Sunday, November 20, 2011

Where the Hell Are the Undead?

Up and going before sunrise yesterday morning, heading up to the Danville, VA, vicinity for a day of biking, hiking, caching, and dining with the right honorable Rob "Maingray" Maile, Audra "Homestyle" Webb, and their respective young'uns. Our first destination was the Richmond and Danville Rail Trail, which runs about 5.5 miles between Ringgold and Sutherlin, VA. We picked up 24 caches along that route in about three hours, all without encountering the first zombie or bigfoot; a little disappointing, granted, but an enjoyable ride nonetheless. That's the Mt. Zion Cemetery behind me in the photo at left and below, and it was almost surprising that no flesh-eating dead came crawling out, since Maingray generally seems to attract such people. Alas. The only cache along the trail that we didn't pick up was one called Triskaphobia (GC2935M) because it requires special equipment we did not have at our disposal (note a certain high place in the photos below; you can guess the rest).

Once done with the trail, we met up with fellow cacher Larry "HD JP" to hunt some other caches scattered around the nearby Pittsylvania County countryside. Again, no menacing supernatural entities (what's up with that, anyway?), though we enjoyed a few darkly atmospheric settings, particularly around the old Reeve's Mill-Anderson Bridge area, where Audra got to climb a tree. Nearby barbed wire and gun shots suggested that we were either near deer-hunting grounds or a zombie killing field (I'd lay even odds), but we cleared the area before either hunters or the walking dead came our way—and we did snag the caches.

Mt. Zion Cemetery: There are dead people here, though none of them seemed
to be wandering about at the time. Dammit.

The caching party: Zachary "Homekid" Webb, Rob "Maingray" Maile,
and Audra "Homestyle" Webb

House of the Rising Sun

"Hallllooooooooo, down there!" (photo by Audra Buchanan Webb)

"Don't look down, Audra!"

End of the line?

A couple of favorite caches were provided by the mysterious stranger known as Klaussinator: Insight (GC37X4C) and At the End of Your Rope (GC37CYP), neither of which were difficult but were unique and thus memorable. One particular cache, "Shortcut Micro" (GC37128), also a Klaussinator hide, located just north of Danville, proved to be painfully difficult, due to a previous finder who shall remain nameless (Christopher "Ranger Fox" Hall) re-hiding it a bit more deviously than was originally intended. Audra again showed her dexterity by crawling under a wire fence, which ended up getting fresh with her and extricating a fair quantity of her hair. Rotten bastard fence. Having accomplished all these things, we headed back out to the Ringgold-Kentuck area for the caching event, "Turkey's Last Days" (GC366KC), at the Corner Cafe, hosted by cachers Keith and Laura McCoy. Neither Maingray nor myself had bothered to eat anything all day—not even a nibble on the heart of a small child—so we were famished. Fortunately, there was a monstrous pile of food at the event, so we satiated ourselves in very short order.

Right after the feeding frenzy, I received a message that my old college friend, Doug Craft, was passing through Greensboro and could use a place to crash. I haven't seen him in way too many years, so I immediately hit the road and met him at my place, where we tossed back a few drinks and shot the shit until one of us (won't say whom, except that it was Doug Craft) pretty much passed out.

Thus ended an exhausting but ultimately satisfying day of exercise and camaraderie—and 33 caches under my belt. Today...maybe I'll run into a few walking dead. Hell, I'll probably be one of them.

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