mortonfox: (create a fursona)
This weekend was two days of geocaching up the west side of South Jersey since there have been many caches placed in this area at the onset of Spring. Saturday's trip was to Swedesboro, Thorofare (Riverwinds), Woodbury, Haddonfield, and Cherry Hill, and Sunday's trip was to Trenton, Hamilton, and Princeton Junction, hitting some of the big cache-filled parks like Veterans Park, Hamilton Park, and Mercer County Park.

It was a showcase of the funny, unusual and bizarre. There was an alligator cache, found in a sewer drain, naturally. Then there was a head in a barrel, which was funny but also rather shocking. And later in the day, I found a skull geocache that screamed when uncovered. Rounding out the creative caches were a Wawa coffee cup geocache, which was made from a real Wawa coffee cup, and a frisbee geocache.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
I hadn't been to South Jersey much since the State Parks geocaching policy debacle earlier this year because I was waiting to see what the impact would be and truth be told, I wasn't fond of the way it was handled. However, months later, I see nothing much has changed. Many caches remain out in WMAs and state parks, and some New Jersey geocachers have been placing new caches, although mostly not in state areas. So a trip to South Jersey was warranted. This time I went to Penns Grove, Logan Township, Greenwich, Williamstown, and Sicklerville. Best views of the day were at the inlet and floodgate in Greenwich.

Sunday's trip was to Bensalem to hit some new Taxman geocaches and then to Wrightstown for some older caches at the Middletown Grange that I could not seek previously because my last visit happened to fall during the weekend of the Middletown Grange Fair. I am not sure which other weekends they use the fairground but it was deserted this Sunday and parking was not a problem.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (me tira daqui)
Pope Francis visited Philadelphia this weekend. Since a large number of roads, including some major highways, in the city were closed for the occasion, most people thought traffic would be backed up everywhere. I didn't think that would be the case but it seemed prudent anyway to not travel anywhere in that direction. Plus, this year's edition of the First State Challenge was released on Saturday. So it was a good time to tour Delaware.

The FSC is partly a showcase of important sites in Delaware. So there were some interesting things to view, such as the Kalmar Nyckel mural, the Old West town in Carousel Park, and the giant Amish man. This time though, I decided not to rush and get all the FSC caches in one weekend. So on Saturday, I focused on the beach side of southern Delaware and hit other non-FSC caches in Milton, Lewes, and Rehoboth Beach along the way.

Sunday's outing was to finish the northern section of FSC in Bear, Newark and Wilmington. To fill out the day, I made a sidetrip into South Jersey for the newest caches in Pennsville, Mullica Hill and Mantua. The Salem River area was rather scenic as well.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton ave)
On Saturday, I decided to hit Cambridge in Dorchester County in Eastern Shore Maryland. That's the last big collection of geocaches before I get to Salisbury again. Cambridge is a moderate-sized town with an upscale downtown area, suburban-like strip malls, a waterfront on the Choptank River, and lots of historical markers on the Underground Railroad. The most significant landmark though, appears to be the Choptank River Lighthouse, which looks unusual to me because most lighthouses are much taller. Of course, there was a geocache right there: "Cambridge - Former MML Geotrail 2013". I visited some of the surrounding areas too. In Trappe, there's a scale model of a house in front of the very same house at the Rural Life Museum. And in Easton, there's a neat metal sculpture of a bull.

I thought it would rain or snow on Sunday but that never happened. I figured I'd not venture out too far, so I hit Deep South Jersey, which is only 10-30 miles from home. (for crows anyway. Taking the bridge and country roads makes it a tad farther.) Since there was no hunting on Sunday, I took a hike in the Salem WMA, stopping long enough to look at the brick ruins. Then, there was a severed foot geocache: "Tagged: DOA", a wordplay in several different ways. ("Tagged" series of caches, log sheet inside the "toe tag") I also took a short hike to the top of a hill in Bridgeton, which I later learnt was Mount Trashmore. I thought they did a reasonable job capping the landfill, although I still had to watch out for some pieces of rusty junk poking out of the dirt.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
On Saturday, I went to Gwynedd, Telford, Souderton and Montgomeryville because once again, the Cache Factory area had new geocaches! Mostly though, I wanted to hit that area before a snowstorm came and made the area difficult for geocaching until Spring. The first six caches were at Gwynedd Nature Preserve. It's a nice preserve, with wide trails, that apparently was only recently discovered by active cache placers. I also took a hike on the Green Ribbon Trail, which runs next to the Wissahickon Creek. Then I went for 5 caches of the 50 States series. These were replacement caches since I'm sure I've already finished the entire series. And finally, I erased 3 DNFs. "Two Presidents and a Park" was in a spot I hadn't thought of checking the last time because it seemed way too close to the building. "Third Time's the Charm" was actually missing the previous time. (Maybe it should be "Fourth Time" now? :) ) And "Geo R Us" might have shifted, since I was sure I checked that spot the last time.

Sunday's goal was to hit the Bruno Melini and Blackwater Pond Parks Cache Trail (B & B Trail series) in Buena Township in South Jersey. The two parts of this cache trail couldn't be more different. The portion running through Blackwater Pond Park was quite rough, thorny in some areas, and even had a broken bridge, which thankfully one did not have to cross. (although I did that carefully anyway because it looked like the other side had a better view for the photo :) ) The other part of the trail, which runs through town, was asphalt and fairly easy. Of course, I took the opportunity to get a few more geocaches on the way to and from Buena. "A Stream Runs Through It" was a nice walk along the Salem River on the residential side of Woodstown, which I never see because usually, I just pass through the town on Route 40.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (Walker)
My birthday was actually on Wednesday but I decided to take Tuesday off from work as well, with the intention of attending the Triple Tuesday geocaching event in Bridgewater. And the reason why I picked that event is I got birthday and anniversary coupons from the Fuddruckers mailing list. Sometimes, it's all about strategy. :) It was a pretty good trip though. The weather was very mild. I started geocaching in the Lawrenceville area and worked my way up via US-1 to Davidson's Mill Pond Park, where there was a trail with a series of caches. ("FTL" series) In the evening, I headed over to Fuddruckers for the event. It was not a big gathering and we didn't get our own section of the restaurant this time, but it was nice to meet up with the Central Jersey group. As usual, I had the 1/3-lb burger with fries. (before fixings, with fixings)

I used part of Wednesday to take care of heater maintenance and auto maintenance. I still had most of the afternoon free, so I took a short geocaching trip into South Jersey. It ended up being more geocache finds than I expected and I went from Pennsville to Sicklerville before turning around. For dinner, I stopped at the truck stop Denny's in Carneys Point for my free birthday Grand Slam. (It's actually not that great. But this is Denny's, so what do we expect? :) )

Anyway, this is my big four-zero. I've now lived for four decades! I won't recap my past year, since my last birthday, except to say that it has been really good and this coming year has a tough act to follow.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
It snowed on Friday evening. So what do I do on Saturday? Why, go out geocaching on the snow, of course. This time, I went to Vineland since there were some geocaches in the area that I didn't have time for when I did the Peaslee WMA Part 2 powertrail. The toughest two geocaches of the day were "Arbor Lake" and "The 1897 Bridge" because storm damage, possibly from Hurricane Sandy, had brought down trees and brush over the trail and there hasn't been any maintenance. I had no problems finding those caches themselves but actually getting there took some work. Rainbow Lake is an interesting spot because the lake cascades over a semi-circle dam. I don't think I've seen one like that before; it's usually either a straight line or rectangular. At the end of the afternoon, I hit a bunch of geocaches in Parvin State Park. I only had time for one trail with four geocaches plus one more, but it's the best I could do without taking a long walk to the other side of the park.

On Sunday, I felt like a Hardee's breakfast, so I planned a geocaching trip to mid-state Kent County. There was a new set of animal geocaches by Trison78, including a rabbit, an elephant, and a crocodile. Those were the highlights of the day.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
I had Monday off from work so it was a three-day weekend. The weather was hot and humid. High temperatures each day were over 80°F, with Monday's temperature hitting 95°F at one point. I saw an outdoor thermometer reading 100°F but it was probably a bit off. Funny thing is, I actually did more geocaches each day even though each day was hotter than the previous one. On Saturday, I went to Mount Holly. Although I've been there quite a number of times, I hadn't been back to that town much since I moved to Delaware. They have more geocaches now and I got to see some interesting artifacts, such as the oldest firehouse, an M113 personnel carrier, and a bench with no seat. Okay, maybe that last one was the township's neglect. :)

On Sunday, I made a trip to Lancaster because I noticed a series of geocaches along one of the trails in Lancaster Central Park. People were in a chatty mood, it seemed. A few times during the day, passers-by asked about my activity. I was surprised that they already understood the basics of the game but did not know the name of it. Maybe they heard about geocaching from somewhere or someone. One of the geocaches was at The Outhouse in Ronks, a humorous gift shop, fudge store, largest underwear dealer in Pennsylvania, and home of the one-horsepower Mennonite missile. I also took a look at the 2-headed pig but I couldn't say I was terribly surprised there. :)

Monday was the day of the heat wave. After a breakfast buffet, I headed into South Jersey again. This time, I wanted to do a set of geocaches up Route 73 in Berlin but as usual, I got distracted by a bunch of geocaches along the way in Salem and Gloucester Counties. But that was okay. These trips are not usually about executing detailed plans anyway. What's interesting is the weather was so hot that I got offers of free cold drinks at two businesses where I stopped to buy food. I've never had that happen before in New Jersey but I guess they knew everyone was baking outside.

The caches... )

Rainy Day

Aug. 15th, 2011 01:07 am
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
It rained heavily this morning until the afternoon, so I stayed home and took care of various cleaning chores. I think rainy days are about the only time I ever clean the kitchen. :) When the rain stopped, I went out. By that time, it was late in the afternoon so I just hopped over to Salem County for a few geocaches that I'd been saving up for a... ummm... rainy day. "NFL SERIES: Steelers" was a tough search because it was in the brush and briars near a dump. Fortunately, the cache owner happened to come by to check on it at the time, so he pointed me in the right direction. Even then, it was difficult because the cache had apparently slipped down from the top of the ridge. He told me anyway that wasn't the intended placement.

I also did one cache back in-state, "Stone Cache". This was harder than I thought to get to because for whatever reason, part of Route 141 was closed. Also, I-295 was all jammed up. (Was that the going-home-from-Atlantic-City crowd?) After that, I took the long way around the closed road to Lone Star Steakhouse for dinner.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny, 70-75°F. Started very late today but still did a decent number of geocaches, in 3 states! Started with one geocache in the C&D Canal area in Delaware. (Ran into Drew136 there.) Then I went over to Meadow Park in Elkton, MD, for a CAM 2011 cache and two others. Also did "Post 15" in downtown Elkton. Met another geocacher there too. I remember trying to find that cache a long time ago and it turned out to be missing. Glad it's back.

After I was done with Maryland, I still had more than two hours until sunset, so I went over to Pennsville, NJ, to do some of the MLB series geocaches. I think the difficulty on those may be overstated. Two of those caches, "MLB SERIES: Indians" and "MLB SERIES: Angels", had 5 stars for difficulty. The former was more like 1 or 1.5 stars, in my opinion. The latter took longer to find but it still wasn't that bad.

After briefly viewing the sunset over the Delaware River at the last geocache site, I returned in-state to Arby's for a Turkey & Swiss Market Fresh sandwich. This is actually pretty good but somewhat more expensive than their menu items, so I tried it only because I had a coupon.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy, 60-65°F. I know I was supposed to save some geocaches for weekdays after work but I couldn't resist, so I did the 7 new ones in New Castle County. Then I crossed over to Salem County and did 9 more. A few of those geocaches were really tricky. Both "The Easy One" and "The Hard One" were tricky but I thought "The Hard One" was easier since I figured it out as soon as I saw it, even from 30 feet away. "MLB SERIES: Twins" was rated 5 stars for difficulty, so I was actually looking for a trickier cache hide than what I eventually found after reading online cache logs for ideas.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy, 60°F. It was another day with no specific plan except to try to not go out too far because of gas prices. I started with some geocaches in WMAs in Salem County. Got an FTF on "Tagged! - End of My Trail", which was a surprise because it was already the afternoon by the time I got to that one. The "Tagged!" series appears to be one where the FTFer is encourage to place another one to add to the series. I do have an idea of where to place a new cache in Salem County but I'll wait a little while and see.

After that, I went to Stow Creek Park in Shiloh for two geocaches and continued geocaching towards the east and northeast to Deerfield, where I saw the Viking. Unfortunately, the angle of the sun made it impossible to photograph him from the front, so the back of the Viking will have to do.

The journey continued through Olivet and Pittsgrove. Finished the day with a group of geocaches near Willow Grove Lake and the Maurice River in Newfield. The water level in the river was rather high but only the last cache of the day was affected. Because the area was flooded, the cache was on a little tree island and I waded into a small water channel to retrieve it. I didn't mind getting wet socks/shoes at the last cache site of the day because I simply changed to sandals when I got back to the car. No shoes necessary for shopping and dinner. (Well, Burger King isn't dogmatic about that whole shoes issue anyway.)

The caches... )

Salem

Mar. 6th, 2011 02:27 am
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy, 55-60°F. The whole day, it looked like it was about to rain but didn't. I didn't have any geocaches in particular that I wanted to do today, so I just went to Salem County nearby. I figured I might as well do as many as I can in that area before the biting flies come out. So I was at Fort Mott State Park, a few Alloway Creek natural areas, Abbots Meadow, and the Mad Horse Creek WMA. Those were mostly walks on flat paths and dirt roads since there are no hills in the marsh areas.

In the evening, I returned to "Welcome To Travis Cove". I actually stopped by this cache site earlier in the day but found that the water level was too high. The cache is on a peninsula in a tidal area in the Delaware River. At high tide, the beach is completely underwater, so there is no access to that location without trespassing. I checked the tide tables on the phone and low tide was just after sunset, so I figured I should leave this cache for the last of the day. I returned shortly before dusk and had no problem walking on the beach to the cache site. I was surprised the cache hadn't washed away since it's just sitting under a small rock and not anchored to anything.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (No Parking)
Sunny, 27-32°F. I had some calls and correspondence to take care of this morning. Then I started downloading a map update for the nüvi 295W. This download looked like it would take a few hours. What to do in the meantime? Why, leave it running and go out geocaching, of course! One of the things I wanted to do was work on the NJ DeLorme Challenge, in which you have to find at least one cache on each page of the DeLorme New Jersey Atlas & Gazetteer. That's not as easy as it sounds. For instance, I thought I got page 66 today, but that cache may be just outside of the grid by about 100 feet. Regardless, it was a nice tour of the countryside and I visited a number of scenic areas.

One nice thing about geocaching this time of the year is shallow ponds and ditches are completely frozen. There were a number of places I hiked today where I'd normally have to find a way around ditches and waterlogged areas. Not today. I just walked across the ice! I didn't even need to bother with the flimsy-looking log bridge at "Down on the Farm".

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
Cloudy, 35-40°F. I checked the geocache map last night and saw clusters of geocaches south of Salem City that I hadn't visited. So I figured I'd go for those. It actually went better than I expected. I didn't think I'd have time to hike around 3 WMAs, but I did that and got a few more geocaches in between and on the way home.

There was one problem I saw today. From what I read in the geocache logs, there was a recent confrontation between a hunter and a group of geocachers. His complaint was that geocachers were screwing up "his" hunting area by walking around in the WMA. There is no hunters-only restriction in this public WMA. Like most WMAs, this one is big enough that people can spread out and one activity need not interfere with another. So I think it's just one guy with a bad attitude. Anyway, I went to "Tagged Twice! Totally Terrific!" and saw that the cache container was missing. In the hiding spot was a note in a bag. The note said "Play your game elsewhere, idiots! Stay out of here." I think that guy did it.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (No hunting)
Sunny, 50°F. I knew I'd start out late today because I had a few things to take care of in the morning. However, the geocaches I wanted to do were in nearby Pennsville, so that's okay. The first cache of the day was Is this DELAWHERE??? By a quirk of history, there is a piece of land belonging to Delaware that you can reach by dirt road from Fort Mott State Park in New Jersey without crossing any bridges or rivers. That's where the cache was. The area isn't much to look at but it's a geographic curiosity.

After that, there was still a lot of time before sunset. So I took a 3-mile hike on the dike in Pennsville and got Beaver Dam and Are we there yet? This is an easy walk if you go the correct way. However, there are a bunch of dead ends and bushwhacking leads to either mud or an impenetrable expanse of phragmites. And finally, I got What A Tangled Web They Wove just before sunset. It's a walk along the Delaware River beach.

For dinner, I decided to use my $10 Habaneros Club reward at Don Pablo's. I had all-you-can-eat chicken and steak fajitas, which is their Monday special. It's a little cheaper than Chinese buffet dinner, and with the $10 reward, my bill was 99 cents! Fajita Forever Monday is a bit different from Taco Tuesday in that they refresh your guacamole, beans and rice each round, whereas in Taco Tuesday, you only get the beans and rice once. However, if you're really there for the grilled meat, that doesn't work in your favor. After I was done with the fajitas, I found out that I received yet another $10 reward because this is my 9th visit! So I guess I'll be back soon. This means that I got $30 in free food for going to Don Pablo's 9 times in 15 months. (and aside from the $10 rewards, all those other times were for Taco Tuesday) Not a bad deal.
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: (gps)
Sunny, 75-80°F. More "NFL Series" geocaches came out today so I hopped over to Salem County, NJ, to do those. Started late but I was still able to do a number of those. I also added a few caches in Woodstown to the mix for variety and also because I'm probably not going back that way for a while. The most physically challenging cache of the day was "The Dollar Cache", but that's only because I approached the cache site from the wrong side of the stream and had to wade across.

"Broncos" and "Chiefs" are located at NJ Turnpike rest areas, one northbound and one southbound. Fortunately, I found employee entrances for both service areas so I didn't have to get on the Turnpike and pay a toll. I think most service areas on toll roads have back entrances like those. It only takes a bit of driving around to find the way in.

Where to go for dinner was a pretty easy question to answer today. While walking to one of the caches, I found a Burger King coupon on the ground. So I had a Whopper combo.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cloudy, 75-80°F. There is a truckload of new geocaches in Salem County so I went over the bridge to do those today. These are all "NFL Series" geocaches, which is about the closest I'll get to this spectator sport. Those are spread out across Pennsville, Salem, Elsinboro, Penns Grove, and Carneys Point. Most of those were fairly quick (I was doing 4 or 5 per hour) but one cache in the series has thus far proven to be a tough nut and no one has found it yet. I hope there'll be more information about it soon.

After finishing what I could of the series, I did a few more geocaches around Pennsville. I practiced my ninja skills at "Ninja Skill #1". Strange. I didn't know climbing on a park trash can to reach a cache high up in a tree was a ninja skill. :) I also went for "Bluewaters" and "Greenwaters", two geocaches that have been on my nearest caches list for a long time. Technically, I could've driven in on the dirt road to "Bluewaters" but it looked a bit narrow so I walked. That still didn't take very long and I was out of the wooded area just before sunset.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny and 90-95°F. I figured there were enough new geocaches in Salem County to make it worth paying the Delaware Memorial Bridge toll, so over there I went! I actually haven't been to Woodstown in years and there's a good collection of geocaches in Woodstown and nearby Mannington. It was still early in the afternoon once I was done with those, so I continued onwards along US-40 to Elmer and Malaga for more geocaches. Saw such interesting sights as the giant cowboy at Cowtown and Fox's Shopping Center, which, in spite of the name, doesn't appear to be where foxes shop. :)

The accomplishment of the day was getting FTF on "There's a Park Too!" It wasn't because I rushed out for this cache. The cache had been sitting out there for a week but was difficult enough that 3 other geocachers who tried earlier couldn't find it. When I got into the wooded area, I saw the signs of a lot of frustrated searching. Everything within 50 feet of ground zero had been raked, poked at, split open, or moved aside. Even though it looked like every spot had been searched thoroughly already, I rechecked those anyway in case they missed something. After circling the area a couple of times, I saw something else behind a bunch of bushes that I needed to check. And that's where I found the cache! Funny thing is even that spot looked like it had been stirred up but perhaps not stirred up enough until I came along.

Finished the day by filling up with cheap gas at the travel center in Carneys Point before crossing back over the bridge for a dinner of sidewinder chicken sandwich at Lone Star Steakhouse near home. (And that finishes this month's sheet of Lone Star coupons.)

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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