June 13 – 15, 2019

Lebanon, TN/Bowling Green, KY/Nashville, TN

  • 29 traditional caches found
  • 21 Wherigos found
  • 2 virtual caches found
  • 3 DNFs (Did not find)

DAY 1 – Lebanon

Deban and I spent four days in beautiful Lake Junaluska, NC earlier this week. Deban traveled to Newport for work one of those days but spent some of our time at Lake Junaluska enjoying rest and relaxation. I spent the majority of those four days sitting in an auditorium conferencing with other United Methodists from East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and North Georgia. This was four, long days with no opportunity to exercise or geocache. It was also an emotionally draining, but surprisingly encouraging four days.

Leaving Lake Junaluska on Wednesday evening, we drove to Nashville, TN because it was Deban’s turn to attend a conference – this one with attorneys from across the state of Tennessee. Now it was my turn to play!

Thursday, June 13 was my birthday, so I decided to spend it doing some of the things I enjoy most: exploring nature and geocaching. After a leisurely morning I drove east of Nashville to Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

This park has many hiking trails, and it was a beautiful day. However, there is only one geocache here. It was that cache that brought me to this park.

Geocaching is a multi-layered game. It can be as simple as finding a geocache in a parking lot, on a city street, in a park, along a river or lake, or in the mountains. However, some geocachers get more involved in the game, attempting to complete various goals such as the Fizzy Challenge, 366-day Challenge, Hidden Date Challenge, Jasmer Challenge along with other challenges. If you are interested, you can learn more about these challenges here.

As shown in the photos below, I have completed the Fizzy, 366-Day, and Hidden Date Challenges.

Fizzy Challenge – finding at least one cache with every possible D/T combination.
Finds on all 366 days of the year.
Finding caches hidden on each of the 366 days of the year.

The challenge I am currently working on is the Jasmer. It requires finding at least one cache that was hidden in each month since the advent of geocaching in May 2000. This is a little more difficult, as many of the oldest geocaches have been archived. For instance, there are only seven caches still active that were placed that first month. To find one of them, I will need to travel to Kansas, New York, Illinois, Oregon, Australia or New Zealand. I have found geocaches in all of those places, but not one of those seven oldest that would help fill in my Jasmer grid.

So, on my birthday I drove to Cedars of Lebanon State Park to search for a cache that would fill in the April 2001 spot on my Jasmer grid. The cache page said there is a $3 parking fee for the park, but I felt that was a small price to pay to log this old cache.

When I arrived at the park, I went into the visitor center to use the facilities and buy a bottle of water and a trail map. I asked about the parking fee and was told there was not one. Bonus!

Comparing the geocaching map on my phone to the trail map I had just bought, I identified the parking area for the trail I needed to take. It appeared that my best route would be to take a portion of the Limestone Sinks Trail to where it intersects with the Hidden Springs Trail, then follow that a short distance to the cache. I put Signal the Frog in a pocket of my cargo shorts, donned my day pack, and set off through the woods.

Ready to go!

The name of the park refers to eastern redcedar trees that are plentiful in the area. Calling these trees cedars is actually a misnomer, because they are actually more closely related to the juniper family. The woods also contain oak and hickory trees creating a dense forest in the area of the park I visited. Other parts of the park have glades where the soil is too thin atop the limestone to support trees. These glades are filled with wildflowers, but I did not have the opportunity to visit any on this trip.

Let’s take a walk in the woods.

The path was well-maintained and easy to trek, although there were a few areas where the trail crosses limestone rock beds that would have made it more difficult for persons with mobility issues.

Rocky path

The lush, green forest surrounding me muffled the sounds of the outside world, and the shade and a light breeze made the 70º weather perfect for hiking. The terrain was very level; in fact, I would only have a total elevation gain of 26 feet during the whole one mile hike.

I kept my eyes peeled for wildflowers as I hiked. A spotted a few along the way, such as this limestone wild petunia.

Although I had passed other cars on the park roads, and had seen people playing disk golf nearby, I had the trails to myself. While I prefer to have others with me on longer hikes (there is safety in numbers after all) it is sometimes nice to enjoy the solitude of nature.

Five minutes into my hike, I left the Limestone Sinks loop and began following the Hidden Springs Trail. I followed it for another five minutes before leaving it for a spur trail leading toward the cache location.

Which way?

Along this spur trail I started seeing sink holes for which the Limestone Sinks Trail is named. I would see even more of them later in my hike. The sinkholes along this path were of various sizes and shapes and made for an interesting landscape. I tried but found it very difficult to photograph the sinkholes. Pictures don’t give you a good idea of their size or depth.

Large skin hole along the trail.

On the slope of one of the sinkholes I saw bushes with familiar yellow blossoms. These were St. John’s Wort – a species that I have only seen once before on a piece of TVA property near Boone Lake. When I had first discovered those bushes six years ago this week, they were foreign to me. In fact, I named a cache that I was hiding for them – “UFO” for Unknown Flowering Object. I later learned what they were, but have not seen them anywhere else since. I was excited to renew my friendship with this interesting bush and stopped to take some pictures.

St. John’s Wort

As I approached another sinkhole, I could see from my phone that the geocache was on the other side. I stopped to study the situation and determine my best route; down into the sinkhole and up the other side, or around? The trail seemed to continue around the hole, so I followed it until I found an even fainter path through the woods on the other side.

The hint for this geocache was “Think a den with a heavy door.” I immediately spotted a stump with a large flat rock “door” and made my way to it. Behind the rock and under some pieces of wood was the ammo can I was seeking.

Where’s the cache?

Opening it, I found a nice collection of swag, three trackable items, and the log book. I thought about taking a magnet that was inside, but I didn’t have anything to trade for it, so I left it behind.

Uhhhh…

I did have my bag of trackable items with me, so traded three of them for the three in the cache. One of the TBs I traded for was a Smoky the Bear tag celebrating that iconic ranger’s 75th birthday. I thought it was very appropriate since this was my 57th birthday. Thankfully, those two numbers are reversed in my age! I plan to still be doing this sort of thing at 75, but don’t want to rush the years.

After putting the cache back as I had found it, I retraced my steps. When I reached the Limestone Sinks Trail, I decided to loop around it to see more of the sinkholes.

First, I passed what the trail map describes as “a very old, very large and fantastically burled chinkapin oak tree.” Indeed, it had a very impressive burl. From one angle, it looked to me like the head of a buffalo.

This burl was HUGE!
Do you see the buffalo?

Nearby, I saw some purple flowers that I was not able to identify. I later texted a picture to my sisters who identified them as tall bellflower.

All the Belflowers I know are short, so I didn’t recognize the tall bellflower.

As I continued around the loop I saw more sinkholes, included one very deep and narrow one that was like a small canyon.

It’s deeper than it looks

Of course, I had to go down in it. As you can see from the following photo, it was much deeper than it looks from above – probably twice my height. While I was down there I heard people pass by on the path above me, and they never knew I was there.

See?

On the floor of the “canyon” I spotted some orange specks. Closer examination showed that they were tiny mushrooms. I pulled a quarter out of my pocket to use for size reference in the photo. They were so tiny my phone camera decided to focus on the quarter instead of the mushroom, but you get the idea.

Further around the loop I saw another interesting rock feature – this one a shallow cave that was almost tall enough to stand in. It was certainly big enough to shelter in during a storm without getting wet.

I could live in there! But I bet the WiFi connection sucks.

Near the end of my trek I crossed paths with the only other humans I would see. This was a couple just starting the loop trail. They asked about the condition of it, saying they had started to try another trail but it was too rocky. I assured them this was an easy trail, so hope that they made it okay.

I soon completed my loop and was back at the car. The entire journey had been 1.01 miles and took me just under an hour with all of the stops for photos, logging the cache, etc. There are many more trails in this park that I would have liked to explore, but without any geocaches to offer I decided to forego them on this visit. Besides, I have rules about hiking too far or in too remote an area alone. I decided to do the rest of my geocaching for the day from the car.

Just outside of the park was a cache named ‘“DUDE” Made me do it!’ It was hidden near the intersection of two lonely, country roads, one of which was named Dude Trail.

DISCLAIMER: The next paragraph describes an embarrassing story involving a bodily function which may offend more sensitive readers. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

After I signed the log sheet, I was regretting not exiting the park the way I had come so that I could have stopped at the visitor center to use the facilities again. Desperate, I made my way into the woods near the cache. As I squatted, I somehow depressed the panic button on the key fob in my pocket and the car horn started blowing. If I hadn’t already been mid-stream, it would have scared the you-know-what out of me! Fortunately, no one was passing by at the moment to check and see why my car alarm was going off.

Back in the car, I checked the geocaching map again and noticed a series of caches not too far away. I made my way in that direction making a few stops along the way to log the caches in between. The first was in a lovely cemetery called the Huddleston Family Grave-Yard. I took a picture of the sign identifying it to send to my niece. I told her I had found some of her husband’s long-lost relatives since his last name is Huddleston.

Why is there a gate? Because the Huddlestons are dying to get in this place.

Although the sign says the cemetery was established in 1941, I found stones in the back dating as far back as 1850, Perhaps 1941 is when the rock wall surrounding it was built.

It’s always sad to see these infant graves.

My next stop was at the driveway for a church where an ammo can was hidden in an unmaintained area of the church yard. Thankfully, I only had to battle the blackberry bushes, high grass and other dense vegetation a few feet in before finding it. It was attached to a cable so that muggles wouldn’t steal it, so I stepped back out into the open grass to open it and inspect the contents. After signing the log, I decided not to fight through the overgrowth again, and just chucked it back in, under the bush where I had found it. BackWoodsAng would have been proud. Before leaving, I helped myself to the one ripe blackberry on the bushes. It tasted like summer.

If I could have just hung around a few more days, I would have had a feast.

Just before reaching the series of caches I had seen on the map, I took a side road to search for two more caches, both hidden by the same geocacher. These turned out to be my only DNFs of the day. I don’t know for sure that they are missing – I just couldn’t find them. In fact, after reading other logs later that evening, I feel certain that I was looking in the wrong place for the first one.

I centered my search for it around a five foot tall cedar tree at the corner of a fence. While I love the smell of cut cedar, and dearly love my cedar hiking stick, I really do not like cedar trees. I remember Daddy cutting cedar trees for us to decorate for Christmas from around our parsonage when he pastored the Vonore Circuit. I hated decorating them. The limbs are so dense that you have to reach in between them to hang ornaments, and the needles are very prickly. I always ended up with a kind of rash on my arms afterward.

I spent about 25 minutes here, circling the three sides of that cedar tree that I could reach, and poking my hands in at various heights. At one point, I grasped something deep inside that I thought might be the cache container, only to realize that it was a wasp nest. Fortunately, the wasp did not attack me for manhandling his home, and I apologized profusely for the violation.

Sorry Mr. Wasp! Thanks for not stinging me!

After reaching in to a lower section of the tree where the needles were dry, I pulled my hand out to find it pierced with several tiny needles. I grumbled as I picked them out one by one. It looked as if I had gotten too close to a miniature porcupine.

All this, and no cache.

The only thing that made this stop in my journey somewhat enjoyable was a telephone call from my brother-in-law Chip. In the falsetto voice of his 102 year old alter ego named Greta Von Goodsinger, he serenaded me with a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday. This is a tradition that I look forward to each year.

The cache page had mentioned that this was a farm with lots of Tennessee purple coneflowers blooming in summer. This is a species found in fewer than 10 locations in Davidson, Rutherford, and Wilson Counties. I did see a few of them nearby, and they were very pretty.

The Tennessee purple coneflower was once endangered but the state and Nature Conservancy have aided its recovery. It was removed from the endangered list in 2011

I finally gave up on that cache and moved a short distance down the road to look for the other. The area where it was supposed to be hidden had been cleared recently, so that container might actually be gone. Or maybe I just couldn’t find it. I decided to move on to the “power run” of caches nearby.

The series is called, “Speed Caching for Dummies” and consists of 16 traditional caches hidden alongside a four lane highway. As I turned onto the highway and stopped to find the first cache, I could see an 18-wheeler parked on the shoulder a short distance ahead. The next cache was a short distance behind it, while the third was a short distance ahead of it. I’m sure the driver wondered why the crazy, grey-haired lady kept stopping to get out and look in guardrails.

The caches were very easy to find – all hidden in the same manner except for one. While all of the others had been either in the same spot on a guardrail or at the base of a sign post, this one was hanging from the top of the sign post. However, a previous hunter had obviously not read the hint. Since they had not found one at the bottom of the post they left a new container. I signed the log for the original, hanging container, and took the throw down with me to save future finders from confusion.

Also hidden in the midst of these was an additional cache that was a little harder to find. It was nestled behind a rock on a ledge in a rock wall. Nearby, I saw my second St. John’s Wort bush of the day. While I was stopped here, the 18-wheeler I had seen earlier drove by, blowing its horn at me in a friendly manner.

More St. John’s Wort

Near the end of this road was another geocache, and I decided to log it before heading back toward the hotel. To reach it I had to park just off the highway and walk about .1 mile parallel to the road along a gravel path. Here, I found another nice metal ammo can. It held several pieces of swag, but I did not trade for anything – just signed the log book.

There were many more caches in the area, but I was ready to call it a day and get back to the hotel. That evening Deban took me to her favorite Nashville, Demo’s, and we had a delicious birthday meal. I had the perfect piece of steak and a tasty margarita. It was a great way to end my birthday!

DAY 2 – Bowling Green

As I have mentioned in previous posts, there is a series of challenge caches near Bristol. Each of these requires the finder to have reached some type of goal before they can log the cache. I qualify for and have found several of these, but there are others that I am still working toward.

One of these challenge caches requires the finder to have logged 25 Wherigos. This type of cache is few and far between. They also typically take longer to complete than a traditional cache since they have multiple stages. Before this trip, I had logged eight Whereigos, so knew I had a long way to go to reach 25.

When I woke up on day two, I looked at the geocaching map for Nashville in search of Wherigos that I could hunt. There is only one in the downtown area, and it requires a boat to complete. There are a couple more scattered in the suburbs, but nothing that piqued my interest. I was searching further afield, and spotted something interesting on the map; a whole series of Wherigos along a highway in Kentucky!

I checked the drive time and saw that it was just about an hour away. This was doable! I spent the next 30 minutes downloading the cartridge for each Wherigo so that I would be ready to play them when I arrived. I wasn’t sure how strong the cellular signal would be there, and wanted to be prepared.

I then hopped in the car and headed into Kentucky. It was another sunny but mild day and since I was leaving the city instead of coming in, the traffic wasn’t bad. After I had driven almost an hour, my car GPS tried to take me to the wrong place, directing me to exit the interstate too soon. I stopped for a refreshment break, found the appropriate route, and made my way to the beginning of the series.

When I arrived at the posted coordinates for the first Wherigo, the cartridge would not open on my phone. After several attempts, I tried the second one, and that worked. This revealed a problem that I would encounter from time to time throughout the day. If I was already inside the “zone” for a stage (typically within about 30 feet of the coordinates) when I opened the cartridge in the Wherigo app, it would just freeze up. Because of this, there were several times throughout the hunt that I had to do a U-turn, backtrack up the highway a short distance, U-turn again, open the cartridge, and then drive into the zone. This became quite comical. If someone had been following me, I’m sure they would have wondered what I was doing.

I quickly noticed a pattern with the series of Wherigos. Each had only two stages. The first was at the posted coordinates, and the second was a short distance further down the highway where I would find a small container hidden in a guardrail or at the base of a sign. The second stage was also the first stage of the next Wherigo in the series. Each Wherigo was named for a geocacher from the southern Kentucky/middle Tennessee area.

These are quite simple compared to other Wherigos that I’ve done – some of which have 10 or more stages. Often, you must answer a question at each stage to receive the coordinates for the next stage.

It took me about an hour and forty-five minutes to complete all 21 Wherigos in this sereis. Yes, that’s right! TWENTY-ONE! Completing the series brought my total to 29 and qualified me for the challenge cache back home. However, when I was looking up that challenge cache later in the evening, I discovered that there is a second one as well – this one requiring completion of 50 Wherigos. I guess I will still need to be out searching for Wherigos every time I visit a new place.

After spending nearly two hours completing this series, I checked my geocaching app for nearby caches with a lot of favorite points that I could grab on the way back to Nashville. While doing the Wherigos was interesting and helped me qualify for the challenge, I wanted to find something with a little more substance.

I stopped off in a nearby town to attempt a multi-cache with 30 favorite points. Arriving at the posted coordinates, I began searching for the clue that would lead me to the final location. The cache page had indicated that it was on the property of the cache owner, so when I saw a woman walking toward me, I smiled and told her I was looking for the geocache.

It turns out, the cache owner has sold the property and no longer lives there. She had told the new owner that there was a geocache, but did not say exactly where – just that it was near the power pole where I was looking. The woman said the former owners sold grave stones, so I assumed the polished chunk of granite laying on the ground next to the pole might have the coordinates etched in it. Although I searched it thoroughly, I couldn’t find anything on it. Likewise, there was nothing else on or around the pole that would help. I finally gave up and moved on.

Driving a short distance into Tennessee, I stopped off in the town of Westmoreland. Here was the site of what the cache page describes as the shortest railroad tunnel in the world. The cache container is a simple magnetic key holder on a guardrail bordering the narrow country lane that crosses on top of the tunnel. However, it has earned 47 favorite points because of the unique location.

After signing the log sheet, I couldn’t resist exploring the tunnel. From where I stood atop it, I could see where the train tracks had once run below me through a canyon of sorts cut through high rock walls. I followed a path down one side and onto the old rail bed, and then followed it back up to the tunnel.

World’s shortest train tunnel

As described on the cache page, the tunnel is only 26 feet long. The Chesapeake & Nashville (C & N) railroad built this line in the 1880s. To pass through this area, they had to dig a deep cut through solid rock. This cut passed through a cattle farm, and the farmer was concerned that he would not be able to move his cows from one side of the tracks to the other. The railroad agreed to construct a tunnel so that the cows could be led across the top. The rail line was abandoned in 1976 and the tracks were pulled up, but the tunnel and rock cut are still there.

This could be a spooky spot at night.

This was a really cool spot, and I enjoyed seeing it. I took some photos, walked through the tunnel, shot a video, and then climbed back up to the car. I made my way back to Nashville, where Deban and I once again walked to Demo’s for dinner. This time I opted for lasagna and another margarita.

As we were finishing our meal, she said the words that are music to my ears: “Are there any geocaches nearby?” There were two within a few blocks, so I was happy to lead her on a roundabout walk back to the hotel so that we could log them.

The first was in historic Printer’s Alley. It was difficult to pin point ground zero amidst all the tall buildings. We wandered up and down the alley a few times looking for likely hiding places without success. Since this is a popular spot and it was Friday evening, there were a lot of folks around. We were trying not to look too obvious in our hunt.

The entrance to Printer’s Alley

I finally stopped to read a few of the previous logs and one said, ” The cache has been moved directly across the alley by the bar owner. ” I spotted the bar it referenced. Across the alley was a plywood cutout for the tourists to have their pictures made with. I stepped behind it and spotted the cache. As I logged it, I asked Deban to take my picture. A man nearby saw us and offered to take a picture of both of us, so we took him up on the offer. All of this gave me a good excuse to be behind the cutout to log the cache without suspicion from the crowds of muggles in the alley.

We then walked a few more blocks to find another geocache. As we walked, I read the cache description aloud, “Your mission if you decide to accept it is to exchange information with a street person named Chet in a high traffic area where you will be watched for any suspicious movements. The street person has got the object you desire but you must be in a stealth mode to retrieve and replaced the cache , you may even want to step in to a dark doorway to log this one. “

Deban said, “I don’t think so!” I assured her that the street person was likely a statue. As we approached, she spotted Chet first. It was indeed a statue of “Mr. Guitar” himself – Chet Atkins.

Deban and I fondled every square inch of poor Mr. Atkins, searching for the tiny geocache container. I kept going over the same areas again and again. He didn’t seem to mind as he had a bit of a grin on his face. I think Deban would have long given up, but I am stubborn and hate to quit. Finally, I reached up under the back of his bronze jacket, a place I had checked a couple of times already, and felt it. It was a tiny vial wrapped in Velcro and stuck into a tiny crevice far up under his jacket.

Sharing the stage with my new best friend, Chet.

Our hands were nasty, but we had found it. Another fun urban hide! We called it a night and walked back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

DAY 3 – Nashville

On Saturday morning, Deban had a meeting from 9-12. Checkout from the hotel was also at noon, which would give me some time to find a few more caches before we left.

I got up early and packed our suitcases so that I could get an early start. I hoped to beat the heat, as well as find as many caches as possible before returning to the room to finish packing and check out. I had a rough idea of the route I would take to find some of the geocaches within walking distance of the hotel.

As we had walked around the past two days, we had seen many people riding electric scooters that are available for rent all around town. You can download an app on your phone that will allow you to scan the bar code on an available scooter, jump on and take off. When you arrive wherever you want to go, you just leave the scooter standing on the sidewalk for the next rider to rent. We saw everyone from teens, to drunk tourists, to business men in suits riding these scooters.

Waiting for riders.

I wasn’t so sure I wanted to trust myself on one, so decided to walk instead. It would be slower, but safer!

I left the room at 8:20 and started walking east toward the river. My first stop was along a wharf at the river’s edge. The geocache here had a terrain rating of five, indicating that it was accessible by boat only. I decided I would check it out anyway. Based on the satellite view of the map, it was on dry ground about 30 feet from the water’s edge. However, I realized once I arrived there that it was actually UNDER the wharf that I was walking on. I scrapped that idea and moved on.

My next target was a geocache in the middle of a pedestrian bridge crossing the Cumberland River. I stopped to take some photos, taking off my day pack and setting it at my feet. This allowed me to reach down and find the cache while pretending to rummage in my pack, so that all of the muggles walking past would not notice my actions. The cache page advised, ” Please use 2 hands to retrieve/replace to keep from dropping.” How did they know I have a reputation of dropping caches?

View from the bridge.

At the far end of the bridge, I sought for a way to reach another cache along the shore. I went toward the right from the end of the bridge since it was in that direction. This put me far above where I needed to be, as it seemed to be along a dock that is only accessible from the other side of the bridge.

I made my way back past the bridge and down the other side of it. There was a very interesting sculpture called Ghost Ballet next to the river, and I stopped to take some photos of it.

I then found a gate blocking entrance to the dock, which explained the statement on the cache page that it was only accessible by land certain days of the year. However, someone had left the gate slightly ajar so I walked through and down to the dock.

Once there, I realized that the posted coordinates still had me about 30 feet away, and that the cache appeared to be along the shore which could not be accessed from the dock. Poop! I left the dock, moving along to the next cache. I would later bushwhack down to the river’s edge trying to reach the cache without success. It was only later in looking at former logs that I realized the cache was indeed on the dock rather than the shore. I was right there, but missed logging it because I was fooled by the faulty coordinates.

Back on dry land, I walked along the walking/bike path that runs between Titan stadium and the river. The next cache I sought was at another interesting sculpture. Right next to it were two young ladies sitting at a table under a pop up sunshade. As I spotted and reached for the cache, one of them asked if I was looking for the geocache. I grabbed it and verified that was what I was doing. The two of us then explained geocaching to the other young lady with her.

I asked what they were doing and learned they work for a company that offers kayak trips on the river. I told them I was only in town for a few more hours, but would love to do that on a future trip. There are many water only caches here that I would love to be able to log.

Moving on to the next cache location, I found yet another large metal sculpture called the Halo. This is a 15 foot high circle with teeth inside – perhaps an old gear of some kind. I searched all the likely places, even climbing up one side, before finally locating the cache in the first place I had looked. It was down low, between the sculpture and the ground, but pushed further in than I had previously reached.

The Halo

This is also the site of a virtual cache dedicated to Joe Armstrong, aka JoGPS. Joe, who died in 2015, was a driving force in the early days of geocaching . I never had the opportunity to meet him, but have found some of his excellent caches (the two I found in downtown Nashville the night before were hidden by him). In addition to being instrumental in implementing the 528 foot rule for geocaching (caches must be at least this far apart), Joe was a the founder of an annual event Geowoodstock, which I have attended a couple of times. He also served for years as a volunteer reviewer. You can read more about Joe here and here.

I set up my phone to take a picture of myself standing in the Halo, as requested by the cache page. As I did this, a young man walked up, waited for me to finish, and then said he was going to do the same. Paying forward the favor afforded us the night before by a man offering to take our picture, I offered to take his and he gratefully accepted.

I had already found the other geocache nearby on a previous visit to Nashville, so turned and walked back along the river. I passed the bridge I had crossed on, stopped off to look again for that cache I mentioned earlier. I bushwhacked through dense vegetation downhill toward the water’s edge, but couldn’t get close to the posted coordinates. I did spot a sad, broken scooter down there that someone must have thrown off the bridge. I finally gave up and climbed back out, heading for the nearby Gateway Bridge.

On my way I passed through a splash park and wished I was dressed in clothing that I didn’t mind getting wet. The families playing there looked like they were having fun.

One of Nashville’s free splash parks.

The Gateway Bridge is a vehicle bridge with sidewalks on each side, and also had a cache in the middle. As I neared the center of the bridge, I could see that a lane of traffic on my side was closed and there were several construction vehicles there. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to reach the cache because of them, but looking at the map realized the cache was on the opposite side of the bridge.

This scooter was abandoned on the bridge. It must have run out of power.

I jaywalked across the four lanes of traffic, and continued to the center of the bridge. Once again, I made the find without problems, and managed not to drop it in the river. I decided to record a video to celebrate this fact.

I then continued across the bridge and back toward the hotel. I had noticed another cache on the map along my route, but as I checked the cache page I realized it was another boat only cache despite the fact it is several blocks from the river. Apparently, it requires paddling through storm drains to reach it. Sounds fun to me!

As I neared the hotel, I realized I still had an hour before I needed to be back. I continued past it toward Capitol Hill in order to log one more virtual cache called, “Baby Got Back! Whoa!” I had feeling I knew what I would find there, and looked forward to taking a photo for my derriere loving co-worker. Indeed, I found a very nice set of buns, and gathered the info needed to log the cache.

Yep. Baby got back!

I also realized that this was the final location of a mystery cache I had solved on a previous trip to Nashville, and considered ways that I might reach it. However, I didn’t have the tools nor height needed, so decided to leave it for another day.

A mulit-cache and additional virtual nearby tempted me, but I knew that going to find them would put me back in the room past my self-imposed deadline. I decided that I had better act responsibly for once and return on time so that I would have everything ready to go when Deban finished with her meeting.

By the time I arrived back to the hotel, I had walked 4.65 miles in two hours and eighteen minutes. I had also reached my step goal for the day for the first time in a few weeks. I determined that it was time to stop being lazy and get back in the habit of walking 10,000+ steps a day. This isn’t that easy when you have a sedentary job like mine, but it can be done with some dedication and discipline.

Happily, Deban brought lunch back to the room for us, and we enjoyed that before starting the drive home. The trip back was uneventful, but when I arrived I was quite sore and stiff after spending several hours sitting in the car. Yep. Time to get back in shape! We ended our day with dinner at La Caretta where I had a steak quesadilla and – you guessed it! – another margarita. I don’t know when I’ve had an alcoholic drink three nights in a row, but they sure were tasty.

2 thoughts on “June 13 – 15, 2019

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.