zhanna’s adventures

zhanna’s adventures

AT & BM Adventures Near the Blue Mountain Ridge

What a day! We got up early and left Scranton even earlier than we had planned, wondering if we might still have a shot at a first find on the new Waterboy cache. We took our time walking and talking on the trail, and it wasn’t till we were within a few hundred feet of the first part that we sensed we might not be alone. We heard some rustling in the woods and soon saw a human figure wandering slightly off-trail.

We initiated a quick search and found the first stage easily, and waited a few seconds for our “companion” to spot us. I felt sure that if any other geocacher were here in the woods this early in the morning, it would have to be Tyson. As he came nearer I could see that it was indeed the chicken-man himself. We talked for a while, but we were all excited to move on and find the final cache.

After a nice long chat and plenty of amusing photo opportunities, Tyson decided he’d head back to his truck, and Rich and I climbed back up on the Knife’s Edge (slowly this time!) to lounge the rest of the morning away. For one of the first times this summer, we sat in full sunshine, and we took in the beautiful view while being cooled by the slightest breeze. We snacked on jellies and nougats and a lemon Tastykake pie and talked about the Grand Canyon.

While we rested on the ledge Jinx and Magic appeared, en route to the cache, and we had a pleasant little conversation. We finally tore ourselves away from the view—before we turned to stone!—and walked at a relaxed pace back to the parking area, taking time along the way to explore some other ledges just off the trail.

After our exhilarating hike and cache find, we decided to search for a few benchmarks in the area. The first was P 191, a mark along Bake Oven Road that I searched for unsuccessfully almost a year ago. With much more experience and a willing and determined partner at my side, I figured we’d find it easily today, but we had no such luck. Rich and I carefully measured out the given distances, and the measurements placed me right on top of a particular rock that I soon found out had already been claimed by thousands of red ants. But there was no mark to be found. It’s possible the disk is located beneath the boulder (which we realize now we should have moved) or the pile of soil and sand adjacent to it.

We then moved along to N 191, another mark I was unable to find last year. This time, the description (along with plenty of careful searching and a little luck) was enough to allow us to locate the mark! Except for the witness post and the barn lot fence, all landmarks in the description are still in place. The “Y road” mentioned in the description refers to the intersection of Germans Road and Bake Oven Road, which lies just to the southwest of the mark. The concrete monument has been disturbed, but aside from a few scratches the disk itself is in good condition and the stamping is clearly legible.

Our third mark for today, J 192, was one neither of us had searched for before. Expecting a railroad crossing based on the description, we were surprised when we arrived to find that the area is now heavily wooded and no rails exist. We were able to make out the railbeds but both the north and south tracks are no longer in place. After estimating the distances from the railbeds and Stone Mountain Road and checking several large boulders in the area, we zeroed in on the correct boulder and scraped the surface clean of moss and ants to reveal the disk.

Today’s final activity was a relaxing walk along the Lehigh Canal in search of one more geocache. The weather was much more cooperative today than it was last June when I was at the canal, when the temperature was about 102° and the air was thick with humidity. Today we walked under sunny skies in dry air with a gentle breeze. And it’s such a picturesque area! We both found the cache quite easily. We sat on the nearby bench and talked until I almost dozed off.

Today's Geocaches



    Hi, K & M!

    What a day! As Rich mentioned, we got up early and left Scranton even earlier than we’d planned, wondering if we might still have a shot at a first find on your new cache. We took our time walking and talking on the trail, and it wasn’t till we were within a few hundred feet of the first part that we sensed we might not be alone. We heard some rustling in the woods and soon saw a human figure wandering slightly off-trail. We initiated a quick search and found the first stage easily, and waited a few seconds for our “companion” to spot us. I felt sure that if any other geocacher were here in the woods this early in the morning, it would have to be Tyson. As he came nearer I could see that it was indeed the chicken-man himself. We talked for a while, but we were all excited to move on and find the final cache.

    I could’ve sworn I heard Tyson behind me the whole way, but when Rich and I neared the final coordinates, I looked around and he was nowhere to be found (I was worried for a moment that he’d slipped off the Edge ). Rich and I spotted the cache without trouble, and we took the logbook to another location to sign in without giving away the cache’s hiding spot. Eventually Tyson appeared and found the cache himself, and we continued our conversation from earlier while we made our trades. As always, you had a great selection of unique items in the cache. I was attracted to the little Polo Sport wallet; I could’ve really used something like that. But as the second of several dumb things I did today, I handed it to Rich when I went to take some photos, and forgot to mention to him that the wallet was what I wanted to take from the cache. We had some trouble with his camera and in the ensuing confusion, I didn’t notice that Rich placed the wallet back into the ammo can just before rehiding it. It wasn’t until we were almost back to the car that I realized I hadn’t taken the item I’d meant to. I did, however, leave two nice little Lego sets in the cache!

    After a nice long chat and plenty of amusing photo opportunities, Tyson decided he’d head back to his truck, and Rich and I climbed back up on the Knife’s Edge (slowly this time!) to lounge the rest of the morning away. For one of the first times this summer, we sat in full sunshine, and we took in the beautiful view while being cooled by the slightest breeze. We snacked on jellies and nougats and a lemon Tastykake pie and talked about the Grand Canyon. While we rested on the ledge Jinx and Magic appeared, en route to the cache, and we had a pleasant little conversation. We finally tore ourselves away from the view—before we turned to stone!—and walked at a relaxed pace back to the parking area, taking time along the way to explore some other ledges just off the trail. Thanks so much for a terrific cache that’s certainly in keeping with your reputation for extremely fine work … and for the chance to share a beautiful day and another First Find (and another milestone, for him) with Rich!

    Zhanna

    Howdy, Mike & Kieu! As usual this was a “classic” WWW cache hunt, with all the necessary ingredients for a fun time and a memorable experience. You guys never fail to impress! I’m writing this log a day late due to the fact that yesterday turned out to be a long and busy Saturday. Both Zhanna and I wanted to make the best of what lately seems like such rare, unpredictable, and highly desirable caching weather. After two cache hunts (one long and one shorter) and three benchmark searches (which were deceptively difficult—we found only two of them), and a total road time of 3½ to 4 hours (Zhanna’s turn to drive) I arrived home late in the evening longing for some fresh garden tomatoes, a tall glass of beer (make that two!), and a long hot bath. The logs and photos would have to wait. The morning started very early—around 6:00am with a check to see if this cache had been logged yet. Then quick breakfast—gear in the car—head out to meet Zhanna. There were already cars in both parking areas on Bake Oven Road, along with a group of hawk watchers ensconced in folding aluminum chairs. As we approached the area for the first part of the cache, I heard some noises in the woods to my right that didn’t quite sound like the usual squirrel activity. Once at the site itself we noticed another cacher in the midst of his own search, which explained the curious racket heard earlier. We spotted the container and bottle of water, but waited for the “stranger” to approach and discover it himself. As he got closer our suspicions about whom it might be were confirmed. We chatted with Tyson for a bit while entering the new coordinates, then headed off in the direction of the final cache. All the while as I scrambled across the boulders I thought Tyson was behind us right on our heels but, curiously, as we left the trail to the second cache site, I turned and he was nowhere to be seen. The cache was an easy find, so we quickly took only the logbook and left the container hidden as we found it, and then moved off to a safe distance with the intention of letting Tyson find it on his own, as we were sure he’d prefer. Eventually, it all worked out and we gathered again at the cache for the signing-in and trading, as well as the typical photo session and some more geo-chatting. I took the lobster keyring (thanks so much for the souvenir from Mount Desert Island!), and left a “Mystery Treasure” and two of my signature Geocaching magnets. Lots of other great stuff in there, too. After all was said and done, we parted ways with Tyson (it was a real pleasure meeting you again), headed back up to the knife edge, and lounged there for a good hour or more while we snacked and soaked in the view and the sunshine. Adding to this fine adventure was a timely encounter with Jinx and Magic, who were the next visitors to the cache this morning. (A real treat to meet you guys!) Thanks, WWW, for a great time! ~Rich in NEPA~



    Hi A & L!

    The walk along the canal was a relaxing activity for the end of a great day full of geocaching and benchmark hunting. The weather was much more cooperative today than it was last June when I was here, when the temperature was about 102° and the air was thick with humidity. Today we walked under sunny skies in dry air with a gentle breeze. And it’s such a picturesque area! Though the cache was well-hidden, I was lucky and spotted it right away. It took Rich a few minutes more, but he found it once he moved the object that was partially obstructing his view. He’s right—I wouldn’t have minded a little more space in the log to write one of my novels … but to be honest, I needed a break anyway after all that digging for benchmarks! We sat on the bench and talked until I almost dozed off. Rich and I seem to be spending a lot of time near canals lately, but it’s always a pleasant experience. Thanks for a fun little cache hunt in a pretty, tranquil spot.

    Zhanna

    Howdy, A&L! This was the perfect cache to end a long day of Geocaching and benchmark hunting. I really enjoyed visiting this area again since I hadn’t been here since March of last year. My caching partner today, Zhanna, noticed the hiding spot right off while I was still fidgeting with my GPSr. Then it took me a little while to locate it myself ‘cuz I wasn’t allowing myself to focus on the more obvious solutions. Anyway, I did find the container in one of those “duh!” moments. Signed the log, took nothing, and left a 1996 Atlanta Olympic pin. I enjoyed the time spent signing in while relaxing on the bench, in the quiet pleasantness of the canal and river setting, and I really didn’t want to leave when the time came and we realized that it was getting late and there was yet a long drive back home. Thanks for a fitting ending to a great day. (Regrettably, I think we just missed Jim & Linda!) ~Rich in NEPA~

Today's Survey Marks

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