August 5, 2018

Boone Pond

  • 4.19 miles
  • 3:38 duration
  • 5 geocaches found
  • 1 geocache hidden by PorkNBeans

New caches had recently published on Boone Pond, and PorkNBeans (Jane) and I had tried to make plans to be First to Find them. However, work (that nasty four letter word) interfered with our plans, so we were beaten to the FTF by another cacher. We finally found a day we could get together, and decided to paddle on out to log them. 

I asked geo-pup Andy if he wanted to come along, and he was eager to visit the lake again. We hoped that Jane’s geo-pup Maggie might join us, but she decided to stay home. Since he came along, I decided to paddle my green recreational yak rather than Huck. 

We met Jane at the Rockingham Marina on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We paddled over to Deer Lick Island to look for an older cache that neither of us had found yet. We made land, and walked up to the old water line to find the cache. We found a high bank with no easy way up. We walked back and forth several times looking for a way to climb up, before finally settling on a likely spot. 

Once we had climbed, we made our way to the tree that the hint and compass indicated, but did not see the cache. I decided to check the ground beneath the tree, and spotted the cache lying at the bottom of the high bank. Jane slid down to grab it, while I checked the tree more closely to see if I could locate the hanger. I finally spotted it in the tree, and Jane handed the container up to me. 

While I signed our names to the log sheet, Jane went back to her kayak to get some duck tape. Andy was torn between staying with me, and running to see what Jane was doing. He was very happy to see her coming back up the hill. She climbed back up to join me, and we repaired the cache good as new. 

I slid down the bank, and then called Andy to join me. He thought that it was too high for him to jump, so just whined and wagged his tail. Jane finally picked him up and handed him to me. As soon as his feet hit the ground, he scrambled right back up the bank. Little jerk! We told him he was on his own, now, and headed back toward our boats. He decided it wasn’t so high after all and jumped down to follow us. 

Back in our boats, we set off for a longish paddle to find another two caches that we had not yet logged called Purple Cowasaki and Teal Yammerhammer. In both cases, the cache owners had named their cache after the jet-skies they used to place them. I was wishing I had a jet ski by the time we reached the first one, since it was such a warm day and long paddle. 

While in the vicinity, we discovered a cove that had room to hide a new cache, and Jane placed one. It has not yet been published, but is sure to earn some favorite points due to the unique container. 

We then got back in our boats and prepared to paddle back across the lake. We had not been in our boats long, when Andy decided to abandon ship, jumping into the water. He swam over to Jane’s boat and climbed aboard, the little stinker! I couldn’t believe he had left me for her. I took a photo, and then retrieved him. We paddled off in the direction off the two newer caches that we had come in search of. Both were hidden by our pal BackWoodsAng, and both presented us with challenges. 

The first was a micro container “piled in with rock, 3-4′ from surface at the time“ as the hint read. The coordinates took us to a rock face reaching from the water level 50 or 60 feet toward the sky. The cacher that was first to find had written in his log that it was an each reach from his kayak. I was hoping that “an easy reach” meant from a seated position. However, there were so many places that matched this description and the hint, and none seemed to reveal the cache.

We searched and searched, moving many rock piles and checking beneath, and reaching every spot we could. We were nearly ready to give up after 20 minutes, when I rechecked a ledge that both of us had searched before. This time, I felt around blindly in an area I couldn’t see, and suddenly felt something that was too perfectly shaped to be a rock. 

I gave a shout, and after several attempts finally was able to grasp the container and pull it down. It was a homemade container constructed of two caps from drink bottles. A very small container to find in such a large area. Once again, persistence (or maybe stubbornness) paid off. 

After signing the log and replacing the cache, we headed off to find the other new cache. This cache was called Natural Chamber #2, so we knew that it was going to be in a cave or crevice in the rock. That opening happened to be a good 30 feet above the water line. 

As we sat in our boats, gazing up at the opening and the possible routes to it, something happened that is unprecedented in my geocaching career. I said, “Nope. Not gonna do it.” For some reason, I did not have the courage to make that climb on this particular day. The way looked too steep and the shale too brittle. I wasn’t certain that any hand or foot holds I found would stay safely secured to the rock face. There was some vegetation in a crevice going up toward the opening, and this could give some possible anchors to hold on to, but I wasn’t sure I trusted it. Besides, I had Andy in my boat, and knew he would try to follow me up if I made the climb. 

I was ready to log a DNF when Jane said, “I’ll do it!” Before I knew it, she had climbed out of her boat and asked me to hold on to it since she didn’t have a bow line to tie it up. I tied her boat to mine with my bow line as she scrambled upward, making it look easy and making me feel like a wuss. Well, not really like a wuss. More like, I was happy she was along so she could do the hard work! 

As soon as she reached the opening, she spotted the container and soon had signed the log. She then made the climb back down, which for me would have been even harder than the way up. 

I had thought about stopping for one more cache, but we decided we needed to call it a day. Jane had to work that evening, and I had chores to do at home. We paddled back to the marina with no problems, loaded up our boats, and both headed for home. It was another fun day on the lake. 

 

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