March 24, 2014
Though I’m sure we left earlier in the morning, I turned on my GPS at 9am. I didn’t turn it off until 11:55pm.
This is my gps’ record of where we traveled that day:
To complete the busy day, we had to find and log at least six of the ten possible cache types. At the end of the day, we found 3 earthcaches, 1 virtual, 1 multi, 3 challenges, 1 letterbox, and 5 traditionals.
We had two main goals when we planned this day. First, it was important that we find a couple of the oldest caches still available. Our second goal was to solve some of the Alabama State Park Challenges (in particular, the Diamond Challenge caches). Looking back on the day now, I wish I had taken more pictures.
Our first stop was an earthcache, Fort Payne Formation. Not much to share about it; it was just a pile of chert. Then it was on to the only virtual cache of the day, Lebanon Courthouse. Very interesting history inside this house…
The multi-cache we found this day had us roaring with laughter. It’s called Joe’s Truck Stop. I kid you not, Joe’s Truck Stop is a house situated in a curve at the base of a mountain road in Fort Payne. In the past, large trucks that have come speeding down the mountain cannot make the sharp turn toward town and have crashed into Joe’s house! In an effort to protect his home, Joe has erected tall steel beams along his property line. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen. Can you just imagine how terrifying it would be to be sitting at home when an 18-wheeler crashes into your living room?!
After Joe’s, we headed up the mountain to DeSoto State Park where we found three caches, including our 4th find in the Diamond Challenge and the Alabama State Park Geocaching Challenge (ASPGC) cache.
The highlight of the day came in Georgia where we found Rock Town. Rock Town is home to an earthcache and one of the oldest caches on record, an October 2000 cache. On the way to Rock Town, we passed a sign alerting us that we had to have a license to be on that piece of land. We wondered about this for a moment, but Uncle Richard, Geocacher Extraordinaire, secured a 3-day pass to explore Georgia lands. And explore we did!
I’m so glad I carried my camera on that hike!
After Rock Town, we visited an Iron Horse. This cache was also placed in October of 2000. It’s a fascinating trek through America’s railroad history. I didn’t take my camera, but Karl had his phone and took this picture of the old tunnel. To get to the cache, we had to make another long hike. This cache made me nervous because we were searching in a waterfall/river/creek on a mountainside. The rocks were slippery, too. So, I was kind of annoying with all of the please-be-carefuls. This photo gives you an idea of the change in elevation…The next find was the Buck’s Pocket Letterbox. It was a true letterbox in the sense that we reached GZ, then had to follow instructions through the woods to get to the cache. I had never done a letterbox like this before. Night was falling, but we had to persevere. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have our busy day.
We parked, then we had to find the starting point. As we walked along the creek, we searched for a tree with specific markings. Once we found that tree, we had to walk in a specific direction a specific number of paces before we spotted another specific tree. This tree would point us in the right direction of the cache location. We found it just as the sun disappeared.
We raced back to the van because we still needed to make it to Guntersville State Park before it was too late.
Along the way, we saw deer, an owl, more deer, and a fox.
We pulled up to Guntersville’s gate, told the park attendant what we needed to do, he gave us an hour and wished us luck. We solved the Diamond Challenge, found the ASPGC cache, and then decided we had time to do one more earthcache, Mabrey’s Rock.
On the way home, we found everyone’s favorite food cache, a Mexican restaurant. We ate and rehashed our favorite moments of the day. It was such a great day.