Sunday, November 22, 2020

Divine Llama or Bust

Sometimes, you get et by the tree

For geocaching numbers, yesterday made for couple of fun ones. A pair of new caches published in Danville on Friday evening, while I was in Martinsville. I figured I could swing over to Danville and pick them up on my way back to Greensboro on Saturday morning. As luck would have it, a new geoart series came out near Reidsville, also close to my route home. One of the Danville caches lurks at a pretty awesome spot: a Monacan Indian burial mound. Chalk up another location I would never have discovered if not for geocaching. Anyway, I snagged the coveted first-to-find slot at 11:21 a.m. on 11/21, which I found kinda cool. And after grabbing a bunch of the new series, my cache find count came in at 12,345. Also kinda cool. WELL, IT IS FOR SOME OF US GEEKS! (Note that I am really not a geek. No. Really.)

Today’s Sunday geocaching crew wasn’t much of a crew — just friend Scott (a.k.a. Diefenbaker) and this old man. Bright and early, we set a course for Winston-Salem, figuring we would hit Bethania and C. G. Hill Memorial Park for geocaches, then wander toward Divine Llama Winery, a short distance northwest, for refreshments. Sadly, Bethania turned out to be a bust. Due to massive flooding from the heavy rains a couple of weeks back, it was clear the entire trail system had been underwater. All the caches there — four of them — had gone missing. By now, they may be floating around in Cape Fear or someplace. Most disappointing.
Scott finds a big honking
nano in the woods

However, at our next port of call — C. G. Hill Memorial Park in nearby Pfafftown — we experienced no such misfortune. All the caches there turned out to be present and accounted for. We also discovered an impressive work of nature: a massive poplar tree some 600 years old, hollowed out due to a lightning strike unknown centuries ago. That tree has seen a lot of history, including sheltering a farmer's livestock during a northern raid in Civil War days. Intriguing stuff.

We then set our sights on Divine Llama Winery, by way of a puzzle cache, the coordinates to which I had solved a few weeks ago, along the Yadkin River. At the cache site, however, we again met with ill fortune. The flooding here exceeded any I think I have seen in this area. A layer of sand and silt several feet deep now covers god knows how many acres around the river. The area in question is where a group of us, Scott included, put our kayaks in the river a few years back, when I went after my 7,000th cache (“No Acercarse,” May 18, 2014). Due to the flooding, the whole place is unrecognizable, and I wonder if the parking area will ever be restored. Or will it simply be allowed to return to nature? I can’t help but think that excavating the parking area would be prohibitively expensive.

Anyway, at last, we made it to Divine Llama. A crowd was already gathering, and it grew prodigious to what would have been a disconcerting degree had they not done such a good job spacing out seating and such. Everything was done outside, and people were very good about wearing masks and taking the proper precautions. As I always do, I kept plenty of distance between the Randolph County Rabble (i.e., Scott) and me.

We finished things up by grabbing a couple of newer hides in Bethabara Park, and I stopped for a lone  hide in High Point, not far from the office (which I hope to NOT have to return to once the pandemic subsides). Anyway, it’s been a fine weekend for geocaching, quality time with Brugger, writing, and getting some necessary business taken care of. Lordy knows, tomorrow it’s back to ye old salt mines. Happily, for a while yet, the salt mines are still just downstairs, rather than twenty freaking miles out Interstate 40.


About the ancient poplar

New sand dunes along the Yadkin River
Keeping a respectable distance from the Randolph County Rabble
Old feller at Monacan Indian burial mound

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