mortonfox: (fox sit)
Saturday's trip was to South Jersey, starting in Turnersville and Blackwood, a bit more to the southeast than usual. I decided to finish capturing the Munzees at Gloucester Premium Outlets since I didn't give it much time previously. It's not a terribly remarkable outlet mall, except for one sculpture of kids playing in the south part of the complex. After that, I went to Deptford, Mount Laurel, Burlington, and Florence for a general round-up of new Munzees. Best thing about the day though is I captured 13 mythologicals and 1 nomad, a personal record which will be difficult to beat. These are random and South Jersey does get a lot of them because of the density of Munzees in the area.

Sunday's trip was to Southern Delaware. (Camden, Greenwood, Seaford, Blades, and Laurel) I started off with a few geocaches but then switched to munzee when I ran out. There were some nice places along the way, such as Lofland Park with a view of the river near a hospital in Seaford. However, I thought Nylon Capital was a little sad. It seems this shopping center is pretty much dead now and most of the shopping nowadays is out by US-13 instead of in town. (Also, Seaford has moved past nylon but that's another matter.)

The munzees... )


The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Saturday's trip was to South Jersey, to Mount Laurel, Cherry Hill, and Haddonfield. The main goal was to capture the row of prize wheel munzees behind Centerton Shopping Center since I only needed a few more for the next prize wheel badge. There was a lot more to do as well since this is the area where a number of munzers deploy.

Sunday's trip was to York. I hadn't been to York in quite a while because of the difficulty in getting there. Once you get to Lancaster, US-30 is a divided highway to York, but there just isn't a good way to go from my place to Lancaster. Since I hadn't been there in a long time though, there were some new geocaches around York, such as the one at the Mt Rose I-83 traffic viewing spot. I also took the opportunity to capture some Munzee gardens in the area, such as the Manchester Town Center smiley.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox sit)
I had the day off on Monday, so it was a 3-day weekend. Saturday's trip was to Atlantic City and Brigantine, with a stop in Berlin on the way to dinner. The trouble with the casino area in Atlantic City is there's no free parking. Even Harrah's, which isn't in the downtown area, now charges for parking, even though they didn't just a few years ago. So I mostly went for munzees and geocaches off the beaten path. Still, there was a lot to see. I went to the Absecon Lighthouse and the aquarium. Also saw a bench on a fragment of a pier out in the water. I thought that was sad and strange at the same time.

Sunday's trip was somewhat shorter because of the rain. Just a dash down to Sandy Point State Park to capture about 500 munzees and then back again.

Monday's trip was to Dover, Bridgeville, Seaford, and Laurel in Southern Delaware. It was mostly for Munzee but I stopped for a bunch of new geocaches along the way. Horsey Pond was the most scenic area of the day. The weird item of the day was an Angry Birds porta-potty in Seaford. It looked like character merchandising gone wrong.

The caches... )
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: (morton blvd)
It was a rainy Saturday, so I went to South Jersey, specifically Sewell, Blackwood, Deptford, Voorhees, Marlton, and Mount Laurel for Munzees only. The strategy of the day was to focus on hotel, motel and timeshare munzees to minimize the number of times I had to step out into the rain.

Sunday's trip was to Lehigh Valley and across the state line there to Pohatcong and Phillipsburg. I actually ran out of munzees there, so there was enough time for a walk along the Tatamy Trail to get a bunch of geocaches, which were apparently video game themed.


The caches... )
mortonfox: (rakket)
Saturday's trip was south to Salisbury for another munzee raid since there were more dense areas in and around the city that I hadn't hit yet. There were also a few geocaches along the way in Camden, Bridgeville, Seaford, and Laurel.

On Sunday, I did a mascot gig at the Lawrenceville Jubilee. Solo gig this time because Damian couldn't make it due to an automotive problem. I wore the raccoon fursuit this time and it was this character's first appearance at the jubilee. It took the crowd a few minutes to warm up to the character and then it was high-fives and hugs everywhere. It was a smaller crowd than in some of the previous years because of the weather but it was still a great crowd. I did five rounds, about once per hour, and only one round was cut short a bit because of rain. Otherwise, the gig went rather well. After that, I still had time for one geocache near Trenton and a bunch of munzees in Mount Laurel.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (selfie gif)
Or more like a Munzee trip with a side of furry con. I'd actually planned to use this trip to get the emerald garden in Anacostia Park in southeast DC, since I'd never captured a virtual emerald garden before, and then get the vast collection of virtuals in and around the National Mall. That's what I did Thursday afternoon. Instead of I-95, I took the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Anacostia Park. After getting the emerald garden, I took a little walk on the bike path by the Anacostia River for a bunch more munzees. My original plan was to park at Anacostia Metro and take the Metrorail in to the National Mall, but after seeing the somewhat sketchy area, I decided it would be better to park at the hotel and take the Metrorail from there. So that's what I did. It was my first time using the Metrorail and I thought it was fairly modern and impressive. The silver line follows Rt 267 and I-66, and it's a lot faster than traffic on those highways in the late afternoon. Since I wasn't driving, I was able to capture all the virtual munzees along those highways too, at least on the stretch before the train goes underground. I got out at the Smithsonian Metro Station and started walking towards the US Capitol, capturing munzees and even finding a few geocaches along the way. I hit a new one-day record fairly easily with over 6,000 captures and 111K points. Then I took a Lyft to the South Capitol Hill area to find my friend's puzzle geocache, "Roll Call". Had dinner there too because it was a restaurant row area, before returning to the hotel, also via Metrorail.

I did the same thing Friday afternoon, except this time, I walked towards the Washington Monument. Not as many munzees this time - 3,300 captures and 90K points, but I only wanted to get 2nd place on the leaderboard to get the 2nd place badge. (Thursday's munzee run got me the 1st place badge, so I didn't need to do that any more. Yes, it's a weird badge optimization. :) )

Okay, enough about munzee. What about the con? It's my 5th year attending FtM. This time I brought the raccoon and coyote fursuits. I intended to alternate between the two but I wore the raccoon more than the coyote because the latter needed some repair work. There were fewer events/activities of interest this year because they canceled the fursuit parade (replaced by fursuit menagerie + photoshoot) and fursuit games (probably had to make way for floor wars). On the plus side though, the 18+ (i.e. mature/adult) panels on Saturday night were pretty good this year. The lighter schedule allowed more time to hang out, socialize, and get anything I needed done. Just like last year, the convention hotel was the Sheraton in Tysons Corner, within walking distance of a number of restaurants, a Walmart, and the Spring Hill Metro Station, so I was able to leave the car in the hotel garage the whole weekend.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox bunny logo)
I needed one geocache this weekend to get the Celebrating 3 million active geocaches souvenir, but I got a few more geocaches along the way. The cache that actually got me the souvenir, "Ava & Alex cache", was a bit of a dubious placement because it's right next to a private driveway. Hopefully it's their property or they have permission. Anyway, my destination on Saturday was Mill Creek Park in Willingboro because there was a nice loop of munzees all along the circular park road. I parked in each parking area and walked back and forth a bit to capture them all. Also took a look at the Futuro House, a must-see oddity in this park.

Sunday's trip was also to South Jersey, but this time to the Mount Laurel Corporate Center, which is packed with munzees for reasons known only to those who deployed them. Although most of the munzees were in the parking lot, there were also a bunch along the walking path around a pond behind the QAD building. Needless to say, Sunday was a good time to go for those because the area was deserted, except for one bird who watched me capture a munzee.

The caches... )
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: (face tree)
Just like the previous two weekends, my focus was not on geocaches although there were still some on the way to the munzee areas. Saturday's actual goal was to claim my free AIRism t-shirt from the Montgomery Mall Uniqlo. I had that coupon in my email for the longest time but my previous attempt to head that way was foiled by an injury. So once again, I headed the same way up. Enroute, there was a stop at West Goshen Township Park in West Chester for a few geocaches, as well as a quick look at the helicopter museum. Then I went and got the munzees up the Rt 309 shopping area in North Wales and Montgomeryville. And the last stop before dinner was at Uniqlo to get the shirt. I'd never been to this store before. My overall impression though was clothes there ran a gamut of sizes from tiny to super-tiny. Seriously, even their size XL seemed a bit small for my apparently giant frame. (No wonder I fall down so hard! :) )

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

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
On Saturday, I went to the "Plainsboro Preserve 2017 Geotrail Launch" geocaching event in (where else?) Plainsboro Preserve. The event itself was in the nature center building, where there was an European Starling that perched by the heat lamp for a while before taking a bird bath. I didn't stay for the geotrail caches since I had other caches to go for in Rocky Hill, Montgomery, Belle Mead, and Somerville. Followed those with a Munzee grab around the Bridgewater Commons Mall before dinner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The caches... )

CNY in CNJ

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

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

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

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

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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