Sunday, May 29, 2016

29 February 2016 Leaping Into Nashville

I needed to travel to Tennessee for a week of business, I arrived in Nashville early and was waiting for a staff member to arrive on a red-eye from Spokane. I decided to spend the time wisely ;) and hunt for a few caches.

These whimsical airplane and cloud mosaics are on the way to the car rental area.

I found a number of caches while waiting including a few virtuals. The Nashville area seems to have virtuals everywhere. Caching was a mixed bag with some bad containers or missing caches offset by some gems. One of the earliest may have been the strangest cache location I have visited. There is no doubt Santa's Pub is proud of and has earned its title as the Best Nashville Dive Bar for three years running.

Harley Santa and the beer-drinking elf kept giving me visions of John Belushi playing a drunken santa shouting ho-ho-ho while the tv pitch was made for buying the Santi-Wrap to protect children from germs on mall santas.

The back of Santa's Pub was no less scarier than the front.

Finding Honest Abe at a Civil War Virtual was also a bit weird.

He was friendly and quite presidential. He also gave me more information about the history of the virtual location I was visiting than I could ever get from reading a plaque.

I found one of the best lock-n-lock hides by a sewer grate. The picture below gives no vision of the container.

I looked a long time at the location before I finally decided to put my hand in there and hope there were no rats. The cache below is held in place by the strongest magnets I have seen (match the small flower with the one on the right-hand side above to see where the container is).

I reached the bridge below and started looking for the hide. After a few minutes of looking, I stopped to read the page (bright idea). Once I noticed the 3 1/2 terrain, I guessed I was at the wrong level.

Once I reached the correct elevation ;), it took a few minutes of looking to find the nicely hidden container.

Being at the lower elevation gave a good view of a berthed paddle wheel on the river.

It was time to head back to the airport and on to our driving destination. It was a fun Leap morning.

27 February 2016 One More Visit to Walborn

I was traveling the following week so it was time to spend a weekend near home. We decided to take one more trip to Stark County and Walborn Reservoir to search for a new series of caches. It was a chilly day so we bundled Phineas in his Fido Fleece and headed south. It was a good time as we found all the caches and enjoyed a blue sky and scenic sunset.

A pair of geese appeared to already be nesting on an island.

How many birdhouse caches have been hidden? This one was well built and made to stay dry.

An old farm lane and barn foundation are about all that remain of a farm that was once here.

It has been over thirty years since these were used on beverage cans. It is unusual to spot them on the trail.

Being on the look-out for birds paid off as we spotted this female hooded merganser.

Friday, May 27, 2016

22 February 2016 On the Way to Lockport

Ali and I split in Pennsylvania with her heading west and me heading north to Lockport. I used the drive to stop for a few cache finds and exercise. Picturesque Ellicottville is on the way and a perfect place to stop. I was able to look for a Amish GeoTrail cache while enjoying the stately church.

The Christmas tree and garland decorating the gazebo seemed a little odd for late February, but this is an odd, snow-free year. In other years the weather is usually too harsh to be undecorating.

My last stop before the hotel was to buy truffles at Alethea's. In an always changing world, this fun place has been a constant.

21 February 2016 Lonely Caches in Clarion

I always enjoy a visit to Clarion County. Today we headed for a walk in State Games Lands 330. The area had some very lonely caches. It was also quite scenic today for a mid-winter walk.

It didn't take long to find our first lonely cache. This one was about a month and a half from two years since its last find. Our travels would bring two more lonely caches which were unfound in over a year.

Lizzie was licking her lips at the thought of searching for another lonely cache (or maybe she was hoping for a treat).

After we made a cache find I went to the muddy edge of this pond hoping to spot skunk cabbage. Today was not a skunk cabbage day.

Until we did the AGT many years back, I had no idea of how many old coal mining areas there were in Clarion County. There were many small chunks of coal on the trails giving evidence of the areas past use.

We were back in the sport ute and heading home when we spotted this group of turkeys. There were more than the eight visible in this picture.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

20 February 2016 Where's the Bridge?

It was 13 degrees a mere seven days prior. I liked the change.

We were in Pennsylvania and wanted a walk. Woodcock Lake is close enough on our journey and a good location to be on the trail. There was an unfound cache in the park area across the road from the water. It's a trail not visited often by us and one of the better trails in the park.

Aided by tree cover, someone's snowman was holding up well despite the warm temperatures.

Fed by melting snow Bossard Run was a little intimidating.

A washed out bridge ended our caching journey to the hide on the other bank, but we still had a very nice walk.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

14 February 2016 Caching Local

With little snow this winter, finding caches proved a bit challenging today. After walking the dogs at a local park we dropped them so we could make a Valentine's visit to the Mentor Malley's and a visit to Lake Metroparks' Chagrin River Park.

They are fun to watch when they are in a park.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

13 February 2016 13 Degrees on the 13th

In the middle of a very mild winter 13 degrees can seem tremendously cold. We wanted to go caching but were concerned for the dogs so they stayed warm and cozy while we hit the trail. Our plan was to visit a bike and hike trail and maintain a brisk pace unless we were stopping for a cache. It must have worked. We survived and had fun.

It doesn't look that cold.

With open water, we hoped we might be able to spot ducks on the water,

and we did.

The surprise of the afternoon was spotting two eagles flying back and forth along the water. They were hard to capture with the tree cover, but we were treated to multiple sightings ad they moved back and forth along the water.

Friday, May 20, 2016

11 February 2016 Waiting for the Red Eye

It was going home day. I finished my work with a couple hours of daylight remaining. With over five hours to my first flight, it was time to enjoy a few more caches. Since I was in downtown Spokane the question of where to begin was easy. I started with a return visit to Spokane Falls. The falls are quite attractive and were flowing fast this afternoon. I was also happy to spot two bufflehead working the current and diving for food.

Diving down

Natatorium Park is long gone from the location of the next cache, but I enjoyed seeing a late 50's Studebaker Hawk and a 1964 Rambler. These are both old enough to have been parked at the old amusement park before it closed.

The park looked wonderful with a rocket ship ride, a spider, a mouse, and a old wooden coaster.

My last stop was a return to Palisades Park. My last visit here was with Ali on a warm Sunday afternoon. This evening I was near sunset when I headed out. The lights of downtown were different and interesting while walking the trail with a snow-capped mountain in the distance was a peaceful journey.