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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Camping, hiking, geocaching in the Uwharrie National Forest in central North Carolina

Caching the coast of Badin Lake!!!
Holt's Hideaway
King's Mountain Point
MasterYoda1's campfire
After about 24 years overseas (not counting three years of military time in Germany) sumajhuarmi and I have finally come home. Sure, we've visited over the years but this time we've made the move with plans to settle down in High Point, NC. We arrived nine days ago. As promised I packed up the borrowed mini-van and headed off on a camping/geocaching adventure with my 11 year-old grandson. The trip down to the Uwharrie National Forest took about an hour. Along the way we picked up a handful of caches . We had a beautiful day, almost like late summer. We parked the van at a road intersection in order to unloaded the mountain bikes. Soon we were on our way. We cached all along Badin Lake, finding a combination of micro, small, regular and an earthcache. After living in a tropical environment for 1.5 years it was refreshing to ride and hike through the pine and oak forests along the lake. The leaves were just starting to change colors. My favorites for the day were Holt's Hideaway (GC1N52N). We parked next to the picnic area to have our lunch. We then walked into the woods behind some campsites to find the cache. Just before reaching the GZ we walked up on some young girls who thought that this part of the woods was a safe enough place to change their clothes. I'm not sure who was more surprised. We averted our eyes as they ran away hollering and laughing. We got the cache and cleared out. We then worked our way down to King's Mountain Point (GC1N69C) The view of Badin Lake was great. Not far from this cache was an earthcache worth visiting. It is called Don't Fall in the Lake (GC3NYE0). You'll get a chance to see how the coastline is eroding away and to calculate how much longer until the trail has to be moved.  Once we completed our geocaches for the day we began looking for a place to camp. The park has reserve campsites. It also allows for primitive or dispersed camping throughout most of the park. The caches we hoped to attack the next day were in a section of the park which allowed All Terrain Vehicles. We searched and finally found a place where we could pull off the road to set up a nice camp. We got our tent into place and built our campfire before sunset. We had a great early evening with a meal and the traditional roasted marshmellows over the fire. It was great! What 11 year-old says I am tired and ready for bed before 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. MasterYoda1 hit the sack. This gave me a time to sit and relax by the fire and contemplate all the good of the day. I love being home! About 8:30 pm. I turned in. An hour later the first drops of rain began. These continued to increase accompanied by lightning and thunder which eventually drove us into the mini-van. After an hour the rain stopped and the temperature dropped 35 degrees. Since sleeping in the van wasn't working and since the tent was pretty wet now, I packed it all up and we headed back towards home. We didn't want to wake everyone up early in the morning so we found a Waffle House in Thomasville where we had a nice breakfast. The nightlife at Waffle House in Thomasville proved pretty interesting. It included some pretty crazy people who ended up in police custody. The food was ok for 4 a.m. Although our weekend was cut short we had a great time caching the Uwharrie.
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