A Wonderful Summer Day in the Gunks

Today's Geocaches

    Hey, ZC!

    Rich and I were headed east on I-84 from near Scranton, PA this morning, planning on a day of mountain biking, hiking and exploring in the ‘Gunks. I wasn’t even thinking about caching along our route, but Rich had brought along some cache page printouts, so at least he was prepared. It was still early in the morning when we arrived at the rest stop, and there was very little activity in the area. The coordinates were perfect and we walked (or slid, in my case) right to the cache. We brought it back to the car to be a little more discreet and minimize our time spent right near the hiding spot. We signed in, but traded nothing. The cache was re-hidden quickly and were off to the next rest-stop cache along the way, your “Weary Traveler” at Middletown. Thanks for a fun little diversion and a nice warm-up for the rest of the day’s adventures!


    Howdy, ZC!

    Traveling east along I-84 from Scranton, PA this morning on the way to the ‘Gunks for a day’s worth of (hopefully!) exciting adventures—caching, benchmark hunting, mountain biking, sightseeing and general exploration. This Parking Area wasn’t too busy when we arrived around 8:45am. There was a rig situated near the cache site but I think the driver was still sleeping. Not easy being stealthy at this point. We did try to confuse and distract anyone who might be watching. Found the cache quite easily, the coords lead right to it. It was hidden with care and everything was in good shape. Took nothing, left nothing, and signed the logsheet. Since this is not the, umm … most attractive of places, we didn’t spend time taking photos as we usually would. We just wanted to get back on the road again. Thanks for the fun cache!

    ~Rich in NEPA~

    Hi again, ZC!

    Continuing on up the road from Where Are You From Heading East, we soon arrived at the lovely little rest area near Middletown, NY. In addition to the typical facilities for the weary traveler, this rest stop also offers a well maintained park with plenty of trees and grass, and picnic tables placed here and there. We had no trouble with satellite reception even beneath the trees, so I almost expected we’d walk right up to this cache like we did with the last. Hmm, I thought after a few minutes of poking around. There’s nothing obvious here, other than a certain grouping of objects that appeared might have concealed a micro cache at one time. I checked every logical spot I saw, as well as some not-so-logical spots. There was nothing to be found—at least not by us. Eventually breaking down and decrypting the hint didn’t help much either. The spot we’d considered most likely to have concealed the cache fit the description in the hint, but it wasn’t necessarily the only such spot. With many adventures ahead of us (and miles to go before we could sleep!) we decided to simply move on. Rich agreed to inform you by e-mail and send photos so that we’ll at least know our mistake, if we made one. I do hope that the cache is still in place and that we just overlooked it. Thanks for a perplexing hunt and a welcome little break for these travelers.


    Howdy again, ZC!

    Stopped by for this one, too, on our way eastward on I-84 to the ‘Gunks on this warm, hazy morning. This Rest Area is certainly much nicer than the Parking Area we just visited near Port Jervis! There were plenty of cars and trucks here when we arrived around 9:25am, but no one was any where near the vicinity of the coordinates. A small maintenance crew was at work in the open area directly behind comfort facilities and I doubt that they paid much attention to us poking around under the trees. However, we searched for at least 20-25 minutes and couldn’t find the cache. In desperation we eventually decrypted the clue, but it didn’t help much. We found quite a few spots that matched the hint (“small” is such a relative term), but still no cache. All I had with me was an older cache page printout so I didn’t realize that the last person here didn’t find it either. I’ll send you a photo of the place where my GPSr kept bringing me back to ‘cuz I’m curious to know if we were at least looking in the correct spot. If so, then it’s not too surprising the cache is being found by moogles* and that it might have been taken yet again. I’ve got this cache on my watchlist so I’ll be anxious to see if someone else finds it. I do hope it’s still there and that I was just making it a harder find than necessary. Regardless, thanks for the cache and a chance to stretch my legs.

    ~Rich in NEPA~

    * Sorry, but “muggle” is a Harry Potter expression and I think Geocaching really should have one of its own! I saw the word “moogle” used in a post on the Geocaching forums a while back and thought it sounded much more appropriate to me.

    Hi, TeamLF!!

    I was so excited when, during a bike ride on Thursday, Rich mentioned that he was interested in visiting the ‘Gunks today. The first and only time I visited in the past was almost two years ago, when he and I hiked to Getrude’s Nose and, calling ourselves “Team Recoverers of Lost Caches” found Fraggle Rock, which had been presumed missing.

    Our trip began early in the morning. Along the way we stopped for two rest-area geocaches (Where Are You From Heading East and Weary Traveler), finding only one of them. Due to the negligence of our navigator, we also did not find the bakery where we’d eaten our breakfast and purchased trail snacks last time. We ended up taking another route into town, which I personally thought was more scenic and adventuresome than the Thruway. (But I’m still sorry we missed out on the baked goods.)

    A short smooth drive through this beautiful wilderness brought us right to the center, which we decided we’d visit after finding the cache. Once near the coordinates, I had some trouble finding the right spot. Rich found the cache pretty easily, though, and after stumbling around a bit and walking through cobwebs, I spied it too. I left a pin and took a little pearly pink frog, and we were happy to find a convenient place to sit and rest while signing the logbook. We took a leisurely walk back along the little trails to the visitors center, which neither of us had visited before. I spent so long studying the model of the ridge—geology fascinates me but I don’t know enough about it—that I missed out on some of the other exhibits in the center. I’ll have to make a special stop next time to view them. Our next activity after geocaching was to recover the benchmark right across the road from the entrance to the visitors center. We then spent the rest of our day riding the carriage roads around the Preserve, and then hiking the remaining distance toward the bizarre and spectacular Mountain House. We ate our lunch of cold pizza in a little wooden gazebo overlooking the lake, and on our way back to our bikes we explored the challenging (especially when wet and slippery!) Labyrinth trail, which I loved. The perfect day was made complete by supper at the Gilded Otter and a simple cache hunt on the way home.

    What a beautiful place this is!!! As Rich remarked toward the end of the afternoon, it’s like visiting another planet even though it’s only a two-hour drive from home. The lush forests and winding trails and awesome rock formations are like nothing we have near Scranton. We’ve already planned some activities for our next two or three visits here! Thanks for a “bear-y” well done cache and a memorable part of our day full of adventures.


    Howdy, TLF!

    We are spending the day in the ‘Gunks for a variety of exciting adventures—caching, benchmark hunting, mountain biking, sightseeing, and just some general poking around and exploring. I’ve been to this absolutely enchanting region quite a few times in the past and I consider it one of my most favorite places on the planet. But it’s been almost two years since my last visit here, and it’s my first time at the visitors center. I really enjoyed all of the exhibits, especially the scale model of the spectacular Shawangunk escarpment. We found the cache around 10:50am after a few minutes of searching. It was tucked well into its hiding place and everything was in good condition. I took the little green frog, and left one of my cyclist’s key-“chains” and a Geo-logo magnet. Then I signed the logbook and we took a few photos. Before leaving the parking lot we did a full recovery of the benchmark “X 255” (LY0149) that’s located along the highway across from the entrance. I’m surprised that no one has logged this one yet. Afterwards we continued up to the Trapps parking lot, got on our bikes and worked our way along the carriage paths on the Mohonk Preserve to the lake and the intricate Guest House.

    Thanks for the fine and very memorable cache hunt.

    ~Rich in NEPA~

    Hello, ZC, for the third and final time today!

    After a perfect day of hiking and biking and exploring (and a hearty meal of snacks and beer at the Gilded Otter), I didn’t think we could possibly fit in one more adventure. But Rich did in fact have something else in mind. A little stretch of the legs was just what we needed by the time we reached this scenic rest stop. We searched for a few minutes, at first expecting a hide similar to today’s first cache. This strategy yielded nothing. We then decrypted the hint and I spotted it almost immediately—I think I just happened to glance in the right direction at the right time!

    Just like we did during our first cache hunt of the day, your rest stop cache near Port Jervis, we brought the container back to Rich’s car to sign the log sheet. Rich contemplated trading for the Skully & Mulder coin, but he decided against it. In fact neither of us exchanged anything this time. A moogle (thanks, R! icon_smile_big) in the vehicle next to us showed a momentary interest in our activities, but soon went back to his book or whatever it was that he was reading, likely without giving another thought to whatever the strange people in the next car were doing. Like many of us, he’s probably seen weirder things at these rest areas. Nevertheless, we were extremely cautious when replacing the cache, and tried to distract anyone who might be watching. “You wander and poke around over there,” Rich advised me. I did so while he nonchalantly (and gracefully!) replaced the cache. We then continued on our journey home, worn out and happy from the day’s adventures. Thanks!


    Well, one more time today … Howdy, ZC!

    Traveling west on I-84 this evening for our return to Scranton, PA from the ‘Gunks and day filled with fun and marvelous little adventures. There was still plenty of daylight left for us to quickly pull over and stop, and to look for this cache. We arrived around 7:15pm and it took a little while to locate the container. The coordinates I’m sure were OK, but we were envisioning the same kind of hide as its sister cache on the eastbound lanes. We did eventually resort to decrypting the hint and found the container with ease. Zhanna spied it from a few feet away. Everything was intact and once again I took nothing, left nothing, and simply signed the logsheet. There was a moogle* sitting in his car, reading a book, right next to where we had parked. I’m sure he was wondering what we were doing, but we made every effort to disguise our real actions and even pretended to poke around in different spots just to confuse him further. I doubt he could actually see the hiding spot from his angle of view since I couldn’t see it myself from my driver’s seat. Thanks for the fun cache hunt!

    ~Rich in NEPA~

    * I saw this word used in one of the Geocaching forum posts a while back and thought it is much more appropriate for us than the already-over-used Harry Potter expression, “muggle.” Maybe we can make it stick!

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