In search of a geocache in Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
“I have always hated to exercise just for the sake of exercise,” my good friend dagdvm once told me.
I agree completely. Sometimes it’s hard to just get on a treadmill and walk in place or go outside and walk in circles around some block or track or route or go out a ways and then turn around and come back. Yes, it’s exercise, but walking without purpose can get a bit monotonous. Wouldn’t it be great to have another reason to walk a good distance?
“Geocaching,” dagdvm continued, ” is getting me out and walking for hours at a time. It has to be good for my body.”
It sure does. If you go out looking for certain geocaches you’ll get some exercise without even thinking about it. If you go to a nice park full of geocaches you can walk around for hours having fun finding as many as possible. If you go to that park with a friend who belongs to an avid hiking superdog, well — it’s hard to think of a better way to spend a nice healthy day outside, and that’s exactly what dagdvm, her weiner dog Tilly and I did at Hemlock Overlook Regional Park in Fairfax County, Virginia on a fine Sunday in June.
Last Sunday afternoon in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park I found a geocache I’d first gone looking for in March, Bear’s Lodge (GC18HZ8).
This is the first time I’ve watched the park move from winter into spring. Walney Pond is transformed from frozen gray into an explosion of life, including lily pads, yellow irises, mallards, Canada geese, red-winged blackbirds and all of us humans who flock to be in the presence of all this beauty. Walney Pond is a worthy destination and the perfect point of departure for the trails that lead up and away into the woods beyond.
I like caches on the edge, in this case between the noisy chaos of I-66 and large, quiet green space. In the few seconds it took me to walk up to the hide I might have been seen by scores of people rushing by at 70 mph but they might as well have been in another county, another state. They could briefly knock on the glass but they couldn’t step through.
…a travel bug I acquired from 12E Daily, a local commuter lot cache, on March 11th. My goal was to move December 7th a good ways south since the TB owner wants it to travel as much as possible and I head south quite often on the weekends. I took a few shots of this TB in situ during our time together.
I found a home for December 7th on the 26th — Bird Sanctuary, in Orange County, 42.74 miles south of 12E Daily. It’s a small cache, big enough for a few trackables and some toys. I liked the cache a lot and made it one of my favorites.
The 16th Annual National Capital Boat Show kicks off Friday March 11th at the Dulles Expo Center, so perhaps Thursday night the 10th wasn’t the best time to check out this geocache. A tractor trailer (presumably loaded with FANTASTIC boat stuff) with driver aboard was parked within yards of GZ so I never got an un-muggled look. I’ll be back again. 🙂
Finding GC2NKKD (My First Cache) was a blast. The GPS coordinates looked to be right-on — the imagery on my iPhone Geocaching app didn’t have the cache out in the middle of the parking lot — so I figured it had to be on or around a certain power pole or the signposts near the power pole.
I arrived at GZ around 8:15 a.m. It took me a few minutes to figure out the hide. What a beautifully done cache, and it’s even more impressive because it was this geocacher’s first placed cache.
As I was driving away it occurred to me that the whole outer construct was the cache. The CO probably had to show up at GZ in the middle of the night to do this hide. It really does look like it belongs there until afterward when you realize that nah, that thing doesn’t do anything but hide the cache.
The whole thing is in fact a cache-in-plain-sight.
We’re just so used to seeing all manner of tubing strapped to telephone and power poles. We have no idea what any of it does, and so all that stuff looks perfectly natural, especially when it’s next to other tubing that actually appears to serve a function. Ingenious.
That’s the beauty of that cache on one level, using our natural perceptions of things we don’t really understand too deeply to fool us.
On another level the construction and concept of the actual hide within the cache-in-plain-sight is so very well done.
Thanks, DangerPayne, for a fanatastic first cache.