Since the optometrist appointment on Thursday was canceled on account of snow, I went to the Paramus Park Mall to do a walk-in. Turns out that I didn't need to get my eyes checked because I'd only done it 16 months ago. I thought it was much further back but okay, that's good.
I got a pair of glasses made at the adjacent (or containing, rather) Lenscrafters and they were ready that same evening. One thing the optician is fond of telling me, apparently, is I have literally a big head. I won't go for metal frames as those tend to get bent out of shape easily so that the lenses slip out so the only plastic frames available in the larger sizes are from the secret trays of safety glasses they keep in the cabinets below the display. Once the safety shields are removed, those look just like regular frames. More robust? I don't know, but my glasses haven't broken yet in any geocaching misadventures. (You'd be surprised how often I fall down on the side of a hill.)
A tip for AAA members: Lenscrafters has a pretty big AAA discount, which is often better than any of their coupons. Okay, so it is no great secret but the AAA sticker at the door is small and easy to miss. And I only found out about this last year when the rep asked if I had an AAA card.
Intended to get up really early to go geocaching in South Jersey down the Parkway but somehow that ended up being 5:40am. Still pretty early and I managed to get 7 caches anyway. No mean feat with the snow and cold weather.
Clark's Eternal Rest ended up being one of the more challenging caches of the day because of the six inches of snow all over the place. To get to the parking spot and trailhead, I had to drive down a snow-covered dirt road for about 0.6 miles. The hardest part though was crossing the snowbank left by the snowplows clearing the main road. Then it was mainly slow driving on a layer of snow with some tire tracks already in it. I thought it would be possible to go all the way to the end on the snow but I decided not to risk getting my car stuck or unable to turn around. So I parked halfway down the dirt/snow road and walked the rest of the way. The trail actually improved, I thought. Ordinarily, it would be very waterlogged and muddy but frozen and covered in snow, it wasn't too bad. The cache itself took a bit of work to find but not much more than the usual amount of poking around and checking. I was a little concerned though that the cache was embedded in the ground. (Boy, talk about making things even harder with the snow cover.) Under geocaching guidelines, we are not supposed to dig holes for caches so I hope that was a chipmunk hole or similar that was already there.
Birch Grove Maze and County Park #1 were in parks that had zoos. There is a fox at the former. Check out moonstarz141's pictures to see it. Wish I had more time to check out the zoos but the days are very short this time of year.
What's Your Favorite Movie? is located on the site of an abandoned drive-in movie theater. The screen was still standing but the area is now somewhat overgrown and a bit swampy. (which is probably perfect for hiding that cache) Nevertheless, it's a fascinating location.
Dinner was at... nowhere interesting. Okay okay, it was the Joyce Kilmer Service Area on the Turnpike. If he (yes, that's a he) saw the service area, I guess he might write that he thinks he will never see a rest stop lovely as a tree. :)
Because of certain health problems involving going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I decided to sleep in a bit today. But I still was out by 8am. Found 4 caches heading out West to Morris and Warren Counties.
Computer Cache 2 Deeper into Bat Country was the first stop of the day. This location is in the Wildcat Ridge WMA in Hibernia. An abandoned mine in this park now serves as a bat hibernaculum, although I've never been there at the correct time to see any bats.
After that, I went to The Hub in Denville. Pretty straightforward although I had to wonder if the final 500 feet could have been easier from a different trail.
Third stop was at Highest Point in Morris County. I'd checked the County Highpointers Association website beforehand so I knew where to park and enter. Met BassoonPilot on the way in. He informed me that he'd only missed me by half an hour at the Bat Country cache so we seem to be going for the same caches today. The highest point in Morris County is 1395 feet above sea level and a sign near the trail indicates that. However, as far as I could tell, the true high spot is a few hundred feet up the gentle rise from the sign. That area seemed a bit higher anyway and the reports on the COHP website concur.
Last of the day was Little Fishes in Pequest. (No, Pequest is not when you're holding it in and trying to find a bathroom.) These trails too were snowladen but not too hard to walk on until that last part. The cache was located on a mini-plateau and I found the steep climb to get up there very slippery because of the snow. There were also a lot of blood spatters on the snow and one spot with a pool of blood. So it looks like there has been hunting activity near the cache. That's why I picked a Sunday to go for this cache. Hunting is not allowed on Sundays in this state.
After that, I stopped by the Rockaway Townsquare Mall off I-80 Exit 35 to have a late late lunch and do some shopping.
Also stopped at the A&P supermarket near home to get the Sunday paper. I slipped up and used the ShopRite card instead of the A&P card at the U-scan machine. It took! And the receipt said that my customer number was the one on my ShopRite card. So either it doesn't do any error checking on the barcode number (which is just the customer number) or this supermarket really has a card out there with this number already. I wonder if the Pathmark card will work too.