Wednesday, December 31, 2014
For much of this summer I had wondered if our biking days were done. For a number of reasons, we hadn't been out and the season was drawing to a close. I grabbed a vacation day so we could enjoy a dry day to close out the weekend. We spent part of it with a nice ride. It was wonderful to be on the bike. It made for a super vacation day.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
By this point I was finished with walking rain soaked trails so the prospect of being out today was not one I wanted to face. Today's long walk on the NCT was a mix of nice trails and sloppy, muddy oil fields. I enjoyed the tall rocks and wooded trails and loathed slopping through the nasty endless mud created by the dozens of new wells drilled in the ANF. The area here has been altered and damaged to a point it will never recover in my lifetime.
The walk along the old railroad grade has always been one of our favorites. Over the years it had become overgrown with invasives. Last summer, the forest service conducted a very aggressive removal of invasive species. Their work removed everything. We were hoping they had managed the move so the native wildflowers would return and flourish. This afternoon we enjoyed seeing the return of the native wildflowers.
Monday, December 29, 2014
It was time for the Great Geauga County Fair which meant we could spend the day with friends and enjoy the activities. We made our rounds of most barns with most of the time spent with the goats. It has been interesting to watch the raised breeds change over the years as market demand has changed. Meat goats are becoming more prominent replacing dairy goats at fairs.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
We were back for day 3 of the star. This was the day to find the few missing caches and find the remaining hides. Despite rain on a grey day, this was my favorite day of the series since much of finds were hidden along an old rail trail giving us a chance to park the truck and walk rather than driving from point-to-point for roadside hides. Despite being a weaker time for sights along the trail, we had fun and enjoyed the views. I was skeptical about this trail. I am not a fan geo-sketches (they have nothing to do with art). I'm even less of a fan of cache owners never even seeing the powertrails they "own". I think it's bad for the game, and it is very easy for the true owner to hide if something happens like an unhappy land owner or law enforcement intervention. The person who places the caches has no control over the listing pages and the owner has no idea where or how the caches are hidden. It's a recipe for bad things happening. This series was lucky since the local hider is a responsible cacher.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Groundspeak asked reviewers in specific regions to host events and distribute free Airstream trackable tags to attendees. We teamed up with our eastern Ohio co-reviewer Tom Bombadil to host an after-work event. I was able to work with Cleveland Metroparks so we could host an event with 125-150 people. We placed a few caches with vacation themes. Before the event we took a walk to check the caches and spotted a very nice butterfly on ironweed. Geocaching trackable heat transfer.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Over the 4th of July holiday we had made a short caching trip to a few of the more remote areas of McKean County so we could complete the challenge cache requirements for a cache at Marilla. With the challenge unfound after four months, we made a visit to Marilla to enjoy the trails and be the first to log a find on the challenge there. The water was beautiful with many fish clearly visible from the shore.