Sunday, September 15, 2013

Spider Finch Park

It's been some time since I undertook a pretty big geocaching outing all by my lonesome. I was hoping for the company of a couple of distinguished cachers of my acquaintance today, but, sadly, circumstances didn't work out. So, since I have to travel some distance to hike after caches I haven't already found, I made my way solo toward Lexington, NC, to explore a couple of geocache-rich trails. First was Finch Park, along Abbott's Creek. It's named for the Finch family, but it is apt, considering the proliferation of finches I saw flitting all about the place. In even greater proliferation, however, were spiders, with webs stretched between just about every tree in the woods — most of which I managed to personally discover. Sure enough, it's the season for them, but I've hiked in the woods every spider season for I can't count the years, and I'm pretty sure I've never seen them in such vast numbers. Big ones, little ones, hairy ones, bald ones, dull-colored, bright-colored. Now, I didn't see any of those gigantic, Buick-chomping wolf spiders hanging about, but come nightfall, I guarantee you, those woods will be crawling with them. It would be most interesting to go out there spider hunting at night with a bright flashlight....

Upon my egress from the trail, I found myself wrapped like a mummy in spiderweb, so I took the opportunity to de-web myself. From there, I headed over to City Lake Park, a few miles to the north, which is a bit more extensive, trail-wise. The terrain is generally moderate, certainly compared to the Haw River Trail I hiked a couple of weeks back (see "Haw River Bison," September 2, 2013), though once you get out a ways, the trail peters out, and the bushwhacking occasionally requires considerable effort. I was most taken with one particular cache that required an enjoyable tree-climb; it's not as high as all that, though you sure as hell wouldn't want to fall out (unless you're one of those who bounce when dropped from the heights).

At the end of the day, I had put in about six miles, plus the climb, and added 27 caches to my total (which now stands at 6,274). I will tell you this, I haven't been this sore in a long while; the legs are aching as if King Kong gave them a couple of good tugs. When I got home, I rounded out the evening with some of the best barbecued spare ribs I ever made — even better than my dad's, which I didn't think I would ever manage. Perhaps when I'm not quite so exhausted, I'll post the recipe.

I sleep now.

Click images to enlarge.
Looking up from the base of a massive, three-trunked ghostwood tree. Wow, Bob, Wow!
The dam at Lexington's City Lake Park
King Kong's water faucets
Big mama tree at Finch Park, which towers over everything else in the woods.
L: Vampire tree at Finch Park; R: Yeah, the cache is on up there a ways.
Ahh! Another slimed ammo can. Shoggoths?


James Robert Smith said...

What species is the Big Mamma tree? Care to make a guess on its girth? I might ask you to haul me along to see that one. Might be worth checking it out and measuring it.

Mark Rainey said...

I'm not sure of the type; near the top, there are some pale, bare patches, which made me think it might be a sycamore, but it's gnarlier and more twisted than any of the other nearby sycamores (there's a ton of them around there). The trunk at the base is wider than I am tall. So.... 13 inches. ;)