Tuesday, January 31, 2012

7 January 2012 Caching Erie

Bright, blue skies and a few caches at a baseball complex started a fun afternoon of caching for us.

Gwen likes eating snow.

Union City seems to have some sort of tie to caching. Now we know where the Smiley Building is. Maybe we'll have fewer dnf's.

The Corry beaver looks like one, tough mascot.

It's probably not the best cache container, but the Wonder Cache brought a laugh from both of us.

Monday, January 30, 2012

3 January 2012 Homemade Gyozas

2 January 2012 The Next Day

The day's snow made me glad we made a late night drive to Ohio the night before.

1 January 2012 Weather Blues

It was a strange start to the new year. We wanted to walk with the dogs and debated whether to head for the North Country Trail or make our way to Titusville and the Hydetown Rail Trail. Hydetown won out. This was one of those days where we both planned to hike a lot, get tired with the dogs, and settle in for a sleepy, quiet evening in front of the fire.

It rained most of the way to Hydetown. We grabbed a couple caches on the way and were both a little wet by the time we reached the trail. It had stopped raining and was just grey when we found the first cache of the series. As we returned to the trail, Bussard444 came down the trail and joined us for the rest of the hunt. There were some nice hides and Terry was good company. We had a super walk out finding the caches and enjoyed the visit on the way back. By the time we were about half-way back, the day's grey skies were bright blue.

We said good day to Bussard and made our way to the other side of the road to the rest of the trail and still more caches. We got about two caches out on the other part of the trail when the rains started again. We thought one more and maybe the skies would clear. We were wrong. It was a serious downpour. By the time we reached Subie, we were soaked.

We stopped for two more finds at a cemetery near Titusville. It was at that cemetery that I spotted the marker below. It certainly ranks as one of the oddest I have seen. It was in great shape and got us talking about what it was meant to be. I kept thinking billiard rack.

The weather report was really ominous. Rain and wind made a tough drive back to the Warren area. With predictions of even worse weather the following day, we decided to pack it in and head for Ohio. So much for the quiet night by the fire.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

31 December 2011 If it isn't moving... decorate it

28 December 2011 Happy Early Birthday Bill

I hadn't seen my family in a long time. January brings a milestone birthday for my brother and his family wanted to celebrate. He's surrounded below by his granddaughters.

27 December 2011 Simple Pleasures

Ali makes the best gingerbread cookie ever! I'm always spoiled during the season.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

26 December 2011 The Bridges of Crawford

25 December 2011 Caching Christmas

Eva's a gentle girl and was a good sport with a bow on her head. So far, all the news for her cancer has been good. Here's hoping she has many fun trails left to explore.

We spent Christmas afternoon in the Cleveland Metroparks hunting the last two caches of the year. Our first find was a fun walk in Strongsville in a section of the park we hadn't visited before. Our last cache of the day was in Hinckley Reservation. The cache was off a bridle trial. The wet days and horse traffic left the trail a mud pit. This was the first CMP cache I actually wanted to end. We were muddy, and the dogs were a mess. We spent our Christmas evening bathing the dogs.

Friday, January 27, 2012

24 December 2011 At the Zoo

It looks like the toys in the gorilla area are getting complicated ;-)

The new Fulton Bridge is in place. I drove over the old one many times when I lived in the area.

After our visit to the zoo we stopped by the tree on Fairmont.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

19 December 2011 Cookie Contest

We had a cookie contest today at the facility. I baked cookies and managed to win "Most Like Christmas Cookies". It was fun and helps build the team, but making the cookies was most interesting. For the first time, I made a recipe my mom had always made. For as long as I can remember, the cookies were just called Mrs. Zieg's Cookies. They were named after a neighbor of my grandparents who had given the recipe to my mom. Every year these cookies were a favorite at the house and enjoyed by all. It's been at least eleven years since I last tasted the cookies. Long before she left the earth, my mom had lost her ability to manage recipes and bake these gems.

It was a strange trip backwards for me. Years ago, two copies of the recipe were one of the few things I kept (along with the family photos and a handful of Christmas ornaments) that tie me to the world where I grew up. One of the recipes is the tattered and faded old typewritten index card that I remember my mom dragging out of a cookbook every holiday season. The other is a hand-written copy she wrote for me after I left home to live on my own. She didn't realize I never had a reason to bake those cookies as long as I could go home and visit them.

As a kid I had a great time shaking colored sugars and sprinkles on the cookies as my mom rolled and cut them. It's funny how our tastes change over time. Then I always enjoyed the trees topped with a chocolate chip. Now I enjoy the tree cookies with cinnamon-sprinkled bases. For all of us, there comes that time when you can't go home. At least the cookies let me look back.

18 December 2011 Garfield and Brecksville

Saturday, January 21, 2012

15 December 2011 There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays

I was finally ready to pack it in for the year and go home. I traveled twenty percent more this year for business than in 2010, and 2012 was looming like just as busy and more. I spent over ten percent of the year in a western state.

There's not much to see in Spokane in the middle of December. Usually my trips here are filled with great pictures of the area. I've never been here in December before. The sun was gone by 3:50 and it was dark a few minutes after 4. My evenings were spent visiting the nearby mall, visiting the local REI (the week couldn't be all work - I really wish there was one of these where I traveled back east), and eating at a mongolian bbg (yum).

On the way to the airport, I had time for one detour and decided to make a stop in Spokane to see the River and the Falls. The falls are really nice. They are not Niagara Falls, but the river was fast moving and there was access across the river on a really nice suspension bridge.

The best feeling on a trip home is seeing the jet for your last flight home sitting at the gate in nice weather.

For some reason the walkway wouldn't engage with the jet so we had to sit at the gate while the ground crew tried to resolve the problem. It was weird being the only incoming flight sitting in a defective gate while all these empty gates surrounded us. The crew eventually got the equipment to work, but it was past midnight and time for a walk through a deserted Hopkins.

Happiness! The flight was so late Ali had already grabbed my bag.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

11 December 2011 One More Trip West

My last trip of the year was a visit to Spokane. My choices were to fly really early and get to Spokane in time for some caching and some open restaurants or leave later and spend a little time with Ali. The choice was easy. I was rewarded for my later departure with mostly quiet airports at all three stops.

It will take a while to get used to seeing Continental tails on planes marked United.

My gates in Denver were near to each other so I got to do a little walking while waiting for my next flight. There are a number of Waymarks in the airport. I was able to visit a couple and add one more at this neon art called Beaded Circle Crossing.

Monday, January 16, 2012

10 December 2011 Metroparks Caching

With one day in town before I was travelling for work again, we decided to head west and hunt a few caches in the Cleveland Metroparks. The highlight of the afternoon was a cache placed by a friend near the site of an old mill. The cache started near the entrance to an old tunnel that used to feed water to the mill. I've spent a lot of time in Rocky River Reservation, but never saw this old tunnel entrance. The tunnel has long since collapsed, but the history told by the cache made it the find of the day.

Sand Ripples

Mill Sluice

The Foundation of the Old Mill