Sunday, August 31, 2008


Just a quick note to say that the blog is at 2,999 views.  I guess that is since the blog started on Sunday, June 11, 2006.  As soon as I figure out exactly how I want to do it, I am going to post an index of sorts to make it easier to access past entries.


Sunday, August 31, 2008 

Category: Life

Another day, another toad--and some rocks

I saw this toad on my way up to try, try, again to find one of the caches that have been eluding me for the past two weeks.

When I got to the cache site, a.k.a. ground zero, I stuck a stick in the mud. It joined a few others on the mountain. It makes it easy to see how much the GPS signal bounces on the mountain.

Sometimes caches get hidden in trees like this. I like this picture because if you look close in the hole it looks like two little glowing eyes are staring back out of it. There wasn't anything in there, at least with eyes, when I got up close.

People ask how the geocaching game can be hard. See the wire in this picture? That's what I needed to find in the middle of the woods, plus or minus 30 to 60 feet. Actually, it was a little easier than that today. But it's what the next person will have to find, and what I was supposed to find.

Just another picture of the rocks up at the Black Rock view. I've taken pictures of them before. These are kind of dim and blurry, but it was that kind of day for the most part.

Does that look like a long way down? Because it is.

I title this picture "Bad Dog?" It's a rusted dog chain that ends at the remains of a fire pit. You're not supposed to build fires here. Or for that matter, abandon your dog. Or your dog chain.

I tried to make my way down to where another cache was while I was at Black Rock, but I couldn't figure out how to make my way down. This is looking up some rocks I just climbed down. I really couldn't go any further down from this spot. At least, not with much hope of ever being able to get back up again. And several options would have involved a great deal of pain. So I just hung around the view up here, but did that so long that I ran out of light as I was hiking off the mountain. At one point, very near the end, I slipped on a wet rock (a couple of them, actually) in the dark and landed on my left hand. It's been about five hours now and most of the constant pain has gone away, but there is pain with some movement of my thumb and there is some swelling now. I may have messed up my hand. We'll have to see what color it is tomorrow. I went to urgent care over the Memorial Day weekend, so why should Labor Day be any different I guess!

Sunday, August 31, 2008 

Category: Life

Monday, August 25, 2008

Flowers, Orbs, etc.

So I will start off this blog entry with pictures of my parents' flowers.

One half of the birds and the bees.

Usually I crop these to 800 x 600, but this one just didn't work out that way.

They have some yellow flowers.

They have some red flowers.

They have some purple flowers.

And some pink flowers. Enough with the flowers, on to the geocaching.

I've spent the past two weekends hunting several caches that are supposed to be on or near the Appalachian Trail. See this rock? Surely that can't be there normally, I thought.

But I thought wrong. Nothing under it but ants.

I thought this would be a good spot. The cache owners obviously didn't.

I did find these bugs hiding in a tree stump. I have no idea what they are. They looked like mutant crickets.

I'm liking the hollow tree stumps for hiding caches.

This is what is inside the tree. There are some bugs, but that's about it.

Another hollow stump. With nothing in it. I have found some caches in similar locations. But not here!

I am not the only one looking for these things. When I see a stick stuck in the ground like this, I am pretty sure that somebody here marked the coordinates given for the location of the cache and began searching from there.

While looking for the cache, which I didn't find, I found two of these things, about 20 feet apart.

So this is my ghost picture. I don't think it's a ghost, but I dont' know what it is. By "it" I mean the small gray ball in the upper right corner of the picture. It could be an orb. It also could be a bug.

It's gone now. And I took these pictures at more or less the same time. They both have the same timestamp (to the minute, anyway).

I lightened up the picture to see the background and I liked the way it turned out. So here it is. That bent tree in the background, by the way? Another good place for a cache. Yeah--no. Nothing there. Or anywhere else I looked. So I will have to return some day. Or night. Or both.

I walk into spider webs all the time while I am out in the woods. Apparently, I think the same way as a fly, and the spider knows that we think that way.

It wasn't too long while I was trying to get a good picture of the web before the lights attracted bugs, which meant there was dinner for the spider. This picture is a little overexposed but it shows the spider web well.

This one is a little under exposed, but it shows the spider better. So spiders and critters I found aplenty, but caches I found none. I will return another day to find whatever is there.

Monday, August 25, 2008 

Category: Life

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Toad and a Road

I thought I'd show everybody what geocaching at night looks like. This is the trail I walked down to find the Lil' Sinoquipe cache.

Eventually I came to this opening between two rocks.

And down in there, between the two rocks, was the ammo box cache.

I signed the log and headed back out into the dark.

I'm still taking pictures of the moon to see how they turn out.

The next day I went out to try to find some more caches. But I didn't find any. I didn't see any sankes either. I did see this toad. His body was about an inch and a half long.

This road is near where I was hunting the cache.

It's closed.

Here's why.

When you take this tool . . .

And use it to break up the bridge supports (this hole is where they used to be) . . .

This is what you get! This used to be Interstate 70 West.

This picture has a better sectional view of the road surface.

Fortunately, engineers thought to divert the highway traffic away from the giant ditch. This is the temporary bridge they built to take the place of the one they knocked down (and plan to rebuild). I stood under this bridge for a while as traffic rolled over it. It seems remarkably stable. The only things that moved it at all were tractor-trailers. Strangely, except to the engineers maybe, the only part that really moved were the diagonal crossmembers. Since I was standing under it, that was probably a good thing.

Monday, August 18, 2008 

Category: Life

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Geocaching Tale

This is the inside of my new(er) car. I was just testing the camera batteries. They failed when I was trying to take the picture of the geocaching site. So you get to see the inside of my car!

Another cannon. My blog seems to have several pictures of them.

Cemeteries are another common theme. That's what's on the other side of this wall. The cache was hidden somewhere in this wall.

I saw this backpack laying near a cache site. If it's yours, this is where you left it.

This is a nice arch, connected to nothing. 115 years ago, maybe. But not now.

Back in this little corner? Another cache.

These critters were watching me retrieve the cache. They had better not muggle it!

A willow tree. In a graveyard. Of course.

Another park, another playground.

And a radio tower. The cache is not near either of these two things. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly where it is because I didn't find it.

This could have been a cache container. But it wasn't.

It's been a while since the satellite studio has broadcasted remotely--unless this counts.

I spent five hours climbing over a mountain today, starting here.

Eventually I reached this view.

And this other part of it. The cache was elsewhere, but nearby.

Some rocks.

Which is where I found the cache.

This is not my picture. It was taken by a family of geocachers in the same spot that I was earlier, though. You can read about their find here. I thought capturing two snakes of two species in one picture was interesting, so I borrowed it for my blog here. I kind of wish I had taken this picture and I am almost as relieved to have not. Notice that there are two snakes in this picture--a Timber Rattlesnake in the front and a Copperhead in the rear, both poisonous. If you read their log entry for the cache you will see that they actually found three snakes. There are also two other good pictures. I didn't read their log entry until after I got home to enter my own, so I had nothing to worry about while I was digging around in those rocks. I did, however, after 20+ years of hiking around on this mountain, see the first live snake I remember ever seeing today. I believe it was the back end of a copperhead--I didn't see the head so I can't know for sure. All I saw was the tail end sliding silently around a log about fifteen feet from me and down under some rocks near the ones I was standing on. It sure made poking around for the cache more interesting! I didn't find the one I was looking for at the time when I saw the snake, though, so I will have to go back another time to look for it. Maybe winter!

Sunday, August 17, 2008 

Category: Life