Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hunger Games at Falls Lake

Cyclopean horror along the trail near one of the caches.
The thing damn near swallowed Robgso.

"The Hunger Games" is a series of 22 geocaches on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake, near Durham, NC. The caches are all food. Steaks, hamburgers, sub sandwiches, grapes, peppers, ice cream cones, you name it. Well, yeah, they're dog chew toys with bison tubes hiding inside them, but it is kinda fun going through the woods and finding an ice cream cone hanging in a little cedar tree. Out on the trail today with Rob (a.k.a. "Robgso") and Robbin (a.k.a. "Rtmlee"), I was thinking, if a smart phone were really smart, when I entered the cache description into my notes, the phone would reply, "You just said you found an ice cream cone hanging in a little cedar tree. That's messed up." To date, my phone has never indicated that level of smartness to me.

All total we hiked about six miles, and we managed to find the lot of the caches. Terrain here isn't too rugged, though neither is exactly flat and level. Since we had to go all the way to one end of the series and then hike back, we skipped every other cache so we'd have some to find going both directions. Good weather — mostly cloudy and gray, but about 45–50 degrees. We ran into one other geocacher of our acquaintance, and a couple of others we didn't know. As we neared the end of the trail, we kept hearing the howling of a dog (or, by the sound of it, possibly a werewolf) drawing distinctly nearer, and right about the time we were signing the log sheet, a couple of deer came bounding past, followed moments later by a rather less-than-ferocious-looking but highly spirited beasty dog. Once he saw us, Dog put the brakes on his pursuit, apparently bamboozled by our sudden appearance. By his prolonged hesitation and thoughtful expression, it was clear he was trying to reconcile in his mind how two bounding deer had transformed themselves into three old farts. Dog contemplated this anomaly for a couple of minutes, then shrugged and continued on his chase, presumably having come to the firm conclusion that nature is just plain strange. We weren't sure what he was going to do if he caught the deer, but my guess would be sit down and have a deep discussion about the things one sometimes encounters in the woods.

Sometimes you find old farts.
Mr. Lee, looking almost not unpleasant
Old Trail Dawg playing with his meat
If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.

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