Monday, March 01, 2021

Geocaching: Winter 2020/21

Well, 14 caches is better than the 12 I found last fall.

In December, I was doing a pre-Christmas Target run and ended up at one of Alexandria's 2 Targets. But not the one I was supposed to do a pickup at. I left with a consolation cache.

Shortly after Christmas, I did a Subway pickup order in Montgomery County that allowed me to find a nearby cache. This got me the "Last 2020" souvenir (Souvenir 74).

January passed cache-less.

February started with one in Loudoun County. As I recall, I pulled over to get some steps for my Fitbit. 

Soon after, my family visited Manassas Battlefield Park, and we claimed a virtual cache there. (Answers cropped out.)

So, mid-February left me at four caches. It was turning out to be a pretty slow winter for geocaching, but I was able to find a few hours one day to make things more exciting.

I started off by finding three caches near the Fairfax County Parkway. One of them saw me use the trick of "take a picture before you stick your hand someplace you can't see."

And one of them had the final "world wonder" I needed to complete the second "Wonders of the World" challenge and earn the "Ancient Wonders of the World" souvenir (Souvenir 76) as well as the "World Explorer" one (Souvenir 77) for completing both Wonders of the World sets. (Two new sets of Wonders have been introduced since then.) One of them had been placed in December 2020 (Month 214).

I seem to have neglected to mention my two Fall souvenirs in last season's post -- they were both from the Memory Lane promotion, which is now over.

After the three nearby ones, I was motivated by the fact that Clarke County, Virginia wasn't very far away, and I didn't have any cache finds there. Just across the border was a cache under a bridge that was my first in Clarke County (County 112), my first from April 2005 (Month 215) and my first in 77°53' (Minute 56 for the W77 challenge). Heading along Route 50, I found my first in 77°59' (Minute 57). I have almost finished that challenge, unbelievably.

Continuing westward, I found my first in 39°09' (Minute 32 for the N39 challenge) and then my first in 39°10' (Minute 33).

Sunset was approaching, so I decided to concentrate on knocking out a few more counties. I went to Winchester City (County 113), Frederick County (County 114), and Shenandoah County (County 115). The one in Shenandoah County was also my first from August 2011 (Month 214).

I have a nice collection of counties in the northern part of the state now.

What a day! And in fact my day with the second-most finds ever.

That leaves me at 599 finds. I should plan something exciting for the 600th, but I probably won't.

Three months found while three months have passed means no net progress. If I refer to my categorization of months from last year, however, I can see some progress. At the end of January 2020, I had 8 missing "ancient" months -- that is still the same. I had 11 missing "old" months -- this month knocked off one of those. I had 10 missing "middle-aged" months -- I found one last February and one this February. I had 3 "young" I'm at 8. I think this counts as progress.