Thursday, February 26, 2015

9 October 2014 "Birding" in North Carolina

It had been a busy week filled mostly with rain and colder weather. A quick stop at our North Carolina facility gave the one break of blue skies and warm weather on the trip. It was a short stay with a full schedule and early sunsets. I am happy the landscaping at this site seems to be successful at attracting birds. As I was leaving for a late afternoon start of my drive home, I spotted this bluebird moving around the trees near the parking area.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

6 October 2015 Rainy Drive to Lexington

I had a business meeting in Lexington, Kentucky and visions of warm weather and sunshine during the drive and breaks in the meeting. Sometimes, those visions don't work out. The travel day was cold and very rainy. I had hoped for a break on the way and a nice hike during the break. Instead, I made a quick cache find in Scioto Trail State Forest and a second quick find at Lake White State Park. I was happy to see a fire tower at the state forest open for climbing. Despite the wet and cold day, it was a fun climb with a bonus benchmark not far from the base of the tower.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

5 October 2014 Liberty Hollow and Skok Meadow

Liberty Hollow was a new park for us to visit. There were a few caches in the park so we made it our walk for the day. The colors were great, and we got to splash in the water.

Phineas on the Hunt

We have visited Skok Meadow a few times so we knew a return visit would be a good second walk on a chilly fall afternoon.

Overlooking Big Creek

We were looking for ducks

...and found these mallards.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

29 September 2014 Fall Colors in North Chagrin

We spent a rare evening on the trail alone hunting a couple caches in North Chagrin. The colors were super.

28 September 2014 Big Four and Back to Ohio

We visited Big 4 Road to search for a few newer caches along the Conewango River. On the way out, we spotted a very confused skunk cabbage popping through the wet area. Back in Ohio, we were treated to a very nice sunset in Chardon.

27 September 2014 Caching Grunderville

This should have been a perfect day of caching. The weather was great, and there were 26 caches hidden along a series of trails. Grunderville is a heavily developed new oil and gas area with few sights to see. When I go geocaching, the finds are nice, but are low on my priority list. I should be able to find the caches so I can move on and enjoy the trail. These caches were hidden to really make a hunt. Micros in the woods are little fun for me. Still, it was a day out with Ali and the Geodogs. Our journey included a the surprise of meeting another couple caching along the trail. We have greatly enjoyed their hides in the Niagara Falls area so it was fun to say hello and walk a bit together.

We were happy to spot a few taller chestnut trees.

The trails and hiding areas were filled with large spider webs. I spotted this one before walking into it,

26 September 2014 A Rare Visit to Boston (New York)

I used to pass by or through Boston many times a year. My work changed and my travel patterns changed so visits to the area have become infrequent. I had hoped for a long walk on the trails at Hunter's Creek Park, but a late departure altered my travel plans. I stopped instead for a much shorter fall walk at Boston's Community park.

While making my way southwest, I hunted a multicache which left me at Scrabble Hill Cemetery, a quiet, old cemetery and the resting place of two Revolutionary War veterans.

My other plan if I were really early on my departure was a stop for hiking in beautiful Zoar Valley. That plan went away with my late departure, but I was able to stop at a new ice cream place in Gowanda before heading home to Pennsylvania.

Days usually aren't this blue in Western New York.

Nice roof truck

Saturday, February 21, 2015

24 September 2014 Back in PA

We spent the weekend before I was off to New York for business. I spotted this photogenic grasshopper resting on a solar light on our deck.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

20 September 2014 Visiting Favorite Places

There's something relaxing about eating breakfast at an old fashioned restaurant with tabletop jukeboxes. This one also had quite a collection of old glass milk bottles from small dairies.

After breakfast we made a first visit to Dan's Mountain State Park. It was a new place to explore with some older caches. Our first trail at the park rewarded us with a spotting of a heron beside a small pond. Unlike many herons, this one stayed near the water even when aware of our presence. We enjoyed a great view before moving on to the cache.

We also spotted this turtle on the same trail.

We had left Dan's Mountain and were headed to Herrington Manor State Park when we passed through the small town of Lonaconing. We were both surprised to see a large iron furnace in a park in town. Once we at the park, we noticed a historical plaque we assumed was for the iron furnace. We were surprised to see it was for a native of Lonaconing who happened to be none other than the great Lefty Grove.

The plaque and history was interesting, but for us the real star was the Lonoconing iron furnace. The furnace was built in 1837 and remains in super shape. It was a technical accomplishment because it was the first iron furnace that passed from using charcoal for iron production to using bituminous coal. It only operated for 16 years before being abandoned by the coal company, but it stands as a significant piece of industrial history.

We enjoyed our visit to Herrington Manor State Park and both agreed the cabins in the park would be a great place to stay on a future visit. After finding a few caches in Herrington, we made our way to the first location from the post title, Cranesville Swamp at the Maryland-West Virginia border. The fall colors were not at their prime but we were rewarded with nodding ladys slipper and gentian all along the boardwalk.

Our last favorite place for the day was a return to Swallow Falls for a walk through the stately hemlocks and a few stops along the Youghiogheny River to enloy the falls.

A Maryland sunset through a dirty windshield as Ali heads us towards our last stop south of Pittsburgh before heading home.