Saturday, October 30, 2021

2020-05-10: Jeeping and Geocaching in a Florida Forest Finding some Creative Caches!

WOW, it was a fun day! Welcome back to my AwayWeGo's Geocaching Adventures Blog. Normally my adventures are roadtrips finding geocaches that focus more on the destination. Today was all about finding some creative geocache containers in the Osceola National Forest. So come on aboard the GeoJeep and let's see what kind of crazy caches we can find...

After talking to some of our local geocacher friends, we heard about a fun power trail (a lot of caches along a road at or near the minimum required distance apart) where the majority of the geocache containers were unique and amusing. These were located within the Osceola National Forest in North Florida, not far from the campground which we were staying in Fort White.

After a few hours of wheeling and tromping through the woods, we had found a total of 41 geocaches with only 1 DNF. Unlike the other of my blog posts, I give you the caches GC# and link to the geocache page. However for this blog, because I'm showing you photos of the geocache itself, I'm not going to provide that info so that you might be pleasantly surprised when you find it yourself. Your only hint as to the location is that they are just a few of the nearly 1000 geocaches hidden within the Osceola National Forest.

I leave you now with photos of these creative geocache containers. If these are sparked your interest in this hobby, feel free to ask a question or leave your comments below. I always look forward to hearing from my readers.

See you next week...

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course. But also by using you favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditParlorTwitter, and Instagram. These all link directly to my profile. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

2020-04-19: Geocaching Florida From Fort White to Cedar Key to Find a Closed Island, a Ghost Town, and an Old House

Hello everyone! So after our quick couple of weeks at the Georgia project, we're back in our home state of Florida to start a new project in Fort White! We arrived mid-week and check into the River Run Campground. After working the remainder of the week, we had the first weekend off so it was time to go exploring and geocaching along the rural backroads of Florida. So hop on in the GeoJeep and let's go see what we can find...

First on the list for Saturday was driving on up to Discount Tire in Lake City. After two years and 100,000 miles on the GeoJeep, it was time to finally upgrade to some new tires and wheels. Because we do drive it a LOT, I didn't want to go too big and loose the 16-18 MPG. But I did want something that looked a little more off-road than the originals. I like it! What do you think?

On Sunday, we decided to take a drive on over to the Gulf Coast at Cedar Key. What a great way to spend a spring day but on a beach in Florida, Right? NOT! We drove all the way down here only to find that the island is closed off to non-residents because of the virus. Well so much for that plan. We head back towards Fort White grabbing geocaches along the way starting with two quick roadside caches on Hwy 24 on the way to Cedar Key (GC1AHDY, GC6FJWA).

Approaching Chiefland, we grabbed a roadside geocache on CR345 (GC4YP47). Then in Chiefland, we passed by Barnhill Landscape and they had a landscape display which I just had to stop and get some pics of. This one especially was my favorite of an old school bus crossing a rickety bridge. I give you two versions; the black and white photo below and the color photo from a different angle at the top of the blog post.

The next stop was for a geocache at the ghost town and Levyville Cemetery (GC44F5N). The history of Levyville is short. The Levy County seat for only a few years in the mid-1800's. The town slowly disappeared after losing its position to Bronson in 1870, and was virtually non-existent by the early 1900's. The railroad could "make or break" a town, and bypassing Levyville definitely broke it. There was a brief Civil War skirmish fought in the area as well. The "new" courthouse, built in 1867, which became redundant when Bronson became the county seat, was sold to the newly-formed Masonic Lodge #51 in 1870, and eventually moved to Chiefland. All that remains of this historic town are two cemeteries. This one has nearly 60 interments with the oldest belonging to Levi Wright who died in 1858.

Then there was "This Old House" (GC3HAY9) located in Bell, Florida. I couldn't find anything out about this house or when it was built. It does kinda remind me of the Jed Clampett house before he moved to Beverly Hills.

And finally, an Earthcache at the Suwannee River (GC679MY). This is what natural Florida looks like. The water level was a little high at this time. This is just one of the many public boat ramps to access this 246 mile long river which flows from south Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico.

That's it for today. Not a very big roadtrip, but a nice drive nonetheless. Until next time, see you back here soon...

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course. But also by using you favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditParlorTwitter, and Instagram. These all link directly to my profile. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

2020-04-05: Geocaching Counties Around Georgia and Finding a Covered Bridge, an Old Jeep, Cemeteries and More

Welcome back to the AwayWeGo Geocaching Adventures blog. Our job has us traveling all across the country. We prefer the rural backroad and byways when driving from jobsite to jobsite because they have the most interesting places. We find most of these historic and roadside attractions because of geocaching, but then there are often a lot of unexpected surprises too.

In today's edition, we've been in Georgia working for a week now and it's our first day off. So of course it's time for a mini-roadtrip around the backroads of Georgia to add some new counties to the geocaching map. So hop on in the GeoJeep and let's go see what we can find!

A short drive down the road on the way to our first geocache, I pass by this house with some old rusty farm equipment off to the side. But what caught my eye the most was the old rusty Jeep. Along with the trucks back within the trees, it's kinda sad that they're just abandoned and left to rust and rot away.

Now in Webster County, it was a quick roadside geocache stop for the county (GC1W1MN).

Driving north on Georgia Hwy 41, we arrived in Marion County. Right at the county line is what remains of the ghost town community of Church Hill (GC71HPY). As early as 1812, Methodist missionaries came into this area and found the Indians to be receptive to the Gospel, so missions were established to teach and minister to the Indians. Following these missionaries came large numbers of immigrants from the eastern United States and from North and South Carolina. The mission points were established along trading paths which developed into the "Old Salt Trail" and later St Mary's Road from Columbus to the coast.

Here near three crossroads, a large church community developed. Five churches soon sprung up in this community originally known as Searsville. After the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Bible Baptist, and Christian Church's were established the area was more commonly known as Church Hill. The Shiloh-Marion Missionary Baptist Church is the only remaining church of the five. What began as a Baptist Missions Point in 1812, became Shiloh Baptist Church in 1835 with 8 members. At its peak it grew to 150 members. Presently there are about 12. A time capsule was placed back in 1995 to be opened in 2045. (For a full recount of the history of Church Hill with photos and more, visit

Across the street is the Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery. Many of the communities early pioneers and Civil War veterans are buried here. There are also some smaller cemeteries nearby and all that remain of the other churches. Among the cemeteries are segregated sections, one for slaves and another for Native Americans.

Also in Marion County and further north in the town of Buena Vista, we stopped for another geocache behind the historic old Gypsy Camp Grist Mill (GC71K1Q). There were a LOT of logs out behind the building and I spent a LOT of time looking at all the possible hiding places. But I wasn't able to find the cache and had to DNF it. But I did learn some history.

The Gypsy Camp Grist Mill was moved from its original location to its current site on the Murray Estate in 1930. At the time, the mill was a key agricultural asset to the community. It used electricity to power a network of chutes and belts woven through the three-story building to grind corn into meal. It operated for thirty years, closing in the early 1960's. Gypsy Camp Grist Mill got its name from a nearby campground and store where for a few weeks every winter ‘gypsies’ made their home, purchased supplies, and traded. The gypsies were believed to be of Serbian and Russian decent and migrated to the United States during the 1850's.

Crossing the line into Talbot County, I make a quick stop to find a geocache in an old pay phone (GC51AA7). Then at the top of the county there was another geocache at this historical marker (GC3XR5X). A large memorial which reads: "In Honor of Our Confederate Heroes, Sons of Confederate Veterans 1896, Echols Guards Camp #1711 S.C.V., 2005"

Next up in Meriwether County, in the town of Manchester, is this train car and my next geocache (GC70TEH). It's called Elliott Station as a memorial for Tyron Elliott, a prominent member of the community.

The next two geocaches were at the Red Oak Creek Covered Bridge (GC2885, GC6QDNP). Also located in Meriwether County, this bridge was built in the 1840's by freed slave and noted bridge builder Horace King (1807 - 1885). Constructed on the town lattice design, the bridge's web of planks crisscrossing at 45- to 60-degree angles are fastened at each intersection with a total of approximately 2,500 wooden pegs, or trunnels. Although King is credited with the construction of many covered bridges throughout West Georgia, this is his only surviving bridge of this design. At 391 feet, including the approaches, this structure is the oldest and longest wooden covered bridge in Georgia. And you can still drive across it!

If you look carefully down the side of the covered bridge you will notice a change in the wood forming a line about 2/3 of the way up the side. On July 7, 1994, the river flooded over and rose up to that height.

Now in Coweta County in the town of Senoia, there's another bridge. This town in Georgia is often used in filming the TV show "The Walking Dead." In The Walking Dead, this old bridge, which crosses over railroad tracks, is in the fictional town of "Woodbury" in the TV show. While I didn't find the geocache (GC86RNR) on the bridge, I still like finding old bridges.

Here's the GeoJeep in downtown Senoia. You might recognize this street scene and a gazebo where a virtual geocache (GC89183) is located in other films such as "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Fried Green Tomatoes."

Crossing Line Creek into Fayette County, I stopped for a quick park & grab Challenge Cache (GC6JM2D). A Challenge Cache is usually a simple cache to find. However you have to meet certain achievements in order to log a find on it. This one requires you to have found 1000 geocaches before logging a "Found It." I passed that accomplishment a long time ago! And then there was the State Souvenir Challenge cache (GC7QN34) up the road. That one required you to find a least one cache in 10 different states. Yep, passed that one a long time ago too!

From there taking GA-34 over into Heard County and the town of Franklin, I make a quick find at the Veterans Memorial Park (GC69X5M).

Nearly 8 PM and heading south, I make one more stop as it's getting dark for a quick cache in Troup County (GC2D30C). We picked up nine new caching counties on this run today. Still a little more than 100 miles of driving to get back and I gotta work tomorrow, we drive straight there. Found a lot of history on our adventure today. I hope you have enjoyed the ride and come back soon. See you next time...

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course. But also by using you favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditParlorTwitter, and Instagram. These all link directly to my profile. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

2020-03-30: Roadtrip Day 4: Driving Through Alabama and Arriving in Georgia

Today was the fourth and final day of our Texas to Georgia roadtrip. This has been a great drive so far on the backroads and byways, seeing the sites, geocaching and picking up new counties along the way. For today we found some Civil War history, old cemeteries, a bird-dog champion and more. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Hop on in the GeoJeep and let's get rolling... 

Leaving out of Montgomery, Alabama, our first stop was southeast of town for a geocache at the Carter Hill Cemetery (GC2VFET). With just over 300 interments, the Carter Hill Cemetery dates back to 1844 with the burial of Andrew Allen. Along with his wife and two sons, they are the first four burials in this cemetery.

And then one more quick roadside geocache (GC2R7Y8) before leaving the county.

Continuing eastbound into Bullock County, we arrive in Union Springs and the Bird Dog Field Trial Capital of the World (GC56NF0). On February 21, 1996, the City of Union Springs and the Tourism Council of Bullock county dedicated this life-size bronze statue of an English Pointer. Sculpted by Bob Wehle, the monument pays tribute to the 11 men honored by the Bird Dog Field Trial Hall of Fame, to Bullock County’s unexcelled upland game country and bird dogs, and to the men and women who participate in the sport of field trialing.

Also located in Union Springs was this Log Cabin Museum. From the historical marker: "Early settlers of this area cleared land and built their first homes of logs in the 1830's. This cabin was built by Rueben Rice Kirkland (1829 - 1915) about 1850. He and his first wife had ten children while living in the log home.

"At one time an additional bedroom and chimney were on the right side, and the back porch was closed in for cooking and eating. A small log kitchen stood a few feet from the back and was later converted to a smoke house. The milk house beside the well was on stilts to protect butter and milk from animals.

"In 1981 the Bullock County Historical Society moved the cabin into Union Springs from its original site at Stills Cross Roads in Southern Bullock County and restored it as a museum."

If you look at the very first photo at the top of the blog, you can see that this new location of the cabin is off to the side of the Old City Cemetery, also known as The Confederate Cemetery. The historical marker reads: "Micajah Norfleet Eley donated land in 1849 for the Baptist Church and an adjoining public cemetery. The oldest cemetery in Union Springs, it served the city for 36 years. The Confederate Monument at the center (seen in the top photo) was unveiled at the intersection of Prairie and Hardaway Streets on March 29, 1895 by the Ladies Memorial Association. In 1973 it was moved to its present location.

"Locally known as the Confederate Cemetery, it includes the tombstones of some twenty-two Confederate soldiers. Below the Confederate soldiers' grave sites is a marker which reads: "Union Prisoners of War, 1861-1865, Victims of Plague."

US-82 eastbound over into Barbour County, the next geocache (GC2MY21) was a quick roadside stop at another historical marker. There wasn't anything to see there. Just the historical marker for the Election Riot of 1874 which read: "Near here is Old Spring Hill, the site of one of the polling places for the November 3, 1874 local, state, and national elections. Elias M. Keils, scalawag and judge of the city court of Eufaula, was United States supervisor at the Spring Hill ballot box. William, his 16-year-old son, was with him. After the polls closed, a mob broke into the building, extinguished the lights, destroyed the poll box and began shooting. During the riot, Willie Keils was mortally wounded. The resulting congressional investigation received national attention. This bloody episode marked the end of Republican domination in Barbour County."

Crossing the state line into Quitman County, Georgia, I quickly exit the bridge and turn back towards the reservoir for my next geocache (GC8M6AW). To the right just outside the photo below is the US-82 bridge which crosses over the lake. This little path heading down to the water is what remains of the old road that you used to drive between Alabama and Georgia before the Walter F. George Lock and Dam was built in 1962. Now it sits underwater.

Our last two geocaches were in Randolph County. The first was a quick roadside park and grab just east of the town of Cuthbert (GC7EV1G). The second was in the town of Shellman, Georgia (GC887JW). Originally called Ward Station, Shellman was established in 1883 and named after Major W. F. Shellman, who was the traffic manager for the Central Georgia Railroad. This was the Shellman Railroad Depot.

There's also these muraled silos in Shellman that portray the history and scenes of Shellman's past.

The next county over is Terrell and that's where we'll be staying and working. Time to settle in and relax after a long road trip. I hope you have enjoyed these last four days traveling along the rural backroads and byways of this great country of ours. And if I have inspired you to get off the Interstates and onto the scenic roadways, leave me a comment and let me know.

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course. But also by using you favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditParlorTwitter, and Instagram. These all link directly to my profile. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.