Sunday, August 15, 2004

Getting lost while Geocaching...

What a busy assed week.

My feet are wonderfully tan and super sexy right now. I just need to paint my toes to get that full and complete summertime whore look. And I'll be stylie. In my humble opinion.

Anyway -- that picture makes me smile. And sometime in the dead of December when it is a billion below zero, I'll look at it and remember the smell of the beach, the summer sun, the tan tops of my feets...

Most of that tan came from Geocaching. I wear the sandals when hiking. They're excellent all-terrain footwear. And they come in handy when you want to walk through a creek without worrying about ruining your shoes. I am not a woman who loves fashion and names (I'm no Carrie on Sex in the City in other words).

But. I love my hiking sandals. I wear them with dresses (I'm so academia, aren't I?) No fashion sense here... just happy tan assed feet. If I've got nothing else going for me, it's my happy feet.

I talked to my sister today. She took my kids to the Aquarium, and Geoff was in TSO, or Total Sensory Overload. When one has ADHD, it's hard to process stuff. So he was zinging. A woman asked Linda for directions, and Linda said that she wasn't from around there and didn't know.

Well, if you're a Barenaked Ladies fan, like my son, you KNOW what comes next. Recall if you will Ed's little anecdote from the end of Rock Spectacle, where a woman asks him "Excuse me, do you know where the Bryant Street Theatre is?" And he doesn't know because he's not from around there... so she says "Aw, fer Chrissakes!" etc.

Turns up in the end, after reflecting on her attitude towards him, Ed wanted to find her and and say "Lady, you're an idiot!"

Well, as they walked away, Geoff yelled "Aw, fer Chrissakes! Lady, You're an Idiot!"

He is no longer allowed to listen to the extended hidden track of "If I had $1,000,000". End of conversation.

What follows is complete hyperbole. Because I'm that kind of gal.

Geocaching on Saturday was an adventure and a half, and boy am I glad the kids were at the Aquarium driving Auntie Lee Lee crazy instead of driving ME crazy. Geoff would have handled things in stride, but Jessie would have wept like a whipped puppy. How do I know? Well, this trip almost made me cry. Me. The hardcore seasoned off-road bushwhacking geocacher. I almost wept and sobbed.

Let me 'splain.

We headed back out to Dogtown in Gloucester (really, if you live in the area, you SO have to go visit. The boulders rock. HA! funny). There are dozens of caches hidden in this relatively small area. We did some with Geoff a couple weeks ago, and we figured we'd head back and do some more. We were looking for "body count" on this trip. We had hoped to hit 11 or more caches in one trip.

We got five.

After our fifth cache, Doug and I took the main trail to the south and East, which was an excellent walk, but kept moving us further away from the cache we were looking for. It was Africa hot in the woods, with the remnants of the hurricane to the south pushing tropical air up our way. We came into this really cool area, where we took a trail up over a ridge, and back down the other side...

and the trail vanished beneath our feet. We're suddenly trail-less in this heavily leaf laden boulder complex, heading downhill to a creek. According to the GPS it was the Old Alewife Brook, and if we followed it back to the north we'd eventually hit Common Road.

So we found what used to be a trail, a sad excuse for a trail, miserably under maintained and over grown, running beside the creek.

Doug in these situations turns into Mary Fucking Sunshine. "Oh, honey! Isn't the brook lovely?"

Die. GPs misusing get me lost bastard, Die.

"Oh hey! Look at this crazy mushroom! I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this. It's purple and translucent. Honey, look at this, isn't it amazing?"

Yeah, amazing. Get out of my way so I can fucking STOMP the living hell out of that fungus shit. Die, mushroom! I don't care if you're the last mushroom of your species on earth, DIE! [insert stomping hiking sandal noise here]. Way to grow out here where no one could see you. What, are you some sort of endangered mushroom species? An heirloom shroom grown here in the 1800s by stupid idiots who tried to settle this granite forsaken shithole? Die! Did you think you'd be safe forever?! HA! Die. Die. DIE! I hate nature. I hate hiking. I hate trees. I'm a homicidal nature hating, mushroom stomping, geocaching cursing bitch. Get out of my way.

"Well, the GPs says we're only 300 feet away from the geocache. Straight up that rocky and dangerous impasse. Isn't that great?!"

Sure it's great but does that piece of shit GPs tell you how far away the damn TRAIL is!!!??? No. No it doesn't. Because it and you suck. I hate both of you. I'd throw it in the Damn Old Alewife Brook if the damn thing wasn't indestructible and waterproof.

After a discussion as to whether or not we should continue to follow the orange dot sad excuse of a trail, or head up to where the cache is, thinking there may be a nicer trail up there, we opted to climb the rocky and dangerous impasse and head for the cache. Orange dot trail wasn't really getting us in the direction I felt we needed to go. One last serious push and we'd be where we needed to be.

We climbed up the rough hill with Mr. Mary Sunshine finding more purple mushrooms and greatly enjoying himself with me behind planning his demise.

Where's the biggest boulder that I can push him off of?

At the top of the little scramble, we found a nice little trail, blaze marked with tennisball yellow/green paint. Our bug spray had worn off at this point, and the deer flies were starting to bite Doug on the head. He started to lose his luster and fall into unhappy mode with me.

"This is starting to not be fun anymore."

Starting!? Jebus. No shit, Sherlock.

We got to within 100 feet of the cache, but the hider had placed it in the middle of a ton of thorn bushes, with no good trail approach. Kinger and I sat by the trail waiting as Doug attempted to retrieve the cache. He came out a few minutes later, willing to give up the hunt. The bugs, the heat, and the fact we drank the last of our water, combined with the fact that we were about a mile away from our truck and still had to get out of there finally convinced him we were done.

Not having a trail map of this area (none are available online, you have to go to a bookstore in Gloucester and purchase one. I swear to God himself I am going to do just that and scan the mofo so other people can benefit. Screw anyone who wants to profit off the damn map. Maps should be free and plentiful online. And curse anyone who has not yet decided to post one on an official Gloucester website) we had the choice of going right or left. In looking at our position on the GPs, we picked going to the left. That was west. I knew our truck was west of where we were, and heading to the east could probably take us a huge ways away from the main trails, and we'd still have to walk back west eventually to get to the vehicle.

After about a half mile, Doug lets out a chuckle. "Do you recognize where we are?"

I didn't, but within 10 more paces I did. We'd come full circle to the spot where we found the fifth cache. Son of a bitch. We'd come in a huge circle, wandering 39 miles in the middle of nowhere in Boulderville, and we'd simply gotten back to where we started. 39 friggin miles of Israeli style lost in the desert blaming Moses for our woes style wandering.

The dogs were thrilled, they immediately knew the way out from where we were. When all is said and done, it wasn't as bad as I make it out to be. I was whiny and bitchy but not to the homicidal extent I play up there.

But, it's been a long long time since we have had to do the extent of off trail walking that we did this past Saturday. I am glad I now know where the cool trail brings us out into, and will gladly return to get cache six on our list, as well as many others.

Welcome back, those who have skipped the geocaching adventures.

I was talking to Aaron last night about the Hurricane Devastation. And in general, the way we as a nation react to disasters. Sure, 16 or so people died in the hurricane. But, that many or more die every summer from the heat in Chicago. Or from the cold winter in Chicago. We as a collective nation have a penchant for over-reacting. It rains 10 inches in Malaysia, 10,000 people are swept away in mudslides, we get 10 seconds of news on it on TV. Every other Thursday there is an earthquake in Iran that kills about 20,000 people. Yeah, whatever.

But a hurricane comes through a small town where people decided "Well, the weathermen say it's going to pass well to the north of here, let's stay put" and their trailer gets lifted and dumped and ripped to shreds, 11 billion dollars worth of damage gets done (wow. That's not a fake and totally inflated figure) and we turn into this huge rescue nation.

16 dead when they could have left town or not walked out and stepped into the puddle with the electrical line in it, VS. 20,000 people under a pile of rubble in an already destroyed nation.

Aaron gave me the greatest line describing our national reaction to our own natural disasters. I share it here with full agreement. "We're like a jappy teenager with a hangnail."

Best Summation Ever.

Yesterday Doug and I sat around the house wondering when the remnant of the aforementioned hurricane was really going to show its colors. We got more rain last Thursday in a regular normal summer thunderstorm than we got on Saturday night.

We drove over to Salisbury Beach to go see the waves, of which there was nothing incredible to speak of. We were somewhat disappointed. Didn't stop us from taking a nice long walk on the beach, kid free. Had Geoff been there we would have been powerless to stop him from running headlong into the water. He's iron to it's magnetism. It made me miss him a little bit, but I was relieved to not have a sopping wet 7 year old getting loaded into the nice VW Passat.

Alright. That's the extent of my entry for today. I was going to rant about the Olympics Hype, which makes my head explode and blood shoot out of my eyes (thanks Nance, I use that all the time and it cracks me and others right up). But I've gotta get ready to go. I've got to grab a shower and go up to a day of work for a company that wants me to write a lesson plan for some corporate training they're doing in September. I basically have 2 weeks to master Outlook 2003 running on Exchange Server 5.5, and write a training plan to teach its masterful abilities.

I have to go do this in their office... I don't have it here so I can't do screenshots/take notes without the software. Wish me luck. I only have 2 weeks to pull this together. Not sure if I can pull it off, but damn I'm gonna try.

Tomorrow I have an interview with the graduate school in the morning. After that, I'm driving down to get my kids. I'm hoping the weather is nice and I can sit on the deck of the ferry and get a jumpstart on re-tanning my feet. They're a little fadey.

More later y'all.

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