Wednesday, September 2, 2015

and a wee bit of geocaching, of course

The high-voltage US Navy band Cruisers performed their first traveling concert of the season in downtown Akron recently.  They are described as the "...Navy's premier contemporary entertainment ensemble" and most certainly lived up to that billing in their performance.

Band members are setting up their equipment in Akron's Lock 3 Park outdoor Amphitheater (above).  Patrons set up their lawn chairs on the grassy area which was packed by showtime that evening.

Navy veteran and friend Mark Meinzer explained band members attend naval boot camp as recruits
but upon graduation are immediately advanced to the rank of first class petty officer from which they advance in their navy band careers.

Leading the band is drummer and senior chief musician Leon Alexander shown to the left of the female band member in the official navy portrait (right) where band members are presented in their navy blue uniforms.  They did Akron's show in their summer white uniforms.

Click here for their official web site and schedule of all navy band performances.

While enjoying the show's recorded music prelude we discovered there was a geocache in this very park.  (You may remember it was the Meinzers--Mark and Nancy--who introduced Sue and me to this delightful activity).

The photo below reveals the cache location which was about 200 feet or so to the left of the area visible in our lead photo:

There is a blue kiosk visible in the left-center area above.  Sue is barely visible standing where we found the cache in a magnetic container on the metal railing.  The robust splash of water is in the course of the original Ohio & Erie Canal now flowing among and under downtown buildings.

Also joining us in this magical, summer evening were our good friends and chauffeurs, Don and Roberta Karger.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Left home Monday, 8/31 for a geocaching romp through a slice of western Ohio  We are working on caching in each of Ohio's 88 counties and trying to cache in at least 55 of her state parks along the way.

Managed to add 6 counties and two state parks this outing and rolled into my home driveway early that evening with exactly 350 new miles on the odometer.

Over in Paulding County we encountered this tree, representative of a species that chooses to discourage geocaching.  A search of my Audubon field guide suggests this might be a Honey Locust but I certainly will yield to a more informed opinion.

Our favorite stop was in Bellefontaine where the very first, concrete street in America is located.

Yup, a very enterprising fellow named George Bartholomew in the late 1800's was experimenting with a mineral he had found in abundance near Bellefontaine.  He thought it could cure the muddy quagmire that plagued local streets after every rain.

He presented his "mudstone" idea to city council but they were very skeptical of Mr. B's creation.  After all, no other successful samples of artificial stone pavements could be found--anywhere!  Finally, council authorized the test "paving" of the square around the courthouse.  They also required Mr. B to donate the "cement" and post a $5,000 bond that guaranteed the pavement would last 5 years.

That was in 1891.  The pavement remains in use to this day.

That's Sue admiring Mr. B's memorial with my silver car parked in the immediate background of Court Ave., which continues to serve as the street and and parking area south of the county courthouse.

We certainly wish the town's fathers would consider converting this historic site into a pedesterial boulevard, this preserving it from future automotive damage.

Several weeks back we were caching in Elyria's Cascade Park, the south end of which offers a
miniature version of the geologic features common to the Hocking Hills in Central Ohio. Sue (right) is looking for a cache in the remnants of an ice-age waterfall site high above the current river level. The huge stones are slump-blocks.  They once formed an elongated overhang over which the water fell and dissolved softer stone below over geologic time until the upper rocks collapsed of their own, unsupported weight.
Shortly after the Elyria experience we were caching in the rural hills of Tuscarawas County and discovered a delightfully natural rock formation totally hidden from the view of a nearby county road intersection and totally undeveloped commercially.
It was an acre or two in size and was a labyrinth of overhang-tunnels, cracked rock paths and randomly explorable geology that man would be hard pressed to duplicate.  We didn't find the cache that was hidden here, largely, I suspect, because I became a kid again and was lost in purely, imaginative exploration.

That's Sue peeking around a corner where our random wandering just happened to provide this encounter.  Finally we reoriented our bearings and made our way out of this forest-enveloped stone theater of natural creation. 

May the curiosity regarding what is around the next corner never cease.