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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Candler's Mountain Virginia Caching Run!

This past weekend was Family Weekend at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. We've been overseas most of the times this special weekend came up and have missed it. Our daughter was thrilled that we were able to come be a part of it with her. We drove the three-hours from High Point, NC and met her at the campus Starbucks! We went with her to several activities on campus and then she and her mother went shopping. They knew that I need a chance to get out and geocache. I was ready, having plotted out my path to get a handful of caches on Candler's Mountain. I drove up to the Snowflex Ski Slope where I parked the car and began my search for geocaches. The leaves were gorgeous on a warm, sunny fall afternoon. At times a jogger would come along so I was pretty much on my own. I hiked from cache to cache, finding about half the ones on my list and DNFing the others. The caches were a variety from large to micro. The hike around the mountain was the real prize in the day's activities. At one point I found myself hiking directly up one of the mountains. I was winded but considered it part of having gotten out of shape. One of my first caches was Monotrail (GC2D2PE). I looked and looked and then there it was, staring me right in the face when I stood up. My favorite cache of the afternoon was GW & RW's cache (GC39ZKC). It took me right up past the monogram on Candler's Mountain. Everyone all over the valley sees the big "LU" on the side of the mountain and from that vantage point you get a great view to the west of Peaks of Otter and the mountain ridge line where the the Blue Ridge Parkway runs. From the hill with the monogram I headed east down into the valley picking up a trail that was called "Psycho". I hiked up it and understand the name. I had to stop frequently to get my breath. I was worn out by the time I finished it. What a great day!

The Liberty University Monogram on Candler's Mtn

The view from the monogram

The Lodge at Snow Flex

Spoiler photo of one of the caches on the trail

Liberty University n the fall
The next day was filled with family and football. Two of our daughters were here, two grandchildren and we were having a good time until I started aching in my side and couldn't breathe. I made it through the game before going to the hotel to rest. Thanks to my youngest daughter, who is a senior at Liberty University, for insisting that we go to the emergency room. We did and within a few hours they determined that I had multiple pulmonary embolisms in both lungs. I spent the next three days hospitalized as the doctors began to thin my blood and medicate me for the pain. I'm so thankful for the good health care and for the many prayers from all around the world. I hope to be back out caching in the near future although I'll need to limit my caching to more urban and/or cache with a group of people if I'm going out into the woods like I always like to do.
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