mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Saturday's goal was to capture the Munzee garden at Camden Yards in downtown Baltimore. It was a surgical strike. I went in, parked on a quiet side street, and got about 280 MVMs very quickly. Since there was plenty of time after that, I went to Fort McHenry. All 3 games were represented there, so there were a few geocaches, 2 Flagstack flags, and a bit over a hundred munzees. By luck, it was a free admission weekend, so I went inside the fort to take a look around. I also took a walk outside the fort to see Armistead and Orpheus. Geo-games aside, it was a good historical site to visit.

Sunday's trip was a round-up of a few new geocaches and a lot of munzees around Plymouth, Lansdale, Colmar, and the Rt 611 corridor between Doylestown and Willow Grove. On the munzee side, I focused on special types that I needed for certain badges. There weren't actually enough Zodiac munzees out that way but I'm a lot closer (95 out of 100) to the goal now.

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)
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: (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... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
I had a 4-day weekend. This time, I decided to go a different direction each day even though I thought some areas had enough for more than a day of geocaching. So there was a variety of environments, terrain, and geocache placement styles. Common thread throughout the weekend is there wasn't enough daylight to do more than the quickest, simplest caches but I mixed in some short and medium hikes in places where there were several caches along the same trail.

Thursday's trip was southwest to Maryland via US-1 to Rising Sun, Bel Air, and Jacksonville. The donut was an unusual character. The hike of the day was in the Sweet Air section of Gunpowder State Park. This area had two challenge caches. I had doubts about one of the two (difficulty/terrain grid bingo) but it turned out that I qualified in 3 different ways. I ran short of daylight on this one and wasn't able to get to the mystery caches in the deepest part of the woods, so maybe next time.

Friday's trip was southeast to South Jersey in the areas of Woodstown, Franklin, Sicklerville, and Williamstown. The hike of the day was at Owens Park in Monroe Township. It had been renamed "Mystery Park" and now sports a series of 7 puzzle caches. None of those puzzles were difficult but it's nice to have some non-traditional caches.

Saturday's trip was northwest to Pottstown, Sanatoga, Pottsgrove, and Amityville. I noticed that cachers in this area have started placing tricky caches, but fortunately I've seen those tricks before. Only the first one took longer to find because I didn't expect that kind of hide in the Pottstown area. Experience is not always helpful. You may have seen it before but you still figure out somehow that it's what you need to look for.

Sunday's trip was northeast to North Wales, Doylestown, and Quakertown. The hike of the day was in Covered Bridge Park, New Britain, for a group of 3 caches. I did also make it to Peace Valley Park, but it was late in the afternoon by then so I had to limit my scope to 3 caches that weren't far from two of the parking areas.

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: (morton ave)
Since it's birthday coupon season, both of the weekend's trips were planned to more or less end in an area near a restaurant where I could use a birthday coupon. Saturday's trip was to Uwchlan and Pottstown, before veering off to Sanatoga, Trappe, and Collegeville. It's one of those opposite days where the high-difficulty caches took less time and effort than the "easy" ones. I was sure I'd previously checked the exact spot in the rocks where "It's not like the others..." was hiding but didn't see it until this trip. "Singing Frog Pond" looked almost impossible to access but in the end, I only had to push through the vegetation the right way to get to the frog. Dinner was at Texas Roadhouse in Royersford and the birthday coupon got me ribs.

Sunday's trip was to Norristown, then Lansdale, Harleysville, Sellersville, and Perkasie. There were a lot of cemetery caches that day. The "Coimetromania" and "Night of the Dead" series were both located at the many cemeteries scattered around the countryside and suburbs. "Oh No My Toe" is a pair of geocaches placed for a geocacher who had toe issues. "Udderly Ridiculous" deserves mention too. It is a two-stage geocache with the first stage at a tree with cows and sheep hanging from the branches. I needed to find all the cows (but not the sheep) to get the coordinates to the final stage. I could only find five of the six cows but thank goodness I had sufficient information to figure out the last number and the coordinates. And finally, dinner was at Perkins in Doylestown to get a free Magnificent Seven.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
The only goal for this weekend was to get the first of the three Mission GC souvenirs. There was a secret message that I decoded a week before and all it said was I needed to find a geocache with 10 or more favorite points to get the souvenir. That's easier said than done though. Geocaches with that many favorite points are few and far between. I had a couple of caches in mind and a backup plan for Sunday in case I couldn't get one on Saturday. Fortunately, it worked out. After geocaching my way up through Quakertown and Bethlehem, I arrived at "The Art of the Cache" on the Lehigh University South Mountain campus. Once I got there, I could see why it got favorite points. It's at a sculpture garden with some rather weird sculptures!.

On Sunday, I intended to go to Dundalk to get the caches that were placed for an event I didn't attend, but then I noticed that the northern and northeastern part of Harford County, Maryland, had a bunch of good countryside geocaches. (including this cow geocache) So that's where the trip ended up. I even got a few geocaches in Delta, PA, in the corner of York County I'd never explored before. Saw a lot of frogs that day. They were camouflaged among the leaves and I'd never have noticed them if they hadn't jumped around.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (buggy)
Two hot summer days this weekend. Saturday's trip was up to Warminster, Hatfield, Doylestown, and Plumsteadville. Didn't skip past the difficult caches this time because I figured the remaining easy caches were getting way too far away. It's a matter of trying your luck sometimes. "The King of Doylestown", in particular, was a micro cache with 4-star difficulty in dense woods with poor GPS reception. It took a combination of a bunch of different things to find it: I had a feeling about a certain area and I found a pen that a previous cacher probably dropped that turned out to be pretty close to the hiding spot. With some indication that I was on the right track, it was just a matter of poking around until I got it. "Prickerland II" was a different kind of challenge. The biggest hurdle was finding a way to get through a wall of overgrowth into the woods. I guess that could've waited until winter but what the hey?

Sunday's trip was in two parts. I got some local geocaches before heading over to Lancaster for the rest of the day. Once again, I didn't avoid the difficult caches. "Gardening in Pike Creek", although not an easy search, turned out to be something I'd seen before. Of course, I started from the wrong end of the row of bushes so it took a while. "Otters Cache 1" was a long walk in Wolf's Hollow County Park but the trail was mostly pretty good. The cache locations in Lancaster covered the usual assortment of quaint and historic sites, such as a covered bridge, Boehm's Chapel, and the Byerland stone meeting house.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (Cane #2)
Saturday was another trip up Montgomery County, to Gwynedd, Lansdale, Hilltown and Perkasie, for some of the newer geocaches. Took a break in the early afternoon for some Munzee because it got too hot for any kind of walking, but resumed geocaching afterwards. Issues with brush and overgrowth were not as bad as last weekend, although there were a few where the going was tough. "Veterans Day - 2015" was the hardest to access. My approach was across a weedy field and a, thankfully, dry creek bed, and then into the thorny wooded area. Even the cache was in a fairly nondescript brush heap in a place with lots of bushes, so it took some work and quite a bit of luck just to catch a glimpse of it. "Lake Shore Drive" was funny because when I checked where I thought the cache would be, I saw only a frog under the bridge, sheltering from the rain. The actual cache hiding spot was a lot cleverer.

Sunday's trip was to the area east of Saturday's trip, specifically to Hatboro, Warminster, Jamison, Richboro, and Southampton. I tried to get as many of the geocaches that I'd skipped over on previous trips because I assumed those would be difficult or time-consuming. Some of them were, but some, like "Deep in the Jungle Gym" and "Undercover Cache", turned out to be fairly quick. Sometimes, it's just by chance that you happen to look the right way upon arriving at the cache site. "A Spot in the Nasty Woods" lived up to its name. It was a tough bushwhack, so I'm a glutton for punishment for doing that in the summer. "Come for the Cache, Stay for the Prickers" was just as bad a bushwhack, although not as deep into the woods. "The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them", on the other hand, wasn't as evil as I thought. I got a tip in the cache logs on the best way to approach the cache site and once there, it was just a matter of looking around. "DemonAnus #1", the cache whose name may kill this journal's G rating, wasn't as difficult as I assumed. I read enough of the cache logs to know what to expect and then it was a matter of being observant.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Saturday was one of the days when I intended to head into the Cache Factory area towards Doylestown but got sidetracked way off. It's all good because it shows that there are new geocaches everywhere and more than enough to make a day of it no matter which way I go. Anyway, I started in the Plymouth Meeting area. Instead of going northeast as intended, I hit groups of caches in Audubon, Collegeville, and Schwenksville. Once I was on the west side of the Perkiomen Creek, that side looked like it had more caches, so I continued onwards through Limerick, Pottstown, and Pottsgrove.

Sunday started in roughly the same area (King of Prussia) but this time, I did go the intended way to Whitpain, Gwynedd, North Wales, Lansdale, Hatfield, Telford, Sellersville, and Perkasie, although there was a little sidetrack to Skippack for a set of geocaches in Heebner Park. ("HP" series) Geocaches of the day were the lizard and the snake. The snake was only a decoration. I think it was meant to be coiled around the cache container but got separated. The two items are back together under the bush. I also found a real snake inside a hollow tree but it moved away too quickly for me to photograph it.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Saturday was another day to get some geocaches in my area, to the northwest and northeast of home. Went from Newark to Pike Creek, London Britain, Kemblesville, Kennett Square, Concordville, Springfield, Newtown Square, and Lansdowne. Attempted some of the tougher geocaches as well, which meant tackling the overgrowth on some of the less-used trails in DelCo wooded areas. The funny cache of the day was "Class of 3:16", which came with its own action figure.

Sunday's geocaching trip started in Penns Grove and Logan Township, before venturing north to Trenton, Ewing, and Pennington. However, any area that even suggested picnic or swim hole was packed with people and parking areas were jam packed. Moreover, traffic was crazy on the New Jersey side. So, after getting a few geocaches, I decided to head over the river for the relative calm of Bucks County, PA. There were a lot of new geocaches, mostly from Taxman, in Newtown and Bensalem. Also, I was finally able to find some caches with which I had trouble in the past. "Cry Baby #5 * 8 - Newborn" was one such problematic cache. I'd been there before but encountered a vagrant hiding behind the fence, which really discouraged me from returning for a while! Finally found the cache this time and it turned out to not be that difficult, except for having to deal with the overgrowth in that unused slice of land next to the Wawa parking lot.

Couple of interesting geocaches on Sunday. The first was the cow-spotted box, which was furry on the inside! "Shadowy Span" was near an unusual sculpture of an armored horse. What the camera didn't capture very well was a golden heart behind the bars in the center of the horse's body. So that's some neat symbolism. And the last cache before dinner was a gnome, which ties in to the puzzle in "Where's Dog VII - Follow Your Gnome".

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut ramune)
On Saturday, I remained local to round up some of the geocaches that had been placed in my area recently. First came a few caches in Bear since those were closest to breakfast. Then I got more caches in Delaware City and Newark. Most unusual place was a spot under Route 9, although I'd been there before for another cache. Where I hadn't been before was to the side of this dam on the White Clay Creek. I think that was in Coverdale Park and only accessible via a 0.1-mile walk on a towpath.

Sunday's trip was to the Quakertown area, including Pennsburg, East Greenville, Richland, California, and Perkasie afterwards, since I hadn't been there in long enough. Most interesting spot was the South Perkasie Covered Bridge, which had been relocated from the road to a park for historical preservation. Which is why it isn't over a river any more.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Saturday's outing was a round-up of geocaches to the north of Doylestown and in Buckingham, an area that I kept getting sidetracked from previously. Got lots of Taxman caches, which are pretty much the bread and butter of the area. Towards the evening, I headed over towards New Hope and Newtown. Dinner was at the new Panda Express in Trevose. I remember that this chain was in all the mall food courts at one time before they all disappeared. Now it appears to be coming back to the area in the form of standalone restaurants. The food is still served mall food court style (i.e. dished out from steam trays into two or three-entree platters), although it isn't bad.

Sunday was mostly a visit to the Schuylkill Canal Park area in Mont Clare, starting at the Lock 60 recreation area. There were geocaches all along the towpath and also on a few of the side trails going into the woods up the hills. One neat thing about this area is the rocks are in the shape of horizontal slabs, so streams form cascades all the way down from the hills to the river. Early in the day, I also took a side trip to Yellow Springs and saw some spring houses and strange artifacts.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
I hadn't been to South Jersey much since the State Parks geocaching policy debacle earlier this year because I was waiting to see what the impact would be and truth be told, I wasn't fond of the way it was handled. However, months later, I see nothing much has changed. Many caches remain out in WMAs and state parks, and some New Jersey geocachers have been placing new caches, although mostly not in state areas. So a trip to South Jersey was warranted. This time I went to Penns Grove, Logan Township, Greenwich, Williamstown, and Sicklerville. Best views of the day were at the inlet and floodgate in Greenwich.

Sunday's trip was to Bensalem to hit some new Taxman geocaches and then to Wrightstown for some older caches at the Middletown Grange that I could not seek previously because my last visit happened to fall during the weekend of the Middletown Grange Fair. I am not sure which other weekends they use the fairground but it was deserted this Sunday and parking was not a problem.

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: (chestnut ramune)
Saturday's trip was another run for mostly Taxman geocaches in Ambler, Horsham, Hatboro, Southampton, and Northampton. Sunday's trip was to a new area, up through Pottstown, Boyertown, Earl and Oley. I'd been up as far as Boyertown before, so the part that was new to me was westwards towards Oley. I was surprised at the pace of development in that area. Seems like a bunch of strip malls and a new Wawa store have sprung up since the last time I went that way.

The weekend was almost the best part of autumn. There were a lot of fall colors, such as around the hidden lake in Upper Pottsgrove and in an office parking lot in Warminster. Also, temperatures had gone low enough that one would not work up a sweat hiking on some of the longer trails.

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: (Walker)
Friday was my birthday so I took the day off and made it a 3-day weekend. I had lots of birthday coupons from restaurant mailing lists, so I picked the geocaching destinations accordingly, of course. Friday morning began with the free birthday Grand Slam at Denny's. Then it was a short trip around to Chester and Springfield, then Kennett Square, then Newark for geocaches. "A nice view" in Kennett Square was a neat location because it was next to an emu. This curious bird walks right up to the fence and makes little grunting noises when it sees any activity at all.

Saturday's trip was to Codorus State Park and Southwest York County, with a few stops in Maryland along the way. There were lots of creative and funny geocaches by Calamity Jane, including an outhouse teddy bear, one where Pooh got stuck, and a soccer bear. I actually got to meet Calamity Jane herself because she was in the area checking up on her caches. I was going for that Pooh cache and she drove in to the same parking lot in her bright red convertible classic car. What a character! She's a very nice lady and it was good to finally see who had been placing all those creative geocaches, both at the state park and near Prettyboy Reservoir.

Sunday's trip was to Northeast Philadelphia and Bensalem. I used to visit this area a lot but not so much recently because traffic delays are more common nowadays and the neverending I-95 construction does not help. It's also more trashy now than I remember because the city doesn't seem to clean up litter and new litter keeps piling up on existing litter. Anyway, the most bizarre geocache I found on Sunday was a raccoon plush toy. Because of all the litter I saw that day, I thought this too was trash at first because it was in a plastic bag next to a rock. It's very unusual but I don't think it's a good idea to keep a plush toy outside because it'll get soaked, dirty, and stinky after a while.

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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