Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November Hiking Weekend

I've fallen a little bit behind in my updates!   (Still need to update about last weekend's agility trial, sheesh!)

This past weekend was to be devoted to hiking.  We are having such a nice mild autumn without a trace of snow and with Perri being newly released to begin longer and more demanding walks, I wanted to be sure to get on the trails with her.

On Saturday Perri and I took an afternoon hike at Birdsboro Preserve.  We visited here before with a friend and her border collie Bean and there were still a lot of geocaches unfound.  The way into the preserve is tricky.  It reminds me a lot of Centralia because there is an old closed road that runs through the preserve, but it is broken apart and in some places completely disrupted by creek erosion.  There is graffiti everywhere, which some people hate but I always enjoy.  We started off at the old Route 82 and followed it until we found a trail that ran along the creek for a while.  I allowed us 40 minutes of walking time and that was probably a wee bit too much but it was such a beautiful day and we were enjoying our first hike together since "lock down" in September.

As agonizing as Perri's active rehab was, this is a terrifying stage of recovery from Perri's injury as well.  Every step she takes I am scrutinizing, reading too much into, worrying about.  So much worry that she will reinjure and we will be back to the beginning.  The fine line between strengthening her body but not overdoing it.  It's hard to not fall into the trap of being too defensive and overprotective.

On Sunday I had the entire day free (on Saturday I was on call all morning.) so I had a longer hike planned.  Perri would have to stay home.  Molly and I went to Lake Ontalaunee for some major geocaching and exploring.  There are a ton of geocaches around the lake including a 55-cache mystery series.   Each geocache had some information about landmarks in the county where the lake is located in , with a multiple choice question - each answer had coordinates so you had to select the correct answer to find the actual coordinates that the mystery cache was hidden at!   I had a lot of fun working out all of the answers a few months ago and finally had a day free to go find some of them. 

This cache series is also a "Geo Art" series, so the mystery caches are arranged with GPS coordinates to form some "art" on the geocache map.  I started with the "B" caches.  At about our 8th cache, I discovered that these caches were not arranged neatly in order.  Many of them were - the first seven!  But the eight cache was randomly hidden lakeside near a parking area.   Number 9-12 were back on the trail that the first seven were on.  It was a little confusing.  It became quickly apparent that I did not have my act together regarding knowing where each grouping of caches were located throughout the park!  I found some of the 'T" caches and their arrangement was just as random!   Much respect to the set up for these 55 caches, all of the information and questions involved let alone hiding all of the containers though.  It must have been a huge undertaking!

(When I returned home I had a much better understanding of the park layout as well as knowing that the caches will not necessarily be lumped all together.  I've got my notes all re-written with parking areas outlined and I am eager to get back out to the lake and put a dent in finding more of these caches!)

Well that was some geocache nerding, that's for sure!  Despite the technical difficulties with the caches, Molly and I had at least four hours of walking (and probably two hours between driving to trailheads, trying to figure stuff out, signing logbooks, etc.)  I even climbed up a tree for a geocache, and Molly was so frustrated about that that she humped me when I got back on the ground.   She hasn't done that in years!  I was laughing to myself thinking about if anybody in the parking area had witnessed this strange person climbing up a tree and getting humped by her dog upon returning to the ground.  Ha!   Good old crazy Molly, we had a great day together.  Never boring!

Love pine trees!   One of the caches was hidden in a tree here.

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