Friday, September 28, 2012
This week has been fairly unexciting. Erin got sick on Sunday, and I followed on Monday. Forteunately between the 2 of us we were able to keep the caching streak alive, it's currently at 88 days. The ankle is feeling better, but there is still some visible bruising that hasn't gone away yet. I've been to the gym a couple of times and did a half hour on the elliptical with only a little pain. Going forward I should be able to do low impact cardio at the gym, and maybe introduce some very short runs and see how it goes. After seeing Rachel's writeup of her hundred miler I'm wanting to get out and do another trail ultra myself. Erik had brought up Trail Mix in the spring which sounds apealing. I think it's been long enough since I've done that race that the uglyness has been forgotten. This should also give me something concrete to shoot for. It's good to have goals.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
|Going through the gate on our way back to the car|
The first cache we looked for was near the trail head. We got out of the car and were caught a little off guard by the cold wind. We expected a crisp morning, but the accompanying wind was something that was a little unexpected. The first cache was found fairly quickly although it was about 40 feet from where the Garmins told us it would be. We decided that we would grab some windbreakers before heading on to the next cache. After a quick trip to the car we were off again, this time heading deeper into the grasslands. Up until this point when I went out to the grasslands I stayed along the North Country Trail, however this time the trail didn't go where we needed it to. We found some wheel tracks and decided to follow those. Fortunately the tracks took us almost exactly where we needed to go. The second cache was another easy find. As we were signing the log I asked Erin again if she was scared of cows. She sort of laughed and asked if there was one behind her. In the distance I noticed 3. Probably the advanced scouting unit of the cow army. Even though the scouts were trying to hide we could clearly see them. God help us if they ever discover camouflage. I figured the cows already radioed our position to the rest, so we might as well try for cache number 3. We tried to outflank the scouts, but they noticed our movement and fled like the cowards they were. From there we followed some wheel tracks through the woods for another half mile or so before heading off on a cow trail. Normally cows move single file like sand people to hide their numbers, but here there were 3 distinct trails. What were they planning? We went a little farther and found a clearing in the woods. From there we spotted an advanced cow battalion trying to hide behind a barbed wire fence. I was thankful that cows were such awful hide and seek players. Thinking we could get around them Erin and I moved back into the woods, but we had been spotted. The cowards again fled, and I found myself thinking this was almost too easy. Were we being led into a trap? Erin was getting a little nervous, I think she was sensing we were mooving deeper into cow held territory. We were about 700 feet from the cache and decided to proceed through the gate. We had gone this far and would not be stopped. After we cleared the gate we followed the trail up a hill and there we saw it, the headquarters of the cow army. They had made their base in a large clearing, directly in our path to the cache. It all made sense now. They wanted us to become emotionally invested in finding this cache. It was less then 500 feet away from where we stood staring down the herd. As we stood there I spotted one of the cow special forces emerging from the woods. Once it was spotted it hung it's head and shame and returned to the herd. All of that training to sneak around our flank was wasted. Since their trap had failed to spring I figured we could take the trail in the woods that the special forces cow had used. Erin was thinking about turning back, but we couldn't let the cows win. Who knows where their tyranny would stop if we did not stand up to them. The trail took us safely around the cows encampment and after delving deeper into the woods we were victorious. The cache was OURS! With the log signed, the cache returned to it's hiding place and the cows thwarted we needed to head back to the car. We followed the trail back to the gate, however I decided to take a shorter route. The cows had been angered by our victory and decided now was the time to act. They began to marshal their ranks forming a line standing shoulder to shoulder. As they began to move my direction I shouted which briefly distracted them Erin was up on a ridge and kept moving toward the fence line. When the cows began their second attack I stood my ground. I shouted for Erin to keep moving and I would bravely hold them off. As I stood there staring the cows down I could feel their shame growing. They had failed to protect the cache and they knew that I knew that they knew that. I turned my back in disgust and retreated into the woods towards the fence line. Erin had already reached it, but was unable to find a spot to cross. We decided to follow the fence back to the gate. Along the way we didn't see any more cow activity, perhaps they had consigned themselves to their fate and were lining up for the truck to the slaughterhouse. When we made it through the gate Erin was relieved. On our way back we spotted the 3 advanced cow scouts, but they kept their distance. Eventually we made it back to the car and had Jimmy Johns for lunch, we had picked it up the previous night.
|Looking for a cache in the grasslands|
After lunch we headed out of the grasslands, my ankle was starting to bother me and hiking didn't seem like it would make things better. We grabbed a few caches along the road and stopped by a couple of cemeteries on our way to Lisbon.
|Large tree in the middle of a cemetery.|
|Dead Colt Recreation Area (Click for a better view)|
Friday, September 21, 2012
|This is me putting in a winning effort at ladder golf.|
|Ronnie and I on the pontoon.|
The sprained ankle is feeling a bit better. I'm walking normally most of the time. Inclines still cause it to hurt and there is still some swelling. I might get to the gym this weekend and test it out on the elliptical before getting out and running on it.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Recovery from my sprained ankle has been slower then I'd like. There are times when I can almost walk normally on it, and times where it still hurts a lot and I have trouble moving around. I've still got some very impressive bruises showing at the top of my foot, along the sides, and even near by toes. I'm hoping to get to the gym or even get out to run soon, but that might be optimistic. I'm just taking it a day at a time.
|The girls and Erin out looking for a cache in North Fargo|
Friday, September 14, 2012
It took a day, but I've got a nice bruise that formed on the top and side of my foot. This is about a day after I tweaked my ankle. Perhaps this is going to take longer then I thought to heal up. On the bright side I can put weight on it, and walk sort of normally. I'm hoping some ice and ibuprofen can take the swelling down.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Wednesday night Erin and I were going over to some friends for dinner and needed to find a quick geocache. When we got there the Garmins were directing us all over, so we started searching over a wide area. There was a tree that seemed to be the closest to ground zero, but the only place to put a cache there would be above head height. It's possible the cache was there and we just couldn't see it. I kneeled down and had Erin stand on my knee, but since there wasn't much to grab onto she couldn't get up. We switched positions and I tried to stand on her knee. This didn't work very well and I wound up twisting my ankle as I fell. At first it hurt so bad I couldn't really talk, it was like when your breath gets taken away by jumping into cold water. I rolled over to a nearby bench and sat down. Eventually I was able to talk again and had Erin look for the cache, which she found almost immediately, exactly the same amount of time it took my ankle to swell up. Fortunately the swelling wasn't too bad and I was able to limp my way through the rest of the evening. I'm thinking this is going to make continuing our consecutive day geocaching streak (currently at 73) harder to maintain as well as doing anything physical. I've been doing better this week with my running, and getting to the gym. Not just because it's something that I should be doing, but because I want to again. It feels good to have that motivation. Sooner or later the motivation and ability will line up again and I'll find the running addiction again.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
|Erin and the boys looking at acorns|
Saturday, September 8, 2012
|A Nintendo repurposed as a geocache in Lake George|
|A spider web catching the light on the trail|
After Lake George we went to Itasca to do the Avian Adventure cache there. This was the hardest one we have done so far, it seemed like the caches were all about 30-50 feet from where the Garmins lead us. Eventually we solved the puzzle and got our bird card. It was close to lunch time so we stopped at a barbecue place just outside of the park only to realize that they weren't open on a Tuesday. We decided to snack and then eat when we got to Park Rapids. Half a dozen caches later we were in Park Rapids eating at the Royal Bar. The food was good, but I hate how small town places don't take credit cards. After lunch we headed back to Fargo with only a few more stops to look for caches. We wound up with 194 finds over our 4 day trip.
Friday, September 7, 2012
|One of the caches that wasn't a matchstick container|
|Erin grabbing a snack along the trail|
Thursday, September 6, 2012
|An old sawmill foundation near the lake.|
|This chipmunk was enjoying an acorn.|
He stayed within 5 feet of me while I logged the cache
|Random people taking pictures with Paul Bunyan|
We parked at the visitors center and biked around downtown and near the collage for the rest of the afternoon. I took some pictures of the art in the area, but missed a lot
|The USS Sally, I have no idea what the significance of this is|
|Erin and the Republic|
|Some turtles we spotted from a bridge on the Mississippi|
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
|A small park in Ada, MN|
|Pine trees near Gary, but no cache|
|Lunch time sneaking, you can just barely see the truck|
From there we followed a logging road through the forest to some caches that don't get found very often. It was a neat area that we probably would not have been in if we hadn't been out geocaching. After the logging road we found the remains of a house that had been moved, the foundation and chimney were all that remained.
From that point on we ran into some trouble maintaining a data connection with our phones which made things a bit more difficult. We had the waypoints stored on our watches, but needed the integration with the maps to drive to where we needed to go. I think we missed a few caches I had planned, but muddled through as best we could. We found a cache near a bridge of historical significance, if you'd like to know more about it, I've attached a picture of the sign.
|3rd cache down the narrow dirt road|
After the bridge we found a narrow dirt road that had a few caches down it. When we pulled up a few people on ATVs let us know that the road was closed up ahead, we decided to try it anyway and found the caches, the last of which is the little mailbox shown here. That was the easy part, the hard part was getting back out, with no where to turn around I had to back down the narrow dirt road about a quarter of a mile. When we were done here we tried for a few more caches without any luck so we decided to head to the hotel.
Once we'd finished checking in and dropping off the bikes we decided to grab an early supper. I had read about an Italian restaurant that had just opened that sounded good. We drove over and I guess 4:30 was a bit too early for supper because we were told that the kitchen wouldn't be ready to server until 5:00. We decided not to wait and walked over to a near by bar. We had some cheese curds and burgers at Bar 209 before heading out to a place called Hobson Forest to do some more caching. We had no luck at Hobson forest, we made it to where 2 caches were supposed to be and found nothing, fallen trees blocked the trails to the other caches back in the woods. After that disappointment we stopped at Bemidji State park to pick up the Avian Adventure multicache. We had to walk a couple of miles to make the find, but really enjoyed how well this was put together and where it took us in the park. After that we wanted to break out single day caching record so we picked up a few miscellaneous caches on the way back to the hotel and finished the day with 34 finds.