Sunday, July 8, 2012

Crazy as Fire

Who goes out on a five-plus-mile hike in some fairly rugged terrain on a day when the peak temperature hit 105? Yeah...a bunch of lunatic geocachers. Specifically, Mark Case, Scott "Diefenbaker" Hager, and old Damned Rodan. About midday, we hit the trails at the Birkhead wilderness area, just southwest of Asheboro, to hunt a handful of caches, most specifically, one called "Mystery of the Birkhead Ghosts" (GC3C2A), which requires deciphering a code key that had daunted us for some time. A few days back, Scott and I managed to decrypt the key independently, so this was the day the bunch of us opted to make a go of it.

Holy crap. I've been hiking in some heat, and ordinarily, it doesn't really faze me. Today, however, it came damn near to doing the old man in. At least we had presence of mind to take plenty of water with us so we could keep ourselves hydrated. As all good geocachers do, we occasionally left the trail and bushwhacked to our various destinations, at which time we discovered... per usual... that the short way is all too often not the best way. Still, we managed to conquer the ghost and a couple of other caches lurking in the wilderness. We happened upon numerous very cool rock formations, and Mr. Case, science teacher extraordinaire, enlightened us with some fascinating facts about the geology of the region. Certain of the rocks indicated that we were treading on some of the oldest exposed earth on the planet, which is rather humbling, when you think about it....

Anyway, we all survived, so that young Kimberly and old Rodan could visit with our friends, Joe and Suzy Albanese, at their neighborhood pool. Never was a dip more welcome. (Do not over-think that last sentence, for it means nothing. Seriously.)

One of the intriguing rock formations we happened upon in the wilderness
Funny how some of those rock formations tend to grow, almost as if someone actually
placed them that way. Scott Hager (L) and Mark Case (R).


HemlockMan said...

I've been there. To that rock and to that chimney. Most tick-infested place I've ever been.

Mark Rainey said...

I was lucky -- only came out of there with one tick, near as I can tell. Scott got it the worst; he was an absolute tick magnet. From the moment we stepped in there, they were all over him. Dozens and dozens of them. I did spray myself head to toe with high-powered bug spray, which may have been the difference, though usually ticks just seem to laugh at the stuff.