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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cache #2000 @ Hanging Rock State Park, NC

sumajhuarmi
Hanging Rock
View to the west
View southwest
Underneath the Hanging Rock

The big day!
We set out from home at 9 a.m. Our track took us north from High Point, NC and northwest past Belews Creek, Walnut Cove and Danbury before arriving at our destination: Hanging Rock State Park. When I left home I had a count of 1998 geocaches so I stopped to grab a "park and grab" micro along the way. We arrived at the park after one hour in the car. The day was a cloudless day with blue skies and sunshine. The temperatures were already climbing into the 50's. We stopped in the visitor center to get a map, get a photo of ourselves in front of the building to satisfy a virtual cache requirement, filled our water bottles and with our walking sticks hit the trail up to the Hanging Rock. The ranger told us it would take an hour to get there. We held a moderate pace.  The trail wound through rhododendron up to a long ridge line heading east to the tall cliff that is Hanging Rock. There was no one on the trail so we had nothing but the birds, the occasional squirrel scurrying through the leaves in the woods and our own conversation to accompany us. The last phase of the hike took to the base of the cliff, circled around the south side of the mountain and in a counter clockwise move we wound our way to the top of the mountain, arriving in 35 minutes. With a bright sun to our back and the wind in our faces we moved out onto the huge grooved rock, some of which hangs over the cliff. Out came the small sign with the numbers 2000 to commemorate my 2000th find. We then took the required photos and recorded the coordinates of the photo shot. We then took some time to snap some great pictures of the valley to the south where sumajhuarmi's pioneer German ancestors settled in the 1780's. The trip down the mountain was quicker. On the last leg of our return we ran into the first hikers of the day, all headed to where we'd been. Hawk 15 (GC56B8) is a great virtual cache. That means it has been a round a while. To claim the cache the main task involves hiking to one of the key terrain features in the park. Since there are ten separate terrain features listed, you can log this cache ten times as long as you send the required photo of you and your GPSr at the location and send the coordinates from where the photo was taken. Today we were able to log two of the ten. Maybe we'll get another chance to come back to Hanging Rock State Park to do the rest. Now to push on for a cache count of 3000!
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