I am a proud

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Piedmont Environmental Center

The fall rains have set in. When all this rain stops we'll start to see some brilliant colors. Rain or no rain, the caching must go on. Actually, there was a little break in the rain this week and I was able to stay pretty dry. The Piedmont Environmental Center near the High Point City Lake is close to where Wendy, our oldest daughter, lives and has been on my radar screen for some time. The night before I had been cooped up too long in the rain and feeling the stress so I headed out to try to find one of the caches in the PEC at night. I enjoyed the night hike but came up empty-handed. The next morning I hit the same trails in the daylight and found every single cache on my list. These are a series of caches, most put out by the same cacher, scattered along the nature trails that run along the City Lake. I really enjoyed the hike in the woods, the solitude of the hike and the regular size caches. I was able to drop a number of my Ecuador signature items as I went. Along the way I saw deer and signs of beaver activity. One of the caches along the way had been muggled. It was near the beaver work. The only think left was the lid to a regular size lock n lock which had teeth marks on it. I suspect the cache had been beaver-muggled. Can beavers be muggles? Check out the caches here. You'll get a great hike and find some nicely stocked caches for trading. My favorite two of the day were Crushing Claws - Challenge of the WDC! (GC1KHNW) and Glistening Scales - Challenge of the WDC! (GC1KHQJ).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saimese Twins --- a virtual cache worth visiting

So far my favorite caches are the regular ammo can in the woods types. I've not gotten into the puzzles nor the mutli-caches yet. I do enjoy earthcaches and virtual caches if they show you something interesting. This past week I did see two virtual caches that were very interesting and fun to do. One was the home place of the original Siamese Twins. They were some of the first conjoined twins to live and to be seen widely around the world. They were born in what is present-day Thailand but immigrated. They eventually settled in a rural area near Pilot Mountain, NC. Pilot Mountain is also given fame in the Andy Griffith show where it is referred to as Mt. Pilot. If you get a chance to look for The Bunker Brothers (GCF338) don't miss out on the opportunity. Here is a little information taken directly from the cache page:

Chan and Eng were born in 1811 in what at the time was called Siam, now it is modern day Thailand. Upon hearing of their birth, the King of Siam was so sure it was a sign of the coming of the end of the world that he ordered the twins to be put to death. Somehow the twins escaped their death sentence and eventually became accepted by the people of Siam. In 1829, the twins left Siam to begin touring Europe and the US. They were very popular and drew large crowds where the twins exhibited various feats of strength and dexterity. They also had a strong command of the English language and were able to converse with the audience members. After about 10 years of touring the brothers grew tired of that lifestyle and somehow decided to settle in Wilkesboro, NC a small town that they had been through a few years earlier. Originally, they purchased and ran a general store, but due to hard times in the area, they gave up their store and moved to Traphill in northern Wilkes County to start farming.

In 1839 the brothers became American citizens and choose the last name of Bunker. This is also the time the brothers started dating a pair of sisters, Sallie and Adelaide Yates. A few years later the twins married the two sisters and all shared a large bed. Within 9 months and one week of the marriage each sister had given birth to a child. Over the years 19 more children would be born to the sisters. Over time, the two sisters began to fight and would often put Chang and Eng in the middle of their fights. It was decided that the family would split and two houses were built in White Plains, a small community in Surry County, North Carolina. The two houses were about two miles apart and the twins would spend three days in one house with Sallie and then move in with Adelaide for three days before starting the cycle all over.

Chang passed away on Jan 17, 1874. When Eng woke up and realized his brother was dead he began to get sick and died within 30 minutes. It is often said that Eng was scared to death of the thoughts of his brother being dead. Today many people have attributed his death to shock.

The sisters kept their body in one of the cellars for a year after their death to prevent grave robbing. They were then buried in the lawn at Chang’s house and in the 1920’s were moved to the church that they are at now, which the brothers had donated the land for.

For more information on Chang and Eng, do an Internet search. There is plenty of information out there.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some more unique caching experiences

My favorite caches are not LPCs. Not even close. My favorite caches are out in the woods and they are ammo cans or tupperware boxes all camo'd up and well-hidden. I also like virtuals that tell a story or bring you to a historical location. Several weeks ago I had the chance to hit the trails on Owl's Roost Mountian Bike Trail off of Lake Brandt north of Greensboro, NC. The day was beautiful and there was almost no one on the trail. I found a series of nice caches on a 5 mile trail. By the time I got back it was almost 9 miles. An interesting sign at the trailhead read that there has been a sighting of an agressive owl along the trail. Proceed with caution. The owl must have calmed down or moved on. I had no trouble. All of the caches were well-hidden, full of swag and several hadn't been visited for a while. I saw deer several times on the morning long trek.

A little later in the week I had the chance to visit the John Haley house in High Point. This one was a virtual cache, A Walk to the Past (GCF289). I lived near this house when I was in elementary school and remember visiting it then. Today there is a mueseum next door. It is worth visiting. has an entry that I'll borrow and submit below. This will help explain it a little more:

There are 3 historic buildings on the site. Great place to spend the afternoon. HINT... Look on before you go... Maybe you will find some else! The Haley House, built in 1786 by John Haley, still stands as a witness of history alongside the Salisbury-Petersburg Road. This solid brick structure introduces the visitor to the lifestyles of a wealthy Quaker household. Hoggatt House Enter the Hoggatt House built in 1754. This log structure, once a family home, was moved to the museum's historic park and is now used to demonstrate colonial chores such as weaving and candle dipping. On a cold day the crackling fire will warm you as our costumed guides weave their tales of early country days. Blacksmith Shop Hear the clanging of a hammer as it strikes metal? Every other weekend our blacksmith demonstrates his skills carefully forming a hook or horseshoe for the interested traveler. Our visitors learn of days of old in these historic structures, but an entire museum awaits!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

No More Sacrifices....Huaca Pucllana, Lima, Peru

We left North Carolina for our two week trip to Lima for meetings. One of the worst things to do with a geocacher is put them in meetings. I need medication to cope... We got up every morning for some exercise before the meetings. One day we went around the huaca, a large 12 acre pyramid in residential Lima. There weren't many places to hide a cache and expect it to be there very long. Even the place I've selected might prove to be short-lived. Early in the morning the muggles are running, walking their dogs and generally moving about. I hope that some of the Lima cachers and the tourist that come through town will enjoy the "No More Sacrifices" (GC1Y7MF) cache, due to appear in a day or two on (today is 6 September 2009). It is just a short walk from Ovalo Guttierez.

This pyramid once covered about 38 acres of land but is much smaller today. It is constructed of abode brick placed vertically to resist earthquakes better. The Lima Indian culture existed between 200 and 700 A.D. It was during this period that the pyramid was constructed. The pyramid served as a burial ground for those who were sacrifical offerings. Most of these seem to be female. It appears that the pre-Inca culture thought that the best sacrifice was that of women as they are the givers of life. This ceremonial site towered high above the surrounding dwellings in its early days. Today you can visit the museum, take a guided tour which includes climbing up on the pyramid or just take pictures from outside. By the way, I'm intrigued by the name given this pyramid. It is the Quechua, an mostlikely Inka, verb in its infinitive form meaning "to play". Could there have been a ball field associated with the site in pre-Inca times? Who knows at this point. Was it named so because before it was a protected site the children climbed and played on the pyramids. I wonder...