Archive for September 18th, 2011

Fools Run (We Drove)

It was a near perfect September Saturday here in Morgantown and we were hoping the same could be said for the Pheasant Mountain area of the Mon National Forest down towards good ol’ Parsons, WV.

After some last minute nagging cajoling, Gentleman-Carpenter said sure he’d join Loyal Sidekick LWB, Aquacache & yours truly for a trip into the woods (provided of course we didn’t break him). And so we rendezvoused at Rendezvous Here around 9:30 and headed on to our first destination: Fools Run (I Walked) GC1AKD1 by the illustrious wvcoalcat.  The previous week while cleaning up some nasty stuff (see previous post about us being nice or something), wvcoalcat had mentioned that we may be able to driver darn near his cache. A lot darn nearer than the posted parking coords. And all on the up and up. He furnished the coords to the Forest Road and followed with the standard disclaimer of “if the gate is open”.

We were in luck because the gate was open. WIDE open. Score!  We took the jeeps (so labeled on our track log) up to as close as .45 of a mile from ground zero and parked.  Well that was after we had a minor bit of confusion about which road to take (please see the point labeled B on our tracklog) – five way intersections get a little confusing in the woods.

After getting falling out of the jeeps (the drivers) and climbing out (the passengers) we geared up, which took longer than usual since we were parked on the side of a mountain.

(Aquacache took the above pic, for the record.)

Taking one last look at the jeeps and hoping they were still on the side of the hill when we returned, we headed out. At which point, of course, we realized we could have driven even closer to the cache. But by the time we realized THAT we didn’t see the benefit of walking back to the jeeps to move them forward. Ok, perhaps only the drivers didn’t see the benefit, the passengers were all for that plan of action.

A brief 30  minutes later we found ourselves at ground zero and shortly thereafter Gentleman-Carpenter hit plastic. Easy peasy lemon squeezy my friends. (This should have been the tip off that things might not go so well later on in the day.) Cache having been found we settled in for a celebratory snack.

Our merry crew rolled back to the jeeps and headed off to tackle Coalcat’s Blunder GC1AM7M which was touted as the closest thing to a ‘coalcat PnG as one could come. After heading back to Rt. 72 and then Rt. 291 we pulled up onto FR933. We had some hopes of finding the gates opened (or unlocked) but upon inspection – and trust me, Gentleman-Carpenter check it out thoroughly – we had to leave the jeeps behind.  None-the-less, buoyed by  our earlier success we headed upward.

It wasn’t long until we realized that the road we were on and the trails that seemed to be suddenly appearing were not on any of the topo maps with which we were equipped. It was either that or….no that was pretty much it. Arriving at our first major decision point – a fork in the road where we could have gone right and up or left and down we were in a quandary. Which is when Loyal Sidekick took the lead, scouted out the UP route and declared it to be “the right way.” Since he usually has pretty good instincts and has chosen wisely in the past we followed.

Thing were going pretty well until we ran out of trail. But somewhere, someone had mentioned a bushwhack and so off we went. It wasn’t much of a whack, to be honest. There were no walls of impenetrable mountain laurel or stands of fir trees so thick one couldn’t move. Mostly it was just a bit annoying. Trusting the topos on my GPS (dumb idea as usual) I started around the side of the hill gaining elevation as I went (I have mad mountain goat skills) because my topo maps said the cache was NOT on the top but on the side. It lied. Liked like the dog it is.

At any rate I hit ground zero ahead of the men folks and was settling down to do some serious searching when I came upon…..DA…DA….DA!!!! A very mauled lock-n-lock lid. Oh CARP. I turned and DA….DA….DA……found something even more troubling. It was the bottom of the lock-n-lock which was also mauled. But that wasn’t the disturbing part. The Disturbing part (yes, disturbing with a big D) was that some PERSON had left a log of his own. Right. In. The. Container. ERK.

Having made that discovery I started looking for other bits of the cache and located some gnawed upon zip lock bags. By this time the gents had hit ground zero.  We searched in vain for the real cache log but came up empty although Aquacache did locate the stash note way down over the hill.

Moving away from the scene we had a snack and pondered our next step. After all, you gotta sign the log to claim your find. The paper log you know. Aquacache produced a nano and a log book, but with no metal at hand (although he kept claiming there had to be a nail in his geocaching backpack) that wasn’t going to work. But what’s this? A pill bottle?  I had forgotten I was actually prepared! Sweet. So we signed the temporary cache replacement log, stuffed it in the pill bottle and Gentleman-Carpenter placed it where we surmised the hiding spot to be.  We were quite sure that wvcoalcat would be thrilled with us for fixing his cache with a micro. It’s hard to find such a conscientious group of cachers as us.

And so, our good deed for the day done, we headed back to the jeeps.

 

 

chris on September 18th 2011 in Geocaching