mortonfox: (create a fursona)
I was going to wait until the end of the month to decide whether to continue my geocaching premium membership (which expires on June 3rd) but after seeing the "new dashboard experience", I went ahead and canceled the auto-renew. What on earth were they thinking? This is a prime example of the school of web design where they think people won't notice that they have removed features if they just put a pretty face on it. Except that this "pretty face" is one of those misguided new-style web designs that convey less information in more space through the use of big fonts and copious whitespace. It's like moving from Lego to Duplo, only not nearly as fun. The worst problem in the new dashboard is it only shows 20 recent logs instead of a month of recent logs. Also, it mixes in friends' recent logs. With the kind of avid geocachers in my geocaching friends list, that guarantees the list won't even cover a day of logs. Maybe not even an hour of logs sometimes!

Anyway, Saturday's trip was to South Jersey again for more munzee and a few geocaches along the way. I went to Riverside, Delanco, Beverly, Burlington, Florence, Mt Holly, and Lumberton, just a big ol' circle on the way to the Asian food market for restocking. There was a good view of the Delaware River in Burlington and a caboose on display in Mt. Holly. I was told that the caboose was being refurbished.

For Sunday's trip, I took a short detour to Havertown, a few miles off the Blue Route. I was surprised there's now a collection of munzees there. Slowly, the game will enter every town. Then I went to Plymouth Township for a mix of geocaches and munzee. It's where I saw a bronze german shepherd and contemplated whether a bird in the bush was worth half a bird in the hand. Then I went to the Gwynedds, North Wales, Colmar, and Ambler. Ambler was pretty good for munzeeing. I parked in the public lot and took a walk around a few blocks, capturing everything. Also found a rare pirate nomad just a bit outside of Ambler. Nomads are a lot harder to find than mythologicals because there are so few of them, so running into one just made my day.

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: (fox bend)
This weekend, I once again made circles to the west and north of Philadelphia to get the newest batch of geocaches. Saturday's trip was to Upper Merion, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, and Northwest Philadelphia. Got some trail hiking in Northwest Philly because of a few series of geocaches going short distances into rugged Wissahickon Park. The most interesting caches of the day were near the Green Goats project in Bob White Park, Upper Merion. This project uses goats to get rid of invasive plants and poison ivy, and the goats are fun to watch because they move around and eat a lot.

Sunday's trip was to Willow Grove, Abington, and Jenkintown, focusing on the area south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike but north of the city. The most interesting cache site of the day was in the sculpture park at Alverthorpe Manor.

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: (xmas)
Hot on the heels of Christmas weekend came another 4-day weekend for the new year. Thursday's trip was to Lehigh Valley to attend the New Year Eve geocaching event, "Bye, Bye 2015", at Wegmans in Bethlehem. This event was in the evening though, so there was plenty of time to get the "12 Days of XMas" cache series in Allentown and Bethlehem. Most of those caches were easy except for the one in the bus stop. For that one, I had to wait a few minutes for the bus to arrive and pick up the person who was sitting directly on top of the cache!

Didn't plan on going very far on New Year's Day, so I just got some geocaches locally and in Delaware County. (Springfield, Upper Darby, Narberth, and Bala Cynwyd) The most interesting cache of the day was "Listening for Nora's Ghost", a Garmin Chirp cache. Until that day, I'd never used the Chirp receiver in my Garmin 62s because chirp caches are so rare. Chirp is a wireless beacon placed out in the field. For this cache, the description had directions on where to go, starting from the given coordinates, to find the beacon. When I got close enough to the beacon, my handheld GPS picked up the info and then it was just a bit farther to the physical cache.

Saturday's trip was to Mt Holly. Most of the new geocaches in that area were pretty straightforward, except for the multi and mystery caches in Historic Smithville, but it was just an additional step for each. Mill Dam Park was a nice stop at the beginning of the day.

Sunday was the big day for the weekend. I'd planned to walk an 8-mile round trip on the Union Transportation Trail to get 33 geocaches. Fortunately, despite the time of year, it wasn't as cold as I thought so the walk was quite doable. Midway through the walk, I ran into SanMar, geocachers from South Jersey. So we joined forces and finished the remaining caches. Remarkably, there was still daylight after we were done, so I got a bunch more geocaches around Cream Ridge and New Egypt before heading off to dinner.

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... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
I think a reasonable daytrip would be capped at around 100 miles from home. York Township is already at the 80-mile point, so there isn't much new geocaching territory left. So on Saturday, I thought I'd revisit Southeastern York and take a stab at geocaches that I'd skipped previously for various reasons and also geocaches that were confirmed missing and replaced. Also, there was a collection of puzzle caches around Red Lion that I solved since my last trip there. It was a mixed day. Some caches really were difficult. Others were difficult but I knew the tricks. "The river view 2" had 6 DNF logs in a row. After looking around for a while, I figured it was not in the obvious spot where the last six visitors were probably focused on. Sure enough, it was actually a bit beyond the wooden posts and bush at ground zero, and not in a spot that stood out. "The Cybermen", which also has a few DNFs, is tough to access in the summer but I saw it among the undergrowth.

"Ma & Pa Heritage Railroad Village Cache" was the most interesting location of the day. Obviously, permission had been granted for the geocache because it was placed inside one of the historic buildings and the trick was to figure out what I could actually open, once I was in there, to reveal it. Anyway, some tourists came by just as I was almost done with the cache. I talked to them and told them plainly that I was putting the geocache back in place. They didn't question it. They just looked at some of the antique stuff in there and shuffled off to the next building, so they might've simply assumed I was doing maintenance work.

On Sunday, I went to Marple, Springfield, Radnor, and then farther north to West Norriton and Center Square. I was again going for a mix of caches I skipped over or couldn't find previously and some new ones. "The Brotherhood catapult" was a challenging one. It's in a tree branch overhanging a parking lot. Many cachers mentioned using a tool or parking under the cache (and standing on the car) to retrieve it, but I decided to try just pulling on the branch, starting from near the trunk. To my surprise, the tree branch wasn't as stiff as I thought. I gave it a tug and followed the branch hand-over-hand towards the cache. When I was done with the cache, I released the branch and it sprang back to its original position. I've seen this kind of cache placement a lot on young pine trees in the pine barrens, so the only surprise here is I was able to use the same retrieval technique on a non-pine tree. "The Willows Two-Step: Step 1" was a cache I couldn't find years ago because of poor GPS reception in the thick woods. I revisited the cache site and had the same problem again. However, the new hint helped and after criss-crossing the area for a while, I stumbled across the cache.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (me tira daqui)
Went for jury duty on Thursday morning. It was actually my first time because I wasn't eligible all the previous times I received a jury summons. The county courthouse in downtown Wilmington was pretty busy that day. There were 17 cases on the trial calendar, so it took most of the morning for them to sort through those cases. They whittled it down to 3 cases after settlements and plea bargains. I was in the third group of jurors to get called. After calling 35 jurors for jury selection in each of the first two cases, the bailiff decided to just call the rest of us for the third case. So nearly 100 people, including myself, had to take the elevator to a courtroom on the 8th floor. (Courthouse stairs were reserved for emergency use only.) It was like the elevator line at the Westin during Anthrocon. :) By the time we all got to the 8th floor though, the prosecutor and defendant had both agreed to a bench trial (trial by judge) due to the complexity of the criminal case, so they didn't need a jury after all. The judge took a few minutes to explain that decision to all of us and then we all went back down to the jury assembly room. By the afternoon, they decided no more jurors were needed so they handed out the juror certificates and dismissed us. Even though it was just a lot of waiting, I still thought it was an educational experience because the court staff explained what was happening every step of the way. There was still some daylight afterwards, so I went to Logan and Mullica Hill in South Jersey for a quick geocache run before returning to Delaware for errands and dinner.

Saturday had bad weather, with a mix of snow and rain, but I figured if I headed south to Eastern Shore, there would be only rain down that way. This time, I went to Wye Mills, Wye Island, and some of the fingers of land next to Easton. The hard part about geocaching in that area is the shape of the land. There are lots of fingers of land, up to 10 miles long, into the Chesapeake Bay with no bridges linking them. If you venture down one finger for a geocache, it takes a lot of driving and time to go back out of the finger and down another finger. So I picked only those fingers with a good collection of geocaches. Prospect Bay was nice. Even though it looked like a very exclusive community, no one bothered me and it looks like they leave geocaches alone too, even those really obvious cache containers that I saw sitting out in the open. Near the end of the day, I revisited St Michaels to finish the geocaches I didn't have time for last week, and ended the day at Claiborne Beach. (the only time that day the sun came out)

On Sunday, I hit the trail loop for 11 geocaches at Kirkwood Preserve in Newtown Square. There was some snow on the ground from the previous day's snowfall but not really enough to make it hard to find those geocaches. There was one geocache in Radnor that required climbing a concrete pillar. I brought my ladder but it didn't feel safe because the ladder didn't reach high enough, so I decided not to retrieve this cache until I can get a longer ladder. The shape of the pillar also makes it a lot harder to use long tree branches to knock the cache off, although some have done it that way. After that, I continued onwards to Lower Gwynedd and Horsham. Things were a bit rougher there because of some uncleared parking areas. "Up Against the Wall!" was findable despite the snow, although I had to dig up nearly a 10-foot line of snow before I saw it. Of course, I put the snow back for the next person! :) "Enterance[sic] to the Woods" was difficult for no good reason. That whole area was a messy mix of water and snow. After kicking away the snow fruitlessly for a while, I saw the cache just sitting out there on a tuft of grass. It wasn't a hiding spot that made sense but I think some caches just put the whammy on folks. I noticed in the cache logs that others took a while to find it too, just because of the weirdness of the placement.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (No hunting)
It was a rainy weekend so I decided not to go too far on Saturday, but somehow, even that trip ended up all the way over in Horsham. Anyway, I went for some of the geocaches near I-476 that on better days, I'd have passed by on my way to the MontCo Cache Factory. The surprise is a number of caches in that area were placed by scout troops. Scout caches are usually regular-sized, fairly simple, and close to the trail, so those are good for a quick walk and find.

Sunday was another trip into South Jersey to get those caches before the NJ State Parks policy takes effect. Actually, I'm not sure which ones will be affected. Certainly all the caches in Byrne State Forest will fall under the state policy but the fate of others may depend on whether Green Acres land, for instance, is included. Then again, given that Burlington County was enforcing its own rules, I don't think any cache over there is safe. Anyway, I thought the best cache of the day was "Dude, where's my Rambler?" It's hidden on a rusty Rambler in the woods. The old car photographs quite well, even in its advanced state of rust. Another interesting cache was "Cross Keys School". This one needed some online and field research to find the plaque with the information I needed for the final coordinates. But hey, it's the only way I'll learn some history. :)

The caches... )
mortonfox: (xmas)
The weather system dumped quite a bit of snow on the area Thursday night and temperatures never got above freezing on Friday. So there was still a lot of snow (and snow/ice-covered roads) on Saturday. I decided it wasn't a great day to travel out very far and tried my hand at finding geocaches in the snow within New Castle County. Some, like the banana and the idol, were still pretty easy to find despite the snow. The banana was, by sheer luck, in the only spot in the woods that was sheltered from the snow. "A Hard Cache for You", on the other hand, lived up to its name. It's a micro cache on the ground, so to find it, I pretty much had to shovel snow all around the cache site until finally, I got it out. Anyway, despite the tough geocaching and slick roads, it was a good day to go out and the snow made for a change in scenery.

On Sunday, I went to the Chester/Delaware County border area, specifically Tredyffrin, Berwyn, Radnor, and St. Davids. This area actually seemed a bit more dangerous because there were some winding and hilly country roads that were made even more icy by the freezing rain overnight. With a little care though, my car didn't skid. I tried to pick geocaches that I thought would be easy in the snow. However, "Willow Lake TB Hotel" at Eastern University turned out to be surprisingly difficult because that area by the lake had a smooth layer of snow and the cache was not where I thought it would be from the description and logs. (GPS readings were a bit flaky in that area too, which didn't help matters.) My only recourse was to shovel snow speculatively in a number of places until I got it. The best part of the day was a walk on the snowy Radnor Trail for 3 geocaches. With no one else using the bike path, it was very quiet.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
On Saturday, I went to the LVGC Breakfast geocaching event at Borderline Restaurant in Bethlehem, PA. I ordered the breakfast special, which sounded like a simple thing but came on two plates! Probably a good thing it was filling though, because the group spent most of the day on a 4-mile hike on the towpath. It was fun. The group did two series of geocaches that were all in a row on the towpath. Then we relocated to another section of the towpath, closer to Easton, for more geocaches. After that, the group broke up but CaptainMath and I went off to do a few more geocaches, since both of us are from outside of the Lehigh Valley area and don't often get a chance to tackle the challenging caches there.

Since I returned from Lehigh Valley late on Saturday and woke up late on Sunday, I decided not to go too far from home. There was the new "Take A Walk" series of caches in East Goshen but 9 geocaches were not enough to fill the day, so I did some before and after those. Excalibur II is a 5/5 rated geocache in Talley Day Park, Wilmington. It's in the same spot as the former Excalibur geocache. A 5/5 rating is the highest level for difficulty and terrain, although I don't think it is as hard as the cache owner intended. As designed, one would have to climb a tree to get a tool to extract the cache. However, I had an idea what was required, so I brought my own retrieval tool (the 3-foot grabber) and that worked very well. I also met a nice horse near "By The Fence - Another Woodlawn Ammo Box".

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
At one of the 12-12-12 events, a fellow geocacher asked me if I had any goals for this year. My answer was I hoped to get to 3000 geocaches this year since I was already up to 2935 at the time of the event. Who knew I'd get there by Saturday? Anyway, on Saturday, after doing an early bank errand and having the breakfast of champions at the local Scottish Place, I headed out to US-130 in Pennsauken. There was a new series of 39 geocaches (the Memphis May Fire / MMF series). These were all along US-130 from Pennsauken to Bordentown, so that was my route for the day, plus a few side trips into nearby towns and parks for other geocaches. In the evening, after the dinner of champions at Meat Sandwich Monarch in Florence and a few more geocaches, I redid the calculations and realized that I was just a few caches away from a round 3000 for the year. So I stopped in Mount Laurel on the way home and bagged two more easy ones. And that was that!

What's surprising about 3000 in a year is I did it mostly within 100 miles of home and it beats my year 2010 total of 2938! That's notable because 2010 was the year before I started this job, so I had a lot more time to geocache that year than I did this year. I think what helped this year was people were placing a lot more series of geocaches along dirt roads and bike trails instead of single geocaches. The most notable series this year were along or in the Henry Hudson Trail, the Atlantic City and Egg Harbor Township bike paths, the Peaslee WMA, the Union Transportation Trail, the Edgar Felix Bike Path (Allaire State Park), US-130, and Delaware Route 9. I think better technology helped too. I started using the Neongeo app in January and it works really well for the kind of on-the-fly cache downloading and filtering that I do when out and about. (I know I should do more planning before heading out but I haven't gotten into that habit. So it's software and mobile data to the rescue! :) )

Sunday's cache outing was comparatively low-key. It was cloudy and threatening to rain the whole day, so I didn't stray too far. I geocached in Delaware County, in Media, Springfield, Ridley Park, Norwood, and Tinicum, and in Western Philadelphia. "Darn Mosquitoes!" was a challenging spot to get to that was no problem at all during the winter. There were no mosquitoes and I could see through the brush to find the easiest route there. "This Bud's For You!!" was one that I failed to find previously but was no problem on Sunday afternoon when the downtown area was not full of bar-hoppers. "Hangartown" was near a nice hotel by the Philadelphia International Airport but this field was unfortunately full of dog poop! I guess travelers don't feel responsible enough to pick up.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Last Monday, I hit the 18,000-cache milestone. After this Monday's evening cache outing, I was up to 18,111 caches. So it was a 111-cache week. I don't think it was my highest one-week total since I've done a few powertrails, but for regular geocaching without taking any extra days off (aside from the Independence Day holiday), it is more than usual.

On the July 4th holiday, I took a trip up to Lehigh Valley. There were a few geocaches very near the Lehigh Valley exit on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Extension that I never got a chance to do on previous trips. I did those on this trip and then traveled around Macungie and Allentown the rest of the day. Nothing too special that day, except for one geocache that was under an abandoned tower. I think it's an old-fashioned stone water tower but who really knows?

On Saturday, I went to Harford County in Maryland again to try to finish the remaining geocaches around Aberdeen. This was not the best geocaching trip. I had trouble at a few geocache sites and got attacked by yellow jackets at a river area. I had to kill one of them because it followed me into the car and entered one of my shoes. Near the end of the day, I decided to try the toll-free route home via US-1 (both the I-95 and US-40 bridges have $6 tolls going northbound) and that took me to a batch of recent geocaches in Rising Sun and Oxford that I'd been meaning to do.

Sunday's trip was the best one of the week. I guess that's the reward for putting up with Saturday. :) I headed up towards Lehigh Valley again but this time, I stopped at a number of towns along I-476 and Route 309. I geocached in Marple Township, Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting, Quakertown, Richland, Coopersburg, Center Valley, and finally Allentown. I spent the bulk of the day in Quakertown and Richland. There was also an interesting set of 7 geocaches at DeSales University in Center Valley, including one at a spiral sculpture near the Labuda Theater on campus.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
It was a generally warm and sunny weekend with temperatures peaking at just over 80°F. On Saturday, I went geocaching in Delaware County and Western Philadelphia because I haven't gone that way in a while. Southern DelCo was actually somewhat of a mess with a number of closed roads blocking access to I-95 and a lot of backed up traffic. I did whatever geocaches I could and routed around or away from traffic delays. I skipped past a few geocaches because I didn't see any way I could get over to those in a reasonable amount of time. I passed through Western Philadelphia and did only a few geocaches there. Then I went to Bala Cynwyd to tackle the Cynwyd Heritage Trail (CHT) series of caches. That was the longest walk of the day. I went all the way around to the other end of the trail and followed the sidewalk back to where I parked. After that, I did a few easy ones across the Schuylkill River in Roxborough before calling it a day.

Since I started late on Sunday, I decided to take it easy and just head down to Central Delaware after picking up two easy FTF nearby in Newark. I had a relatively easy time that day. Aside from not planning my routes properly and driving the long way around to some of the cache sites, I didn't have any significant trouble with any of the caches. I was on a bit of a hot streak and was lucky with even the difficult caches that I attempted. "Evil Lake Cache" was the hardest of them all because it was buried in sand, but I dug all the way around the beach shack and got it. (I had some inside info on this cache that was incorrect but at least gave me the right idea.) On the lighter side, I thought some of the caches were rather creative and neat. I saw a frog cache, a dragonfly, a snail, and a spider.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 55-60°F. Yesterday, I geocached in Delaware County. So today, I continued further into Delaware County, along the Main Line towards Philadelphia. There were a bunch of new geocaches in this area and I wanted to see if I could get the 23 finds I needed to hit the 17,000-cache milestone. I started with 3 geocaches at Skunk Hollow Park in Radnor. Then I proceeded through Haverford, Ardmore, Lower Merion, Narberth, and Bala Cynwyd. I actually wasn't making very good time until I got to Bala Cynwyd. Then I got a whole bunch of geocaches very quickly. The sun set when I was at "Street Luge 2001" and I was still a few geocaches away from 17,000. So the milestone cache ended up having to be a quick urban cache that I could find at night. "BINAC The Destroyer" on Ridge Avenue in Philly was the one. It's actually an interesting historical site. 3747 Ridge Avenue is where BINAC, an early electronic computer, passed verification tests.

I revisited St. David's Community Park today. The last time I was there, I saw a wooden structure covered in vines along part of the path around the park. It was December and the vines had already wintered. At that time, I wrote that I wanted to return in the Spring to see what it looks like when the vines are all green. Well, today I saw that they had gotten rid of the wooden structure and all the vines. How disappointing! The previous geocache was hidden on that wooden structure, so it's gone too, but as a consolation, I got to find "St. David's Community Park - Redux", the replacement cache.

Dinner was at Banana Leaf in Philadelphia Chinatown since the last geocache brought me into Philadelphia, just a few miles from Chinatown, and street parking is not impossible to find late at night on Sunday. I had nasi lemak and roti canai.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 37-45°F. You'd think after finding geocaches for seven days in a row, it'd lose its charm, but no. I'd planned on hitting a Ruby Tuesday in the evening to use a coupon, so I figured I should try some of the more physically-demanding geocaches to work up an appetite. So I stayed relatively close to home to tackle the harder ones in Delaware County. These are the 2.5 and 3-star geocaches I usually drive past on the way to other locations. Not so today. I gave each one a try. I did a lot of walking, mostly near Crum Creek in Swarthmore and Wallingford. Some geocaches were in brushy areas or required some hill-climbing, although nothing technical. Some were actually a lot easier than rated, which shows that sometimes, you never know until you actually get there and try it.

The most interesting location of the day was "Italian Water Garden Ruins" in Swarthmore. It's been taken over by woods but the circular stone structure remains. That must have been impressive back in the day. "The Game" was an interesting idea too. The cache wasn't unusual but in order to log it online, you have to answer a trivia question about the location. Luckily, it is a question that even someone, such as I, with no knowledge of sports can answer.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy, 30-35°F. Today, I started with a few geocaches up by Exton and Uwchlan. The reason I did those two first was so I could take the Pennsylvania Turnpike over to King of Prussia and pick up "76 east 2" along the way. It took me a very long time to get to this rest area geocache because I don't ever use this stretch of the PA Turnpike. The Turnpike is not intended for local travel. Exits are 10 to 20 miles apart and usually not where I would prefer to enter/leave the highway. It's a toll road, besides. "76 east 2" turned out to be a somewhat tricky geocache but I read some online logs and those clued me in on how to search for it. Thank goodness there isn't any yellowjacket activity in the middle of winter because it was placed where one's fingers may come into contact with stinging insects.

It looks like Pennsylvania is now firmly in winter mode. The lake in Willows Park in Radnor, for example, was frozen solid and pretty much all of the field and wooded area was covered in a snow and ice mix that was piled up high in some places. Most of the geocaches still weren't that hard to locate though. The one that took a bit of effort to retrieve was "Well, at least it's not another LPC". This one was iced over. I tried several methods to get it unstuck without success. Then I kicked it and that finally loosened it up.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 45-50°F, although due to the short daylight, 9 out of the 19 geocaches I did today were after sunset! Since I've had enough of Lancaster for a while, I decided to do some geocaches closer (in a relative sense) to home. So I went geocaching in Newtown Square, Radnor, Conshohocken, Plymouth Meeting, Blue Bell, Center Square, and North Wales.

There were a few interesting and/or funny geocaches today but I thought the best one of the day was "May I Offer You A Little Something ?" It was hanging high up in a tree. Since the terrain rating is only 1 star, the trick is not to climb the tree but to devise a way to unhook the cache, bring it down, and hook it back up there again later. I used one of the many fallen branches near the cache site to do that. I was a bit surprised that I could actually summon up enough dexterity to get and put it back in one try, especially since there were other tree branches and twigs getting in the way.

"Honey, I Fed The Kids" and "FAIL!" were the funny geocaches of the day. The former pokes fun at McDonald's (and is right next to McDonald's in Conshohocken), while the latter is funny because of the sign on which it is hidden.

Dinner was pork nachos at Baja Fresh in Conshohocken. I haven't been to Baja Fresh in months, probably won't be back to one for a while, and since there's a location within a mile of the Blue Route, I figured why not? I thought the food was only about average but their cranberry salsa was interesting. (No turkey though!) I just wish they would refrain from making racist jokes within earshot of the dining area. Even if not directed at me personally, it doesn't seem appropriate in the presence of customers. (I noted this when I filled out the customer survey later this evening.)

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chicken fries)
I actually had a turkey this Thanksgiving because I got a free 10-lb bird from BJ's Wholesale a week ago. At the warehouse club, I only had to spend about $25 on turkey fixings to get the free turkey, so that was easy. (In comparison, I'd have to spend over $100 at the local supermarket and that's only to get a discount on the turkey.) So I stayed home the whole of Thursday because one turkey, with stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce was more than enough for both lunch and dinner. (and for at least two meals next week, since I froze the leftovers)

On Friday, it was time to venture out of the cave again since it was a nice sunny 60-65°F day. I thought I'd start a bit later to allow time for the Black Friday shopping traffic to dissipate but I needn't have worried. Since everyone was already inside the malls and stores, the roads were clear all the way. Ironically, the first 3 geocaches I did were around the Granite Run Mall in Media. What should've been the worst day to do these geocaches was actually not bad. I also geocached in Newtown Square, Radnor, and Wayne. 16 geocaches was not bad since I started late and sunset came early.

After that, I picked up a chocolate turnover at Arby's in Broomall on the way to dinner, which was back in-state at Chili's in Newark. I had chicken quesadillas and chicken nachos since they were doing this free-appetizer coupon thing today. In retrospect, I should've gotten something else either for the entree or for the appetizer because those two items looked rather similar. The only Black Friday shopping I did was at BJ's Wholesale because there were breakfast cereal specials. (Never mind that I already have enough to last me until March!)

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Cloudy, 65-70°F. I took the afternoon off from work today and went geocaching with [livejournal.com profile] jackalopejess. Actually, the real point of this trip was to use a Groupon for Jimmy John's in West Chester. I may not be able to use the full value of this Groupon on my own but two people sure could. This Jimmy John's location is a hot dog place along US-202 with a train set in the dining area! I'd never been there before and it's kind of a neat place with inexpensive food. I had a Triple Crown Meal, which is a hot dog, fries, and a soda, and apparently the only combo meal on the menu.

After that, we went over to Delaware County to do a bunch of geocaches from Prospect Park to Springfield. For the most part, those were easy. Only the "Creekview" cache posed a bit of a physical challenge because I had to climb down to creek level before I saw it. Anyway, I had a good time. Probably would do these outings with friends more if we could get our schedules to match up.

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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