September 13, 2004

Fun, Food, Folks

Spectacle Island CacheAnother full weekend gone by. Well, full of geocaching, anyway.

As usual, it was food, folks and fun, but not in that order.

Fun

We’re thoroughly enjoying the summer’s end/autumn’s start weather. It’s been clear, cooler and very dry. In my opinion that’s perfect weather for nearly every outdoor activity.

We hit 4 caches this weekend, but failed to find a 5th.

Caches Found:

  • Tattapanum Trail [GCGHKZ]
  • Tree and a Half (in the Copicut woods) [GCK4WQ]
  • Spectacle Island [GCJT87]
  • Founder’s Brook [GCJWHH]

It makes 13 total caches thus far for me.

The first two, conquered on Saturday, were incredible trails hidden in the Fall River area. If you were just a Southeastern Massachusetts hiker or walker, thee trails would be a must visit. I may have said it before (repeatedly) but geocaching has proven to be a way to learn more about our area, forcing us to visit locations that are varied in their beauty. The folks leaving these caches often find a spot they want other similarly-inclined people to notice.

Tattapanum’s overlook of the Watuppa was startling. The Copicut woods with their solemn cathedral-like trail followed by a tiny, inner woods were magical.

However, the picture in the upper right is of Spectacle island, which we reached on Sunday with the help of my father’s boat. It was a quick find once we reached the island. Click the picture for an overview of “The Cove” that exists behind Island Park in Portsmouth. The Cove is about a mile across and full of boats that were out for the day to just sit around and enjoy the water. Some had BBQ grills going on deck, and you could practically smell summer beginning to fade away.

I dragged out an old wetsuit given to me by a friend of Manny’s. It didn’t fit me well back then and it doesn’t fit me now, but I squeezed the bottoms on to protect me from cold Atlantic water and prickers on the island. Hey, if you’ve got an old wetsuit, what else are you going to use it for?

Food

For the food-obsessed portion of the weekend, Julie provided us with fresh pasta from her machine. It might sound stupid, but I just didn’t realize that flour, oil and water mixed together and extruded would taste so much like pasta. In fact, it tastes exactly like pasta. Because it is pasta.

The machine, under Julie’s supervision, dutifully pumped out 2 batches of pasta, upon which we heaped my sauce which had been simmering in the crock pot all day. I wasn’t very happy with the sauce, but I can’t complain much. It near zero work to cut up veggies and toss them into a crock pot for sauce. Dinner is cooking while you’re out geocaching. For that reason, we’ll be using the slow cooker a lot more often this year.

It’s like having a chef working in the kitchen for you while you’re out having fun.

We also reheated my leftover bread, which froze extremely well.

Bread-Storing Tip:

If you bake your own crusty bread, bake twice as much as you need. Store the extra bread in a ziplock bag in the freezer as soon as it cools off. When you want to eat the bread, pop it in the oven and turn it up to 400 degrees F. When the oven heats to 400, take the bread out. It will be warm and crusty again, not quite like fresh, but almost as good.

The kids, of course, got a kick out of the pasta machine. Extruding is great fun.

Julie: you forgot to take your Mountain Dew Pitch Black. I nearly always forget to give Julie something that she’s taking home because I’m usually half asleep by that time. We suffered through Manos: Hands of Fate. Thank goodness for bots.

Folks

We failed to find one cache, and when I logged the DNF (did not find) I got an email from some folks who told me the coordinates were off. They’d found the cache a week or so ago and wanted to let me know where they found it. The geocachers in the area are friendly, and I’m just starting to see there’s an informal community.

SOme other folks are even planning to hold semi-regular seminars to teach people how to safely reach cliff side geocaches which require rope and harness skills. Lucky for me, these folks are operating close to where I live. It won’t be long before I pay them a visit.

Updated: One other funny “folks” thing that happened this weekend was that we ran into some other geocachers in the Copicut woods. We were on our way out and they were on their way in. However, we didn’t know each other so we didn’t talk until he and his wife saw my log on geocaching.com, at which time he fired me off an email.

There ought to be some sort of secret greeting between cachers in the field.

Posted by James at September 13, 2004 10:04 AM
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Comments

Oops. I forgot all about the soda. I'll grab it this week. Sorry!

Posted by: Julie at September 13, 2004 11:09 AM

Why not get some sort of "geocaching" t-shirt that would be recognizable to geocachers but not others? How about one that says "Travel Bug" on it with the travel bug logo or something? Wear that when you're caching. Then when another cachers spot you, they won't be so shy about saying hello.

Posted by: Chuck S. at September 13, 2004 11:33 AM

That's not a bad idea, Chuck. I like it. Lately I've taken to wearing a bright orange day-glo "please don't shoot me, hunters" sweatshirt. But I could also put some sort of decal on that.

Or, I could try not to be an idiot. The guy I ran into suspected I was a geocacher. I suspected he was. We both looked for a GPSr. Mine was in my sweatshirt pocket. His was in his hand, but I didn't recognize it.

next time I'll just make mine more visible.

But I really like the T-shirt idea.

Posted by: James at September 13, 2004 12:16 PM

I remember watching my grandmother make pasta. She'd put a mound of flour on her big cutting board, make a well in the middle, and put an egg in it. She'd mix that all together with her hands.

Actually, I just talked to my mother, and that's how my grandmother made wonders, a doughy confection I really don't remember too well. She's got the recipe, and I'm going to get it!

Posted by: Patti M. at September 14, 2004 1:21 PM

Sometimes, after eating too much, I feel like a doughy confection.

Is that TMI?

Posted by: James at September 14, 2004 1:42 PM

You know what I couldn't get in Florida? Doughboys. They had funnel cakes, but no doughboys. People knew what I was talking about (they called them elephant ears) but I guess the funnel cakes were more popular for some reason.

OTOH, last doughboy I had made me sick. That was at Lincoln Park, shortly before they closed for good - and I had eaten a lot of chowder and clamcakes that night too. I suppose technically it was the grease that made me sick. It was probably as old as the park, at that point.

Posted by: Julie at September 14, 2004 2:59 PM

James, are you intimating that you are The Doughboy?

Julie, it might have been the grease or the other foodstuffs you ate, and then again, it might have been poor higene on the food preparer's part. Perhaps it's best they're closed for good.

Again, I offer all of you the opportunity to get grossed out and read some of the warning letters FDA sends to businesses due to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) violations. You'll never eat again.

www.fda.gov
Search: HACCP warning letter

Posted by: Patti M. at September 14, 2004 3:27 PM

Shotgunned.

Posted by: James at September 14, 2004 4:38 PM

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