Sunday, December 30, 2012

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.

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