This past weekend my mom needed someone to drive with her to Florida because she was going there for work for 2 months. I volunteered under the conditions that we could stop for some caches along the way.
Our first stop was a quick traditional in Pennsylvania. From there we traveled almost all the way through the state before stopping for a virtual called Pickletown #1 in Dillsburg, PA.
I had looked at our route on Project GC and the cache with the most favorite points was an earthcache at Gettysburg, The Devil’s Den. Gettysburg became the number 1 stop on our trip.
The Devil’s Den features a large outcropping of rocks with one boulder precariously perched on the others. During the battle, Confederate sharpshooters were able to hide out here and plan an assault on Union forces staged on Little Round Top.
Right near the Devil’s Den earthcache is a virtual with an interesting story. Unsettled Spirit tells the story of a young girl living in Gettysburg on her family farm was ejected from her family wagon and was decapitated by the wheel. It is said that her ghost wanders the area in search of her missing head and that she burned her name into the rock outcrop with her finger.
I also visited two other earthcaches while at Gettysburg. Triassic Toe Tracks features a set of dinosaur tracks on a bridge in the park. They belong to the atreipus milfordensis, a dog-sized plant eater which roamed eastern America.
The last stop in Gettysburg was at Little Round Top. The hill at Little Round Top was successfully defended by the Union troops that occupied it and was the site of a Union attack on July 2, 1863. Some say this attack was the turning point of the Battle of Gettysburg.
After proceeding through Pennsylvania and into Maryland, we stopped at a rest area and luckily for me there were two traditional caches placed there GC1D2WB and GC68CTQ. These were my first caches in the state of Maryland. We drove into the night through Maryland and Virginia. I was able to get a quick park and grab in Virginia that night when we stopped to switch drivers.
We had 4 states to go when we left the hotel in the morning. We stopped for gas and some coffee and I was able to grab my first cache in North Carolina at a nearby Cracker Barrel. The container was quite amusing to me. This moved my state total up to 11.
I already had some cache finds in South Carolina, so I wasn’t too concerned about making a stop for one. We ended up stopping for a bathroom break at a rest area in South Carolina and I couldn’t pass up a cache that was there. I had a hard time finding Lower Fidelity. I ended up taking the wrong path at first but once I noticed there was another way I found the cache almost instantly. This cache ended up filling a spot on my D/T grid so I’m glad I ended up finding it.
The Georgia Welcome Center was our next stop. A cache here, Welcome to Georgia, was on my to-do list as it has currently 221 favorite points. My mom was hesitant to stop but I got my way. I’m wishing I would have periscoped this cache as it was a great one. In the woods adjacent to the rest area was a large, handsomely decorated bird house. The trick was you had to figure out how to open it. I had the cache opened in short order. It was a fantastic welcoming to Georgia.
We proceeded a few miles down the highway to Savannah, Georgia. A cache here was the 2nd most favorited one along our route. It was a travel bug hotel called TB Hotel Extraordinaire Savannah, and has over 260 favorite points. The work that went into creating this cache was amazing. All the details were fantastic. My mom was amazed that someone would create something so intricate. I dropped off 4 travel bugs here and picked up a few to take back with me to New York.
After visiting the TB hotel, we stopped for some lunch at Sonic, my favorite place to eat when traveling south. I see commercials all the time for Sonic at home and there are very few of them in New York. It wasn’t caching related but it is a big highlight of my trip.
After lunch we got back on the road again. We made it to Florida just before sunset and I convinced my mom to come along on a bit of a side jaunt to the Space Coast Geocaching Store on Merritt Island. Since the store is closed on weekends, I had emailed the owners and asked if they would meet me so I could find A Cool Cache, the gigantic ammo can cache they have at the store. They kindly agreed and it was great chatting with them for a while about their store, mega events and geocaching in general. They have a great assortment of geocache containers, geocoins, Tools of the Trade, stickers, t shirts and Munzee supplies. We traded pathtags, I bought a few items and checked out some of the large trackables they have at the cache.
In the morning I wanted to grab a few more caches before heading to the airport for my flight back to New York. There is a really great virtual near the airport in Orlando. Wings Over Orlando is a virtual at the spot of a retired B-52D Stratofortress Bomber. It was built in 1956 and retired in 1984. This is the main reason why I love virtuals so much. They bring me to little known, amazing places that I would have never otherwise discovered.
I found two more traditional caches in Orlando before having to head to the airport. One was another travel bug hotel, Orlando Airport TB Hotel, that was hidden in a boat at the back of an office building! The cache page says the workers know the cache is there but I still felt strange standing in a small fishing boat in the back of a parking lot. Brownie points in my book for creative placement.
My trip had to come to an end and I got on my flight back home to New York. On the flight I caught up on some geocaching podcasts. My boyfriend McDoogins brought our geopup Rogue to pick me up at the airport. The weather was a drastic change; it was 65 degrees and sunny in Florida and when I got home it was roughly 10 degrees. I wanted to stop for a cache in New York that day though so I could have finds on the same day that were over 1000 miles apart. I know there’s a challenge cache out there somewhere for that. We were able to stop for a quick park and grab near the airport before heading home.
Some stats from the trip:
- 18 total finds; 12 traditionals, 3 virtuals, 3 earthcaches
- 3601.3 miles between cache finds
- 1029 miles between 2 caches on the same day
- 3 new states, 8 total states
- 2726 total favorite points