Summer Carnival 2022?

In the winter of 2012, I participated in the Winter Carnival 2012. I dropped everything, worked from the road, and followed the snow finding powder to snowboard in for 4 months. 10 years later I appear to be off on another unrealistic journey across the country.

I don’t know how or why, but I am lucky enough to be able to travel cross country, again. This will be the 4th time in a few years. This is another make-a-wish, dream come true situation. If you told 19 year old me I would be traveling freely cross country, in the most unrealistic adventure van imaginable, I would have said…..Yeah, makes sense.

On paper, this is set to be the greatest adventure yet. 2 weeks with Wifey, traveling, Cheyenne Rodeo, Colorado top to bottom to top, 3 via Ferratas, 1 rafting, and some stuff I am forgetting in a pear tree. After that, I am destination unknown with a loose itinerary and agenda. Very reminiscent of my Winter Carnival 2012. So lucky, so grateful.

This trip will not be about snowboarding. It is about seeing things I have not seen before, taking pictures, and doing to funnest things that Geocaching has to offer.

Here is how I describe it from the start:

I am currently on an undetermined length cross country road trip. My wife and I left Maryland in our Campervan, heading to Cheyenne Wyoming for the rodeo. From there we are heading into Colorado for a while to do some climbing, rafting, relaxing, and take photos. Once she heads home on an airplane from Denver, I will be wandering the country aimlessly, living in my camPERVan. My goals will be to finish the continental portions of the Cache Across America series. I have 5 of those left. I will be following a trail of really old and really fun geocaches. I will also be looking for dark skies to take pictures of the Milky Way, and stopping for everything that interests me. Through the planning process this appears to take me to some of the most amazing places our country has to offer.

Here is a recap of the first days on the road.

Day 1

Left home at 5am. Drove until 9pm, including a time zone change. Very productive day. I found a few highly favorite geocaches along the route. Not too many, I didn’t want to make Wifey too upset with me. We really only stopped to tinkle and eat. We made it past Chicago for the night, with hopes of getting to our short destination in Iowa early in the morning. We slept somewhere on I-80.

Day 2

Started with a stretch, tooth brushing, and a coffee. Then we hit the road from wherever we slept for a whirlwind tour of Iowa. After almost 800 miles on day 1, we won’t get nearly that far on day 2, thus leaving us a bit behind schedule getting to Cheyenne. We visited some high favorited caches in Iowa. We met the owner of a few of these hides, Randy, at his service station. Unrelated to this story, we filled Pervvie (newly named) the Campervan at Randy’s establishment, next to the GTA geocache. I can honestly say that Randy’s ultra low sulfur diesel, 40ppm, is the finest tasting diesel that Pervvie has yet to taste. I can say for sure that his Iron Box has leap frogged to the near top of my all-time favorite geocaches.

From that town we made our way to the Field of Dreams. I don’t think I have ever seen the movie. I don’t like baseball at all. I can’t believe what a joy it was being there! So glad we went a bit out of the way for this memory. After the famous baseball place, it was time to go look for Iowa’s oldest geocache. It is in Backbone Park, an aptly named park, and VERY unlike everything we drove through getting here. It is like an oasis in the desert. That task took about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, this time of year there is no other way to get there besides putting one foot in front of the other, and biting my lip. I signed in on the oldest in Iowa, and it was time to make some headway westbound. Jason Aldean isn’t going to play for himself tomorrow night.

I-80 westbound for hours, with a couple of quick stops for food and fuel, and probably another geocache. On through Nebraska tomorrow, with very similar plans as today.

Day 3

Cornerstone, 2 states, 4 counties

We slept in a small park just off I-80. I got us behind yesterday, so had to make up some time. I started driving around 4am. I had a checklist of things to accomplish around Lincoln. I found some high favorited and Nebraska’s oldest, all by about first light. My wife slept through all of this. Her loss. Then it was time to high tail straight to Cheyenne. We got checked in to our hotel, found the geocache in the parking lot, and learned how to use Uber to get a ride to the Cheyenne Frontier Nights.

Jason Aldean concert was the first evening we arrived in Cheyenne. Wifey does not like live music, that has been proven several times. But she had a blast at this concert! Not exactly my cup of music, but I had a great time as well. I have always said that I can enjoy almost any live music, and that still proves true. The Rodeo starts tomorrow. This is really shaping up to be the greatest adventure to date.

Day 4

We slept in after a late night at the show last night in Cheyenne. I got up early enough to get ready to head to the Frontier Days parade. It was only about a mile walk from where we are staying. I made a stroll in the morning sunlight to a great corner to watch and photograph the parade. Along the way I did an adventure lab, found at least 1 geocache, hopefully the great earthcache at the sandstone building, and generally loved being me as I wandered sometimes aimlessly. I was able to get some great shots of the parade. I like parades? 67 years young and I just found out I like parades. Shame on me. This afternoon is the first day of the Cheyenne Rodeo, an event not to be missed.

The weather was perfect for a rodeo, and it was a ton of fun.

Day 5

I got up early this morning, before the rest of the town, and my wife. I rode my bike around downtown Cheyenne for several hours, I had the entire place to myself and got in over 17 miles. I found a bunch of geocaches along the way. I did an adventure lab, and I attempted a whereigo. I am terrible at those things. I did a few stages by bike, then the next thing I know, 10 miles? Oh well. Flash forward to the evening. My wife goes to bed and I head north on the interstate to finish this whereigo. Another stage, further north. OK, why not. That has to be it, right? Nope. I go one more, still not the end, I have to head back. I wish there were half points for whereigoesis. Back to Cheyenne.. I meandered through and around the fairgrounds, I did wheelies, and I jumped into puddles. My favorite part is the stopped train along my path. I waited for about a minute. When I determined it was not moving, I crawled under the train, dragging my bike behind me. The people in the cars, stopped at the intersection enjoyed the free show. Then back to my hotel before lunch, and over to day 2 of the rodeo. So much fun, I can’t believe this lucky life I get to live.

So much more has happened. Hope I find time to write about it. No real time to process and post pictures yet. My instantgram is about all there is right now.

Thanks for reading!

Driftwood PA, Top of the World, New Moon May 2022

HERE are a bunch of pictures if you are interested.

What a whirlwind 36 hours I had for last month’s new moon. The new moon at the end of May 2022 will be one I remember always. The skies were perfectly clear for days. I wanted to take some pictures. I spent the holiday weekend 5 hours south of home in St Mary’s County Maryland. Then I drove home to work for the end of the month. After a full day of work on Tuesday, I drove 5 hours north of home, from Newark DE to Driftwood PA. I Have been wanting to visit Bucktail Overlook, Top of the World, since my buddy Nate told me about it. The skies are dark there. I left work at 5pm and arrived in Driftwood at 10pm. I took pics until 3am, then slept until 5am. I got up to shoot the sunrise. I had this entire amazing place to myself for 8 hours. Everything went perfectly. After sunrise I drove back home, another 5ish hours. I stopped for breakfast at Bings Diner.


HERE are a bunch of pictures if you are interested.

St Marys County Maryland, new moon May 2022

HERE are some pictures of the night sky and sunrise the next morning from Point Lookout State Park in St Marys County Maryland.

I was not planning on going away this particular weekend, definitely not traveling anywhere on the Memorial Day holiday weekend 2022. Then my wife told me she had plans to horse around all weekend, and encouraged me to take a couple of days away in my CAMperVAN. She must have horsin’ around plans with her boyfriend.
I know CAM is over but I just can’t stop myself from continuously Caching Across Maryland.
I happened to notice the other day that Sunday 5/29/2022 was going to be the 10th year anniversary of my first geocache find. My wife and I had heard about geocaching years before, and had done it. But I had never made up an Internet account for it until that day. I left out of Cecil County early Saturday and it took me 14 hours to get 3 hours from home. My favorite kind a road trip. I ended for the evening at Point Lookout on the tip of Maryland to photograph the night sky…new moon. I stopped a lot along the way over 14 hours. I targeted old CAM hides, old in general, FYC, and question marks pre-2010 for a challenge I was working on. Lots of other stuff got in my way as well.
That’s the whole truth. I know it’s true. I made it up myself. And I impart it to you.

Pictures HERE

Tennessee Smokies & Horsin’ Around in Kentucky

We packed up all our stuff for my wife’s first getaway in my campervan. We started in Lexington Kentucky for some fancy horse dancing event that she loves. It was the Kentucky 3-day 5-star event. A real equestrians dream. In my house we call it Rolex not Rolex. After that went to spend some time in the Smokies.

Day one was spent getting to Western Maryland where we spent the night in a very quiet rest area. A couple of gentlemen in the car next to us were there all night also. I don’t think their wives would have been happy.

Day two was a leisurely morning getting up, followed by driving most of the day to Lexington Kentucky. We made the usual pitstops for tinkling and geocaching. Travel days are great days to fill in calendar dates with unusual types of hides. Throughout the trip I was able to check off question marks and multis during all travel days.

Once we arrived in Lexington the real horsing around fun began. We spent Saturday and Sunday watching horsie jumpers at the horse park. I had much more fun than I imagined. What a fun and unique experience I was lucky enough to experience. In between horse jumpings, I found a bunch of nearby caches. This was definitely a 5-Star weekend for The Kid!

On Monday after the horse event, we climbed all over the Via Ferrata in Kentucky. That is 3 that we have done in the US, with hopes to one day do all the Via Ferrata’s in the US. It was amazing, and definitely the most difficult of the 3 we have done. We spent the night in Compton before heading to Tennessee for a week in the Smokies.

While in Tennessee we did all the perfect tourist stuff. We saw 2 of the shows, ate at the famous places, spent a day in Dollywood, and spent a bunch of time in Smoky National Park. I spent 2 nights in the park in my campervan, taking night time and sunrise pictures, while my wife stayed at the Dollywood hotel. Lucky girl.

One day we spent driving Cades Cove, and it was amazing! The weather was perfect, and we had 3 different bear spottings. I was finally able to use the widow’s peak on my adventure van for photography purposes! It was a dream come true.

There are a bunch of pictures in a photo album if you click somewhere around HERE.

PA Grand Canyon getaway April 2022

HERE is an album of pictures I took, mostly waterfalls.

Wow! What a great weekend away in my campervan with my best non-geocaching buddy, Chappy. We left home on a Friday morning with a weekend planned at the PA Grand Canyon. It was an amazing weekend of outdoor fun, with an amazing friend, all happening under the umbrella of perfect spring weather. We left Maryland Friday and took our time getting to Leonard Harris state park. This is where we would sleep with each other in my campervan for 2 nights. On the drive up we stopped for some fun sites, a meal, and a few geocaches. Chappy is not a geocacher, but he indulged me in my obsessions.

On Saturday, our first full day, we started early with the hike down and back on the east side of the Pine Creek Gorge Turkey Trail. After that, out to the overlooks. I took waterfall photos and am very happy with how some of them turned out. Regroup for a quick snack and then onto bike riding on the Pine Creek rail trail. We did 25 miles total on bikes, just over 12 out and back to where we parked. From the parking we then went another mile north on the rail trail, finding the 3 geocaches from Darling Run parking and north. Chappy is not a geocacher, so he could not care less, but also was very understanding and indulging about my addiction and personal needs. 25 miles of riding my bike, and 3 geocaches. That has to be a record for a geocacher.

After a long day on this side of the creek, we crossed over to Colton State Park. We drove along the creek side road to Chimney Hollow waterfall. I wanted to be here to get some pictures of the waterfall just before sunset. I think they turned out great. We never did find the trail up to the top and simply walk the creek all the way up. We did see a semblance of a trail to get us down 100 times easier. It was quite an adventure just to get some waterfall pictures. Well worth every second.

After this unbelievably fun and adventurous day, it was time for a steak dinner in the nearby town of Wellsboro.

Back to our campsite and a night’s sleep in my camPERVan.

The next morning started lazily with some breakfast and coffee at the campsite. After that we went back across to Colton State Park and walked a bunch of the miles of trails over there. We ran into a Boy Scout pack from New Jersey on the orange trail, and learned all about the possible overnight backpacking options in the future.

Throughout the weekend I found mystery caches and multi caches on days I needed them to fill the calendar. That’s one nice thing about traveling further away from home.

I had a great weekend of fun, excitement and adventure while camping and playing outside with one of my best pals and my favorite thing, my CAMperVAN! 

OBX, the hype is right

HERE is a link to a bunch of pictures I took in the OBX, mainly sunrise and sunset.

I had to get in 1 last adventure in the AdventureVan before undergoing a procedure back in November. You never know. I had no plans on where to go or what to do. I knew I wanted to take pictures, play frisbee golf, and find some geocaches. I always hear people talking about the Outer Banks. For as close as it is to me, I don’t think I have ever been through. So I packed up the campervan and away I went. I started down through the Delaware and Maryland beaches. Old stomping grounds for me. I usually take a day each winter and clear out new geocaches in the OCMD beach area. After that I made my way the rest of the drive to Kitty Hawk. I had no plans. So I took some pictures of the full moon and clouds, I ate my favorite Pad Thai boil in bag, and I slept.

Day 2 running amuck in the Outer Banks. It started early with sunrise pictures on the beach near the rest area I slept. I ran into a nice couple also taking pictures of the sunrise. We got to chatting, and they were also driving aimlessly in a van. After that I drove all the way north to Corolla, where the blacktop ends. I then went to the park, parked, and proceeded to walk a few miles around Duck finding geocaches both art related, and fart related. I believe I found everything I looked for, except one. From there I visited the Flying Brothers park for the adventure lab, and personal growth. Then a fantastic round of frisbees in Kitty Hawk. A couple old local burnouts let me join them, so I didn’t have to play alone. It was a blast. I stayed at the park through sunset. I sat out at the end of the land near the 14th hole. I got some unreal sunset pictures. Then I had dinner at Tortugas, best restaurant dinner I have had in years. Larry Bird works in the kitchen, fun fact.

Day three in the Outer Banks running amok. The other morning while taking sunrise pictures a nice lady I met told me that you can drive the entire length of the barrier islands using fairies. I was determined to see if I can do that. Before I left the Kitty Hawk area I had to get in one more round of frisbees at that awesome course. I was done that early and on the road. I stopped for a whole lot of geocaches along the way. This route 12 drive is so many things. Gorgeous, amazing, unbelievable how it’s even here?
I never would have believed there were so many skateboard parks in the Outer Banks.
I drove my way to the bottom, and got on the last ferry for the day to Ocracoke. I found out while on the ferry, I am trapped on this island for the night. OK, no big deal. I can be stranded on an island overnight. I arranged for a 7:30 ferry back to the mainland.

I had a long drive home to Maryland on my last day, after waking up on Ocracoke island. I already can’t wait to be back in OBX!


Click here for an album of some fun pictures I took!

Catskills New York with a Dog in a Van=Perfection

In October 2021 I took my best girlfriend and my new Storyteller Overland Van to the Catskills in New York. Emmy Lou the Puppy was such a trooper. I hope she had a nice time, and wish she had a way to tell me. We set off from home with plans to take sunrise pictures at Overlook Mountain near Woodstock, New York. From there we went further north, and into southern Vermont. We stopped for a  lot of fun geocaches along the way, and played frisbee golf in another new state. If ever there has been a success story, this is it. I took some pictures of sunrises, pictures of our visit to the land of Oz (yes, from the Wizard of Oz), and Emmy Lou being extra pretty.
Interested? Those pictures are HERE.

McAfee Knob and a Juggalo Wedding

Recently I was invited to a wedding in the mountains of West Virginia. I was not going to miss it. A beautiful place, the most magical time of year, autumn with the leaves changing, and a chance to take a road trip in the Storyteller Van. Sign me up. The wedding was adorable, a cute little family of Juggalos. It was absolutely perfect by all standards. These young kids today kill me with their creative ideas. I spent a few days in the area, around the wedding date. I woke and hiked in the dark up to McAfee Knob in Virginia for sunrise one morning. The Knob is spelled Mc and not Mac, so it is pronounced with the common Irish Mc pronunciation. Some of my idiot friends say it with Mac in front, like some kind of Scottish garbage people. McAfee Knob is one of the most iconic and photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail. I have seen all kinds of pictures and I wanted to make my own. I did OK with the photographs, but I had a blast doing it. I also played a few rounds of frisbee with some other wedding-going pals. It was a 100% successful trip. There are a bunch of pictures located HERE.