Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hiking the Woodlawn Tract - May 4

View across the Brandywine valley
It's fair to say that the Ricketts Glen hiking trip has revved up my interest in getting back out into the woods. I also have a renewed interest in mixing in some geocaching time when I am able. This past Sunday morning was forecast to be a perfect cool spring morning, so I spent about three hours doing some short hikes in the Woodlawn tract near home, with the goal of clearing out a number of "ammo can in the woods" caches that have popped up back there in the few years since I have last done that. This area is very close to home, and all those caches are messing up my "unfound closest to home" map...

I apparently have still not figured out that whole "electronic devices need batteries" thing, so I don't have a hiking track to post, as I had planned. My GPS batteries only lasted about twenty minutes before dying, after which I had to use my phone app for a GPS. Oops.

The day was as nice as forecast. It was great to get out and get some exercise, and the Brandywine River valley is a wonderful spot to do so. I was also successful in finding six caches (all in my top 8 closest to home), and have now re-cleared a nice portion of map in that area. All told, I hiked about 4 miles in three little chunks, with car moves to different parking areas in between. Ideally, I would have made a longer continuous hike, but the way the caches were spread out, and my hope to get as many of them as possible, didn't make that practical for one morning.

This gets me to an even 1,100 caches, 999 of which are "traditional" caches. I hope to be able to continue to find a Saturday or Sunday morning here or there where I can take a few hours and get a short hike in without intruding too much on family time. At least before it gets too disgustingly hot and humid.

Getting my legs (and cardio) back in better shape will be useful as well, as the guys have blocked out a 3-4 day trip (destination TBD) in lieu of a bigger trip this year. As of now we have four people committed, and are looking at locations within a maximum drive of around 5 hours. One of the leading contenders at this point is the Monongahela National Forest in northeastern West Virginia, specifically the Spruce Knob area (West Virginia's high point). That suits me fine. I don't have a geocache in West Virginia yet...

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