Monday, January 16, 2012

Geocaching Adventures: A Weekend In Cary

Regular readers of this blog will know that we are in then process of completing the North Carolina Delorme Challenge.   We have just 6 pages left to grab, and they are all in a line near Raleigh NC - the area goes from Greensboro NC to Rocky Mount NC, and everything to the northern state border.  The closest part of this area to our house is a two hour drive away.

This past weekend we piled into the van and headed over to the area with the mission to grab the remaining pages.  As it turns out we got more of an adventurous weekend than we expected.

We left our house around 8AM Saturday morning and headed northeast.  By 5PM we had gathered all of the pages for the Delorme and were checked in  at our hotel in Cary NC (a location picked because it is proximate to the target area).  We're done.  All that is left is to find the final cache... but that will have to wait for another weekend as its location is not proximate to Cary.

So this means that we had two days to kill.... what to do... what to do...  hrm... go caching?  Yes!

We decided to do a "best of" run of the area.  This area happens to be the gravitational center of the geocaching universe in North Carolina - there are a lot of caches around here... more that could possibly be done in years, let alone a couple days.  So I applied my method for finding the best caches in the area and spent two days hunting down the best caches in Cary NC, and the surrounding area.

So we spent two days exploring gnome holes,  climbing on old abandoned tractors in a field, some amazing urban hides, a lot of ammo cans, signing baseballs,  some impromptu airplane watching, and hanging out with Andy Griffith.

We did a virtual cache at a statue of Andy Griffith and Opie.  When we pulled up in the parking lot we realized that the park that contained the statue also contained a small train and a carrousel.  We decided that Zeke, our toddler who is obsessed with trains, would love a ride on both.  We took a break from caching and took him on his very first train ride, and then his very first carrousel ride.  He liked the carrousel so much he made us ride it again.
Later on that day we ended up at the RDU Airfield, where we watched airplanes take off - which is more toddler entertainment fodder.

Some other memorable hides included:

A cache located in a hole in a tree behind a fairy door.  Zeke found that one.

A cache who's logbook was a baseball.  Sign the ball to claim the cache.

One of the largest caches I've seen is a locker for the back of a pickup truck.  It was sitting out in the middle of the woods.

One of the wettest caches I've done.  It is a micro in a 4ft vertical PVC pipe.  The pipe had 5 holes in the bottom.  To claim the cache one needs to plug all of the holes, fill the pipe with water, which floats the cache to the surface where it can be grabbed and logged.  My wife plugged the holes with her hands, and I filled the tube.  I've heard of these caches before but this is the first time I got a chance to claim one.  It was great fun.  Zeke loved watching the water drain from the holes again.

It was a fantastic 3 days of caching and exploring.

I'll leave you with some more photos of our weekend.  Cheers!