Friday, September 28, 2007

22 September 2007 Portage Lake State Park

This event was the final of the 2007 Ohio State Park Challenge, a five park event with twenty caches. For the second year Ali had completed the challenge. Today was the day to celebrate. We drove down with Kathy and met Chris eventually at the event. We cached as a team for the day wearing our Team Nature Nutz title given to us by Cold One at a Medina Parks event in June. This year 21 caching teams completed the series. The 2006 series had 14 finishers. I missed the toughest park, Jefferson, but still enjoyed some great adventures.

We had a great time at the event. Watching Ali and Kathy put together a tent at the event would have been more enjoyable (and there would have been more pictures) except I was supposed to be building a fire. Hah... me a fire? The closest I ever came to campfires were vacations in Canada during college. One of our team on those adventures was an Eagle Scout (really). His method of a starting a campfire was taking a half cup of gas from my boat. I knew that wasn't the proper way to do it. I kept gathering and building. I must not have done too poorly since with a little assistance from Kathy after they were done with the tent we had burned the string in no time.

We went for a few night caches after the event. It was a fun day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

21 September 2007 Losson Park

Gryff is holding all that stuff, taking a photo, and standing on a rock in the Creek.

I found out today that Losson is an Indian word for Stiglmeier which translates very loosely as 'park where no more caches fit'. It seems like every cache page at this park has some sort of text paraphrasing 'this is the last spot in this park where a cache can be placed.' :-) I haven't been here in a year and last time I was here there was a cache with those very words in the text. They've added at least ten since my last visit.

The funny thing is you have to work your tail off for the finds. Gryff and I were here for four hours and nabbed five finds. Granted we started two multis that we didn't finish and completely dnf'd a third multi, but finding the first stage of a seven part multi isn't a huge part of the find either. Okay, so we also stopped to look at the deer, a snake, nuthatches, juncos, chickadees, roosting turkeys, chipmunks, and a plant or two.

It was a lot of fun. It's strange when you are at this park. There are about twenty caches here. They fill every corner of the park. A lot of them are multis. Still, I never feel bored hunting here. There are always deer here. There are always chipmunks here. Before today, I had never seen a turkey here. I know there are eagles here, and I've never seen one when I'm here. Maybe next time. Maybe next week...
20 September 2007 Deja' vu all over again

I stopped by again this evening with great company. We were fresh from two finds and convinced this multi was ours. Three stages later and hunting for the final, the Niagara River claimed my pda. Oh, it was painful. But the evening was still amazing. I am in awe over the weather the last few days. I am almost willing to accept a little snow in exchange for something this perfect. Almost... not quite.

Friday, September 21, 2007

19 September 2007 Niagara River

I was caching solo on a quiet evening. The park was filled with people fishing, biking, walking, roller blading, and just relaxing. No luck with this cache in the dark, but the evening was picture perfect.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

16 September 2007 more Sheldon Marsh

16 September 2007 Sheldon Marsh

We always visit Sheldon Marsh at least once a year and often times more. This visit was unusual in two ways, it came in the late summer and the weather was great. Most times when we're here, the weather is extreme, either cold or wind. Today was perfect.

The visit was a little unusual because many of the birds we commonly see, like a egrets and herons in the marsh area, weren't there. We were also surprised to not see any warblers. We met up with another guy out birding. He recited the names of two warblers he had seen that day, but both evaded us. After Sheldon Marsh we had a quiet afternoon finding a few caches and benchmarks in Sandusky. We ended up as always at Tofts. Chocolate champion cherry... YUM.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

15 September 2007 and Chasing Rainbows

15 September 2007 Caching Pennsylvania...

We dipped our toes across the state line to do some caching. On our list was a nice old cache at a place called Hartstown Swamp. We found that cache and a few others. The swamp was really outstanding. We were surprised to see a few late lilies in the swamp. About the only thing missing here was some variety of birds. We actually saw very few.

It rained on and off all day long. It was one of those days that swung from deep blue skies with high clouds to dull grey everywhere. In the middle of all this we got to see rainbows. One came. One went. Later another took its place. We finished the day in Linesville at a very good ice cream stand. :-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

14 September 2007 On A Carousel

For 50 cents more than the gate price, you can ride the third oldest carousel in the country. It's no longer horse drawn, but its way cool.

Somehow Ali's horse always wins ;-)

I'll let Neil take it from here...

But now its gettin late
And the moon is climbin high
I want to celebrate
See it shinin in your eye.

Because Im still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because Im still in love with you
On this harvest moon.
14 September 2007 Albion Fair - Barrel Racing

14 September 2007 More Albion Fair

Years ago we figured that Friday was the day to be here since the kids get to ride and compete. There's no need for fancy gear here. The only requirement I know of is you need a helmet if your under 18 and you need to wear hadr-bottom boots with a heel. The races always include riding the length of the arena, dismounting your horse, and grabbing a specified page from a catalog. There's also barrel races each year. Most years they mix it up. One year there was a mother/daughter race with the two racing side by side holding a ribbon. The competitors are always girls. One of the parents said boys are invited, but most don't want to work hard enough to compete. It's spirited. It's fun. Older kids helping young. Mothers running along side their kids horses so the youngsters can participate. It's Americana.
14 September 2007 Albion Fair

I was really lucky this year and got to visit three ag fairs. Each one was great. The Albion Fair has been a tradition with us for years. We wisely passed on taking the Miata out for our last top down gambol (given the weather most years, gamble would work too). The parking area was a little muddy, and the little car likes nice, hard traction. We walked the fair. We got to enjoy our favorite haunts. Ali got to visit some rub-hungry goats. There were two groups of piglets. Ali enjoyed a funnel cake. We got to watch the kids riding and competing. We checked out the flower show. They take the flower, cooking, and quilt competition really seriously here. The flower arrangement competition is fierce and draws from a wide area. We left to go to Edinboro before the dancing started in the gazebo after dark. Yep, it's that kind of fair. The smallest town fair I've seen since Doc Hollywood or Elysburg.

But theres a full moon risin
Lets go dancin in the light
We know where the musics playin
Lets go out and feel the night.

Because Im still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because Im still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

Neil Young had it right. No better place to be.