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Archive for July, 2013

Flatrock Run Waterfall #3,000

I knew that this summer would bring me close to finding cache number 3,000, I just didn’t know when or where I’d be. I was trying not to worry too much about, but that wasn’t going well since originally it looked like this milestone would coincide with sidekick & I being in Scotland. When we had to post-pone that trip (again) I was horrified to see that we did not have an awful lot of open weekends in the near (or distant for that matter) future.


I started caching in February 2005 (what a horrible month to start caching, by the way) with my BFF Purple Monkey Dishwasher. The first cache I found was in Pennsylvania. Along the way to 1,000 I managed to collect a few more states, but chose a WV cache in Dolly Sods to mark that milestone. Stumbling along to 2,000 I logged a bunch of East Coast states and just happened to find myself relatively near the oldest cache in Pennsylvania when 2,000 was within striking distance. My choice for that milestone was pretty much a no-brainer.


When it became apparent that number 3,000 was on the horizon, I decided that I wanted a good old fashioned West Virginia cache. I wanted a hike in the woods. I wanted a cache that had some clout. I wanted something that didn’t require an overnight stay. And what I really, really wanted was for Mother Nature to give me a break and send some half decent weather our way!


After some searching around, I decided to head back to Dolly Sods and go after Flatrock Run Waterfall. It was about an 8 mile roundtrip hike, it was placed in 2004 and in those ensuing 9 years and 6 months, it had only been logged 23 times. Best of all, it didn’t require me to get out of bed before the crack of dawn, which comes really early in July.


Our group of 5 – loyal sidekick, 3_Dogs, Mrs. 3_Dogs, Aquacache and yours truly – met up at the parking and set off around 11:30 or so. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as it was hard to reconcile the over 1,100 foot elevation gain in 3 or so miles with the topo map. It looked not awful, but that just didn’t seem quite right. We were pretty well into our hike when I realized that, unless something crazy happened, the elevation gain was nothing about which to be concerned.


I was rather surprised to see the GPS indicated only 248 feet left when we got to the waterfall. It didn’t seem that bad…until we started our ascent. Seems whoever is in charge of cementing those rocks to the hillside has done a poor job of it. Each step required thoughtful consideration, unless of course you wanted to risk rock surfing down the hillside. I did not. It took some scrambling, lots of poking with the old hiking stick, more scrambling, being run into by a freaked out chipmunk and much precarious balancing until I got to just the right spot and spotted the cache!


Heading back to Flatrock Run, we had a nice little snack break before heading back down the trail and to some delicious food back in town. It’s a pity more folks don’t attempt this cache. There’s nothing scary about it (aside from the crazed chipmunk).


chris on July 6th 2013 in Geocaching