Monday, August 27, 2007

25 August 2007 Beaver Creek Sprucevale Road

Our early evening stop was to find a quartet of caches we missed when we were here with Lep last month. We had been back in this area many years ago to fish the stream. On that visit we hugged the shore. This evening we were heading up and away. The hiking was really treacherous for most of the way out. We were hugging a rock face for a good portion of the way. The third cache went beyond the rock face to a section fo woods where there was a primitive horse trail. It was a really serene area and a big surprise. The cache was very near a clearing in a nice stretch of woods. Our last cache was back down the horse trail to a stream called Long's Run. By the time we reached Long's Run, it was pouring. We found the cache, but the intense rain robbed us of the chance to visit a very scenic place we had never visited before.

I was really concerned about the rain and the rock face between us and safety, but we negotiated it easily and quickly. As we finished the hike, the rain was gone and the last remnants of the day were giving the show in these pictures. The post sunset shot was taken about five minutes from Beaver Creek at an RC plane field. We hunted this last cache as darkness fell.
25 August 2007 Beaver Creek State Park Nature

It's still butterfly time. Somedays you are in the right place. The butterfly was photographed as we hiked the lower Vondergreen trail by Beaver Creek. The spider on the web was hanging out along the Dogwood Trail. She was rather unhappy that I ticked the web when I was trying to get this photo. The second spider was really large and unexpected. It jumped out when I removed a rock from a cache on the trail near Sprucevale Road.
25 August 2007 Beaver Creek State Park

We needed to return to Beaver Creek State Park so Ali could finish the ODNR State Park Challenge. She needed to get a photo taken at the "20th cache" site. We stopped at Berlin on the way down and found all the caches but one. After that we made for Beaver Creek and some serious hiking. The final "location" was on one of our favorite trails so we had a fun, little walk to it. Beaver Creek has a lot more water than it did when we visited with Lep.

After the photo was taken we headed for the Dogwood Trail. We've been hiking here for 20 years and had only been on the Dogwood once previously so the return this afternoon was fun. The mosquitoes were intense, but we prevailed to find a well done Carl from Ohio cache.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

24 August 2007 Rookery

I hoped to make it Mentor Headlands this evening for the earthcache, but a late customer issue at the office put an end to that. We opted for a quiet walk at an old favorite. The trees are starting to change already. :-(
23 August 2007 Mayfield Wetlands Cache

We had never been to this wetlands/park area to walk before. A local cacher placed a cache here recently so it was time for a visit. It was a tough day physically so an easy gentle path was one way to get out and not make the pain worse. The mosquitoes are trained killers, but this little waterfall near the end of our walk was an unexpected bonus. Sometimes timing's everything. Two weeks ago this would probably have been little more than a tricke.
22 August 2007 Placing our new multi

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

18 August 2007 Neanderthal... the adventure continues

We actually used the stream three times as the path on this adventure.

The face on the right extends about twice as high as what is visible. It has claimed Ceasar's gps, briefly claimed a Jeep TB, and almost claimed me.

The last stretch of stream to follow...

This marshy area, a few beaver dam crossings and the worst climb of the hike are all that remain at this point. :-)

Rev. Mike's Lakeside cache makes the perfect cool down.

Now that we've survived the adventure was fun. It wasn't when I had dropped a travel bug over the side of the cliff that claimed Ceasar's gps. It certainly wasn't fun when I lost my grip after dropping the travel bug over the side of the cliff that claimed Ceasar's gps. It wasn't even fun when I hooked my arm around a tree as I was sliding down the hill towards the side of the cliff that claimed Ceasar's gps. We missed claiming salvage rights to Ceasar's gps, but I did go over the side farther along the trail and did recover the travel bug.

The path we took started with Little Wimpy followed by Remember Geocaching, the Big Easy, On The Edge, and Halfway. We both agreed that On The Edge and Halfway are the two most difficult caches on the loop. They are made even worse by the fact that you are physically whipped when you go for them, but there is no way I would go over the side for Half Way first. It is so steep that I crawled a portion of the way out. Lakeside was a great cool down at the end of the adventure. The container is the best of its type rivaled only by one in the 2006 ODNR series. If you are physically up to it, don't miss these.
18 August 2007

troglodytes...cave men...cave women...Neanderthal...

You will be going down to the bottom of that. You'll also be going up behind it... back down again.. along the edge of it... and don't forget when you are exhausted... back to the top.

This was Ali in the 'easy' section. If you are smart about your approach, Little Wimpy is fairly easy.

This is pretty much it for the way down.

After you find Rev. Mike's cache at the bottom, you are very near to this pleasant place to relax. If the water is low, following the stream will make the journey easier.

Be careful with your footing. Ali's hiking stick was really helpful.

Most of the hike through this series of caches I kept hearing the Jimmy Castor Bunch's song in my head. Uh, don't try these unless you can really read a map, are in shape, and okay with taking a few risks. Just a gps pointing the way here is a really good way to be in serious trouble. You should also forget the cache description that says this takes three hours. That time estimate was before two additional caches were added.

The series was all we expected and more. It has great views. It is a monster hike. It has walks along the river bed (okay, you actually are in the river). You get to be one with nature. I never walked over a beaver dam before this cache. Now I've walked over multiples. I had also never seen coyotes in the wild. We were surprised, but they just about jumped out of their fur when they saw us. We were prepared, and we got lucky with a relatively cool day. This series could be hell on a hot day or after a rain. Don't even think about it in the snow.
18 August 2007 Caching Chautauqua - The Easy

The title for today is a bit of a play on our caching target for the day. We were heading north to find Snoop's Neanderthal series. One of those caches is named The Big Easy. We spent the first half of that day hunting from Lakewood to Mayville. It was a perfect day to be out. Our last stop before the Neaderthal series was a Chatauqua Rail Trail. There were butterflies everywhere and a great blind for birdwatching.
17 August 2007 America's Fair

I am always ready for a trip to the fair, and I had never been to the Erie County Fair, so when Gryff said let's go to the fair, I was ready. It was a perfect day for a walk at the fair. We enjoyed the sights, the sounds, the smells. I missed the demonstration for bathing your chicken (would I make this up?), but we got to hear the first sheep ever with a cigarette voice. I have no idea where that sheep hangs out or how much it drinks, but it really needs to give up the bar scene. :-) I tried to get a photo of it bleeting (wish I had sound - it was incredible), but everytime it got bleeting there was too much movement to grab an image without the flash. The kids are trying to do well so I didn't want to distract the animal by using the flash. Every fair has its own subtle differences. At this one there were no collars on the sheep. It made for some interesting chases when the spirited ones decided to rebel.

We visited the chickens, rabbits, sheep, pigs, horses, and goats (the goats were arrogant). We even saw reindeer. I think the elves are on seven day shifts now so they couldn't make it. The old tractor display was really good. I saw three I have not seen before and got to see one operating. There were also a couple old steam engines on display. I chickened out and didn't try any food. Too much risk.

The midway here is really large. They seem to have two of many rides. "America's Fair" seems a little pretentious, but for this afternoon it worked for me.
16 August 2007 Como Park

Ahhhhh... Como Park. I'm not certain of the language derivation for Como Park, but I'm certain it translates to place of nice walks and lots of dnf's.

Gryff and I have been here multiple times caching. With the exception of a couple nice finds on our first visit, almost all cache finds here have come at the expense of multiple trips. I've suggested a few times since the spring that we come back and tackle a few of our dnf monsters. Gryff has very deftly suggested another equally exciting location to throw me off the pursuit of Como. Tonight I prevailed and we returned. Our first target was a multi with the second stage at a bridge. I remember two other stops here although my mind may be surpressing the pain. I remember a foot falling through the ice by the bridge. Oh no, flashbacks! As we approached stage 2 this evening Gryff was making sounds somewhere between a whimper and a groan. HA! we found the stage and raced for the final. A mere thirty minutes later we had bagged an ammo can in a small stretch of woods. It had to be a great hide; otherwise, we would need to hide our heads in shame.

With this wonderful multi in the smiley column, we headed off toward the scene of yet another infamous dnf. A five-stage multi starting near the parking area by the lake. By now Gryff was game for the hunt. We arrived at the parking area and soon realized we weren't alone :-0. A father and daughter team were caching at stage 1. After meeting the really nice team of Lawsome97, we all set to find a very tricky stage 1. We didn't :-( Gryff's expression says it all about this reportedly really tricky hide. A half-hour later, we gave in and headed for the artillery cache near the park entrance. On the way to the gun, I may be mistaken, but I believe I heard the same whimpering groan from Gryff as I heard on the way to the bridge ;-). We all began to hunt in earnest and about five minutes later, the cache was in hand. It's amazing how much bolder the hunt grows as the group grows.

A few quick micros ended a really fun evening. I can't wait for the next return to Como. They've left plenty of caches for us to dnf.

Monday, August 20, 2007

15 August 2007 SUNY Fredonia's woods near Portland

SUNY Fredonia has a large holding of woods used for education near Portland, New York. The university allows outsiders to come and hike the lands. A local geocacher was able to get permission for five hides to be placed on the land. I had wanted to hike and cache here, but kept missing the chance for the daylight-only area. This evening I arrived in time to spend a couple hours in the woods.

The woods are great for hiking with clearly marked trails. Near my second find was a pond with numerous great blue herons and ducks. Near this cache I found the leaves of five orchids.

It was an outstanding visit. I found two of the five caches assuring a return trip in the future.
12 August 2007 Walking our Property

We spent a quiet afternoon walking our property with the geodogs. We found the first great blue lobelia beginning to open; Ali found and identified a new plant; and we found this really olive-colored salamander walking the trail.

Monday, August 13, 2007

11 August 2007 Caching in the woods

We have been lucky lately with a number of really good woods caches being placed near us. We decided to head off this afternoon for a handful of those caches. We started with a trip to a local hobby store to purchase eleven ammo cans for an upcoming cache series we are planning. From there we headed to Crescent Park to take photos and coords for a couple Waymarks. Then it was time for the woods.

We started with maintenence on two of our ANF caches. Then we headed off to Hearts Content. We left Hearts Content and made our way to the North Country Walking Trail. We finished our excursion with two nice, long hikes in the Minister Creek area. Our travels included finally finding the elusive High Above the Minister cache. This was an outstanding cache with a really challenging walk in and a tiring hunt in the rocks. We hunted for a long time before Ali found the cache in.... oh no, that would take away future finders fun. This simple hide was so well done that I grabbed an image at the hide site, and seeing the photo would still not give this one away. It was a grand day in the woods (finished with a trip to the ice cream stand).

10 August 2007 Caching Olean (or trying to)

This was a really tough outing. I was going to PA and figured why not head to Olean and across 86. I found the first two on the way south and then the micros in the woods hit. So did the micros in the shopping centers. Who can forget the micros in the small parks with muggles everywhere? It was an outstanding Friday evening and it seemed like everyone from the town of Wales to South Olean had decided to go to the park. By the end of the evening, I had found six caches and could remember 15 dnf's. Oh well, I enjoyed the visit to Olean. Like so many towns they also have some common item to decorate. There are squirrels all over town. A few of the better ones grace this entry.