Earthcaches

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year Night Caching to get to # 2500

We had a great New Year's Eve but were undecided on what to do on New Year's Day. We slept in, had breakfast and all. But I could tell my wife was homesick to see some of her mom's relatives about an two hours south of here. I recommended a day trip and she was in for it. This was the fastest I saw her get ready for anything. We were out the door and driving south in no time. We drove straight through to make it in time for lunch with the her aunt and a cousin. I don't know what your New Year's
thanks to beardenb
traditions are but her family was big into eating a lunch of collard greens, black-eyed peas, cornbread and hog jowls. Now I've been in a number of countries and have seen some interesting, even strange New Year's traditions. See a previous blog from January 2, 2011 entitled, "The Old Man...an Ecuadorian New Year's Tradition" to learn more. Even though I was raised in the southeastern US and had heard of folks eating this special meal on New Year's Day, my family didn't prepare this meal. Let's just say it was good to visit the extended family.

Play. Station
When we finished up there we had less than an hour of daylight left. I had the goal of getting 15 geocaches on the way home in order to reach #2500 this day. We drove from the North Carolina town of Wadesboro to the east to the town of Rockingham to start our search. There were several urban and suburban caches there that I hoped to get before dark. Also, most of these were small and bigger. I'm used to micros in an urban setting like High Point (where we live) so this was a nice touch. We visited a Veteran's Memorial and a dead end road to find some fairly standard caches. My first favorite cache was entitled, Play. Station (GC1N1BM). It was an old train station in downtown Rockingham. We worked our way around the side of the building to begin our search for this regular-size cache. At first the signal bounce was a problem but finally I had the cache in hand. It had lots of trade items and was in good shape. We signed the log and moved on. We moved up the hill to the county courthouse. Being New Year's Day there were very few people out. We grabbed a virtual at the courthouse before heading over to the site of the Cole Murder. The cache of the same name (GC3XKEN) was hidden in a bush right on the street and below the front window of an administrative office in the "manufacturing building", as it was called. Read the story in the cache page. Yes, someone was killed here in the early part of the last century. I suspect that the cache owner has the cache outside of his workplace window so he can watch cachers beat the bushes. It was a nice ammo can on a major downtown street. We DNFed a few caches downtown. They just seemed to be gone! With the sun going down, we headed north out of Rockingham on the Interstate.

 We took a side road at one point to look for Off the Beath Path (GC1CJ21). It caused us to stop on the side of a country road right in the middle of two homes to walk 70 feet into a field to find a large cache under a big white bucket that was situated about 30 feet from someone's bedroom window. By this time the sun was basically gone and I was using my twilight vision. It felt kind of awkward, like I was on someone's property. I guess I was. The cache page said "permission from owner to hide" but it still felt wrong. I signed and got out of there, even as the neighbor was giving me the eye.

sumajhuarmi @ Kiln Cache Virtual
Soon we were in the Pottery Producing Area of Central North Carolina. We tracked into the small town of Seagrove, NC in the dark. We drove to a virtual cache at The North Carolina Pottery Center. This was an old cache, one that predates the "no photo" requirement. Here we had to log along with a photo with the gpsr next to the sign. These photos were night photos so the light is low. Kiln Cache (GCHTNM) was fun. It would have been more fun if we could have toured this place. We'll have to come back when it is open.

From here we hit the Interstate and head about 15 miles further north to the town of Ashboro, NC. We were now getting back into our geocaching territory where we recognized the cache owners by name. There were a few caches in the 100 series that seemed like pretty easy roadside caches. I had my headlamp and was ready to search for these. We stopped in and around the Randolph County Community College to find a couple and to DNF a couple. We stopped to eat at a Bojangles and DNFed the last of these easy ones just as I got to #2499. What to do? It was time to head home and I am not connected with a smart phone and have no additional caches up my sleeve to find. How will I make my #2500 tonight.

Thanks to sauvageone
We headed home with a plan. It took another 30 minutes or so to get there. We ran in the house, found a cache list I had made up for the previous day that had cache information for a nearby premium cache called, Tube Try Out! (GC3D5CW), and then headed out to wrap up the evening with #2500 in the dark. This cache was only a few minutes away. We pulled into a good parking area and saw that it required a trip into the woods. No muggles were around but sumajhuarmi wasn't crazy about traipsing around in the woods. I went with my headlamp. I tracked right to the GZ and started cautiously shining my light around. I didn't know if night watchmen might be around or not. Soon I saw the cache in the tree. I signed the log and with celebration replaced it and headed to the car. I was thankful to have made my goal. I'm also thankful that sumajhuarmi put up with my need to get to this goal tonight.


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