Clover Run to Mail Route

I think it must have been a little pre-emptive self preservation earlier this week that lead wvhunter to casually mention to me that he “might be going on a maintainence run with ‘coalcat” in the Mon National Forest. Because who the heck am I to turn down an opportunity to go after two (or possibly four) wvcoalcat caches  (with the cache owner) on a beautiful Fall day?

There is something about a ‘coalcat expedition into the Mon National Forest that also causes my loyal sidekick to perk up and say, “I’m in!” Guess he must be a nature boy at heart, although I suspect he wanted to see about taking some nice outdoor shots before all the leaves gave up and flung themselves to the ground.

So it was around 9:22 a.m. on Sunday that we found ourselves at the Rt. 38 / 92 split (in what we later discovered to be downtown Nestorville). This is amazing for one reason – we were early. We figured we were in the right spot because there was a Jeep there with moneytastesbad. The odd thing though, was that Captain OCD was not there. Nor was his esteemed brother wvcoalcat. Hmmm.

Upon consulting the map and re-reading wvhunter’s directions we decided that although the gas station where we found ourselves was not in fact an Exxon, it was clearly not also a Uhaul or Bait store. And that could mean just one thing, we were at the wrong Rt. 38 / 92 split. Coupled with the fact that it had been 50 degrees when we left Morgantown and was now currently around 35 meant it was starting out to be a banner day!

A quick jot down the road proved to be the correct split where the rest of the group was waiting. Properly assembled, ordered and organized, we headed off following the mighty catspoloder to the parking coords. Which was good, because this is often the part that involves driving aimlessly around the mighty forest.

All bundled up (cold, it’s cold in the woods) we headed out on the trail.

It’s days like this that I’m completely thankful that I ponied up for the nice outdoor gear. Now just to make sure I hold onto the sunnies and not make the same mistake I made at “Slopping at the Trough” and “Loki’s Quest for Zombie Hobos”.

Clover Run was a completely pleasant stroll in the woods. Contrary to what ‘hunter would have everyone believe, his brother was not trying to off him when placing this cache. We did have a slight surprise when the pleasant view touted by the cat was obliterated by a thick field of wild cherry saplings. I can say with authority that those saplings were of the wild cherry because that’s what Mr. Surveyor said. Me, I don’t know my Ash from a hole in the ground.

Upon successfully finding the  tupperware in the woods and going through the ritual log signing, token collecting and re-hiding we headed back to the vehicles. I’ve often been accused of keeping a forced march pace, so this time around I mixed it up a bit hanging out in the back and middle of the pack before surging ahead. I think deep down I just miss Purple Monkey Dishwasher’s insane pace.

Back at the parking ‘coalcat assured us that Mail Route was an even easier hike than Clover Run.  This is where wvhunter assures me we went wrong. Personally I think he just has a persecution complex since the trail was clearly marked with plastic blue diamonds and was WAY wider than the pixie deer trail of “The Project” fame.

  I should know, I’ve hiked both and this was a walk in the park compared to the other. Even the creek crossing was easy (says she who recently went sliding across a water fall in a moment of poor decision making). Hard to get the water in over top of the ol’ gortex shoes when the creek bed is dry. Now that’s my kind of water hazard!

After retrieving the gnawed upon cache container, replacing it with an ammo can and taking a break it was by unanimous consent to take the 89SC way back out. You know what? It was easier. I know this may come as a shock, but really, it was flat and easy.

More pictures of us walking around in the Mon National Forest, enjoy!

chris on October 27th 2008 in Geocaching, Links

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