mortonfox: (create a fursona)
Saturday was another day to get some geocaches in my area, to the northwest and northeast of home. Went from Newark to Pike Creek, London Britain, Kemblesville, Kennett Square, Concordville, Springfield, Newtown Square, and Lansdowne. Attempted some of the tougher geocaches as well, which meant tackling the overgrowth on some of the less-used trails in DelCo wooded areas. The funny cache of the day was "Class of 3:16", which came with its own action figure.

Sunday's geocaching trip started in Penns Grove and Logan Township, before venturing north to Trenton, Ewing, and Pennington. However, any area that even suggested picnic or swim hole was packed with people and parking areas were jam packed. Moreover, traffic was crazy on the New Jersey side. So, after getting a few geocaches, I decided to head over the river for the relative calm of Bucks County, PA. There were a lot of new geocaches, mostly from Taxman, in Newtown and Bensalem. Also, I was finally able to find some caches with which I had trouble in the past. "Cry Baby #5 * 8 - Newborn" was one such problematic cache. I'd been there before but encountered a vagrant hiding behind the fence, which really discouraged me from returning for a while! Finally found the cache this time and it turned out to not be that difficult, except for having to deal with the overgrowth in that unused slice of land next to the Wawa parking lot.

Couple of interesting geocaches on Sunday. The first was the cow-spotted box, which was furry on the inside! "Shadowy Span" was near an unusual sculpture of an armored horse. What the camera didn't capture very well was a golden heart behind the bars in the center of the horse's body. So that's some neat symbolism. And the last cache before dinner was a gnome, which ties in to the puzzle in "Where's Dog VII - Follow Your Gnome".

The caches... )
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: (me tira daqui)
Went for jury duty on Thursday morning. It was actually my first time because I wasn't eligible all the previous times I received a jury summons. The county courthouse in downtown Wilmington was pretty busy that day. There were 17 cases on the trial calendar, so it took most of the morning for them to sort through those cases. They whittled it down to 3 cases after settlements and plea bargains. I was in the third group of jurors to get called. After calling 35 jurors for jury selection in each of the first two cases, the bailiff decided to just call the rest of us for the third case. So nearly 100 people, including myself, had to take the elevator to a courtroom on the 8th floor. (Courthouse stairs were reserved for emergency use only.) It was like the elevator line at the Westin during Anthrocon. :) By the time we all got to the 8th floor though, the prosecutor and defendant had both agreed to a bench trial (trial by judge) due to the complexity of the criminal case, so they didn't need a jury after all. The judge took a few minutes to explain that decision to all of us and then we all went back down to the jury assembly room. By the afternoon, they decided no more jurors were needed so they handed out the juror certificates and dismissed us. Even though it was just a lot of waiting, I still thought it was an educational experience because the court staff explained what was happening every step of the way. There was still some daylight afterwards, so I went to Logan and Mullica Hill in South Jersey for a quick geocache run before returning to Delaware for errands and dinner.

Saturday had bad weather, with a mix of snow and rain, but I figured if I headed south to Eastern Shore, there would be only rain down that way. This time, I went to Wye Mills, Wye Island, and some of the fingers of land next to Easton. The hard part about geocaching in that area is the shape of the land. There are lots of fingers of land, up to 10 miles long, into the Chesapeake Bay with no bridges linking them. If you venture down one finger for a geocache, it takes a lot of driving and time to go back out of the finger and down another finger. So I picked only those fingers with a good collection of geocaches. Prospect Bay was nice. Even though it looked like a very exclusive community, no one bothered me and it looks like they leave geocaches alone too, even those really obvious cache containers that I saw sitting out in the open. Near the end of the day, I revisited St Michaels to finish the geocaches I didn't have time for last week, and ended the day at Claiborne Beach. (the only time that day the sun came out)

On Sunday, I hit the trail loop for 11 geocaches at Kirkwood Preserve in Newtown Square. There was some snow on the ground from the previous day's snowfall but not really enough to make it hard to find those geocaches. There was one geocache in Radnor that required climbing a concrete pillar. I brought my ladder but it didn't feel safe because the ladder didn't reach high enough, so I decided not to retrieve this cache until I can get a longer ladder. The shape of the pillar also makes it a lot harder to use long tree branches to knock the cache off, although some have done it that way. After that, I continued onwards to Lower Gwynedd and Horsham. Things were a bit rougher there because of some uncleared parking areas. "Up Against the Wall!" was findable despite the snow, although I had to dig up nearly a 10-foot line of snow before I saw it. Of course, I put the snow back for the next person! :) "Enterance[sic] to the Woods" was difficult for no good reason. That whole area was a messy mix of water and snow. After kicking away the snow fruitlessly for a while, I saw the cache just sitting out there on a tuft of grass. It wasn't a hiding spot that made sense but I think some caches just put the whammy on folks. I noticed in the cache logs that others took a while to find it too, just because of the weirdness of the placement.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (face tree)
Saturday was about attacking some cache series to the north and northwest in Pennsylvania. First, I did the "Take A Walk" series in East Goshen Township Park. I found some of those caches earlier but the series was extended recently. It's not actually as much walking as the name implies because the park is chock full of parking areas, but I cut it into three small loop hikes. Then I headed over to Temple, a bit north of Reading, for the Chinese zodiac series. It's a series of 12 caches along the Muhlenberg Rail Trail in which every animal "is the BEST!" (BEST stands for Berks Explorers Seeking Tupperware, the Berks County geocaching group, so it's a clever way to name those caches.) After the two series and a few more caches, it was night. So I went to "Where Santa Threw Up (Night Cache)" in Audubon. It's an easy street corner cache but its actual purpose is to bring people to the most festively decorated yard in the neighborhood.

I had no concrete plans for Sunday, so I just headed a bit into South Jersey to find caches here and there in Gloucester County. I gave priority to some caches that I knew would be affected by the impending NJ state parks policy but also threw some urban and suburban caches into the mix. There were some interesting spots, like the tile flag sculpture and the Wenonah tea house.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (create a fursona)
This weekend was yet another step towards finishing the Jersey Shore geocaches before beach season starts. I didn't get to Atlantic City until Sunday because Saturday was mostly working my way along the Route 322 corridor through Glassboro, Clayton, and Williamstown, getting some new geocaches placed since my last caching spree down that way. There were a few sites of interest, like the ruins of a dugout / pit house and Unexpected Road. When I reached Hammonton and started looking for "Just log the DNF now", I met the cache owner, jct.jr. That was an extremely tricky 5-star geocache and I was glad he supplied the hint and the required tool for that one. Then he was nice enough to take me on a tour of some of his geocaches around Hammonton, which were a lot of fun. And finally, I grabbed a few geocaches farther southeast in Mays Landing before dinner.

On Sunday, after a few geocaches in Mays Landing, I finally hit the seaside area, from Longport, through Margate and Ventnor to Atlantic City. I didn't think this stretch was as good as the beach areas to the south but there were some things to see, such as Lucy the Elephant and King Neptune. The downtown part of Atlantic City, aside from the casinos and outlet mall, was a bit sketchy so I didn't stay there too long. But there were only a few caches there anyway.

The final stretch of this tour will be Long Beach Island. And beyond that, I'll save Point Pleasant Beach for when I have to travel there anyway to do a charity mascot gig. So I should be done before Summer, easily.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
This weekend, I went across South Jersey for the August Rush series of geocaches. Like some of the other series I did recently, this one too was placed for the 31 days of geocaching, so there are 31 August Rush caches. These are not all in the same area though; there are a few clusters in Egg Harbor City, Woodbine/Belleplain, and Northfield. So I decided to also go for other caches in the same area to make the trips out there worthwhile and to make this series last a few days.

Saturday began with a few geocaches in Williamstown. After a stop for a water ice, I went into August Rush territory in Hammonton and Egg Harbor City. There are some rather devious geocaches in this area. "Sleepy time" was surprisingly difficult even though I thought I knew how it was hidden. "Lie Big" was the most tricky of all but I was lucky. I went around picking up random objects in the wooded area and one of those happened to be it. After that, I entered Mays Landing and finished the day with a walk on the Atlantic City Bike Trail.

On Sunday, I started in Millville. The problem in the downtown area there is caches seem to go missing after a while. It was very obvious where "The Stuff DREAMZ are made of" was supposed to be, so I left one of the micro containers I had on hand as a replacement. (A fellow cacher gave me a whole bag of tiny tubes at a recent event.) After that, I hit Peaslee WMA. There is a set of geocaches along Route 49 that's a mix of puzzles and traditional caches. The worst part of it was crossing busy Route 49 (weekend getaway traffic - long lines of cars going at full speed) since half the caches are on the other side, but there were intervals with no traffic every couple of minutes. After that, I went to Woodbine, Marmora, Somers Point, Linwood, Northfield, and finished in Mays Landing. (close to where I stopped for dinner on Saturday) There are still a few August Rush caches left to find but I think I'll wait until the area repopulates with caches.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (gps)
On Saturday, I did the Route 14 powertrail, 51 geocache starting from Harrington and going towards the DE/MD border. It was pretty easy and I was done in less than two hours. After that, I geocached along western Delaware before heading to Dover. The last two geocaches of the day in the Dover area were by the beach at the Ted Harvey Conservation Area. "Beachfront Property" was closer to the boat launch parking area, while "Ospery Landing" was a 1.3-mile walk along the beach to an ospery platform. So it was a truly diverse set of geocaches since that one cache was a longer, more scenic walk than the 51 caches with which I began the day!

On Sunday, I headed to South Jersey to do the duck series of geocaches. These were spread out from Swedesboro to Brooklawn, in a variety of environments from urban to wooded area. "Duck Series: #10 Northern Pintail" was at an interesting spot, an enormous hollow tree that one can crawl into and stand up inside. "Duck Series: #3 Common Merganser" was the most challenging cache of the day but only because it's in an area that one can walk to only at low tide. (It's also rather muddy and full of debris washed ashore but that comes with the territory.) I used Tide Chart FREE on my phone to figure out the best time to go for this cache and that worked rather well.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
Like Christmas, New Year's Day is on a Tuesday, turning that day, New Year's Eve, and the regular weekend into another four-day weekend! It snowed a bit on Saturday but after the snow stopped in the afternoon, I still had enough daylight for a bit of geocaching in the snow over in Newark and Elkton. It wasn't much of a snowfall, so the roads were generally fine. There was only a bit of snow on the ground in wooded areas but even that melted away by the next day.

On Sunday, I continued geocaching in Newark and Elkton. There were over 40 geocaches, all Christmas-themed, placed by Amanda and Knobbie in that area. Most of those caches were ornaments and figurines. It was rather amazing. I continued southwards to Chesapeake City and Cecilton. Finished the day with "Take me out to the ball game....", a challenging 4-stage multicache. Well, it was only challenging because of the icy cold weather but fortunately, I could drive around to the other side of the park to shorten the walk for the last two stages.

After Sunday's outing, I figured that I needed only 13 more geocaches to make December my top month. (beating September 2012's count of 341) That was a snap to do. I went up through Southern NJ, from Woodbury to Riverside, and surpassed that by the early afternoon. That day was my first visit in several years to Palmyra Cove Nature Park, which is known for being the park where if you miss the exit, you end up on the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge to Pennsylvania! However, I saw that they've added a new entrance further from the bridge, so there's not as much danger of that now. It's a nice place to walk and see whitetail deer and wild turkey, which are still active in the winter.

I felt a bit lethargic on New Year's Day, so I decided not to keep it a low-key day. "Grandma's Reindeer", another Amanda & Knobbie cache, was the most amusing cache of the day. It's a toy Grandma in a truck with a reindeer strapped to the bonnet. When you push the button, it moves and plays "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer". After that, I continued on to Central Delaware. There's a series of geocaches, "Hope", "Imagine", "Laugh", and "Live", which I needed to find in order to get the coordinates for "The Wonder of the Geo-Cacher". I could only find "Hope" and "Imagine" because there was fishing activity at the other two spots. Fortunately, it turns out that I didn't need all the information to locate the final cache. With those two digits missing, I only had to search along a 500-foot north-south line. I was able to see the hiding spot from pretty far away, so that was trivial. It was also a good day to tackle "Dino Danny". Ordinarily, the thick brush would make it a 4-star geocache but in the middle of winter, I was able to walk right in, only stopping to clip a few branches here and there.

The caches... )
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
It has become a trend lately to hold geocaching events on special dates, although Groundspeak's special souvenir for finding a cache on 12/12/12 also served to encourage this. So I was able to attend 3 events, all not too far from home, on that day! I decided not to take a day off from work since two of those events were right in this county and could fit my schedule.

The first event I attended was the midnight event, "12-12-12 @ 12:12:12 AM New Jersey". It was in the parking lot of a strip mall in Deptford. I left home a bit after dinner but I was so early that I had time to do a few geocaches before getting to the event. We actually had quite a crowd going, which was funny because the rest of the shopping center was deserted by that time.

The next event I attended was "12-12-12 @ 12:12:12 PM Flash Mob Event" at the quiet side of the Prices Corner Shopping Center parking lot in Wilmington. We decorated a tree, had cookies, and found a bonus cache, "121212121212", on the other side of the shopping center.

The last event of the day was "Meet, Greet & Eat on 12/12/12" at 6:12pm outside SAS Cupcakes in downtown Newark. This too was rather well-attended despite the traffic and parking problems that evening and even though we all had to fit on the sidewalk! We had cupcakes. After this event, some of us went to look for "Old Man Cooches' Hat", the bonus cache for this event.

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... )
mortonfox: (gps)


Rainy, 45°F. I took the day off this February 29 so I could attend a few Leap Day geocaching events. There were many events in the area but I picked 3 that weren't too far away and didn't overlap. The first event was "Leaping with EPAC", a breakfast at Wegman's in Malvern. I had a brown rice California roll. Yes, sushi for breakfast! Got to live a little. :) After that, I did "WO - Spike", the geocache that was placed for the event, before heading north and east towards the second event of the day.

The second event was "LEAP - LUNCH - CACHE #TWO", a lunch at Applebee's in North Wales. This Applebee's has all-you-can-eat soup & salad lunch specials, so I had a house salad and potato bacon soup plus two refills of that. After that, I geocached around North Wales, Lower Gwynedd, and Maple Glen until it was time to head over to the third event of the day.

I made a possible mistake of going through Philadelphia to get from Abington to Deptford, so I arrived at "The Quest for 366 - 2012!" a bit late. It was a dinner event at Old Country Buffet in Deptford. I had many kinds of food in strange combinations. After this event, I did one more geocache on the way home. Aside from the rain, it was a good day. The multi-event format is a lot of fun. Like myself, many other geocachers event-hopped and I saw some of them at all three events.

The caches... )
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... )

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Morton Fox

October 2017

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