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Archive for November, 2009


I was out on a solo cache run trying to fill in a square for the Fizzy Challenge (‘hunter you bastard see what you get me into?) and was looking for a good spot to park that did not involve a 1.5 mile hike (one way), loose dogs or verticle bushwhacks.  My map seemed to indicate that the cache was conveniently located less than 500 feet from a road.

Now I did think that was odd since no one (Aquacache) had mentioned this option. But what the heck. I was on vacation and had time to investigate.  Ah…seems the reason no one had mentioned the option I found myself exploring was because there seemed to be a creek between me and the cache.

A wide, shallow, cold creek. Now ordinarily I’d take one look at that and figure I’d go ahead and do the 3 mile round trip. After all, a motivated Spotty Spotty Pony Girl caching solo can rip off  a mile and a half at a good clip. I’m no runner, but filling in that Fizzy Challenge Square is a pretty good motivator. Except it was now hunting season  and the parking coords were for a WMA. And it was a week day. Quite frankly I wasn’t a big fan of running the risk of getting shot with an arrow (please see phobia #42.1a).  And that left me little recourse considering I wasn’t about to drive all the way home without finding this cache.

Instead, I slung the trusty Canon around my neck, took off my shoes and socks and waded across. (Now for those of you who aren’t geocachers, I understand this may seem to be a rather rash decision, plunging into a stream in late October. After all, you might be thinking, couldn’t it just wait until Sunday when the WMA wasn’t fraught with pointy peril? No. No it couldn’t. And besides, when have I ever been known to demonstrate common sense? )

Anyway, back to my narrative. Since I was a little unclear about where the WMA actually was and extremely unclear about how irate the locals might be to find someone so close to their property (was not trespassing but some folks in that area have been known to have a different concept of private property on ocassion), I stopped to actually use the camera mid-creek. Do you have any idea how cold a mountain stream is in late October? Really. Freakin. Cold.  REALLY. REALLY. FREAKIN. COLD.  Trust me on this one.

After what seemed like an eternity searching under all sorts of leaves and rocks – oh Fall geocaching, I love it so. Lovely lovely deciduous trees. You are so awesome in making everything geo-flage-o-rific  – and answering my phone’s plaintiff vibrations at what seemed to be 30 second intervals (yes, my support team, they are so very concerned for my well being) I finally, finally found the cache.  So yay, one more geocache off the list and one more square for the Fizzy Challenge completed. 

The new challenge before me was to now descend the hillside (covered in leaves which were covering rocks that were haphazardly stacked – damn you Mother Nature for your periolous obstacles) WITHOUT taking a header into the stream. Becauase remember, the stream is cold. Really. Freakin. Cold. And me, well you know, I’m not the most graceful person on the planet.  So while I’m contemplating the best path down, I’m also thinking that should I end up IN the stream most likely I’m going to fry all the electronics except the Garmin (yay, waterproof) which is going to make it near impossible to let support team know I’m NOT DEAD. So there I stand, trying to figure out if there are such things as public pay phones yet. And then I realized I don’t know anyone’s phone number any more. “Self,” I thought, “You have the potential to really wreak some havoc today.”


(Yes, I made it down safely. No, the electronics did not get wet. Maybe I will write down some important phone numbers on a piece of paper to keep in my GCC. maybe.)

(and thanks support team….I appreciate your unrelenting concern for my safety. Or was that your unrelenting desire to not get drug out to the side of a WMA to find my carcas? Either way…thanks.)

chris on November 17th 2009 in Geocaching

Crazy. In a Nice Sort of Way.

The Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Prior trip left me with this impression: CREEPYTOWN. Or perhaps more appropriately: CREEPYTOWN!!!!!

And so Mom and I thought hey…let’s take the four floor tour! Yes, yes we did. Surprisingly this time around, despite the upper floor portion of our tour consisting of only four other folks including the tour guide, it wasn’t creepy. Not creepy at all. Which was strange.

In fact the only scary part was hanging out waiting and waiting and waiting among the rather irritable and cranky folks who were also waiting for a tour.  Honestly. I thought one lady was going to break out a whooping stick or some other implement of damage. And I thought I had anger management issues. Ha!

Anyway, while milling about and wasting Mom and I checked out the entertainment….not a lot of channels in this neck of the woods.

Once the tour got started though, anger management lady seemed to calm down. But just in case Mom and I checked out the phone service. You know, in the event we had to make an emergency call for help.

It was a grand time indeed. Cold, sad and strange. But not creepy. Perhaps it was because it was such a nice sunny day. Maybe it was because there was a carnival on the front lawn. Who knows.

chris on November 11th 2009 in Family

A little comparison

Mom unearthed some photos of my Nun-Nun modeling the dress she wore to Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. After returning from DC, the dress went into its original box without being cleaned – and according to Nun-Nun it was quite muddy that night.  I was quite happy to have some sense of how well the dress managed to weather the 46 years between wears. Wish I’d have had the killer opera gloves Nun-Nun wore, although having tried on some of her other gloves, I doubt they would have fit. (and of course Mom ran across those almost 2 years later darn it)

I wore the same dress in December 2007 to the company holiday party.  Although it required some minor alterations before I could squeeze into it. I had to take out the zipper in the back and add a set of eyelets so it could be laced up the back. And my minks (yes, poor little critters) were found in a second hand store. [For the record, I didn’t wear the fur out of the house. Not really my style.]

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chris on November 10th 2009 in Family

Paging Dr. House…..


chris on November 8th 2009 in Uncategorized