Sunday, June 10, 2018

Old Farts Amid the Ruins

This morning, the four original Old Farts — Robgso (a.k.a. Rob), Rtmlee (a.k.a. Yoda Rob), Diefenbaker (a.k.a Scott), and yours truly (Old Rodan) — after way too long a break from each other, hit the geocaching trail, specifically the Deep River Trail in Randleman. The young woman known as The Notorious FishDownTheStair (a.k.a. Natalie) had recently put out a half-dozen new geocaches on the trail, so we took what has become too rare an opportunity to get together and go after them. I had hiked after caches on the Deep River Trail any number of times in the past, but apparently only on a limited stretch of it, for we went farther on it today than I had gone previously, and oh, this was a treat. Much of the trail is relatively level and surfaced with gravel, but the eastern end becomes rugged and at times treacherous, with lots of rocks, near-vertical climbs, sheer-drop-offs, and veritable jungles of poison ivy. That is the fun part.
Old Farts emerging from a tunnel-like passage through
the rock. Their expressions say it all.

For at least some of us, the day's highlight was the first cache we went after — GC7Q5X7 (premium members only link), "Deep River Ruins" — where we discovered the remains of an extensive factory and what might have been a water filtration plant. There are crumbling brick and stone structures; a towering smokestack; a small retention pond; several portals to the Pit of Shoggoths; and, most peculiar of all, a brand-spanking-new electric meter attached to the facade of the crumbling main building. To the delight of all, we spent about as much time exploring the ruins as we did hiking on the mile-plus trail. The cache here proved challenging, but we managed to turn it up after a pretty good hunt. Old Rob took the honors for the find, so he was off the hook as far as finding a cache went. (We had named ourselves Team No Dead Weight, on the idea that each of us would find at least one of the caches on our route today, but as it turned out, we might have carried some dead weight with us today. I won't divulge who that was, except that name starts with Yoda and ends with Rob.)
Up we go!

We did find all six of the caches on our planned route, and we had fun with the high-rated terrain along the way. None of us fell and busted his ass, although at times things looked a little iffy in that regard, given how how plain klutzy some of us actually are. For afters, we had lunch at Compadres in Randleman, which is one of our longtime favorite cantinas.

May the Old Farts not have to keep having these long spells of being unable to coordinate a get-together!

Sadly, this afternoon, Ms. Brugger, along with our friends the Albaneses and the Nelsons, attended a memorial service for Kevin Houck, who had been an honorary member of our supper club for a couple of years, and who passed away on May 21, 2018. He was way too young — only 32 years old — but he did have a host of health problems that almost certainly contributed to his death. None of us knew him that well, but he was an intelligent and engaging young man whom we will miss. Adios, young Kevin.

Until another time.
The facade to the Pit of Shoggoths, with its mysterious brand-new electric meter
Looking down into the Pit of Shoggoths. I'm pretty sure I heard some blood-curdling
screams echoing out of the depths.
Old Rodan amid the ruins. Note the admonition to "Drop bodies here."

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