I added Tennessee to the states where I've cached recently. We traveled from Greensboro, NC to Athens, TN one beautiful, sunny Saturday. Interstate 40 is completely blocked and will be through about April 2010 due to a huge rock slide near the state border. We chose to travel through Boone, NC in order to cross the Smoky Mountains headed to a place that is dear to me. East Tennessee is where my mother is from and where we have a lot of rich family history. It was fun to visit Appalachian State University in Boone, NC on the way over. Paula and I graduated from ASU in 1977. That ages us doesn't it? We stopped at an earthcache called Trash Can Falls (GC1MSAC). It was fun picking up a few smileys along Lake Watauga on the Tennessee side. Another earthcache is Sycamore Shoals State Historical Park (GC1WVZ2). This area is so rich in history. Sycamore Shoals is historically important as the site where about a thousand frontiersmen gathered and set out across the mountains to fight the British invasion in the Carolinas. They met the British at the Battle of King's Mountain in 1780 and delivered a tide-turning defeat to them. The old fort was full of folks reenacting life and costume of that time period. Once out of the mountains we headed south along Interstate 81. We stopped at one rest stop that was home to four caches, one a TB hotel. Getting that many caches in one rest stop is pretty good. We found all of them. During our several days in Athens I got out and found a few caches there. One that I didn't find but wanted to was The Woodlawn Ghost (GC1G6KC). We accompanied my 79-year old uncle to the Senior Citizens Activity Center in Athens one morning. He plays in a gospel music group on Tuesdays for the folks. While they set up I walked the .16 miles to this cache. It wasn't on the site of the Keith Mansion but at a nearby business. It looked like an LPC but I didn't get the opportunity to find it for the muggles. I got a picture of the Inn. According to the owner of the cache it is haunted. I couldn't find anything about that on line. Probably most memorable was my trip out to the family home place. As is the case with many folks, when they get old in order to cover their medical bills they have to give up their farm land and move to the city. This happened to my grandparents in 1980. The farm where I spent many a summer and where I have lasting good memories is still owned by second cousins but the old farm house is falling down. I took a few minutes to walk through the old house. Wow, what memories! The whole weekend was a chance to ask my uncle and aunt about life when they were young. I gathered some great stories for my genealogy research. On our way back to North Carolina we passed through Mosheim, TN. I had not known that my father pastored a Methodist Church there during his college days. We stopped for cache Oldy (GCPX38). This one was on an old condemned bridge along the road to Mosheim. It might have been there when my parents lived there so many years ago in the early 50's. I guess my family is getting used to it. My wife says that you don't travel from point A to point B anymore. It is now point A to point A-1, A-2 and so on. I guess she's right. You just can't ignore all those neat caches along the way.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Back in August Paula and I went out caching in the summer heat. We came up on one that I just had to get. Paula, the wise one, stood off to the side saying, "I wouldn't go in there if I were you. That looks like poison ivy all around that log pile." Did I listen? No. Did I pay for it? Yes. I finally found relief after a bottle of calamine lotion, other anti-itch creams and finally a visit to the clinic to get a shot. I marked that one off to revisit and find in the dead of winter. Well, I finally got that smiley. It was a pleasure to get at this one because it was on land that used to be Edwards family land. In the 1870's the widow of fallen Confederate soldier Joseph Edwards and her five boys moved from south center Guilford County, NC up to a farm nearby. One of the boys, Oliver Adrian Edwards married and moved over to Hickory Grove Church Road. I don't know if he built the log house they lived in or if he built it. I know that he worked on the railroad at nearby Jamestown as a switchman. Oliver was my wife's great-grandfather. She never knew him as he passed away in the early 1900's. Three years ago the county took a large piece of the land for the urban loop going around the south side of Greensboro. In the process the old house was leveled. In the dead of winter after the snow melted I worked my way in from the dead end piece of the road. The brairs were less of a problem and the poison ivy wasn't as much of an issue. I know you can get it in the winter too but the plants were nothing now. I arrived at what looked like a log jam in a river. After a little climbing around I spotted the cache. What was near impossible to find in the summer was much easier. It was nice to find my 1200th cache on a piece of land that holds historical significance for me. If you're in the Greensboro area check out I am Mrs. Ego (GC1JQAG). As a matter of fact, check out any of the caches by egodeflater. They are always a challenge and fun!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
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.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
My grandson and I went out on Christmas Eve afternoon to pick up a few caches. It was a beautiful day but a little windy and cold. We were both excited about the promise of the evening with our family and because of the presents sitting under the tree. I think I did a favor to his mom and dad by getting him out of the house. He couldn't wait for the family gathering for supper, to read the Christmas story from the Bible and to exchange gifts. I think the last one was foremost on his mind. He's eight years old. We decided to visit a few caches over in a nice suburban area called Adams Farm. There is a nice lake there with great trails, parks and lots of geese by and in the lake. After a little stop at the playground so my grandson could play on the swings and slides and so forth, we headed around the lake to the GZ. The snow and ice were still on parts of the paved trails so we had to be careful. We found Down on the Farm (GC1A8BM) along the trail. It was an easy find in an obvious place. I kind of wondered if the owner might not live in the backyard that borders the trail where we were. That would be a great place to place a cache and watch the cachers find it. We headed back home after this one and got ready for the big night of fun and family.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Spoiler Alert for Guilford County, NC
Every since I was a child I've heard the ghost story of Lydia. A short distance from where I was raised there is a two-lane highway that passes under a railroad bridge just east of Jamestown, NC. The earliest recorded instance of Lydia's appearance is from 1924. Since then the story goes that there have been numerous reports. Typically a man is driving alone in his car on a rainy evening along this stretch of highway headed west towards Jamestown and High Point. As he arrives at the railroad bridge he sees a young pretty girl hitching a ride in her white prom dress. He stops and gives her a ride. She wants to go home to High Point. She tells him that she has had a fight with her boyfriend. She even gives directions to turn here and there along the way. Upon arrival the man turns around to look at her or he gets out and goes around to open the door and she has disappeared. Usually the man goes up to the house to inquire and finds that Lydia used to live there but had died in an automobile accident in 1923. Goosebumps!
Thanks to a local cacher I was able to go with my grandson to find Haunted Triad Bonus - Lydia's Bridge. Some years earlier a new bridge was put in and the road was straightened so that the same curve just before the bridge is less dangerous. If you park at the suggested parking location you can cross the highway and walk to the original culvert that the road used to pass through at the time of the accident. It was once grown over and really spooky looking. Recently the state has cleaned it up and you can walk through it. On the other side you trek to GZ and start your search. As you can see in the photos you must look up. We started our search looking down. Suddenly I saw a leaning tree with a rope wrapped around it. It held the suspended cache high overhead. When we got the decorated ammo can down we found it to be full of horror movies. My grandson is a little too young for these so we passed on the trade. It was a fun cache to do with my grandson on a winter day with some snow still on the ground.