Tuesday, June 26, 2012

155 Caches and 4 States Later

Adventure abounded as Dan and I set off for our very first geocaching weekend with our friends James and Dani. Our goal – to conquer the Delaware C&D Canal Speed Trail, a mini geocaching trail consisting of 138 geocaches along the north and south sides of the C&D Canal.

Our quest began early Saturday morning (the puppies having been dropped off at my dad’s the night before). The sun was bright; our water bottles filled; and we had enough food to feed a small army!

With James and Dan chatting away (seriously, they talk more than most females. haha!), we made our way north and into Maryland. I do not know if you have ever stopped at one of the rest stops in Maryland, but they are pretty impressive. That being said, we decided to take a quick stop at one to stretch our legs and get our first two caches of the day. They were fun, easy finds and provided us with some cool TBs.

TBs (Travel Bugs: a trackable tag that you attach to an item, usually a keychain or something of similar size. This allows you to track your item on Geocaching.com. The item becomes a hitchhiker that is carried from cache to cache (or person to person) in the real world, and you can follow its progress online.)

Finding our first cache of the day

The day moved into full-swing geocaching when we reached Middletown, Delaware, the start of the C&D Canal Speed Trail. With a few adjustments at the beginning, we worked out a fantastic system where one person would drive and the other three would alternate logging the caches. As the car would role to a stop beside the next cache location, one of us would jump out of the car, retrieve the cache, tag it with our group name “HIKD”, rehide the cache, and jump back in the car.

This system became so fluid that on one of my turns, I jumped out of the car, removed the camouflage over the cache, and almost grabbed a spider the size of a silver dollar before realizing it was there! Needless to say, I basically screamed and ran to the other side of the car. The guys jumped out to see what the problem was and were pretty impressed with the size of the spider. I let them finish logging that cache, and every time after, I moved the camouflage with my feet before getting too close to whatever might be underneath.

In addition to the 138 caches along the trail, we would occasionally get sidetracked to other stashes nearby. These finds were just as much fun as the trail and yielded some cool treasures. I think one of the best ones was the cache that you could only log if you had found over 100 caches in a day. At this hide, I found a wrist band that I brought back to the car for Dan. He thought it was pretty awesome.

Dan with his “Say no to Gangs” wrist band.

By the end of the day, we had logged a total of 153 caches! Quite a feat! These caches set both Dan and I over the 100 finds mark; James was over 900 finds; and Dani was over 1000 finds! We celebrated in style at a fun little pub near our hotel. :)

HIKD team at the final cache.

The next day, instead of going for another 153 caches, we decided to add a couple states to our cache list. (Geocache accounts track the number of caches you find, as well as the number of states and countries you find them in.) Our first stop was Atlantic City, New Jersey, where we had a late breakfast on the boardwalk and found a cache. Our second stop was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where we munched on cheesesteaks and found a cache.

Since Dan and I had been to Geno’s cheesesteak in Philly, we decided to give Pat’s a try, that way we could decide which place had the best cheesesteaks. After a few thoughtful bites, both of us decided that we prefer Geno’s. No offense to anyone who prefers Pat’s. We thought both were tasty, but Geno’s has a better proportion and distribution of meat/cheese/bread. Geno’s is also not as soggy as Pat’s.

Me enjoying a cheesesteak

Overall, it was a wonderful, inexpensive weekend trip that we all enjoyed. Good exercise, company, and food. We are already discussing our next big geocaching power trip. :)

A few words about the C&D Canal Speed Trail:
This trail was a great start for those who are warming up for larger power trails like the ET trail or the Route 66 trail. It was easily completed in a day, and had some other fun caches located very close by. I definitely recommend it and think that it is a great way to perfect your team’s speed caching system.

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