mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny day. Around 60°F. Went out to Western NJ for a "Baskin & Route 31" geocache marathon, although I did find a bunch more geocaches aside from this series. Got 32 geocaches and finished just before sunset.

Then I used a credit card reward to get free gas in Hackettstown.

Then I used a TGI Friday's "free burger" coupon to get a Jack Daniels chicken sandwich. All in all, it was a pleasant, low-cost day. :) And now, I have to pack again for another trip to Delaware to oversee the Verizon phone jack installation. Oy!

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: (gps)
Nearly 80°F and overcast but didn't rain. Went out to Western NJ today. Stayed near I-78 but spent a lot of time in High Bridge tackling some geocaches that were reputed to be difficult. It was a good time. Ended the day with friends at the Welcome to . . . (Branchburg NJ) 2009 geocaching event at Moe's in Branchburg. I had a Close Talker (taco salad) with chicken.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Saturday was a rainy day so I didn't go too far or plan too much. I just went to Westchester and bagged some geocaches, mostly quick ones. The rain did help me with "Mamaroneck Discovery 4" though. This one is right in downtown Mamaroneck. Usually, that location would be way too busy but with the rain, not many people were in the area and I was able to make the grab.

On Sunday, I woke up quite a bit earlier than usual to attend "mmmm even more Donuts?!", a geocaching event at the I-80 Westbound scenic overlook in Columbia. It was worth getting up a little before 6am for donuts, yeah. I was actually a little early so I decided to do a few geocaches along the way. I pulled into the parking area for "HOPES INFORMATION CENTER" and saw BigA800 and Walkin' Ed already there. So we did that cache and two more and then hurried over to the event. The "just one more" syndrome had made us a bit late for the event. :) Fortunately, there were still some donuts left when we got there because Weathernowcast got almost enough for 3 donuts per attendee!

I went off on my own after the event instead of following the group to the tunnels. I did run into Team Tron at "Portland-Columbia Footbridge", however. My plan was to head to Stroudsburg after the event but somehow, I managed to not do any geocaches in Stroudsburg. Instead, I went around the Pocono area to Shawnee, Bushkill, and Paradise Crossing, and finished up with the "Rest n' Peace" series on my way back towards New Jersey. I took a break in the middle to see some well-known tourist attractions in the Poconos. Since I may not be back for a long time, it would be a pity if I didn't take a look at Bushkill Falls, for example.

No eating out for dinner this weekend. I made microwave meatloaf and microwave rice on Saturday and had the leftovers on Sunday.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
My first stop on Saturday was Dog Days of Summer, an hour-long geocaching event at nearby Ramapo Reservation. Then I headed out to Western NJ. I was planning to go to Stroudsburg but there were more than enough geocaches in Western NJ for the day so maybe next time. Four of the geocaches were in Jenny Jump State Forest. For "The Kissing Tree", I summited Jenny Jump Mountain. It wasn't that impressive a peak -- just a boulder pile at the top of an incline and there is a shortcut from the last campground at the end of the park road. Dinner was at Arby's in Hackettstown, where the 5 regular roast beef for $5 deal is apparently available once again. (On previous visits, it was either available or not available depending on who I asked.)

Sunday was a hot day. The temperature was over 90°F at midday. I wasn't planning to go very far so Central Jersey it was. When I got to "Ash Cache Dash", I noticed that the swamp was dry. Even the stream bed was dry. This was a situation that I definitely had to use to my advantage so I ventured further in and got "Ash Cache" as well. After that, I went to another swamp to take a stab at "Out (in the woods looking for a) House". That area was dry too. What luck! Instead of making a perilous stream crossing, I merely walked directly to the cache site. Dinner was at On The Border in New Brunswick. I had a coupon from the mailing list so I might as well use it. That turned out to be quite a lot of food. I had chicken taco, rice, and refried beans, Mexican chopped salad, and sopapillas.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
I took Monday off to turn it into a 3-day weekend and made an all-out effort to finish off Western NJ geocaches along the Route 46 corridor. Here's how it went down:

Saturday was a hot day. At the very first geocache site of the day, I think I lost my keys!!!!, I ran into Kenvilguy. It was funny. I saw him standing right at the coordinates so I figured he might be a geocacher. When I got out of the car, he said "I think I lost my keys!" Then I said "I think I lost my keys too, even though I just parked!" I was glad for his help in the search. The geocache turned out to around 170 feet away from the coordinates and we pretty much checked every possible hiding spot in the area before finding it.

After that, I went further west to Great Meadow, Townsbury, and Pequest. Did a lot of walking around the rail trails in the Pequest River area. Finished just before dusk and went to Arby's in Hackettstown for dinner. They didn't have the 5 for $5 deal any more so I got 2 toasted subs for $4.

Then Sunday and Monday... )


The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Another hot and humid day. It rained briefly in the early afternoon but didn't rain again until dusk. Started the day with a few geocaches in Hanover and Randolph. Then I went to the Paulinskill Trail in Stillwater again to continued what I started on Saturday. Finished the day with a few quick geocaches around Swartswood State Park and then went to Arby's in Hackettstown for another 5 for $5. Brought home two of those regular roast beef sandwiches. Combined with the three I brought home the day before, my fridge is now well-stocked with Arby's roast beef sandwiches!

The most unusual geocache of the day has to be Pipe Dreams. The cache itself was fairly ordinary but the location and method of access were strange. The quickest way to the cache site was through one of the large pipes left in the woods by the town. I thought I would have to crawl but this pipe was big enough that I could get into a squatting position and walk like a duck all the way along the pipe. As a bonus, it was raining at the time but I kept dry inside the pipe and the rain stopped when I exited the pipe.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny and humid day that topped out at a bit over 80°F. There was a chance of rain in the weather forecast but it never happened. I went to Western NJ but not the usual way to Blairstown. Instead, I did some geocaches up by Sparta and Fredon before hitting the Paulinskill Trail. Finished the day in Swartswood State Park by the old mill. All those were areas I hadn't been to in a long while so there were lots of geocaches I hadn't found. I got 26 and there are still more for another day.

Went to Arby's in Hackettstown for dinner. As usual, I picked up 6 regular roast beef sandwiches. Brought 3 of those home.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Started Saturday morning with a small breakfast at IKEA in Paramus. It was free this weekend but the cafe was really crowded, which may be the biggest downside to this deal. It's only 99 cents at other times anyway.

Then I headed out to Western NJ. Got a flat tire on I-80 in the Parsippany area going at highway speed, which is not a good time for a tire to deflate. I got it safely to the emergency lane after rolling along a bit. The second problem was the emergency lane at that location was narrow and highway traffic was whizzing by pretty close. (If the flat had occurred just a mile ahead, I would have had plenty of room to work in.) So I thought it was worth calling AAA to send a professional to do this. 15 minutes later, the flatbed tow-truck arrived. The guy knew exactly what to do and I was on my way again within half an hour from the time the flat occurred. (Conveniently, I already have a service appointment on Tuesday and I can buy a tire at that time.)

After that, I knew this wasn't going to be a picture-perfect day but I played through anyway. It turned out to be interesting in a way. I met Mag-man and daughter at two cache sites, "Hope's lost" and "jenny's micro". The latter was really difficult to find so teamwork helped. I also met ECSAR at "A Societal Relic". He saw me at the abandoned payphone and stopped to say hello. I'd actually just been to his cache at an abandoned milking station. (There are apparently lots of abandoned structures near Blairstown.)

Sunday... )

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Went to Western NJ on Saturday. In just a few weeks since my last visit, lots of new geocaches have been listed around Hackettstown, Blairstown, Hope, and Hainesburg so I did those. I also visited the Mohican Outdoor Center at the Delaware Water Gap briefly to seek 4 geocaches in a row along their access road. That's a pretty scenic area and the cabins look nicer than home! I ran into Chris58 at "65 million years in the making" and we went and did "In remebrance[sic]" together since this cache was next on both our lists.

Dinner was at Arby's in Hackettstown. I noticed that there are now lots of new restaurants (both fast food and sit-down) just south of Hackettstown on Routes 517 and 57. It's like a food court out there now and this solves the problem of where to eat in Western NJ after geocaching. Anyway, I had a coupon for a bacon and cheese roastburger so I got that. This Arby's was also offering a 5 for $5 deal. End result: 6 sandwiches! I brought 3 home. Such a deal.

On Sunday, I went to Queens. NYC has traffic problems now because of the closure of the ramp from Cross Island Parkway to the Throgs Neck Bridge. Some traffic got diverted to the Clearview Expressway and some got diverted to the Whitestone Bridge, causing even more delays there. I didn't experience any delays going to Queens but coming home, I got stuck in traffic until I thought of an interesting alternate route to get around the mess. I didn't have quite as much of a problem on city streets, which is a good thing because I used those most of the day going from cache site to cache site.

Read more... )

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Took another mid-week break from work. I went geocaching in Western New Jersey (from Blairstown to Columbia) and finished the day with a few geocaches in Stroudsburg. It'll take a whole day in Stroudsburg to do that area's geocaches justice. Just picking a few off now and then isn't going to make much of a dent.

It was a day with variable weather. It was cloudy in the morning and then it rained for some time in the afternoon. I skipped a few geocaches that required a 1.6-mile round trip walk on the Paulinskill Valley Trail because of the rain but came back for those when the sun came out again. Today's only real problem was finding "Rest n' Peace 26 - Prospect Cemetery" in pieces scattered on the ground. I suspect that it fell out of the tree and was subsequently shredded by a lawnmower. I posted a "needs maintenance" log for that one.

Dinner was at Arby's in Stroudsburg. As I was driving along US-611, I noticed the "5 for $5.55" deal posted in their window so I went in and got 3 ham melts and 2 Arby's melts. I ate 3 sandwiches there and brought 2 home for later. Not bad and also cheaper than my original plan for dinner this evening.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Friday was a rainy day. I hadn't been to Lehigh Valley in quite a while so there were many new geocaches that were close to parking and doable in the rain. Ran into BillyPilot at a cache site so I wasn't the only one out in the rain. I also tried my hand at some Fren-Z geocaches, knowing that I would fail to find most of those, but I got lucky at his Stockertown cache. I'd been there previously to take a look around but had not felt like turning the whole area over to look for the micro cache. This time, the first thing I picked up was where it was hidden! In the evening, I went to Welcome to . . . (Branchburg NJ) 2009 geocaching event at Moe's back in NJ. By the time I got there, it was near the end of the event but I still had about half an hour to trade travel bugs and eat. I had Billy Barou with pork. They used shredded cheese because they ran out of cheese sauce.

Saturday was a sunny day and warmer than Friday. I went to Western NJ along I-80, crossed over the Delaware River to Portland and Mount Bethel, and finished in Stroudsburg. I saw NJ's Longest Traffic Light, a 3-minute red light on Old Mine Road in the Delaware Water Gap. The traffic light has to be that long because of a stretch of one-lane road next to the mountain. The cache was near the traffic light so I didn't actually have to wait. I just turned the car around, parked, and got the cache. I also stumbled across the Lakota Wolf Preserve. It is behind the campground where the "Camp Sight" geocache is located. Dinner was at Chili's in Parsippany to use this month's coupon. I had the Oldtimer and chips and salsa.

On Sunday, I had planned on doing a mascot gig at Manhattanville College in Westchester. However, the event organizers hadn't supplied parking passes and with no pass and no credentials, I had problems with security at the gate. So I decided to skip the gig and switch to Plan B, which was to go geocaching in Westchester. Yes, it was a disappointment but not a major one because that was a fine day -- sunny and breezy -- to be outdoors. The difficult geocache of the day was supposedly "Little Green Men: Tron, Master of the Bull Ship". Once I found it, I realized the problem. It wasn't placed in a way that most geocachers would expect for that area. It was an area with rock formations but the cache wasn't in the rocks, where I saw most of the signs of searching activity. For a late lunch, I had chicken taco and chicken burrito at Taco Bell in New Rochelle. Wasn't planning on eating at Taco Bell but I used their restroom so I might as well get food. For dinner, I just came home and cooked because I wasn't that far from home.

9968 geocaches found, 32 to go.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Went geocaching in Western NJ on Saturday. Found 20 geocaches in Montville, Ledgewood, Stanhope, and Allamuchy State Park. The weather was okay. The temperature topped out at a bit below 80°F. For dinner, I met up with [livejournal.com profile] d4b at Fuddruckers in Parsippany. We ordered together because it was my one chance to use a Fuddruckers coupon for two. I had nachos with chili and made a Fuddruckers "salad" from the fixings bar afterwards.

On Sunday, I went to Western NJ again. This time, I went further out to Blairstown, Columbia, the Columbia WMA, and the White Lake WMA. In the WMA locations, there was too much tall grass and trails going through tall grass for comfort during tick season. I didn't get one this time though. Dinner was once again at Fuddruckers in Parsippany in order to use my last coupon, which was expiring that night. I had nachos with beef and another Fuddruckers "salad".

I'm going to hit my 10K milestone soon. I'm currently at 9,914 geocaches found. I won't get there this weekend though because there'll be a mascot gig, but we'll see.

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... )

Western NJ

Feb. 17th, 2009 03:44 am
mortonfox: (gps)
Had the day off for President's Day. Sunny. 34-42°F during the day. Down below 25°F in the evening. By now, I'm used to 40-degree temperatures during the day so it was a nice day to be outside. I'd planned on going to Lehigh Valley but I got distracted by Western NJ along the way and by sunset, I had covered a good portion of Hunterdon County and bagged a bunch of geocaches. So I'll save Lehigh Valley for another weekend. Most of those geocaches were easy but two of them were up on hills. I was surprised that I didn't have a problem with the hilly terrain considering that yesterday, the right side of my hip started getting sore after the 15th cache. I think it just needed a little rest.

Dinner was at Burger King in Hackettstown. I saw that on the way home and decided to use a coupon from the coupon booklet. Since I was using I-80 to get home, I stopped at Micro Center in Paterson along the way to shop for a memory upgrade for my notebook computer. I figured it was a good time to buy because I'd noticed an uptick in DRAM prices. That store is dangerous to the wallet because of the sheer variety of computer upgrades and accessories they stock, but I just got the two SO-DIMMs and left. Installed those when I got home and yes, there's now a ton of free memory.

Geocachers shouldn't be reading this journal if they don't want spoilers so I'll just describe this one straight. The cache container for "Welcome to Ringwood!" is an electrical box attached to a lamp post. There are no wires inside, of course. It's only there to hold the log sheet. However, what made me uncomfortable with this hide is the cache finder has to use a screwdriver to unscrew two screws in order to remove the cover to get the log sheet out. If we start doing this, how long before someone opens a live electrical box and gets a shock? Worse yet, unless you look like a municipal maintenance worker, you'd look rather suspicious dismantling something that appears to be part of the lamp post. I don't know if Groundspeak already has policy about this kind of cache hide but I emailed the cache approver to let him/her know my concerns.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Cold day. 12-21°F. It was colder (8°F) when I got up this morning so I gave it an hour for the temperature to rise a few degrees before heading out. It wasn't so bad. I picked a bunch of geocaches that were within 300 feet of parking and found all of those very quickly without freezing any extremities off.

The most interesting cache site of the day was the Ghost Bike. The whitewashed bicycle is a memorial to a bicyclist who was killed in a collision with a van 2 years ago.

Dinner was a 12" Italian sub at Quick Chek in Piscataway because that's where the last cache was. It's a penny cheaper than a Subway $5 footlong.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Sunny but cold. 35-39°F. I'd planned on going to the Welcome to . . . (Branchburg NJ) geocaching event so I did some geocaching in Western NJ throughout the day. Made good progress. Found a bunch of new geocaches. Also did two geocaches at Round Valley that I skipped over this summer because of the park fee. Also did 5 geocaches at Voorhees State Park. I didn't know it at the time but NJBearChaser was following me. He told me at the event later that he saw my log entries at a bunch of geocaches that he found. I estimate that he was at each geocache less than half an hour after me.

Sunset was a 4:30pm but the geocaching event was at 7pm, so I still had over 2 hours to kill. So I continued geocaching and found 4 caches in the dark. Had to be careful while driving around that area in the dark though. The roads are poorly marked and one road in particular had an unexpected 90-degree bend. I bumped my knee on a bridge in the dark but that was minor and no hindrance to finding the cache.

Once I was done with those, it was time to go to Moe's in Branchburg for the event. I was a bit early but charlieOU812 and PTBilly were already there. We chatted it up and then more geocachers arrived. I had the Billy Barou, which is nachos topped with a pile of stuff.

The caches... )

Western NJ

Sep. 1st, 2008 03:08 am
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny day, again around 80°F. I'd prepared a batch of geocache info down in Central Jersey and a travel route down I-287, but when I hit the Morristown area, I remembered that there were a lot of geocaches down by Randolph that I hadn't done yet. So for the rest of the day, I got geocache coordinates by cell phone, one at a time. I did part of the WWII Aircraft series that way and it was a fun time on the Randolph Trails, albeit with a bit too much bushwhacking at times.

Did more litter patrol too. Morris County is actually quite clean, with only the odd bottle here and there. The exception was the area surrounding the "Skating On Thin Ice" geocache. It looked like people had been partying just a few steps into the woods and leaving their bottles all over the place. I packed out most of that litter. Nevertheless, I don't think it's a good cache site. Litter is a sign that lots of people go back there. That means it'll be likely that someone will find the cache by accident and steal or vandalize it.

Dinner, refuel, and shopping this evening were all in Ramsey, close to home, because that was easier than figuring out where to get all those done in the Parsippany area.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny and about 80 - 88°F. Had another go at the Western NJ / Lehigh Valley corridor. I spent more time in Western NJ today because I did a bunch of geocaches along riverside trails and rail trails south of I-78 between Raritan and Pittstown. After that, I crossed over to Lehigh Valley and continued geocaching where I left off last week in Whitehall. The last two geocaches were at and near the Allentown Rest Area by the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I found the back road (actually, the staff entrance) leading to the rest area so I didn't actually have to use the PA Turnpike to get there.

Dinner was at the Sheetz store in Bethlehem because a nachoz grande with everything on it was calling my name. This will probably be the last Lehigh Valley trip for a while. For one thing, I've run up against the Western boundary of my geocaching area in LV. For another, some undesirable elements have shown up there. I encountered a couple of impatient and/or careless motorists in Allentown, including one who nearly got me into an accident by sliding out of a ramp at 15mph right into 55mph traffic on US-22. Another undesirable element was the group of loitering, smoking teens at the Sheetz store. They also apparently don't believe in using mufflers on their cars and motorcycles. However, my mistake there was in not learning from what happened the last time. I should've gone to Sheetz in Whitehall instead, where the customer base is nicer.

Got home and wondered why police were pulling people over at several places in town. Probably just late night speeding enforcement.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
Sunny day. 80 - 85°F. Went to Easton/Nazareth in the Lehigh Valley again, hitting a bunch of geocaches along or near Route 57 in Western NJ on my way there. There were a couple of good hikes today -- unnamed wooded area (may be part of Allamuchy), Mansfield Recreation Park, and Jacobsburg State Park -- each with 2 or 3 geocaches on the same trail or trail loop.

Dinner was at Long John Silver's in Easton. I'm apparently now a regular there. The cashier knew what I was going to order before I said it. I was going to fill up at the Phillipsburg Wawa on my way home but the gas gauge was only down to the 7/8 level, so I didn't think it was worth stopping to pump in a mere 2 or 3 gallons. However, as I found out a bit later, at $3.49 for regular, they were only 2 cents/gallon cheaper than one of the gas stations back home.

The caches... )

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Morton Fox

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