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Friday, August 17, 2012

Monster Geocaching Trip: Day 1, Central VA

I recently had the opportunity to take a few days off from work to do pretty much whatever I wanted (what more can a guy ask for, right?).  After weighing my options, I opted for a monster geocaching trip to tie up some loose ends left in North Carolina, as well as enjoy some new areas of Virginia.  I invited my dad and being a Earth and Space Science Teacher, had some time to spend running around in the south in mid-August.

The main goals were:
1) To visit the 12 remaining virtual caches in NC west of I-95, leaving only a single cache left to complete the challenge of visiting every single active virtual in the state.
2) Finish the North Carolina Delorme Challenge, which I've qualified for for about two years, but haven't been able to find the final container, which is near Asheville.

Day one began in Central PA when the sun came up, and we set off on a 3 hour drive south to Culpeper VA, finding our first cache at 9am.  After a couple hours, we made it near Fredericksburg and the grave of Stonewall Jackson's Left Arm.  Yes, you read that correctly:

He's apparently a pretty big deal in the south.  I've even heard his portrait might still adorn the mantle of some homes.  I've also heard I may be related to some of these homeowners.

We later visited ground zero of the VA Earthquake of 2011, which was pretty uneventful, but neat to visit actual site of that event from recent history that I can remember vividly.

The night ended doing the "hotel shuffle" in Roanoke Rapids, NC with no luck in finding a room.  My wife came through in this clutch situation and found us an empty room in the nearby VA town of Emporia, which was within striking distance of the first cache of the following day: Gaston State Line, in the middle of a huge lake which straddles the NC/VA border.  We learned the hard way that night that being about halfway, Southern VA / Northern NC along 95 is prime hotel territory for families from the northeast travelling to and from Florida.  We fell asleep watching the last full night of proper Olympic coverage from London, and some speedy Jamaicans putting on a show in the 4x100 relay.

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