran from Jefferson to Washington and an open ditch on Broadacre. The Oakland County Sheriff deputized George Millard as a night watchman and the police department, as well as the fire department, was established in 1922. Their first village manager was hired in 1927.

By 1920s, more business started to boom and there were professional men in Clawson. The town had one lawyer, two physicians, and one dentist. David Cleary started Clawson’s first newspaper “The Clawson Journal” and men’s clothing store. As a postmaster, he was elected as the president of the village commission in 1925.

Clawson Continues to Grow

By 1940, Clawson was made into a city. Not after the World War II when the city really began to boom.  Nine years later, around 500 new homes were built along with two factories and two more commercial buildings were established. A weekly newspaper also started to circulate around the neighborhood.

It didn’t stop there, within the next few decades, more homes, commercial buildings, churches, and schools were built to accommodate the resident’s needs. In the 1960s they added new school buildings, post office, and new municipal.

However, with the ‘Great Depression’ that plagued America, Clawson population started to decline and some schools were closed. There were major efforts to rebuilt town during the last two decades of the 20th century through Downtown Development Authority. The city wanted to revitalize the downtown area of the city where some of the buildings date back to the 1920s. Today, Clawson still draw attention because of its country style living and scenic charm of the old days.

Show the world you love where you’re from with our great Michigan Native Decal.

from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/clawson-city-michigan-history/

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Where is Lake Superior State University?

History #lssu_history
Courses Offered #lssu_courses
A Unique Location #lssu_location

Lake Superior State University also referred to as the Lake State, Lake Superior State, Soo Tech or LSSU is a public university located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The university is the smallest public university in Michigan with a total of 3,000 students. Its campus radio station is WLSO and the student newspaper is called The Compass.

The place where Lake Superior State stands served as Fort Brady from 1894 to 1944. Sitting on a 115 acre of land that includes several buildings, the university is listed as New Fort Brady according to the National Register of Historic Places.  LSSU is one of three Michigan public universities that operate as a university and community college. They recently opened another center in Dearborn in the southeast part of Michigan. This is in addition to the existing regional centers in the cities of Escanaba, Gaylord and Petoskey.

Lake Superior State University History

Established in 1946, Lake Superior State University aims to educate the returning World War II veterans and the rest of Eastern Upper Peninsula residents. The Michigan College of Mining & Technology or Michigan Technological University helped the early upbringing of Lake Superior University.

In its earlier days, the university was known as Sault Ste. Marie Residence Center of the Michigan College of Mining & Technology or Soo Tech. One of the first courses offered in the campus was mining and technology. It started off with 272 students and later renamed as Lake Superior State College of Michigan Technological University in 1966. Just 4 years later, in 1970, the university already received autonomy from Michigan Tech. The university then changed to its present day name after it was granted a university status in 1987.

Courses Offered

The university offers both bachelors and associate degrees. However, they also have Master of Arts in several curriculums as well as a number of certificates.

LSSU is widely known for its academic endeavors in the fields of engineering, chemistry, education, business, nursing, geology, fisheries and wildlife management. These also include environmental sciences, fire science, and criminal justice.

The university also pioneered in an accredited four-year fire science program and remains as one of three universities in the country to offer such program. LSSU also boasts of one of the best robotics facilities in the country. Their laboratory for robotics courses is valued more than $3 million. Despite its size, LSSU is one of the three universities in the country to offer specialization in robotics with ABET/TAC accreditation. Due to their world-class robotics facilities, they are known for their Bachelor of Science degrees in computer engineering, manufacturing engineering technology, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.

LSSU also offers courses in, one of the only two universities in Michigan to offer such accredited curriculum. Alongside with Central Michigan University, both universities offer quality education to fully understand environmental health. Other courses they offered include forensic sciences, creative writing, recreation management, and legal studies.

One of the main goals of LSSU is to bring the community together and inspire people in continuous learning.  In 2010, the university launched its first Creative Writing program that encourages veteran writers as well as aspiring writers to read their work. In doing so, it bridges the twin cities of Saults to build better and stronger artistic communities.

Unique Location

Because of LSSU’s unique location in its proximity to the Canadian border, the university has many Canadian enrollees. Not only it helped flourish the young minds it also builds a close relationship with its international neighbor. As a tribute to its many international students, the campus ground has both the United States and Canadian flags. During athletic events, both national anthems of each country are sung before the game.

Just as there’s nothing like Lake Superior State University, there’s nothing quite like all of Michigan. Show of your love of our great state with a piece from our LIVNFRESH Michigan selection.

from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/where-is-lake-superior-state-university-located/

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Ski in/Ski out Lodges In Colorado

Snowmass Colorado
Beaver Creek
Steamboat Springs Colorado
Copper Mountain Resort

Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and all kinds of winter sports are fun. However, packing and lugging your equipment from your hotel room while catching the next shuttle to the slopes may not be as fun. This is why ski in/ski out lodges are a popular choice for many visitors of the Colorado mountains.

Ski in/ski out lodges are houses located near slopes that are perfect for skiing and other activities. Staying in them will save you time from gathering all your equipment to go to the skiing spot. By having all the fun just at your doorstep, you’ll even save some money by having cooked dinner in your lodge instead of getting your meals at expensive restaurants. These are also great for families with kids who can’t wait to go skiing outside right after breakfast.

So, where can you get ski in/ski out lodges in Colorado?

Snowmass Colorado

Located on the western side of Colorado, Snowmass Colorado is just 6 miles from Aspen Airport. It’s a great option for tourists coming from all around the country. Snowmass Colorado has plenty of condominiums and town homes that are just a walk away from slopes.

Got beginners in the group? Snowmass Colorado offers skiing and snowboarding school for all ages. Kids and adults who aren’t used to skiing can take lessons during their stay. If you’re lacking equipment, Snowmass also has rentals for all the gear you need to start your adventure.

There are other activities that you can try out in Snowmass Colorado too. From rock climbing and ice climbing to fly fishing, golf, mountain biking, and hiking.

Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek is located in Eagle County, Colorado. The resort is part of Vail Resorts, along with Vail, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Beaver Creek has plenty of ski in/ski out hotels and condominiums. Their hotels have beautiful views and accommodations, perfect for couples.

With their hotels and condominiums close to the activities, you won’t be wasting time gathering everything and heading up to the next ski slopes. Kid-friendly adventure zones are great for the kids to have a great time.

The resorts performing arts center has amazing shows, from ballet to Broadway musicals and symphony orchestras. Enjoying a show after hours of thrilling sports is a great way to end the night.

Steamboat Springs Colorado

Steamboat Springs is located in Routt County in Colorado. The resort is located at the Mount Werner just east of the town.

Steamboat Springs has villas and inns that are located right at the ski spots. Their villas have options, from studio types, 1, 2 or 3 bedroom villas. Whether you’re with your family, friends or just on a date with your special one, you’ll have a choice of accommodation.

Aside from the slopes, you have access to outdoor pools, hot tubs, day spas, retail shops, and fitness centers inside the villas. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, you can rent snowmobiles or get a horse to go horseback or sleigh riding.

Breckenridge Resort

Found in Breckenridge, Colorado, Breckenridge Resort is known to have nearly all kinds of slopes that you can want. The resort is popular as one of the best resorts in the state.

They have a number of luxury condominiums and lodges near the peaks of the mountain, great for winter sports. Their ski in/ski out lodges also have access to their BreckConnect Gondola that connects to the other peaks and places around the resort.

Other than their exciting slopes, Breckenridge Resort boasts many other activities. Their Alpine Coaster lets you and a friend ride on a coaster car while navigating around the turns and twists around and above the ski runs and forest. You can control your own speed so you can go as fast as you can, or slow down to appreciate the views. The resort also has the Arts District where you can attend classes, activities, and events.

Copper Mountain Resort

Copper Mountain Resort is located at Copper Mountain in Summit County, Colorado. The mountain is just 75 miles west of Denver.

The resort has plenty of townhomes for large groups and families that are nearby popular ski spots. The resort has many kinds of terrain, from ski terrain for beginners to more exciting slopes and terrain for the experts.

Families and friends have so many activities to enjoy in Copper Mountain Resort. From tubing hills, athletic clubs, to their indoor activity area where you can jump into foam pits and trampolines or go skating. There is even an indoor skiing and snowboarding training for those who are just getting started with the sport.

Whatever you may be looking for, the state boasts plenty of options for ski in/ski out lodges and that’s just one of many reasons why we love Colorado so much.

from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/where-to-stay-in-colorado-for-ski-in-ski-out-lodges/

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How deep is Lake Superior at its deepest?

Lake Superior
Tragedies in Lake Superior
Shipping Still Flourishes

The Great Lakes situated in North America which span 750 miles from its eastern tip to its western region remains as the largest freshwater system on Earth. It has the most spectacular scenic view of the wilderness on the face of the planet. It contains 10% of all the freshwater in the world and has more than 10,000 miles of shorelines. Today, at least 40 million people live along the Great Lakes, of which there are actually more Canadians than Americans.

Each lake of the Great Lakes is named after native American or French. Lake Erie, for example, came from the Erie Tribe which resides in the southern tip of shores. The same goes with Lake Huron, which originated from the Huron tribe. Lake Michigan is named after the French word from the Ojibwa word michigami. There are more than 35,000 islands within the Great Lakes. Measuring 1068 miles and with a total population of 12,600 Manitoulin is the largest island located in Lake Huron.  

Likewise, the Great Lakes offer some incredible moments of natural beauty and serenity. It’s no wonder people looking for things to do in Michigan flock to these locations and why our Great Lakes Girl gear has made such a splash.

Lake Superior

The greatest and biggest of all the Great Lakes is Lake Superior. It has an average depth of 483 feet with the deepest depth can go as far as 1,332 feet. Located on the borders of the United States and Canada, Lake Superior spreads around the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. It surfaces water measures 31,700 and spread across 350 miles wide and 160 long. It holds up to 2,900 cubic miles of water or the equivalent of 3 quadrillion gallons of water. When completely frozen, there is enough space for everyone on the planet to sit in a 12” x 12” picnic blanket comfortably in Lake Superior.

The other four lakes can fit into Lake Superior plus three Lake Eries. With today’s alarming global warming phenomenon, many consider the importance of Lake Superior as an equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s oil consuming industry.

Tragedies in Lake Superior

An estimated 6,000 to 10,000 sea vessels lie deep within the waters of the Great Lakes, which have claimed the lives of an estimated 30,000 people.

One of the famous shipwrecks in Lake Superior is the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. The tragedy even generated a hit song, memorials, and conspiracies about its ill-fated journey. Sadly, Fitzgerald is just one of many wrecks; there are a number of ships that succumbed to the treacherous waters of Lake Superior. The area near the Whitefish Bay in Whitefish Point, Michigan is notorious claiming many sea vessels traversing its territory. This dangerous passage in the south of Lake Superior has been referred to as the “Graveyard of the Great Lakes” and “Shipwreck Coast”. It is a place where hundreds of ships sunk and thousands of lives lost.

Shipping Still Flourishes

Every year a staggering amount of 200 million net tons of commerce passing through the Great Lakes. The country’s lake fleets alongside with the Canadian’s carriers, tankers, bulk freighters, tugs, and barges haul these massive shipments of cargo. Around 40% of the cargo includes mined minerals like iron ore, coal, salt, and stone. The other percent composes of agricultural products like corn, wheat, oats, and soybeans.  Even though the waters of the Great Lakes pose a perilous journey for these brave sailors, they still make sure that the shipping industry still flourishes.

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The Three Most Expensive Ski Resorts in Colorado

Breckenridge Ski Resort  #breckenridge_ski_resort
Aspen Snowmass  #aspen_snowmass
Vail Ski Resort  #vail_ski_resort

As they say, the money you spent on something you enjoyed isn’t money you wasted. When we have the time to go on an adventure, we indulge ourselves and our families as much as we can. After all, we deserve it.

When it comes to skiing, Colorado is definitely the place to go. If indulging in the most luxurious resort is what you want, here are the top three most expensive and luxurious ski resorts in Colorado that you can wear your favorite Colorado native sweatshirt at.

Breckenridge Ski Resort

Breckenridge Ski Resort is located in Breckenridge, Colorado, and is one of the most popular resorts in the state. And that is not without reason. Breckenridge Ski Resort boasts luxurious accommodations, many activities, and spectacular sights.

Breckenridge Ski Resort has one of the highest summit elevations in the country, standing at 12,998 feet. The mountain has all kinds of slopes for beginners and experts to ski in. Not only that, a town is on the mountain itself! This means you’ll have access to bars, restaurants, and shops without leaving the mountain.

Their accommodations are worth the price. They have luxurious hotels rooms and lodges that are perfect for every kind of group. They also have plenty of ski in/ski out lodgings so you don’t have to travel far from your room to start skiing.

Aspen Snowmass

At Pitkin County, you’ll find the second of the most expensive ski resort in Colorado: Aspen Snowmass. Boasting ski areas on four adjacent mountains, Aspen deserves to be one of the state’s luxury resorts.

Millionaires and celebrities are known to choose Aspen as their ski destination. The resort boasts on its variety, culture, and extravagance. Like Breckenridge, Aspen has a town right on the resort. The town has all you need from family-friendly restaurants, fine dining, pubs, galleries, shops, and many more.

For accommodations, you can choose from luxury hotels to spacious condominiums. Ski in/ski out hotels can also be found in Aspen to save you time from traveling between your hotel room to the ski areas.

Vail Ski Resort

Eagle County in Colorado offers another luxury ski resort in Colorado: Vail Ski Resort. With 5,289 acres of area, Vail Ski Resort is the third largest mountain ski resort in the country and has the fourth largest skiable terrain in North America.

Vail Ski Resort boasts great terrain for all kinds of skiers. For beginners, they can sign up for their top-notched ski lessons. But other than skiing, you won’t run out of things to do in Vail Ski Resort. They have a mountain coaster, snowmobiles, ski biking, tubing, a discovery center, and more. Want fine dining while having the amazing view on top of a mountain? Need to grab a few drinks with friends after skiing? Vail has everything you need to have a good time.

They have a great range of lodgings, from premiere to mid-range hotels and condominiums. Vail Ski Resort also hosts many events, from concerts to international snow competitions.

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How to identify Lake Superior Agate

What is Agate? #what_is_agate
Where to Hunt Agate #where_to_hunt_agate
A Waxy Luster #waxy_luster
Banding #agate_banding
Hardness and Weight #hardness_and_weight
Conchoidal Fractures #conchoidal_fractures
Pitted Surface #pitted_surface

What is an agate?

Agates are semiprecious stones that can be found all across the globe but commonly found along the shorelines of Lake Superior. Under a trained eye, one can easily find agates within the area of northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. These precious gems compose of several mineral quartz and layers of chalcedony. Formed billion years ago, the bubbles rising from volcanic activity formed the famous banding layers of agates.

Most people can easily spot the familiar banding color of orange and yellow. However, the unpolished agate is far more difficult to find in a sea of bedrocks. Noting the weight and size of a rock can give hints if it’s an agate or not. Nonetheless, identifying agates like a pro is something anyone can learn to do.

Where to Hunt Agate

Some billion years ago, agates formed along the shores of Lake Superior. It’s really best to hunt where these semiprecious stones started off. From its formation glaciers, currents, and rivers carried agates across the North and South America.

The best place to start hunting for agate is where the soil has been moved or in the shorelines, riverbanks, and riverbeds. Currents constantly give these parts fresh supply of stones from the bottom of the lake. Gravel pits along the shores of Lake Superior are perfect for hunting agates. However, most gravel pits are privately owned so traverse carefully and with caution. It’s not worth getting yourself in a lot of trouble for a handful of these semiprecious gems.

Once you decided on a good spot, here are some helpful tips to help you identify agate better:

Waxy Luster and Translucency

Agates that are freshly throne in the shorelines by the current may have some waxy luster or shine on its surface.  Feel the stone on your hand and try to find some waxiness on it. Slide your fingers on its weathered surface or where the rock exterior has worn out. Waxiness is one of the sure sign you may have found an agate.

Even though agates have banded minerals, there are few agate stones that have translucent property. Look for translucency in the stone; you may even spit some quartz-like mineral along with the familiar orange, red, and brown color. When held up to sunlight, unpolished agates may appear to ‘glow’ as of the sun refracts through them. Because of this technique, it’s best to hunt them in the early morning or when the sun is about to set.  

Look for the Banding

Careful inspect stoned for banding which is a factor that many collectors and jewelry designers sought for. Check in the exterior of the stone where it is broken or worn away. Most agates have weathered surfaces that may reveal their particular banding.

Check Hardness and Weight

Agate stones are no more than 3 inches in diameter and heavier than ordinary stones because of their dense composition. Another tip from expert agate hunters is to compare them with stones lying close by. As a type of quartz, agate is quite hard that cannot be easily scratched even when using a steel knife.  

Check for Conchoidal Fractures

Agates as a quartz mineral tend to break due to its brittleness. Check for conchoidal fractures or irregular break in the suspected agate. These fractures may look like a break similar to fine-grained materials like glass and obsidian. Fractures in agates may appear in a wavelike pattern or often curved.

Get Hints from the Pitted Surface

Agates oftentimes form in igneous rock or have been surrounded by softer rock. These softer rocks may have eroded leaving from pitted or dent marks on the semiprecious stones. The pitted surface on agate may also cause by softer minerals formed into the agates.

Remember, finding an unpolished agate is nothing compare to the ones bought in stores. Meticulously inspect each stone and in time, your eye can easily identify a perfect unpolished agate.  And when you go out to do so, make sure to keep warm along those Lake Superior Shores with a Michigan Home Grown hoodie to show off your Michigan pride.

from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/how-to-find-agate-on-lake-superior/

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