mortonfox: (morton blvd)
For me, this weekend was all about Munzee events. There were a number of Easter Tea Party events scheduled around the world. Two of them were not too far from home and on different days, so I went to both.

On Saturday, I went to the Egg'stra Special Maryland Munzee Easter Event at Fuddruckers in Annapolis. It was mostly a meet and greet, although there were prizes in a couple of Easter baskets. I checked later and those turned out to be special munzees, so I'll deploy those in my home area later. After that, we went out to the shopping area to capture the event pin munzees that had been deployed for the event, as well as anything else in the vicinity. That was a lot of fun. I kept running into other munzers at various spots even though we were all going in different directions. After that, I went to Sandy Point State Park to hit the evolution munzee garden before heading home.

Sunday's event was the NJ Bilby Event at Voorhees Town Center. (formerly Echelon Mall) Since I was early, I went around the mall to capture the munzees and also stopped to take a "I Love You" murals near the parking area. When it was getting close to event time, I went inside to the food court to meet up with the rest of the attendees. There was a delay in setting things up but once we got going, there was an Eventzee photo scavenger hunt of items that could mostly be found inside the mall. There were also event pins to capture both inside and outside the mall. They had a raffle too and I got the bilby puppet! And finally, there was the riding of the motorized animals.
mortonfox: (face tree)
Just like the previous two weekends, my focus was not on geocaches although there were still some on the way to the munzee areas. Saturday's actual goal was to claim my free AIRism t-shirt from the Montgomery Mall Uniqlo. I had that coupon in my email for the longest time but my previous attempt to head that way was foiled by an injury. So once again, I headed the same way up. Enroute, there was a stop at West Goshen Township Park in West Chester for a few geocaches, as well as a quick look at the helicopter museum. Then I went and got the munzees up the Rt 309 shopping area in North Wales and Montgomeryville. And the last stop before dinner was at Uniqlo to get the shirt. I'd never been to this store before. My overall impression though was clothes there ran a gamut of sizes from tiny to super-tiny. Seriously, even their size XL seemed a bit small for my apparently giant frame. (No wonder I fall down so hard! :) )

Sunday's trip was to Audubon, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, and Collingswood, after picking up a few geocaches in Penns Grove along the way. My plan was to bag all the resort munzees with empty rooms before getting to the meat of the day, which was a walk around Knight Park in Collingswood. This park is closed to vehicular traffic on Sunday, so I walked the 2 miles all the way around to capture the munzee trail. It was a rather nice day for a walk and I even showed a curious passer-by what the game was about. (He thought I was geocaching at first. Heheh, no.) After that, I got some dragon munzees in Mount Laurel. Decided that was enough for the day, so there was time for a trip to an Asian supermarket in Cherry Hill before dinner.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (me tira daqui)
16 years ago, I found my first geocache and since that first one, I logged 34,813 more. The shoulder injury, however, has been a real wake-up call. I'm simply too accident-prone to continue. So this weekend and every weekend thereafter, I'll be going for Munzee and, where available, Flagstack. Most of the action will take place near a street or parking area so even if something bad happens, at least I won't have to drag myself too far to get help.

Anyway, physical therapy has been a novel experience. On Thursday evening, I went to the place just down the road from home that the orthopedist recommended. With all kinds of exercise equipment in the open area, it looked somewhat like a gym. There were a few people doing exercises, although at a slower pace than at a regular gym. The physical therapist took some measurements to see how far I can move my arm vertically and horizontally, which was actually quite a bit more than I thought. Then he got me started on a few stretching exercises. I've also been doing those on my own at home and at the office, wherever convenient. I'm sure there'll be more in my next PT session.
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
On Saturday, I went to the "Plainsboro Preserve 2017 Geotrail Launch" geocaching event in (where else?) Plainsboro Preserve. The event itself was in the nature center building, where there was an European Starling that perched by the heat lamp for a while before taking a bird bath. I didn't stay for the geotrail caches since I had other caches to go for in Rocky Hill, Montgomery, Belle Mead, and Somerville. Followed those with a Munzee grab around the Bridgewater Commons Mall before dinner.

Sunday's trip was more Munzee-focused because the main goal was to capture more than 1000 of those in Sandy Point State Park on the Chesapeake Bay. However, it turned out that there were a lot of geocaches as well in the Glen Burnie area on the B&A Trail and around the shopping centers along Gov Ritchie Highway. After that I hit the Munzee gardens at Arundel Mills Mall. There were two of those, one that looked like a Christmas tree and one that was in the shape of a giant Munzee pin. (I think) I also visited the top of the casino parking garage, although the only thing the view from there showed was how difficult it was to find a parking space.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (Walker)
To avoid any strain on my shoulder, I decided to plan the weekend around Munzee instead of geocaching, although I did still get some geocaches along the way. Most Munzees are in built-up areas and I'd say more than 95% of them would be rated 1 or 1.5 stars for terrain. I took a look at the Munzee map and the area just south of the state line, from Salisbury to Ocean City (Maryland, not New Jersey), was chock full of Munzees. So that's where I went.

Saturday's trip was to the south end of Ocean City. I got some geocaches in Bear and Ellendale on the way. There were two geocaches I hadn't gotten yet in that part of Ocean City but for the most part, I had the Munzee app open to grab the virtuals and some physicals along the boardwalk. Of course, I did the tourist thing too while I was there. I gawked at the dinosaur bones and the funny batmobile. Munzee total for the day was 2,203 captures and 30,912 points, the best I'd ever done and enough to bag the 25K Day badge, which I'd been eyeing for a while.

On Sunday, I went down to Salisbury. There were large groups of Munzees at the shopping center on southbound US-13, entering Salisbury, and at the Salisbury University sports fields, but the real treat this trip was to the Salisbury Zoo. I didn't walk in all the way but I saw a representative sample of animals and captured a full set of the limited-time charity paw prints Munzees. It made sense that the Maryland Munzers would deploy those at the zoo. Sunday's totals: 1,755 captures, 29,220 points. Then after leaving Salisbury, I got some geocaches in the Seaford area along US-13, on the way to dinner.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (Walker)
There were a few caches here and there locally that I'd planned to get on Saturday before going to Pottstown. So I got one in Wilmington, and after breakfast, I got two more in Chadds Ford and East Bradford. The open space area in East Bradford had a bit of a slope, which I had no problem going down but on the way back up, I slipped and fell. I must have landed the wrong way because my left shoulder and upper arm was sore and I didn't have as much strength there as usual. So I went to the Penn Medicine Emergency Room in West Chester to get it checked.

Got admitted not long after since the ER wasn't busy. Some things must have changed in the years since I was last in a hospital. They now seem to be required to ask a batch of questions to make sure that any injury was not the result of physical abuse. Anyway, I caught up with some Bruce Willis movies in the patient room while waiting for X-rays and such. Got pushed around in a wheelchair, which was more fun that I would've thought, to the X-ray room. A nurse administered some painkiller via IV although it really didn't do much. It was exactly as a friend described it once: you're still sore but the drug makes you not care as much about the soreness. The doctor was really good though. He moved my arm a bit and the bone went right back in without any pain at all. Then I left the hospital with some instructions and a prescription, although the nurse told me it's really just for some over-the-counter Aleve. I am to take a couple of days off from work and see an orthopedic specialist for a followup but that seems to be about it.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (jaws)
Saturday's trip was in two parts: first to Oaks and Audobon, and then to Warrington, Doylestown, and Plumsteadville. I was mostly going where the new geocaches were, since I'd already done most of the old ones. The one remarkable spot was a hidden garden (behind bushes, not visible from the main path and road) on the campus of Delaware Valley College in Doylestown.

Sunday was another trip to Lehigh Valley because I was still in the middle of finding a large collection of caches in the Easton area. The temperature was low but the air was very still, so it didn't feel that cold. So I decided to take a walk on the Plainfield Rail Trail, starting from the Stockertown parking area. Appropriately enough, the caches along this trail were named for characters from the Thomas the Tank Engine show. Strangest thing I noticed was a warning sign about cleaning up horse manure. It must be working; I didn't see any horse poop along that 2-mile stretch of trail. There were also some icicles that still haven't melted despite the 60 and 70°F days recently. After that, I continued traveling northwards to Belfast and Wind Gap, until it was time to stop for the day.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
Saturday began with a collection of geocaches in the Caravel Farms area in Bear. Then I headed over to Rosedale, near Baltimore. I wanted to do the cache trail in Double Rock Park but I only got the first two caches before a thunderstorm cut my hike short. So for the rest of the day, I went for caches around shopping centers and office parks in Parkville, Towson, and Essex, between bursts of rain. What's odd about this trip is two caches I had trouble with in the past, "Evil Little Evergreen Hide" and "Suds on a Pedestal", were easy to find. Looking back through the logs, I believe the latter was missing and had been replaced. The former could have been dislodged and is now temporarily in an easier spot.

Sunday's trip was to Lehigh Valley again for another 45 caches. There is method to the madness though. Each park or cemetery, or in some cases the entire town, had caches named for characters from one TV show. So the ones I found that day were from Three's Company, All In The Family, Thundercats, Josie and the Pussycats, Seinfeld, Tom and Jerry, and My Favorite Martian. And the towns I visited were Bath, East Allen, Nazareth, and Tatamy. The Iron Workers Lunch Time sculpture was an interesting find. It's not related to any geocache yet. I saw it while driving to a geocache and I just had to stop and photograph it. Another great location was the Indian Tower. I used the spiral stairs to get to the second level and take some pictures of the scenery.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Had Monday off so it was a 3-day weekend. Saturday's trip was to nearby Ridley Park for a few caches, then farther north to King of Prussia, Berwyn, Plymouth Meeting, Lansdale, Colmar, and New Britain. The ruins of the Moore-Irwin House were interesting to explore. It looked like a house built into the side of a knoll, so you can climb up the slope and look down into the ruins. Also remarkable was how close this abandoned structure was to modern-day businesses and offices. It's practically just off a parking lot. I also made a side trip to visit the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge (for Munzee though. Geocaches are not allowed in national parks.) and the Elmwood Park Zoo murals. (In that section of the mural, it looks like the animals are looking at you disapprovingly. I thought it was funny.)

Sunday's trip was to Wyomissing, Sinking Spring, and Reading. This area is a bit rougher and graffiti-filled but I thought it was clever that the cache at this location was camoflaged to blend in with the graffiti. There were some nice spots too, such as a hilltop pavillion near the Penn State campus.

Monday was the real treat of the holiday weekend. I hadn't been to Lehigh Valley in a while, so there were a bunch of cache series waiting. I didn't have enough daylight for everything but I got the Waltons, Snooper & Blabber, some old TV shows, Mel Brooks, the Addams Family, a bunch of cartoons, and a few more around a residential area for good measure. (The cache owners must've watched a lot of TV. :) ) The caches were mostly in parks and cemeteries in Bethlehem, Easton, and Palmer Township. I thought Housenick Park (BTCS series) was the most interesting area because it's the grounds of an old estate with a cellar (or perhaps a dungeon of mystery), a pump house, and historical tennis courts! (No kidding. That's what the sign says!)

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox bend)
Saturday was relatively simple. I only hiked in two areas: Hunn Park and the St. Jones River Greenway in Dover. These are not linear trails though. Some of the caches were located on offshoots from the main trail. In total, it was over 8 miles of walking round trip but there were no inclines and a lot of the trail was fine gravel or asphalt, so it's an easy walk. Not much scenery though, other than marshes and inlets.

Sunday's trip was mostly to the east and southeast of Baltimore to get the new geocaches in Middle River, Essex, and Canton. It was a rainy day though, so I decided to get some Munzees as well while waiting for the rain to taper off. There was still enough time for 16 geocaches. I'd never been to Canton before so it's a new area for me. The neighborhood looks like a mix of old and new. Office and shopping center development along the waterfront seems to be turning the area into another Towson or White Marsh.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (hump)
As long as it didn't snow, I could go to Central Jersey, and see more weird caches and hit the Chinese supermarket. So Saturday's trip was to Plainsboro, South Brunswick, Kendall Park, Franklin Township, Highland Park, and Edison. It was mostly a geocaching tour of suburban areas and small parks.

On Sunday, I remained relatively close to home to finish up some caches in Bear, Chesapeake City, Newark, Wilmington, and West Chester. There was a surreal cache in Iron Hill with plastic fruit. And there was another that's a stone heart. Some local history was featured too.

The caches... )

CNY in CNJ

Jan. 30th, 2017 05:54 pm
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Since it was Chinese New Year this weekend, I decided to head up to Central Jersey since there were more Chinese groceries and restaurants up that way with new year goodies. On Saturday, I went to the South River and Old Bridge area. Although I got some geocaches in smaller parks in the area, I spent most of the day hiking around Phillips Preserve because that is where a bunch of "BC Mania" geocaches area located. Each "BC Mania" geocache is a bottle cap, but some of those were rather bizarre / creative. At the end of the day, I went to a Kam Man, an Asian grocer, in Edison. There are such grocers closer to home too, but none with such curiousities as cartoon bun.

Sunday's trip was to the Princeton / South Brunswick area (including East and West Windsor, Princeton Junction, and Plainsboro) because I wanted to attend the "Time for an intervention-10 Yrs and still caching" geocaching event in South Brunswick. It was for JimmyG's 10-year geocaching anniversary. (I'm already past the 15-year mark myself.) This area had some more -- how shall we say -- unusual caches, including a sneaker cache and a hospital sample jar cache. Not to worry though. I don't think that was really urine in the sample jar! There was also a bit of good walking, despite some rough spots. After hanging around at the event for a little while, I went to Penang in West Windsor for yee sang. That's a dish of raw fish with colorful vegetables, noodles and stuff, a Chinese New Year tradition from the old country.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
The weekend was two whole days of foggy and damp weather. It rained a bit more on Sunday than on Saturday. On Saturday, I returned to the same area in South Jersey as the previous trip to finish off more of the caches I didn't have time for before. Went to Mullica Hill, Deptford, Marlton, and Voorhees. I got more caches in built-up areas because I knew wooded areas would be wet and muddy, although I did take a bit of a walk for "New Jersey Hangman Cache #1: Constellations" and "Over the hills". The most interesting location was the labyrinth at "Labyrinth in Cherry Hill" and the strange object of the day was a plastic torpedo, which turned out to not be the cache even though it was very near the cache site. "This Cache Really Blows!" was the last find of the day only because I had to return at night for it. It is located right next to a Wawa air pump that is constantly in use during the daytime. Sometimes you just have to come back later for a cache.

Sunday's trip was to the Baltimore area, specifically Middle River, Essex, Parkville, and Towson. The caches were mostly new ones, although there were two, "Coffee Break" and "Illumination", that were missing on my previously but have recently been replaced.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Saturday's trip was in-state to the south. There was a bit of snow in the weather forecast but it turned out to be merely a rainy day. The goal was to find a set of 4 puzzle caches around Dover and Camden, although later, I continued farther south to Seaford, Woodland, and Laurel. The most interesting themed cache of the day was a money bag. It's from the story in the description of "Lassie Knows Best".

Sunday's trip was an expansion farther east in deep South Jersey towards Atlantic City. There were caches in Bridgeton, Mays Landing, Estelle Manor, Egg Harbor Township and Northfield. Most unusual cache of the day was a weathered-look skull in Egg Harbor Township. Despite this being an above-average day of winter geocaching, the real story of the day was Munzee. I saw that the town of Northfield was packed with those and captured enough to make it my first day with 10K points!

Had the day off on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, so I decided to attend the "FLIPPING SERIOUSLY 5 YEARS?" geocaching event in Oaklyn. The event was to celebrate Forbez's 5-year geocaching streak. That is a very impressive accomplishment because the most number of days in a row I've gone caching was 67 and I thought that was already pretty hard. Two notable geocaches of the day were a snake on a piece of wood and a frog on a stump.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (me tira daqui)
It was snowing lightly on Saturday morning but there was enough time to get a few geocaches and take a short walk on a snowy bike path in Brookhaven before the heavier stuff started coming down.

By Sunday, the snow had stopped. Roads were okay, although most parking areas hadn't been cleared. I figured a thin layer of snow would not shut down most park parking areas, so I hit the cache factory area. (Plymouth Meeting, Lower Providence, North Wales, Franconia, and Perkasie this time) Didn't have many caches on the list -- mostly a bunch of new caches and a few that I skipped over or could not find on previous trips -- but winter conditions didn't really allow for a lot of driving around. Since temperatures had been in the 20s and below for a while, there were a lot of ice cascades but hopefully no dootie. "anatidaephobia" was one that I couldn't find previously because it was missing. I made another attempt since it's in the same park as one of the new caches. Thank goodness it was findable this time despite being at ground level and very small. That spot happened to be on the side of the log with less snow.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (xmas)
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day fall on the weekend this time but I had Friday off too. Friday's trip was to Lancaster County since I hadn't been there in a while. Tried to get a few more geocaches on the Manheim and Mount Joy side of the county since I'd skipped those on previous trips. The most interesting location was the circle of rocks, like a small Stonehenge, in Manheim.

Saturday's trip was first to Morgantown, to finish the "Morgantown Overlook" multi-cache. I got the first 3 stages last weekend but I could not complete it then because it got dark. After that, I hit the Reading, Leesport, and Lenhartsville areas with a stop in the oddly-named Virginville. For the day, there were some unusual caches and a mysterious stone artifact.

And finally, Sunday's outing was to Hammonton, Egg Harbor City, Laureldale, and Mays Landing in South Jersey. I hadn't been to that area in quite a long time so there were lots of new caches. The view of Lake Lenape in Mays Landing was pretty clear on a winter's day.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (xmas)
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fell on a weekend this year but I took Monday off to make it a 3-day weekend. Saturday's trip was to the area around Norristown, Lower/Upper Gwynedd, North Wales, and Colmar, where remarkably, there was still quite a bit of cache placement activity going on. The "phobia" series of caches was once again entertaining and disturbing, as one can see from this baby head, which was the "Pediophobia" cache. Since my itinerary wasn't too packed, I took a chance to do the two mile-long hikes on either side of the Gwynedd Nature Preserve.

Sunday's trip started with a long hike on the Horseshoe Trail for 9 geocaches. After that, I went to French Creek State Park, which I'd never visited before, for JQ004 - French Creek, a 15-year-old cache! It's in remarkably good shape despite its age. Just a bit rusty along the edges. Handheld GPSes weren't as good back then so the original coordinates were somewhat off. Fortunately, someone posted better coordinates in a recent cache log and I used those to cut down the search.

On Monday, I hit the areas to the North and Northeast of Baltimore again to get some caches that I hadn't had time for on previous trips. I visited the Jerusalem Mill section of Gunpowder Falls State Park, where the covered bridge stands. Elsewhere, in Parkville, there were a few neat caches, like Leaping Lizards. (although leaping was not recommended because it's up on a wall) In the evening, I went to the "Aint The Chocolate Hot Flash Mob # 8 Straight!" geocaching event at the Hunt Valley Towne Centre. It's an annual event but this is the first time I attended. Although it's an outdoor event during the winter, it was kind of nice by the fireplace and holiday light decorations.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (xmas)
Saturday morning's weather was ice pellets followed by rain. It's the kind of weather that didn't encourage traveling out too far, so I stayed local and geocached around Middletown, Odessa, and Wilmington. The last cache, "Not Your Typical History Lesson", was a 17-stage multi in a cemetery near downtown Wilmington. It was the perfect day to get that done since I had the whole afternoon for it and walking around a cemetery with an umbrella is no problem. The only issue was I had to brush some ice off of some of the tombs to get the information, but once I had the numbers from the first 16 stages, the final stage was an easy find.

On Sunday, I took a trip out farther to Southern Delaware to get some caches in an area I didn't get a chance to check out on my last few trips there. I got a few caches in Georgetown, more in Long Neck, and a half dozen in Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island to end the day.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (xmas)
Saturday was a big day because I had a combined geocaching and Munzee event in Allentown, NJ. The geocaching event was "Christmas Coffee Cup Clash" and the Munzee event was "NJ Christmunz Party". Both were held at the same time in the NJ Fire Museum office. The museum wasn't actually open for visitors yet but we had permission to enter and view the exhibits during the event. They have antique teletype equipment on display in the office and vintage fire trucks in the barn. Anyway, I've been to lots of geocaching events before but this was my first Munzee event. Munzee took center stage this time. There were a lot of codes to capture in the building and out on the museum grounds. There was also an Eventzee scavenger hunt. It was a cold day so thankfully most of the scavenger hunt items were available in the fire museum office.

After the event, I went geocaching in Crosswicks, Wrightstown, Cookstown, and New Egypt. The area is mostly small towns and countryside. Fortunately, there wasn't any hunting going on at the Crosswicks Greenway, so I was able to take a walk around the pond. There were also cows in Cookstown and hairy tree lumps in New Egypt.

Sunday's trip was to Glasgow, Edgewood, Middle River, Rosedale, Overlea, Parkville, and Towson, going from Northeast Baltimore to North Baltimore. I'd been to the area not so long ago but there were enough caches that I wasn't able to get to on previous trips to make a full day. Now that the foliage is down, it was the perfect opportunity to go for "Clayton Road Park Bushwack". There were a few other wooded areas that were dense and would've been a problem in the summer too. "Carmaggedon" was the interesting cache site of the day. It's at the top of a parking garage in Towson with free parking. Hardly anyone uses that parking garage on the weekend so it was fun to drive round and round all the way up.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chicken fries)
Saturday's geocache outing was to Exeter, Fleetwood, Lyons, Bowers, Topton, Maxatawny, and Breinigsville, pretty much at the Northern edge of my range. (for now) The caches were all rather conventional, except for the cat and the ten commandments tablet. What's amazing about this area is the way some caches don't get stolen even if one might think those are way too obvious. "Falling Forrest", for instance, is a regular-sized cache that is near a road, just sitting on the grass in an open area. There are notes in the log book from people who have found it by accident.

Sunday's trip was to Quakertown, with the intention of hitting Lake Towhee and Memory Lane. (SGL 157) Geocaching around Lake Towhee was somewhat of a dud. I noticed that the first few geocaches were not in hiding spots that the coordinates, hints, and log entries all clearly pointed to. I tried all the other caches around the lake and they were likewise not to be found. It looked like the work of someone who had a vendetta against this particular cache owner because I did find one cache placed by someone else that was still safely in place. After that, I moved on to State Game Lands 157 and had better luck there. It's the area that Taxman calls Memory Lane because he used to go hunting and target shooting there in his younger days. Now, he has a bunch of caches there.

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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