Friday, September 10, 2010

Southeastern MN caching day trip

Kris: Last Sunday was what we dedicated as our FREE day as we haven't had an entire day to do whatever we wanted to in a long time.  So of course....we slept in and took off driving south to go geocaching all day.  Our intention was to drive STRAIGHT (Mark: Straight if I would have taken 52 and not 35W, adding at least 45 minutes to our drive time) down to the two state parks we wanted to pick up for the day and then spend the rest of the day caching our way home.  But about 3/4 of the way down there we spotted this really cute little road with an old bridge and stream running through it.  (shiny object!!) So we turned around and spent a few minutes exploring and taking pictures.

The first park we got to was John A Latsch and it's a super small park.  We got the Safari multi in probably less than 2 minutes and then we were after the other cache in the park that supposedly had a coin in it.  But walking past this sign, I was wondering what we were in for.....

591 old wooden stairs later, we were at the top of this climb with very tired legs but had a great view over the river.  Another couple came up and took our picture for us.   She said "kiss him!" I did ;)

The cache was a short hike past the viewing spot but easy to find as it was called "Timberrrr!" and was a regular.   Not sure how great a muggle would feel accidentally stumbling across this ammo can in the woods.
Explosive is maybe a bit scary......

Once we finished up here we got a few quick caches and got distracted by a few that hadn't been found in a long time.   The first one was a multi that took Mark's poor Ford Focus onto roads built for a Jeep.   

When picking up the final stage way up in this remote area, sure enough a muggle comes by on a 4-wheeler.  There we are probably looking all suspicous and he asks "you two seen any other people around up in here?  We've had troubles with people setting fires"   Then (it gets better...)  The guy mentions some cool caves just up the road.  Not really pointing at the road on the left or the right, we decide to see if they are up the road on the left (wrong!!!)  As the road narrows and becomes increasingly hard to navigate much less turn around I notice we pass a "Private Property, No Trespassing" sign.   Having no where to turn around we keep going up (and I keep waiting to hear a shotgun) find a place to turn around by this house and make our way back down.   Sure enough, we meet up with this old truck with two older gentlemen and a dog.   We stop as we were passing each other and he gives an interesting grin...."Whatcha doin' up here?"  Sigh....I figured geocaching was a bad answer so we went with playing dumb, didn't see the sign, someone said something about caves and we couldn't find a place for our little city car to turn around.  Great!!  I'm waiting to be summoned to court for either starting forest fires or trespassing.

Once that fun was over, we noticed another cache with a relatively high difficulty rating that also hadn't been found in awhile and had a coin in it. Mark: We had juts gotten done finding a graveyard cache, one of Kris' favoties when we noticed this other high difficulty cache and were debating about trying to grab it or not when Kris mentioned that most likely the coin was still in the cache so I turned the car around and we headed to where the description talked about parking, As we drove to the parking spot we got to within .1 miles of the cache, remember that as I continue to tell this story. So we park and head up the trail, which turned out to be a ATV trail, kind of rough in a few places but plenty wide. (The picture below gives you an idea of what the trail was like) So we started our hike and it was not to long before we were passed by a family out on their ATV's, we let them go by and continued on our way. We walked for quite a ways and during that time I kept asking how far, .25 miles, then it was .3 miles and everytime I asked, Kris kept telling me I don't want to know. As we were approcing a final bend, hopefully back twords the cache we were passed by a second group on ATV's this time there was about 8 or so, OK this is their trail after all. So we get to the bend in the trail and finally we start heading towards the cache, as it turns out we ended more then a half mile from the cache before we actulley started getting closer. Eventually we got to GZ and made the find VERY quickly, not to hard considering it was an ammo can leaned up aginst a tree trunk. We still had to be stealthy as the ATV'ers were still up here at the lookout at the end of the trail. Unfortunally as we opend the cache and investigated we saw that the coin was missing, the coin sleeve (with the tracking #) was still in the cache and there was a entry in the log dated with todays date, "found while peeing, this is my first geocache." One of the ATV'ers found the cache stole the coin and signed the log. Sigh..... All that way and the coin was gone, that was the main reason why we decided to try for this cache, and it had not been found for months prior to this day. We were so close, remeber me mentioning being .1 miles from the cache. Since then I have checked on and no one else had logged a find or logged the coin, so even though they signed the cache and replaced it, it was muggled.

Weird you can't really tell from this picture if we are looking up or down hill :)
We were definitely getting tired by this point but had to pick up Frontenac State Park so we scooted over there pretty quickly, got our passport stamp, safari cache and then headed out for a nice quick 2.5ish mile trail run to pick up the Hiking Club word.   Very pretty park with some steep terrain on the trails

Kris heading up a long a-- hill
All in all we ended up getting a little TOO distracted by caches that took a long time so we didn't get a high number of finds this day but it was quite the adventure.  3 multis, 4 traditionals, 2 earthcaches and 1 virtual.

Next adventure (tomorrow) we are heading down to Otak 2010 GeoFest - Bike, Hike, & Crawl in Mankato.  Bringing the mountain bikes along for the caching part and then hopefully will have time for a nice run as well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog