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: (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: (me tira daqui)
The snow started falling Friday evening. It wasn't too long before it became thicker and roads were closed because of blizzard-like conditions. The snow and wind continued on Saturday, so it was a day at home. Made use of the time by getting a bit of (really early) spring cleaning done and got started on my tax return. (although I didn't have all the forms yet)

Sunday morning's work was shoveling snow off of the driveway and sidewalk and brushing it off the car, so I could get out. It was actually less than a foot of snow but the wind had blown the snow around into snowdrifts that were quite a bit higher. Had a late start but I picked a bunch of geocaches in Paulsboro, Mount Laurel, and Jamesburg that didn't require too much digging in the snow to find. Funny thing is I also had to do some shovelwork to get a Munzee. There, a snow plow had left an enormous pile of snow around the lamp post and the QR code sticker was at the base of that lamp post, deep in the snow pile.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Saturday's trip was to Allentown, NJ, to take a 5-mile walk and get another set of geocaches on the northern part of the Union Transportation Trail. This section of the UTT is not yet connected to the section I walked on last week. I hope they'll one day finish converting the railbed into a bike path and join the two sections. Ran into SanMar again during my walk. This time though, they were a bit earlier and were on their way back as I was walking towards the end of the path.

Sunday's trip was to Eastern Shore Maryland, around Still Pond, Chestertown, Quaker Neck, and Rock Hall. The problem with this area is the land is made of many peninsulas and fingers out into the Chesapeake Bay and there aren't many bridges. So the whole day is basically spent driving down one of the 10-mile peninsulas, and then back up and down another peninsula. However, it had been a very long time since I visited that area, so there were enough geocaches to make it worth the trip just going down a few of the larger fingers of land. There is a lot of beautiful scenery by the bay and water features. Unfortunately, after the heavy rain late that day, there was quite a bit of flooding in Rock Hall. I noticed that the bay water was pretty much already up to the level of the road and some of the docks and platforms are in danger of getting washed away the next time there is a superstorm. When I saw that, I decided it would be a good idea to just detour around the flooded areas and leave.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
This weekend, I was in North Jersey for MEtroGAthering, my first Mega-Event cache. A Mega-Event is a geocaching event with more than 500 attendees. The main event was on Saturday but since there was another event, the "Pre-Metro Gathering Mega Meet and Greet" at the Brundage Park pavilion in Randolph, on Friday evening, I decided to go up on Friday and stay overnight. Then I added another overnight to make it a full weekend mini-vacation.

One new thing that came along with the MEtroGAthering was a set of 10 lab caches. I got 9 of those on Friday but waited until Saturday for the 10th because it was available only at the event. The lab caches involve navigating to the given coordinates and finding a piece of info to enter at the lab cache website to log it. In my mind though, these are the same as virtual caches, except with automated verification, so perhaps Groundspeak should just reverse their decision not to publish any more virtual caches.

The mega-event itself was rather interesting. There were over 600 attendees, including a lot of geocachers I knew from Delaware, Pennsylvania (as far away as Reading), Central and North Jersey, and the NYC area. Despite the large number of people, it didn't seem all that crowded because we were pretty dispersed in an open area and Warinanco Park had lots of room to spare. There was a vendor village with various vendors, activities, and games operating throughout the event. Signal the Frog, the geocaching mascot, was there too. Of course, the best part was roaming around Warinanco Park in groups to find the 19 geocaches that were placed in the park for the event. I hiked out from the main event area with [livejournal.com profile] jbadger and over the course of the day, we ran into other groups of cachers at pretty much every cache site.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (selfie gif)
So this weekend, I went to the Hanover Marriott in Northern NJ for FA United. I stayed in New Jersey until Tuesday to combine this trip with the "Triple Tuesday Pints & Patties - 2014" geocaching event. These two events seem to always come one right after the other, so I thought I'd inquire as to whether the Marriott could extend the con group rate until Monday night. Alas, they never got back to me so I just booked a hotel room in the South Brunswick area. (As an aside, it's very hard to find an inexpensive hotel without bad customer reviews and without bed bug reports. I run into this issue every time I try to plan a trip on my own. The Red Carpet Inn is relatively new, so it could be that they just haven't run into problems or nitpickers yet.)

Anyway, just like in previous years, FAU didn't have much programming this year, or at least not too much of interest to me. So it was a chance to relax and meet up with friends, both old and new. And oh yeah, we crashed a wedding or perhaps a wedding crashed us. This weekend, there was a wedding party at the hotel and Miss New Jersey was one of the bridesmaids! They were actually pretty cool with the furries. On Saturday, they did a wedding photoshoot in the lobby. We were trying to stay out of their way but they called us over to join in! That was pretty awesome.

In the fursuit games, I was on the yellow team. What's amazing is we won every single game! (and therefore got first place) I wasn't even sure how that happened. Maybe we just had the right combination of skills or a lot of luck. The games were the scooter race, balloon popping, clothes pegs, and musical chairs. My roomie, Argon Darksteel, was the balloon expert, so that probably helped in the second game. For the clothes pegs game, I knew from experience to just sit next to the bucket and focus on clipping all the pegs on our poor captain's lower parts. >.> And finally, I was the one who won musical chairs for the team. I was worried initially because the team was too close together (in musical chairs, the team should try to spread out a bit initially to try to eliminate others instead of ourselves) but we moved as a block and I was lucky to not be eliminated during the early rounds. Then finally, it was just me and one other player going around a single chair. I was getting a bit dizzy by that time, both from exertion and from circling that chair, but I flopped onto the chair at just the right time and that was that!

On Sunday, since there wasn't much going on in the afternoon, I went to a sewing panel and sewed a cupcake. I already knew a bit about sewing but working with patterns and fleece material was interesting, and I learnt a few little tricks too. Definitely will have to see if upcoming cons have sewing/craft panels too.

Triple Tuesday is a continuation of a long-running monthly Central Jersey geocaching event, which used to be held at Fuddruckers in New Brunswick until that restaurant shut down, then at Fuddruckers in Bridgewater until that too shut down. This month, it was at Red Tower III, another burger and sandwich place, in Somerville. Because I now live farther away from Central Jersey, I only get to attend this event once or twice a year. But it was good to get back together with the Central Jersey group for a few hours.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox bunny logo)
I'd actually been planning to go to the September edition of "Triple Tuesday Pints & Patties - 2012" since a month ago when I noticed that this month's event was going to fall on my birthday. These Central Jersey monthly geocaching gatherings are usually small but still worth attending if I happen to have the day off.

I started the day with a free Original Grand Slam at Denny's in Carneys Point. I've never tried this Denny's because admittedly, I had a bias against restaurants in truck stops because I've been to some bad ones. (This one is at a Flying J Travel Plaza.) I have to say though that I was surprised at how spacious and comfortable this particular Denny's was. Also, service was quite good and they have free wi-fi internet.

It was a rainy and windy day but I found a bunch of geocaches anyway in the South Bound Brook area. I was glad the rain held off long enough for a few short walks in that area. In the evening, I went to Fuddruckers in Bridgewater for the event. I had a 1/3-lb burger with fixings.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy/rainy, 45-50°F. Central Jersey geocachers have been holding monthly meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month but since I returned to a full-time job, I haven't made it to a single meet. For the last meet of the year, I figured what the hey? Let's take a day off and go there.

It was an evening meetup, so I had the whole day to do some geocaching on the way there. First, I did a hike in Mercer County Park for a bunch of geocaches. That was not my original plan but the construction traffic delay on the NJ Turnpike made me decide to take exit 7A and so that's how I got there. Later in the day, I hiked Rutgers University Ecological Preserve. (The abandoned car was the only thing I photographed there. The wooded area is not actually full of abandoned cars, except for that one section of it.) Then it started raining, so I just did a number of quick geocaches the rest of the way to the meet.

The meetup was at Fuddruckers in Bridgewater. It wasn't a big gathering but I saw some of the regular attendees. We had the back section of the dining area, behind a partition. I ordered a turkey burger and loaded it up with fixings. (If you can still see the burger, then there aren't enough fixings! :) ) This particular Fuddruckers is one that offers free refills of fries.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy, 40-45°F. I was intrigued by a series of geocaches, all titled "Plainsboro Preserve...", that showed up at the top of the recently published list. That was two weeks ago but I finally went up to Plainsboro this morning to take a stab at this series. It turns out that those were all Ranger Rick themed geocaches! The geocaches were placed by the nature center people. There was a side game in this series. In each cache, there is a paw print stamp and as you find each cache, you can stamp your Ranger Rick's Trails passport. I brought my completed passport back to the nature center and the prize was a 10% discount in their nature store.

After that, I left the preserve and went geocaching in and around Plainsboro. There weren't many geocaches to find since I'd already been in that area just a few months ago. However, I was finally able to do "Plainsboro Cache & Dash #2", which I couldn't do the last time because there were people nearby. So this cache is easier when it's cold and dark and the plaza outside the Plainsboro Public Library is deserted.

For dinner, I went to On The Border in Princeton and had empanadas, tostada, refried beans and rice, house salad, and sopapillas. I had an On The Border coupon that I just had to use this evening because I almost never pass by an On The Border restaurant.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy, 75-80°F. If I told you that today's trip 1/3 of the way up New Jersey was motivated by a birthday coupon for a free entree, you'd think I'd gone half mad. But there were geocaches along the way too and I don't often get to go geocaching in the I-295 corridor area from Moorestown to Burlington.

The day actually got off to an inauspicious start because I lost "0h No A Nano - Repaupo, NJ" down the sign post when I tried to put it back. The sign post has two signs on it with about an inch gap between the two signs. The cache was originally placed behind the upper sign just a bit above the gap. When I tried to put it back, I accidentally dropped it because of a combination of big fingers and low dexterity. So it's now stuck somewhere behind the lower sign. I'm sure this was amusing to the folks in the nearby fire station who now know about the cache. Fortunately, the rest of the day was uneventful.

I geocached until around 8pm and then I went to Chevys in Lawrenceville. Since I had a free entree, I picked something on the menu that sounded like it could feed a village. So I had a Mixed Grill Fajita Combo. I thought it was pretty good although it could use more fajita wrappers.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
I wasn't sure if I was going to head out today because it was raining heavily early this morning. But the rain stopped so I went to the CJG 2011 Pot-Luck Picnic!. It's a picnic by the Central Jersey geocachers at Thompson Park in Jamesburg. I don't get out to their events often because it's a long drive (This one is about a 90-minute drive normally but over two hours today because of construction on the NJ Turnpike.)

It was a pretty good gathering. Everyone brought food, so we had burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, and also Oregon apple pie and carrot cake for dessert. (I asked whether there were Colorado and Dakota apple pies too. Okay, only geocachers would get the joke. :) ) During the picnic, we headed out in groups to do the nearby geocaches. We did Bethel 1746, Satellite View, and Thompson Troll. "Satellite View" was a puzzle cache for which I didn't have the solution, so I was just tagging along. "Bethel 1746" was funny because it took 3 people to do it: one to read the plaque to derive the coordinates, one to point in the general direction, and one to actually find the matchstick container. Our group also had a cheerleader. :)

At the end of the picnic, it started raining heavily again. After waiting out the rain for a while, I decided that it would be better to go directly home. There'll be time for deeper excursions into Central Jersey on other weekends.
mortonfox: (chicken fries)
Sunny, 75-80°F. This is funny but my main motivation for going to this evening's Third Tuesday geocaching event at Fuddruckers in New Brunswick was to use my Fuddruckers birthday coupon to get a free burger. Never mind that it's a 190-mile round trip. :)

Of course, since I was heading into NJ anyway, I might as well find some geocaches. I started in Glendora and stopped in Magnolia, Somerdale, Hi-Nella, Gibbsboro, and Springdale. Not sure which was the most difficult geocache of the day. It's probably a tie between "Faux Bark" and "I see you!" "Faux Bark" was actually findable in a minute or two, but I needed to leave the cache site and think about this evil hide a little. The most amusing cache of the day was "Squirrely Butt". The placement was simply peculiar -- the plastic squirrel figurine was hanging upside-down in a tree hollow and presenting the bison tube.

In the evening, I arrived at Fuddruckers for the Third Tuesday event. The usual Central Jersey group was already there. After chatting a while, I ordered the burger. Waited for it but they never called my name. So I went to the order counter to check. It turned out that they had forgotten my order. Oy! Once I reminded them, it took only a few minutes and they brought the burger and fries to my table. Then I topped it with a ton of fixings. I think I used enough melted cheese this time. :)

After the event, I went to Edison and did two quick geocaches at night before heading for home. "Grand Opening" is in a location that was of interest to me. I'd been wondering what happened after they tore down the Ford Assembly Plant on US-1 a few years ago. Well, wonder no more. That cache took me to the middle of the former assembly plant site, which is now a Sam's Club with a huge parking lot. Because we're not done until US-1 is strip malls from end to end.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
While at the Cici's Pizza event last night, someone reminded me that there's yet another NJ geocaching event today. So, what the hey? Let's make a 4th trip into NJ for Third Tuesday Beer and Burgers - 2010 Edition. On the way there, I geocached in Deptford, Somerdale, and Stratford. Most of the geocaches I found in Deptford were centered around Deptford Mall. "Eat More Chikin'" is in a wooded area near Chick-Fil-A. There were a bunch of coupons in the cache for free spicy chicken sandwiches so I used one and got myself a sandwich. I'm not fond of this restaurant chain for various reasons but hey, it's free food so I won't quibble.

I lost track of time while geocaching so I arrived at Fuddruckers in New Brunswick rather late for the event but still caught the last hour of it. I had chili nachos. As usual, the group lingered until closing time. After leaving the event, I tried to find one more cache at a nearby pedestrian bridge on Route 18. It was easier than I thought because that whole area was lit up at night. I thought that cache placement on the bridge was rather precarious but it has remained there for half a year so maybe it's not as unstable as I thought.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Did a lot of packing Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. This time I boxed up most of the computer peripherals and the wireless router because I was moving the wi-fi network to the house. Drove out in the rain. Good thing it wasn't raining or it had stopped raining in Delaware because that made it easier to unload the stuff. Spent the night there. The next day, I did more yardwork. Removed a lot of leaves and weeds from the backyard and packed them into many, many plastic shopping bags. I'm finally using up the plastic bags I'd saved over the years!

Thursday evening, I headed back up into New Jersey to Big Ed's BBQ in Old Bridge for the This Little Piggy Went To Old Bridge ]|[ geocaching event. I'd missed the first two events in this series because both of those were on Thursdays. I don't think there were that many of us there but we still filled up one room in the restaurant. I had ribs and more ribs. At the end of the event, Bernsa and I were presented with Good Luck Twinkies. He's leaving the state too, for DC-area Maryland.

After dinner, the group went out at night to find This Piney Piggy and Big Bad Wolf. Both were somewhat related to the event and the latter was a reflector trail cache specially designed to be found at night.
mortonfox: (gps)
Two days of fine weather. Around 70°F both days.

On Saturday, I went to Kingston. It's only halfway up to Albany from my place so it's not that far. I just haven't had time to visit that city in nearly two years. Well, I have time now and so I did. Just a few minutes in Kingston was enough to remind me why going there wasn't a top priority. The layout of uptown Kingston is confusing and annoying. Between the one-way streets and turn restrictions, I found myself making far more U-turns in parking lots than I should have needed. Dinner was at Arby's in Kingston to use another birthday coupon. I had a bacon and bleu roastburger and a jamocha swirl shake.

On Sunday, I went to Central Jersey. No cache marathon here. I was just picking at the odd cache here and there that I'd missed in previous trips. "Comic Book Trade" is a large chest set up behind an apartment complex for trading comic books. It's a great idea for a geocache and I wish I'd remembered to bring some comic books for trading. (or better yet, for leaving in this cache so I won't have to pack and move them!) Dinner was at Fuddruckers in New Brunswick to use... yes, another birthday coupon. (I still have 5 more but may not get around to using them all.) I had nachos with chicken and a cookies 'n cream shake.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Tuesday: Sunny and around 70°F. This was a Sue & Barry day. Most of the geocaches I found were placed by that team. What's great about their caches is each one is stocked with buttons or other small trinkets that fit the cache theme. So I took a long hike in South Mountain Reservation and collected a bunch of buttons. (When I got home, these buttons promptly went into a small box of memorabilia that I'll move to the new place.)

In the evening, I went to the Third Tuesday Beer and Burgers - 2009 Edition monthly geocaching event at Fuddruckers in New Brunswick. I only stayed long enough to trade travel bugs and say hello to the event regulars though. Since I had a birthday coupon, I went to On The Border, just across US-1, instead for dinner. I had pork tamale and chicken enchilada and the dip trio.

Wednesday: Cloudy with a 50% chance of rain, or so said the weather forecast. It didn't actually start raining until very late in the afternoon. The nice part about that is the temperature was around 60°F the whole day. Because of weather uncertainty, I went to Western NJ and did mostly quick geocaches, the R.I.P. (cemetery) series and the Route 31 series. For dinner, I used another birthday coupon from the stack of coupons. I went to Ruby Tuesday in Hackettstown and had blackened fish burger with salad bar.

About birthday coupons: Most restaurant chains have mailing lists for deals and specials these days. Birthday coupons are a marketing tactic, of course, but some of those are genuine freebies. If you sign up for those mailing lists, create a new email address and use that instead so that their periodic mailings don't spam your regular email.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy and somewhere around 72°F. I went geocaching in Central Jersey this afternoon. Six of those geocaches were placed for an event last weekend that I didn't attend. So it was an easy time just going from location to location in the South Plainfield area. Then I hit another group of geocaches in Liberty Corner and Basking Ridge.

The real point of this excursion was this evening's geocaching event. I attended NNJC 09-09-09 @ 09:09:09 PM. It was at Applegate Farm, an ice cream parlor, in East Hanover. This is a odd location for an ice cream place. Most of the stores in East Hanover are on Route 10 so it is a bit out of the way. Stranger still was the collection of tombstones next to the parking area behind the store. At least the front of the store looked pretty normal. We had the event on the balcony. Not too many attendees but this gathering was the perfect size for the location. I had a coupon from the Applegate Farm website. It turned out to be expired but they took it anyway. So I had a waffle cone with scoops of pistachio, chocolate peanut butter, and coffee.

Got home and saw that the back door glass was shattered. Not my responsibility but nevertheless, I'll be glad when I leave this place.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
My first stop on Saturday was Dog Days of Summer, an hour-long geocaching event at nearby Ramapo Reservation. Then I headed out to Western NJ. I was planning to go to Stroudsburg but there were more than enough geocaches in Western NJ for the day so maybe next time. Four of the geocaches were in Jenny Jump State Forest. For "The Kissing Tree", I summited Jenny Jump Mountain. It wasn't that impressive a peak -- just a boulder pile at the top of an incline and there is a shortcut from the last campground at the end of the park road. Dinner was at Arby's in Hackettstown, where the 5 regular roast beef for $5 deal is apparently available once again. (On previous visits, it was either available or not available depending on who I asked.)

Sunday was a hot day. The temperature was over 90°F at midday. I wasn't planning to go very far so Central Jersey it was. When I got to "Ash Cache Dash", I noticed that the swamp was dry. Even the stream bed was dry. This was a situation that I definitely had to use to my advantage so I ventured further in and got "Ash Cache" as well. After that, I went to another swamp to take a stab at "Out (in the woods looking for a) House". That area was dry too. What luck! Instead of making a perilous stream crossing, I merely walked directly to the cache site. Dinner was at On The Border in New Brunswick. I had a coupon from the mailing list so I might as well use it. That turned out to be quite a lot of food. I had chicken taco, rice, and refried beans, Mexican chopped salad, and sopapillas.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Took the day off on Friday to make a 3-day weekend. I hadn't been geocaching in the I-84 corridor from Fishkill to Carmel in quite a while so I allowed 3 days for that. It went a lot faster than I thought (29 caches on Friday, 32 on Saturday), so I finished off the weekend in Central Jersey instead.

Went to Fishkill and Wappingers Falls on Friday after doing 2 geocaches in Orange County on the way up. Notable collections of geocaches were along the Fishkill Creek ("Down by the creek" series, 1.5-mile round trip hike) and in Carnwath Farms ("Four of a Kind", even though there were more than 4 in the series :) ). Aside from those, geocaches were spread out along the major roadways, making for easy travel.

Dinner was 4 pieces of fried fish and a fish taco at Long John Silver's in New Windsor because I had a $10 gift certificate from a complaint resolution. I had to stop at around 8pm to get there before they closed the dining area but by that time, I was pretty much done in the area anyway. Well, looks like they did pay attention to my feedback. Although they still lock the dining area at 9pm sharp, they're no longer discouraging customers from using the dining area shortly before 9pm. The place was in fact busy near closing time so it is worth catering to late arrivals.

Saturday and Sunday... )

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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