Sunday, March 12, 2006

An entry where geocache will be mentioned

Of course it will. The weather, the weekend, the Team Screamapillars -- you know it all adds up to an adventure in stalking Tupperware in the woods.

Agawam Dance fuzzy branchWe went to Gloucester again, because there are so many freaking caches there. Not all of them hidden by the cacher named Dogtown, and not all of them in the area called Dogtown.

We were five for eight in our seekings but it wasn't too disappointing because it was just freaking gorgeous and sunny and bright and the view! And the ocean! And the everything!

I took a million and a half pictures, of course. This one is one of my favorites. But go over to Flickr and enjoy them all. Won't you?

The first cache we did was in the Ravenswood Park property on rte 127 between Magnolia and Gloucester. It is a fantastic property that goes from rocky granite cliffs to deep vernal pools and marshy swamps. We got to enjoy a gorgeous vista looking over to Eastern Point webspinner view to eastern pointLighthouse where we'd hiked just a few weeks ago.

We didn't find that cache, for some reason we missed it totally, but we enjoyed the two and a half miles through that park, and we'll be back to make that find before you know it.

Next we ventured to a little spot running up Cape Ann north of Thatchers Island almost in Rockport. On the right as you're heading north there is a State Historical Information Sign letting you know that French Explorer Samuel de Champlain danced with some Indians there in 1605.

Steepbank Landing is the place, and it sure was a steep little bank. It is marked a public way, and a resident sticker is required, but no one was there yesterday to give us a hard time so we enjoyed having the uninterrupted access.

The beach is gorgeous, and the area above the beach was really cool too with scraggly weatherbeaten trees and a huge meadow for the residents horses. Again, millions of pictures taken, good times had.

Squam Ave, Rockport MAWe then went into Rockport to hit a few caches in Dogtown, one on Pools Hill, and the one on the Granite Pier that we couldn't find in May 2005. We still couldn't find it, but we greatly enjoyed looking.

The Dogtown caches (hidden by Mr. Dogtown) were not very challenging, but finding them totally made up for the lack of finding at other locations.

We left satisfied.

There weren't as many people out and about as I anticipated. I thought we'd be sitting in traffic forever going through Rockport or trying to navigate around one of the Death Circles (aka Rotaries) in Gloucester.

For the most part, the crowds were in the shopping areas because many of the trails were empty, save for our brood.

It wasn't until we tried to get food at about 5pm that it became evident that millions of people were out enjoying life. We drove into Essex to go to Farnhams and there was no getting near the building. After fighting traffic we knew what we would find just up the road -- Woodmans would be equally mobbed, and it sure was. We continued through Essex, and the antiquers who had been shopping all the livelong day were now crammed into every restaurant except the Chinese place. No one was there. But we didn't want Chinese food either. So we continued to Ipswich.

choate bridge pub dinnerWe ended up at the Choate Bridge Pub, where I haven't eaten since 1990. Not for lack of wanting, but just because we never go to Ipswich. Doug said he's never been there, which I found hard to believe.

It wasn't very crowded, except at the bar where dozens of people were indoors on the prettiest day of the year drinking and yelling at the big screen TV showing the ACC basketball tournament. We scored a table in the diningroom, enjoyed a good dinner and a couple beers and then decided to head to Newburyport because WRKO guy and Herald columnist Howie Carr was going to be at a bookstore there to sign copies of his book "The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century."

jabberwocky booksNow, for you Boston area readers, I know, I know, I know -- most of you hate Howie Carr. He can be a jerk, sure. He starts a lot of fires with his mouth, and is far more conservative than I am when it comes to a lot of issues.

I'm fascinated by his wealth of knowledge about the Bulger family. He is a fantastic storyteller, and whenever he is on the topic I listen in rapt attention. For those of you unfamiliar with the Bulgers (yes, all you readers in Kittaning PA and Austin TX) theirs is the classic Irish immigrant story of one brother a politician, one a gangster, FBI agents on the take, newspapers afraid to tell tales of crimes and murders.

Howie even writes about his own experiences knowing he was on the list of people they'd like to kill and he pretty much laughs it off.

Well, we weren't the only people who decided to turn up.

I didn't anticipate he'd be this huge a draw, but we got there at 6:50 and there was no getting in the room.

Doug ended up getting to a spot where he could at least see Howie talking. I took the nutcracker bobkids into a bakery for a little while where they played with a Nutcracker, then I took them up to a landing on the second floor where we could at least hear Howie give his talk on his experience in Boston during the Winter Hill reign of terror.

We didn't stick around for an autograph or anything, I would have liked a copy of the book.

The bookstore should have had a table at the front of the building where they were selling the book while Howie was talking. That would have been smart. So we left empty handed. I'll get the book some other time. I'd love to read it.

We were home by 8 and I think I was asleep by 9. A long assed day all over the north shore.

This morning I slept in late, and we lolled around the house for several hours doing nothing. We set out to grab a geocache or three at about 1pm. While at the first cache it started to rain, so we bailed and came home. Unlucky. But we got a good mile and a half hike in before retreating home.

Now it feels like naptime, only I have dishes and laundry to get to. It was a busy weekend... I like it like that.

The kids have tomorrow off, so they're going to hang out here. Doug will head home at a decent time to meet them. There is a ton of stuff going on at work that makes life busy, and I can't miss a day there. Or a minute really. It's good to be busy!

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