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Monday, November 24, 2008

Berry College, GA and surroundings




I finally arrived at Berry College, just outside Rome, Ga. This is my third trip here in about 11 years. Every time I come I'm amazed at the beauty of the place. I'm enjoying the opportunity to geocache. We got in on Friday night around midnight after a long day of travel plagued by weather travel delays. We rented a car and made it to Berry College in the drizzling rain. I got up the next morning at 6 a.m. to go caching knowing I'd have to be back no later than 8 a.m. It is dark in Georgia at 6 a.m. Instead of snopping around the barns and buildings on campus in the dark; something that might attract unwanted attention from the campus police, I drove off campus to several other caches. On the way out enough morning light made it possible to search without a flashlight. I DNFed two but found one. At lunch break I headed the 500-some feet from the parking lot to the closest cache on campus. Left a geocoin and made it back to the conference on time. The tree colors are beyond peak but the area is beautiful nonetheless.

On Sunday I was up again at the crack of dawn. I headed out, weaving in and out of the herd of deer that congregates on the property. I saw over 50 this morning. No hunting on the Berry College property so they have sanctuary. Found three caches during the morning and made it back for breakfast. I found the first one just as the light started to show in the sky. It was an ammo box hidden in a traditional way. I love ammo boxes. We don't have those in Ecuador. One was a micro and the last was a virtual at the home of one of the Cherokee leaders during the infamous trail of tears. I got back for breakfast and worship. This afternoon my friend jagawe and I hit the roads around Rome. We circled the Berry College area and went out into the mountains around there. The leaves were brilliant with color. We climbed to the top of Fouche Gap to find Fouche (GCPMP8) and had a spectacular view of Rome, Georgia and the surrounding valleys in two directions. From there we visited several state parks and lakes and found caches there. It was a beautiful afternoon for caching!

I repeated the early morning caching rutine several times. One morning I lost one of the TBs that wizzzzard had entrusted to me. I felt so bad but didn't know where it fell out of my swag bag. I went ahead and logged it into a cache so it would get the miles, then wrote to wizzzzard to confess my error. The next morning at breakfast one of the staff from our mission agency came up and laid the lost TB down in front of me. He had looked for the same cache as I (one that we both DNFed) and found it on the ground. He looked up the last holder and saw it was me. We have been friends for years but because we live and work in different parts of the world we didn't know that we were both cachers. A new caching friend made and the lost TB recovered and on its way again.

One evening I took jagawe the local Rome Wal-mart. He bought his first GPSr, a nice Garmin with a color screen and the bells and whistles. I think he's hooked. The next day Phileas Fogg's Adventure Society joined up with us and we spent several hours finding urban caches in Rome. What a great week. While at Berry College I was blessed to find 22 caches. Several that I'm adding to my watchlist.
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