It had been a while since Tony and I went out on a real caching adventure, so we made plans about a month ago to go out last saturday - and those plans actually happened! We weren't out quite as long and didn't go quite as far as we might have liked, but we had a great time and a good adventure in a new area.
It had been probably a decade since I'd been out to the 'Blue Hole', and Tony had never seen it - and there were a few caches in the area that hadn't been found in some time. Plus it would mean tromping through the back woods in search of ammo boxes. Win-win.
The biggest adventure was going after one of DMFlyer's 'Adventure Awaits' caches - which always prove a good time. This venerable cache hadn't been found in nearly two years, and I'm not really surprised as it's located about .4 up a wooded hollow and, depending on which way you go and how you define the word, there are either *two* trails, or there are *no* trails.
The lack of direction/landmarks gave us some trouble with the hint and locating the cache as well, but we eventually made the find - it was still present and in good shape.
There are several more targets up that way we'll be hitting in the future - hopefully later this fall.
These are the outings I love.
New places, new caches. Found the infamous Echolocation. Broke 200 finds. Hiked for miles. Solved some crazy puzzles. Resurrected a cache after 3.5 years. Conquered some mountains. Enjoyed more adventures with friends.
Still having fun.
...well, maybe not quite. Still, I would, in fact, walk, and "miles" would indeed be somehow involved in this ambulation. I don't think I'll commit to a number just now.
Robb & I took advantage of the nice weather this last weekend to go on a day hike up to Laurel Falls. It's a nice trail we've hiked a few times - thought I'd personally never been out there in the morning. The falls looks considerably different in the a.m. as the morning light shines directly on it and the hillside above.
As we were enjoying the woods, our casual conversation jumped around to a great many things, which is one of the many enjoyable aspects of such a trip. Included therein was a discussion of hiking itself and of longer, more involved trips. We've decided we'd both like to do some multi-day backpacking hikes again at some point. I have quite a few fond memories of trips with my dad and other friends into the Smokies and, despite the fact that our busy lives make this difficult, we're hoping to be able to stretch a long weekend - perhaps with one or two other interested parties - to take on such an adventure sometime in the next few years. It would be pretty awesome.
Well, my parents were in this weekend - it's always cool to have them. They don't make it down here enough, really... ...and we don't make it up to IN much either.
After they arrived on friday, we went out to play some golf. I played only using 5, 7 and 9 irons and a putter. I have discovered this does not negatively impact my game - in fact, I think it makes it a bit better overall. I've decided i'm not cool enough to use other clubs, so i'm gonna stick with these for a while. Or, as Jody put it, I haven't "unlocked" the other clubs yet. I think I need to reach 200 good shots with the 5 before I unlock the 2 iron...
I think my dad fixes something every time he comes to see us. This time, it was a leak in the shower dripping into the basement... ...oh, and also our outside water spigot which seems to have developed a tradition of freezing and breaking every year, no matter what I do to prevent this. We think it's good this time though. Probably.
On saturday, we gave dad an early fathers' day present. It was a picture frame. He'd said he wanted a print of one of my photographs so I decided I'd let him pick one. Well, we got to talking and he said he really liked several of them, but asked if I had a picture of the creek from the Laurel Falls trail (which we'd hiked earlier this week on Memorial Day), but with smoother (aka "fuzzy") water. I said no, but that I could. I'd wanted to go back there anyway, since we had some trouble finding part of the trail last time. This, in turn, spawned an expedition.
The four of us (dad, mom, me and Sheri) went out to the Laurel Falls trail again with the intention of me taking a particular photo. We waited till mid-afternoon (so that by the time we got there it would be late afternoon), and then headed out to the trail. I took quite a few more pictures this time - including some slow-exposures with a tripod (which i didn't have with me on monday). I got some pretty awesome shots, I think.
We ended up hiking the whole trail which, contrary to what i'd previously heard, isn't really any easier than the upper trail: it's difficulty is just a bit more spread out (as opposed to being incredibly rough at the end). On average, I'd say the two trails are comparable.
Aside from Sheri's ankle (which has been sore for a while), it was a good time. I've recompiled the pictures that I took on monday and added the new ones to the collection in the Gallery. Dad ended up choosing the wider shot of the falls for his frame, though we got prints of two others as well (since he couldn't pick just one).
They headed back to IN this afternoon. Back to the normal routine.
|Tuesday May 26, 2009 at 12:23pm||milligan, gaming, friends, moving, holidays, hiking, bicycles||Comments (8) »|
This last week has been pretty crazy. A lot of out-of-the-ordinary has gone on. This is really 3 or 4 blogs in one - and is mostly just a 'state of the penguin' address.
Last Tuesday, Sheri and I went to Milligan's faculty/staff picnic - which was open to "many" part-time employees this year (the wording of the invitation email left something to be desired). It was actually pretty cool. I knew quite a few people there and got to talk to some I didn't know so well. I also got to talk to Dr. Beck for a little while, which was cool. She was one of my Sociology profs at Milligan and one of my favorite professors overall. She told me i could sit in on one of her classes if I want sometime - which I'll probably do if i can find one at a time that doesn't conflict with other stuff too much.
Last Thursday I got to join Patrick's Star Wars game. I've generally enjoyed the Star Wars games i've played in before and the rules for the new system are fairly simple (which i like). It was a lot of fun and i'm looking forward to continuing it in a couple of weeks.
On Friday, Kevin and Steph (his fiance) came into town, along with Mike and Bethany (some friends we don't get to see much). The girls all went out to have a sort of bachelorette party for Ginger and Mike, Kevin and I went to see a (decidedly mediocre) movie.
After that, we all met up again to throw Kevin in the creek at Milligan around midnight. That might require a little explanation for some of you. Apparently Milligan has a "tradition" wherein guys who become engaged at Milligan are thrown into the creek by their buddies. The triggers for this operation have since been blurred to include Milligan alumni as well, so Ginger and Steph decided Kevin was fair game. I've personally always thought this tradition was dumb, and strikes me as locker-room behavior. (Sidenote: When I proposed to Sheri, I made it quite clear to some friends that this would not be happening - or, if it did, people would be physically harmed in the process and we might not all consider each other friends afterward. I have found that being physically forced into something I don't want is one of the few things that will trigger a violent reaction from me. I am very thankful they respected my wishes here.) Everyone else, however, seems to think this is great, and as long as all involved are reasonably amenable, it doesn't inherently bother me. The only reason I was involved, however, was because Ginger asked me to take pictures, which I did. Those have been posted in the Gallery :)
Saturday was moving day for Ginger. A bunch of us descended upon her apartment and possessions and spent the hours between 10am and 4pm (more or less) packing up stuff and loading it in a u-haul. After that we all went out to Mid-City Grill and had a good time relaxing and talking after a tiring afternoon. Unfortunately then we had to say some goodbyes, which sucked. I think things will be a little better for her up in VA, but we all miss Ginger a lot. Hopefully we'll get to see her from time to time. It's not the same when someone's missing.
Sunday was "recovery day" from the late nights and monumental-packing done earlier in the weekend. We went to church, but beyond that we didn't do very much. I briefly considered mowing the lawn, but decided against it (in part due to rain). That'll probably get done today.
Yesterday was Memorial Day, so we had an extra day off. In order to take advantage of the warm holiday, we decided to go hiking. The weather threatened to rain us out, but we decided to go anyway. We went out to the lower entrance to Laurel Falls and hiked around there for a while. Due to some trickiness in the trail, we never actually *found* said falls. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous. At a certain point, none of us could find the trail and, given its location perched above the creek, I was disinclined to mess around too much since I had my camera. We talked to some people later who explained it to us and we think we know where it is now. We still had a great time and I got some good pictures, which have been posted in the Gallery.
After the hiking we grilled some hot dogs and then Sheri and I went into town and ended up buying some bicycles. Before that sounds totally random, let me give you some background:
Some time ago, we decided the 5th Anniversary is the Bicycle Anniversary and so we decided we'd get some bicycles as anniversary presents for each other. Sheri had said she wanted to get them before our actual anniversary because by the time we get to late July, a lot of the good cycling weather for the year is behind us - so we'd been looking around. We initially looked at Dick's Sporting Goods, but most of those seemed really expensive and we didn't really need anything amazingly cool. We also looked at walmart (though I was/am disinclined to buy a bicycle from them), target and even toys-r-us - just trying to see what was available and to evaluate some prices. So yesterday, we decided to go to the mall for something completely different - something we'd never actually end up doing, as it turns out.
We entered through Dick's (as we usually do) and decided to go look at the bikes again - just for fun. We ended up finding a couple that weren't much more expensive than one's we'd priced elsewhere and this was actually the first time Sheri found one she really liked. So after quite a bit of discussion, we decided to go ahead and get them.
I'm glad we ended up buying from an actual sporting goods place. The guy there was able to answer some questions and when we'd decided to buy something, he went over everything (gear changers, brakes, tire pressure, etc) on both of them, making sure everything was working smoothly and correctly and in good condition. IMO, this was worth the $20 price difference.
So we're excited about this. We know of a few places around here that will be lots of fun to go and ride (which will be practical once we have a carrying rack - getting them home last night was *possible*, but not pretty) and i'm sure there are quite a few others.
So now we're sort-of back to the usual grind - but not completely. It'll be a short week for me as I'm taking this Friday off since my parents are coming into town this weekend... ...so we'll be getting ready for that this week. That'll be fun too.