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Geocaching

Wishlist for this outdoor girl…

wishlist

I know my husband has already done his Christmas shopping, but I thought a wish list post was in order anyway. Now I love my heels and jewelery just as much as the next girly girl…no doubt about it, but I love my outdoor gear too just as much. So I think my list gives a little of both.

1. This particular Kelty Coyote 75 pack is designed for women and has an adjustable suspension system. Would be the perfect size pack for a multi-day hike.

2. The gold Elk skull necklace, um…yea I figure if I’m gonna sport some bling out in the wilderness, why not this?

3. The Panasonic Lumix TS20 waterproof point n shoot has gotten some pretty good reviews, and lugging my big Canon 40D is sometimes a hassle. Not to mention kayaking and trying keep camera gear dry is a pain.

4. Light My Fire Titanium spork. Because we have learned the hard way that the spoon/fork/knife system we were using was too heavy really for such an item and a pain to clean up at the camp site.

5. The Eno Double Nest hammock…husband has one. It’s divine…I want my own. ’nuff said.

6. Gold Twig bracelet by OutfitAdditions. Very cute and my bracelet collection is missing something this vital.

7. LLBean Hunting boots (Duck boots as we’ve always called them). I’ve wanted a pair for so long. Perfect for rainy outings like short hikes or geocaching or just to sport around because I’m just that cool.

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Back to Camp Livingston for more Caching and Exploring…

This time we brought my son and his fiance. They’ve never done a camping or caching trip with us so it was fun to bring them along! After driving around Livingston with the trailer in tow we ended up choosing to set up camp at Stuart Lake nearby instead of inside the grounds of Livingston.

The guys decided to have a friendly competition to see who could start the fire first with what they had on them…guess it depends on what you pack. LOL!

Jared got it going first, but I think he kinda cheated… ;D

Along the way during our exploring of Livingston we found a crabapple tree! I took a few fruit to see if I could seed them. ( 6 months later, a few sprouted but I lost them )

Sometimes you find cool little places along the way like this.

The main excitement was finding the old “Ice house” that we had been told about by one of my blog readers! (Thanks!) It was such a cool place to explore and take shots of.

Lots of cool graffiti out there…

Also took a peek into what I presume they call the tunnels. Went quite a ways back and was luckily dry that day so was easy to explore. (We’ve gone back since and not good when wet after so much rain)

We found a cool looking ‘fruit’ (not edible!) and found out it’s called and Osage Orange or Hedge Apple. The tree was prized in Native American days for use for bow making. The wood is extremely hard and strong.


Outside entrance

We also found the entrance to an underground area where bats live that is also the home of a cool geocache. Here is a little toy soldier hinting/pointing the way.

And we also found lots of other foundation work and left over history from this area.

We also made a stop at Camp Claiborne on the way home to see if we could find a geocache that had eluded us for a while near the Officers Club and rec pool.

Finally found that sucker!! Yay!

It had a cool travel bug in it so we took it and sent it to a new home later at Sam Houston park.

We also stopped to grab a geocache along the way home in McNarry, La and had to walk across this old pine tree to get there.

All in all a fantastic time. Definitely a place we will go back to time and again to explore.

All of the shots from that trip can be seen here :

Day 3 Back at Camp Claiborne

Our last night was a doozy. After a night of steady rain, we woke to a wet mess. We had to take our bedding and tent and hang them to dry before we could attempt to pack them back up.

After hanging our stuff, we headed out on foot into the ATV trails because there were a couple of Geocaches hidden out there. Along the way we came across some of the old ruins.

I’m not sure what it is, but there are more just like it in another area of trails that we rode on last year. If someone is familiar with what this is/was, leave a comment and let me know.

Here’s the tiny cache we found nearby…magnetic and about 2-3 inches big (The black dot in the middle there). It was stuck to the underside of the rails. Not sure how this thing stays on there with all the rattling of ATV’s that pass over it all the time.

This next cache we walked a long way through the woods to find. It was actually the second part to a multi cache that is stationed at the entrance to Camp Claiborne. Love the old tree it was stuck in!

We also tried our luck again trying to find the cache that is over by the pool. That one is hard to locate. But I busted out my wide angle lens and took advantage of some more shots of the cool pool.

And of course the Officer’s Club too. I just love this place!

We traveled miles of old base roads looking for caches. Some in better condition than others. And some roads weren’t really roads, more like trails…which can be nerve wrecking for me at times. JRed says he’s gonna have to start giving me Xanax before we take these trips so I don’t trip out on his trail driving. LOL!

In this next shot I’m standing on what used to be an old bridge, but is now a big rubble of concrete…taking the shot of our path in. That was a special cache because it was our first FTF (first to find) since doing Geocache. It had eluded another big group that had been out there in October looking for it.

The next cache took forever to get to, and was a maze of old roads on the southwest side of the base by the old rail area. There used to be a rail bridge that went across from this spot to the other side (not shown). That big hole is a lot deeper than it seems here on the picture.

On our way out we accidentally came across on old building that was evidently used for sewage treatment back in the day. It was fenced off and had warning signs all around it, which no other buildings out there have. This building was really big, bigger than most we found out there. It goes way back.

The last cache at Claiborne we found that day was one that was just literally put out two days before, by the old Theatre ruins.

It was a small one, an old pill bottle hidden in one of the old pipes.

And finally we ended the day over by Indian Creek, near the Bass hatchery there is a cool area with a burned out old bridge that people fish off of. We found this cache hidden in this tree log.

We had a great time on our 3 days spent caching and camping around the old bases. We found some cool areas, met cool folks, and had some great quality time together. Of course it was nice to get home to a nice hot shower and clean clothes though ;D

And since then I’ve been looking into some more history of the old hospital in Pineville. I’m putting together a post with some of that info, so hopefully I’ll have that up soon.

Day 2 Camp Livingston and Pineville, La

The second day of the trip we headed towards Camp Livingston. On the way we stopped to catch a cache that is hidden as part of this historic pine tree. The hider did a good job because that one eluded us. While there, an older man from the Dry Prong area stopped by to see what we were doing. Turns out he has an antique shop in Dry Prong that carries really old cast iron pots. We had a great time talking to him and will have to go find his shop next time we are up there.

When we got to Livingston we found some of the old roads and drove around. It’s a really big site and had a large network of roads. I’m not sure what the site in this next picture is but it had a big foundation. **EDIT** My husband has informed me that this is the Gymnasium. We located a few caches along the way too.

We also found the swimming pool. This thing was *huge*, had to be way bigger than Olympic size. If you look on Google you can find it easily, there is a huge chunk of the woods taken out by this thing. It was hard to get any good shots of it, and even if I had you wouldn’t be impressed. Unfortunately vandals have nearly completely destroyed it. Shooting it up, dumping loads of trash in it. Here’s a shot of a piece of the side wall.

We later found an area where people park to get on the ATV trails, and had lunch there. I found this set of foundation that was kinda interesting. It was 3 really long concrete lanes. Not sure what it was for though.

On our way out of Livingston we tried to find the famed POW camp area. We really wanted to see the POW graffiti that is said to be there. But no luck…we couldn’t find it. All we found in that area was lots of animal bones.

On the way out we stopped in Pineville, La so I could get a few shots of the old Mental Hospital barn. Across the way was an airfield and this pilot looked as though he was practicing his approach because he would circle and go towards the runway then pull up and circle again.

I’d like to find some more information on this old barn and the hospital…which was shut down years ago. I was once told by a local that there was an underground tunnel that the cattle were herded from the barn, under the road and into a field to graze…which is now a lake. Hhmm…. strange.

Then it was across the old O. K. Allen Bridge and headed back to Camp Claiborne to make camp. We decided there was still much left there for us to explore.

We made camp at the MultiUse Trail area for ATV’s, and had dinner and fun by headlamp. LOL!

Day 1 Geocaching Camp Claiborne

On our way up to Stuart Lake and Camp Livingston we decided to stop off at one of our favorite spots, Camp Claiborne in Forest Hills, La. This also used to be an old military installation for World War II. There are lots of remnants there, and many we have yet to find. Claiborne was the first place we found a Geocache and it’s what got us hooked.

There are miles and miles of old roads still passable, but it can get kinda hairy at times if you don’t have some sort of off road type vehicle.

But it’s always worth the hunt when you find what you’re looking for…

One of the hunts took us to the old Officer’s Club. Lots of foundation work and even some tile left of the building.

Right past the Officer’s club is the Recreation Pool. There’s lots of beautiful graffiti now.

We then left Claiborne and set up camp at Stuart Lake, it got dark on us quick so we didn’t have time to explore the lake much. The campsite there is really nice, and little did we know there were showers with hot water available down a path nearby. We ended up setting up our own camp shower and boiling water….LOL…turned out to work great, but sure would have been easier to use the provided showers.

The rest of the shots from the day are here….http://www.flickr.com/photos/gypsysoul/sets/72157625651313817/

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