Sunday, September 05, 2010

22 July 2010 New experiences

We haven't cached much near Millville which is a place where we often stay. Today we decided to break that string and spend time at the Harold N. Peek Preserve in Millville. Finding the entrance took a little work, but once there we had a great time. It seemed so benign. All was well and we enjoyed our visit until we reached the Geomobile, and I noticed these little spots. Ali unfortunately guessed correctly with one word, chiggers. That one word began a new experience for us. :-(

It looks so peaceful. It looks so wonderful.

It's full of chiggers! 8-O

Before we knew what was happening, we enjoyed finding these two wonderful box turtles along the trail. The second one was guarding the berry in its mouth like it was a treasure of the world.

Our first box turtle sighting. Take note of those deep red eyes.

Our second box turtle sighting. He did not appear to be willing to give up the berry for anything (nor did he appear inclined to eat it).

The Maurice River was at low tide, but quite pleasant.

These low-height v-stands appeared to be well-used by the ospreys.

Our trip to our next stop was frequented by a lot of scratching. Before we headed off at this site, we spent some time trying to remove the offending monsters (aka the Chiggers). I guess we got a lot of them, but nowhere near all of them. While at this cache we got to see more ospreys nesting in one spot than we had seen before. There were about a dozen nests with active ospreys in the area. The cache was an an area which required a few hundred feet bushwhack through dense, head-high growth.

Ali heads into the heaviest growth to hunt the cache.

When you look at the picture below, think intense smell. The nearby cache was called shell pile. The area around the cache amazingly did not smell, but driving in and out of the area and walking around the area the smell went from light to eye watering. It was only a few stops later that I realized our geomobile smelled from driving through the area. It was weeks before the smell dissipated. It was really interesting that there was a bike path running right through the area. Great ocean views or not, the smell would be difficult to handle on a bike ride.

We stopped for two more tidal caches. We were unsuccessful with both. At the first the cache appeared to have finally been washed away by the tide. The second one was near a boat launch area with about a 100 foot long section of boards joined together for docking boats at high tide. As we walked out into the marsh area, we both sunk a little deeper with each step. We finally gave up about thirty feet from the cache. By that time, we were both covered in organic muck. The geomobile has very light grey seats so we were either going to ruin the interior or change in the open. I;m glad no one showed up for the next few minutes. ;-)

There was one last area with osprey sightings as we neared the end of the day. This was the toughest day of the trip for us. We were dirty. We smelled. Ariel, the geomobile, smelled. We had dnf'd a lot of caches. Ahhhh... we had the fun of Cape May to anticipate after spending the first evening of the next couple weeks of dealing with the chiggers.

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