Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nine Dawgs on Panther Creek

Old Rodan, stylin' and smilin'

As of some weeks ago, Rob "Robgso" Isenhour, Robbin "Rtmlee" Lee, Todd "tbbiker" Briggs, and I had made plans to hit the Panther Creek Trail, just northeast of Durham, today come rain, shine, hell, or high water. We ended up getting a bit of all of these. The trail is about 4.5 miles long, with 42 geocaches along its length. Rob the Older, Todd, and I left here bright and early, met up with Rob the Younger in Burlington and made our way out to Panther Creek. As soon as our band arrived at the southernmost trail head, we saw a familiar vehicle and a couple of ominous-looking characters — Matt "Wimseyguy" Busch and Grady "Shady Grady" Ormond, along with caching dogs Fred and Olive — who happened to have had the same idea as us. What timing! They convinced us to join them on the trail on pain of merciless heckling. Each party took one set of vehicles around to the north end of the trail so we could do the whole thing going one direction, and off we went on foot. The first hour was relatively comfortable, with a spot of sunshine, but then wind and clouds began cooling things down, and the anticipated rain began to fall. Certain of us, no names mentioned (Robgso), left his rain gear in the car, and was thus subjected to considerable watering. Fortunately, Robgso is quite sporting, and took it all in stride. Near the halfway point, we were joined by Christian "Vortexecho" Whittemore, who proceeded to tunnel from one cache to the other, while the rest of us remained above ground and wet. Early on, unfortunately, I was struck by another freaking migraine — I had just had one of the damned things on Friday — but, most thankfully, Wimseyguy had some appropriate headache meds and kindly shared them with me, which took the edge off.

About five miles, a ton of rain, 42 caches, one migraine, and four hours later, we were done. Robgso, Rtmlee, Tbbiker, and I parted ways with our unexpected caching partners, grabbed our other vehicles from the northern end of the trail, and then went out for some most gratifying Mexican food at El Corral in Durham. They actually serve up some mighty spicy goodies here; the tacos el diablo fixed my headache, fixed everything, and now all is well.

Awfully fine, all things considered.
Mr. Lee signing the log at "The Cat's Pajamas" (GC4WJRD)
Even before the rain began, it was difficult to stay dry.
The old rails running through the woods
Eight of nine Dawgs: Vortexecho, Robgso, Wimseyguy, old Rodan, Shady Grady, Rtmlee,
with Fred and Olive, cachehounds
Five miles, 42 caches, one migraine, and four hours later, we were all smileys and hungry as hell.


James Robert Smith said...

I'm not into the whole geocache scene, but from where I stand it looks like a friendly activity. At least there's no real competition--just a basic satisfaction of accomplishment.

Mark Rainey said...

Tis so. I love having the goal of finding something and leaving my little autograph behind. They lead me to the most interesting places I've ever been — and finding them in places I'm already familiar with often makes -that- place all the more interesting. I've discovered more of Greensboro and even Martinsville — not to mention scads of other locations — than I could have otherwise imagined. And pushing myself to undertake physical challenges I probably wouldn't if I didn't have a log to sign has done wonders for my health.