Though I’ve been working on my “is geocaching passing me by?” series, I have to admit something.
I’ve had a little bit of fun with it lately.
That’s a good thing, though.
This past Saturday, I got to go on a daylong adventure with a couple of old caching pals. We packed into a vehicle and headed down state a little bit, basically going down one route from our area, circling around and heading back.
I had many caches on the list, but we only ended up doing part of the list, which is normal. It was fun just to scout out caches again and make a list to go after. It wasn’t as in-depth as I used to do it (and will likely never do it that way again) and gave us several options in directions we could go.
We started out at a reasonable time and started caching our way downstate. We made a few finds early that a couple of us already had, but once we got into the roll of things it became a fun day of cache finds and exploration.
Early in the day, however, we decided to stop and grab some eats.
That turned out to be rather interesting.
Part of the fun of a geocaching day like this is just stopping to eat when you are ready to eat. This can also backfire as sometimes you get some, well, not-so-good spots.
This day we went with Russ’s Country Kitchen.
The sad part of this is after we left and continued the trip, we saw a hot dog guy, which had originally been a hope of mine (and others didn’t seem to mind) as a lunch idea. A shame indeed.
But I digress.
We stopped at this little strip mall because a couple people needed to hit up a bathroom. It was also after noon, so lunch was a good bet. We decided to choose the outdoor seating because it was a beautiful day. I see from their website that they “make patio dining a great experience for customers.”
The deck is a nice spot, to be sure. But the tables and chairs are cheap and flimsy. Further, they allow smoking out there. And, when we sat down, we had to clean our own table. And, when the “settings” came out, some of the silverware was dirty. Unreal.
The smoking is a bit ridiculous. An older lady came after we were there (note she ordered after us; received her food before us and left before we even started eating) with, I would assume, her grandaughter and dog. The dog kept coming over and sniffing at us. I’m fine with pooches and I don’t even care if a dog is brought to a spot like this, being it’s outdoors. But pull the leash and keep it over by you.
Anyway, she was smoking away and not worrying about anyone else. At one point she told the little girl to kiss the dog (seriously), but there might be pink lipstick on the dog because she had kissed it earlier.
Now for the service and eatery. My food was OK. But I got a cold sub. The bread was decent, so it worked OK. One person got the burger the way she ordered it. The problem? The others also got their burgers well done, despite being ordered differently.
Let me say that twice things were ordered and they didn’t have it. And our waitress, who was slow (and apparently new), angry and not very friendly made sure she threw the kitchen under the table. Several times she told us she wanted to quite. The head waitress told us that “she was new and learning.” And that, despite the veal being on the menu, they’ve never offered it. The “new” waitress went to check on the soup du jour and came back to say she “forgot to check.”
I can’t make this stuff up.
The final straw was at the end when we went to pay our bill and requested to be rung up separate. She answered with a roll of the eyes and said “You should have told me before I started adding it up.”
In the end, we left a tip for this waitress, though we’d have easily been in the right to walk out with anything. I can say I’ve never had a waitress like this and hope I don’t again.
That and I wish we had seen the hot dog guy!
Anyway, we were soon on our way again.
The caches took us all over the place. From main roads and rest areas to back roads and in the woods. We saw all sorts of different sizes of caches, from basic micros to large ammo cans. That made the day fun.
What didn’t make the day fun?
One thing I truly hate is ticks. These creepy crawly suckers were all over this day. It’s something that’s normal down in this region of the state, but it was pretty nasty. I’d say of the five of us who went on this trip, we flicked, killed or threw a good dozen ticks. I found two on me this day — one that I thought had latched in, but thankfully hadn’t. Another that appeared on me after I had gone five feet into longer grass.
Here’s the super problem with these creepy things. If one of them is found on somebody in the group, any time you feel something on yourself, you think it’s a tick. Ick.
But enough on those little pieces of… well, ya know.
The day, overall, was fun. I personally found 29 caches, which is, by far, my largest day in a long time. There were some cheap park-and-grabs, but there were also some good finds.
At one find, there was a State Trooper parked nearby. We walked behind him, to the cache, signed it and came back. Nothing was asked. Maybe he’s a cacher?
We also ran into a couple cachers at one geocache, which is always fun.
One cache was quite interesting as we had to climb up a, I guess, cliff of sorts (not the face of it). Turns out the opposite side (which I had noted earlier) had a nicer trail. Oh well, a good workout going up and an easy trail coming down. A cool cache though.
On our way home, we stopped at a Stewart’s for ice cream and watched the ending of a car wreck. Apparently, someone ran this person off the road and into a tree at the front of a Stewart’s. Oh, the ice cream was good, by the way.
While there, we saw a fella on an Italian motorcycle, which looked like it could go fast. So I asked him. The guy said this bike isn’t for speed — it’s for fun. And he’s “only” had it up to 120 mph. He said the bike he had before it (I think he said it was a Ninja) he had going 180 mph. Yes, 180. Sheesh!
In the end, a heck of a good time. These are the type of caching days I need to do. No competing or worrying about anything. Find the cache, sign the log, chat, laugh and have a good time. No rush, no nothing. It was nice and relaxing (outside those creepy crawlers!).
Hopefully it can continue as I’m inching toward find No. 3,000. I thought I would have been to this point by now, but I’ve slowed in this game over the last year or two. Still, with some possible trips planned this summer, I think I can get to where I need to be. And I have a cache I’d like to make my 3,000th find, though I need to finish the challenge to be able to log it! So, we’ll see how it goes.
Until then, I look forward to having fun with the game again. This Saturday, I’m hosting a small, no-frills event in our area and then hopefully going out to find a few caches after. In a couple of weeks, it’s the annual New York-based mega event in Western New York, which should also be fun. A couple of us are planning to find some caches to help with some challenge caches, so the weekend should be fun. There will be several events, too, so that’s always fun.
Thankfully the caching fun is back. Hopefully, it stays!
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