Thursday, July 31, 2014

10 March 2014 Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks...

I was hoping as I headed into Western Ohio and Indiana to see less and less snow and more signs of spring. The snow was clearly disappearing near the ballfields, but when I was in the shade of the trees on the trails there were still drifts at least a foot deep. It didn't make for successful caching, but a little exercise on the journey is always the goal.

9 March 2013 Mill Creek Park

It's tree-tapping time. Can spring be far away?

I wanted to walk in a different park today. Mill Creek Park seemed a perfect choice. The park is the gem of the Youngstown area with miles of trails and a beautiful old mill. It had been years since my last visit. It seemed the perfect place for an afternoon adventure.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

8 March 2014 Secrest Arboretum

Secrest Arboretum is on the grounds of OSU's agricultural school. It includes a rose garden named Garden of Roses of Legend and Romance. Is probably a wonderful place when the roses and other flowers are in bloom. Today, it was bitterly cold with a driving freezing rain. Our second stop was at Gerstenslager-Martin Park to look for a series of caches in a loop around the park. We missed about half the caches we searched for, but it was a fun day out.

The entrance to The Garden of Roses of Legend and Romance

Sculptures at Secrest

The log cabin at Gerstenslager-Martin Park

Thursday, July 17, 2014

6 March 2014 Visiting the Surgeon

My youthful memories of a dentist are filled with a sadistic jerk our parents sent us to visit. I remember taunts and stupid comments while at his mercy in the chair. He was a man who thought pain was a natural part of seeing him. Needless to say, I've spent my adult life hating the thought of any dentist. Beyond that, my health issues have made most surgeries a last resort type of option. I finally reached a point where I needed dental surgery for an abcess. Good or bad, it was going to happen.

My dental experience of recent has been the complete opposite of the memories of my youth. Today the surgeon was beyond super. Everything happened as explained. The pain I had been told to expect either never happened or the events of my adult life have made me oblivious to the pain of dental surgery. Either way, it was great to take another step forward.

My doctor gives a reassuring thumbs up.

You're getting sleepy.

Please, don't make me ride in the chair.

Freedom is just down the hall.

Just a few more feet and I can get out of this chair.

After a long nap, we went for a cold, short walk at Metzenbaum

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1 March 2014 Detroit Airport at 6 a.m.

This is probably not the place to be at 6 a.m. if you've had a rough night.

After walking the disturbing tunnel and finding out the maps were outdated because there are no more Tim Horton stands in the airport, I decided to just hang out at the gate and watch this frustrated sparrow who was trapped in the terminal.

My flight was on time. :) When I arrived in Cleveland, Ali met me at the airport with Gwen and Phineas. After much happiness was shared we were off to Rocky River Reservation for a few caches. Our first cache became our last for the day at Rocky River. We hadn't expected the trails to be icy still. Our first walk was along a trail near the river. In better weather, this would have been a fun journey. With a very happy and excited beagle, I was just happy to not fall in. The only thing stranger than us walking this trail was a family with a toddler on the trail. We enjoyed watching ducks at the open water, found the cache and headed for the safer terrain of Hinckley.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

28 February 2014 Visiting Salt Lake City

Delta always seems to have issues in Minneapolis. This morning I arrived at Spokane Airport to a long line at the counter. A quick glance at the departure board showed bad news. I was supposed to he home in Northeast Ohio by 10:30. I hadn't reached the counter and already knew my Friday arrival wasn't going to happen. When I got to the counter, I was told Delta didn't have a jet so the Minneapolis flight wasn't going to be late. It wasn't going to happen.

The person at the check-in counter was amazing. She found me a way home using a red-eye through Salt Lake City and Detroit. I wouldn't be home Friday evening, but with a littl luck I could make it home early Saturday morning. I jumped at this option. The only "drawback" was over seven hours layover in Salt Lake City.

I spent some of my layover time wishing I could leave the airport and head into the mountains for a few finds. After longing for some Utah geocaching and eating a burger at an airport restaurant which thankfully didn't kill me, there was little left to do but wander the terminal and look for things to photograph.

Need Help?

This is the first time I've seen an emergency-gurney, golf cart tucked away like this.

Salt Lake City's airport had a couple of throwbacks making me check my cell phone calendar to be certain I hadn't slipped back twenty years. The first was this pay phone kiosk. It's a lot of real estate trapped in the past.

My second look back to the past was the smoking room below. It had been years since I last sighted one of these at the airport in Phoenix. At that time, I thought that one was antiquated. I walked past this a few times over a roughly two-hour period. I was surprised to see the same guy in the same seat each time I went past. He was never smoking, just sitting back and slowly inhaling carcinogens created by others. Maybe there were some deep feelings of guilt that kept him seated in that room breathing cigarette smoke for hours. I felt sorry for the person sitting next to him on his flight.

At long last, I was on the plane. I always think it's sort of funny that Delta thinks these lap napkins are "blankets".

Thursday, July 10, 2014

27 February 2014 Foggy, Grey Day

I decided to change the location this evening and went for a walk along the Spokane River Centennial Trail along Mirabeau Parkway. We had a solved puzzle along this trail and there were other caches to find. The puzzle solution kept taking me to a fence with the cache appearing to be beyond the fence. I don't cross fences unless there is clear information on the cache page to send me forward. I found one other cache and decided to not to climb the rocks for the last.

Color was absent on this grey day.

There's a cache up there. Most evenings, I would have eagerly climbed the rocks. I passed by the chance this wet, icy evening.

It was a peaceful way to end the day.

26 February 2014 Take Me to the River

I enjoyed my morning walk the day before so much that I stopped again this morning while on my way to the office. I enjoyed the sunrise and another cache before a day of work.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

25 February 2014 Along the Spokane River

Since my luggage was not due until sometime late afternoon, I needed new clothes and safety shoes to wear to our site. Since I had to wait for stores to open, I went for a walk along the Spokane River on a section of state park land. Like northeast Ohio the day before, it was a cold beautiful day to be out. It was too cold to search for long, but I found one cache and got some exercise while waiting for the stores.

24 February 2014 Return to Spokane

Not that trail....

The blue sky was deceptive. I try to pack lightly and Spokane is usually warmer than Northeast Ohio so I wasn't prepared for a little afternoon caching in Rocky River Reservation before my evening flight. Spending time with Ali was great, but it was seriously cold.

I arrived, but my clothes didn't. Somehow United can't work out the part where I give them $25 so my bag arrives with me. Snow at 11 pm is not a good sign. I was a little cold while cleaning the rental in a light fleece jacket and sport shoes.

It's not a good sign when you have traveled cross-country enough to know the guy at the car rental counter, and he knows you well enough to already switch your reservation to a sport ute to deal with the snow. The service is great and he's a nice guy, but everytime I see him, it means I am on the other side of the country.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

23 Feburary 2014 Leaving Athens

We made one last park visit to find a climbing cache and another 2001 hide before heading home. The climb was fun although the view wasn't amazing. We probably stayed a couple hours longer in the area than was prudent. By the time we were in Morgan County, the mild Athens weather was in the past as we tried to beat the snow home.

When I was a kid, everyone knew something about the Indy 500. It was a television spectacle. Even those who really didn't care about auto racing knew names like A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, and Al Unser. I was never a racing fan, but probably saw more Indy laps on television than any other race. During Memorial Day weekend, it seemed to be on TV everywhere. Now it seems like there is a different NASCAR race on each time I scan the TV so Indy seems to have faded to the background. It was still an interesting fact to learn that the original bricks for the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway came from a tiny town in Southeastern Ohio.

22 February 2014 Athens and Vinton County

Our plans for today were to attend the local geocaching event before heading off for some older caches and caches in Vinton County. Before the event we took a walk to find a few caches along the water and stopped at the library for a puzzle cache. The puzzle was one of the more fun and creative geocache puzzles we have solved. The event was held at a local coffee shop (this is a college town). It was a throwback event where people gathered and socialized. We had a great time.

We found one of the handful of old caches in the area at the end of a trail behind the cemetery. The tank below appears to be a gathering point for the locals. The wooden pallet propped an angle to serve as steps was a scary addition.

Water Tank Art

The mild weather brought out lots of people. We were hunting a letterbox cache at the entrance to a woods trail at the rear of a cemetery when the area got very busy. We had been near the cache area and noticed a dead deer behind a pedestrian bridge and alongside a stream. Trying to return the container, we had to wait through a series of a family where each of the teenage sons needed to be photographed near the dead deer. A pair of couples decided the deceased animal was the highlight of their day on the trail. Lastly, a college age couple decided to sit on a downed log within a few feet of the dead animal and hold hands while sneaking kisses. I don't see a really romantic location when I think of a downed log near a dead deer, but to each his own. Through this all, Ali sat on a bench overlooking a nearby pond patiently waiting with the container. In the end she walked over to the romantic couple, explained geocaching and replaced the container since they appeared to be there for the long run.

This was our icy pond view while we waited for muggles to go away.

We stopped to visit the lonely park ranger at the Lake Hope Nature Center before heading off for a longer trail walk through the woods and along the shore. This was one of a few older caches (2002) we were able to find this weekend.

The view at Hope Lake was grand where we stopped for a roadside cache. The bench makes for a great view which was mostly ice for the day.

Hope Furnace in Vinton County is a well-kept piece of the past. The iron furnacs in Vinton County ushered US military to a new level when they provided the iron that became the cladding panels for the Union's Civil Warship the Monitor.

It probably looks faster standing still than it ever was in the air. The top speed on this trainer according to the display sign was 600 mph. I say pilots were really brave.

The late afternoon air let us both know it was still winter. We had a fun day out, but the cache at Cox Covered Bridge was our last of the day.