Tag Archives: Hidden Pond

Woke up early to beat the heat….

Last night I decided that I would get up early in the morning and try to get out and find a couple of caches in my local area before it was just too hot to do anything more than melt into a puddle.  If you know me at all you know that I am not exactly what you would call a “morning person” so getting up and motivated early is a feat all by itself.  But I did get up, pack the back and headed out the door before 7:30am this morning…so Yay me!

The first cache I went for was only about 3 or 4 blocks from my place.  It was hidden back in a complete cluster of thorns and other leg grabbing foliage.  I walked around the area for about 10 minutes just trying to decide which way to try and enter the man eating bushes.  Eventually I found a pretty easy way in to the cache.

Gnome is Where the Heart is Cache

Today was the first day of trying something a bit different.  Over the weekend I decided that I would bring along a little friend with me to help document my finds.  After a rough couple of years on an island of chaos…this guy just needed a break.  So he is gonna be hanging with me a bit this summer and making some new friends along the way:

Locke, on Walkabout and making friends.

Wow, I just noticed that Locke really looks like he is about to slit that little gnomes throat in that pic.  Definitely not intended. 🙂  i am keeping a photojournal of all his visits to different hatches this summer.  You can find that here.  So far, at least after one day of hitting a few caches…this has been fun.  Unfortunately I have a couple of the shakiest hands ever and a lot of my pics come out blurry.

After the first cache, I headed over to a shopping center in my area for a quick “cache n dash”.  This was the first nano-cache that I have found.  I couldn’t believe how small this was either.  Not much bigger than the eraser on the end of a pencil.  Luckily the GPS coordinates were pretty spot on and I just had to poke around a bit with my fingers until i felt the little magnetized cache.  Inside this tiny little nano-cache was a rolled up piece of, what looked like, ticker tape that was the log.  I had to completely unravel the paper to find a clean spot to sign.

Seriously tiny cache.

After logging the find I moved on to the next cache on my list that was supposed to be located off of a Park and Ride near my place.  The coordinates led me to a small wooded area towards the back of the parking lot.  Once I arrive there I started to duck behind a fence that seemed to be right in the general area that the GPS was sending me.  Unfortunately, on the other side of the fence, I didn’t find the cache.  Instead I found two homeless guys sprawled out amongst a bunch of trash snoring away.  I decided that I was going to let these guy continue sleeping and not try to climb over them to move in and grab the cache.  Think I will just head back for this one on another day.

So I headed back to the car and headed over to Hidden Pond to see if I could grab a cache I didn’t get to the last time I was there.  This cache was located on the far side of the park so I headed off on the trail into the trees to follow the GPS to the hidden treasure:

Trail to the "Ponder This" cache

The trail led me along the banks of a creek that made for a very enjoyable hike.  Along the way I almost walked right into a Blue Heron that was resting along the banks.  It flew up and sat on a tree branch staring at me just long enough to allow me to get my camera out of my pack….but not long enough to allow me to snap a shot.  But the walk along the creek was really nice.

Hiking along the creek

Still hiking along the creek

After following the directions and the hint from the Geocaching site we found the cache pretty easily.

Locke finds a new hatch

There is another example of my shaky hands on my sensitive camera getting a blurry shot.  So again…Yay me.

By now it was almost 10 am and I was getting hungry for a little breakfast and the temperature was already up around 90.  I decided to call it a day and head home for some breakfast and a shower.

Not a bad way to start the day

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An Afternoon of Finds, Frustration and Totally Unnecessary Fear

Hidden Pond

Hidden Pond

After the past weekend of 90+ degree days, thunderstorms and tornado warnings it was gorgeous today.  Too gorgeous to stay inside all day so I packed up a bag and headed out to a nearby park for some Geocaching.  I picked Hidden Pond today because there were just a few caches hidden around the park and because I hadn’t been there for over 10 years easily.

Hidden Pond is a pretty little park in Springfield, VA that has a pond (duh), some great little trails and a stream or two to follow along.  A great little park nestled in among all the suburban sprawl where you can spend an afternoon enjoying a fun little walk.  We used to go here all the time back in high school and I couldn’t help but think of the crazy stuff that used to go on back in that park when I was younger.

My purpose today was to hit up 3 of the caches in the park and then just bug out home.  I thought it would be relatively quick but, like with everything else in life, I hit a snag or two along the way.  The first snag came in the form of a deer crashing through the bushes and bounding in front of me.  The freakin’ thing landed about 5 feet in front of me on the path and scared the shit out of me.  Then the thing just stood behind a tree about 20 feet away and stared at me.  I stood there for a couple of seconds wondering if the thing was going to turn and attack.

Hidden Pond Deer

The Hellbeast

The first thing that came to mind was how embarrassing this was going to be if it did turn and attack.  First off, the dear was a doe and I was now acutely aware of the fact that I have zero knowledge of wildlife.  Are these seemingly docile creatures even known to attack anyone?  Shit, I just didn’t know.  I started thinking about all kinds of things…like how I didn’t tell anyone I was even coming out here today.  I also worried that if it did start bounding back toward me that I would turn and run…screaming like a little girl.  Should I just stand still?  Should I walk away?  Should I call out to it and see if it is friendly?  Yeah, all that was going through my mind in the span of about 2 seconds.

And the deer just stood there staring at me.

After just staring at each other for a couple more seconds I pulled out my camera and snapped a pic…maybe when someone found my body they could see the last thing I took a picture of and hunt that rabid Bambi down to exact vengeance.  As soon as the picture was snapped the deer bounded off deeper into the woods in a flash.  Apparently the sound of my camera was all it took to scare it off.

I am such a wuss.

But seriously, in my defense, I am a total indoor cat and nature freaks me out.

I know…i am just a wuss.

Turtles Sunbathing at Hidden Pond

After I stopped acting like a 7 year old girl I did actually get to those caches.  I only found 2 of the 3 I set out to find because the GPS was acting really squirrely.  It is really frustrating when you are pretty sure you are standing in the exact location of the cache and you still can’t find it.  It is even more frustrating when you look at the logs other people have posted on the website and the last person to find it…which just happened to be yesterday…was a mother and her 6 year old daughter.   As if the deer thing wasn’t enough of a blow to the ego.

But after searching the area over and over with no luck I just finally threw in the towel.  I hate to give up but I was getting no where fast.

Maybe, if I keep this up, I will get over my fear of the outdoors….but if you saw the way I flailed about when walking through that spiderweb today…that is probably just wishful thinking on my part.

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