Nature really can be medication for the mind and body.
Being stressed recently with the job situation, I needed to get out. Last weekend, I had the chance to meet up with a friend, Tavis, and head out on a day-long geocaching excursion.
This went beyond regular old geocaching, though. Let me re-phrase that — it went beyond a power day of caching where the majority of caches found are park-and-grabs.
It was going to be some hiking, which is good as well because I haven’t been as active as I should be since my summer gig ended. Though my weight has remained about the same, I needed to get some activity going as I want it to keep going down, not staying status quo. The plan was to conquer Mine Kill State Park, which had a whole heap of caches among their trail system.
Turns out, this is what my mind and body needed. Though, I will say, my feet were killing me at the end of the day. That’s not just from the walking, though, it’s also from the terrain and because some of the trails were quite soupy and I didn’t have waterproof shoes on!
Anyway, back to the post at hand.
With everything going on in my world, my mind had made my stress level go through the roof. Seriously, for those of you who have battled a long bout of unemployment and such and understand, the stress level is through the roof.
So sometimes you need to find a way to ignore it all. Geocaching is the perfect hobby for that.
The day started out with a quick grab along the way and then we went to the first part of Mine Kill, the falls. There are trails leading to the bottom, so you can see that part of the falls.
After hiking down to the bottom part, it was back up top to the viewing spot for the upper falls. Two caches were in this part of the park. We then headed into the main part of the park where another 13 caches awaited us, and then two more at the connected power authority.
Heck, that’s a day all on its own!
The trail systems in Mine Kill are quite nice. There’s some terrain and most of the geocaches were pretty easy to find, once you got to the area. We saw some wild trees, some great nature and some cool places.
Just what geocaching should be.
The caches in the park took a few hours, but it was a perfect day for it. The sun was out for much of the day, but it had a little feel of fall. Therefore, part of the day required a sweatshirt, which was nice because that meant it wasn’t too hot to hike.
We even stopped at one point to make some lunch and enjoy just being outside. The views through much of the park at Mine Kill is quite beautiful.
I’ve been to this park a couple of times before, but mainly for the falls. It was nice to get out and explore the park a bit, take some photos and see different parts.
We had originally also planned on hiking up to Vroman’s Nose, but with a full day of hiking already under our belts, it was decided that was better saved for another day. Instead, we then focused on a few shorter hikes in smaller town parks and a bunch of park-and-grab caches to finish off the day.
Of those local parks, one ended up being on a trail that was pretty overgrown. To make it easier coming out, we actually walked our way through a cornfield. Now that was interesting.
One of the caches we found was a memorial for Old Blenheim Bridge, an historical covered bridge that was washed away when Irene came through a few years ago. It’s sad to see that spot as it is now as it was one of my favorite covered bridges in New York.
Toward the end of the day, we hit up a small town park, where there was a multi and a letterbox hybrid. We found both, but there must have been some festival earlier in the day as there were still people milling around. There was also some tug-of-war competitions going on.
In the end, it turned out to be one heck of a day as I ended with 35 finds (Tavis had one or two more as we found a couple I had previously found), so not bad at all.
And it was good because my mind wandered for the entire day and that was something I needed.
Here are a few more photos from that day:
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