mortonfox: (xmas)
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fell on a weekend this year but I took Monday off to make it a 3-day weekend. Saturday's trip was to the area around Norristown, Lower/Upper Gwynedd, North Wales, and Colmar, where remarkably, there was still quite a bit of cache placement activity going on. The "phobia" series of caches was once again entertaining and disturbing, as one can see from this baby head, which was the "Pediophobia" cache. Since my itinerary wasn't too packed, I took a chance to do the two mile-long hikes on either side of the Gwynedd Nature Preserve.

Sunday's trip started with a long hike on the Horseshoe Trail for 9 geocaches. After that, I went to French Creek State Park, which I'd never visited before, for JQ004 - French Creek, a 15-year-old cache! It's in remarkably good shape despite its age. Just a bit rusty along the edges. Handheld GPSes weren't as good back then so the original coordinates were somewhat off. Fortunately, someone posted better coordinates in a recent cache log and I used those to cut down the search.

On Monday, I hit the areas to the North and Northeast of Baltimore again to get some caches that I hadn't had time for on previous trips. I visited the Jerusalem Mill section of Gunpowder Falls State Park, where the covered bridge stands. Elsewhere, in Parkville, there were a few neat caches, like Leaping Lizards. (although leaping was not recommended because it's up on a wall) In the evening, I went to the "Aint The Chocolate Hot Flash Mob # 8 Straight!" geocaching event at the Hunt Valley Towne Centre. It's an annual event but this is the first time I attended. Although it's an outdoor event during the winter, it was kind of nice by the fireplace and holiday light decorations.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (xmas)
Saturday was a big day because I had a combined geocaching and Munzee event in Allentown, NJ. The geocaching event was "Christmas Coffee Cup Clash" and the Munzee event was "NJ Christmunz Party". Both were held at the same time in the NJ Fire Museum office. The museum wasn't actually open for visitors yet but we had permission to enter and view the exhibits during the event. They have antique teletype equipment on display in the office and vintage fire trucks in the barn. Anyway, I've been to lots of geocaching events before but this was my first Munzee event. Munzee took center stage this time. There were a lot of codes to capture in the building and out on the museum grounds. There was also an Eventzee scavenger hunt. It was a cold day so thankfully most of the scavenger hunt items were available in the fire museum office.

After the event, I went geocaching in Crosswicks, Wrightstown, Cookstown, and New Egypt. The area is mostly small towns and countryside. Fortunately, there wasn't any hunting going on at the Crosswicks Greenway, so I was able to take a walk around the pond. There were also cows in Cookstown and hairy tree lumps in New Egypt.

Sunday's trip was to Glasgow, Edgewood, Middle River, Rosedale, Overlea, Parkville, and Towson, going from Northeast Baltimore to North Baltimore. I'd been to the area not so long ago but there were enough caches that I wasn't able to get to on previous trips to make a full day. Now that the foliage is down, it was the perfect opportunity to go for "Clayton Road Park Bushwack". There were a few other wooded areas that were dense and would've been a problem in the summer too. "Carmaggedon" was the interesting cache site of the day. It's at the top of a parking garage in Towson with free parking. Hardly anyone uses that parking garage on the weekend so it was fun to drive round and round all the way up.

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

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

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut halloween)
This weekend, I went to Northern New Jersey for Metro Gathering 2016, a geocaching mega event. (A mega-event is an event with at least 500 attendees.) Just like the previous year, there was an overlap between a furry con and this mega event. Last year though, FA United and Metro Gathering were both in the same general area so I was able to attend both. That's not possible this year, since Furpocalypse, the furry con happening this weekend, is much farther away in Connecticut. I had to pick one and Metro Gathering was it because I've already had enough furry cons this year. Hopefully next year, there won't be an event conflict.

There were actually two events. The "Pre~Metro Gathering Mega Meet and Greet" was held the night before at the Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation. It was a pot-luck dinner, with the addition of Halloween candy and some spooky food items. Saturday was the day of the main event at Waterloo Village. Since it's the Halloween weekend they had a "haunted village" theme. The sign-in log was a skeleton. There was a spider lair, a bat cache, and a werewolf, among other things. It was also an opportunity to see some interesting gadget caches that were on display. Also, a large bison tube was at the entrance. After finishing the caches in the village and chatting with some of my friends, I went for a hike along the Morris Canal Greenway and in Stephens State Park to get a series of caches that was placed for the event. All in all, it was quite a day!

Aside from attending the pre-mega and mega events, I also took the opportunity to find caches around Hackettstown, Rockaway, Dover, Denville, Ledgewood, Wharton, Succasunna, and Roxbury. Cache sites ranged from suburban and downtown areas to fishing areas and streams in the countryside. In addition, I hit the Bridgewater / South Plainfield / Piscataway area both on the way there and on the way home.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
On Saturday, I intended to stay local and get all the recently-published local geocaches, but somehow ended up going to Chestertown after a bunch of geocaches in Middletown and Millington. The one curious thing in the area was the Unicorn Fishing Lake, which, depending on the way you parse the sign, could be a lake where unicorns fish or a lake where one fishes for unicorns. The last stop of the day was back to Carousel Farm Park in Pike Creek for a set of toe geocaches, before I made my escape!

Sunday's trip was to Allentown for the "Celebrate Geocaching in the Lehigh Parkway!" geocaching event. It was a morning event though, so I was there only for the last five minutes before it ended abruptly. In that same area was another event celebrating the 175th anniversary of the covered bridge, so the geocaching event had to end before the next event began. I didn't stick around for the main festivities, so the rest of the day was spent getting the new geocaches in Coplay, Northampton, Laurys Station, and Walnutport, and walking on some of the bike paths in the area.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Saturday's trip was to Hopewell Township, Titusville, and Washington's Crossing in Central Jersey with a brief foray into Yardley, Pennsylvania. Most of the day was a long walk along the D&R Canal to finish the "D&R Trail" series that I started 2 years ago. This time, I started from the north end, near Washington's Crossing. There was also a historical tour down the route George Washington might have taken in the march to Trenton.

Sunday's trip was to Lehigh Valley for the "LVG Memorial Day G.E.M." geocaching event. The event was in the late afternoon, so in the morning and afternoon, I got some geocaches around Lower and Upper Macungie.

Monday's trip was to Reading, Muhlenberg, Fleetwood, Moselem Springs, and Kutztown. In the beginning of the day, I tried to tackle some of the more difficult or time-consuming caches around West Reading to clear out the area. Wasn't entirely successful though. At Mini Menagerie, the final location contained a dead raven, presumably lying right on the cache! I decided to leave that one alone for now. (I noticed the cache owner has since removed the carcass, so we're just waiting until the remnants have decomposed.) On the other hand, "Frog Tour Multi-Cache" and "Sweet Dreams" were a treat to do. The former took me to a series of frog sculptures around West Reading, while the latter was in beautiful Trudy's Garden.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox bunny logo)
After 4 years, February 29th, the Leap Day, was once again upon us. There were special geocaching events and souvenirs for Leap Day but this time, I decided not to take the day off for that day.

Saturday's trip was to Allentown Southside in Lehigh Valley to get the Logos Wherigo geocache series. The completed series produces a piece of geo-art, in this case an outline of the Wherigo logo. Most geo-art series thus far have used mystery caches to provide a layer of indirection so that the physical caches don't actually need to be laid out like the artwork. This series, however, uses Wherigo. Whereigos are data cartridges that one can play on certain Wherigo-enabled Garmin GPS models. There are also smartphone and Pocket PC apps for Wherigo. So here, the series used 32 Wherigo cartridges, each providing the location of one of the caches once it is solved. They were all easy one-shot questions about a corporate or product logo. (Well okay, I did have to do image searches on the web for a few of those. I don't know everything! :) ) So that was the layer of indirection. Anyway, I found most of those caches quickly. A few were tricky to navigate to because I was unfamiliar with entrances to shopping centers and the one-way streets in that area. One of the caches was missing but there could have only been one place for it, so I replaced it with a preform tube from my bag of spare parts. Also the same day, I did the "Dogs Playing..." series and the "Characters" series. The latter was also a series of Wherigo caches.

Sunday's trip was to Lancaster. Two issues kept me from considering a trip to Lancaster for a couple of months: the Route 41 closure and the snow. Both of those issues were over and there were new caches, so it was a good day for that. I completed the "GP" series at Gap Park in Gap. Each of those caches was related to one bird and had information I needed to find the final bird, which was a bit away from the park. It was a somewhat challenging day though. I had to wade into the water for two of the caches. "Birds Eye View" was in a flooded area. It was just 50 feet from the parking area but the last 20 feet was into the water. No problem. I rolled up my pants and went in with sandals. The water was cold but not too cold. The problem with "Guarded Water" is the cache got stuck in a bridge crevice so one couldn't pull it up by the string on which it was hanging. So once again, I had to wade into the stream water to get close enough to get the cache unstuck with a pair of pliers. This water was a bit deeper but still not up to my knees.

Monday was when I attended 3 Leap Day geocaching events. The first one was "Ha-Ha It's Leap Day" in Talleyville. It was a lot earlier than the time I usually go to work, so I had time for two geocaches and a quesalupa breakfast afterwards. Then at lunchtime, I went to "New Castle Delaware Leap Lunch" at Mary's Kountry Kitchen in Stanton. I decided to get a second breakfast. At dinnertime, I went to "New Castle County Leap Year Event - 2016". It was great having 3 events in one day in this area.

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

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

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

The caches... )
mortonfox: (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: (chestnut ramune)
Hit South Jersey twice this weekend, although in a different direction each day. Saturday's trip was to Elmer, Buena, Vineland, and Millville. This area was actually pretty scenic, with lakes, ponds, rivers, and unexpected things.

Sunday's trip was to the northeast, towards Florence for the "Fall Get Together 2015" geocaching event at the pizzeria downtown. Got a number of geocaches in Pennsauken, Delran, Willingboro, and Columbus, along the way. The best part of the day was a walk around Amico Island for the 4 out of 6 geocaches that were findable. It's actually a peninsula now because a strip of land connects it to the mainland, so I didn't need a boat to get there. A wide trail loops around the park.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (chestnut ramune)
This past weekend was Metro Gathering 2015 in Northern New Jersey. By coincidence, it was also the weekend for FA United 2015 in the same general area. That was really convenient because I could stay at the Hanover Marriott (shared a room with [livejournal.com profile] jbadger) on FAU's group rate and hit Metro Gathering at the same time. If the two events had been on different weekends, I'd have incurred additional travel and hotel expenses to attend both, so that saved money too.

There were actually 3 geocaching events for Metro Gathering. On Friday evening, there was the "Pre~Metro Gathering Mega Meet and Greet" at Brundage Park in Randolph. It was a casual meet at the park pavillion with an opportunity to hike around the park for geocaches. Signal the Frog made an appearance too.

Saturday was the main event, "The 2015 Metro Gathering Event", at Waterloo Village in Byram. There were tents set up by the event itself, and various geocaching clubs and vendors. There were some games, raffles, and trading areas for pathtags and trackables. MacGyver the Coatimundi was present, and we also had a surprise visitor, a red fox who wandered into the village. Most of the fun of the event though was walking around the area in groups to find lab caches, letterboxes, geocaches, and the Wherigo cache. There was also a series of geocaches along the Morris Canal Trail, although by that time, the rain had started so we got caught in the downpour getting to the last few caches.

On Sunday morning, there was a follow-up event, "Join Chinster for a Mega Breakfast", at Panera Bread in Flanders. Signal the Frog was in attendance there too. That was a comparatively small gathering since most geocachers left after the main event, but there was good conversation.

As for FAU, well I actually spent more time at the geocaching events than at the con. However, I did get the chance to fursuit a bit and hang out a bit. I went to the dances each night and played in the Fursuit Games. The fursuit games this time had no teams, or just one big team, depending on how you look at it because everyone got a prize. There were three games: the limbo, charades, and musical chairs. I didn't do that well in the limbo but got an easy word for charades. In musical chairs, it was down to only 3 fursuiters before I got eliminated, which is a lot better than I usually do at that game.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
It was a 3-day weekend for the Independence Day holiday. On Friday, we first went to finish some local series of geocaches that I hadn't had time to get to during the week. First, there was the set of 4 that was placed for last Monday's geocaching event. Then there was a set of 7 caches placed by West Whiteland Township for their 250th anniversary. It's also a nice way for the township to promote their parks. Stopped for lunch at the Exton Square Mall and ran into the Chick-Fil-A cow. The rest of the day was a round-up of various smaller batches of caches around Phoenixville, Trappe, Collegeville, and Limerick.

Saturday was a geocaching spree in downtown York, Southern York, and Spring Grove. The downtown York area was not my preference but a slightly rainy day was actually perfect for that. Urban areas that would normally be busy were free and clear because of the drizzle, so there was no trouble getting those caches. The one scenic area of the day was Indian Rock Dam. It is used for flood control, so it is normally dry unless there is heavy rain. On the way home, there were 4th of July fireworks visible from the US-30 bridge over the Susquehanna River. It seemed like every town along the way had a display like that too.

I wanted to go to the LVG G.E.M. geocaching event on Sunday afternoon, so we geocached in Quakertown, Coopersburg, Bethlehem, and Easton, before heading to Wegman's in Bethlehem for the event. There were some new geocaches in the area but also a bunch that I couldn't find on my previous visits because of ice and snow. It's surprising how easy those caches are, now that they aren't under a foot of refrozen snow.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (buggy)
This weekend was a breakout event after a snowbound winter. Other than a few patches of stubborn ice on the ground, all the signs of winter were gone and geocaches were once again revealed to the world. Saturday's excursion began with "LVGC Breakfast in the Valley 2015", a breakfast geocaching event at Borderline Restaurant in Bethlehem. After an eggs benedict and some conversation, I headed out eastwards into Bethlehem, Easton, Palmer, Forks. There was the "WPBP" series on the Wilson-Palmer Bike Path, which I started last year but didn't have time to finish. Well, I got nearly all of it on Saturday! Also, there were lots of geocaches placed in that area within the last six months, including the "Farmers view" series and the "Holiday Shopping" series. And I also got the "Challenge Park" trio, which I thought were all pretty easy challenges, except probably to new folks who haven't found enough caches to fill the requirements.

On Sunday, I started with some geocaches in Mountville and Columbia, to the west of Lancaster City, and then decided to expand my territory into York County. I'd actually been there a few years ago but thought that it was too far for a day trip. It actually isn't, compared to Lehigh Valley, except that the roads aren't as good so it feels like a longer trip. Since I hadn't been there in a while, there was a variety of geocaches, although mostly clustered around some shopping centers and a few major parks in East York, Springettsbury, and Spry. My overall impression of York is it isn't as interesting (in terms of culture, scenery, and variety of geocaches) as Lancaster but I haven't seen the other half of York, which may change my opinion. I loved that they got permission for those geocaches. I stopped at a fruit/vegetable market in Hallam to look for a geocache and the friendly store owner, who already knew about it, came out to say hello even though the store was actually closed on Sunday.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox bend)
Early Saturday morning, I headed out to the Rt 38 Diner in Mount Holly for "March Meet & Greet". Although this breakfast geocaching event was a tad early for me to travel out to, I'd still have made it on time if a truck hadn't overturned on the NJ Turnpike and tossed construction material all over the highway. Apparently, there was an icy spot on the southbound side and half of the truck flipped over the center barrier. But it was only a 15-minute delay so I wasn't too late. After breakfast, I went out to find some geocaches that were placed for the event. (Mount Holly Rail Trail series) I ran into Stews Crew and Lusophile on that trail, so we got those caches as a group. It's funny that I go 40 miles into New Jersey, only to meet up with geocachers from Chester / Delaware County, closer to my area. For the rest of the day, I focused on finishing groups of geocaches in some parks around Mt. Holly, Hainesport and Lumberton. The ground was snow-covered but it wasn't too bad.

On Sunday, I decided to hit the Montgomery County Cache Factory area, but this time, I started in Audubon, Norristown, and Penllyn before hitting Lower Gwynedd and Horsham. The whole area was rather wet and mucky from melting snow, but I wasn't wearing the good shoes anyway so I just splashed around everywhere. That's how I found "Rock Pile (2)". I spotted the cache at the exact moment I sank ankle-deep into a puddle. So I called that the "Mud Hole of Seeing". It's part of a series of caches but I didn't know it was connected to "Wow, That Took Me A Minute (1)" until I noticed that there's a tunnel under Route 202. Relatively long walk but it was great to get caches on both sides of the highway without moving the car. Incidentally, "Wow, That Took Me A Minute (1)" would've been very difficult in the Summer because it's in the middle of a thorny thicket, past some neck-high weeds. (A tough search in July and August, as one can see from the cache logs.) So it was good to get this cache when I did, before the Spring growth kicks in.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Saturday was a busy day. It was Pi Day (3/14/15), so there were lots of geocaching events taking place. I picked three that didn't conflict and were all within 30 miles from home. So at breakfast time, I went to "A Breakfast Pi? S.T.R.A.N.G.E.!" at Wegman's in Downingtown. Then at lunchtime, I went to "Almost St. Patty's Day" at Charcoal Pit in Wilmington. Then at dinnertime, I went to "2015 NJ PI Event 3.1415" at East Garden Buffet in Sicklerville. Of course, there were other geocaches and some event bonus caches along the way. So all in all, it was quite a day. The funniest part was a group of geocachers from Chester County picked the same events that I did. So I kept seeing them every couple of hours!

Sunday was a comparatively laid-back trip to Lancaster County. I hit Lancaster and then worked my way north/northeast to Lititz, West Earl, Ephrata, Reamstown, and Denver. I love the humorous and creative caches that folks in this area place. "Spiders and Rats and Zombies, Oh My!" actually had a spider, a rat, and a zombie hand. Then, there was the toilet geocache. The story is that's the site of a hotel that was torn down but they left toilets all over the place. Later in the afternoon, I went for the "Sticky Situation" series in Ephrata, which had a bunch of neat fake food props. Among those were a spilled ice cream geocache and a donut geocache. I love these because it's obvious they're having fun with humorous and themed geocaches.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (me tira daqui)
This weekend was probably the peak of snow accumulation for the season. I went to the Quakertown and Saucon Valley area on Saturday and Lehigh Valley on Sunday, and the snow was pretty much knee-deep everywhere with some snow drifts up to waist deep. The worst part was the snow was semi-frozen so it was like walking on ice but falling through it on every step. I checked cache descriptions and logs to screen for ones were findable with snow on the ground, but I brought my shovel, stubby hammer, and chisel everywhere too, just in case. These tools came in handy at "Tree Hollow". I thought that one would be findable but the tree hole turned out to be completely below the snow level and the cache was stuck under ice. Still, I managed to find the right tree by trial and error, and got it out.

Sunday went much better. I went to Gracedale Open Space in Nazareth for the "GOS" series of caches. All of those were up in trees, shrubs, and stumps and definitely winter-friendly. There was one cache in that preserve, "Gracedale's Backyard", that was on the ground and completely buried under snow and ice. Although the hint was very specific, it actually referred to a nearby object, not the exact spot. But I took a guess at where I should dig and I was correct. That afternoon, I stopped at Wegman's in Hanover Township to see the Lehigh Valley geocachers at the "LVG G.E.M." event. It was a nice little gathering and after half a day of stumbling around in the snow, a bit of a break was welcome.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (me tira daqui)
On Saturday, I went to the "12-13-14" event in a strip mall parking lot in Deptford. We had donuts and conversation. Unfortanately, much of the conversation was griping about the impending NJ State Parks policy on geocaches, which is too restrictive (according to nearly every NJ geocacher I've spoken with) and does not grandfather existing caches. This will result in probably thousands of geocaches getting archived for not falling within the new rules. Many classic geocaches, including the NJ's first cache (Gerbil Cache in Ramapo Reservation), will not qualify and it'll be a shame to see those go. I'm not looking forward to seeing how this will play out and I think it'll be a disaster, but I can't do anything about it anyway.

The other interesting activity that we did at the event was work on the "Bring A Friend (Or Two)" geocache. This is a special cache requiring an initial step with smartphones to obtain directions to the cache container. This step is for at least 3 people to gather at the designated spot and visit the GeoMob website with location-enabled web browsers. Once the GeoMob website detects that at least 3 devices are connected, it spits out the info. Anyway, we got the info and then I went to the final cache site with my group. (Once we had the info though, we could've gone to the cache site individually but visiting the cache in a group would be keeping in the spirit of the cache.) It was fun and a bit different from the usual.

On Sunday, I went geocaching in Northeast Philadelphia and Eastern Bucks County, in Croydon, Bristol, and Falls Township. I actually seemed to have picked some of the most challenging geocaches for the day's adventure, so that was exciting. "Garysaurus?", "Fresh Cache", and "Indian Creek Park Cache" were all placed in such a way that even though you could plainly see the cache, retrieval required some out-of-the-box thinking. Fortunately, I had or could find the tools I needed. Actually, in the case of "Garysaurus", my car was the tool. I parked directly under the cache and climbed up on the hood to get just enough height to get the cache. (No idea what people passing by on Route 13 thought when they saw me do that!) "Where I Go in Bristol, PA" is a Wherigo cache where one has to do a number puzzle with the Wherigo app in the field to get the coordinates. "Don't Get On The Bus" was in a terrible spot and it was obvious why many people, including myself, gave up on this cache previously. It's at an overflowing trash can by a bus stop. I was lucky this time that I happened to touch the cache almost right away because, even with gloves, I was not going to run my hands all over the trash can holder.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (naked)
Saturday was a rainy day, so I didn't plan on going out too far. Since most of the caches I planned to get were in Phoenixville and Charlestown, it was a good opportunity to pick up "13 Superstitions: Unlucky #13 and Friday the 13th!" along the way. It's the final cache in the "13 Superstitions" series and it was a good one. The combination lock on this one used codes from the other 12 caches. The most interesting cache site of the day was at "The Horizontal Trail". It's pretty neat that in the middle of Nantmeal Woods, there are musical instruments.

For Sunday, I planned to head up to the "Fall Get Together 2014" geocaching event in Florence. On the way up, I scooped up geocaches in West Deptford, Willingboro, and other towns along the I-295 / US-130 corridor, including some caches that I missed on previous trips. "Just Lying There Also", for instance, was tough to see earlier in the year but now that the leaves are off, it was easy to spot. Most of the woods and bush cache hides seemed easier this time of year.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Since I had a 4-day weekend and there were two events towards the south that I could attend, I decided to take a 3-day trip to the Salisbury area as a mini vacation. On Thursday, I went straight down route 13 and went past Salisbury to Princess Anne and Pocomoke City, which were areas that were new to me. There were lots of geocaches down that way, although those were mostly clustered around the major towns with miles of open space in between. Generally, the area was flat and rural with wide-open spaces. I thought I might have trouble finding dinner on Thanksgiving Day but to my surprise, Ruby Tuesday in Pocomoke City was open. In retrospect, I needn't have worried. It's not really the everything-is-closed holiday it once was and many businesses have extended Black Friday shopping into Thursday evening.

On Friday, I went to the Light in the Darkness geocaching event at an Irish pub in Salisbury. It was a small event but it was good and I got to try a shepherd's pie as well. One common thread throughout the 3 days was the "WGD" cache series. These are from the Wicomico Geocache Dash annual events, which I haven't been to. I'm glad they left these caches out the rest of the year, and even for multiple years after, for everyone else to find.

On Saturday, I ventured to the rural areas (around Hebron and Quantico) northwest of Salisbury before returning to Salisbury to finish the caches in Pemberton Park. In the evening, I headed back north to Dover to attend the 14th Central DE Furbowl. It was only a short visit though because I had to continue my journey home before it got too late.

Sunday was back to a standard geocaching trip to Bucks County. I went to Abington, Horsham, Warrington, Doylestown, New Britain, and Jenkintown. There were a few surprises like Graeme Park, a former governor's residence and interesting stone house / museum that I'd never noticed before because it was set back from the main road. There was also this funny sign. (which is actually for a laundry / cleaning service) I also finally finished the caches around Bradford Reservoir, which I'd saved for when the weather is cooler since most of the walk is across an area with no shade.

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... )

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Morton Fox

September 2017

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