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: (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: (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: (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 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: (face tree)
On Saturday, the plan was to head down towards the Dundalk area to attend a GIFF Screening event for this year's GIFF souvenir. I actually went quite a bit farther to North Point State Park and Sparrows Point before turning back around for the event. Originally, I thought it was going to be a backyard screening but the event was actually in a geocacher's living room, which was a better idea since it got cold in the evening. So I met a few local cachers. We sat and talked geocaching for a bit, but I didn't have time to stay to the end.

Sunday's trip was to Ambler, then Willow Grove and Warminster. The geocaching wasn't so good in that area, so I decided to switch things around and capture the Munzee trail in Warminster Community Park. It was a bike path with over 50 Munzees and 1 geocache along the way. After that, I picked a few more geocaches in Newtown and Yardley to get before dinner. One that I was surprised to find was "Not For Kiwi Birds" in the Newtown area. It was damaged and hadn't been maintained or visited in a while. I didn't think I was likely to find anything but gave it a shot anyway. After some diligent poking around, I noticed the attachment wire lying on the ground near a tree. Then it took more sweeping of the leaves in the vicinity before I recovered the small container. I'm not sure this kind of needle-in-the-haystack search is ever worth doing but I'm glad to be done with it.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Another week goes by and another group of geocaches appear in the Perry Hall area. So on Saturday, I went for those. Also went a bit farther to Lutherville, Hunt Valley, and Jacksonville, where at least a few geocaches were outside of the urban sprawl, for a change of pace. Placing geocaches high up on lamp posts and signs is becoming a trend in the area. "Wrong Way, SubPar" and "Snowplowing the ManBear" were both placed that way. Fortunately, I didn't need a ladder this time. With a bit of work, I was able to get both of those down with a walking stick. "Key Lime Pie" was the best cache of the day. It's a two-stage multicache in which one has to find the lime, with attached key, and take the lime over to the pie to unlock it.

Sunday's trip was to Philadelphia, Northeast Philadelphia, and then Bensalem, Langhorne, and Levittown. It's not my favorite area but enough time has passed that there are lots of new caches around. First, I made a visit to Pier 68, one of the piers in the city that has been turned into a park. Later, there was an ampersand bench at another river view. The Veterans Memorial Park was nice too.

The problem with the Levittown / Oxford Valley area appears to be cache theft. I read the cache logs and noticed a number of notes about caches getting stolen and replaced a bunch of times. I tried to find a bunch of geocaches in that area anyway. Some were still there but I had no idea about the others. I logged my DNFs and by the next day, I saw that the cache owner had archived some of the missing caches. This is not the first time I've seen this problem. Sadly, nothing much can be done except wait for the cache thief to get tired of stealing caches. Thankfully, it seems to be fairly localized to a small area.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox bend)
Last weekend, I could see the "Just An LPC Cache" geocache in Perry Hall but couldn't retrieve it because it was very high up on a lamp post. On Saturday, I returned with a ladder. It was still somewhat out of reach but with a walking stick, I was able to slowly slide it down until I could get it.

Sunday's trip was to Eagleville, Skippack, Ambler, Horsham, Willow Grove, and Abington to get most of the recently placed geocaches in the "cache factory" area. One series of geocaches was all about the phobias: Swinophobia, Taurophobia, Musophobia, and Chiroptophobia, which would be the fear of pigs, cows, mice/rats, and bats, respectively. The last one had an interesting placement. The "bat cave" was a hollow tree and one had to crawl into a tree hole at the base and stand up inside the tree to retrieve the bat. So it was essential to bring a flashlight for this one. The last interesting find of the day was a dragon sculpture in the middle of the woods of High School Park in Cheltenham.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
It rained almost the whole day on Saturday but geocaches around the shopping and residential areas in White Marsh and Perry Hall were still doable without getting too messy. Not all mall parking lot geocaches are easy though. There were at least 3 for which I'll have to return with a ladder. One was about 30 feet up a lamp post and two more were high up in trees. Among the ones I did get, "It's all connected" was the most unusual cache container. It's tricky but the dead giveaway was it wasn't part of the fence on which it was hooked.

Sunday was International Earthcache Day. Rather than finding a physical cache container, you log an earthcache by visiting a site and answering some questions about the geology of that location. I knew there was an earthcache near Pottstown that I hadn't done, so I went to Ringing Rocks Park. The boulders in this area have an interesting characteristic. When struck with a hammer, some of them will produce a ringing sound like a bell. Not all the rocks rang though. I had better results near the center of the rock field and with some of the flatter slab-like boulders. The unusual cache of the day was Message in a Bottle. I thought that was pretty neat. I'd be concerned about a fragile glass container out in the woods, but the cache was located in a safe enclosed spot in a gazebo so hopefully it'll last.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (buggy)
It was the third and last Mission GC weekend. This time, I needed to find a mystery geocache for the souvenir and the very first cache on Saturday, "A really old Smarty-Pants", fit the bill. It wasn't a very difficult mystery cache, so I'm surprised I hadn't gone for it yet. All the information you need comes from a historical marker (that you can look up online, but don't tell the cache owner! >.> ) and it's pretty much a park and grab once you have the final coordinates. So once I was done with that, everything else was gravy. There were some challenging caches and a weird one, Hungry Roach. Mr. Charles was a nice character, although his geocache took some looking to find.

Sunday's trip was to Lancaster again to find some new geocaches, both traditional and puzzle, that had been published during the week since my last visit. There was a new Pokemon-themed series, although I only did two of those. Then there was a short tour along the Susquehanna River for a bunch of caches in Washington Township and Columbia, including this turtle cache. The interesting thing about Lancaster County is the locals archive and replace sets of caches every now and then to keep things fresh. I was sure I'd finished the caches along the Enola Low-Grade Trail two years ago but there was a new set of caches, which I may return to when the weather is cool enough for a longer walk.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
This weekend was about retracing an arc around Baltimore, to the east and to the north, to get some of the newer geocaches in those areas. The only part that was new to me was Northern Baltimore, just south of Towson, but even then, I'd been to a slice of the area a few years before. Saturday's trip was to Rosedale, Essex, and Dundalk, with the goal of hitting the "HBWLADS" series, which was placed for a recent geocaching event at North Point. When I got there though, I realized that I'd been there before for a previous cache series and some, if not all, the hiding spots were the same as the previous series. Still, it was a good revisit.

Sunday's trip was first to White Marsh, for some geocaches near the mall, and then on to Towson and south into Northern Baltimore. Kept heading south until the parking problems got too annoying and then turned around, back towards Towson. I couldn't believe that even on Sunday, parking was such a problem in that part of Baltimore but apparently, the roadsides, whether in residential areas or near businesses, are close to 100% filled with parked cars. For the day, there was another cache series, "Schmenards trail". There were 5 caches but for some reason, it was missing #4. The one thing I didn't like was two geocaches, "The Trash Cache" and "The Pearly White Cache", seemed to be intentionally hidden in the trashiest spots possible. The former was between a Jersey barrier and a fence, where litter accumulates and in all likelihood, never gets removed. The latter was hidden where people smoke outside the doors of a building and was literally sitting in a bed of cigarette butts, which made the cache name ironic. I hope it isn't the start of a new trashy cache trend but if it is, perhaps I should go to a different area or just play Munzee there, which is a very active game in the White Marsh area.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Saturday was the day of the 13th World-Wide Flash Mob. I attended the one in the Reading area, simply because that's where I was going for the day. There are fewer WWFM events this year and attendance is down. I was told that this is because Groundspeak has stopped offering a special souvenir for this annual event. I thought that was a pity since I couldn't believe a mere virtual token was enough to make or break a decision to attend an event. Regardless, I had a good time at this one. It was at a dog park in Jim Dietrich Park, although most of us didn't have dogs. After that, I continued geocaching around Reading and Muhlenberg, and ventured out to Kutztown again. Creative caches included an election cache, a few owls, and a birdhouse. There was also a Devil's Trail but I didn't know what that was about since the sign pointed into a wooden hut.

Sunday's trip was back to the Baltimore area, around Edgewood, Middle River, Essex, and Dundalk. There were lots of new caches to get since I hadn't been there in a while, although the most interesting ones were towards the end of the day in Dundalk. Understand the Buried History of Riverview Park was in an underground pedestrian tunnel. Of course, you can't take GPS readings underground so the cache owner provided a good hint for finding it. Also, the cache page has pointers to historical information on the (early 20th century) amusement park and industrial plant located at that site.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Saturday's trip targeted a group of geocaches in Abingdon that had been placed for a recent geocaching event that I didn't attend. After that, I continued towards Baltimore, going around the northern part of it. The surprise of the day was the Hampton National Historic Site near Towson. The National Park Service doesn't usually allow geocaches, but I soon realized that the ones on the property were placed by Hampton NPS themselves. Anyway, those were quite nice and took only a bit of a walk around the estate grounds.

Sunday's geocaches were in Pottstown, Birdsboro, and Reading, mostly along the Rt 422 corridor. I decided to do a bit of hiking to get some caches along the Schuylkill River Trail because it wasn't raining. "Everybody Talks" was the interesting one of the day. It's a geo-mob cache, where the first part requires 3 people at the given coordinates to have their phones open to a website. When the website server detects that there are indeed 3 viewers at that spot, it spits out the final coordinates. What I noticed was there was Xfinity WiFi at that location, so I could get away with not having 3 mobile lines. I was able to do it with 2 phones and another spare phone on WiFi. (Of course, I could've also set up a WiFi hotspot but that's against the AT&T GoPhone terms and conditions, last I checked.) The funny cache of the day was "Piece of Mind". I thought that was a misspelling at first but the cache did look like a piece of brain.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (Default)
Saturday morning, I went to the "Sofiecat Memorial Hike" geocaching event at Connie Batdorf Park in Pottstown. It's an event for a geocacher who passed away recently and also a group hike on the nearby Horseshoe Trail. Our group had a few vans and large vehicles, so we decided to shuttle everyone to the trailhead at the far end. Then those vehicles were parked at the other end of the trail so the rest of the group would only have to hike one way. It was only about a 3-mile hike but the Horseshoe Trail was hilly with lots of ups and downs, so it's still a workout. With a large group searching though, none of the 17 geocaches along the trail took very long to find. After the event and hike, I continued onwards to Morgantown and Reading for more geocaches, with an eye to finishing off any puzzle caches I had already solved. There were some neat caches, such as the reindeer, the teeth and a Marsha figurine.

Sunday's trip was to Maryland to get the latest collection of geocaches in the Hunt Valley area. It snowed in the afternoon but not enough to cover anything. I also took the opportunity to take a loop hike around Meadowood Park for the 4 caches there. I'd visited that park earlier in the year but it was too hot in the Summer. Wintertime, on the other hand, was just right, especially since the plant growth had died back enough to make those caches easily visible.

Monday was Martin Luther King Day, a Federal holiday. I had the day off but it was a cold day, so I decided not to travel out too far. Still, there was plenty to do around Pike Creek, Hockessin, Kennett Square, West Goshen, Frazer, and King of Prussia. There was a frog geocache. ("My name is not Kermit!") Also took a hike into McKaig Nature Center and saw an old furnace. And at the end of the day, I saw the 9/11 memorial near the King of Prussia Mall.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Geocaching trips get shorter and shorter this time of the year because of lack of daylight. On the plus side, there's more time for dinner. Saturday's trip took me down from Newark to Aberdeen, Edgewood, White Marsh, Hunt Valley and Towson. The best view of the day was from the top of the hill at the Agriculture Center and Farm Park, but the sun was already setting so there was only time after that for a few urban caches near Towson University.

Sunday's trip was into South Jersey, through Glassboro, Stratford, Berlin and Marlton, mostly picking up some caches that I'd passed by previously. Schadler's Pond was nice.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox stand)
Saturday's trip was first to Newark for some new geocaches and then to Perry Hall and Edgewood, in the northeast Baltimore area. Sunday's trip was to Audubon, the Gwynedds, Horsham, and then Abington. This is the time of year when the days are short and geocaching activity slows down. That doesn't mean there aren't any caches to find. It's a good opportunity to go back over the map and pick out the caches that I couldn't do over the summer because it was too hot and humid to hike or because the park was too busy. Indeed, Lukens Park in Horsham, which was packed every Summer weekend, was very quiet this Sunday and I was able to get in quickly and find the cache. And walking to "Hundred Aching Feet Woods" and "Get Low at Windlestrae", in Windlestrae Park, is pleasant when it is 60°F instead of 90°F.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton st)
Saturday's trip was to Bel Air and Forest Hill first to pick up some new geocaches, then to the south of I-95 to Edgewood, Middlesex and Dundalk. There wasn't much that was scenic about the latter areas. In fact, a lot of locations were rather trashy. The cache that made me chuckle was "Parkour!" I noticed a sign saying "Parkour" but didn't realize, until I went to check it out, that there's where the cache was. The most challenging cache was "Yellow Box # 48". That took quite a bit of looking because it was tucked into a corner that I didn't think was likely at all.

Sunday's trip was to Norristown, Lower Gwynedd, Montgomeryville, New Britain and Doylestown to get the newest Taxman caches, including "Taxman's Newest Hide", of course. I've found 982 of Taxman's caches so far, although he's already up to over 1200 cache placements, so I still have a few more to find! The difficult cache of the day was "Danger: Chlorine". It was a messy spot with a lot of branches and leaves, and somehow, I kept missing the cache until I took a closer look. "Bertrand Russell" was a mysterious one. I couldn't find it the last time but on this revisit, it was very easy and right where I thought. The mysterious part is it's the original cache, not a replacement, so it may have been a lot deeper in the tree hole last time.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
Saturday was another trip to the northeast and north Baltimore area. "Oh My, Ducks, Goats, and Bulls" was a neat cache site because yes, there were goats and cows. The main part of the day though was a trip to Loch Raven Dam. On weekends, a section of Loch Raven Drive is closed to vehicular traffic and becomes a walkway. It's a nice walk with a few views of the reservoir. I went for the "LRD" series of caches by parking at one end of the closed road and taking a walk for half the caches. Then I drove over to the other end of the closed road and got the other half of the caches. That was about two miles of walking in total but it was easy because the road is level.

Sunday was International EarthCache Day 2015, so I wanted to find at least one earthcache to get the special souvenir for the day. An earthcache is a variation of the game where one visits a specific location or set of locations to learn about the geology of the area and verification of completion is by answering questions about the area or submitting photos. It turned out to be far harder than I thought to find an earthcache that I could do that day. The two earthcaches in Valley Forge that I'd planned on visiting were inaccessible because the park closed the whole trail in order to repair a bridge. That made no sense at all because the trail doesn't even cross the bridge, but who can divine the logic of the National Park Service? Fortunately, there was another earthcache just 8 miles away in Norristown Farm Park. So my earthcache for the day was about studying ripple marks on the rock bed next to Kepner Creek. It's a nice, shady spot.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
On Friday, Hurricane Joaquin brought enough rain to cause some coastal flooding in Southern Delaware. Although I still had some of the First State Challenge series to do, I figured it would be better to go somewhere else on Saturday instead. So northeast Baltimore it was! We went to Churchville, Bel Air, and Long Green. It wasn't all suburban this time. There were some countryside areas with cows. The oddest thing I saw though was a deer and shoe display on a cemetery memorial.

On Sunday, it was time to finish the FSC. We went to Harrington, Bridgeville, Seaford, Millsboro, and Selbyville. There was still one FSC geocache near Bethany Beach that I didn't go for because I thought it would be better to save it for after the waters recede, but I had more than enough to qualify for the certificate. Anyway, the most interesting item of the day was a giant chair in Seaford and the best cache was a birdhouse library cache in Bridgeville.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
The first objective of the day was to find "The Dark Lord". This is the final cache of the Harry Potter series of geocaches in Northeast Baltimore. I was actually still missing one digit of the final coordinates. In keeping with the theme, one might say that I used some magic to scry the missing info but actually, I simply took a guess and verified it with the geochecker. The rest of the day was a geocaching spree around Pikesville, Reisterstown, Owings Mill and West Baltimore, parts of which I've never visited before. The Garrison Fort was an unusual historic site to see, right in the middle of a Pikesville residential area. (I hoped the locals were used to people coming in to gawk at the stone building.) Owings Mills had the strangest guardrail cache because it was on a sculpture with lots of colorful guardrails. Also interesting was "Tippy Top". The cache name told me where to go, which was to the very top of a free parking garage by the Owings Mills train station / library / shopping center. So it was fun driving up the ramps, although I was surprised that the garage was 7 levels high.

Sunday's trip was to the part of Bucks County to the north of Doylestown, including New Britain, Plumsteadville, Nockamixon, and Revere, since I didn't quite make it there on geocaching trips earlier this year. Summer plant growth was definitely a factor in search difficulty since many of the caches were in the woods. "Do Cachers Value Smileys? - cĂșig", in particular, was a crazy search since it was small and sitting on the ground with lots of weeds and branches in the way. That was almost like searching for a needle in a haystack but I eventually spotted it. "Twin Silo" was a bad bushwhack too because the best approach was pretty much straight into weeds that were more than six feet high. "A Pot of Swag For Geo-Kids" was along a trail that I'm guessing doesn't see much foot traffic outside of hunting season. It was overgrown with vegetation and hard to distinguish from any other part of the forest floor. Lego My Cache! was the interesting cache container of the day. The inner container, which holds the log sheet, is made of Lego bricks.

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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