Archive for September, 2011

ESPN Collge Gameday

As of right now…. in 3 hours and 50 minutes WVU (16) will be playing LSU (2) at Mountaineer Field

College Gameday came to Morgantown this weekend. We rolled down the hill to see what was going on at the Mountlair. It wasn’t abject  chaos by any rate (that would have been Rome NYE). Still, it was pretty wild and crazy.

chris on September 24th 2011 in Galleries

ruanwv tries to kill us again

After braving A True WV Geocacher 1 (two fails, many hours and finally a find), A True WV Geocacher 2 (two fails, a severely bruised knee, a spider bite that caused sidekick to end up in the ER with a thankle and finally a find) it was inevitable that we went toe to to with A True WV Geocacher 3. And Sunday (after hiking all over the Mon National Forest in pursuit of wvcoalcat caches) seemed as good a day as any.

I can’t say too much about this cache for two reasons:

1. It’s a puzzle – so you have to figure out what tool to use (there goes about half our photos)

2. Both stages are tricky – so I had to seriously edit photos

My recap of the days adventure in question form.

1. How did you guys find the location for stage one and not die in the process?

2. How in the heck did you place stage one and not die in the process.

3. Do you seriously think we’re going to make a geotrail through those rhody? You know, the ones that I could not even see the people that were five feet in front of me through?

4. Why do you hate us so?

5. Why are you trying to kill wvhunter? (no wait, that’s a rhetorical quesiton.)

6. Ok. Did you feel ridiculous carrying the final through the woods?

At any rate we had an EXCELLENT time! We did not die. We did not get injured. And we got it in one try. Rock on!

I can’t share more. I wish I could. But that would spoil every one else’s fun!

chris on September 24th 2011 in Geocaching

Fools Run (We Drove)

It was a near perfect September Saturday here in Morgantown and we were hoping the same could be said for the Pheasant Mountain area of the Mon National Forest down towards good ol’ Parsons, WV.

After some last minute nagging cajoling, Gentleman-Carpenter said sure he’d join Loyal Sidekick LWB, Aquacache & yours truly for a trip into the woods (provided of course we didn’t break him). And so we rendezvoused at Rendezvous Here around 9:30 and headed on to our first destination: Fools Run (I Walked) GC1AKD1 by the illustrious wvcoalcat.  The previous week while cleaning up some nasty stuff (see previous post about us being nice or something), wvcoalcat had mentioned that we may be able to driver darn near his cache. A lot darn nearer than the posted parking coords. And all on the up and up. He furnished the coords to the Forest Road and followed with the standard disclaimer of “if the gate is open”.

We were in luck because the gate was open. WIDE open. Score!  We took the jeeps (so labeled on our track log) up to as close as .45 of a mile from ground zero and parked.  Well that was after we had a minor bit of confusion about which road to take (please see the point labeled B on our tracklog) – five way intersections get a little confusing in the woods.

After getting falling out of the jeeps (the drivers) and climbing out (the passengers) we geared up, which took longer than usual since we were parked on the side of a mountain.

(Aquacache took the above pic, for the record.)

Taking one last look at the jeeps and hoping they were still on the side of the hill when we returned, we headed out. At which point, of course, we realized we could have driven even closer to the cache. But by the time we realized THAT we didn’t see the benefit of walking back to the jeeps to move them forward. Ok, perhaps only the drivers didn’t see the benefit, the passengers were all for that plan of action.

A brief 30  minutes later we found ourselves at ground zero and shortly thereafter Gentleman-Carpenter hit plastic. Easy peasy lemon squeezy my friends. (This should have been the tip off that things might not go so well later on in the day.) Cache having been found we settled in for a celebratory snack.

Our merry crew rolled back to the jeeps and headed off to tackle Coalcat’s Blunder GC1AM7M which was touted as the closest thing to a ‘coalcat PnG as one could come. After heading back to Rt. 72 and then Rt. 291 we pulled up onto FR933. We had some hopes of finding the gates opened (or unlocked) but upon inspection – and trust me, Gentleman-Carpenter check it out thoroughly – we had to leave the jeeps behind.  None-the-less, buoyed by  our earlier success we headed upward.

It wasn’t long until we realized that the road we were on and the trails that seemed to be suddenly appearing were not on any of the topo maps with which we were equipped. It was either that or….no that was pretty much it. Arriving at our first major decision point – a fork in the road where we could have gone right and up or left and down we were in a quandary. Which is when Loyal Sidekick took the lead, scouted out the UP route and declared it to be “the right way.” Since he usually has pretty good instincts and has chosen wisely in the past we followed.

Thing were going pretty well until we ran out of trail. But somewhere, someone had mentioned a bushwhack and so off we went. It wasn’t much of a whack, to be honest. There were no walls of impenetrable mountain laurel or stands of fir trees so thick one couldn’t move. Mostly it was just a bit annoying. Trusting the topos on my GPS (dumb idea as usual) I started around the side of the hill gaining elevation as I went (I have mad mountain goat skills) because my topo maps said the cache was NOT on the top but on the side. It lied. Liked like the dog it is.

At any rate I hit ground zero ahead of the men folks and was settling down to do some serious searching when I came upon…..DA…DA….DA!!!! A very mauled lock-n-lock lid. Oh CARP. I turned and DA….DA….DA……found something even more troubling. It was the bottom of the lock-n-lock which was also mauled. But that wasn’t the disturbing part. The Disturbing part (yes, disturbing with a big D) was that some PERSON had left a log of his own. Right. In. The. Container. ERK.

Having made that discovery I started looking for other bits of the cache and located some gnawed upon zip lock bags. By this time the gents had hit ground zero.  We searched in vain for the real cache log but came up empty although Aquacache did locate the stash note way down over the hill.

Moving away from the scene we had a snack and pondered our next step. After all, you gotta sign the log to claim your find. The paper log you know. Aquacache produced a nano and a log book, but with no metal at hand (although he kept claiming there had to be a nail in his geocaching backpack) that wasn’t going to work. But what’s this? A pill bottle?  I had forgotten I was actually prepared! Sweet. So we signed the temporary cache replacement log, stuffed it in the pill bottle and Gentleman-Carpenter placed it where we surmised the hiding spot to be.  We were quite sure that wvcoalcat would be thrilled with us for fixing his cache with a micro. It’s hard to find such a conscientious group of cachers as us.

And so, our good deed for the day done, we headed back to the jeeps.

 

 

chris on September 18th 2011 in Geocaching

Doing Something Nice

I know, you are confused by the title of this post. After all, who am I do to something nice? Especially something nice without a reward. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I do have a nicer side, just don’t let the word get out. Plus, it was another excuse to boss my friends around. So at the suggestion of the kind folks over at ExploreWV I organized nagged together a motley crew to do some Cache In Trash Out near GC2F3FR (middle of nowhere Rt. 219 for the non-cachers among us).

And so wvhunter, wvcoalcat, Aquacache and yours truly showed up to gather some garbage left behind by….well left behind by people who clearly have no concept of common decency, that’s who.

We arrived at this perfectly nice little roadside park,  complete with grills and pic nic shelters…

To find a nicely manicured lawn and one hell of a mess behind a steel door that had clearly been busted open.

And trust me when I say while the photo shows a certain degree of nastiness, it does not touch the mess that was to the left of the doorway. Nor can it in any way shape or form communicate the stench emanating from the area once things were stirred up. Thankfully CL Combat had stopped at this park on Monday in order to find the geocache (fear not, located away from this nasty pit of disgustingness) and so had alerted us that we should bring a shovel.

And so shovel in hand,  boxes of gloves and garbage bags provided by WV REAP our trusty crew set about doing some Trash Out (we did the Cache In portion of CITO afterwards) as swiftly as possible. After all, one may only hold one’s breath so long before passing out.

We tag teamed the shoveling gross substances into the garbage bags, thus virtually eliminating the possibility that anyone would actually end up touching – or (which is possibly worse all things considered) getting touched by – something. Because honestly, if any of my clothes touched this mess of HAZMAT, they were being burnt on the spot. There’s a reason I keep a change of clothes in the jeep.

We were very, very happy to have the shovel in hand and almost equally as thrilled to find an abandoned push broom made out of, what we finally decided, was elk tail. (Yes, it too went into the giant red garbage dumpster when all things were said and done.)

Although stirring up (and then breathing) all the dust and particles that had accumulated in that area probably took quite a few years off Aquacache’s life. I know as soon as the air started wafting over the stuff in there, the rest of us started backing up, ready to take off at a full run if the moment required it. I wish we had a HAZMAT sticker to adhere to the door, and the dumpster for that matter.

Unfortunately not only was the area a trash dump, it was a storage area for some signs which had to be removed so we could clean around them. EEEEEEEEW. Just when we were pondering how this could get any more disgusting, the guys realized that the signs were stuck together and had stuff stuck on them.  Anyway need a Handicap Parking Sign?

I really had to work hard to hold the bag and yet stay as far away as possible from the stuff wvcoalcat was cleaning up. It’s harder than you might imagine considering I have really short little arms. I was hoping that by making a horrible face and stopping all air intake that it would make the situation slightly less gross. It did not.

We double bagged, just in case.

wvcoalcat even improvised a litter stick…because some things you don’t want to touch, even through rubberized blue man group gloves.

And so being the overachievers that we are, we  CITO’d that building but good. And then wished we had some plywood and screws in order to secure the door shut so there would not have to be a repeat performance.

From there…

it’s just best not to ask what wvhuter, Aquacache & wvcoalcat were up to.

Because I’m pretty sure it was illegal, immoral or fattening. Maybe all three at once.

 

chris on September 12th 2011 in Geocaching