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.