Tuesday, December 24, 2013

3 August 2013 Caching State Parks

We enjoyed a nice meal and a quiet evening in London,Ohio before continuing our journey. Today's plan was to visit Madison Lake, Deercreek, and A.W. Marion State Parks with some other local caches mixed in. We've been tying to visit new state parks so we can qualify for the Ohio State Park Challenge. Some of the visits have been happy exploration of a new park. Most of them have fallen in the area of 'we've been there and won't be going back.' Madison Lake and Deercreek are definately one visit parks. Madison Lake Park was smaller than most of the county parks in Northeast Ohio. The trail needed a big CITO. Deercreek State Park looked like what would be a hunting and fishing wildlife area anywhere else in the state. I understand that Columbus is the state capital and those nearest the capital get the most pork, but these places stretch the limits of the term state park.

Deercreek at least yielded a nice spotting of an indigo bunting and a few other birds. At one time in a better day of geocaching, cachers tended to hide the largest container a spot would hold. Now it seems some are intent to leave caches until they run out of micros. We had fun at a stop near Deercreek where we found a cache at a bait shop which was owned by cachers with a lot of friendly cats. It was fun to visit and talk caching. We also spotted the leaf-less plants below near Deercreek. These weren't in bloom, but looked intriguing.

You can't pick your caching days. We were happy to stay under this small picnic pavilion while the rain pounded down. We missed the cache hidden here, but were glad to be dry.

Unending flatness and corn fields were the order of the day. We passed this field walking back to a cemetery hide.

A.W. Marion saved the afternoon for caching. It was an attractive park with nice trails and a quiet horsepower-free lake. With almost all micros and many of them missing or in need of maintenance, the geocaching was weak, but we got some walking time to end the day. A.W. Marion is one of the growing parks and public trails that are being blanket covered with caches being placed by one or two cachers. Despite being only about a year old, all the caches we found on this visit, including a nice Chirp hide, have all been archived and churned with a powertrail of micros. When the sizes and hides are mixed by a good hider, it can be a memorable afternoon. It usually doesn't turn out so well. We'll pass by a return to A.W. Marion to seek the current crop of hides.

I really hoped we had time to paddle on the lake.

I've started to measure a good day by how many favorite votes we spend. It makes sense that exploring a new area should give more reasons to spend favorite cache votes since there are older, time-tested caches in an area that's never been visited. Today, we saved our existing favorite votes and built favorite votes for future days. Three more Ohio State Parks visited with way too many remaining...

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