Square Root of Nine

After checking out the weekend forecast (which can clearly be depended upon in February after all) and determining there was a chance the weather would be decent not horrible, I set my sights on Bethel Park, PA, and laid out a cleverly enticing call for cachers to see who I could ensnare.

Saturday morning dawned a little chilly but the forecast was still promising a very low chance of possible precipitation and that until the afternoon. After meeting up in Waynesburg our two vehicle convoy headed out for South Park. About 30 minutes out from our destination – Escape your T.V. (but don’t wear antlers) – it started snowing. I don’t mean little tiny flurries. I mean snowflakes, big GIANT snowflakes. You know, the big fluffy kind…the ones skiers and kids love to see falling from the sky. Yeah, the forecast was not just slightly off. It was dead wrong. By the time we hit the parking coords the ground was covered and if we stood still, we would be coated in a lovely white blanket.

Not to be daunted and also not wanting to stand still and wait for the others that were to join us (ok, so maybe I didn’t look at my phone and see they were right behind us) we headed out for stage one. Wow, so that’s a terrain 2.5? Well I suppose back in 2006 it might have been. At any rate, once the stage was freed from its frozen tomb, we were ready to head for the final.

Well, once a few of us negotiated our return to the path without any mishaps – and trust me the situation was ripe with potential for mishap injury broken bones. And quite frankly, I wasn’t really in the mood for another trip to the hospital. We were starting to negotiate a small water crossing (small thank god, also navigable) when Jeff_toughsearch and H_B_Happy showed up.  From there it was a short trip up, down, up and up some more…for most of us anyway.

Can you identify the slackers? Or shall they remain anonymous?

The rest of the day pretty much involved us marching around in the snow. We did take the opportunity to choose poorly which mostly just involved us being stymied by a creek (but the cache is only 150 feet over THERE), sliding around (both in vehicles and on foot), going back to our original parking spot and then taking a perilous (but much shorter) route back to the vehicles.

I should probably step back and explain the name of this post, which will go a long ways to explaining our drunken route along a park full of caches. There is a challenge cache in Morgantown called Square-Root of 9 Ge0-Challenge.   In order to earn the smilie, one MUST find 3 caches of 3 different cache types IN ONE DAY. So when wvhunter looked at the vast expanse of South Park and realized it was chock-a-block full of different types of caches, he decided that we were gonna get this challenge done.  That meant we were going after (at least) 3 traditional caches, 3 multi-caches and 3 unknown caches. Bring it.

While we were hard at work tracking down traditionals (“That’s enough! On to the puzzle caches!” shouted Captain OCD. He is such a slave driver.) we were joined by egroeg who is the Master of South Park.  Thank goodness, because figuring out which roads when were was going to be more of an undertaking that our brain trust was capable of at this point in the day.

By the time we finished up the caches on wvhunter’s list and a few more (That’s NOT on the list!) we were wet, cold and tired. So we headed out to Barley’s & Hop’s. Which, as you can see, was a fine end to the caching day.

More pics available for your viewing pleasure. But I’ll be honest, the snow was so wet and heavy I didn’t take many photos.

Thanks Mr. Weatherman.

chris on February 13th 2012 in Geocaching

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