I am a proud

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Grayson County, Va winter mountain caching

We spent New Year's Eve in Greensboro, NC with our three daughters and their families. The next day, after Paula finished her New Year's 5K run (she placed #3 in her category!), we picked up the grandkids and headed northwest past Pilot Mountain, up through Low Gap into southwestern Virginia. On both sides of Pilot Mountain we found caches. The next one was in Virginia. As we headed up Highway 89 and hit Low Gap and the state line we went from having a few scatterings of the snow from a fall about two weeks back to scenery where the ground was covered. It was beautiful. The temps were down and dropping as we got to Galax. We found the only Galax cache, an LPC in a parking lot with 10 foot high mounts of plowed and piled up snow. We continued west along Highway 58/16 into Independence, Va. There we stopped for Welcome (GC1K93N) where the wind chill must have been about 20 degrees F. We pushed on to the Mouth of Wilson area and picked up another one before the sun was sinking low in the western sky. From there it was only 15 minutes to our weekend get-a-way with my brother-in-law and his family on a rural route outside of Trout Dale, Virginia. The ground was covered with snow, it was cold, and the wind was up. We piled into the 102 year old well-preserved farm house on the hill and crowded around the fireplace. Phil and Mary had three of their grandkids there so immediately our's and their's started playing throughout the house. Coming here is like unplugging from the rat race, getting away from the phone calls and just having fun. Mary has the place so nice and the food is so great that we jokingly say its like living a Cracker Barrel. The next day proved to be too cold to get out and do any caching like I'd hoped. We woke to 14 degrees F and a wind chill of about 0 degrees F with about 6 inches of snow on the ground, some of it new. I really wanted to go to the Highlands Park nearby but was told it would be closed with this weather. We spent the day going out and sledding on the hill and running in for hot chocolate every 45 minutes. Around 2 p.m. Phil and my wife (brother and sister) went out to get some groceries. When they came back Phil had purchased two Wonder Bread individual sandwich containers and told us to hide two caches. Immediately the grandchildren were in to it. The two girls (ages 10 and 8) prepared their cache. The two older boys (ages 11 and 8) prepared their cache. The girl's cache had its share of make up items and so forth. The boys didn't want anything to do with that stuff so their cache was a little more masculine. We hiked out to a place that I'd spotted earlier in the day and hid the girl's cache. Look for it when you get a chance. It is Winter Wonder Land (GC22PN7). Later the boys found their location further up the road. It is A Bend in the Road (GC22PNF). We about froze to death hiding these caches. The kids had enough freedom in hiding their caches that I got to enjoy hunting the caches later. As you can see one is overlooked by the house. When the weekend was over we asked the kids what they had enjoyed the most. From among fun activities like sledding down a nice hill on solid snow, running through an old creaky house playing spy with their walkie talkies and playing hide and seek the kids said that hiding the cache was their favorite activity. I'm hoping that some folks get out and find these caches soon so the kids can watch the logs come in. What a weekend! The highland parks around Trout Dale and Mouth of Wilson are full of geocaches. Currently many are buried under a foot or more of snow. That presents a challenge. Come spring this would be a great place to cache. I look forward to getting back up here in 2013 when we come back to visit! Hopefully it will be warm weather then.

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