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Archive for March, 2010

Drizzle Caching

Spring fever has hit MAGPI hard.  How can you tell?  I sent out a request for cachers and despite all kinds of dire warnings from the weather prognosticators regarding RAIN, people were more than willing to throw their lot in with me.  And these folks should know better, because all of them (except loyal sidekick) had participated in the torrential downpour and quagmire of bad decisions back in September that we like to call Zombie Caching. Please see the following photo to refresh your memory.

This time however, we were prepared. Oh yes, yes we were. The Bumps, colecops, A_Babe_In_The_Woods, Rock_Rat, Gentleman-Carpenter and myself were ready (sidekick was too, but I packed his gear)! There was enough rain gear and extra clothing loaded into the caching caravan that we could have probably outfitted a small country (and they totally would have been the coolest, outdoor gear country ever).  Colecops not only wore a rain suit – yes an entire rain suit – but she bought some sweet PINK boots just for the ocassion.

Let me just say it again – We were PREPARED. Bring it Mother Nature you old bag! HA HA! This of course meant it drizzled on and off and the sun came out quite a bit, confounding those of us who had half heartedly thrown their sunnies in the vehicles thinking they would clearly not be required. What IS that giant burning orb in the sky? Surely it can not be the sun. INCONCEIVABLE. And yet  – there was sunshine. Way to throw us a curve ball Mother Nature.

We had a most excellent adventure as we headed out good ol’ Route 50 towards Parkersburg. The Bumps had a bit of vengeance on their minds having been stymied by a few caches in the general vicinty. Our first task was  Hey Mister, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Pickle?

Which resulted in a continuous stream of  “…and then pbump said, ‘it’s a PICKLE!'” which probably would have caused any passerby to call the nuthouse about possible escaped inmates, but since it was still pretty drizzly at that point, we had the cemetery to ourselves. That and I’ve noticed folks tend to stay away from people who are straining to get IN a cemetery fence that has a gate.

After that epic fail (and we even had a hint. later we found out that the ONE thing we had not checked absolutely, positively had to have been the cache) we headed on to a lovely old cemetery that was surrounded by razor wire and locked at night. It was also guarded by a patrol car. Why are we going in there again?

Oh that’s right, because this cemetery had some unbelievable monuments and I had a camera. Oh yeah, there was a geocache in there too. As we made our way to the cache (and I became distracted by the monuments) sidekick stopped over to  investigate what appeared to be a serious hole in the ground…with dirt flung far and wide. After reporting his finding to us (god I hope he did not get bitten) the razor wire and patrol car made a lot more sense. You really can never be too careful with zombies.

Anyway, eventually we found the cache and wandered around some more (bad form really, you never know when the zombies may creep up on you and clearly this cemetery had a problem) when pbump noticed some pre-sap (thanks Gentleman-Carpenter for identifying it for us after pbump tasted it – he never did say if it was maple or not).

Oh well. It isn’t like I haven’t cached with anyone who has licked a tree before.

Back on the road we headed to a lovely cache-dense park where our group split up. The Bumps headed along one trail and we hit the other (the Bumps had been here recently).  This is pretty much where the making not great decisions came in. They weren’t BAD (which is a MAGPI standard)  at least which is good since we were in two groups and had very spotty cell phone reception.  After all, how could we have ended up on the convergence of  the Zig Zag Trails?

We managed to  reassemble without tragedy or drama (pretty much a miracle in mybook) dispite my inate inability to look at a trail map and then look on my GPS topo and get a good idea of where we are. Our next target was It’s Right Here Two because when you are looking for something that tiny and nefarious, eight sets of eyes (and hands in this case) is WAY better than two sets.  It turned out to be a lovely little bit of vengeance for the bumps and elation for the rest of us…even those that stood at the top and played with their blackberries (sidekick).

After knocking off a few more caches and having to fend off a herd of deer very stuck up deer (You’re offering us an apple? Seriously? We turn up our noses at such a pathetic offering. It needs to be peeled and poached with a nice red wine sauce on the side.), we headed to (very predictably for this group) BW-3 where Gentleman-Carpenter enjoyed another Dingleberry Margarita and the rest of us NOM’d like maniacs.

With bellies happy, we had one last piece of business to finish up. I wanted my damn Fizzy Square and I wanted it now (that’d be the dreaded  D4.5 / T 1 which has taunted me for MONTHS). Fortunately for me, pbump was not too proud (or maybe he was tired of hearing me bitch about this cache) to get a little damp and dirty in order to make the find.  THAT having been accomplished it was time to call it a day. And a mighty fine one at that.

chris on March 25th 2010 in Geocaching

Roller Skate Skinny

So the niece had a roller skating a birthday party at Mt. Gretna. Now this was an old school roller rink my friends. Carpet on the walls for cushioning (oh yeah, you read that right) and super polished wood plank floors.  That’s Bronwyn in the purple shirt.

Being the dutiful aunt & uncle that we are (stop laughing) we laced on the old school roller skates (because I forgot to pack our roller blades) and hit the hardwood. You know what? I had forgotten how much fun roller skating is. Oh yeah, it was fun.

And WAY better than being on the treadmill or exercise bike. Although the roller skates were heavy. Far heavier than my roller blades. It was like I had strapped on cinder blocks that happened to have four wheels screwed to them. Anyway, cinder block or not,  it was fun. It was so much fun that I had to be drug back to the snack bar for cake. Yeah, me being drug away from exercise for food. Seriously, stop laughing.

The cake was (of course) a work of coolness. And deliciousness. Delicious coolness, chocolate Egyptian goodness.  How can you top that?  You so know that if Dr. Kent Weeks had a birthday cake, it would totally look like that. (I half-heartedly apologize for that last bit of geekiness. Yes, I think Egyptologists are rock stars.) And Chad pointed out that surely when Bronwyn is defending her dissertation in Egyptology that this cake is going to be the photo on the cover.

And don’t think the aunt & uncle were the only grown ups with skates. The birthday girl’s mom & dad were FAR MORE COOL in their inline skates and mad food service skills. Hot pizza & soda? On skates? What madness!

Sadly since we had to get back to Morgantown we left before the party was completely over.  But I’m totally dragging out the roller blades, well once I find them.

chris on March 14th 2010 in Family

Pony Time

After almost a month I made it back out to the barn to see Villain. He was delighted to see me, but only I suspect because I had an apple and he really wanted to come in. Oh I so can not wait for a nice warm sunny day to wash some of the stink off that horse. And trust me, it is some serious stink. It may well be June before I get the stink off him. Whew.

Of course Villain wasn’t the only one who was looking for some attention (and apples perhaps). Sammy the Percheron is too adorable. And really fuzzy too. (Also stinky.)

My attempt at taking a pic of Villain & me together didn’t go quite so well because he was wanting scratches, not photos. He is usually such a ham.

I was amazed how much snow was still in the paddock since the rest of the world was well on its way to melting and turning to mud. Guess a little elevation change will do that.

chris on March 14th 2010 in Animals

Desperation Caching

Just because it is warm does not mean the snow has melted. Remember last week?

No, I see I didn’t . And clearly neither did pbump, who agreed that caching was a GREAT idea.

And yes, we did attempt to beat the ice into submission. But it was very unsuccessful. VERY unsuccessful

Cabin fever has hit the geocaching population pretty hard. You would be frightened by some of the stories I’ve heard (or participated in). And as evidenced by these photos, pbump’s concept of appropriate caching weather is as distorted as mine.

you know what’s not a great digging tool? A hiking pole. You’d think someone who drove a Jeep would have a shovel at hand.

Not to mention, his desperation seemed to be way worse than mine.

I’ll just attribute that to February being an evil month. And assume it has nothing to do with my mania spreading. Nothing whatsoever. I’m innocent. Innocent I tell you.

chris on March 14th 2010 in Geocaching