Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012 - The Road to Sparta, TN

I awoke this morning, bound and gagged, in a van full of camping supplies, the kids and a small dog. My inherent sense of direction told me we were headed north. After some struggling I was allowed to speak.

"So, I take it we're going camping?" I asked. She only grinned like a predator and then turned back to the road. Clearly she was hopped up on sarsaparilla from the Asian Market and there would be no arguing with her.

On the way to our destination we stopped to find a couple of Virtual Geocaches. Virtual Caches are different from Traditional caches in that there is no container of stuff to find. You have to locate the spot and then verify that you were at the location, usually with a picture or by answering some questions with information that can only be found at the location. The first "virt" was in Winchester, Tn at a historic marker in the town square. There is some information on this monument that will allow you to claim the find for "Surrender".

The second cache find was near the entrance to the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) called "Hap's Buddy". In addition to a memorial marker with information there was also three fighter jets that have been converted to memorials to three different pilots that lost their lives in service to the country.

F-105 Thunderchief - Lt. Gen. Robert M. Bond

F-15C Eagle - Major James Duricy

F-14D Tomcat - LT Kara Hultgreen
Our camping spot for the night was near Sparta (multiple "THIS IS SPARTA" jokes for the day) at the Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness. We set up near the trail-head for the Yellow Bluff Overlook and took a short hike to the bluff before sunset.

Although we didn't realize it at the time, this is how we spent our "Earth Hour" this year- in the dark, around the campfire, miles from a decent cell reception under a half moon that was almost bright enough to read by. Wouldn't have had it any other way.

All the pictures of the day can be found right here.

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