mortonfox: (chicken fries)
It's that time of the year again when I get birthday coupons from nearly every restaurant mailing list to which I've signed up. So I picked the best ones of the lot and planned this weekend's trips around those.

On Saturday, I started the day with breakfast at the local IHOP. Then I went geocaching in Maryland because of the Greene Turtle coupon. This coupon was specifically for their Owings Mills location so I traveled around the north of Baltimore, through Churchville, Bel Air, Timonium, and Hunt Valley. Nothing too unusual, except for two geocaches that were quite challenging. "Don't Stonewall Me" was difficult because it was hidden on the wall of a strip mall building that didn't appear to have any good places to place a cache. But once I found it, I saw that there was indeed a way to make it stay. (one of the crevices had just enough room to sit the tiny tube) "Nano In The Heart of The Valley" on the other hand was difficult because of awkwardness. It turned out to be in the under-skirt area of a bronze statue of a little girl in the middle of a busy shopping center. Really! Luckily, no one was around when I made the grab or it would've looked strange when I picked it out from there. Finally, dinner was a crabby melt at Greene Turtle.

Sunday began with breakfast at Perkins in Avondale. The plan for the day was to do some of the recent geocaches in Southern Lancaster County and pick from a few possibilities depending on where I was at the end of the day.
Hubcap Hoarder was the neatest geocache of the day. It's made of hubcaps! It's good to see some creativity now and then. Later in the day, I was surprised by giant Greek letters in the woods near "The Old Bridge". This cache site is near Millersville University and apparently, the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity has been busy decorating some of the abandoned structures. Dinner was an avocado turkey burger at Ruby Tuesday in Lancaster. My choices were between a birthday burger at Ruby Tuesday or one at Red Robin and Red Robin was a bit further from that side of Lancaster, so I saved the latter for another evening.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Saturday was supposed to be rainy with tornadoes and other nasty stuff. My guess was Southern Delaware would be the last to be hit by the storm since that was the case last weekend. So I decided to see how far down the state I can geocache before rain forced me to turn back. Surprisingly, I was able to go all the way to Lewes before the rain started and I got there after finishing geocaches around Dover, Little Creek, Slaughter Beach, and Broadkill Beach. The "Slaughter Beach Series" geocaches took less time than I thought. "Slaughter Beach Series - Delaware Ave" is a 5-stage multicache. However, I noticed that the first stage was on North Delaware Ave and wondered if there was a South Delaware Ave too. Well, that's where the final stage was! So I ended up just going there and finding the cache without GPS. The layout of the beach area helped too. The town is just a series of short streets off the main road, so if you know which street the cache is on, you can just hunt around the beach access area at the end of that street.

Sunday morning was sunny but a lot cooler than Saturday. I noticed a new series of geocaches along the Union Transportation Trail in Cream Ridge in Monmouth County, NJ, so I headed off to do those. It's a 4-mile bike path, which means an 8-mile round trip walk, with geocaches placed roughly every 0.1-0.3 of a mile. Out of the 32 geocaches on the trail, I found 30. The remaining two were hidden in such a way that those would've taken more time than I had to find, so I left those for another time. All in all, it was a good long walk. I parked in the middle, walked to the north end and back, and walked to the south end and back. Ran into some geocachers along the way too, although we only teamed up on two caches.

After I was done with the UTT, I did a few (well, six!) quick geocaches around the area. "Borrowed Genius" was the most amazing one of all. This cache is inside a tube. The trick is you need to bring a battery to run a motor to get the cache out of the tube. I actually didn't fully understand how it operated until I got home and saw some pictures on the construction of this cache. For dinner, I felt like going to Ruby Tuesday so I went to find "PMC Lite - Banned Books", a puzzle cache that is next door to Ruby Tuesday in Mount Laurel. I'd actually been waiting for this cache for quite some time. I was last there in April and confirmed that it was missing. Then it took five months for the landscaping and construction in that section of the strip mall to finish. (A Borders bookstore was turning into an AAA office and auto repair garage.) The cache owner had to wait until things settled down before putting out the replacement cache. However, since I had all the information, including guidance from the cache owner on where to look for the cache, from back in April, it was a snap to find it tonight. And after that, I had salad.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Sunny, 60-70°F. I had no concrete plans for today so I decided to just continue geocaching where I stopped last Sunday in Moorestown. I started with some hiking geocaches (by the Swedes Run swamp, no less) but switched to easier ones in the interest of time. From Moorestown, I proceeded to Delran, Edgewater Park, Willingboro, and Burlington. Then I returned to Ruby Tuesday in Willingboro for salad and tilapia with onion rings. I never noticed this Ruby Tuesday location before and only saw them because the cache "Willingboro Plaza" is within the same block of buildings. They probably aren't even aware what brought this customer in. :)

After dinner, I did five more geocaches by flashlight. Then I decided to get some of that cheap NJ gas before going home. As I pulled into a BP gas station on US-130, I noticed another car also pulling in behind me. I picked one pump bay and I saw that he picked another bay just so that he wouldn't be behind me. Not terribly unusual, I thought at first. In New Jersey, you're not allowed to pump your own gas. However, if you ask for a full tank and specify that you'll be paying in cash, the pump attendant will pump the gas first before getting payment. It's a courtesy to not require prepay in this situation so that you won't have to guess how many dollars of fuel you need to fill the tank. A few minutes after the pump attendant started the gas pumps, I saw the other car zoom out of the fuel bay, leaving the gas nozzle swinging! The pump attendant yelled out. He was flustered. At that point, I realized that I'd just witnessed a drive-off incident.

So yes, there is actual overt theft in South Jersey, or Pennsauken, to be specific. I wonder if this kind of thing will happen more as gas prices rise. Also, this does explain why gas stations in Carneys Point now insist on cash prepay, even with pump attendant service.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (question)
Rainy, 60°F. For the longest time, I didn't even do puzzle caches unless the solutions were fairly obvious. I figured I didn't have time to work out ciphers and such. The real problem was I didn't take a close enough look at those puzzles. Recently, I started looking at puzzle caches in the area and found that a good number of those could be solved by logic, by computer algorithm, or by looking up keywords on the web to find decryption software. So in a matter of days, I got solutions to over 70 puzzle caches!

Today, I headed out to Hatfield, Souderton, Sellersville, Perkasie, and Lansdale to do a bunch of puzzle caches for which I had solutions. Of course, I also did any traditional caches I came across along the way just because. In the end, I got 28 caches in that area, 7 of which were puzzles. The group I targeted was the "Programming Purgatory" series. Each PP puzzle is a piece of obfuscated code in an undisclosed programming language and the output is the final cache coordinates. Of course, if you know what language it is, then you can simply get the compiler or interpreter and run it. I was familiar with all those languages, actually. Well, not PP 0011, which was in COBOL, but fortunately OpenCOBOL could handle it! The puzzle that gave me the most trouble was PP 0001. It is VBScript but I assumed it was VB.NET at first and wondered why it failed.

It was slightly rainy the whole day. In the evening, the rain picked up so I decided to leave the area and go to dinner, which was salad and shrimp fondue at Ruby Tuesday in Concord Mall, back in Delaware. As I was leaving the mall, I got a notification that a cache was published just two miles down the road. I wondered if I would be able to do that at night as it's in the woods, although not far from the sidewalk. It turned out to be not too difficult and I got an FTF at 11pm on "Katona's Cache".

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 45°F. I started the day with two challenge geocaches near home. The "Delaware Top 10 Favorites Cache Challenge" has a prerequisite that you must have already found the top 10 favorited caches in this state before logging the challenge. I knew I qualified but I had to wait until I got home to post the proof. "Feast of 50 Fabulous Foods Challenge" requires one to have already found 50 geocaches with food in the cache title. This was trivial since I'd already made this list for a similar challenge cache up in Lehigh Valley a while ago.

After that, I went into Chester County to finish the SCCCF (Southern Chester County Cache Flood) series. Then I went to Parkesburg to do the geocaches I couldn't do last Saturday because of the surprise snowstorm. Then I geocached in a bunch of little towns -- Springton, Glenmoore, West Nantmeal, West Brandywine, and Morgantown. There were a nice bunch of easy geocaches in Morgantown. The only hard one was "Bear's Cup of Jo", which is on the side of a convenience store. Fortunately, I had assistance from one of the staff. She didn't know exactly where the cache was either but she had some idea of the way it was hidden.

Next, I took the PA Turnpike over to Downingtown and Exton for a few more geocaches before dinner. I thought "Naming The Bridges #1 - "Lloyd"" was the most creative one. The cache owner made a devious cache that looks exactly like part of the footbridge. The clever part of this setup is he also made a dummy piece for the other side to preserve symmetry so you won't notice anything odd. That took me a while to figure out until I realized that this one section of the bridge wasn't quite the same as the next section. And finally, dinner was at Ruby Tuesday in Exton. I had Buffalo Chicken Minis with salad bar. This Ruby Tuesday has the best setup so far for food photography. The overhead lighting contrasted with the dark table surface made the food stand out.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (buggy)
It was a pleasant weekend, generally. Both days were 60-65°F and sunny. I wanted this weekend to be low-key since I was a bit tired of long-distance travel and big cache runs, but we know how that usually ends up. On Saturday, I wanted to attend the "Cachers of the Corn II" geocaching event near Lancaster. So I went to Lancaster during the day and did some of the Battleship series and mixed that with other geocaches along the way. Started near Gap and somehow ended up in Ephrata/Akron, quite a bit further from the event than intended! In the evening, I went to the event site to meet up with FishBizkit, sign in, and drop off some geocoins. I couldn't stay to do the corn maze itself though because I had to get to dinner. I returned in-state to Ruby Tuesday in Pike Creek because from experience, the Ruby Tuesday in Lancaster isn't as good.

On Sunday, I decided to do some geocaches in Central and Southern Delaware as a change of pace, so I don't get sick of Lancaster. My original plan was to only do the caches until Dover/Camden but I had so much time left before sunset that I decided to continue to Georgetown to do a new cache on the Del Tech Owens Campus and hike a state wildlife area just outside that town. With sunset coming a lot earlier this time of year, I had plenty of time not only for dinner (chicken and fries at Hardee's in Middletown) but also a bit of shopping afterwards to pick up some sale items I noticed in the Sunday paper ads and coupons.

I'm seeing a bunch of fake bird geocaches these days. I saw two on Sunday and this dove-like container was one of them. Even if not particularly challenging, these are pretty neat. The idea is to stick the log sheet into the bird and clip or hang the bird on a tree branch. Then it looks like a bird in the tree and passers-by who don't look closely will be none the wiser.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (buggy)
Cloudy, 70-75°F. There was a chance of rain today so I figured I'd go to Lancaster and continue with the Battleship series of geocaches since most of those are fairly easy and close to parking. It ended up not raining until the evening, so it was a cloudy, cool day and great for walking the Enola low-grade trail.

This time, I near the Atglen end of the rail trail. I knew this section didn't get flooded last week because it is higher than the surrounding land. I took an 8-mile walk and found 39 caches along the trail. Met a bunch of geocachers, including H2"O", Pitch Black, and Benam Benam 3. Also talked to a non-geocacher who was walking three beagles on the rail trail. From what I saw, it's hard to walk dogs who are easily distracted. They stop and look at everything, including me when I was behind the utility pole getting the cache.

After I left the rail trail, I continued with the original plan of finding more Battleship series caches. This time, I toured the northeast part of the county, through East Earl, Blue Ball, New Holland, West Earl, and Leola. It started raining when I was at the 56th cache of the day, but it was dusk and time for dinner anyway. I went to Ruby Tuesday in Lancaster and ordered salad bar. I'd have gotten something else but they'd changed their menu so I couldn't get one of the salad bar combos at dinner time. No matter. I was really there just for the salad bar anyway. After dinner, I did one more geocache since it was on the way home. It's near the Fulton Steamboat, a bizarre hotel that looks like a riverboat.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Cloudy, 93-97°F. It wasn't as hot on Sunday as it was on Saturday but with the possibility of rain (which did happen for a little while), I didn't want to go too far. I'm not sure what to call the area I visited but it is the opposite of Northeast Philadelphia, so I'll go with Southwest Philadelphia. I started with some easy geocaches in the Springfield shopping and residential areas. Then I went to Swarthmore College to see the Whisper Bench. It's a stone bench curved in such a way that someone whispering at one end can be heard by someone sitting at the other end. The whisper bench at Swarthmore College is a small one. A larger one can be found in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.

After that, I found a bunch more geocaches on the South side of Delaware County. "Mission from Mars" is in one of those weird half-neglected parks. To get to the geocache site from the street, I walked through a homeless encampment, a paintball zone, and a tire dump. Apparently, ball hanging from a tree is some form of hobo recreation. Then I found my way to South Philly, where I did the "Philly Parking Lots #1" geocache. What the hey, I thought. Let's do "Philly Parking Lots #2" as well! The latter turned out to be in the Target store parking lot; yes, the Target store that replaced the Adam's Mark where Anthrocon was held a long time ago. Funny how I keep coming back to this place now.

Since I was on City Line Avenue, I did a few geocaches in Bala Cynwyd. Decided to stop early so I could go to Ruby Tuesday back in Delaware, which was my plan for Saturday until I ended up in South Jersey. (It's complicated!) This time, I had mashed potatoes with the mini burgers instead of fries. Of course, I also hit the salad bar, although the greens that I got were more orange, red, and yellow than green.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 90°F. It was a hot afternoon, although not so bad in the evening. I went geocaching in northern Chester County and made my way northwards, cache by cache, until I was in Montgomery County, where I did more geocaches in Royersford and Pottstown. Pottstown has a decent collection of geocaches and I only had time for a small set of those today. I don't know if I'm going to go there very often though. There doesn't seem to be a fast way to get there. If I go north from Exton, I'd have to use Route 100, which is more a local road than a highway and has many traffic lights. Route 422 is a divided highway but it is a much longer way to get there since I would have to go to King of Prussia first. Then again, it's not really any worse than driving to Lancaster.

I ran into geocachers in Pottstown at "Bus Stop, Bus Go". They go by Team Kipstang in the online logs. Since I was just about done with the cache when they arrived, I handed it to them and told them where it was hidden. Had a rather late dinner at Ruby Tuesday in Exton. The restaurant closes at midnight on Saturday but in reality, they close the cash register and put the salad bar away at 11pm so it's not worth going there really late. After I left the restaurant, I couldn't resist doing "Cervidae", a geocache just up the road from there, even though it was almost midnight. I knew Cervidae is the biological classification for deer, so I wasn't surprised at what I found. The cache container is housed in a deer skull.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (fox bend)
It was very Spring-like this evening. Temperature was over 70°F and so after work, I went to the familiar utility right of way area in Bear to find Power Lines Trail Spur Road by #8. This is actually the second time I tried going for this geocache. I intended to do this one yesterday but traffic on I-95 was so bad that I figured I would get there only after dusk, if at all. This evening, the traffic delay was only half as long and so I got there in plenty of time. It looked like I wasn't the only one out in the warmer weather either. There were other walkers on the trail. There were also a bunch of kids playing paintball in the woods. Fortunately, they were off the trail enough to not shoot at the walkers.

After that, I did some banking (bank is open until 8pm on Friday) and went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner. This time, I only had salad bar. No mini burgers or anything else to get in the way.
mortonfox: (gps)
Saturday was a rainy day, so I did just one nearby geocache, Pot of gold. I had the wrong idea about the cache at first, so I went back to the car and read cache logs using someone's open wi-fi connection. (SSID "Netgear") When I returned to the cache site, I saw it right away. It's amazing how much better this goes when I have information! After that, I did some errands and stopped at The Restaurant Store to browse around. This is a restaurant supply store that I was surprised to find less than a mile from home. I'd been there a few days ago to buy cafeteria trays (so that I can carry food from kitchen to bed in style!) but I didn't have time to really take a look around. On Saturday, I did. Their selection of merchandise is amazing. Everything I've seen at restaurants is somewhere in the store. Commercial microwaves, concession stand popcorn poppers, fast food deep fryers, soda dispensers; you name it, it's there. In addition, they sell kitchen supplies in bulk. That was the first time I'd ever seen a 5-gallon tub of dishwashing detergent! I'm not sure I'll ever use that much in one lifetime, although I would buy their gallon-sized liquid hand soap because it's cheaper than the warehouse club.

Sunday was sunny, 40-43°F. I went to South Jersey to do a bunch of geocaches and build up an appetite to use a Ruby Tuesday coupon in the evening. (Yes, my motivation was really that simple!) Since there was still snow on the ground, I consulted the database of easy geocaches. The nearest one was at Washington Lake Park in Sewell, so that's where I started. After finishing 3 geocaches in that park, I headed out further into South Jersey for more geocaches. Spent quite a bit of time at the Winslow WMA. 2 of the geocaches there were accessible via dirt roads. At first, I wasn't sure if I would be able to drive on dirt roads with a layer of ice and snow, but my car handled those without any problems. Of course, I parked when I saw a good wide area along the dirt road and walked the rest of the way instead of risking getting to a narrow part of the dirt road where it would be hard to turn around. I didn't have to shovel much snow in the woods this trip. The only cache site to which I brought the snow shovel was "How Many Guys?" There was a lot of snow around the fallen tree but shoveling out a few scoops of snow was all it took to reveal the cache.

In the evening, I went to Ruby Tuesday in Bear as planned. I had the Ruby Minis combo with salad from the salad bar. Then the Super Bowl came on TV so I returned to the salad bar for some football-watching snacks. Didn't sit through the whole game there. Just watched the 1st quarter and some commercials.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (otter)
Sunny, 21°F. Now we're into the deep freeze. I thought about waiting until a little later in the day before heading out but it didn't seem to get any warmer, so I went out and did two geocaches. (after scaling back my goals a bit) The first one was No skateboarding or roller skating at Delcastle Recreation Area. I did this one in sandals. It was only 100 feet from where I parked so I decided not to bother with shoes. The result: cold feet. The next one was all about the numb3rs. It's a puzzle that I solved just a few days ago when I realized that it is not nearly as much work as it looked. The cache was more work to find and even with shoes on, my feet got really cold. Also, I had to be careful not to slip and fall off the bridge because the path was icy. The road leading to the cache site was icy too, but luckily, my car didn't skid off into someone's yard.

In the evening, I went to Delaware Furbowl 23. I skipped the dinner portion of the event because I went to Ruby Tuesday in the afternoon. (At Ruby Tuesday, I used the coupon that I got from using the coupon they sent to apologize for sending an extraneous birthday coupon.) So I went directly to the bowling alley. The place was packed! At 137 (I heard), we had a record-breaking attendee count for this series of events. I wore the otter fursuit, which was the same as what I wore the last time, but I do like it. Didn't do too badly at bowling this time. I got two strikes but it was probably by chance more than anything. Had a little chat with a curious bowling alley customer. He seemed quite surprised to see all those fursuits and wanted to know about our history and if we were part of a group.
mortonfox: (buggy)
Sunny, 35-38°F. There was a new geocache at a strip mall in Christiana, so I went and got that first thing. Then I thought I'd go to Southern Lancaster County to find a few geocaches and return. I should've known it's never just a few caches. This ended up becoming a tour of not only Southern Lancaster, but also Cecil and Harford Counties in Maryland. I haven't been to Harford County much because there are tolls on both US-40 and I-95 between Cecil and Harford. However, the US-1 bridge does not have a toll and that's the way I went this afternoon. Didn't have time to do very many caches on that side of the Susquehanna River, so I'll have to return another time.

Dinner was at Ruby Tuesday in Bear. I had turkey minis with the salad bar option, of course.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton ave)
Sunny, 50-55°F. I could've gone in any direction but there were new geocaches in South Jersey near Deptford, so that's where I went. I was FTF at "Stuck Between a Rock and a Hammer". This is the second time in a few days that I was first to visit a cache and only by a matter of minutes because as I was about to leave, Pitch Black came by. The challenging cache of the day was supposed to be "Revenge of Shoe Gobbler", but for some reason, I didn't encounter any mud, water, or thorns. It wasn't even a difficult bushwhack. I think it was because I took a different route to the cache site. Funny thing is the route I took was the most obvious and direct approach, so I have no idea why the recommended route is to enter the woods on the opposite side of the block from the parking area.

After doing the new geocaches, I tackled two older geocaches that were a bit of a walk. Then I returned to the Deptford Mall for "Twin Pines Mall", a cache that I couldn't do earlier in the day because the parking lot was way too busy. No such problem in the evening. Even though the mall hadn't closed yet at that time, enough shoppers had left that I was not only able to find a parking space but I was able to park right in front of the cache site.

Since I was at the mall, I had dinner at Ruby Tuesday. I had Ruby minis, salad from the salad bar, more salad from the salad bar, and garlic cheese biscuits.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (coyote2)
Had breakfast in the hotel room because I brought cereal from home. Then we went down to the ballroom for fursuit games. This year's set of games was the scooter race, clippy, charades, and musical chairs. I wore the coyote fursuit for the games because it is more durable and fursuit games can be rough on fursuits. However, I don't think that really mattered, except for the musical chairs. My team wasn't last this year, so we got 2nd place dog tags as prizes. I love how I return from this con every year with a couple of trinkets to remember it by.

After that, [livejournal.com profile] jbadger and I met up with [livejournal.com profile] lupine_silver and went to Ruby Tuesday in Cromwell for lunch. No particular reason for this choice, other than the salad bar fits well with diet restrictions and I had a $5 coupon. I had buffalo chicken minis and a heap of salad.

When we got back to the hotel, it was a bit of a rush because I had to pick up my photo CD from the photoshoot two days ago. Also, [livejournal.com profile] jbadger and I did a photoshoot together just before the photo studio closed. Then it was time to go to the closing ceremony. (Stats: 1284 attendees, 246 in fursuit parade, over $12K raised for charity) During the opening ceremony, Belic said he would jump into the swimming pool if they raised over $10K for charity. Since that happened, we all went to the pool after the closing ceremony and he did it.

After that, I hung around the Dead Dog Party for a bit and joined in on the second fursuit parade. The rest of the night, I went to the dance between bouts of wandering around the hotel. This night, someone was apparently doing a photo project, collecting pictures of fursuiters balancing a Dr. Pepper bottle on their noses. I participated. I was in the otter fursuit at the time and he said it would be tough because I'm a short-nosed otter. However, it was done and I'll have to look for the picture on the web later. Anyway, as always, I did the last few dances before the Dead Dog Party closed. Then I went for a midnight swim in the pool because I thought I ought to make more use of hotel amenities. Well, either my backstroke is rusty or I'm less buoyant than the last time. I'll practice again the next time I have access to a complimentary pool.
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Sunny, 75-85°F. I wanted to do the GHPCC series of geocaches but there were a lot more along the way and in the area so I only did a few. Plenty more for another trip, I guess. Geocaches I did today were a bit spread out. Started in Pennsville, and continued to Paulsboro, West Deptford, Woodbury, Glendora, Laurel Springs, Lindenwold, and Clementon. The most challenging cache of the day was "Unemployed", oddly enough. This one was about 100 feet inside a drainpipe. I didn't have that much of a problem crawling into the drainpipe but I wish I'd brought knee pads because it was rough on the knees. I saw a small frog along the way.

In New Jersey, warehouse clubs cannot require a club membership to buy gas. I'd heard about that law before but forgot about it until the pump attendant at BJ's Wholesale in Deptford told me he didn't need to see my club card. So I didn't actually have to go to BJ's -- if there was a gas-selling Costco or Sam's Club along the way, I could've filled up there too -- but BJ's was conveniently along the road leading to Deptford Mall, where I had dinner at Ruby Tuesday. I had a fish burger. It wasn't on the menu any more, but the server told me they can still make one. This fish burger was comped because of a birthday coupon, but I also ordered the salad bar add-on to go with it. Have to eat my vegetables somehow. :) Since I last had Ruby Tuesday salad bar, they added a few items. Their new coleslaw is pretty good.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Sunny, 80-85°F. Having no coherent plan for the day, I decided to finish off some Cecil County geocaches. This time, I went to North East, Perryville, and Port Deposit. I thought it went rather well in spite of some less-than-optimal outcomes along the way. There were a few caches I attempted that turned out to be not as difficult as rated. For example, "Ode to Garrett Island Cache" is rated 4 stars for difficulty but I found it right away. "Swamp Lion" is rated 4 stars for terrain but the swamp was dry today. I also finally got around to "Gotcha Covered", a cache I couldn't do the last time I was in the area because of construction near the covered bridge.

In the evening, I had a turkey burger at Ruby Tuesday in Bear to use a coupon from their mailing list. Ruby Tuesday is now serving complimentary garlic cheese biscuits, which are pretty good. The downside is the price of the Ruby Minis & salad bar combo has gone up a dollar, so that's why I didn't get that this time.

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

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

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

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

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Since Wednesday looked like the least rainy day of the week and since I'm still using up surplus leave days, I took the day off and went to Lehigh Valley. My last trip got me most of the geocaches up to Nazareth. This time, I finished a few more in Easton and then cut through Bethlehem, Allentown, and Whitehall. There was quite a mix of geocaches. Some were easy, some were tricky, and some were in rugged terrain and dense vegetation.

I wasn't in time for Long John Silver's in Easton, so dinner was at Ruby Tuesday in Bethlehem. (just off Route 33) I had a chicken and broccoli quiche with salad bar.

9989 geocaches found. 11 to go.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Saturday: Went to Central Jersey to finish a few groups of geocaches in Passaic River Park, Glenhurst Meadows, and Duke Island Park. That last group was placed for the Duke Island Safari geocaching event earlier this month. I missed the event but caches placed for the event are still in the park so I got that part of the event experience at least. I did a lot of hiking in muddy flood plain areas on Saturday so it's a good thing I had boots. Dinner was at Fuddruckers in Parsippany, where I had chicken nachos and tomatoes with cheese. It felt weird going to Fuddruckers when there wasn't a geocaching event. I kept expecting to sign the event log or trade travel bugs at any time.

Sunday: Long Island trip. I started late so I didn't think I would have that much time but I still was able to get nearly all the new geocaches up to Moriches. Dinner was at Curry Leaves in Flushing Center. I had curry mee with chicken and roti canai. I'm pretty sure I've tried those before but when in doubt, go for the curry.

Monday: Went to Western NJ (Washington, Hampton, Bloomsbury, etc) via Route 57. I don't think it was that long since I was last there but there were quite a number of new geocaches. I was at the peak of my ability that day. All the geocaches, even the difficult ones, were a snap to find. For dinner, I did a Google search on my cell phone for a conveniently-located Ruby Tuesday and found one in Bridgewater. I had Ruby Minis with salad bar.

On Saturday evening, my phone malfunctioned to the point where it was totally unusable. The screen came up blank. Nice of it to do that at the end of the day when it would cause the least inconvenience. Fortunately, I already had a spare phone from eBay, so that night, I activated it, transferred the contacts, and installed the Opera Mini software. I've done that a few times before so it was easy. (Who needs the Sprint Store anyway? :) ) It's the same phone model except red in color instead of gray. Since both colors are around the same price on eBay, I figured I might as well get a non-drab one.

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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