Friday, October 31, 2014

OH/PA Adventure: Some Serious Cemeteries!

Ok, my friends and ghoulies…. Nothing more fitting for Halloween than a Spirit Quest!  On our Ohio/Pennsylvania excursion, we grabbed 27 cemetery caches and discovered some cool cemeteries along the way!

Sugar Creek Cemetery - OH

The ghostly hand points the way but the cache
had been spirited away - DNF
Historic Lakeview Cemetery - OH

Although featured in yesterday's post, it's still a mausoleum
so I have to include it today

Stained Glass from the Shirley Mausoleum
Notice anything in the upper right corner?
Yes, I missed the cache, too

Big Dam - right in the middle of the cemetery!

REALLY cool angel -

Stop and visit Jean Louise by the lake

TaGeez taking in the colors

Mausoleum Row

Rockefeller and Stone
 East Cleveland Township Library - A Night in the Cemetery event GC5BQ4D

Not a very scary bunch
TaGeez, Ratspazum and scrapcat

Tour by torchlight
Moses Mausoleum

After the tour was time for geocaching
Fake headstone - inscription was Geo Cache

Historic Bedford Cemetery - OH

Troy Township Cemetery - OH

They had almost a dozen Zinc headstones in varying shapes and sizes!

Edinboro Cemetery - PA

I always look at the cool medallions

Waterford Cemetery - PA

This Revolutionary War hero was over 115 years old when he died!

Driving around the back roads of Ohio and Pennsylvania with Ratspazum and TaGeez was great fun. Anytime we saw an old cemetery we had to pull off - too many to include in this post.  I love how well maintained all of them were.  Definitely worth another trip down there.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

OH/PA Adventure: Amazing Earth Caches

I will be the first to admit that I’ve been less than enthusiastic about Earth Caches.  In fact, after a few bad experiences, I’ve pretty much avoided them unless a souvenir is involved.  My friend Ben of theGrundalows is shocked by this – he and his wife adore them – but how many vernal ponds can I suffer through?  He says I just haven’t visited the right EarthCaches. And the verification questions….. so vague they go against my nature. 

However, things have changed a bit and the glacier ice has cracked. 

The first crack was the Geocaching Podcast episode 350: Earthcaching with Firennice.  Firennice did an excellent explanation around the nature of those verification questions.  The part that stuck with me most was the “mountain” example.  You can’t create an EarthCache about a mountain in general because what would the verification of completion question be?  Describe the mountain?  It’s big.  EC Reviewers work with the cache creators to select questions that prove you (and not Google Earth) were actually there.  I can see that.

And what else helped “break the Earth Cache ice”?  These awesome EarthCaches in Cleveland! On our adventure, we visited 3 of them and they were my topper caches for the trip!

President James A. Garfield Monument GC234RG

This was a Ratspazum recommendation.  They visited last year but too late to tour inside.  Located in Cleveland’s historic Lakeview Cemetery, this is the final resting place for President Garfield, his wife, daughter and son-in-law. 

The 180-feet tall mausoleum is made from the famous Berea Sandstone, quarried nearby.  The structure combines Romanesque, Gothic and Byzantine styles of architecture.

Upon climbing the grand steps and stepping into the foyer, you have the option of crossing the tiled floor into the domed room circled by stained glass windows representing the 13 colonies plus Ohio…..

….. or taking the really cool (and wonky) steps down to the crypt.

The Garfield casket, draped with an American flag, is the only Presidential casket on full display. 

For the brave, wind your way up 5 flights of stairs to the outdoor landing where, on good days while wobbling on loose tiles, you can view beautiful Lake Erie or grand downtown Cleveland.

Squires Castle GC1F6R3

A castle, you say?  Yes, a castle.  But, to coin a phrase from Ratspazum, “It was more ‘aw’ than ‘awe-inspiring’”.  Built by oil pioneer, Feargus B. Squire, in the 1890’s, the site was originally planned for an entire castle.  Instead, only the gatekeeper’s lodge was constructed and Squire used it as a lodge and weekend retreat.  Eventually the property was sold and acquired by the Cleveland Metroparks in 1925.

Again, this structure was built with the local Berea Sandstone. It’s a neat site and the cache write-up included a ghost story.  How could we resist?

The Great Falls of Tinkers Creek GC1956H

Fate played a hand here.  This stop was added at the last minute.  As time rushed by on Saturday, we rescheduled this for Sunday morning.  Instead of “just another EarthCache stop”, we arrived after sunrise Sunday morning to have this entire glorious park to ourselves! And we explored every inch of it!

TaGeez and Ratspazum

The Viaduct (as seen from above)

The Millrace
The Arch and the Viaduct
TaGeez and Scrapcat
Near historic Bedford and accessed via Viaduct Park, Tinker Creek, the Gorge and the Great Falls are the results of the Wisconsinian Glacier as it retreated thousands of years ago.  With its combination of soft shale and harder sandstone, the water flow over time has created a mini-Niagara Falls.

Great Falls at Tinkers Creek

Again, it’s the history and architecture that thrill me: The Viaduct and the Arch, the Millrace, the foundations of the former mills, and all the glorious historical markers. 

Ratspazum, TaGeez and scrapcat
SOURCE: Ratspazum


I do notice a common theme here (besides the Berea Sandstone)….. I love these EarthCaches because they are a combination of history, architecture and geology (in that order). Maybe that’s the key for my EarthCache happiness.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

OH/PA Adventure: Webcams

Almost as rare as Year 2000 caches are webcams! We crossed paths with two!

These are geocaches that use existing web cameras that monitor various areas like parks or business complexes. The idea is to get yourself in front of the camera and save a screen capture from the website where the camera is displayed in order to log a find.
Erie Metropark Webcam GCPDM5

This is a cute little nature park near Cedar Point. The replacement webcam was sponsored by local geocachers. This is not the best picture, but it is our first group picture of the trip. Although TaGeez and I already claimed this one last year, we posed again with Ratspazum and Caching Fire.

Boro Web-cam GCN8GZ

Imagine my glee when I realized this webcam was along the route of two JASMER caches on our list! I watched this one for days - even watched the contractor who painted the new parking lot lines! 

This picture was our version of "Abbey Road" (with my dragon in the toga at the front)! After posting it on FB, Commander Overlord shared a link to a webcam of the REAL Abbey Road - he said if you watch it you will regularly see people doing the "Abbey Road" walk! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Night in the Cemetery - the Adventure Begins!

What an adventure!  Last year Ratspazum (Steve and Mary) attended a Halloween geocaching event in historic Cleveland, and they invited us to go with them this year.  Can you imagine?  Taking a moonlit walking tour by torchlight and then geocaching in a historic cemetery the week of Halloween? Well, if you’re going to make a trip in that direction, you might as well make it a geocaching excursion!

Our tourguide in the Moses Mausoleum
East Cleveland Township Cemetery

So, Saturday morning myself, TaGeez and Mr. & Mrs. Ratspazum loaded up the car and headed to the ECTC: A Night in the Cemetery event GC5BQ4D.  Our focus on the Autumn adventure included Virtuals, Earth Caches, webcams, highly-favorited caches, cemetery caches and JASMER-fillers while glorying in these brilliant Fall colors. Ohio and Pennsylvania are ablaze with the most amazing colors right now!

Instead of inundating this post with hundreds of pics (I took 641, in fact), I thought I’d share our adventure over several posts.  To begin, I had to share one of the highpoints of the trip: we found a September 2000 cache near Erie, PA! I only have 4 more for my JASMER grid!

TaGeez and Scrapcat

The sign said “wear hunter orange”.  Instead, we wore bumblebee yellow, moose brown, forest evergreen and bear black.  And, yes, there was a lot of gunfire in the distance!

Our adventure by the numbers:

  • 750 miles with 3 great friends (and a dragon in a toga) traversing the width of 2 states: Ohio and Pennsylvania
  • 53 caches including 2 webcams, 3 Earth Caches, 4 Virtuals & 4 Letterboxes plus 27 cemeteries (with MANY zinc headstones)
  • Visited a stupendous historic cemetery (Lakeview Cemetery) and night cached/toured in a smaller historic cemetery nearby (ECTC), all off Cleveland's Euclid Avenue (formerly "Millionaire's Road")
  • 1 JASMER cache from Sept 2000. 
  • 1 Presidential mausoleum with 1 Presidential casket, 1 dam, 1 castle, 1 viaduct, 1 amazing series of waterfalls, several lighthouses, 11 pieces of art constructed out of disused auto parts, and about a dozen "Beetle people"
  • Completed our best "Busy Day" with 8 cache types: traditional, Earth, Letterbox, Wherigo, puzzle, webcam, Multi and Virtual
  • Added 1 new state souvenir: Pennsylvania
  • Dropped 10 TB's and lost one of mine (my "Virtual" Geocoin is now a "Virtual Geocoin" lost at a Virtual)
  • Attracted 5 ticks (they were fickle… only attracted to men named “Steve”)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scrapcat on the Erie Trail

LOVE this picture TaGeez took of me on Sunday at Lake Erie Huron Metropark!

So relaxed... love it!

MGA14: Lake Erie Metropark Adventure

Fall in Michigan – can’t beat it!  We’re so lucky that we can get out and enjoy these golden days.

If it wasn't for geocaching, I'd never have walked down that trail to this....
Out with members of Team Free Range Lobsters doing the MGA2014 – Lake Erie, Good and Evil Coexist GC51ZBY cache.  Today’s group consisted of myself, TaGeez, WikidKriket, SnakeyLicks and Fiona-the-wonder-geo-pup!  Love the annual Metropark series!

Snakey, Kriket and Fiona leading the way

TaGeez and Kriket know I don't like bridges - brats!

Kriket, Snakey, Fiona, scrapcat and TaGeez

One of the most gorgeous views

Not too cold for this wonderpup!

Hadley family photo

TaGeez taking in a beautiful Fall day

My Love

Sisters <3

After finding the cache, we drove over to the beach near the wave pool. Cold but beautiful.  The sun was setting too fast.

Keeper of the Cache

Fiona, Snakey, Kriket, and TaGeez

Team Free Range Lobsters

This takes care of #10.  Only 3 more to go, and then we have to wait another year.