Christmas Weekend - Pennypack and Not Quite Atlantic City II
Just like the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in November, Christmas was another 4-day weekend. Just like Thanksgiving, I didn't take advantage of the ham (this time) deal at Warehouse Club, so I decided to take an overnight trip to Absecon. (not quite Atlantic City) I planned to continue seeking the bike trail geocaches just outside of Mays Landing, but I got distracted so there are still some remaining for another holiday trip.
Saturday was a short trip out to Northeast Philadelphia to do the "Along the Pennypack" series of geocaches. There used to be a series of geocaches along the Pennypack Creek but the cache owner moved out of state. So this is a new series placed by someone else. It was a lot of walking but it's a good series and I had little or no trouble with any of the geocaches this time. After that, I went to Cheltenham and Willow Grove for a bunch more geocaches before heading to dinner and home. "AMC's - The Walking Night" was a night cache using a trail of reflectors. Of course, I've done a number of these before but it's always an interesting exercise to follow something other than the GPS.
On Sunday, I stayed closer to home to tackle some longer hikes and puzzle caches. The puzzles were "The Treasure of Ima Wiener" (simple binary puzzle but a nice walk), "The Cache of Wolfenstien Enigma" (decode an Enigma machine message, World War II style), and "LOTR #16 - The Stairs of Cirith Ungol". (counting and math)
Monday was when I started the trip to NQAC. I did some geocaches around Mays Landing that I didn't get to the last time. However, when it was time to start walking down the bike path proper, it started raining and heavily too. So I did a bunch of easier geocaches around the shopping centers in Mays Landing / English Creek and called it a day. My overnight hotel of choice was Fairfield Inn, one of the few hotels in Absecon with no bed bug reports. I still checked under the mattress anyway, just to be sure. :)
On Tuesday, I decided to focus on the area to the north of Absecon, so I didn't return to the bike trail. There were a number of geocaches to do in that direction and I went as far north as Port Republic before turning around and heading home. The most charming location of the day was Smithville Historic Village. It's an open-air mall set up with lots of little quaint stores. I'm glad though that I went for the geocache in the center of the village on Christmas Day when all the stores were closed. Ordinarily, that area would be too crowded to look for the geocache.