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Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Grand Strand Caching Run - Myrtle Beach, SC

Intercoastal Waterway with Barefoot Landing Resort
The Reaper
My ladies with the Shady Lady
This year´s vacation to the beach took us to North Myrtle Beach. We didn´t get to come last year so it was nice to be with two of our three daughters. It was the first time to the beach for our two-year old grandson so you can imagine the fun we were having watching him play in the sand and water. While my son-in-law programmed time for fishing at one of two nearby piers, I programmed in time each day to get out and do some geocaching. Here are a few of the highlights. Most of the caches along the beach were difficult to get to due to parking restrictions. To get to the sparse number of caches along the beach I would recommend having a bike. I tried to get at a few and gave up. It was easier to stick with the caches along The King´s Highway (Highway 17) where there were businesses that afford the opportunity to park. That put most of my caching between The King´s Highway and the Intercoastal Waterway further inland. Most were fairly straight forward and easy micros. A few were tricky. For instance The Hidden Village Sculpture Park (GCYG3X), with art such as ¨The Reaper¨, had me looking in the wrong place until I went back and read the cache page again. The clue was there. Lots of the caches required ¨stealth¨. I sometimes think what they require is conspicuity, a willingness to standout and be seen if that is what it takes to find the cache. One cache that required me to be conspicuous was Roadside Giant Conch (GC3BK35). Take a look at the size of this seashell. I just had to get a photo of my wife and youngest daughter at the Shady Lady (GC3PW9H) cache. I enjoyed finding a letterbox hybrid cache that was located behind a real US Post Office. It was called ¨Got¨Mail? (GC1PBP0).  Probably the highlight of my caching experience on the strand was my encounter with Herbie the golf ball collector. I like caches spread out along bike or hiking trails. The Perin Bike Trail in Myrtle Beach had four caches. I walked or ran the trail in search of these caches. I had to park my car in a business parking lot replete with towing warnings. I didn´t see a choice so I too the risk. After signing the log at the first cache I stepped out of the woods onto the bike path unintentionally startling a bike rider. He hollered a ¨hello¨and kept on his way. I didn´t think I´d see him again. About a half mile up the trail I exited the trail, crossed a sand berm and saw the shoreline of a small lake. It was a pretty location. I began the search for Lizard Isle - Lizards Like Trails (GC3BWJM). I was beating around at ground level looking for a large plastic lizard or something like that when of to my right rear I hear the words, ¨Do you want a beer?¨ At first I thought this had to be another cacher. As the fellow stepped out from behind a tree I saw his bike and recognized him as the fellow I´d startled earlier. He had a beer in hand and was resting by the lake. It became evident that he was a muggle so I had no choice but to explain what I was doing. He had participated in Orienteering in the army so he could relate a little. Herbie makes his living in the summer months collecting golf balls from along the edge of the greenways and selling them back. He travels by bicycle up and down the east coast to golf resorts to collect and re-sell golf balls. He was friendly and we had a good chat before I pushed on. I really enjoyed my time at the beach and the opportunity to find some more hidden treasures.
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