Tags: new jersey

chestnut ramune

NJ FUR-B-Q

Sunny, 90°F. Originally, I hadn't planned on attending tonyringtail's Labor Day Weekend FUR-B-Q because something else usually comes up on fur-b-q days. So this was pretty much a last-minute decision. But I had time today and food (a case of cookies left over from geocaching events) to donate, so I went.

I arrived at the Twin W First Aid Squad building in West Windsor, where the BBQ was being held, at 1pm. The party hadn't really started at that time, so I went geocaching around Princeton. By the time I returned, the BBQ was in full swing. I had vegetable fried noodles, a burger, and funnel cake. Talked to some old friends and caught up with some things that happened in the NYC area since I left.

Then I figured I should head out again for a bit. So I went to Plainsboro and did a few geocaches. When I returned to the Twin W, the outdoor temperature had dropped to 84°F. That wasn't much cooler but it was good enough, so I changed into the husky fursuit and fursuited for a bit. Ended up doing that longer than I planned because it was fun and I had a lot of good company. What's nice about this event is the Twin W let us use the locker room in their air-conditioned building as our changing area / fursuit lounge. Anyway, I had a good time and I'm glad I went.

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chestnut ramune

FA United 4

Over the weekend, I went to FA United 4 at Hotel ML (a fairly recent name change because they haven't actually replaced the sign out in front. The "Hotel ML" sign is a temporary covering over the original sign.) in Mount Laurel. I don't go to very many cons but for me, the gap that FAU fills in is a local con that is not too big (531 attendees this year) or too busy but is a step above the monthly furmeets. It's a way to get away for the weekend and relax.

I didn't go to many panels during the con. I attended part of "Making a stage act". I went to the "Juggling: How To" panel, which was fun even if I couldn't juggle worth a darn. Of course, I took part in the fursuiting events, the fursuit parade and the fursuit games. Also fursuited in the closing ceremonies. That was a bit of a last minute thing. I got word that there would be shenanigans of some sort so I changed into fursuit and went down to the ballroom. What happened during the ceremonies was we surprise-group-hugged the NJSPCA lady, who got a kick out of it, and then went on stage to do a group photo for the NJSPCA Facebook page.

The con suite was marvelous. It's a place to hang out and have a snack and it's only two floors up from my room, so I did visit it a lot. They had wasabi peas! I swear I could eat those until my sinuses explode. The only major problem I encountered at this con was the long registration line on Friday morning. I arrived later in the morning so I didn't have to wait as long before it got going, but I heard that some had been there for 3 hours.

Geocaches: Did 5 on Friday: 2 in Swedesboro on the way there and 3 not far from the hotel because I took the opportunity to grab a few before the con got going. On Saturday, I got 2 geocaches with jbadger, my roomie, when we went out for lunch. Monday's geocaches, I found in Woodstown, where I stopped on the way home. ("on the way" here was about 10 miles off the Turnpike. :) )

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gps

Elkton and Salem County

Sunny, 70-75°F. Started very late today but still did a decent number of geocaches, in 3 states! Started with one geocache in the C&D Canal area in Delaware. (Ran into Drew136 there.) Then I went over to Meadow Park in Elkton, MD, for a CAM 2011 cache and two others. Also did "Post 15" in downtown Elkton. Met another geocacher there too. I remember trying to find that cache a long time ago and it turned out to be missing. Glad it's back.

After I was done with Maryland, I still had more than two hours until sunset, so I went over to Pennsville, NJ, to do some of the MLB series geocaches. I think the difficulty on those may be overstated. Two of those caches, "MLB SERIES: Indians" and "MLB SERIES: Angels", had 5 stars for difficulty. The former was more like 1 or 1.5 stars, in my opinion. The latter took longer to find but it still wasn't that bad.

After briefly viewing the sunset over the Delaware River at the last geocache site, I returned in-state to Arby's for a Turkey & Swiss Market Fresh sandwich. This is actually pretty good but somewhat more expensive than their menu items, so I tried it only because I had a coupon.

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No Parking

Salem/Cumberland

Sunny, 27-32°F. I had some calls and correspondence to take care of this morning. Then I started downloading a map update for the nüvi 295W. This download looked like it would take a few hours. What to do in the meantime? Why, leave it running and go out geocaching, of course! One of the things I wanted to do was work on the NJ DeLorme Challenge, in which you have to find at least one cache on each page of the DeLorme New Jersey Atlas & Gazetteer. That's not as easy as it sounds. For instance, I thought I got page 66 today, but that cache may be just outside of the grid by about 100 feet. Regardless, it was a nice tour of the countryside and I visited a number of scenic areas.

One nice thing about geocaching this time of the year is shallow ponds and ditches are completely frozen. There were a number of places I hiked today where I'd normally have to find a way around ditches and waterlogged areas. Not today. I just walked across the ice! I didn't even need to bother with the flimsy-looking log bridge at "Down on the Farm".

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gps

10-10-10

Sunny, 70-75°F. First thing in the morning, I went to Brewster's Pub / Laurel Lanes in Maple Shade for the 10-10-10 @ 10:10:10 geocaching event. This turned out to be pretty big event with over 160 attendees. We really packed the pub. The food was a breakfast buffet that also had pizza.

After that, we hung out for a bit and then went our separate ways, although I did run into some geocachers later in the day. With a crowd like this going after a limited number of new caches, chance meetups are inevitable. I also tried some older geocaches that I thought might be difficult. "Roar" has some rather challenging terrain. Luckily, the water level in the stream was low today because part of that walk was on the stream bed.

In the evening, I headed over to the Deptford Mall area for 10-10-10 @ 10:10:10 PM, the night event counterpart to this morning's breakfast event. I was a bit early so I did "Blanchard's Descent" and "The Clement Oak", two geocaches in the same strip mall as the event. I wasn't the only one. More geocachers arrived as I left each cache site. Finally, it was time for the 10:10:10pm event. I was surprised that this event got a respectable turnout in spite of the late hour. I think there were about 40 or 50 people attending. No restaurants in the area were open after 10pm, so we just met up in the strip mall parking lot.

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chicken fries

Third Tuesday

Sunny, 75-80°F. This is funny but my main motivation for going to this evening's Third Tuesday geocaching event at Fuddruckers in New Brunswick was to use my Fuddruckers birthday coupon to get a free burger. Never mind that it's a 190-mile round trip. :)

Of course, since I was heading into NJ anyway, I might as well find some geocaches. I started in Glendora and stopped in Magnolia, Somerdale, Hi-Nella, Gibbsboro, and Springdale. Not sure which was the most difficult geocache of the day. It's probably a tie between "Faux Bark" and "I see you!" "Faux Bark" was actually findable in a minute or two, but I needed to leave the cache site and think about this evil hide a little. The most amusing cache of the day was "Squirrely Butt". The placement was simply peculiar -- the plastic squirrel figurine was hanging upside-down in a tree hollow and presenting the bison tube.

In the evening, I arrived at Fuddruckers for the Third Tuesday event. The usual Central Jersey group was already there. After chatting a while, I ordered the burger. Waited for it but they never called my name. So I went to the order counter to check. It turned out that they had forgotten my order. Oy! Once I reminded them, it took only a few minutes and they brought the burger and fries to my table. Then I topped it with a ton of fixings. I think I used enough melted cheese this time. :)

After the event, I went to Edison and did two quick geocaches at night before heading for home. "Grand Opening" is in a location that was of interest to me. I'd been wondering what happened after they tore down the Ford Assembly Plant on US-1 a few years ago. Well, wonder no more. That cache took me to the middle of the former assembly plant site, which is now a Sam's Club with a huge parking lot. Because we're not done until US-1 is strip malls from end to end.

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morton blvd

South Jersey - Gloucester/Camden

Sunny, 75-85°F. I wanted to do the GHPCC series of geocaches but there were a lot more along the way and in the area so I only did a few. Plenty more for another trip, I guess. Geocaches I did today were a bit spread out. Started in Pennsville, and continued to Paulsboro, West Deptford, Woodbury, Glendora, Laurel Springs, Lindenwold, and Clementon. The most challenging cache of the day was "Unemployed", oddly enough. This one was about 100 feet inside a drainpipe. I didn't have that much of a problem crawling into the drainpipe but I wish I'd brought knee pads because it was rough on the knees. I saw a small frog along the way.

In New Jersey, warehouse clubs cannot require a club membership to buy gas. I'd heard about that law before but forgot about it until the pump attendant at BJ's Wholesale in Deptford told me he didn't need to see my club card. So I didn't actually have to go to BJ's -- if there was a gas-selling Costco or Sam's Club along the way, I could've filled up there too -- but BJ's was conveniently along the road leading to Deptford Mall, where I had dinner at Ruby Tuesday. I had a fish burger. It wasn't on the menu any more, but the server told me they can still make one. This fish burger was comped because of a birthday coupon, but I also ordered the salad bar add-on to go with it. Have to eat my vegetables somehow. :) Since I last had Ruby Tuesday salad bar, they added a few items. Their new coleslaw is pretty good.

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gps

Salem County II

Sunny, 75-80°F. More "NFL Series" geocaches came out today so I hopped over to Salem County, NJ, to do those. Started late but I was still able to do a number of those. I also added a few caches in Woodstown to the mix for variety and also because I'm probably not going back that way for a while. The most physically challenging cache of the day was "The Dollar Cache", but that's only because I approached the cache site from the wrong side of the stream and had to wade across.

"Broncos" and "Chiefs" are located at NJ Turnpike rest areas, one northbound and one southbound. Fortunately, I found employee entrances for both service areas so I didn't have to get on the Turnpike and pay a toll. I think most service areas on toll roads have back entrances like those. It only takes a bit of driving around to find the way in.

Where to go for dinner was a pretty easy question to answer today. While walking to one of the caches, I found a Burger King coupon on the ground. So I had a Whopper combo.

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gps

Salem County - NFL Series

Cloudy, 75-80°F. There is a truckload of new geocaches in Salem County so I went over the bridge to do those today. These are all "NFL Series" geocaches, which is about the closest I'll get to this spectator sport. Those are spread out across Pennsville, Salem, Elsinboro, Penns Grove, and Carneys Point. Most of those were fairly quick (I was doing 4 or 5 per hour) but one cache in the series has thus far proven to be a tough nut and no one has found it yet. I hope there'll be more information about it soon.

After finishing what I could of the series, I did a few more geocaches around Pennsville. I practiced my ninja skills at "Ninja Skill #1". Strange. I didn't know climbing on a park trash can to reach a cache high up in a tree was a ninja skill. :) I also went for "Bluewaters" and "Greenwaters", two geocaches that have been on my nearest caches list for a long time. Technically, I could've driven in on the dirt road to "Bluewaters" but it looked a bit narrow so I walked. That still didn't take very long and I was out of the wooded area just before sunset.

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gps

Back to NJ Tour I - Carneys Point, Woodstown, Mannington, Elmer, Porchtown, Malaga

Sunny and 90-95°F. I figured there were enough new geocaches in Salem County to make it worth paying the Delaware Memorial Bridge toll, so over there I went! I actually haven't been to Woodstown in years and there's a good collection of geocaches in Woodstown and nearby Mannington. It was still early in the afternoon once I was done with those, so I continued onwards along US-40 to Elmer and Malaga for more geocaches. Saw such interesting sights as the giant cowboy at Cowtown and Fox's Shopping Center, which, in spite of the name, doesn't appear to be where foxes shop. :)

The accomplishment of the day was getting FTF on "There's a Park Too!" It wasn't because I rushed out for this cache. The cache had been sitting out there for a week but was difficult enough that 3 other geocachers who tried earlier couldn't find it. When I got into the wooded area, I saw the signs of a lot of frustrated searching. Everything within 50 feet of ground zero had been raked, poked at, split open, or moved aside. Even though it looked like every spot had been searched thoroughly already, I rechecked those anyway in case they missed something. After circling the area a couple of times, I saw something else behind a bunch of bushes that I needed to check. And that's where I found the cache! Funny thing is even that spot looked like it had been stirred up but perhaps not stirred up enough until I came along.

Finished the day by filling up with cheap gas at the travel center in Carneys Point before crossing back over the bridge for a dinner of sidewinder chicken sandwich at Lone Star Steakhouse near home. (And that finishes this month's sheet of Lone Star coupons.)

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