January 15, 2017

TOSOBL

  • 3.08 miles
  • 3:03 duration
  • 340 foot elevation gain
  • 3 caches found
  • 9 caches visited (maintenance on my own caches)
  • 1 cache hidden by LakeBum

On a Sunday morning, LakeBum and I took our hiking sticks to TVA undeveloped recreational land on the Sullivan County side of Boone Lake (aka the other side of Boone Lake or TOSOBL).  Much of the three mile journey was off-trail, the kind of terrain where my stick comes in very handy.

I first discovered this piece of TVA property in June 2013 when I attempted to be the first geocacher to find a cache hidden on a nearby island. While the cache description said that it was only accessible by boat, I felt certain I could find a way to reach it by land. After studying the map, and driving around the area, I found the gate leading into this tract of land and saw that the cache was only .6 mile away as the crow flies.

I came back the next day with my dog, Sydney and attempted to reach the island cache. I got within .1 mile of before being thwarted by a seemingly impenetrable wall of thorns and underbrush, followed by what looked to be an extreme drop off to lake level. I aborted the attempt, and on the way back out of TVA land stopped off to hide a cache.

After reading my DNF (Did Not Find) log on the island cache, my friend Backwoods Ang just had to prove that it could indeed be reached by land. He went out a couple of weeks later and was able to reach the cache, although his log described it as “the most challenging bushwacking experience I have ever been thru.” Soon after this, he went out and bought kayaks so that he could reach other “boat only” caches. Eventually, many members of our caching group had bought boats and he now claims that it is, “All Betty’s fault.” I gladly take the blame.

I later returned to this property to hide several more caches, calling them the TOSOBL series (see above). And, in January 2014 I made my own pilgrimage back to that island – by foot – and was able to finally avenge my DNF.

Fast forward three years, and I’ve once again returned to this beautiful piece of land. LakeBum and I had a great hike through the woods with him finding my caches, and giving me the opportunity to find more that have been placed here since I last visited. He even found a tiny bit of free space where he could hide a new cache.

When we exited the property, we encountered a father/son duo waiting in the parking area. Since youth hunting season is in effect, only the son had a gun, but we were glad that they had waited for us to leave before heading in to hunt. This was a good reminder to always wear bright colors during hunting season!

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