We’ve had a couple of DNFs on two of our caches down on the old US301 trail recently, so on Sunday we decided to make the drive down and see what is going on with them.
One of the caches, “Kiosk #1”, was right there at the spot where you park, but we decided to walk the 3/4 mile down the trail to the one called “Used to be Twin Stumps.” It is called “Used To Be” because at one time we had a cache there called just “Twin Stumps” for the two side-by-side tree stumps that were there. But one stump turned to sawdust and we lost the spot where the container was hidden.
I was holding the GPSr and I stopped when it read 4′ from destination. I was nowhere near a stump and and a hump of sawdust. We both looked around for where we might have hidden a cammoed waterproof matchstick holder, nothing stood out. We both mentally scratched around in our heads for a recollection of where we might have put it, nothing stood out. So walked back a ways until we found the used to be twin stumps. Still couldn’t remember where we put it, but I said, “If I was hiding something like that today, I’d put it right there.” I went over and lifted the end of a 2 foot by 4 inch diameter log and right there was the container. Donna opened it up and the log was dry, so we put it back under the log.
That log was almost 40 feet from where the GPSr said the cache should be, so I laid the unit on the log, created a new waypoint and let it sit there for a bit all the while averaging its location. While we waited I re-read over the description of the log and I had mistakenly mention that you had to climb down the embankment and to be careful. While that note is needed for one of the caches we placed on the trail, it did not apply to this one. These two things were more than enough to make someone DNF this cache, so when we got home I edited the description to say the cache was at trail level and corrected the coordinates.
When we got got to the end of the trail to check on “Kiosk #1” it was not inside the crook of the three small trees we had placed it in. It was laying on the ground right next to them. This is a 2-stage cache, the coordinates lead you to the kiosk and then to find the container you have to walk 150′ at a course of 270°. The distance is right, but maybe I don’t have the course right? We found it using that parameter, so who knows.
We were lucky in that we didn’t need to replace either container, but that is not the real lucky part. On the way to look for “Kiosk #1”, we knew that it was off in the woods to the right of the old paved road, so we took the first opportunity to get off the pavement along a little path in the weeds. I went first and Donna was a couple steps behind me. About 20 feet in I heard her behind me say, “Hey! That’s a snake! And it rattled!” I turned around and we both walked back a couple steps. Sure enough, there was a very viper-ish looking snake all curled up and the thickest part I could see looked about wrist sized. I’m not real schooled on just what kind of snake it was and I didn’t want to get close enough to take a good picture. But if in fact it was a rattlesnake we were both very lucky because we walked less that two feet from the reptile.