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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Geocaching and the Autumn Leaves Festival in Mayberry!

Autumn Leaves Festival
Well, they claim it's Mayberry on most of the store signs. There's the Mayberry store for this and for that. Mount Airy, NC, the home of Andy Griffith is the inspiration for the Mayberry we watched, and still watch, on TV. This past weekend Mount Airy celebrated the Autumn Leaves Festival. They closed off the main street and many of the side streets so that they could fill them with crafts, Bluegrass Music and tourist from all over the state and parts beyond. As you walked through the downtown section you could visit Snappy's and get a great sandwich, you could visit Floyd's Barber Shop, Wally's Garage and if you were on the outskirts of the cordoned off area, you
Walkers Soda Fountain
could see Andy's squad car riding folks around town.

Staircase caching
Andy's squad car
We made our way from High Point, NC up to "Mayberry" yesterday. It was a nice fall day so the 1-hour trip via Winston-Salem and Pilot Mountain was beautiful to take in. We arrived and were immediately confronted with lots of $5 parking signs. Just The early worm catches the ??? (GC3T5Z7). From the title we knew it would have to do with a bird. Nice cache. I hope you can find it. It has racked up some favorite points. From there we Mighty Mouse (GC4H62R). It was also a staircase cache. This time it was in a very muggle-rich area where folks were sitting around eating their funnel cakes and BBQ sandwiches. One fellow was sitting on the very same staircase. My grandson and I were able to lean up against the staircase and casually take a look underneath. There it was. But it wasn't at all what I expected. We signed the log and then casually replaced it and I don't think anyone knew the better.
Andy and Opie
a little bit of looking proved worthwhile as we found parking along a neighborhood road just two blocks from one end of the festival. I, along with one of my daughters and three of my grandchildren walked the area twice, checking out all the nice
tracked to the second cache. It was entitled,
booths with their crafts, food and music. Everyone found something to take home. We couldn't afford to wait in the long line for Snappy's so we found the Walker Soda Fountain to be a real nice alternative for lunch. Once we had shopped a little we took off after a few caches in the area. Most of the ones in the downtown area where the festival was taking place turned out to be staircase caches. These are the ones where you find a magnetic cache up under a metal exterior staircase. The first one was

The next cache was on our way home. It was just a few blocks outside the Festival area. Mayberry
Pilot Park & Ride cache
Reflections (GCJF9C)
 was right near the Andy Griffith Museum. Just feet away was a beautiful bronze statue of Andy and Opie walking with their fishing poles. it was designed after the lead in to the Andy Griffith Show. The cache was located within feet of this statute and on a day like today there was a steady line of folks wanting their picture taken beside the statue, me included. We were able to stealthily remove the 35mm canister, sign the log and replace it without being noticed.

The day was still young so we decided to grab a few more caches on the way home. We stopped in Pilot Mountain (the town) at the Park and Ride to find a cache. Pilot Park & Ride (GC42Q79) was a nice cache. One of my grandsons came up with it right away. No muggle traffic there! Then we went on to the real Pilot Mountain. Being a state park it was open even though much of the federal government is shut down at this time. We drove to the top and saw the lay of the land to the north and the south. My daughter had never been there so she enjoyed the view and got some great selfies with the pilot in the background.

We made it home in a little over an hour. Winston-Salem traffic was a little heavier due to the Dixie Classic Fair. We will have to go to that one next year. The day was great. We capped it off a few hours later all getting together at our house for supper together. Our three daughters and all our grand kids had a great time. After all, the three son-in-laws are out on a boat deep sea fishing this weekend off the coast. We deserve to have a little fun too! If you ever get a chance to visit Mount Airy, NC be sure to see the Andy Griffith related sights all over town. Check out the caches around town too. They are plentiful.
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