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Monday, December 1, 2008

West Hartford Reservoir, CT - TUC series of geocaches

After leaving Georgia I flew to Hartford, CT. Continental kept to schedule and got all my luggage there just fine. I grabbed my rental car and had a couple of hours of daylight left. What to do? Since I'd prepared beforehand I had already downloaded a number of geocaches around the Bradley International Airport so it was straight from Thrifty out to the north of the airport. The first one was one of my favorites.  It is a virtual memorializing the firefighters who've given their lives in the call of duty. Just north of the airport there's a really impressive monument. See the picture.  One note: Connecticut is cold! I made it out to the west of the airport and found another interesting cache. This one is called Oink! (GCRTK7) and is located along a greenway trail. Just as the sun was setting and the wind was picking up I found this one. I had to run back to the trailhead parking area it was so cold. From there I headed south to the town of Farmington to find my hotel. Thank goodness for my GPSr because I got all turned around on the roads and was able to track to one of the caches that was located close to the hotel. I got checked in and took off to buy some more clothes.  Most of all I needed the cold weather rain jacket I bought. Thanks to sales at JC Penney's I'm set for the morning and supporting the economy.

I left the hotel as the sun came up and arrived at the West Hartford Reservoir parking on the south side just off of Farmington Ave. It turned out to be a sunny but blustery day outside. I worked my way around the hiking/biking trails in a clockwise manner. The west side of the reservoir is hilly. I found a mix of micros, smalls and regular sized tupperware and ammo boxes along the way. Many of these were placed by Tuckerman. I particularly liked one called TUC-90 WHR On the Ridge (GC1FT7A). First, it was a challenge to climb up to. Second, there was a good view of the valley from up on the rocks. Third there was a Travel Bug memorializing the life of First Lieutenant  Jonathan Brostrom who died in Afghanistan. I moved it on. As the day wore on I found myself traveling through woods and beside of frozen over ponds. The temperature didn't rise much and the wind was strong. Finally just before noon I made it to the northern extreme of the reservoir, route 44. After a quick and cold lunch I was off running. Since I didn't know what time the park would close I decided to jog between some of the caches. The return trip was along rolling hills.  During the morning I only saw one person on the trail. During the afternoon I probably saw eight people biking or hiking. The return hike along the east side of the reservoir proved fruitful too. I found several nice caches of all sizes. On this leg of the trip I came on the main lakes of the reservoir. Although one of the caches was named for the turtles that bask in the sun there it was no surprise that they weren't out. What a day! I finished the loop in just under eight hours and found 21 caches! I believe that I hiked about 10 miles on this one.  It was great! Over the next two days I had conferences to attend so I only got out for a short period of geocaching. I picked up a number of TBs and geocoins that I brought back to Ecuador. It was a real blessing to be able to visit Connecticut. If you are ever there, I suggest the TUC series in the WHR!
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