Sunday, April 8, 2018

From Ferrum to Saxapahaw

Some nice Geocaching buddies near Ferrum, VA
Closing in on 10,000 geocache finds, I am. Picked up an even dozen this weekend, bringing my total find count to 9,921. I am hoping to make the 10K find... whenever and whatever it might be... something memorable, so I need to start doing my research. It would be great if it involves kayaking and is close to a winery, in which case Ms. Brugger would be inclined to join the fun.

After spending Friday and Saturday looking after my mom in Martinsville, I set out after a few caches before heading home. Three new ones had come out around Ferrum, VA, where I went to college back in the darkest of dark ages, so I decided to target them. They had been published several days earlier, but, surprisingly, no one had logged finds on them. Fortuitously, I managed to claim FTF on all three by an hour or so, as longtime geocachers (and forest rangers) TracksAll & Will Ketchum apparently came along soon after me. I almost feel bad for beating them to the punch, since they don't get to cache nearly as much as they used to. But hey, a smiley is a smiley, and an FTF is a damn near empty honorific, at best.

From there, the Rodan Mobile conveyed me to Fairy Stone Park, where I have spent many happy times and found numerous caches over the years. There was a relatively new one there, which did not appear to involve significant hiking... until I opted to depart the trail and make a beeline for the cache. Making a beeline for the cache turned out to be more like hauling one's self up and over one majestic incline after another, and reaching the cache involved a rather precarious change in elevation just above a creek. On my egress, I decided to keep to the trail, which proved less rigorous but also involved no little altering of altitude.
Hanging out with funky little Tiki Dude

Then it was on to Eden, NC. Here, there were several more to find (two of which I sadly did not), including a wondrous, beastly little hide amid a massive network of roots in a deep, dank ravine, which I found to be a pure joy in the driving rain that had begun to fall. You may think I speak facetiously, but I do not speak facetiously, for I had a grand time of it making this find (admittedly with a modicum of help from friend Night-Hawk (a.k.a. Tom).

Drenched and exhausted, I eventually made it home. Then, this morning, friend Robgso (a.k.a. Rob) and I made another fine day of it, first at Hagan Stone Park in southern Guilford County, then at Cedar Rock Park in Alamance County, and then in Saxapahaw, on a scenic trail along the Haw River. Lunch at the Saxapahaw General Store was, hardly unexpectedly, among the day's highlights. Ms. B. and I have had some mighty good meals at this place over the years, and today the goat burger was the item of choice, and a fine one at that. Caching-wise, we found a couple of particularly enjoyable hides, including a rat in a tree and a funky little coconut Tiki dude. We finished our hunt—successfully—at the edge of the Buckhorn Gamelands, where we have cached on many previous occasions, and then we came home, where I fell over and went boom.
Rodan's Roots?
View of Philpott Lake from the Lake Shore Trail
View of the Haw River
Found along the Haw River Trail
Old, crumbling dam on a Haw River tributary

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