Tag Archives: Hiking

Lake Accotink – Morning of Geocaching

When I woke up this morning and turned on the news to see that it was 67 degrees outside I just knew I had to get outside and enjoy this weather.  After the last week of scorching temperatures, you could not have asked for a more perfect day than we are having today.  On Monday it was sauna outside….literally….when we had our afternoon OMGWTF Thunderstorm the steam was rising off the streets faster than the rain was coming down.  It was that nasty hot.  So today’s break in the weather was a welcome relief.

So I woke up and headed over to Lake Accotink.  I mapped out a route through the park that would have me hitting up 4 caches that should be right along the trails.  The first of these trails led me over the train tracks.

Bridge Crossing the Tracks

The bridge crossing over these tracks was definitely not my favorite type of bridge.  I hate looking down and seeing the ground about 50 feet below me.

hate. hate. hate.

Walking down the trail I decided to see if I could use the Panorama feature on my camera to take a picture of the trail as it wound down and around a little creek and it didn’t turn out half bad:

The trail winds around a creek

When the trail came around the little bend you could finally see the lake and the docks on the other side:

As I made my way around the lake I noticed that this didn’t seem to be the lake I remembered coming to as a teenager.  It really wasn’t much of a lake at all anymore.  We used to come out to this lake and rent a canoe or a paddleboat and spend hours out on water.  Now, there was hardly any water in the lake at all.

It was a pretty sad sight.  The water was mostly gone and nothing was left but a sea of mud and plastic bottles.  There were spots that were still nice around the lake though, like this:

and this:

or even the little wildflowers growing along the trail:

As long as you were on the trails that were away from “Lake” everything was nice though.  I found all 4 of the caches that I set out to find in the park and that was really nice.

Locke posing with a Letterbox Cache.

Every day that I have gone out Geocaching it has always been so freakin’ hot.  Today was the first day where the walk was actually enjoyable and I didn’t arrive back at my car drenched from head to toe in sweat.  It really made me wish that I had more time and that I had loaded up the GPS with a few more caches to seek out.

As I was walking back up the trail to the car I was already thinking about where I might go tomorrow since it is supposed to be even nicer.

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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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Filed under Geocaching, Just me