mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Sunny, 75-80°F. I didn't have any concrete plans for the day other than that I wanted to start geocaching in Mount Laurel to finish the "I work out!" series and end the day in Berlin so I could go to Long John Silver's for dinner. The remarkable thing about today's software is I don't need to plan any more. The Neongeo app stores all the cache info and downloads more as I go along. I just kept checking it to see what's nearby and in the right direction, and I ended the day with 40 cache finds!

I didn't exactly go in a straight line from start to end. From Mount Laurel, I went through Medford and Marlton, with a side trip to Lumberton. I hadn't been to the area in quite a while so I did clusters of geocaches where available to cut down on the driving. Two parks had 4 or more geocaches I hadn't found. I covered a variety of terrain from sidewalks to woods (with creek crossings) and open fields. There was a frog geocache ("Creek Side Croaker") today too. It's in a fishing area and the nearby fisherman thought I was looking for snakes. I told him I was looking for frogs and that somehow seemed like a credible story too. I also got to see an E-2 Hawkeye at the Air Victory Museum because the "Air Victory" geocache was nearby.

Dinner was at the Long John Silver's / Taco Bell co-branded restaurant in Berlin. I had a two-fish combo and a caramel apple empanada. (Yes, I ordered from both sides of the menu this time.) And finally, I did the last six geocaches of the night on the way from LJS to the I-295 ramp in Barrington.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 45-50°F. Today, I had 3 events from 3 different interest groups but I picked the geocaching breakfast event in Lehigh Valley because the last few of these have been very good. Unfortunately, even though the 3 events are at different times of the day, it was impractical to try to attend all 3 because of the distances involved. Once I made the 90-minute trip to Lehigh Valley, I had to spend the whole day and evening there to make the trip worthwhile. I hope there won't be event conflicts next time so I can do something else next month.

Anyway, the "LVGC Breakfast in the Lehigh Valley" event was at Borderline Restaurant in Bethlehem this time. I had bacon and eggs with French toast. After the gathering, a group of us (Wizard1626, ST.FU, SilverKat1, Theenighthunters, Zix7, Zox7, Zobx, Captinsparrow, B Team, SAJSKI1, and I) went to do a bunch of geocaches in Allentown. The group got smaller later in the day (because some folks had errands or work to do) but we continued westwards into Berks County to do a cluster of geocaches in Topton. We were a rather successful geocaching group because each of us brought different searching skills and different ideas to the table. Through team effort, even the difficult geocaches we attempted didn't take very long to find. And of course, what mattered was we were a fun group.

The group split up at dusk. After that, I found a bunch more geocaches around Fogelsville before having dinner at the Arby's and Long John Silver's restaurant in Fogelsville. This is an unusual combination that I haven't encountered anywhere else yet. It's a single building with Arby's on one side and LJS on the other side. So I had a fish basket combo on the LJS side before moving over to Arby's for mozzarella sticks.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (buggy)
Cloudy, 50-60°F. I went geocaching in Lancaster County this weekend for two days in a row. However, I didn't stay there overnight because it wasn't worth getting a motel room in a place that is just an hour from home. I continued working on the Battleship series of geocaches, although not exclusively on that since there were other geocaches I wanted to do in between.

On Saturday, I hiked Silver Mine Park in Pequea. Even though the cache was named "Silvermine - Hill Climb" and rated 3.5 stars for terrain, it wasn't much of an incline if you went the right way. Only the last step was steep and potentially dangerous but I held on to the tree while reaching for the cache. "LEISURE TIME" worried me a little. This cache is hidden as a very common object and aside from reading the online logs, there was no way I could tell that was it. Furthermore, I needed a screwdriver to pry it open! I hope no one starts breaking these things thinking the real thing might be the cache. In the evening, I had Cici's Pizza in Lancaster to use a receipt coupon I had since February but never had a chance to use. I was surprised they took that!

On Sunday, I did more Battleship geocaches but I also did the Greenfield series, 8 geocaches located around the Greenfield corporate commons. This corporate campus has a nice park and pond (with some interesting sculptures) in the center that is open to the public. At Longs Park, I came across a guy with a parrot near one of the 3 geocaches in the park. There was also a dog without a bone in the same park. :) I ran into some geocachers on Sunday, one family in Longs Park and cmiller06 & chewie8han in the Greenfield area. I guess the chances of meeting other geocachers increases closer to the urban part of Lancaster. In the evening, I went to Long John Silver's on Manheim Pike for fish and more fish. (I noticed that a fish sandwich is only 30 cents more than an extra piece of fish, so I might as well have the piece of fish and the bun around it too.)

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 100°F. Yes, that's what the car thermometer read for a significant portion of the day, except when I parked in the shade. This thermometer is known to be a few degrees off on the low side, so it could have been as high as 103°F. The first geocache I did was the "Alphabet Soup Challenge", which I couldn't do during the week because the cemetery closes at 4pm. This challenge cache requires you to find at least one Delaware geocache beginning with each letter of the alphabet. I was surprised that I already had all the letters, even the tough ones like X and Z. I met Gdaycutter at the cache site.

After that, I planned on hitting some geocaches around Springfield near I-476 but because of a major traffic delay on I-95, I went to South Jersey instead. This is why I have 7000 geocaches loaded in the automotive GPS. It's so I always have a Plan B no matter which way I detour. Most of the geocaches weren't hard to do when it was hot. The worst parts were where I had to walk across open fields. I did some longer walks like this bike path but those weren't so bad if there was tree shade.

Dinner was a two-fish combo at Long John Silver's in Mantua. I'd originally planned on going to Ruby Tuesday since I have a coupon but I can do that on Sunday instead.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
I noticed that there was a new power trail on the dirt roads at the Makepeace Lake WMA in Weymouth. I didn't go directly there though because I wanted to do a bunch of geocaches around Franklinville and Buena first, which may be the long way to get to Weymouth. Anyway, I did 9 geocaches before hitting the power trail. Then I did 33 geocaches on the Peace Train power trail. Like the other power trails I've done this year, this one too is composed of a cache every 0.1 of a mile. With a few exceptions, most of these caches are fairly close to the dirt road. There's a theme too. Every cache has a 60s hippie design.

Since I happened to have the barrel and a bunch of trash bags in the back of the car, I did litter patrol. Every time I stopped for a cache along the dirt road, I picked up any litter I saw. It was at most a few pieces of litter per stop because I didn't want to stray too far from the car, but by the time I got to the end, the barrel was pretty full! People are messy and I can tell that some locations along that dirt road were used as lunch spots because of the soda cans, iced tea bottles, and plastic takeout containers. However, I can't explain the empty laundry detergent bottle. It was probably just someone dumping household trash because who does laundry in the lake anyway?

Overall, it was quite an adventure. Most of the dirt road was fairly easy to drive on but there was one stretch that was narrow and full of puddles. At each puddle, I had to either drive with two wheels up on the bank or get out of the car and test the bottom of the puddle to make sure it is firm. There was also one location on the dirt road with a freshly fallen tree. I thought I'd have to cut up the trunk into pieces (Yes, I brought gardening tools too. You never know when you need those for geocaching.) but luckily, I was able to push the tree to the side and that was less work.

I didn't finish the whole power trail before it got dark so I'll be returning soon. Dinner was a two-fish combo at the co-branded Long John Silver's / Taco Bell in Berlin, which is about a half an hour drive from Makepeace so I'm glad they stay open later on Saturday. After dinner, I found another cache at a ballfield parking lot on the way home. That was by chance because I made a wrong turn and the GPS re-route took me right by "Does my insurance cover fly balls?".

The caches... )
mortonfox: (buggy)
Sunny, 85°F. Although it wasn't as hot today as yesterday, it was worse because of the humidity. I started the day with breakfast buffet at Old Country Buffet in Newark. Had I known they were doing breakfast until noon, I wouldn't have woken up quite as early, but I needed to get going anyway.

My plan for the day was to find "Hen Fruit" in East Marlborough and then head over to Lancaster County for more geocaches. That turned out to not be the best idea because there isn't a direct route to the next cache site near Colerain. "Bells Run Nature Preserve" turned out to be the hardest bushwhack of the day. I went into the woods and it was like a dense jungle in there. No wonder most of the geocache logs for that are not in the summer.

"Here's Amos" is at a huge figure of an Amish farmer. I'm sure I'd passed by that before but never noticed until someone placed a geocache near it. It's in the parking lot outside Hershey Farms restaurant in Strasburg. Dinner was a two-fish combo at Long John Silver's in Lancaster. After that, I watched the fireworks for a little while before heading home. This is the second fireworks display I've seen this weekend. I also saw the one in Philadelphia on my way home yesterday night. (There was another one last weekend in Pittsburgh of which I only just caught the end.)

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 40-45°F. I started really late today (after 2pm) but I was still able to fit in some good geocaches. Longest walk of the day was a 2.6-mile round trip on a railbed trail in Monroeville for 5 geocaches. ("Outpost" thru "Elephant Swamp") The last cache of the day, "Glen Hollow", turned out to be somewhat of a challenge. It seems the cache owner placed the cache during a dry season. With the Spring rains, it is now on a tree island in a pond. The closest I could get to it on dry land was 50 feet away. Well, after walking all the way, I wasn't going to let 50 feet of water stop me. So I removed my shoes and socks, rolled up my pants, and waded into the knee-deep water. It was cold! Worse yet, I had to check a few tree islands before I found the right one. Fortunately, the outside temperature wasn't nearly as low as the water temperature, so my feet were fine as soon as I got out of the water and stood on an island.

Dinner was a chicken and fish variety platter at Long John Silver's in Mantua. I was thinking of getting something different this time but why break a routine that works?

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 55-60°F. This was a quick trip to the Mantua area to do a few geocaches, like "4:64", "Blue Eyes", and "Crown-Royal" that I never got a chance to do on previous trips. Neither turned out to be as challenging as I thought, although there was some mud. One theme for the day was parks that are hard to find. For each of "Chrisco's CAA Adventure", "The Abyss", and "Hidden Gem", GPS routing brought me to the wrong road and so I had to drive around until I saw a plausible park entrance. "The Abyss" was especially hard. After driving into several wrong places, I finally found the park entrance behind the police station. The park driveway is a small road with no sign. It's probably a local secret.

The last cache of the day, "The Peach Blossom Special", was a 4-stage multicache covering maybe 10 miles of distance, but it didn't take too long because I could drive right up to each stage. It's an interesting tour of some of the orchards in rural Gloucester County, a region that I had no idea was a big peach producer. Final stop of the day was Long John Silver's in Mantua, of course. I had a fish & chicken variety platter. They actually got the order wrong because the coupon was actually for Fish & More and I got the variety platter instead, but I like this one better.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 55-60°F. Another day with no specific plans other than to finish off some geocaches that were not too far away. I started with 4 geocaches in the East Lake WMA near Woodstown. Then I went around the block to Camp Crockett for 3 more geocaches. I suspect the two areas are connected but it would've been a really long walk. Then I visited another set of geocaches in Glassboro. After that, the geocaches were somewhat dispersed. I did what I could before sunset and went to Long John Silver's in Mantua for a chicken & fish variety platter.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 55-60°F. Unseasonably warm day. I went geocaching in Woodstown / Pilesgrove, not too far away, and I was able to do the first 4 geocaches in sandals. Those were roadside caches or nearly so. Needed shoes for the 5th cache, "Crockett Heights", though because it was a bit further into the woods. Today was a day when I wasn't feeling too well, but it wasn't apparent until after the 5th cache. So I had to stop at McDonald's in Woodstown to do something about it. While there, I had BBQ and Ranch Chicken Snack Wraps.

After that, I ventured out further to Mullica Hill, Pitman, and Sicklerville. I was thinking of going to Bok Bok Fresh after the last cache of the day because I had some coupons but I'd forgotten that they're closed on Sunday. Yes, Bok Bok Fresh is Christian-owned so that is the reason, but I'm not local to Sicklerville, so the practice of closing on Sunday reduces my chances of going there by half. Instead, I went to the old reliable Plan B: Long John Silver's in Mantua. I had Fish and More. On the way home, I decided to make a short detour into downtown Wilmington to the Wilmington train station to try to find the "DeRRH04-The only one left in Wilmington" geocache at night. My guess was parking would not be a problem late Sunday night and that was correct. I was able to park very close to the cache site. The area was quiet and I found the fake rock quickly.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 45°F. I actually couldn't ask for better geocaching weather this time of the year. Except for the mud and waterlogged areas at "Andysgang #4" and "Welcome To The 'Shire" from yesterday's rain, all the locations were easy to get to and snow-free. I started the day with some geocaches in the GHPCC (Camden County historic sites) series. Those took me through Mt. Ephraim, Audubon, Oaklyn, Collingswood, and Cherry Hill. Then I continued with more geocaches in Mount Laurel, Marlton, and Moorestown. Found one last geocache, "What a view!", in downtown Woodbury on the way to dinner. I couldn't resist because it was right on the way and in a 24/7 parking deck. (It is the parking garage for the Gloucester County Justice Center. No charge to enter.) Dinner was at Long John Silver's / Taco Bell in Mantua. I had a chicken and fish variety platter.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 37-43°F. Went geocaching in South Jersey on Sunday. This time, I went further northeast instead of east, towards Moorestown and Willingboro. There was one long-ish walk in Willingboro Nature Preserve for 3 geocaches. There was a shoe geocache and a fairy door. I visited the alien spaceship house and the fallout shelter briefly. But aside from those, there wasn't anything terribly unusual. Dinner was Fish and More at Long John Silver's in Mantua.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy, 32-36°F. Strangely on a Saturday morning, I woke up early. As I was having breakfast, I checked the weather radar and noticed a storm system moving in from the northwest. But I thought I could grab a few geocaches in South Jersey and be back before anything started. I started with a nearby cache at Riverview Park in Pennsville and work my way out from there. The whole of South Jersey is blanketed in about 6-8 inches of snow. I was still able to find the caches without too much trouble, although I did bring a snow shovel to "dead end" and "Thompson Park Cache and Walk". "dead end" required some snow-shoveling before I saw what I needed to see, but I knew to focus my shoveling around likely cache spots. At "Brother's Keeper South TB Hostel", I talked to the car wash guy about the geocache because he already knew about the game and the box was in the woods behind the car wash. He thought it would be a real pain to find because of all the snow, but then I surprised him by going back there and picking it out in a minute!

I had an early lunch (11:30am!!) at Long John Silver's in Mantua since the 4th cache of the day brought me into that town. This time, I had a chicken and fish variety platter. It was a leisurely lunch with much use of free wi-fi internet since the restaurant wasn't busy. After that, I went for "Thompson Park Cache and Walk" since it was on the way home. Although it wasn't really far into the park, it was the longest walk of the day through a lot of snow that went above my ankles. However, I was very lucky in finding the cache. I thought I'd have to shovel out some snow to get an idea of where to look more closely but the first time I pushed the shovel into the snow, it hit the cache! Anyway, I returned home after that because by then, I was tired of walking around in the snow.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (where's george?)
Sunny, 32-34°F. About 3 inches of snow fell overnight. I wasn't in a particular hurry today so I only went out to shovel snow after having breakfast and cleaning up the kitchen a bit. So by the time I start working on the snow, half of it had melted.

I was going to South Jersey to meet up with Christine and Rich at Long John Silver's (a.k.a. Fictional Pirate) in Berlin. Did a few geocaches along the way. The first two, Ayume's Birthday Treasure and Pa Pa Power!, were in Williamstown. I thought Ayume's would be difficult to find in the snow because it's a small cache. Fortunately, it wasn't on the ground. "Pa Pa Power!" was on the ground but I heard an unusual noise when I poked at the snow and that's how I found it.

Then I went to Is Hindu in you? in Stella Park in Winslow Township. The town hadn't removed the snow from the parking area so I parked on the side of the road with two wheels on the asphalt and two wheels on the snowbank. Not a good situation but I hoped I wouldn't take too long on this cache. This one wasn't that difficult but it was covered by snow. I found it after poking at about half a dozen likely spots.

After that, I went to LJS in Berlin for the meetup. I had a chicken and fish variety platter. Christine and Rich had other combinations of Taco Bell and LJS foods. It was a good time. Probably should do this again another time.
mortonfox: (buggy)
Cloudy, 50-53°F. Rather warm day for winter. There was a geocaching event at 11am. However, I didn't set the alarm clock. If I woke up early, I'd attend the event. Otherwise, I'd go to Lancaster anyway, only a bit later. Well, guess what? I woke up earlier than usual. So I did go to the "This ONES For You-Flash Mob" event at Park City Mall in Lancaster. It wasn't really a flash mob because everyone was already milling around the event location before the start time. Nevertheless, it was a nice gathering. After that, we split up but I kept running into other groups of geocachers at caches near the mall. Later in the day, I went to East Petersburg, Lititz, Willow Street, and Millersville to find more of the new geocaches that were placed since my last visit to Lancaster County.

Dinner was a chicken & fish variety platter at Long John Silver's in Lancaster. (Manheim Pike) Haven't been there in a while and it looks like they spruced up the place and got some new furniture. After that, I continued finding geocaches at night along the US-30 stretch towards home.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (xmas)
Sunny, 37-41°F. This is one of those random geocaching trips where I just kept going to the next closest unfound cache. So I started in Mt. Ephraim, went north to Collingswood, east to Greentree, and southeast to Marlton. Marlton was where the bulk of today's caches were since I hadn't been to that town in a while. "Roberts Pool Cache" was the most devious cache of the day. I'm not even sure I'd have found it if I hadn't been lucky. Also, it is very near a public swimming pool, so it is probably not doable in the summer. "Lightorama" is at the cache owner's house in Marlton, where he is currently having a Christmas light show. The cache page has a link to a video of the light show. I saw it in person but it wasn't dark enough at the time to see the full effect.

After doing 11 caches, it was just about dusk, so I went to the Long John Silver's / Taco Bell co-branded restaurant in Mantua for a two-fish combo. They closed at 6pm on Christmas Eve so it was a good thing I got there at 5pm, which was plenty of time. (Well, not my usual 2-hour dinner but still plenty of time!) As I was heading out of the restaurant, I noticed a cache icon on the GPS screen. So I went and found "Hazel Eyes", which is just a few steps into the wooded area off the back portion of the parking lot. That was a good one to do after dinner.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (hump)
Sunny, 34-41°F. The main goal for today was to get 5 more NJ DeLorme pages to complete South Jersey. I started with some geocaches in Tabernacle and Wharton State Forest for page 56. This huge forest preserve is the place I originally knew as the NJ pine barrens. I remembered some of the sand roads I visited on previous trips but for the most part, I kept to the main road for reasons of time. After that, I headed north to Byrne State Forest for page 57. Rather conveniently, there was a pair of park-and-grab caches on an old forest road. Then, I headed towards the shore to Barnegat for page 58. Didn't stay too long though. Next, I went south to Manahawkin for page 59. I only needed one cache but I was intrigued by another cache site that looked on my GPS like it was at the end of a dead-end road in a nearby wildlife area. So I did that too. "In Memory" is at an unusual location to find an auto accident fatality memorial. (middle of the Manahawkin WMA)

After that, I headed southwest to Tuckerton for page 65. By then, I just wanted to finish it off so I did a cache at the edge of Bass River State Forest. I still had a bit of time before dusk, so I went to "Sherman's Sanctuary". Mystic Island looks rather weird on the map. It's a residential area but there are canals between every row of houses so it's like a little Venice. I was planning to go to Long John Silver's in Berlin for dinner so I decided to do more of the "Westward Ho" series of caches along US-30. That was a good run and I got 20 of those from Egg Harbor City to Waterford Works in about 3 hours. The last one of the night, "Westward Ho on a White Horse #53" was the most fun one. The cache was very high up in a tree but I was able to park my car directly under the cache, so I climbed up on my car to retrieve the cache. Oh, what would passers-by think of my antics? Fortunately, it was dark and no one saw me. :)

That last cache was only a few miles from Berlin, so without further ado, I went to the Taco Bell / Long John Silver's co-branded restaurant. Unfortunately, they closed the lobby early tonight. Not a serious problem because I used the drive-thru and then ate the fish and more in my car, but I would've been more comfortable at one of their tables.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Sunny, 34-39°F. Went on a short geocaching trip to Mantua and Deptford for a bunch of new geocaches. This had the feel of an errand run, probably because the last 5 caches are in the strip malls surrounding Deptford Mall. In the evening, I had fish and more at the Taco Bell / Long John Silver's co-branded restaurant in Mantua before heading for home.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 32-37°F. Today, I decided to kick it up a notch and try to get a bunch of NJ DeLorme pages in a day. So I started geocaching in Millville, went through Menantico, Peaslee, and Belleplain to Woodbine, across to Ocean View, and up to Absecon. I got pages 68, 69, 70, 71, and 72 that way. Then, since I was in Absecon, a stone's throw away from US-30, and since it was still several hours to dinnertime, I thought I'd tackle the Westward Ho series of geocaches starting from there. Those are mostly doable at night and rather conveniently, the route would take me towards Berlin, where a chicken & fish variety platter was waiting at Long John Silver's. I noticed that this series of caches cuts across NJ DeLorme page 64, so I got an extra page. Only 7 pages left to complete the challenge!

The caches... )
mortonfox: (phantom)
Cloudy/Rainy, 60-65°F. It was a rainy day but I checked the weather radar and noticed that the cloud cover was lightest to the east. I went to South Jersey and saw that it was indeed the case. There was only a light drizzle and that went away later in the afternoon. My goal was to do "It's A Date", a puzzle cache, and "A Suburban Night Cache", a night cache. On my way from one to the other, I picked up a bunch more geocaches.

"Cache of Stash" and "Poor Pine Tree" are both on the cross-country trails behind Gloucester County College. I asked at the security office and they gave me permission to park closer to the trailhead near the first cache site. I guess they also wanted me in and out of the woods quickly because there wasn't much time before sunset. "A Suburban Night Cache" was an interesting one. I've been to the Kirkwood Lake area, even at night, but never before for a reflector-trail cache. I think some of the reflectors have gone missing because there's a long gap in the middle of the hike with no indication of where to go next. So I was wondering around trying to find the next reflector when I stumbled across an encampment. Other geocachers have mentioned this encampment before but I saw two men sitting there. I decided to go the other way and leave that place alone. Fortunately, the other direction was the correct way to go and I found the rest of the reflectors soon after that. Yes, they are the new suburban homeless. What an era we live in.

Dinner was a two-fish combo at Long John Silver's in Berlin. I've learnt not to turn down an opportunity to visit LJS when I'm in that area because as I've seen, other food choices aren't as good. Besides, Arby's in Berlin doesn't have a Comcast wi-fi hotspot next to it. :)

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

September 2017

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