Sure enough we discovered that the map
reality was, in a few key areas, quite different from what MapSource
told me. Now mind you, I have been extremely pleased with
MapSource and use their City
Select, USA Topo and World map sets. I also use DeLorme and
one other computer map set whose name escapes me at the moment. So don't
think I am complaining. It's inevitable that in the hundreds of
thousands of miles I have logged (seriously), it's no surprise that once
in a while a map falls short.
Anyway, in one place there was a road
that got me under the highway that was not on the map; another "road"
was actually a dirt road (oh great - just what I look for - seriously)
that went into a deep section of a stream and did not re-emerge on the
other side of the stream like the map showed... That meant we took
another route option and I am left to revise my route plans. One
down and 49 routes to go...
We followed a number of roads into some
remote areas and found some interesting things. I was even able to
investigate a piece of property that I had spotted when we were housing
hunting last year. It was nothing like I thought it would be but
it was still a beautiful place.
checking out Bull Run Road (above) we punched down into one spot from
Grafton Road and found ourselves front and center to the Wal*Mart Super
Center construction project in Morgantown. They're literally
blasting the top off of a knob and filling the ravine next to it with
the remains. That's one way to find level ground to build a
And so on. My 8-year old, Ted and I ran
the routes until we reached the impasse mentioned above and shot an
alternate route under the highway and down to
Dairy Creme, only to find (of course) it was closed for the season.
We dropped back and punted at McD's and had sundaes instead, then hit
the road for home.
Which brings us to
the Geocache. Recently I broke down and became a premium
member (why in the world did I wait?) and had downloaded e-books onto my
Blackberry, and produced a couple pocket queries to carry with me. I
also generated the GPX files of these queries and loaded them onto my
GPS data set for everyday running (back and forth to work and errands
around town). Suddenly I had 300 geocaches sparkling all around me on
the GPSr and the ability to look them up on the fly with the Blackberry.
(Not to mention that I can log my finds from the cache using the
Blackberry browser - can't get too much technology eh?!) I am
hoping I remember to go to work...
So I see the
Catawba Cemetery Cache looming off to the north a few miles and
looking like it sits on a pretty cool high point. Ted was up for it and
we had our big mutha flashlight this time so we hit "auto route" and
headed for it.
We dropped off the highway and followed
instruments all the way until we were parallel to the waypoint. I looked
to the left and saw the massive hill and reached for the Blackberry.
Pretty soon I had the description and the directions. Following the
driving instructions from the playground up, we were soon on foot headed
for the spot.
It was by now almost dark.
Ooooooooooooo! We made a beeline for the location and soon found
ourselves on the brink with a very steep hill before us. I wandered a
little to see if the GPS consistently indicated a particular area - it
did. I read the logs and saw that it was probably where I thought it
was. Problem was it was snowy and even with my hiking boots it was a
little tricky. Imagine trying to juggle a camera, GPS, Blackberry,
flashlight and 8-year old!