Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Smith Mountain Lake Adventures

It's been a pretty good while since I've headed out on a solo geocaching adventure, and since today's weather looked about as perfect as perfect gets for such a thing, I set out for Smith Mountain Lake State Park, about an hour north of home. Several years ago, Ms. B. and I picnicked, hiked, cached, and generally made merry at the park, and I haven't been back since.

On the way, I stopped to go after an Adventure Lab cache at the Booker T. Washington National Monument park, which Brugger and I had also visited for some gecoaching back in the dark ages. It's a lovely location, its story both sad and uplifting, and I'm glad to see the park so well maintained. My favorite moment was walking past a pig pen, where a big old pig was lounging in some mud. I said, "Hallo, Pig!" and the pig raised its head and gave me a big loud snort in response. After that... alas... it appeared to have no further interest in conversing.

Once at the lake, I set out hiking, grabbed caches, and discovered several of the most difficult paths I could have ever taken to get from Point A to Point B. Bear in mind, I do this very reliably, hence my perpetual admonition to any fellow hikers to follow me at their own risk. Some of the wiser ones, such as friends Scott and Natalie, have taken this advice to heart and almost always go their own ways when we come to challenging terrain. Oh, ye of little faith!
Once I snagged all the caches I needed this go-round at the park (which means I've completed all the active caches currently in the park), I stopped for a late lunch at a little pizzeria/bar & grill called Alessandro's, not far from the lake. A decent burger, and great service. To finish out the caching day, I hit the little burg of Moneta, just a few miles away, and knocked out all the caches there (five of them).
To head home, I threaded my way down every little back road between Smith Mountain Lake and Martinsville. Very scenic, though to be out in the middle of nowhere, there sure was a lot traffic, made worse by numerous very poor drivers who could have gone twice their velocity and still come up shy of the speed limit. People, you are harshing my mellow. Otherwise, though, a lovely day of it.

Damn right, I'll take it. The way I see it, mellow days are to be treasured.
My loquacious pig friend at the Booker T. Washington National Monument park
Some Country for Old Men
Ancient wall along one of the lake trails

A couple of friends found along the way
Dammit, I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque!

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