Sunday, October 4, 2009
Geocaching Marathon in Winston-Salem, NC
What a day! Beth, our second daughter works at the NC Eye Bank in Winston-Salem. She does a 12-hour shift starting at 7 a.m. I went with her and then set out on an all day caching marathon. It was great. I divided the part of the city between business and regular Interstate 40 and a section leading down Stratford Road to where Beth works into four sections. The day was overcast until the last 30 minutes when the evening sunset broke through the clouds. That was pretty. The absence of sunshine throughout the day didn't mean it was cold. The humidity was high all day and I was caching through several showers. Winston-Salem has several nice parks that have some great regular size caches. One of my favorite areas was around Old Salem. The 18th and 19th century preserved section of town with its Moravian style of homes was beautiful. Unfortunately the letterbox cache and the century plus old bridge cache I went for completely eluded me. I started the day as it started getting light out. Since the Hanes Mall was one of my sections I started there in order to beat the majority of the muggle traffic. That worked well except for one instance where a lady in an old pick up truck decided to park at one extreme of the mall parking area just as I was preparing to return a cache to a tree. There was no way to return it without her seeing. I pocketed the bison tube and continued my trek on foot. Several hours later I walked back through and she was still there, sitting in the truck. Another couple of hours later I drove by and she had left the truck and gone off. I replaced the log and cache and was on my way. My first cache of the morning required my head lamp as it was still pretty dark. I was caching behind a hotel and did not want to disturb sleeping vacationers. Found it! In the course of the day I found 26 caches while caching solo. Some of my favorites were: Granville Park Cache (GC10TZK) due to the unique way it is hidden. It had me scratching my head out in the open. I'm amazed that this one is dry considering where it is. The Ghost of Brookstown Inn (GC1MME5) was a challenge. The previous cacher couldn't come up with it. I had to crawl through some bramble to get a vantage point to see it. That resulted in more crawling. I logged the find and then made sure no one was watching as I came busting out of the bramble into a lawyer office parking lot. Sometimes there is no graceful way to come out of the woods. I really liked Stairway to Nowhere (GC1M89Z). It was a simple downtown cache. I've added a photo. Far Side (GC16K1C) was fun. It is located in a city park along with several other caches. I cut straight through the woods from one cache to another. Sorry for startling the couple sitting in the shelter. They seemed pretty interested in each other so I don't think they continued to watch me as I triangulated to find the cache. This one was a nice hide. Finally, in the late afternoon sunshine I found a nice urban cache at the local Costco. It was Receiving Cache 2 (GC1XRER). I really liked the view from up high. Come visit Winston-Salem. Be sure to leave enough time to visit Old Salem!