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Thursday, December 31, 2009

A new beginning

As we begin this wonderful new year let us not look back and ponder where we went wrong but look forward to what we will do right in the coming year.

This is just the beginning of the year that we choose it to be. We can all make our dreams and wishes come true if we just believe in ourselves and the love and kindness of friends and family and the new love that we may discover along the way. Treat each day as a blessing and discard the past as no more then a stepping stone towards your destination of happiness and fulfillment.

May each and every one of you have the most blessed new years and a lifetime of joy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cacheing in a great Christmas gift

I've been enjoying the perfect gift for a novice geocacher such as myself. My ex was so kind as to give me a Garmin Nuvi 1200 for Christmas this year. My Magellan Triton met its untimely demise over the summer in a freak tubing accident on the Pequea Creak with some great fellow geocachers. Fortunately it was the only fatality after clinging to life support for several months. Goodbye Maggy, you will be remembered. Not fondly, but remembered none the less.

The newest member of my geocaching arsenal arrived on Christmas Eve hand delivered by an angel from above. Well ok, my ex on her way home from work, but wheres the drama in that. I tinkered, and toyed and updated and explored and when it sprang to life with its first words "Lost Satellite Reception" I was so proud! It's Alive I announced! It's Alive!!

All it needed was a little fresh air to reconnect with above. So I carefully brought it forth on its first adventures on Christmas day. It sprang to life and was eager to start its journey asking me to "drive to the highlighted route". And we were off! It pointed me right to the first geocache almost as though someone had told it right where to look. But that was simple, just a parking lot C&D. No problem for a roadworthy GPS. I increased the challenge a little and it accepted and directed me to the next just as readily as the first even though this was hidden off the beaten path a bit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Spoiler Alert! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Images below show the cache and may reveal the location.

The next day I invited it to go for a drive with me and it was a helpful navigator guiding me right to the park I wanted to explore. Now the real fun would begin. Sure, youre good when you have pavement beneath you, but can you handle the mud and snow? I asked. Well, not out loud, but I thought it to myself. It told me in no uncertain terms that it was ready by telling me to "proceed off road towards GC...." It even made fun of me my saying " do you want to proceed in pedestrian mode". Smart ass. It somehow knew that my car wouldn't fit on that narrow trail. Little did it know that I had gone car-hiking not long before it's birth.

Oh they grow up so fast, It pointed me along a steep slippery slope without a care in the world. It didn't want to stop, it just kept saying proceed ahead .5, .2 .1 miles towards GC....." Then, out of the fog I caught a glimpse of what it was guiding me towards. Ok show off, you found one geocache in the middle of the woods on a foggy damp day with snow all over the ground and the creek rising quickly beside us. Do it again I exclaimed! (To myself again so as not to sound like a nut in the woods). It started telling me where to go and dragging me through the mud like a scorned woman but it was determined to prove itself again. Without any care for the cold deep puddles or the freezing snow and thickening dense fog it found its way to the next cache and proudly stated "arriving at GC....."

It was so ready for one more and insisted that I follow it, like I had a choice since I had no idea where I was by this point, but the fog was so dense and it was starting to get dark. I could just barely make out the trail, but it seemed to be able to see right through the thick of it. I seemed to be walking in circles and all it did was mock me by saying over and over again "Arriving at GC....". Hay, just because you could see in the dark doesn't mean that I can you unfeeling son of a satellite! I was so hurt I told it to take me home, and it did!

The following day it had to prove itself and show me just how close it got me. We returned to the scene where I had given up the hunt in the fog, and it pointed out just how close I had been to the last cache in the park. I had let my new little buddy down by giving up, but it just wanted the adventure to continue.

We went for a drive the following day and found a great park that I have traveled past many times. it wanted me to stop in and look for its treasures, so of course I obliged. It wasn't long before it was taking me places I had never been before and showing me the hidden beauty of this park. If only people knew what was just beneath them as they walk over troubled waters and behind the bark, (hint hint) but Nuvi was willing to show me everything! 2 new caches just to show off its skills and then it was time to go home and warm up after seeing the sights with such a loyal friend.

Who knows where Nuvi will take me tomorrow,
but I know that it will be an adventure.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

White Christmas

After a severe but beautiful snow storm this past weekend, it looks like we are going to be blessed with a white Christmas this year. With up to 19 inches of beautiful fluffy snow here in Lancaster County PA and the cold temperatures, it looks like this blanket of white will be remaining through Christmas and maybe till the new year.

The snow began very early in the morning on Saturday and just kept building as the day progressed. It seemed like in no time at all the dullness of winter was replaced by a brilliant white coat that engulfed the bushes and brightened the dull, dark lifeless streets and ground. The afternoon and evening posed a challenge to most travelers whether on foot or in a car, but to get out and see this attraction was a must for all.

By Sunday morning it was evident that our work was cut out for us. The shoveling and plowing was accompanied by some frozen fingers, toes and noses, but more importantly by good friends and neighbors helping one another and embracing the snow and the joy that this holiday is bringing and the wonderland that god has created for us. The kindness of strangers was not lost on me when I was lucky enough to have my car pulled from a snow bank unharmed unlike my pride. Those who helped asked nothing in return and quickly drove off after freeing me from my chilly predicament.

The snow left behind such a picturesque scene almost as though some higher hand had reached down and touched the land to bring a bit more joy to all during this blessed time of year. This snow arrived just in time, not to disguise the cold realities of winter, but to warm the hearts of those who appreciate the good tidings and cheer that abound this time of year.

Merry Christmas everyone,
and have a wonderful and blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mill Creek nature Hike

All summer long I had planned on checking out some possible trails nearby but I never quite made it. Today was such a beautiful clear cool December day I decided to go check the area out by myself. It would have been nice to have someone there to share it with me, but it was still enjoyable.

This park along the Mill Creek in Lancaster County Central Park was a surprise to me because it is right on the outskirts of Lancaster City. I knew of the general area and had passed by this park many times over the years. It's actualy called Mill Creek Campground, but I suspect it is for large groups like scouts and chuches and schools etc... I don't think individuals are alowed to camp there, but I will look into that because it would be a great place to camp under the stars.

At one end of the trail there is a 19th century metal bridge that many people call the singing bridge. There is also a beautiful 19th century mansion near that bridge. At the other end, I was surprised to come to the base of a covered bridge. I had been on that covered bridge once before, but I didn't expect to encounter it on this hike. The trail continues past this covered bridge, but it was starting to get dark and I didn't bring water so I turned back. I will have to explore the trail further on the other side of that covered bridge.