Saturday - 5/24/2003
Rainy day today, although the rain wasn't too bad. Heavy only some of the time and drizzle or just cold at other times. Went across NJ from Central to Western and then hit the Lehigh Valley area of PA. Ended the trip at Picasso Pizza in Bethlehem, of course, to see Pino and Biagio, two top Georgers in PA.
Team D's Conackamack Middle School Cache (New Jersey)
Team A Conackamack Middle School (New Jersey)
Meuly Park in Piscataway. Geocaches hidden by middle school students. Good to see they're getting into this game. I'm sure there will be more.
Voorhee's Rock (New Jersey)
Voorhees State Park in Glen Gardner. Came in from Observatory Road, although I don't think that's the parking area recommended by the cache owner. A bit of a hilly walk.
Balls! (New Jersey)
Musconetcong River - Point Mountain Area in Washington. The cache description offers two choices of routes. I went the steep way because it was shorter. The trail started up okay and then oof... I was hauling myself up over rocks. It didn't help that the rocks were wet and slippery from the rain. Great view of the surrounding farms from up there.
Forks Township. This trail used to be a railroad so it was basically a linear walk to the cache. Saw clumps of wildflowers along the way.
Wy-Hit-Tuk Park in Easton. Beautiful canal and towpath area. When I arrived, there was a wedding ceremony in progress but they finished before I got back to the parking lot.
Pictures: Canal and towpath, Gear for the mechanism that opens and closes the lock
"Aren't the Evens Odd?" (Pennsylvania)
Whitehall. The cache owner picked the location of the cache for its unusual coordinates. (whole minutes) However, it happens to be pretty close to a riverside trail. Drove around and found parking a mere few hundred feet from the cache, and that is fortunate because it was raining at the time.
Bethlehem Steel (Pennsylvania)
Steelworkers Memorial in Bethlehem.
"A Whole Lot Of History Here" (Pennsylvania)
A multistage virtual cache so it's a walking tour of the historic area in Bethlehem. An interesting look at the early agricultural industries and the historic houses and cemetary.
Picture: Art Mule in Allentown
Sunday - 5/25/2003
A trip to Long Island. The day started off pretty good weatherwise. Just cloudy without rain. The rain started in the late afternoon but I pressed on and got 12 caches. The last five of the day were placed by Jester, apparently a new cache hider who knows a lot of good locations at the East End of the South Fork of Long Island. Definitely a cache hider to watch. Now if only that part of Long Island weren't so far from home.
Anyway, coming home from Montauk, it took an hour just to get to the start of the Sunrise Highway because a lot of the drive was through the many Hamptons and was therefore slow. I guess the Hamptons crowd had arrived because the streets were congested and the hot dog shacks (well okay... I think they have fried fish and stuff like that) had lines of people waiting to order. I have no idea what the attraction of the South Fork is. Surely there are beaches all along Long Island?
Then going back on the Sunrise Highway, traffic came to a stop possibly because of an accident. Fortunately, there was an exit right there so I took a detour North to Riverhead and then to the LIE from there. I don't know if that saved anything because it was probably an extra 10 miles or so but it beats sitting in traffic. Because of all that, I skipped going to Long John Silvers in Patchogue and went right back to NJ for a very late dinner. But on the bright side, there was no GW Bridge delay at that hour.
Elegant Junk (New York)
Next to a school in Valley Stream. I have no idea what land this is. It just looks like a pocket of land between the ropes and cage area (Is that this school's version of Thunderdome?) in the school yard and the backyards of some houses.
Lottery Cash Cache (New York)
Hempstead Lake State Park in West Hempstead. Parked near the hospital across the road. Lots of thorns. Lots of brush. No clue given. After some searching and taking care to avoid the worst of the thorns, I found the cache about 40 feet from coordinates. From the logs though, it probably was plundered and then relocated recently.
RPA-36 Central Belmont SP (New York)
Belmont Lake State Park in West Babylon. A bayonets4u cache. Quick and to the point. Have to wonder though if the state is mad about people who take the side entrance and don't pay the parking fee. Then again, they probably would have closed up the fence if they wanted to do something about that.
RPA-35 Champlin Creek (New York)
Champlin Creek Nature Preserve. Another bayonets4u cache. No problems finding this one either. Typical wooded area for this part of Long Island.
$ Origami II (New York)
Hoyt Farm Park in Commack. One of the many parks where the parking area is for Smithtown Residents only, which is funny because the park itself is in Commack. I parked outside by the houses and walked in. Part of the park is a farm area with chickens and goats. I heard there's also a pig but I didn't see it.
Pictures: Chicken on a car, Chickens sitting on a fence, Goat by the shed
Suffolk - H5 (New York)
Yaphank. This looks like an abandoned county offices and park area. There are bushes growing through the benches. Looks like there's a farm of some sort nearby.
Gazebo - H4 (New York)
Small park in Brookhaven.
Chatfield's Hole (New York)
Chatfield's Hole in East Hampton. Scenic pond and pine woods area. Cache by Jester in an excellent location.
Whispering Hollow (New York)
Paumanok Trail area in East Hampton. Another cache by Jester in a good area.
Stony Hill (New York)
Public land in Amagansett. Another cache by Jester.
Phantom Woods (New York)
Hither Hills State Park in Montauk. This is in the area of the Walking Dunes, a series of tall sand dunes that are constantly moving as the wind blows them to the East. As a consequence, the trees get covered up by sand until only the tips show and that area is known as the Phantom Forest. Some of the covered trees are apparently still alive!
The Hero Zone (New York)
Camp Hero State Park in Montauk. Another fascinating area that probably should be better documented. In the woods, there is a set of enormous gun batteries. These housed the big guns that were used as deterrents to any foreign invaders during the Second World War. Supposedly, none of them were ever fired, except for testing and practice.
Monday - 5/26/2003
Fell asleep in the middle of logging Sunday's caches so I woke up just a bit later and logged the rest in the morning. It was raining very heavily anyway so I took care of a few errands. Recycled the toner cartridge at Office Depot and got a free ream of paper. I think that's their current deal. A ream of paper when you recycle a toner or ink cartridge at their new Ink Depot section. Rather odd seeing a section of the store partitioned off just for all the ink and toner cartridges but if it works for them then good.
In the afternoon, the rain tapered off so I went to Orange County and got 4 geocaches. I only intended to go for the two near Newburgh but I saw that the Thruway was all jammed up in the opposite direction so I figured I'd make a loop around Orange County via I-84 and pick up two additional caches. More is better.
Then in the evening, I went to the Palisades Center Mall. Purchased a Laserjet 1000 printer. (It's not that much money and this way, if I manage to get parts for the Laserjet IIIP, I'll have two printers.) Unfortunately, the Arby's in the food court still hadn't opened. There was a sign saying they'll open on May 30. We'll see.
The Encampment (New York)
Last encampment of the Continental Army. Historic Parklands in New Windsor. Looks like an educational historic area with all those informational signs. There are also guided tours on certain days but not this day.
Newburgh's Favorite Son (New York)
Newburgh. A multi-stage cache that's about Andrew Jackson Downing, a famous landscape architect. The final cache seems to be in too open of an area though. Someone else was in the nearby abandoned park building but he left, thankfully.
Ziggy Cache (New York)
Winding Hills Park in Montgomery. Trail was rather circuitous and hilly. Nevertheless, it was a good walk in the cool weather. It stopped raining long enough for me to complete this cache.
Picnic Grove (New York)
Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery. Charming playground and good picnic area.
Pictures: Rocking horse in the playground, The tall cache container