Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Oh! Canada! finally...........

So we got up this morning and had a quick breakfast with Aunt Marcia...I had my usual granola, yogurt and fresh fruit and Rich had toast. Then we were off.

My cousin Mark cautioned about traffic and told us to follow his lead and he would get us around the rush hour traffic. Well, we didnt hit any traffic, but had to do a significant (1 hour) worth of backtracking to get to the Maryland Cache Across America Cache. The cache was in Greenbriar State Park Boonsboro MD, and it was a beautiful park and a beautiful day. We hiked about half a mile around a pond and up into the woods to find the cache. Then a half a mile back to the car. We decided to picnic while we were there. Crabmeat makes a perfect picnic lunch!

As we were packing up and trying to find a trash can, to no avail.....the sky clouded over and in a rare case of perfect timing it started to rain just after we got into the car to head off. It seems...they do not believe in putting trash cans in parks in Maryland. So...we loaded the trash into the car and took it with us to the most amazing convenience store gas station I have ever visited. It was called Sheetz and you could get anything you wanted in there. I think I saw somebody making curry to order in the back I swear! Threw away the trash, got some coffee and then back on the road.
Then driving........ we listened to the kindle read to us... the 5 languages of love. It was a good book, we will finish it up on the way to Quebec. Rich Identified my love language, but he will not committ until he has all of the information at hand, so what his love language is..he will not validate.

and driving.....we played some more name that band with my classic rock playlist of 409 songs

and driving............ I was reading Kafka on the Shore to myself

and driving.....driving driving driving driving....

then after crossing the Susquehana river 3 times (have I impressed on everyone that I have a rather intense dislike of bridges? just sayun) we arrived at the Pennsylvania Cache Across America Cache. I looked out the car window...it was misting, and there was a large hill dead ahead - exactly where the arrow on the GPS was pointing. I looked at Rich and told him I was going to sit this one out. He went off into the woods......then he came back....put on his boots (this is why I didnt go....mud and sliding down the hill...didnt want to do it) and went back into the woods. I dozed and read some more of Kafka on the Shore in my kindle... Finally Rich emerged victorious from the woods. And off we went....more driving...but not for long...it was now supper time and I was hungry and not at all interested in a fast food option. Gotta love a nuvi when it is time to find a restaurant....found a nearby Applebees and they have 2 for $20 so we were all about that. We both had burgers and onion rings and left ready to drive some more.

rain...rain rain...and rainbows were what we saw the last long leg of the drive today.... beautiful country side in upstate New York. We listened to the kindle read us Lucy Maud Montgomery's autobiography. We planned our Niagara day and read and talked about Niagara and Niagara trivia. Then I dozed some more. I awoke to the car careening at breakneck speeds down hairpin turns as we came out of the mountains and down towards Buffalo. "Slow Down!" I would holler and Rich would say " I already did" It was like the movie Groundhog Day with the same conversation playing over and over and over until we were resoundingly on flat ground.

We walked about 1/2 a mile in the dark on the Buffalo riverwalk next to the niagara river. We found the cache (thank god) without incident...unless you call me giggling at Rich with the flashlight from my glove box - pink, hot pink - that you have to pump for electricity to keep it lit.

Back in the car, me taking a deep breath knowing that bridges...big bridges...were in my immediate future. I did prettty well....I didnt scream, or curse, or hyperventilate! We checked into the hotel that will be our home for the next three nights...and here I am blogging. I am glad we have a couple of days relatively 'drive' free! I am looking forward to enjoying Canada Day tomorrow in Canada!

Miles Driven today: 620
Cache total today: 3
Trip Cache total: 6
Song of the Day: Rolling Stones Love is Strong ...didnt know I liked it, but really did. Always good to find a new song you appreciate!

for information about that 'cache' thing I keep talking about, read the following link: http://www.geocaching.com/

C is for Crazy Caching Today!

So....we left the house at 8:30PM on Sunday night to head out on our big adventure. We stopped for some McDonalds (because, well i love filet o fish sandwiches) and then drove on through to South Carolina without incident. We played 'name that band' with my 90's playlist of 370 songs. By the end, Rich was doing a great job distinguishing between 3 Doors Down, matchbox 20, savage garden, smash mouth, smashing pumpkins, and the gin blossoms. We even listened to some Michael Bolton - gotta love Time Love and Tenderness! At at out 11:30 I dozed a bit while Rich drove. I think you might find that a frequent theme. I am a car snoozer! When we reached Rich's cache virgin counties in South Carolina he began to stop to find one in each of those counties. I was amused watching him trying to find tupperware in the dark. He was successful finding three prior to 1 am with us just about in North Carolina. We decided ...well...he decided he was ready to doze a bit as well so we pulled into a rest area and both of us slept (if you can call what happened in the car, which quickly turned into a mini ez bake oven, sleeping) I couldnt stand it anymore at 5, and offered to drive (gasp, right? I never drive on trips...I did...twice already...we have a record on the first day) I drove for about an hour and then we stopped for an F3 stop - fuel, food, facilities. Rich took the wheel and and we were making really good time, faster than our projected arrival so I made the radical (for me) suggestion that we veer from our pre-established route and find the North Carolina cache across america cache. We had a beautiful drive through the countryside...and reached our destination...took a short walk, climbed through a foundation of a building and there we were......in what would quickly become a watery hell. We knew we were looking for a waterfall..yes we did ....but posts from others said they had crossed this river without getting their shoes wet. We looked in horror at a waterfall that was a mini niagra, whose power could easily have given hydroelectric power to a small city. Rich wasnt even going to try, but I am a stubborn mule and we had gone 40 minutes off our path , one way, to get here and by george I was going to try for that cache. We thought it was on a little delta like island in the middle of the fork of the white water rivers coming from the falls....so....I kept trying spots until I found one where I could cross....with much hazard, I crossed the river using not a walking stick, but a fallen tree (for real, a fallen tree I picked up and was holding and using to balance myself....it was filthy btw, more to come on that later) I got across...victory ..I was so pleased with myself for winning the challenge of the river. Rich was taking my picture from the bank, all proud that I had made the 'crossing' and survived. I couldnt find the cache. I looked and looked....wasnt there. I told Rich to call the info number on this cache....while I found a stump on the little island to sit on and sulk. He called and the fellow who placed the cache said that the waterfall would subside, that it was on a timer and only was that 'rough' when they were using it to siphon water from the lake above the falls. When enough water had be siphoned the dam would close and it would be easy crossing to the far side where indeed we could get the cache. So....I sat on the stump...and sat...and sat...for what seemed an eternity. Stuck on the little delta island. Eventually I couldnt sit anymore...I needed a rest room...I mean, how long am I expected to sit on a stump and hope the waterfall is going to stop? So.......I crossed back - not without incident. I stepped on something in the riverbed, almost fell and that would have sent me kareening at high speeds down the rocky river to the frightening dark muddy (probably snake filled_ place we could see at the end. I caught myself with my fallen tree....kept my balance and crossed to safety. I was downright sulky if you want the truth..now here I was....wet, filthy, hurt and cache-less. I changed in the car, and we headed off to find a potty. Now...one might think finding a potty an easy thing...but....the first 5 places we stopped had no facilities for the public. What is up with that???? I was beginning to worry that I had ended up stuck in the one town where I couldnt potty when we found the Exxon with a dirty but available potty. whew! Then we returned to the river......dam still open. We went to buy some ice for the cooler then returned again...dam still open. Enough was enough so we headed back to the highway without the cache and me now really sulky. I hate it when I look for a cache and dont find it. It is the biggest reason I dont like geocaching. I like finding them, the ones I dont find frustrate me so much it makes the experience sulky for me. Anyway.... we followed the gps back to the highway. Little did we know that it was going to take us 2 hours out of our way....winding through the back roads of North Carolina and Virginia. We picnicked at some point in this drive. Rich was so thrilled. He SO loves sitting on the ground. (NOT!) We finally reached my Uncle Terry and Aunt Marcia's house in Alexandria at 4:30. We visited with Terry, Marcia, and my Dad....grilled some chicken and asparagus, corn on the cob and steaks...and my cousins came over. All three of them! I dont think I had seen all three of them in the same room since I got married 24 years ago. Uncle Terry and Dad regaled us with tales of their childhood foibles and there was much wine and laughter. Good times. Then...baseball. I actually watched a sporting event on television. The Red Sox versus the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles had their butts whooped. I mocked baseball much to the consternation of my cousin Mark, and Rich tried to make a theatre analogy for everything about baseball so I would feel at home. Lots of fun. Then bed...slept like a rock. I was just so happy to be in a bed instead of another turn in the ex bake ov en!

We are off to Niagra Falls today with caches between hither and yon. I am just hoping that today..the caches are easy and not like the water attractions at your local theme park!

I will write again tomorrow......until then I leave you with my song of the day..... 'Sailing' by Christopher Cross..... oh yes....i wish I had a boat at that river cache...i would have 'sailed' right over, grabbed it and been back on the road!

815 Miles travelled
3 caches found.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Departure Day

The car is packed...oh boy is it packed. I am a chronic overpacker, but I dont want to be away from home and suddenly find I needed something I didnt bring! I have packed two weeks of picnic lunch groceries in coolers and hampers, clothes for two weeks (shorts, and skirts, and pants and t-shirts and blouses....cant not have a skirt if i feel the need to look all girlie..or not have shorts for a hike in the woods, like a girlscout I am prepared for any clothing happenstance)..shoes...shoes and shoes..(what if one pair gives me a blister? I need a couple backups, right?) Compters..gotta have them for caching and blogging...my pillows, never leave home without them! (Bah on hotel pillows!) Books and my kindle and ipods...... and clothes all pressed in garment bags for the memorial service. We have maps and gpses galore, trip fact sheets in a binder folder, tabbed by location that contain attraction and their addresses and prices, restaurants from the travel channel food section, and all kinds of nifty factoids about each stop on our journey, not to mention caching pages for each location, and mapquest directions just in case the multiple gps devices dont work. I dont think I have forgotten anything...which is good...because nothing else would fit!

Rich said last night that it is a good thing we decided not to camp, there wouldnt be room for the tent. OMG...he was right!

We will drive all night....and be in Alexandria Va to spend the night with my godparents tomorrow night. My Dad will be there too...so good to see him before heading off both of us on our separate northern adventures.

So.....sayonara Georgia......off we go into the wild blue yonder! (wondering if it is really blue...probably not..but there better be moose. I am determined to see a moose)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Plan

We have spent Months planning a trip to Canada. I have learned so much about our neighbors to the north! I am so excited about this trip....caching (5 provinces and however many cache across america caches can be grabbed between hither and yon), car ride (with 1400 newly downloaded songs all carefully categorized into playlists by type, category, and time period), company (He has been my company for 24 years and counting, and one thing we do so well together is vacation!) This is our C3 vacation......

So...everyday I will blog a bit, talk about what we did and talked about, and listened to, and laughed about, and saw, and ate (all of those food network restaurants I have been putting into lists by location for this trip!)

I hope you enjoy our trip through Oh Canada! Coming to you in exactly 3 days time!