It is that time of year when Maryland hosts our Cache Across Maryland. They outdid themselves this year. Usually CAM consists of 10 locations scattered around Maryland. This year is a visit to all 26 Maryland counties! I have been hip deep in traveling everywhere, including zigzagging every nook and cranny of Maryland lately. I am almost done CAM, and still have a couple good road trips and hikes to look forward to. It goes without saying we had some of the best days of our lives recently. I put up a bunch of pictures, mostly the dogs, from recent CAM travels throughout Maryland HERE.
When I take these type of pictures of myself, I have always been able to say I was completely safe. My wife would see these pictures and get anxious, even though it was long since over. I have had people call me “brave”, because I was willing to make pictures like this. I was not trying to be brave, I have no friends. I WISH someone would get up in the dark and walk uphill with a headlamp alongside me. But alas, people don’t get along with me, and I am usually flying solo. I have always been able to claim safety, and play down how dumb I am, because I was acting very safe. I always use a shutter release. It is a button I can hold in my hand, and make my camera take a picture whenever I want. Possibly the most innovative piece of technology we have seen since the Supersonic Concorde. This evening I forgot my remote in the van. The van was a mile away, straight downhill. For these pics I used the built in, 10-second camera timer. I had to sprint into this position. I almost tumbled to my death each and every time. I said each and every time was the last time, but then the light kept getting better. I can not turn down the opportunity to get a better shot. Thankfully I did not die this time, but I will have to die sometime soon. Hopefully while failing at doing something awesome like this.
20,370 miles and counting.
I woke up this morning in western Maryland, at the high rocks trailhead, the bottom of the hill from the 2001 geocaching hide. I took sunset pics until late, so made camp there.
I never would have dreamed in a million years that I would finish a 90-day road trip by doing one of my favorite things. Playing in the autumn-colored woods of western Maryland, looking for ammunition boxes. I don’t know that life gets a whole lot better than this. I temporarily moved from my country-wide checklist to my Maryland checklist. For some reason I made it my purpose to find every active CAM cache. It’s something I’ve been chipping away at for a couple years. Now that I am done caching across America, it is time to cache across Maryland. I will get back to America tomorrow.
This morning I went straight to Dans state park where I didn’t see another human being at all, on a beautiful fall Saturday. Today’s weather was perfect. Blue skies, lots of clouds passing, 50° maybe 55 in the sun. After a quick stop first thing this morning at Dan‘s mountain I then went to Rocky Gap State Park, where I spent most of my day. I didn’t plan to be there as long as I did, but either this bridge being out is fairly new, or I did some of the poorest route planning of my life. In the end it just resulted in me walking a bunch more miles through the autumn-colored forest in western Maryland. I ended up being there about 4 hours and covered 7-8 miles. Rocky Gap was a two-fer. There was 2 in there I wanted. Then I went to Green Ridge Forest and then Orleans. Those 3 stops were very aggressive, and I thought I might run out of daylight. I made out fine, and still had time to drive to Burke Lake in VA. It was a very long day, and possibly one of my most productive.
There is one more piece of Geocaching business left, if I complete it then I will have had the most successful circle of the country I could imagine.
Wow, I created a very aggressive geocaching wish list map when I left. I never imagined getting so much fun stuff done. I made Burke parking lot my home for the night. Tomorrow at 5pm is when I will see my wife and dogs for the first time in 3 months! I am very excited. I am not sure how I will fill tomorrow. I might spend the morning around DC. Maybe Sunday morning is empty, and I can get some fun stuff done?
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.
The luckiest boy in the world strikes again. Last weekend I won a hot air balloon ride at a charity event. Fresh off that victory, yesterday was the picnic to celebrate the end of CAM 2015, cache across Maryland. Like the last few years it was more fun than should be legally allowed. Driving hundreds of miles over 4 days just to walk in the woods, make fun of my friends, hang out with Charlie the Dog, and write my name on hidden pieces of paper. There is a photo contest each year at the picnic. Last year I did fairly well in the photo contest, even came in first in a category. I decided that was my cue to go pro, and upgrade my equipment. Yesterday I took 1st in two categories, and 2nd in a third category. I could not believe it. What a fun thing to have happen to me. Fun things rarely happen to me…sike. That makes me an award-winning photographer 2 years in row. That is definitely making it to my resume. If you are reading this (doubtful) I am available for hire.
I am going to work tomorrow and put in my resignation. The work-a-day routine is for suckers, I’m going to be a professional photographer. Yesterday I placed first in a category and second in another category of a photo contest at the CAM 2014 pic-a-nic. I would not have even entered any photos if it was not for the encouragement and harassment of my loving family and friends. They all saw potential genius where I did not. It probably helped that I taped a $10 bill to the back of each of my photos, the judges must have loved that. National Geographic, if you are reading this, I am currently taking offers and will accept a job for the highest bidder. I cannot get over how tickled these silly ribbons are making me feel.
It took 3 full days, but we are done! Another amazing day geocaching with Josh and Charlie the Dog. Went south to Joppa, then across the big bridge to the eastern shore of Maryland. Wye Island, and then onto Kent County. Had a blast all day, and got some of my favorite pictures while geocaching yet! Those pictures are HERE.
Yesterday was the kick off day to Cache Across Maryland 2014 (CAM). Some pics HERE. An extremely exhausting and fun event that lasts the next 6 weeks. 10 hidden secret treasures spread all across Maryland, each and every corner. Find all 10 and claim your prize…congrats you are a giant loser nerd with nothing to get you out of the basement except driving hours on end to sign a piece of paper and find the secret code. The code is never anything as fun as “Drink more Ovaltine”. Other reasons to CAM are to get outdoors, exercise, see beautiful parts of my state I might not have known existed, spend time with my best buddy Charlie the Dog, show Josh my butthole, enjoy some good food, and bump into other caching nerds along the way. Not as horrible as I make it sound. I did this last year (here & here), and it was a great decision.
Yesterday we started in Swallow Falls Park all the way west in Maryland. Josh’s favorite place in Maryland, and it is easy to see why. We had a blast there. After that we drove steadily east throughout the day until back home. Yesterday afternoon I spent time on the Appalachian Trail for the first time. I loved the idea of just being on that trail, even if only for a few hours. The entire day was a success. Each success started out failing, sometimes several fails, but ultimately we came away with a win for everything. Hopefully day 2 of CAM will be sometime soon.
Some great pics HERE of yesterday’s adventures