It’s almost a pity the geocache wasn’t way up yonder on that fire tower. Well, emphasis on “almost.” I’m always keen on a good physical challenge, and I’ve been up a rickety-ass fire tower before (see “Beating the Devil and Haw, Haw, Haw,” 12/22/2013), but with four flights of stairs missing and only a bit of rust holding the girders together, this one might have been a little dangerous.
With the weather blessedly again conducive to a geocaching outing (a tad warmer than yesterday, at that), the Socially Distant No-Dead-Weight Irregulars — Diefenbaker (a.k.a. Scott), Fishdownthestair (a.k.a. Natalie), and I — decided to go after three relatively new geocaches at the Cane Creek Mountains Natural Area, not far south of Burlington. We rendezvoused at the parking area at 10:00 this morning, where we discovered friends David & Diana (a.k.a. David & Diana), NCBiscuit (a.k.a. Linda), and Ms. Biscuit’s cache hound Dotty on site. Their caching plans turned out to be identical to ours, so we resolved to combine forces and attack the trail with guns a-blazing. At two of the three caches, all those guns came in handy. Sadly, not at the first of them, which has, by all indications, flown the coop. Happily, we did find the other two, and those, at least, took us to a couple of interesting locations. See the fire tower image above.
The most fun one was “Rusty Wreck” GC95K2D (which wasn’t actually the fire tower). Since I started geocaching in 2008, I have marveled at the sheer number of cars and trucks that appear to have spontaneously grown in the deep woods. The one we found today must have been there a long, long time, as it appeared to be 1950s vintage. The cache itself proved quite a challenge, but find it we did, and we loved the hunt. Nearby, there was a ramshackle shelter, no doubt for the drunken-most set, given the massive number of beer cans congregating around it. It’s literally right next to the trail, so I hope it is not regularly inhabited.
And all that made for another much-needed, very welcome outing in the woods. We put in something between four and five miles in rather rugged terrain (particularly on our way to the fire tower, which required a very long, very steep ascent), so this old not-quite-a-geezer has the sore feets and wee bit of tired.
|One guess where this guy got his driver’s license....|
|Somewhat less than five-star accommodations here|
|A view from high atop the ridge|
|Back down in the lowlands|
|Still Life with Old Fart and Fire Tower|