Earthcaches

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

I am Geo-Leafer






OK, so we have a new twist on geocaching. What is geo-leafing? It is when you combine my favorite outdoor activity with "leafing", the craze for running up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway looking at the colorful fall leaves in mid to late October. They really go well together. During a recent trip to the NC Mountains we had one out of three days when it didn't rain and get cold and soggy on us. That day was gorgeous. My wife and I headed out to Asheville and from there went north on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We visited the regular sized traditional caches between there and just above Linville Falls. What a great day! The sun was out, it was cool, the leaves were beautiful and the car was running well. We hiked, climbed, traded items, picked up and dropped of Travel Bugs, visited a waterfall and found an earthcache all in one day. While the regular leafers stick to the parkway and the overlooks, geo-leafers admire the changing colors up close and personal. We hit the trail and bushwhack through the stuff! Today some of our favorites were Folk Rock (GCJ7TM) because it required a climb up over the overlook to a large flat rock affording a beautiful view of the valley beyond. Those down below only got to see the half of it. Another is The Dragon's Trail (GCH0ZJ) a virtual cache on top of Craggy Pinnacle. Although that part of the Parkway was fogged in due to the high elevation, we had a great hike up. Another was Hazlenut Gap (GC1NFHC) up on a ridge high above the parkway. We hiked from the trail head about .7 miles to find this cache among the colorful red maples and cedars. Finally, Blue Ridge (GC3E03) was a great hike deep into the woods on a sunny afternoon. In several spots the ground was carpeted with the falling large leaves from the Fraser Magnolias. What a patchwork of color! This cache was located along a mountain stream far from any other humans. We also made the one mile hike back into a valley to see the Crab Tree Falls. The hike was exhilarating. I guess I still have some Andean red blood cells working in my favor due to living so long above 10,000 feet above sea level. I was able to hike the one mile uphill return quickly. What a day! There's nothing like a long list of regular sized lock n locks and ammo cans to make one's day!
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