Monday, June 25, 2012

15 April 2012 Sheldon Marsh

Our spring trip to Sheldon Marsh is usually filled with birds and wildlife. It's often cold with a stiff wind. Not so today as the warm spring weather carried over to our visit. Despite a few great looking trilliums, it was clear the warm weather had advanced the area more than our usual visits. We are used to lots of sightings of herons, egrets, ducks, and songbirds with an occasional eagle. Today, we spotted a solitary heron with a few egrets.

After Sheldon Marsh we stopped for an ice cream visit to Tofts. We have been working to complete the Ohio Great 880 Challenge so we headed Sandusky to bring the county to ten finds. We stopped to find a cache at a small farm market. I usually do not have allergic reactions, but there was something at the farm along the fence line that caused a stong allergic reaction. From there to Clyde, I struggled to breathe. Thankfully a stop at a pharmacy brought relief.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

14 April 2012 North Chagrin and Whitlam Woods

We had permission for a new hide in North Chagrin Reservation. I drove over to the park and took a wet walk on the trails to place the cache while Ali ran a few other errands. The trail runs along a small ridge and has some nice overlooks. I spotted a salamander while placing the first stage.

In the afternoon we took Gwen and Eva to Whitlam Woods for a long walk on the trail. The day was still grey and wet, but there were some nice violets and a few areas of dwarf ginseng in bloom along the trail.

April 12 2012 South Chagrin Wildflowers

Since warm weather had arrived early, I stopped at South Chagrin to look for wild hyacynths and white trout lilies. I spotted a few white trout lilies, but none were at an angle where I could take an image of the drooping flowers. It was too early for the wild hyacynths, but there were plenty of these blue wild phlox along the trail.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

11 April 2012 Long Ride Home

It's not much difference, distance-wise, between the drives home from Niagara Falls and Columbia City. For some reason, the Columbia City trek just seems longer. Maybe it is the years of driving to the Falls. The location and the journey have become second nature. I know just about every place to stop and rest or take a break. That's not the case when I am coming home from Indiana. There have also been so many trips this year without much satisfaction. The miles are really wearing. I stopped for a few caches on the way to break the journey. This was a rest stop cache. All that remained is the top half of a beach tube. Funny, despite that , a bunch of desperate cachers continue to log the top of a beach tube container as a find.

It is interesting to see the differences of approach to wind turbines in western Ohio and eastern Indiana. My travels around eastern Indiana took me past dozens of signs stating no turbines. In western Ohio, the turbines are common and plentiful. I wonder what the thoughts of eastern Indiana residents would be if they were faced with fracking and ruined water supplies instead of wind turbines...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

9 April 2012 Old Ford

I couldn't get a room in Fort Wayne so I headed south to stay in Huntington. I stopped at a drug store for juice and spotted this sweet, old Ford in the parking lot. Later, I noticed it parked at my hotel with the owner. The couple was taking a quiet journey along Route 30.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

7 April 2012 Cattaraugus and the Amish Geotrail

We spent multiple trips over two summers a few years ago completing the Enchanted Mountains Geotrail. While the trail took us to some outstanding spots in Cattaraugus County, it was a real time consumer and had some awful caches in super locations. The Cattaragus County tourist people appeared to really re-think the geotrail idea before releasing the Amish Geotrail. This version of the Cattaraugus trail was much lighter trail fare. The caches twelve feet up in a snag in a state forest or located on a floating bog are gone. They have been replaced with a lot of caches near tourist retail locations. There's a few cemetery locations and a nice spot by a quiet fishing hole mixed in. Most of the retail was closed as we made our pleasant journey through the county, but we had a fun day and another nice memory of caching in Cattaraugus. If your in the area, the trail is fun. If it's a new county for your caching map, the Zoar Valley area offers some super caching and hiking opportunites.

We've been in South Dayton a number of times, but knew nothing of the history of this old depot until today. This depot has the distinction of being in two movies, The Natural and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

This was our last cache of the day at a surprise roadside waterfall. It was not part of the Amish Geotrail, but was a nice find. We're glad someone placed a cache near here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

6 April 2012 Four Stops

I was on my way home from Cortland and wanted to enjoy the journey. A colleague had suggested a visit to the Cornell Ornithology Lab for a walk. It was my first stop. When I arrived, I was happy to see there was also a cache at the facility. Depsite the cars in the parking lots, the trails were empty.

Ali says this in a boreal chickadee. It was one of the many sites on my walk at the Cornell Lab.

This work is called Sapsucker Cairn. I liked the use of native materials. The cache was near the piece.

This was a peaceful spot near the ponds. There are a few nesting platforms on the water. At least a few have web cams with links on the Cornell site. I thought I spotted osprey hatchlings in one of the nests, but it was too far away for a good photo.

Stop two was a visit to Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca. I have been hoping to stop here and walk the trails for a while, but Ithaca traffic usually kills my enthusiasm. Today the traffic was manageable, and I was ready for a long walk and a trail climb.

Unfortunately, I forgot the trails aren't fully open until mid-May in this part of New York. In a normal year, there is always a real chance of spring snows which could make the trails deadly. This was my first of two gates. I left the hike along side the falls for another visit and opted for the open trails away from the falls. It was a nice walk and a good climb.

My third stop was a trail that ran behind Buttermilk Falls. There was a high terrain cache there, and I was able to spot the parking area. The trail was worth the walk. The small falls on the back side of the state park was a true bonus.

The fourth and final stop before my journey home was in Sullivanville in Chemung County. There are three caches in the park. Two are higher terrain. I stopped for the high-terrain caches, but enjoyed my walk along the water.

Friday, June 08, 2012

5 April 2012 Grey Clouds

It seemed once I got near Ithaca, my trip turned into grey skies. This evening was no exception. After a couple caches and a great look at this turkey, it was time to call it an evening.

One of the strange, fun finds from my time in Cortland has been the Pontillo's Restaurant in town. When Ali and I first met, we were both engineers with BP. We traveled to the Niagara Falls area together for a number of business trips. Ali started the habit of staying in Lockport which at the time had a Pontillo's Pizza in town. I have great, fun memories of going to Pontillo's and getting pizza before retiring to a hotel room with a number of young engineers to enjoy the pizza and watch Mets games. I always remembered them for having huge pizzas which were impossible for one person to eat. Pontillo's now has a smaller pie called a Pontini. If I skip all the meals but a light breakfast and have a busy day at work, I can get an appetite large enough for a Pontini. I've traveled alone for work for over two decades, but it's nice to remember days when we were all young lions and the world was still waiting for us.