Thursday, December 1, 2011


The Beginning of the End: Last Day

By Big Al

This week we are back to the last day of our adventure from TX to PA. Come join us on the last leg of our trip.

Two weeks ago we left you as we had stopped in Tennessee for one cache and also to spend the night before heading on home. The hotel room was very nice, and the bed felt comfortable as we drifted off to sleep. The next morning we ate a wonderful breakfast, checked out of our room, and then headed out to get a couple of nearby caches. 

One of the guys we met along the way at a gas station

I had found several caches that were located near the local Walmart and they turned out to be very easy finds. Although I was a little concerned about one of them due to a motor home sitting right next to the cache. I went ahead and found it and we signed the log and then put it back and moved on to the next one. These were both LPC's, but at least they gave us two more smileys. Then we hit the road once again.

We crossed into Virginia and began looking for a cache to find here. We really wanted to get lots of souvenirs to add to our collections and this was the way to do it. We decided to find Motorcycle Mike #5 of 18, which is a series and I wish we could have found all 18 of them. This was a nice easy find and well worth it. We logged our find and moved on.

We drove for a long time without any caches to find  and decided we really needed to stop for a rest. Where else better to stop than at a rest area that includes a Geocache. We pulled off of the road and parked and each took our turn of using the facilities. Then it was time to find the cache. As we began looking for this one we noticed that there were two state workers there who were watering the yard and washing off the sidewalks. They kept watching us, but we used stealth like they have never seen before. I headed into the woods just a short distance from the picnic tables and began looking. Paul kept watch for me. I kept looking and looking, but I just was not finding it. I thought to myself "I really don't want to have to log another DNF, so lets let the Geosenses kick in. Then I found it. It was really a nice hide. We logged our find and put it back and moved on. I saw some folks then heading into the woods as we got to our car and I couldn't help but wonder if they were going to find this cache too. Who knows? Back on the road once again.


We continued on and I searched out another cache to find. The one I found really sounded like it was going to be a great one. It is called Welcome to West Virginia cache. This cache was also located in a rest stop area at the Welcome Center. We parked and headed up to the far end of the parking lot and then went into the woods. This cache was supposed to be just inside of the woods after a big rock. We found a rock and entered the woods. We had to do a little walking and then I realized we were not near GZ yet. We walked along the woods for a while and then we found the big rock we were supposed to have come in by. We had been way off. We started looking around and we just could not find it. I really did not want to log a DNF so we kept on searching. I knew the cache container was supposed to be really unique so I put my gps on compass and started walking. As I was doing this Paul said something about a shoe and I ignored him and kept looking. I then went back to GZ and said "okay, it must be here within about 10 feet". As we began looking at everything a little closer I saw the shoe he was talking about. He picked it up very carefully and all I could think of was that CSI would now have our DNA from the shoe of someone who had probably been murdered. Great we're going to go to jail.

This is not a picture of the actual cache. Just a replica I did not want to spoil it too much, but you get the idea.

Then he handed the shoe to me and I looked it over and did not see any thing that could be the log. I looked under the insole, but did not see anything. Then I remembered it was supposed to be a Classy contianer so we looked at it a little harder. Then I saw the cache. This person had drilled a hole into the side of the highheel and placed a small micro conatiner inside of it. The top screwed off and the log was inside. How clever. This was the most awesome cache we had found on the whold trip. I don't normally like micros, but this one takes the cake. We signed the log and put it back. What a neat cache. Then it was off towards home again.

Since is was very late, and we did not want to stay the night again somewhere else, we just kept driving through the night. It's been a long time since I pulled an all nighter with my son. We then drove into Maryland.

The cache we were looking for was supposed to be a memorial for the USS Cole. I thought it was going to be under the bridge, but when we pulled off of I-81 we noticed that the bridge went over 81 not under. We drove across the bridge and I told Paul I did not see it. I told him maybe we'd better stop at the gas station and I'd ask someone where the memorial was. Paul stopped and got gas and I went inside. I asked the lady at the counter if she knew where the memorial was. She looked at me and said "mister, I don't know what you're talking about". I thought okay lets get out of here. I then told Paul maybe we'd better drive across the bridge again really slow and see if it was there. As we drove across the bridge he saw a large sign in the middle of the midian and said he thought that was it. I jumped out and he drove around the midian and headed back towards the other side. While he was gone I searched the entire sign. I knew it was magnetic so I figured I'd find it easy enough. WRONG!!!! I did not find it. Paul came back around and asked if I had found it and I said "no" and got back into the car. He was just as determined to find this one as I was so we went back to the gas station and parked. Then we walked across the bridge and realized there were two bridges there. One went across the railroad tracks and the other went across 81. We walked all the way towards the sign in the midian again because he really wanted to search this sign out to find the cache. As we got close to the sign I realized the GPS was not leading us that way, but instead it was leading us towards the end of the bridge. I told Paul I did not think it was on the sign. We continued to the end of the bridge and there was a small plaque embeded into the bridge about the USS Cole.

Paul said he did not see any cache container, but then I remebered it was magnetic and realized there was a guard rail right next to it. I reached inside and pulled out the cache. We signed the log and I took a little pin out of it and then we put it back and started our long walk back to the car. As a prior military person I will never forget this cache because of this plaque. These men gave the ultimate sacrifice; their lives. I really hate terrorists. Anyway, on the way back to the car we noticed a dead groundhog that someone had posed on another guardrail as if he was watching the passerbys. We laughed really hard about this cache for quite some time. This will definitely be a cache to remember.

This was our last cache of the trip and we soon crossed into PA and headed straight home. We have both found caches in PA so we did not stop for any more. We just wanted to get home from this long trip. We arrived at home around 3:30 a.m. and were greeted by my loving wife and children. They all wanted to see us, but they would not get to hear of our travels until the next day after a much needed sleep.

Thanks for joining us on this grand adventure. This has to be one of the most memorable trips that my son and I have ever made. I am glad God allowed us to make the trip together and being able to Geocache along the way just made it that much more fun. I know that it would have been pretty boring if it were not for the caches. Not that my son is boring, which he is not, but these caches that were placed by some great cachers, made it that much more fun.

I hope that many of you get the opportunity to travel across the country and do some caching with your family. I know that this trip could have taken a lot longer, but we really wanted to get home as fast as possible. If you have any adventures with your families we'd love to hear about them. So keep on caching.


Kim@Snug Harbor said...

That was a trip that your son will recall to HIS children many years from now. What a fun adventure!


Wow, what a great adventure! Sooner or later I will be doing a road trip like this and hope to make it as much fun and exciting as you did. Great job!

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