Sunday, February 13, 2011

Caches, Chocolate, and Hot Chilis

I've never been particularly fond of Valentine's Day. As a kid, I had a textbook case of the Charlie Brown syndrome, and nothing could have reinforced it better than Valentine's Day. In later years, it has seemed little more than a poor excuse for a holiday just so Hallmark could make some money.

I might be feeling a little more generous these days.

Spent a very pleasant weekend in Virginia with my S.O., Kim B., which included a fair bit of caching—which, really, is what Valentine's Day is all about, isn't it? Spent a major part of the day yesterday out on the Fieldale-Smith River Trail, where there were a few new caches waiting to be found, as well as a few of my own, a couple of which needed some maintenance. It was a beautiful afternoon, and the hiking was much needed, since there were also calories aplenty accumulated over the weekend....

See the picture of that chocolate bar up yonder? Yep, that sumbitch is infused with hot chilis, and Ms. B. gave me one for an early Valentine's Day gift. Man, that thing is good. Very smooth and mild dark chocolate, but then a growing—though still modest—burn as the pepper sets in. One of the most interesting and actually enticing combinations of flavors I think I've ever experienced. It is to smile.

An enjoyable Valentine's dinner at Rania's last night, lunch at the Dutch Inn today with Mum, and a first-to-find on a very creative cache hide, courtesy of "Indian Giver," at a new trail in Martinsville this afternoon. Then, on the way back to Mum's, I happened to spy a couple of folks at one of my nearby caches, so I went over and introduced myself. Always fun to encounter other cachers out in the field, as most are among the most cordial folks in the world. Very nice meet to Mr. Bighead12 and his young 'un.

All-in-all, this turned out to be an invigorating and unrelentingly calorie-filled pre-Valentine's Day weekend. I can't help but approve.

"Under Construction" by Indian Giver

Martinsville's Big-Ass Chair, where one of my caches is located (Chair City, The Other)

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