Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Geocaching Woodville - Part I

Yesterday I did the first end of the trail in Woodville, Wisconsin, and logged 27 caches. I don't think that's my best day. If I go look at the geocaching statistics on geocaching.com, it appears it's my third best. 34 with Klund and Ming trumps earlier this year. And I had a 28 cache day with The Boss. I'm disappointed I didn't find two more caches yesterday just to bother Boss. That might have made being bitten by a dog worth it. But it is my best solo day ever.

Here's a summary montage of some of the pictures, for those of you like Ming who are impatient with long posts.

Here's a picture of the path I followed, starting from the north end.  Where the green unfounds start isn't the end of my ride, it just happens to be where I quit to find the end of the trail by bike so I was sure I'd have time to get back to the car in time to get Eryn from school.  If I had just kept caching, perhaps I'd have avoided the dog.

Whose sign is this?  Nacho sign!  If I hadn't been bitten by the dog, I would have driven out to try out the brew pub.  I may go back to try it out, but I'll cache in Stillwater on the way and only hit the end of the trail where the "13 Days of Christmas" caches are that I didn't do.

The day started at this sign, which didn't seem to officially be part of the trail as there was lots of wet grass as it cut through the woods.  It was right after this sign that I lost my camera while taking a...break.  My first geocache of the day was to find my own, new camera, worried that it was now wet with nasty...forest...residue.  From here, the path seemed to follow the direction of the path on the other side of town, so perhaps it's part of an old rail bed.

My first cache of the day! I had to hop across a narrow ditch full of water.  But prior to hopping, I put one foot into the ditch and water flowed into my shoe through the toehole I've worn in it while bicycling.  So this cache stayed with me all day in the form of a slightly soggy foot.

If there was a hot redhead in a sundress lurking in this picture, I'd be a shoe in for The Chive's hot girls in the middle of nowhere series.  I did the lighting on purpose for this picture, and it turned out nicely, so I'm very proud of myself.  "Hot Cache in the Middle of Nowhere".

I didn't pay attention to GSAK settings and it's been a while, so I didn't realize I had a mix of traditional, multi-stage, and mystery/puzzle caches in my GPS.  Unfortunately, that meant I ended up at a mystery cache at the cemetery looking for a traditional cache.  Caches are almost never on private/church land, so it made me rather nervous.  I felt like I did when the guy in North Dakota came to grill Ming and I about why we were looking around the city sign for a cache.  After 20 minutes, I figured something was up and gave up.  But this tombstone was very close to where I was looking in a series of pine trees.  The cache was something about Norwegians, so this confused me.  Virgil and Leona, very Scandinavian sounding.  Wang?  Research shows that it's a very Scandinavian name, derived from Vang.

One of the first caches.  Thought they were clever with the magnet in the old paint can.  There weren't too many magnet-based caches during the day.  Most of them were just hidden in the brush well off the trail and not exactly at the coordinates, so you had to do quite a bit of digging around to find them.  That, or  my GPS was off by up to 40 feet all day.

This was a more surmountable obstacle than the big puddle I encountered earlier on the trail.  I'm always happy to see that trees fall when no one is around, that way they don't fall on me.

Couple of caches were in pines.  Smelled wonderful.

This is an example of what I was talking about when I said they were just laying around off the trail.  Go 20-50' into the brush and junk on the side of the trail, and some of them were just laying in the open.  Others were damn hard to find, particularly when there were four or five layers of desiccated shrubbery.

Woodville's troll.  Guarding the grain storage rather than a bridge.

Obviously "official".

I found a pair of glasses in a cache.  I didn't swap anything for them.  My trades were for coins and things Eryn might like.  But I do take my picture with cache "props" when I get the opportunity.  I should have stayed on the path to being a Tudor/Stuart history professor.  I look like someone's professor.  Or grandpa.  Notice it was warm enough to wear two layers of t-shirts?  Might be the last day of the year with a reasonable temperature.

Boring cache picture.  Unless you're really into cache p0rn.

Almost every cache was slightly different.  I think someone had a lot of old containers sitting around that didn't make it out the door at the garage sale.

This one was peculiar.  I'm not sure why it needed to be in the form of a baseball cap.  One of the cachers up here did a series using all the team caps, but this wasn't part of a series that I could discern.  I did finally catch on by about this point that the name of the cache, which doesn't show up in my GPS unless I back out a screen, is uber-important.  Names like "Wrapping Tree" and "Don't Trespass" really help you hone in on the right location when the cache is just in the general vicinity.

The fence posts were interesting.  I don't know what sort of wood they were made out of, but this is one of them from the top down.

Rolling under I-94.  This is the only paved part of the whole trail.  Overall, it's pretty bumpy and hilly and, in some parts, it's composed of rocks about a third the size of a golf ball.  Rough riding, even on my mountain bike with the wide (although non-knobby) tires.  At the very end was a hill so steep, so rocky, so covered with loose dirt and leaves, that I couldn't make it even half-way up on my bike.  A strange feature for a bike trail.

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