I am a proud

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Earthcache: Lima Coastline

I've never been much of geology enthusiast but this earthcache in Lima has peaked my interest. There aren't many caches of any kind in Lima so when any kind of cache pops up, I'm going to go after it on one of my frequent trips to Lima. Earthcache Lima Coastline (GC20EQP) was educational and just plain good exercise too. I headed out to do some running along the coastal parks that sit high above the beach. I ran several miles from my hotel and found that my GPSr was indicating that I would have to somehow work my way down the embankment to the beach. There were two choices. One was to return to a set of steps about a mile back or to go on to where I could see cars getting on to the beach along some high speed road. I ran on. When I got to the beach I found all kinds of surfers. I remembered that the Beach Boys mention surfing in Peru in one of their songs. It's true. Many were wearing wet suits. Others weren't as today was a clear, sunny day up in the 80's. The interesting think about the beach is that it wasn't very sandy at the location where the earthcache had me go. It was made up of large cobble stones. They weren't laid out as though a mason had been at work. They were simply strown everywhere. People had their beach towels laying on the stones. That had to hurt. What a beach! Where did these come from? I've always thought of Lima as a rock pile, a sort of desolate place with a gardened and irrigated wealthy residential and business districts called Miraflores and San Isidro. The truth is that it is all a big rock pile, particularly the area around the Larco Mar Mall that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The above mentioned earthcache explained that years of river deposits left a 190 ft deep sedimentary build up called the Lima Conglomerate. "Conglomerate" is a big word that geologist use to say that rocks, in this case smooth and rounded rocks anywhere from half an inch in diameter to 10 inches, washed down to the coast and stacked up. They cemented together with the grainy mix and became a compound rock. The whole coastline at the point of the most manicured part of the city of Lima is built on a pile of rocks! After this sedimentary build up the land was gradually raised as the Nasca Plate continued to slide under the South America plate. This diverted the River that produced this sedimentary build up to the north. It is today's Rimac River. I wonder if these rocks would hold up well in an earthquake? Makes you wonder since this area is prone to earthquakes. I guess I'll sleep well tonight. I doubt I'll worry about earthquakes much since the run has worn me out. If you get a chance to check out this earthcache it is well worth the time. Yes, I climbed down to the beach and then I had to find a way to climb back up and get back to my hotel. That was a workout!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Caching along Reedy Fork Creek

Recently I attended my 36th high school reunion in Greensboro, NC. Actually it was one of those reunions were several classes got together. While there I caught up with an old friend I hadn't seen for years. Dan lives in Greensboro. I'm the one who went far away. Somewhere in the ensuing conversation we ended up talking about geocaching. Dan was intrigued and we agreed to go out and find a few caches. Just about 10 days later we managed to link up at a lake just north of the Greensboro. I had picked out a route that went from the road around the lake and up to where the Reedy Fork Creek's several branches emptied into the lake. I'd already read that once I'd gotten the caches along the north side of the creek that it was better to back track and come around the lake and get the others. The previous cacher was emphatic that you didn't want to try to cross the several branches of the creek. That's what we did. It was a beautiful fall day and the leaves were colorful. It was a great time to catch up on all that had gone on in our lives for 30 plus years. On the last cache I on the south side of the lake I somehow entered in bad coordinates. Due to my bad coordinates we ended up doing just what had been advised against; and we had a great time doing it! We were like to boys exploring the woods. We forded three creeks and did it going and coming. We walked across fallen trees, built a bridge on another and got a little wet getting across yet another. I don't think I've seen as many briers as I saw this day. We had a blast. One of the caches was called Stonehenge (GC1TW2T). Everyone that found it was asked to add a stone to the structure. This was a pretty easy GZ to find as the structure keeps growing. This one is stuck way out in the woods far from anything. Top the day off with the fact that my college freshman daughter drove home to be with us this long weekend.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Caching in Downtown Richmond

We recently visited Richmond, Virginia. While there in late September I had some free time to do some geocaching. I started at the western extreme of Broad Street and worked my way towards the old historic district of Richmond. There were lots of micros and a few regular sized caches. As in any city there were the obligatory numbers of LPCs (Lamp Post Caches, otherwise known as Lamely Placed Caches). Even with the LPCs it was a fun day. I found a very strange building. I guess cache Big Baked Potato (GCXRV0) refers to the strange shape of this building. I think it looks like a space ship from 1960’s TV. The cache was really neat. SPOILER follows: It was encased in asphalt and looked like a loose piece of the stuff. It blended in well and was in a well-protected location. See the photo. Along with the alien look came the nearby and rather interesting sign for Extra Billy’s BBQ. Was one Billy already too much? The closer I got to the center of town the more the caches turned to historical themes. I really like the Jefferson Davis Monument on Monument Avenue. The cache was an easy one. I was most impressed with the history. What a beautiful street with its old well-kept houses. A little further into town is the Science Museum. Just behind it is a nice, easy cache involving a stroll in a nice little park area. Check out Holly’s Revenge (GC1NH22) if you go to Richmond. Check out the old trains nearby. Closer to the center of town is the Hot Milk (GCPYH9) cache. I couldn’t get to it. A muggle was taking a nap right next to where I needed to rummage to find the cache. I know where it is and will have to go back some other time when I travel to Richmond. This cache brings you to two historic buildings. One is the Richmond Diary. Check out the photo of the building. Wow! Right across the street from the diary is an old firehouse. It no longer serves that purpose but remains an historical landmark. If only I had more time. There are still many caches to visit in Richmond.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Old Faithful

OK so it's not the famous Old Faithful that everybody in the west knows about. This one is man-made and nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Old Fort, NC. I was certainly surprised to find this thing sitting out in a field on a country road kind of out in the middle of nowhere. There was no town, just a few houses down the road. The thing is named for Col Alexander Andrews, VP of the Southern Railway Company during the late 1880's. The geyser was built in 1885 as a tribute to the 120 men who gave their lives building the railroad through this area. When the geyser was built it was accompanied by a fine hotel which burned in 1903. The geyser is powered by water from a high lake that is gravity-fed in every increasingly small piping. This produces the pressure necessary to launch the water high into the air. Today you can visit earthcache Old Faithful (McDowell County GC10GTF) near the location of a brief Civil War skirmish during Stoneman's raid into the Carolinas. Have fun!