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End of August

ToolboxIt is hard to believe that August is almost over. Where did the summer go? For me the months of June, July, and August were probably the busiest ever with two trips to Norway, two to Dallas, Washinton, San Francisco, Wyoming, Zaragoza, Spain, Philadelphia, and a handfull to New York City. In spite of all this travel for speeches and board meetings, it was a really great summer. Seeing a lot of family and friends for my 60th was quite special, and I was able to get in quite a few geocaching hikes.
I began geocaching in 2003 but this summer was the most active with the addition of twenty-two caches and twelve benchmarks to the "found" list. (Total caches found stands at 37 — in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, Hawaii, and Norway). We also picked up eight travel bugs, put five new bugs in circulation, and placed a new cache. Geocaching is a sport that has a lot to offer, is a lot of fun, and I think it will be one of the "next big things". I have a story about geocaching in the works, but for now, I will just share a bit about one day of geocaching, our last for the summer, that took place this past week. On Friday afternoon we found three caches and one benchmark.

The first of the three geocaching searches for the day took place near Narrowsburg, NY. The trike ride took us up the east coast of Lake Wallenpaupack, across route 652 and then along the shore of the Delaware River via route 97. The cache was hidden high enough above the water that flooding would not affect it, but the weeds were very tall and as we got closer to the cache, there were some serious sticker bushes. The cache consisted of a small decon container. The view and activities at the river were interesting but the short hike was not much fun. Fortunately, the next one would be much more challenging.

The next cache began at a trailhead five miles down the road on the New York side of the Delaware. The "Be Prepared Cache" is located on the Tusten Moutain trail. We followed the yellow trail markers for roughly a mile to the cache. It was a very nice hike through the beautiful forest amid enormous rocks and ledges. The hike was quite steep, rising more than 500 feet from bottom to top. The extra .3 mile past the cache for the spectacular view of the Upper Delaware River Valley from 1,160 feet was well worth it. We took a trail map from the cache and left a couple of geocaching buttons. We also left the Nutmeg and Laurel #3 Travel Bug.
Another five miles down the Delaware we headed up the mountain to the west to visit the Revolutionary Trail Cache. The cache was hidden in the Minisink Battleground Park, the site of the only Revolutionary War battle fought in the Upper Delaware River valley. The park, operated and maintained by the Sullivan County Division of Public Works was in meticulous condition with restrooms, brand new trails, the most professional trail markers I have ever seen, and even a recorded history of the park available at the push of a button. Not sure why, but there was not one other person at the park. It is worth a visit. We took some bug repellent and left a couple of geocaching pins.
On the way back to the lake, I could not resist looking for LY2335, a benchmark near the intersection of routes 97 and 52. Finding this benchmark was a nice way to finish a day of geocaching. It was a FTF (first to find), which is always satisfying. This find confirmed a lesson for me which is to not pay much attention to your GPS when seeking a benchmark. The key is to carefully read the text about the location. Apply a bit of logic to what you read and if the mark is there, you will find it. This one was a metal rod and it was protected inside of an eight inch diameter enclosure with an open top. The rod was six feet from the utility pole. I made log entries for the actual waypoint as I recorded it on the Magellan eXplorist 600 and also included some pictures in the log. Here is the actual text used by the NGS to describe the location of this mark.
Documented History (by the NGS) 1/1/1982 by NGS (MONUMENTED)

DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1982 1.3 KM (0.8 MI) NW FROM HUNTS CORNER. 1.3 KM (0.8 MI) NORTHWEST ALONG STATE HIGHWAY 97 FROM THE JUNCTION OF STATE HIGHWAY 52 IN HUNTS CORNER, TO THE MARK ON THE LEFT, IN THE NORTHWEST ANGLE OF A V-JUNCTION OF STATE HIGHWAY 97 AND STATE HIGHWAY 52 WEST, 9.80 METERS (32.1 FT) WEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF STATE HIGHWAY 97, 10.30 METERS (33.8 FT) EAST OF THE CENTER LINE OF STATE HIGHWAY 52 WEST, 0.65 METER (2.1 FT) NORTHWEST OF UTILITY POLE NUMBER 1-17. NOTE-SEVERAL ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO DRIVE THE ROD, THE ROD WAS DRIVEN TO REFUSAL AND EMBEDDED AT 3.6 METERS. THE MARK IS 0.34 METERS NW FROM A WITNESS POST. THE MARK IS 0.60 M ABOVE HIGHWAY 97.

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