Sunday, June 21, 2020

Go Paddling (Or Don’t)!

A couple of new geocaches came out on Belews Lake in the past few days, apparently intended to be found by way of the water route — kayak, canoe, or boat of whatever variety — but so close to the extensive Knight Brown Preserve along the lake that I suspected they could be accessed via land. And indeed they were.

One of them — “Go Paddling!” (GC8TPHJ) — had come out several days ago, but “Fish Out of Water” (GC8V71Y) had popped up only yesterday morning, while I was in Martinsville. Since the preserve isn’t far out of the way, I had a mind to shoot for a first-to-find on my way back to Greensboro, but while I was en route, I received notification that the first find had just been logged. So, instead, I decided to head on home and inquire whether the gang of usual suspects — Diefenbaker (a.k.a. Scott), Fishdownthestair (a.k.a. Natalie), and Old Bloody Rob (a.k.a. Old Bloody Rob) — might care to venture after both caches for our regular Sunday morning outing. They cared to. And I managed to satiate my cache craving by finding three relatively new ones on my way over to Brugger’s place for dinner last night.

So, right about 10:00 AM this morning, the four of us gathered at the trailhead to begin our quest. Ordinarily, I seldom encounter any other human beings (living ones, at least) at Knight Brown, but today, as with so many trails during the pandemic lockdowns, the place was jam-packed. Fortunately, the crowd didn’t impact us significantly because a fair portion of our hike was off-trail.

I tell you this, the heat, humidity, bugs, and ruggedness of the woods came close to doing some of us in (not me, of course, as I was done in a long time ago). The hike turned out to be a pretty rugged couple of miles each way. On our outbound trip, we ran into friend Ranger Fox (a.k.a. Christopher), who’d had the same idea as us. Although we missed it — alas! — he had just seen a gray fox up close and personal not far from our location. I’ve not seen a gray fox, at least not up close, since my earliest days of geocaching, when two of them popped out of the woods right next to me after I had found a cache. That was one beautiful sight, and I’m sad we missed seeing another one today.

We found both caches without much difficulty, and made the two-mile trek back with a little less vim and vigor than we’d had on the outbound hike.

I am down to composing the final scene of my current work in progress — a short story for an upcoming anthology — and, after that, I still have another story and a couple of Ameri-Scares novels to turn out. Life continues to crank.

Peace out.

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