Sunday, August 07, 2011

Adventures in Botany & Caching

The storm that blew through last night was amazing. I'm sad to say I was too sleepy to try to photograph it. My pups pushed open the door to my room and climbed in bed with me around 5:30a. It's no surprise I got a late start to the plotted geocaching adventure in Spring Grove Cemetery today.

Scurvygirl (Lauren), Goodstarbuck (George), and I met up around 3 and wandered a bit. While George sussed out his GPS issues, we took a stroll toward the rose garden, though a field of mating dragonflies (wowsers), and came upon a Hummingbird Moth feeding.

hummingbird moth

We mistook him for a baby hummingbird at first, because they look quite similar until you're really close. I'd never seen on before! Lauren sniffed out some sassafras, but further adventures in botany were curtailed by the activation of the GPS.

Our target is a multi-cache with 12 clues that lead to various points in the cemetery (and they are not shy about sending you across the thing!). There's math involved, but only simple subtraction and addition. We flopped our Lat. and Lon. a few times, but that happens. There's something to see in every section of the cemetery, so if you make a wrong turn, it becomes obvious pretty fast, with a couple of exceptions along the way. There's cool stuff to see until you figure it out.

We drove past a fawn and a doe, and nearly walked up on some bucks while searching for a "shipwreck" tombstone. Luckily, they took off instead of bambi-ramboing us. Some of the clues required reading of stones to find a clue buried in a bunch of text. Occasionally, they were not obvious. "Gone Fishing" does not refer to the most excellent lakeside monument (Charles Phelps Taft II). That is a hint from me to you. So just follow the coordinates and don't be confused when there's no lake!

We only made it to clue #8 on our chain adventure, but we're confident we can knock out the rest pretty fast, now what technical difficulties have been addressed. (Why is it so hard to find a good app that allows manual entry of specific GPS coords? Gosh!)

Be sure you bring water, because it's hot hiking around up there in the summer. The roads are more bumpy than I remember. Monuments range from plain to beautiful (very few creepy between). This particular multi-cache is a combo cache/adventure & letterbox. Stamps, ahoy!

Group geocaching is much more fun then solo caching. Plus, you have an excuse to go get pizza or Indian food after.