Sunday, June 29, 2014

13 February 2014 Moonlight Caching in North Chagrin

I don't remember which cache we were searching for on this moonlit night. I do remember neither the moonlight nor our flashlights helped us make the find on this cold evening. We didn't look for long, but wisely went back to our warm home.

9 February 2014 Snowshoes at Holden

Normally, we would have brought our cross-country skis today and covered a lot of territory at the arboretum. I still have very little stamina after being sick so we brought our snowshoes and enjoyed a relaxing walk through the frosted trees.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

8 February 2014 Walking on Water

We don't go out in the boat very often. At one time Mogadore was one of my favorite destinations. It is quite deep for a reservoir in spots and always had good bass fishing. There are multiple caches on the islands, but the payback for the effort is never enough for us to head out in good weather. Since the winter had been horrendously cold, there was a thick layer of ice. It was time for us to walk on frozen water.

Ali leads the way. Um, isn't that my jacket? ;-)

The first island looms ahead.

Life on an island!

These were the second and third islands we visited on our walk. We were getting farther and farther from the safety of the shore...

With our finds made, it was time for the journey back to shore. It is beautiful, but that doesn't make it warm.

I used to fish here. It's a long way down.

There are more caches on the ice that way, but I'm just happy to see shore.

I celebrated leaving the ice by making a snow angel.

It was fun, and I didn't fall through the ice, but I hope spring is here early.

Monday, June 23, 2014

1 February 2014 Rough-Legged Hawk

We were on our way to Warren and stopped at the State Game Lands near Pymatuning to look for eagles. Ali spotted an eagle, but I missed the picture. I was finally able to get at least a distant image of the timid, rough-legged hawk we spotted a few weeks prior.

The roads were a little slippery so our caching day was short.

We stopped for a cache near this frozen stream.

A tall, isolated tree stand we spotted on our last walk of the afternoon.

26 January 2014 Exploring a New Trail

The new Cleveland Metropark's geocaching policy has been in place for about two years, Besides a number of caches in the park for us to find, it has taken us to many new trails. Each time we think we have seen the last, a local cacher sends us to a new location. Today we explored a short trail which was new for us in Bedford Reservation.

Friday, June 20, 2014

25 January 2014 Home Finally

I've lost count of the number of times I've been in the Minneapolis Airport when it's empty. This morning I was anticipating finally getting home.

Not all the gates in Delta's area at Minneapolis have been upgraded with tablets and personal space. B11 still sports its 60's era bus station decor.

A waiting jet at your gate is a happy sight. :)

Ali picked me up at the airport with the dogs. After much happiness and dog greeting we headed to Beyer's Pond for a couple geocaching finds. The snow was deep on the trails, but the day was clear.

The weather deteriorated when we moved from Beyer's Pond to Mill Stream Reservation. Besides the two of us geocaching with the dogs, there was a group playing a very spirited kickball game and a couple riding their bikes with the first snow tires I have seen for bikes.

24 January 2014 Unexpected Delay

Fog ice was still visiting the greater Spokane area so I decided to take the roads to the airport rather than the highway. I had a little time to spare and stopped for a couple caches. The ice made the rocks treacherous so I passed by a multi I was hoping to seek. Instead I settled for a quick find in a park and an early arrival at the airport.

There are only two places where I have been able to sleep and rest for years, in a moving vehicle and on a plane. I almost never sit in a window seat. My preference is an aisle while I often get the middle seat. Either way, I can easily fall asleep before the plane pushes back from the gate. Today, I had the very infrequent pleasure of sitting three across with no one else in my row. I looked out, saw the mountains, and decided to try a few images. The view was awesome.

By the time we reached the lights of greater Minneapolis and started to circle, it was clear this was not a good evening to be flying home through Minneapolis. The clear skies of earlier in my flight had been replaced with lots of snow. When I reached my connecting gate, the gate crew was already giving condolences to the passengers headed to Cleveland. I was lucky and able to board the first flight to Detroit Saturday with a mid-morning connection to Cleveland. Since the flight was cancelled for maintenance issues and not weather, Delta was giving lodging to a number of us. In the end, I was a lot luckier than the guy in front of me in line. He was hoping to get a flight to Detroit at 1 a.m. and rent a car which he would then drive to Cleveland where his tuxedo was waiting in his car at the airport parking for his noon wedding the next day. I hope he made it.

After waiting 45 minutes for the hotel taxi to arrive on its 20-minute cycle, the few and lucky amongst the stranded travelers were taken to a nearby DoubleTree Hotel for a night's lodging courtesy of Delta. The DoubleTree was tired and looked very chic for maybe 1990, but the time has passed for its decor including room phones that didn't function for room service. I was surprised to be in a handicapped-accessible room on the twentieth floor. Wouldn't it be a mess trying to evacuate a wheelchair from the twentieth floor in an emergency? Down on the first floor the climate was loud and busy with something called the Zuhrah Potentate's Ball. There was loud music, lots of alcohol, and a number of young ladies with little on in the way of clothing. All I wanted was dinner.

I didn't feel like waiting for room service or eating in the bar (either would have been a better choice) so I ventured out to the nearby Dairy Queen. I also decided to search for the cache that was hidden at the border between the hotel and the DQ. It would have been our first find in Minnesota if I had been able to reach the container. The cache is in the big pile of snow at the bottom of the image below. The person seeking the cache before me made the profound observation that a cache hanging in one of those evergreens behind the fence would have many more finds from out-of-town guests in Minnesota winters. ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

23 January 2014 Commercial Caching

We hunt caches by businesses less and less frequently. I searched for a couple this evening just to get past cabin fever and to get a couple hours closer to going home. I found a small container near this old Chevy truck at one of the many Spokane coffee shops.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

22 January 2014 Fog Ice

I learned a new term on this Spokane trip, fog ice. The person at the rental counter recognizes me by name because I travel here so often. The evening before, he had suggested I upgrade to a sport ute because there was fog ice in the area each evening. At 11 in the evening the ice had not yet formed. I sampled the fog ice on leaving my hotel this morning and when trying to take a brisk, morning walk along the Centennial Trail. With high humidity, night lows in the upper 20's, and day highs in the mid 30's, the weather was perfect for fog ice. The fog arrived in the evening and turned to a thin layer of ice on every exposed surface as the temperature dropped. By nine or ten the next morning it was gone. I gave up on the walk.

21 January 2014 New Look at Minneapolis Airport.

The Minneapolis Airport has a new look. The site has been updated with personal computing areas and eating booths. Each area has its own tablets with free internet access. If you want to eat a meal, you can use the tablets to order a meal which will be delivered to your own personal space. The airport hasn't grown in actual size, they've just replaced lots of airport chairs with a few comfy spaces. Somehow during busy times, actual fliers have to negotiate through the many diners and beer and wine consumers. If you are in Minneapolis when the airport isn't crowded, it is a super place to wait for Delta to figure out where your plane is. If the airport is crowded, it is a bit like pandemonium. Large planes will have lines of passengers so long they will wind through the personal booths and airport shops like a human snake. I was lucky on this quiet evening to able to enjoy my own personal space while waiting for Delta.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

19 January 2014 Snow and Ice at Holden

18 January 2014 Walking the Western Reserve Greenway Trail

It was a bright day perfect for a walk on the Greenway Trail. We called the day early once Phineas started to look cold. We're still getting used to having a beagle again.

Spring must be near. The ice has melted.

Monday, June 16, 2014

12 January 2014 SGL272

We stopped for a visit at a roadside stream with fishing access for a cache find. After that we made a small loop of caching at SGL272. The caches were hidden well so a little snow in the right places made for tough hunts.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

11 January 2014 Conneaut Lake

We started our afternoon finding a couple caches near corn fields at a game lands just east of Pymatuning. The gamelands is known to often be home to eagles so we were hoping for an early spotting. We had no luck with the eagles, but Ali spotted a new hawk (and I missed getting a picture).

Our second stop in Conneaut Lake was at the lakefront park. There was a new cache placed in the park beyond the beach area. Conneaut Lake is one of the places where we have watched ice fisherman. We've seen a parade of fisherman following the lead person while that person checks the ice. Today, the ice was being heavily used by fishermen despite the inch or so of water that stood on top of the ice. We always wonder how much trust it takes to walk on a lake with significant water or rain accumulation. Today the ice held and we found the cache so it was time to move on.

Our last stop was a State Game Lands which is only open for a few months each year. These gamelands are closed for a portion of each year to protect the nesting eagles in the area. There are also a few geocaches placed here with very little access time. This was the last weekend the area would be open so we wanted to stop on the hope that we might be able to see nesting activity and find the caches. We missed the eagles and found only one of three caches. The weather was biting cold and raining so our caching day ended here.