Saturday, April 30, 2005

My April Crew

One of the great things about flying for a living is the camaraderie that develops between individuals of like mind. Many of us form close friendships which can span decades, and it was my pleasure to fly with three such friends this month.

With such a senior crew, we spent quite a bit of time reminiscing about old times - adventures (and misadventures) were retold with wry smiles all around. We also created a few new stories as we traversed the country.

It turns out that our Number 2, Deb, is quite a prankster. In order to survive the month with a shred of dignity, it became necessary to meet her tricks with a few of my own! My coup occurred just a couple of days before we celebrated my birthday on the road, and the level of trickery in the cabin was quite high. I secretly inserted a small poster in Deb's safety briefing card, which is used when we Flight Attendants do the cabin demo before flight. The poster blared out in large letters "I NEED A DATE!" Sure enough, we taxied off the gate, started the demo, and Deb couldn't understand why she was getting so much attention as she waved the card back and forth - she couldn't see the insert as she was holding the card open at arms length and the poster was on the side facing away from her!

You can imagine her reaction when a passenger pointed to the card and then offered her his phone number!

We laughed about that one for days, and I still get a smile from her with a shake of the head when we meet in passing on the road.

Deb DID manage to get even, but that's another story.

Sooo, if you've been wondering why I haven't been blasting out cache finds recently, now you know part of the story: I was enjoying the rare company of close friends during the month of April while out on the road.

My old friend Byron, who has forgotten more about flying airplanes than I'll ever learn. He's one of my favorite people to fly with - we added a few new stories this month to our already lengthy repertoire!

John, our First Officer - a heck of a nice guy and a damn good stick - he greased on almost every landing this month!

My Number 2, the seductress! :)

Friday, April 29, 2005

Climbing Out On Another Mission

All Work and No Play

Hi Gang - this is just a quick note to say that I am alive and well, but due to a flood of recent airsafety activity I have been unable to cache. Compounding this problem is the failure of my laptop LCD, which I'll have to defer repairs to - my damn real estate property taxes are KILLING me this year!

Best Regards To All!


Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Monday, April 04, 2005

Boss! Des Plaines! Des Plaines!

Today started off with a bang! I was bumped off of two flights to Chicago as I tried to get to work and had to bail out to DCA where I got a seat on the last flight that would get me to work on time – phew! On arrival, I hooked up with my crew – some old friends that I’ve been looking forward to working with again – and we started our preflight preparations. As departure time drew nearer, we were informed that our first round trip had been assigned to a different crew due to a shortage of aircraft, so we had 5 hours before our next scheduled departure.

Hmmm… 5 hours… what, oh what was I to do? If you’ve been reading this journal for any length of time, you already know the answer! I changed in to jeans and sneakers faster than a fireman can pull on his boots and grabbed my caching gear with a BIG smile on my face.

A short train ride later I was in Rosemont IL on River Road enjoying a walk in the warm sunshine for a mile and a half. I then turned in to the woods for the first of two caches along the Des Plaines River.

This is the marker for Robinson Burial Ground, where Indian spirits are said to beat tom toms and the scent of lilac comes and goes at all times of the year. It's also the site of a cache near the Des Plaines River that I have been wanting to try since last fall. I didn't hear, see or smell anything unusual while at the marker - perhaps I'll have better luck next time around!

This pair of mallards was very shy when I walked by them along the Des Plaines River, unlike most city park ducks which makes me believe that they are migratory. The male has a band in his right foot which strengthens my belief. I spotted a number of wood ducks on this walk but I wasn't quick enough to snap any pics before they took flight. Wood ducks are a beautiful sight, though it's odd to see ducks perched in the trees 30 feet up!

I was sitting quietly at the grave stone when this doe came by. It's been a long winter in Chicago and she's looking a little lean. The spring undergrowth hasn't really started to develop yet, but she'll be well fed when it does. She doesn't appear to be lactating, nor gravid.

The wind changed and she got a whiff of me - I wished her well and watched as she gracefully slid back in to the woods.

Friday, April 01, 2005

2Wheelin's Hangover At Sunrise

I took my time getting out today, due in large part to having to tie up some loose ends in my Airsafety gig. I did manage to break free around noon and headed straight for Reston where I sought Hangover At Sunrise by 2Wheelin'. Bill places excellent hides, as I learned very early in my cache career, and I wasn't disappointed today as I made the circuit.

The day was very nice indeed - bright sunshine and warm temps made this cache a real pleasure. The loop for the first stage coordinates was just beautiful. There were birds everywhere, and in the pond there were TONS of turtles. After wrestling with the coordinate solution (I forgot to do a simple multiplication for the latitude!) I proceeded to the first stage and was delighted by the hide. It was a CLASSIC 2Wheelin' hide, which made it easy for me to spot. Anyone who hasn't hunted Bill's caches will probably be quite frustrated by this perfectly camoflaged container.

The second stage is a projection, and I am happy to report that for the first time in my life I was able to correctly project a waypoint and make a trouble free find! YAHOO! (I hate projections!) I followed Bill's advice on the cache page and took the easy route to the cache and make the find all too quickly. I really wanted the cache to go on longer, but I'll just have to wait for Bill's next installment. Thank you for another memorable cache adventure Bill!

Starting out at the site of Hangover At Sunrise, I was amazed by the dozens of baby turtles out sunning themselves!

I started across the bridge to get a closer look at all of the turtles on this log. This tiniest ones fled rather quickly and peered up at me from the water.

Only the big and brave turtles remained as I continued across the bridge.

These two turtles were showing mating behaviour in the water, which was interesting to watch. They were each very large - I'd say 18 inches or so across the back.

A nesting goose gives me the eye near the first stage of Hangover At Sunrise. It is foolhardy to venture any closer - like any other animal, this normally docile creature will defend her eggs at all costs. She hissed at me the whole time I was there.