Sunday, March 30, 2008

Boy Scout Camping @ Manidokan

Due to a shortage of adult leaders, I volunteered to camp with T's Boy Scout troop this weekend. We camped at Manidokan Retreat Center, in Maryland between Frederick & Harpers Ferry. The site was pretty, but we were on the crest of a hill and so had no relief from a strong, unseasonably cold wind that blew all weekend. It was cold! T, who rarely gets cold, actually put on a jacket, and then borrowed one of mine as a wind barrier OK, he was still wearing shorts, but T with two jackets on is a rare occurrence.

On the Boy Scout trips the boys run the show. That's pretty neat - the adults don't have to do much work at all. We did, however, have to eat Scout-prepared food: nearly-raw steaks (I put mine back on the fire for a while after it was declared "done" by the cook), over-cooked pasta and instant mashed potatoes. Of course, no vegetables in sight. The above picture gives some idea of what eating with the Scouts is like.

Dessert was a sort of cherry cobbler - hot canned cherry pie filling with a layer of yellow cake mix on top. I was so cold, and it was so warm, that I actually had seconds of the cobbler. We also got to listen to the Scouts bicker over who had to do which chores - just like at our house.

Other than that, we did a nice hike, had a nice campfire, and had a generally good time. T & I hit a few geocaches on the way home, introducing one of his friends to the sport.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ice Pirates Defrost

This week was one of our last Ice Pirate outings. In a couple of weeks, the Pirates of Georgetown officially starts up for the season. The dry suits, neoprene hoods and other cold weather gear will get packed away, and we'll be out enjoying the warmth and later sunsets of Spring. Image courtesy of Paige. Look - we're all using Greenland paddles.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The bad boys of caching

Today T & I took on a geocaching trail down in Dumfries (a town sometimes referred to as Dumsh*t). A group of three cachers has set up this amazing trail along a local bike path. There are geocaches every quarter mile or so - over 50 in all! T & I were going to bike the whole thing, but unfortunately my bike had a flat tire. So ... we wound up parking in the middle and walking the top quarter or so of the cahes (then walking back - a total of about six miles). As we were walking back, we saw some other cachers doing a "cache and dash" - at each cache location they'd pull over to the side of the road. One would wait in the car while the other went out and found the cache. They caught up with us just as we were getting back to our car. I usually don't like to work this way - it violates my idea of getting out there and really doing it. But, in this case, the lure of more caches was too hard, and it was fun kind of caravaning. So, the four of us set off in our two cars to pick up the next quarter of the trail.

Let me say that Fiarfax cops are pretty vigilant. We got stopped twice by cops wondering what we were doing. And, the cache hiders had foolishly hidden one right by a first responder station. they chased us away too. In the end, we logged over 25 finds and avoided the slammer.