Sunday, October 30, 2011

21 August 2011 Spencer Crest Nature Center

20 August 2011 Sugar Hill Fire Tower

After we left Watkins Glen, we headed to Sproul State Forest to hunt a few caches. My happiness was intense when I realized the old fire tower was still in place. There are two wonderful possibilities with fire towers. First, they may be accessible for climbing. Second, many of them had benchmarks very near.

I was really happy to see that it was open for climbing. I have no reason why I have a strong fear of heights yet love climbing old fire towers. This one was in better shape than most and fairly stable. The view from the top was really outstanding, and my pleasure was made much greater when I saw a concrete post for a benchmark while at the top of the tower. When we reached the bottom, we both happily found the benchmark and two reference disks.

What could be better than finding a tower, climbing the tower, and locating the nearby benchmark? Why, a visit from the nearby state park employee. He was wondering what we were doing and was surprised to find out the disks in the ground were actually benchmarks. He must have sensed he had found a couple of true geeks since he offered to show us the inside of the old lookout cabin which was still standing. Inside the cabin was basically unchanged from its days as an outlook residence. Ali was thrilled to find the working maps still in the main room. I thought the old forest radio was cool as was the really old Smokey sign. The only real change to the cabin had been the removal of the kitchen. This tour was a completely unexpected bonus.

20 August 2011 Watkins Glen

It has been a long time since we visited Watkins Glen. We had talked about a trip to the park, and Ali's travels with me for business made for a perfect chance to make the trip. I got sick from breakfast again so we were late to the park, but still enjoyed a tremendous day. The park was packed with people. It was a super return visit.

18 August 2011 Genealogy and The Spot

I was traveling to Cortland for work and Ali joined me with the thought of taking a few vacation days along the way. We stopped at a few locations along the southern tier for some genealogy work for Ali. We were in the area many times in past years, but hadn't been back since a gps and digital camera became standard items with our travels. We've been revisiting places with the digital camera and the gps to mark grave markers and old homesteads.

We hunted a few nice caches along this converted rail trail. There are interesting old bridge structures along the old rail grade.

This old roadside spring house was built in 1927 and features some interesting art work panels and water spouts for the spring. The spring still appears to be flowing in the structure, but the internal plumbing for the spouts has been vandalized.

Our only real caching target for the drive was a visit to The Spot. As a 2000 cache, it was one of the months we needed to qualify for the Jasmer Challenge. Most of the older caches we visit are there because they were great places to put a cache and an interesting journey. The Spot fit that description perfectly. It was a nice, long walk along a pleasant ridgeline with the cache near a view at the end of the walk. We both really liked this find.

After we finished with The Spot, we grabbed a few additional caches in the surrounding area before calling it an evening. The caches we found were fun. We left a lot of unfound stuff for maybe a return trip some day...

Friday, October 28, 2011

13 August 2011 Return to the Prairies

We both wanted to see the prairie dock and have started hunting for ten caches per county for the Ohio Great 880 Challenge. The two counties nearest the prairies were close to ten and gave us a great reason to head back and enjoy the flowers once more. The prairie dock were in bloom so our mission was successful.

Our last cache of the day was a stop at this old rest area on the way home. When I was a youth, these old rest areas were a staple of traveling with my family. We didn't eat at restaurants so the picnic tables and grills made a great option for us to stop for a meal. They are a fading part of our landscape, but bring back happy memories for me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

12 August 2011 Trains and Boats and Balloons?

We were caching this evening in Hudson. A few of the sights reminded me of an old Burt Bacharach song called Trains and Boats and Planes, except the last was a balloon floating by. The song was a hit for Dionne Warwick in another time.

The trains go by this spot so fast they will pull a hat off your head.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

9 August 2011 putt putt

We were playing minature golf when they turned off the lights and asked everyone to leave the greens. As we ate ice cream, we could watch a monster storm blowing in. It was quite a lightning show on the way home.

6 August 2011 Flowers

We've stopped at this roadside stand for over a decade now to buy flowers every summer. The glads make a cheery addition to our home for a few short weeks each summer. This was one of our few visits this year.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

5 August 2011 Posted

We've owned our place for a while and never felt the need to do more than post a few signs along the property line. While Ali was back east, I noticed tread ruts along our north trail. I started to build a small wall to keep out the ATV jerks riders. Today we both noticed deep tread ruts and a lot of damage along the south trail. I was seriously honked. I made a good start on a second stone wall and after all these years we have added physical barriers to our trails. We'll soon be adding heavy permanent barriers to keep trespassers off the property. I have never been a fan of ATV riders. The majority of them seem to lack the land to ride the vehicles legally and ignore property laws. How irritating.

4 August 2011 8000 Finds, Jakes Rocks, and the ANF

The day had arrived for us to hunt number 8000 with the dogs. We were one cache shy so this morning was a perfect morning to find a cache hidden by Pirate and Jakes Rocks. I have no idea how we missed seeking this super hide, but we found it today. The dogs enjoyed most of the scamper through the rocks and later a more sedate walk back to number 8,000.