Wednesday, September 28, 2011

27 July 2011 Off Your Gourd

26 July 2011 Tussock Moth

I spotted this nice moth at the entrance to our office in Cortland.

25 July 2011 Working in Cortland

The long summer days gave me an opportunity to walk around and explore Cortland after dining with some of my staff. A few caches in town made the walk even more enjoyable. There's more dining choices in Cortland than Canastota and more town to walk in so our move has worked well for me when I visit.

The features are worn and weather beaten, but curved windows and leaded glass inserts were probably really attractive in their day.

The design of the firehouse is unique and interesting.

Some hotels never seem to get it right. Thankfully I have enjoyed my visits to the Country Inn and Suites in Cortland. Simple things like a beanie duck on your bed with tomorrow's weather forecast can bring a smile at the end of the day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

24 July 2011 Bachelor Day 2: Trail Clearing

23 July 2011 Bachelor for a Weekend

Ali spent the weekend with friends from college so I was a bachelor for the weekend. After a walk with the dogs and mowing the lawn, I was off for a walk along the Allegheny River and a whereigo find. I finished off the exciting day with kabobs and peanut sauce.

21 July 2011 Hot Days

We don't have air conditioning. It isn't really an issue with us, but Gwen has never been a happy dog in hot weather. This evening, we decided to head to Target and get a kiddie pool. I had no idea how involved these things have become. They have ones with slides, ones that shoot water, ones with fountains. We didn't the dogs would be impressed by the features and got a simple dragon pool. Eva took to it happily and quickly. Gwen thought is was a giant water bowl until I climbed in with her. a good time was had by all and the dogs seemed more comfortable.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

19 July 2011 Visiting Metzenbaum Park

We stopped by in the evening for a walk and to grab another piece of information for the park's geocaching puzzle. While we were on the boardwalk, we were able to spot clusters of cardinal flower along the edge of the stream.

18 July 2011 Daisies in the Yard

17 July 2011 Exploring Plymouth

There's not many high terrain caches in northeast Ohio. The area around Plymouth in Ashtabula County is one place where a few have been placed. After a day of yard work, we decided to head off for a few early evening caches and some adventures. My previous visit to Plymouth resulted in a backpack falling a few hundred feet after I had taken it off to sign a log and trade swag.

This evening had no big events like a backpack taking a long trip down, but it did have some very nice caches. Below Ali is on her way down to our first find and on to a nice stream bed.

This nice, old tunnel supports a railroad grade above. It is a thundering noise to be walking the stream when a train blasts by above.

After we left Plymouth, we headed over to Indian Trails Park for some more caching. We got some more water splashing by crossing below the Smolen-Gulf Bridge on our way to the main trail. Smolen-Gulf is (or was) the fourth longest covered bridge in the world and the longest in the US. It is an amazing structure but lacks the quaintness I think most of us find when walking an old historic covered bridge.

Some nice, late monarda along the trail

A lone lily Ali spotted along the trail

We found the caches along the trail and made our way out. Being in this area always concerns me a bit. Being here as sunset approaches really gets me moving. Years ago I started from another parking area to find a different cache along the trail. I parked along the street and while walking the sidewalk on my way to the trailhead was surprised to see houses with gang tags on them. I walked about halfway to that cache before I saw enough gang markings to turn around and leave. This evening I was surprised to see gang tagging evident along the side of the paved trail.

It was a fun evening, but I was glad when we were making our way back. We exited the trail and crossed across the big bridge to return to our geomobile.

Smolen-Gulf Bridge at sunset

Sunday, September 18, 2011

16 July 2011 Columbiana County

We always enjoy a visit to Columbiana County. For the last few years, our summer visits have been driven by the Ohio State Parks geocaching series. This year there is no series so we went to different places. Our first stop was along the large bike trail in the county. We hiked about four miles on the bike trail and were able to grab a few finds along the way. The old rail bed is a hot spot for wild life. There are a few ponds and some wetlands which attract wild life.

Moo! The calf standing just at the edge of the barn door was mooing so much finally mom stuck her head out to see what was causing the commotion.

This area had all the makings of a great geocaching stop. It is located on reclaimed strip mining land and had some high terrain caches. The caches hadn't been found since last fall so there was extra incentive. We had a lot of fun with the first two hides. When we were going from the second to third hide, we were walking across the bare dirt in the flat bottom area of the lower photo. We had both just commented on how soft the ground was when I sunk over my knees in this grey muck. I was really worried about getting out since the stuff acted like quick sand. I didn't want Ali to sink in trying to assist so I struggled and finally freed myself. My pen was gone, my new hiking boots were trashed, and my clothes were covered in some unknown slime. I have no idea what chemicals are used in strip mines so I was really concerned for chemical exposure.

I didn't want to go back to the car with the wet grey muck and contaminate the car so we stayed on the trail in as much sun as possible to dry off. The rest of the caches didn't deliver. It seemed like any cache hidden in tree cover had terrible coordinates. We ended with at least as many dnf's as finds. I was happy to get away once the slime on my pants had dried.

We ended our day with a nice walk along the NCT. The North Country Trail gets a lot of attention in Pennsylvania and is a nice hiking trail under the name Finger Lakes Trail in New York, but the Ohio stretches are just basically there. There appears to be little traffic and the section we were on appeared to have damage from the ever present ATV riders. Too bad, it's a wonderful county and this section of trail could be a gem.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

14 July 2011 Walking Around Best Preserve

Do you think a fish that swims to the platform and stares at you has been fed by humans too often?

After we left Best, we drove over to Bass Lake for another game piece and a visit to this preserve. We don't stop here often so we were surprised to see our picture on the sign. The picture was taken a long eight years ago while we were standing on the shore on a Saturday morning.

Bass Lake

Another image taken the same morning