Geocaching Megablog - Part III starts in the Green Ridge State Forest. I did not get up early on Sunday to go geocaching. I did not get up before noon. I left my house for the final two geocaches at around 3:30 p.m. I did not get to the state forest until 5:00 p.m.
I took a direct assault approach to finding the geocache here. I do not know if it saved any time or not. I had to crawl down the side of a mountain to get to a trail that runs along the aptly named Fifteen Mile Creek. Once I was on the trail, though, it was great!
Along the trail, there was this trail registry.
Here's the latest page of the trail registry! Or at least it was at the time! I had not signed it yet. I recognized at least one of the names as another geocacher!
There was also this helpful sign, showing me I was near nothing.
Oh. Here's the other side. Again, nothing is close by on this trail! Unfortunately, even though I made really good time at Fifteen Mile Creek, I had started way too late. I did not reach the trailhead of the final cache site until after dark. I started to make my entry into the forest in the dark and got about a tenth of a mile in to my three-quarter mile (at least) hike when a coyote howled at me. At that point, I was just too tired to deal with an aggressive coyote. Or a startled coyote. Or several of them. I just was still too tired to press on in the face of that. So I decided--even though it was going to take me two and a half hours just to get back to the trailhead, that I would work it out somehow since the party was the next weekend and this cache site was probably going to be four or five hours away from the picnic site.
I returned to Hoye Crest a few days later, on Thursday. After around two and a half hours on the road, I arrived at the trailhead around 6:00 p.m. At some points there were markers like this arrow made out of rocks and a stick on the ground to let geocachers (and others, maybe) know which way to go. It looks kind of dark in this picture, but it was just very overcast.
The Hoye Crest cache is so far west in Maryland that I actually had to park in West Virginia to get there. This is a state marker that is on the mountain ridge.
Onward to Hoye Crest.
Here is the view at Hoye Crest. Fortunately, the rain held off while I was hiking up the mountain. Unfortunately, it started to come down right after I took this picture. But fortunately again, I knew it was going to be raining and I was prepared!
Making a rare appearance in my own blog, here I am standing next to the mailbox (I don't think it's on any carrier's route!) and the sign proclaiming Hoye Crest the highest point in the state. What does it take to get there?
This is what it takes! I parked my car at about 2700 feet there. The next 700 feet up were all up to me and my feet! I guess it was about a mile up to the top along the trail. But happily, shortly after the peak there, I found the last CAM cache, and I had all of the coordinates to the picnic that was in two days!
I made it down off the mountain just as the last remnants of light were disappearing into the cloudy sky. People were always warning me about encountering bears after dark. I found one!
Me versus the bear!
The picnic was very well attended! I slept in late again, but I made it to the very end of the picnic. Next year, maybe I will be able to complete it sooner and I will be able to rest up and get there earlier!
The CAM 2009 picnic event was held in Sandy Point State Park, so here is an obligatory picture of kids playing in the sand on the beach.
After the picnic, of course, I went for some nearby geocaches! There is one here at this little guard house!
The week after the picnic, I volunteered for CRS at a fund raiser called the Bonanza Extravaganza.
I spent Friday night with these young ladies manning the prize wheel you see behind them. All that money they're flashing used to belong to someone else . . . but it's for a good cause.
The event was held at the Hagerstown Speedway, a dirt racing track. Nobody has seats this good at race time!
You know I am back to geocaching now because here are some more bones.
The bones were not on display at the next cache site I went to.
But I am sure there are some here!
The bird posed remarkably still for this picture. Like very, very still, if you get my meaning. How does a perfectly good looking bird fall right out of the sky?
Well, these might have had something to do with it. Again, scale here is hard to appreciate. If you look just below and to the left of the center of the picture, you see two small gray lines that come together. Well, the large blob is a tree and the itsy-bitsy tiny white speck is a car. I think it's actually kind of neat to be standing up on top of the mountain here looking down. I am not offended by the transmission lines. They make a nice clear path to see down the mountain.
There was also a cell tower here.
Of course, you might not want to stand here too long. The funny thing is, it was hot this day, and I could hear the air conditioning kicking on in this facility, presumably to keep all of the electronics cool!
Here's what you see looking to the opposite side. And what is over that ridge?
That's right. More transmission lines! But it is a nice wide open path cut along the mountain!
Off in the valley, there were houses.
I moved to a better vantage point and zoomed in on the landscape here.
There was also some weird ashy soil. It reminded me of something like lunar soil.
I climbed all over the mountain, including reaching a spot here called Cat Rock. Maybe someone saw a cat here at this rock.
Some things seem to be inevitable in my geocaching stories here. One is I find tracks--maybe not so clear in this picture, but instantly recognizable as the shoe of a bipedal member of Homo sapiens.
Bones, of course, are a given.
And . . . what's this? Is it a mole? A piece of dirt?
No, of course not.
Here it next to some type fonts for size comparison. It's about the size of a 24 point font period. Oh well. At least I found it.
There was supposed to be a cache around this flat car. I never found it.
Not for want of trying, mind you. Here I am taking a picture of the cachemobile from underneath that flat car!
The following weekend, my friend Dan was able to join me again. Here he is in a tree at the geocache site. The cache was a multistage cache that required people to climb up into the tree. While I was complaining, Dan jumped up in the tree!
That's probably for the best. I stayed on the ground and here is what happened to me.
I am caught up to June now with my photography and stories here! We have reached the end of the Geocaching Megablog!
Sunday, June 28, 2009