Sunday, February 16, 2020

Spooky and the Train

What a happy bunch! Old Rodan, Fishdownthestair, Diefenbaker, Old Rob

Today's geocaching venture took Team No Dead Weight to the American Tobacco Trail in Wake County to finish up the Train geoart we had started a couple of weeks ago (see "Fun in All Directions," February 02/02/2020). Diefenbaker (a.k.a. Scott), Fishdownthestair (a.k.a. Natalie), Robgso (a.k.a. Old Rob a.k.a. Bloody Rob a.k.a. Old Bloody Rob), and I headed out fairly early this a.m., hit the trail, and, after about a six-mile round trip, completed the geoart. The image is the shape of an oncoming train engine, although this one is surrounded by so many other caches, it's kind of difficult to discern its shape amid the jumble of cache icons on the Google maps overlay.

After that, we decided we needed some bison. Lots of it, with fries and Bloody Marys and nachos and hot jalapenos. We found all this and more at Ted's Montana Grill, a few miles north in Durham. It's been a favorite dining destination over the years, particularly when it's a group of us out geocaching. On our drive, though, we noticed a nearby cache called "SPOOKY 3" (GC194GB) placed by Vortexecho (a.k.a. Christian), who is one of our favorite cache hiders because of the extreme nature of many of his hides. In this case, getting to the cache didn't require anything too extreme, although the host was a big, huge, Ent-like beast that stood out above all other trees in the forest. It's no great spoiler to reveal that the cache was hidden deep inside a cavernous opening in the tree's base. I made the venture into that dark chamber, which required some serious wriggling and stretching. Later, as we left the restaurant, dear friend Scott spoke up and said, "Hey, Mark, do you realize you look as though you might have been crawling around inside a big old tree?"

Well, the thought had occurred to me, though a little forewarning before heading into a nice restaurant might have been preferable. At least it was almost as dark in the restaurant as it was in the tree.

A fine day on the trail. Cache count after this trip stands at 11,736. That is all.

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