Sunday, February 26, 2012

11 February 2012 Tough Day to Cache

This was a big day for us in our quest of ten finds per day. We needed nine which sounded easy as long as the weather was okay. The winter has been so mild, we've gotten spoiled and weren't expecting today. We were headed to Summit County, We don't cache there often so the cache density is huge. The highway was a mess. If Ali hadn't driven, the day probably wouldn't have gotten done. At our first cache, I made a big goof and walked into a wetlands area that had iced over. It hadn't quite iced over enough to support me so I was wet and freezing before our first cache was found. We hung in and grabbed two at the same location. After that we were off for a cache by a nearby lake. I forgot the bit about snow messing with your depth perception. I had actually stepped off the retaining wall before I realized I was fifteen feet up with nothing below me. The landing was hard and painful (and would be for a few days). Still, we were three for three and on a roll. We missed a tough micro by a coffee shop but decided it was time to warm-up and enjoy our early success.

As the day on, the wet clothes and fall really took a toll. We made it to nine and found one to spare, but I was really in bad shape at the end.

Friday, February 24, 2012

9 February 2012 Truffles for Ali

8 February 2012 Back in New York

I had a short trip to New York and was lucky to once again have no snow and mild temperatures. I stopped on the way for a little walking and a couple caches near Erie at Elk Creek.

My last stop of the day was near Westfield, New York. I often try to bypass at least part of the Thruway to break up the monotony of the drive so I have driven through Westfield hundreds of times. On the west side of town, there's an Old Ford dealership that closed a few years back. We once used the drive to turn around in a snow storm and seek shelter in Westfield for the night. These days, the building is a visitors center for promoting the local wineries. There is a cache at the back of the property which shares some history of the area which I never noticed. The vineyards behind were at one time an airfield. The only real evidence of the old airfield is an old beacon. The weathered sign on the tower calls back a time before the Federal Aviation Administration and points to the Department of Commerce Aeronautics. It was an unexpected great piece of history.

Monday, February 20, 2012

5 February 2012 West Branch

We had high hopes for this afternoon. There are three high terrain caches at West Branch State Park. They were our target for a long afternoon of hiking and caching. The first cache delivered with a couple of stream crossings and a final in a very pleasant point near the water's edge.

We were about halfway to the second cache when Ali started to look for her cell phone. It seemed like mission impossible, but it was her phone. We both thought the most likely spot to drop a phone was at the widest stream crossing where we both made a jump across. We headed back to our starting point and began to slowly walk the trail. Every 100 or so feet I would use my cell to call her cell. In the end we walked and called and walked some more. We finally gave up when my phone charge finally died.

Later when we arrived home and Ali called her cell with the land line, her phone happily chirped in the next room. ;-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

4 February 2012 Ashtabula

I was back in Ohio for the weekend, and we wanted to do some caching. There was a new cache at Morgan Swamp which is a nature conservatory property which includes an old glacial lakebed. The holding is almost 1500 acres and promised a chance to walk some nice trails and find a cache. The cache was really close to parking, but there was a trail with a boardwalk nearby that offered an adventure. I was really disappointed when our 'adventure' ended about .2 miles away at an observation deck. This was it? The area offered so much promise. It offered a great walk. Oh well, we regrouped and headed to the Ashtabula Greenway Trail for more caching and all the walking we wanted. For the third time this short year, we also ran into another cacher on the trail. It was great to meet another new face and share some time on the trail.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

31 January 2012 Flying to Mexico Twice

It's about one hour and fifteen minutes from Houston to Monterrey. We were in the air for about an hour when the pilot began to turn the jet around. He spoke over the intercom and informed us all there was an alarm indicator in the cockpit. We were returning to Houston for repairs. The return flight was thankfully uneventful. We sat on the tarmac for a while so repairs could be made to the jet. We were soon back in the air for a return flight to Monterrey. The whole trip took over three hours, but we arrived safely.

I've never seen rain in Houston before.

Monterrey Airport was fairly quiet when we arrived after nine.

My room in Mexico was really comfortable.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

29 January 2012 2 Hours 7 Minutes

We had the afternoon planned out. We were going to take a nice walk at Berlin with the dogs and hunt a few new caches, followed by a few cemetery finds, and a final stop at Lake Milton or West Branch to finish the day. Berlin was fun with a few finds and a nice walk on a grey day. We dnf'd a cemetery find at our next stop. Actually our dnf was a did not retrieve. I spotted the cache and tried to retrieve, but it was in a cavity and slid back to a point where we could not get it out. We did get to spot a Revolutionary War Veteran's grave marker in the cemetery. We were both cold and the afternoon was winding down so we decided to stop at Lake Milton to finish the day. The cache there was a find of one Ali couldn't retrieve about a month earlier when she was caching alone. On the way back to parking, the weather got extremely windy. Our drive home was interesting.

2:37 along the shore at Berlin...

3:40 Revolutionary War Veteran Ezekial Mott...

3:44 nice red headed woodpecker spotted in the cemetery...

4:21 leaving Lake Milton...

4:22 the snow quickens...

4:28 this is going to be a long drive home...

4:34 snow's over...

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

21 January 2012 We Had Snow!

The day had arrived for the Winterfest Event and we had snow! There wasn't a lot, but there was enough for everyone attending the event to have a good time. We also relocated the event to a yurt this year so we had more room for people to visit and enjoy the day.

The late snow came too late to save the sled dog events. There was an open activity for showing your dog teams. The dog teams in attendance were much quieter than the hard driving competition teams, but they were fun to watch.

We had time during the quieter moments of the event to take a walk and say hi to friends on the trails.

The sled hills were busy with kids and adults enjoying the snow and the mild temperatures.

Despite the warnings for people to stay clear of the water and the unsafe ice, someone managed to fall through and give the local water rescue teams a chance to show their abilities. The ice hole can be seen in the middle of the image.

There was no sleigh this year, but the weather was perfect for a horse-drawn ride.

Mini-doughnuts have become an annual treat for us and many other visitors to the event. The cinnamon sugar ones are a perfect treat for a cold afternoon filled with lots of activities.

The ducks enjoyed the day too.

After the event and after everyone had gone home, we packed up and headed to the North Country Trail for a small hike. It was a perfect evening for a quiet walk together in the woods.