Saturday, April 30, 2016

29 January 2016 Last Traffic Light

The nearest town to our home in Pennsylvania will soon lose its traffic light. There's a couple of lights on the bypass, but the light on main street has gone dark. Three stop signs stand ready to control traffic.

24 January 2016 Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail

The blue sky doesn't tell the tale of cold. While we were on the open towpath a winter wind kept us moving. When the trail dropped into the treeline the walk was less harsh. The cache finds were quick.

It looks like a bike trail culvert, and it is. It was also a very nice echo chamber. Lizzie thought I was weird.

An old farm gate along the rail trail tells of a past life for the land.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

23 January 2016 Molly Stark and Transportation Treats

We returned to Stark County for another winter's day of caching. Our journey included a visit to Molly Stark Park. The 1929 sanatorium on the grounds is always a disturbing site. Tuberculosis patients were brought to this hospital in a time when the sickness scared people. It amazingly remained open until 1995. The county has fenced the site since our last visit to prevent scrappers and paranormal believers from endangering themselves with asbestos exposure.

We moved on to a different view of Stark with a visit to a winery. We're not winery people, but the old trucks on the property were treats for me.

Our last cache of the day took transportation back a little farther with an old unicycle in a garage at a small park.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

22 January 2016 Run Turkeys Run

I'm happy to say no turkeys were hurt during this rush hour street crossing on my way home. Turkeys usually keep moving where humans are involved, but this pair remained by the side of the road after their crossing.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

21 January 2016 Oak Openings

I was on my way home from one of my frequent trips to Indiana and stopped at Oak Openings Park near Toledo. The trails are flat, but the weather was mild. There were a few 10+ year-old caches there for me to find at this quiet park.

The sunset in the distance meant it was time to go home. Each winter trip with mild weather is a good one.

17 January 2016 Deer Creek Reservation

Another day brought another visit to Stark County. The day's weather started as some of the worst for driving, but by the time we reached Deer Creek, it was just grey. The day never got very bright and a cold wind chilled every time we were walking in the open area.

A weak sun pushed through the clouds to cast a small reflection off the water.

Friday, April 22, 2016

16 January 2016 Visiting Walborn

We set out to find caches in the Stark Parks GeoTour. When we reached Walborn Reservoir, we decided to spend our day on the quiet trails here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

9 January 2016 Signs of Spring?

Phineas had mended to a point where he was walking normally and had good energy levels. We decided to give him a few caching walks while geocaching in Medina. I usually start looking for skunk cabbage in February hoping for an early sign of spring, but today was an early sighting.

The pond at River Styx Park had not frozen yet. There was thin ice over much of the surface with small patches of open water. The temperature was mild, but the day never got bright.

The snowless woods also let us see the familiar leaves of hepatica. These leaves were very early.

Monday, April 18, 2016

2 January 2016 Phin Phlees (Again)

We do our best to keep Phineas on leash. He's a beagle. Once he gets loose, his nose owns him. We enjoyed the first at Hatch Run so much that we decided to make a second day on the series starting with a few outside the conservation area. The afternoon started wonderfully. We enjoyed a view of the 2015 Pennsylvania River of the Year and made our way to Hatch Run.

Conewango Creek... Pennsylvania's River of the Year for 2015

We made it to Hatch Run and enjoyed a nice section of trail.

We were walking the trail when I looked up and realized Phineas was about 50 feet ahead of us. Uh oh, this isn't good. We had switched harnesses to give him one that was more comfortable. He had figured out how to unleash himself. It was time for the miles long panic run through tough terrain. Phin likes to head to ridgelines and follow the ridgeline. I obediently followed him. I chased him to the ridge, along a ridge, and finally down to a flat area near a pond. He actually stopped and began walking back to me. Then his nose dropped to the ground with a new scent and he was back up the ridgeline. I kept following him as long as I could hear him bay.

I got close at a second point and could see him across a large stream. He was standing there and appeared to be tired and ready to come home. I crossed the freezing stream and was hoping to carry him to safety.

He decided to run me up another ridge. I finally got to the end of the property and knew the foot chase was over.

With a heavy heart, I hunted down Ali and Lizzie who had been patrolling the trails. We made out way back to parking and drove up one private road hoping to hear him. When darkness took hold, we had to surrender. We knew if he sought shelter from the cold in a small rock structure or cave, he had a reasonable chance of meeting a bear or porcupine. Neither encounter would be good for him. It was a very somber evening at the house.

At 1:30 a.m., our phone rang. There was some confusion and a few poor connections, but we soon realized a person had Phineas. It was time for us to get out of bed, pack Lizzie in the car, and make the trek back to Hatch Run. When we got to the house, we were stunned by the amount of blood on Phin's safety vest and warming fleece. The husband of the couple had gone outside for a last walk of the evening with their dog. The dog bolted to the neighbor's property and wouldn't come back. When the man investigated, he found a bloody, exhausted Phin under a truck in the driveway. He took him home. They then cleaned him and gave him water and food. Phin will never understand how lucky he was to meet these kind people.

We did not expect to be driving around at 2:30 in the morning.

As for Phin, he was a wreck. We carried him into the house and tried to clean him up. Most of his wounds looked superficial, but he was clearly in a huge amount of pain.

It was obvious he was trying to back track to us since he was found very near the parking area. Maybe some day he will learn his nose is not his friend. In the meantime, we have agreed he will be the dog who is double leashed in the future.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

1 January 2016 Caching in the New Year

Phineas started the year off in a festive mood; maybe too festive.

Once he finally woke from the celebration, we headed to Hatch Run for some holiday trail time.

Hatch Run was dusted with snow.

Phineas had recovered from the New Years Eve festivities and was looking dapper in his safety orange vest over his Fido Fleece.

I didn't know there was a small ski hill here at one time. The support equipment looked as though that was many years ago, but the hill appears to have been used for tubing recently although it is now closed.

The days may be getting longer, but sunset is still early. Our fun day was over too soon.

Friday, April 08, 2016

27 December 2015 Chagrin River Park

A local cacher has placed a series of musical puzzles around performers and bands he likes and a few he doesn't like. I don's always agree with his opinions, but I really enjoy the musical walk in the past. We had solved a few of these and were determined to do some walking so we were off to the park.

Persistent rains upped the terrain of a few caches. Wading through freesing water in places it would not normally be was a cold undertaking.

At least the caches were high and dry.

Lizzie seems to adapt to just about any weather as long as she is outdoors. She's keeping a watch for muggles while we sign the log. It is a rare day when Lizzie doesn't shy away from a camera.