Saturday, March 12, 2011

Middle Earth in Caswell County

No country for old men.
There's a very cool bunch of geocaches next door in Caswell County, in the extensive Caswell County Game Lands preserve. The caches are all based on characters, settings, and events in Tolkien's The Silmarillion, and the hider, "Stumpwater" Dunn, did a fabulous job of finding hiding places that possess a kind of Middle Earth atmosphere. I headed out there at the crack of dawn this morning with my two Rob friends—Rob "Rtmlee" Lee and Rob "Robgso" Isenhour—for a six-plus-mile hike through the wilds of Middle Earth. This was definitely the time to be out in these woods; come summer, much of that area will be impassible and crawling with snakes, bugs, and other potentially unpleasant critters. The terrain types and altitude changes are dramatic, to say the least—everything from sheer, rocky hillsides that ascend to vertiginous heights to low-lying marshes and bogs along Country Line Creek, where you might expect to find the Boggy Creek monster. There aren't any trails to speak of, so it was almost all bushwhacking. Some of our terrain challenges included spelunking, climbing waterfalls, doing acrobatics up in trees, and fussing at briers that lacked the courtesy to get the hell out of our way (Brer Rabbit could have claimed a plethora of Laughing Places). Each of us fell on his ass exactly once, and we all donated no little blood to the briers ("No fun unless you shed some blood," as Uncle RobGSO likes to say). Several of the hides had multiple stages, and in the end, we came out of there with our signatures on 13 cache logs. One of them was, for me, cache number 3,200, so now I've got a total of 3,208 caches under my belt (and I've still managed to lose weight).

Since, between the three of us, age-wise, we have the 40s, 50s, and 60s covered, we figured Team Old Fart was just the moniker for us. At the moment, I gotta tell you, at least one member of Team Old Fart is tired, a little sore, and looking forward to the evening's first martini.
Damned Rodan and Robgso climbing the Falls of Lanthir Dinen (thankfully dry)
One wrong move, and Damned Rodan becomes an amphibian.
The soggy bottoms around Country Line Creek
It's a long way up...
...and a long way down.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Massie said...

I bow before the geocache king!!! Wow. More than impressed. Mondo-pressed, more like it!