Sunday, July 04, 2010

5 June 2010 Chasing the OSP Challenge

We decided to go for the 18 park Ohio State Park Challenge. I was in town for a longer stay than usual and the coins are only awarded to the first 100 challenge finishers. Our plan for today was to go caching with our friend GeaugaGarmin and hunt Pymatuning, Mosquito, Lake Milton, Guilford, and Quail Hollow. With my travel and Ali working, it has been a long time since we have been able to cache with Kathy so it sounded like a great plan.

Our adventure started quite benignly. We grabbed a nice woods cache at Pymatuning and headed off for Mosquito with a quick detour to Hubbard, Ohio.

Once we left Hubbard, the fun began. As we were driving, a siren started. We're all used volunteer fire departments so the sirens aren't unusual, but this one sounded different. For one thing,it never stopped. We decided it must be a weather warning. We were also low on gas so a visit to a station was in order. Between Hubbard and the station, the siren stopped so all seemed well. At about the moment, I started adding gas to the tank, the siren started again. The speaker was really near the station so it was almost painful trying to pump gas with the tornado siren going. To top it off there was some sort of out-of-town youth baseball tournament in progress. There were a number of people from out-of-town fueling up when the siren started. Someone at the station was telling people the tornado was 14-miles wide. They had no experience with tornados and believed this. A bunch of them freaked.

We fueled. We drove toward our next stop at Mosquito Creek State Park. All was well until we were about .1 miles into a .7 mile walk for a cache. The sirens started again. They were loud. They were everywhere. I hope to never again have the experience of walking through the woods, finding a cache, and returning while a siren blares a tornado warning.

We celebrated our third find of the day and the end of the tornado sirens with a trip to Grumpy's Ice Cream Depot. Ahhhhh, it was going to be smooth sailing.

This was also about the time I realized that the "allergies" Ali was truly suffering from and had proclaimed started with a sore throat weren't really allergies. My throat started getting sore while Ali just went downhill as we traveled. It was also about the time the rains came yet again. Kathy and I decided to go for a troll cache in a park we had been too before. While Ali waited and coughed and sniffled and... Kathy and I pulled on our raincoats and went for the cache. We found the cache and moved on.

As we approached Lake Milton, things really got interesting. Our Mazda is more comfortable for me to drive and ride in for long periods so we left the AWD Subie at home. Not a great idea when roads have standing water and you are driving a car with low profile tires. Thankfully we made the parking lot of Lake Milton which was just next to tire high water that I knew the Mazda couldn't pass through. We waited for the deluge to stop and made our way down the trail. Before we got to the turn on the trail, the rain started again. It was fierce. When reached the turn on the trail, the trail had turned into a torrent of water that was going straight into Lake Milton. I looked and said no way. I located another trail which led us to the cache, but by the end of the cache, we were soaked.

In the end Guilford was a pleasant break. The weather held up and we enjoyed a quiet evening and three final caches.

This private residence at Guilford seemed to be an odd place for a ghost bike.

In the end, Ali looked miserable. We gave up any thoughts of visiting Quail Hollow. Some times great plans just don't work out.

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