2020 isn’t technically over yet, but the odds of me finding another top-10-worthy cache in the next 10.5 hours are pretty darned slim. This year, I used caching as an excuse to get out on my bike. Bike caching limits me to about a 30 mile round trip from home, and I had no business travel this year, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that all of my top-10 finds were in Maryland this year — the first time that has ever happened. I’ve really missed traveling, but on the plus side, I’ve discovered all sorts of new biking routes all over the area. Prior to this year, I only really biked between home and work. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when I start going back to the office, which presumably will happen some time in 2021, though I’m not expecting it to be before summer. Anyhow, I’m going off on a tangent. Here’s this year’s list of caches. Interestingly enough, 5 of the 10 are multi-caches:
- CAM 2020: Lone Cedar Point (GC8GPW9)
I don’t think I’ve ever included a CAM cache in this list, but this is certainly a good one to start with. A wonderful hike on the beach with great views of Assawoman Bay and Ocean City. Strangely enough, the trailhead is in Delaware, but the point (and the cache) are in Maryland. We found this in March, at the beginning of CAM, and right when the pandemic was really starting to kick into gear.
- Gutzon Borglum (GCRJF4)
I found this, along with several other caches, in February during a 6-mile hike on the AT. It’s a fairly typical Vizardo hide, but it makes the list because it’s a 2005 cache with its original container and log book, and I have happy memories of hiking on that warm February day before COVID was even on my radar.
- MoCo Clue – Billiard Room (GC81Z9J)
This was another pre-COVID find which I made with luvinlif2k and our respective kids. It’s one of my all-time favorite multis. It felt just like playing a larger-than-life-sized game of billiards.
- MoCo Clue – Final (GC816TP)
This series probably was my caching highlight of 2020. It was well-crafted and well-executed all around, and the final was the icing on the cake. We found this, as well as all of the prerequisite caches, with luvinlif2k and family. We made 3 or 4 trips to MoCo to complete the series, and it’s well-represented with 2 entries on my top 10 list.
- Paddle Faster, I Hear Banjos… (GC259YA)
This is a crazy paddle-multi on Zekiah Swamp in Charles County. I’m sure the CO intended it to be a peaceful paddle through calm waters, but when we tackled it, unbeknownst to us, the area had recently flooded and the entire second half of the paddle was against a raging current. Several kayaks flipped over, others got pinned by the current, and we ended up completing the journey by hiking and wading. The paddle back to the launch was fun, though. 😀
- Red Run Stream Stroll (GC8NVFT)
This was a well-executed walk/hike along Red Run in Owings Mills. There was a bit of a weird vibe to the hike, as it was early May and the whole COVID thing was really taking off at the time. But, it was great to get outdoors, and we even saw a few snakes.
- Tip & Tie (GC8WH5A)
Another paddle multi that I did solo. I enjoyed paddling on two different reservoirs and finding the cache at the end. I’ve been using one of the photos I took on Rocky Gorge reservoir as my Zoom background. In the past couple of years, caching to me has become more about the journey than the actual find, and this was a great journey.
- Tracey’s Store (GC1NJH5)
The second Vizardo cache on my list, this one is a 3-stage multi at Prettyboy Reservoir that is rarely found. I really enjoyed the hike, and the final container had some of the best swag I have ever seen in a cache.
- Where the Rivers Flow North (GC7QPWG)
This made the list partly due to nostalgia. It’s a fairly typical ProgKing hide at Liberty Reservoir. It’s not right on the reservoir itself, but has a great view of one of the feeder streams (Morgan Run?). After hiking countless times at Liberty in 2019, I only made it there once this year. I have lots of memories of hiking and caching there, culminating in the great Liberty Battleship series last year. There aren’t many caches there left for me to find, so I savor every opportunity to go back.
- Who Stole Sammy’s Nuts Adventure Lab BONUS (GC91QY5)
2020 was “year of the adventure lab”. Several well-done adventure labs popped up in the area, and I enjoyed all of them. It was tough picking just one for this list, but I settled on this one because it was a fantastic hike along Buzzard Rock Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park. PVSP is my home park, and I spend tons of time there doing everything from hiking to caching to mountain biking to rock climbing, but Buzzard Rock is a trail that I don’t hike on often. I completed the labs and the bonus over two visits before work, and had a great time.
That about wraps up 2020. What does 2021 hold in store? We will find out soon.