Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day!

Finally, the rain has least for the moment.

For Father's Day, Gail asked me what I wanted, and the first thing that came to mind was a morning to myself of geocaching and the like.

This morning started out nice, but quickly got hot and humid...up to the 90s in heat and humidity.

I set out at 7:30 and headed over to Paul Smiths to do some maintenance on a couple of geocaches. The light was beautiful and the water was as still as glass.

I fixed one cache and archived/reclaimed 2 others that have not been successful for one reason or another.

My Jeep also had a bag full of books ready for distribution via, a distributed online network for sharing and finding used books for free all over the world, so I dropped those off during my morning's adventures.

By now, it was sweltering, which worked well with the next stage of my evil plans...hiding 3 hydrocaches. Hydrocaches are geocaches that are hidden underwater. The GPS receivers will take you to the shore, and give you a direction and ditance to the cache...the rest is up to the geocacher. They're fun and challenging in a different way then ordinary geocachers.

The first hydrocache was hidden at Hoel Pond, one of our favorite places to go swimming in the summer, although it was still pretty cold, even this late in June. I walked along a gorgeous trail in the woods until I spotted a nice and sandy entry into the pond...I walked out until the water came up to about my chest, dropped the cache and anchor, and marked the position with my GPS.

The next one was hidden at Follensby Clear Pond, a great paddling, swimming, and camping pond that has been a part of my life since I was born. I found a great spot between the two boat launches, walked out into the cold water, and left the cache; watched closely by two boys in a canoe, fishing. The boys must have wondered what I was doing, but were too polite, or scared, to ask. While I was placing the cache, they amused me by arguing about who was in charge of steerin the boat, and finally decided to switch positions in the middle of the pond...a feat that they miraculuously accomplished without tipping over.

The last new cache was slated for Moose Pond, a great spot just outside of Bloomingdale (the Paris of Northern New York). I walked out to a wonderful campsite I already knew about, using a trail that follows the shore all the way around the pond. There were some kayakers and fishermen enjoying the sun and the nice day. This spot is a little deeper, so I dug my snorkelling mask out of my bag, and scouted out the perfect (or perfect enough) spot for the last of my new hydrocaches. While looking for the right place, I found a couple of fishing lures, a canvas bag, and a cell-phone (and this is a back-country pond way off the beaten track, and reachable only by an unmarked dirt road!!!). The swim was fun and brisk, but drew some attention from a fisherman in a boat on the other side of the pond, who came over to see what I was doing, and if I needed help. We got into a long discussion about GPS recievers and geocaching, and it sounded like this guy may end up trying it out in the near future (although he wasn't sold on the idea of hydrocaches...).

After leaving Moose Pond, I made one more stop with snorkelling mask in hand. I checked up on a hydrocache-stage of a 21 stage multi-cache that I setup last summer. A couple of people were unable to find this stage, so I had come out last summer to replace it, figuring that it was lost or stolen. This time, armed with my snorkelling mask, I was prepared to hunt the are to find remnants of the cache stage, or maybe just the anchor of the one that had disappeared...imagine my surprise when I found found both anchored cache-stages exactly where they were supposed to be...especially given that I hunted for the "missing" one last summer for about 15 minutes...just goes to show you that the old Bratislavan saying is true: "When you're looking for a hydrocache, it's not a bad idea to use a snorkelling mask."

Funny how those old saying so often have a kernel of wisdom that holds true through the ages...

I dropped off one last bookcrossing book at Donnelly's Ice Cream (a must-visit spot if you're ever in the area), and then headed home, pulling into my driveway at high-noon exactly...a packed morning.

Ben greeted me at the door with a big kiss and an excited look on his face. He dragged me upstairs for a Father's Day surpise: a cake that he and Gail made together, and some wonderful cards that they both colored for me. We had lunch, and all enjoyed some Father's Day Cake and Fresh Donnelly's Ice Cream.

It was a pretty great day, and only 1pm...we've got a nap and some afternoon swimming still ahead of us today...go ahead, be jealous!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Father's Day adventure.


Lala said...

You can't beat the Bratislavs for wisdom! btw, have you considered writing a la whatshisname (Bill. . . .) who wrote the saga about the Appalachian trail, a personal guide with anecdotes to the AK lakes? You write well and I think it would be a surefire way to fund Ben's college bank account.