|Not much sense of scale here, but I'm pretty|
sure this was a big old shoggoth emerging
from a hole in this tree.
Woke up to a beautiful Saturday morning, so there was only one thing to do: yes, go straight out geocaching. Decided my target would be Cedarock Park over in Alamance County, since a few caches over that way were still waiting for me to claim them — a new one and a handful of older ones. Found a couple of them straight off, but one of them — "Retest," an older, very difficult multi-stage hide — proved to be at least as beastly as I might have anticipated, though, ironically, I found one of its stages quite by accident while hunting a different cache. After the recent ice storms, the pine forest out there has been just about decimated, and the massive numbers of fallen trees made getting from location to location rather problematic. Anyway, like quite a few finders of this ancient terror, I sought and found a little help from a previous finder, which led me to the final stage. On my way to it, I thought I heard a distant, rather eerie wail. Soon enough, I determined it was a hunter's horn, and it was drawing nearer. It wasn't long before I felt I might have fallen into a certain novella by T.E.D. Klein, so out came my phone video camera, just so there might be some evidence left behind in case I went missing. My phone, at least, could have been found at N 35° 59.166 W 079° 26.689. Happily, I escaped the woods unscathed, though pestered by a couple of ticks, which have already come out of hiding. I should not be broken-hearted if the freeze predicted to hit us this week takes the lot of the little suckers out.
|Ground zero for one of the stages of "Retest." Never found the stage; maybe it's there, maybe it's not.|
|Looking down one of the trails. After all the ice damage, it was easier to bushwhack than hike the trail.|