Yesterday I finally took a day to myself to go geocaching. I haven’t been in a while and I needed to get out. I’ve been nudged along reading Atreides78723’s blog to look at how many counties I have. Really, my count is abysmal compared to him. He’s only been geocaching since 2018 and has found a geocache in 351 counties in the United States (of course, he hails from Texas which has about a bajillion counties so that helps). That’s over 10% of the counties in the United States. Me, I’ve been geocaching for 10 years now and only had 148 counties until yesterday (now 152).
I need to do something about that. I like to explore and travel. This year hasn’t been great for that to begin with, so my next few trips I’m going to try to find geocaches in counties I haven’t yet been to.
Yesterday my goal was northern Vermont. That’s not terribly far from me and a place I wanted to geocache for a while. I like driving the country roads over the interstate and seeing what I can find along the way besides the geocaches. I was missing three of the counties along the border with Canada and figured if I wanted to I could cross over into New York State and start there.
When I go out, I always make a plan. I draw up a list of the geocaches I want to find and load them into my hand-held GPS. There are many areas around here where cell phone service is non-existent. I was glad I did that for yesterday because I had no cell service for most of the day across Vermont.
This wasn’t my first stop but it was early in the day. Thankfully, the public facilities were open because I needed to use the bathroom. The lake is quite pretty, but there were storm clouds around. There had been rain in the forecast and I almost talked myself out of going. I’m glad I didn’t because it was beautiful later on.
And the geocache? It was hidden right near where that man was. I think he was the boat ramp attendant. I had to bypass this one. Luckily, I always plan for several in the county just in case I can’t find one.
The rolling farmland and hills of northern Vermont is just beautiful. There was a geocache hidden in a guardrail here, but the scenery is worth the stop, even if the geocache was an easy one.
In geocaching terms, “muggles” are people who aren’t geocaching. They are who we want to avoid drawing the attention of while we geocache. At this cache, I had muggles moo-ing at me. They told me where the geocache was hidden
I drove over Hazens Notch Road. Having driven over roads closed in winter around here, I was prepared for the worst. This road was actually really nice.
The geocache was right near the bridge over this stream in the middle of nowhere There also was a natural spring for people to fill their water jugs. The piping you see is to collect maple sap. This is one of the most extensive setups I’ve ever seen. That blue piping goes for miles in the woods. I found the sugaring or collection house at the other end of the road.
When I first started geocaching, I was uncomfortable with the idea that people hid geocaches in or near cemeteries. Over the years I’ve become more comfortable with it. Usually the caches are on the side – not right in the middle of the cemetery. I also take the opportunity to explore a little and look at the stones.
This one had some pretty unique gravemarkers in it. I particularly liked the ones with the scenes etched into them. I always wanted to be cremated, but if I could get a scene from Star Wars etched on my gravestone, I might rethink it.
By now I had (hopefully) found all the geocaches I needed in Vermont. I crossed into New York State, but not before finding a geocache right in a parking area off the beginning of the bridge Lake Champlain was choppy today, but also very low. It would seem most of Northern New England is in the throes of a drought.
New York State was probably a mistake. I lived there for 39 years. I found a geocache right on the other side of the bridge that I had to climb a tree for a couple of feet. That was a first. I no sooner turned the corner in the town of Rouses Point when the red and blue lights were flashing. My crime? Not wearing a seatbelt. I’m used to New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” motto and hopping in and out of the Wrangler all day, I just didn’t give thought to it. I did get to explain geocaching to the nice young police officer. Yes, he still gave me the ticket.
I think that took a bit of the wind out of my sails for the day. I did find a couple of geocaches in the area, but realistically I wasn’t going to make it to Malone at that point (there are a couple of geocaches there I really wanted to find). It was around 2:30 that I decided to head home. My car GPS started to take me to the ferry. Why when I’d just come over a bridge, I don’t know. That was a half-hour detour that I didn’t need.
On the way home I was heading south through Grand Isle. I decided to grab a couple more geocaches there, just in case I was wrong about where the earlier one was located. The last geocache was a cemetery one. I found one particular gravemarker pretty amusing. The cache itself was located where a tree had grown over a couple of graves. On the other side of the tree in the above-right picture, the corner of another stone was peeking out. I wonder what they’ll do if this tree dies.
All in all, I found caches in four counties and had a pretty nice drive. It was a long day – I left my house around 6:30 in the morning and arrived home about 7PM. I might plan a trip to stay over somewhere in the Adirondaks of New York and knock off a bunch of geocaches in various counties sometime over the next few weeks. My next trip will be for some counties I need in northern Maine. I’m hoping to take it this weekend, but the weather looks like I might have to postpone it a week.