Monday, December 31, 2012

26 September 2012 Town of Cambria Nature Trail

25 September 2012 Around the Falls

Hoover's is a new ice cream/food stand within minutes of my office. I stopped by at lunch today with a colleague. They have very good shakes.

It has been such a hectic year that I hadn't bothered to stop at a car cruise during the entire summer. I was driving to Alethea's to buy chocolates for Ali and saw there was a late cruise at Pautler's Drive In in Clarence. It's not my favorite place to eat, but it was fun to stop and walk through the cars.

My favorite Camaro. Make it dark green and get rid of the vinyl roof, and I would have been in love. It's not a year that most like, but I liked the simple fun of the early Camaro. If I ever had one old car, this would have been it. This one was a beauty.

24 September 2012 Sunset at the Beach

Sunday, December 30, 2012

23 September 2012 Back in New York

I needed to be in New York for business on Monday while Ali needed to be back in Ohio for work. I wanted to spend as much time as possible together so we decided to hike the rail trail that crosses from Pennsylvania into New York. We found some good caches and the dogs seemed happy.

After Ali and the dogs headed for home in Ohio, I continued in New York to hunt a few caches. My first stop was a cemetery which had a grave for Massachusetts Minuteman Asa Gage.

I thought of going to Busti and finishing a series of caches I had started to find last year, but I still wanted some time on the trail and wanted to search for full size caches so I made my way over to the nearby state forest to hit the trail. It is a good place to hike and offered a number of caches we hadn't found. I found the first and had just signed the log when my luck with no rain ran out. I was glad I can still run so I could get out of the forest without being totally soaked.

22 September 2012 Union City Reservoir

We always enjoy a visit to Union City Reservoir. It is a pleasant place to walk with good trails. The caches here are usually top notch too. It has been closed for most of the year as the water supply system was upgraded. We knew it was supposed to re-open in September and were happy to see the gates open when we drove through town. Since we had a number of unfound caches here, it made a great place to stop and let the dogs enjoy the afternoon. Rain kept threatening and eventually settled in, but it was still a fun visit.

15 September 2012 Last Day on the Seaway Trail GeoTrail

All vacations end. Today this one was going to end. It was going to be a different day for us. Instead of visiting places we hadn't seen in ages, we were going to cache in an area where we were both familiar. We planned to start in Wilson which is one of the nicest places in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area. We were going to then head to Tonawanda which is not far from my office in the area, but not a place I visit often for caching. A couple stops in Buffalo and a visit to a state park would allow us to get our last coin. We were going to celebrate the final coin by hiking the gorge trail and heading west and home along the lake shore.

The plan was perfect. The reality wasn't. Our day started off wonderfully. We stopped at Wilson Harbor and hunted endlessly for a tough multi which we eventually found. We were treated to a fleet of sailboats headed out for probably their last race of the season.

I found from reading the logs on the cache page that these old industrial tanks were used to store natural gas at a manufacturing plant. The center section was actually a bladder that filled and contracted as gas was stored and removed. They are an oddity today standing at the edge of a parking lot at a marina.

Cache Guardian

Our day turned when we got to the Buffalo area. The first cache was a well done puzzle placed by a friend using information near historical signs at the museum. After the cache, we enjoyed a visit to the Japanese Gardens and got a few images that look like the scenes belong on old time tinted postcards.

The day came apart at the next cache. Buffalo Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place. We enjoyed a fun visit here before, and I was excited for a return. I hoped we had a few minutes to stop and visit the indoor area after we found the cache. We found the cache and signed the log. Ali was returning the container to its hiding spot when she got stung the first time. The stings continued. We weren't far into the woods, but getting her out of the woods was tough because she was so upset and everytime I got near her they came after me.

Even when we cleared the woods, they were still around and in her clothes. They got in the geomobile. It was horrendous. She didn't have her epi pen. Thankfully, I still had a box of benadryl from earlier this year in the glove box so she could get some relief. Once her pulse dropped, I stopped searching my phone for the nearest hospital. She slept for a while as I finished the geotrail.

We made our first visit to Beaver Island State Park. It looked like a great park, but Ali was at best groggy from the meds. I searched for the one Seaway GeoTrail cache here and we moved on leaving the other caches in the park for a better day.

We had all our required finds for the last coin on the trail. We stopped in downtown Niagara Falls to claim the find. This was the only visitor center that was really disappointing. The employee at the counter showed indifference to us being there. She gave us the coins without asking for paperwork or checking our passports. This was the fourth visitor center on our journey. The other three had friendly, engaged staff and made for a fun visit.

Ali insisted she was up for a gorge hike so off we went. We were hiking for a cache I have wanted to find for years. We got very close once years ago, but ran out of time. Today was the day to finally mark this one as found. The weather was perfect. The Niagara was roaring. The trail was closed!!!!! We were within a couple hundred feet of the cache when we came upon the trail closed sign. Curses, foiled again. :-( Maybe someday the Big Kahunas will be found by us.

The last of the day's sun casts a bright light on the Buffalo skyline from the shore west of the city. It was a real scare with Ali's stings, but we came back whole.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

14 September 2012 Rain and Travel

We had a long day of driving to make our next resting place in Lockport. We started our day with a visit to Sackett's Harbor to claim our second-last coin. It is a super town. One that makes you wish for a few more days to do nothing but hang around. After that we made our way toward Seneca Falls for a visit. We had not been to Seneca Falls since before we started caching. It is an historical place to visit and was a hole in our New York counties. On this visit, the visitor center was open so we stopped and Ali signed the guest book. We had a long drive and didn't give the area as much time as we would normally when we visit. We drove back to the Niagara Falls area in rain, but were able to finish the evening with a find along the Niagara River as the sun went down. One more day of caching in an area very familiar to us awaited before our trip home.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

13 September 2012 Eisenhower Lock

We hoped to see ships on this vacation... lots of them. It was almost time to start home and no ships. We had an open day to do whatever we wanted and decided to return to the Eisenhower Lock to get the Seaway GeoTrail cache at the state park, stop at the visitor center and maybe spot a ship. The visitor center was closed so we moved on to the lock. Luck was on our side! Not only was the Algoma Spirit in the River, it was just moving into the lock. We played geeks and stayed for the whole process of bringing the ship into the lock, raising it in the lock, and getting it underway. It was great. After the lock we spent the day hunting caches near the water.

The bow of the Algoma Spirit rises in the lock.

I had no idea these were equipped with escape pods.

Clear of the lock and under way again.