December 29th, 2005

gps

Delaware Dash (Tuesday)

Went down the Turnpike, but switched to I-295 for local access. Tackled some geocaches down in Salem County, which I don't get to very often because it is over 2 hours from home. Fort Mott State Park has more geocaches now because permission has been obtained from park rangers to place them. It used to be that geocaches were placed there without approval and got confiscated after a little while. So this is a positive development. Unfortunately, they still close the park gates early. My solution was to park out on the street (residential) and walk in, so I can hit the caches without rushing to beat the closing time. I don't know why I never thought of that before.

Crossed over to Delaware at dusk. I haven't been here for a few years, and by that I mean actually stopping in Delaware, not just passing through that small slice of it at highway speed. Back then, you could visit the handful of geocaches in one day. Now, it's packed from border to border. This area also appears to be a nightcaching haven. I got nine caches that evening in the dark. Most of them were in the campus and downtown Newark area, where people walk around at night anyway. So there wasn't an issue of park curfews and such. In addition, the campus is very well-lit and I didn't need a flashlight to find most of them, although I kept the million-candlepower light handy that evening.

When I got up to 17 caches for the day, I decided it was time to stop, or else there'd be nothing to do the next day. Got a Wawa dinner from the strategically-placed store at Routes 4 and 72, and then headed over to Comfort Inn to check in. Based on what I remember, I think I prefer the other motel (a Comfort Inn that got rebranded into Quality Inn) over on Route 896, but this one has free breakfast.

The caches...Collapse )
gps

Delaware Dash (Wednesday)

Had breakfast and then checked out of the motel. Started by going around the downtown campus area and then ventured further out to suburban parks later in the day. One thing that worked in my favor was that it's winter break at the university and so the campus was mostly deserted. I also noticed that there was a free-parking special for the holidays at the downtown parking lot behind Dunkin Donuts, so I parked there and took a walk to a few caches nearby. These were supposedly tough, with 3 and 4-star ratings, but I didn't seem to have too much trouble.

At the pedestrian bridge, I ran into sine, another geocacher. That particular cache (FOURTEEN MINUS SIX) has quite a reputation. Geocachers have been going there multiple times, spending hours trying to find the tiny cache. So I went up the stairs to the bridge and just as I got to the top step, someone called out "Geocacher?" Wonder what gave it away. :) sine had been searching there a number of times herself. This time, she had a bunch of hints from other geocachers who had found it. I focused in the area described by the hints and within a short amount of time, I saw what I needed to see and got the cache out!

The rest of the day was fairly low-key. I went to some of the suburban parks in and around Newark. One thing about Newark is they seem less uptight about parks closing at dusk. Unlike many other locations, the rules posted at bike path trailheads say nothing about park hours. Instead, there are a few words of advice on wearing reflectors at night. So the locals (and probably students from the university) may be using these paths for night bicycling.

Then, in the evening, I got dinner at Wawa and then headed home via the Turnpike and I-295.

The caches...Collapse )