Yesterday, 11 October 2015, was International Earthcache Day. I decided to celebrate by traveling to a nearby park and finding at least one earthcache.
An earthcache is a particular kind of geocache that is peculiar in two ways — it does not have a container and it is focused on one of the earth sciences, usually geology. That means I love them because there is something to see and something to learn. I am still all about science and geology is one of my favorites.
So I was excited to get out, see if I could find and log at least one earthcache, and also to enjoy a beautiful fall day with my Girl. We headed east from Daughter’s about 1130 hours and drove east to Chickies Rock Park adjacent to the Susquehanna River. I parked the geocaching 4Runner in the area around the Breezy Overlook, got my gear, and let the Girl out. We hunted around for a virtual cache (Breezy View) near the parking lot, but I couldn’t find the answers to the questions so we headed down the trail.
The hike down to the Heritage Trail was pretty-darned steep (technical term), but we managed. The Girl has all-paw drive and a high strength-weight ratio so steep doesn’t bother her. This old man was happy to have his hikers on because there were slidies (another technical term) on the path. Regardless, we got down to the trail without issue. It was only a short distance down the trail to the Henry’s Clay Furnace earthcache. We greeted numerous other walkers/hikers along the way and paused at the site to read the description, collect the answers to the questions for the log, and explore. I came away with a couple of nice frames of the ruins and a fascinating glimpse into the local history.
We hiked on north to find the Chickies Rock earthcache. I wasn’t too surprised when we approached and there was a group of rock climbers working the rock, but it was a mildly surprising — and pleasing — event. I paused to collect a few images and begin collecting the answers for the questions posed in the description of the earthcache. We moved along a little farther north to visit more of the rock (and collect more answers). I sat on an old railroad tie and made a few notes to use later when I logged the find. Then we headed back south.
As we passed the group of climbers, a young woman made eye contact and greeted us. So, I stopped to chat. This is a big part of what makes life interesting to me — stopping and talking to people. I love hearing their stories, finding out what they do and what the love, and asking questions about those things. As it turns out, Katy was one of the guides for this group and is working on her degree in a field that I don’t remember the name for, but is about how our bodies and minds are connected and the impact of stress and similar pressures on our systems. She’s interested in how outdoor activities affect that system and how outdoor activities can be used as therapy.
After a few minutes, one of the other guides (the lead) came over to visit and give some direction on capturing some video of the climbers. So, I bid them farewell and the Girl and I headed back toward the trail up the hillside and back home. It wasn’t a long hike and the climb up wasn’t as steep as I thought. It was enough to get my pumping, but I wasn’t tired when I reached the top.
At the top, I was also able to find what I needed for the Breezy View virtual cache, so I collected my information and then we mounted up and headed home. The round trip (boots on ground) was shy of three miles, but it was still a good day.