What do i talk about today, Caching or Kayaking? Or maybe a combination of both.
Spring has sprung here in the Mid Maryland area, and sprung in full force. Last week the temperatures were in the range of 70F, with lots of pollen. the weekend was cool, but this week the temperatures are getting up there again. It’s time to get the kayak out on the water. And it’s time to get out and find the CAM caches to get the clues for the location of the final – the CAM 2010 picnic.
First a bit of CAM activity. The first CAM cache Donna and I went after was near the southern end of the NCR trail in Ashland, Md. This bicycling, hiking, etc, trail runs from Ashland, near Hunt Valley to the Md/Pa line, then becomes the York Heritage trail to York, Pa. The cache was hidden near an old Iron Furnace. The next cache was in Herring Run Park, in Baltimore City. Yes it’s there near the fallen log seen in the picture. From there we went on to Union Mills Homestead, north west of Westminster, Md.
Then I took a short rest of a couple weeks before SirCurly (Chuck) and I headed into southern Md for a couple more caches. Then Donna and I west west into Garrett, Allegheny, and Frederick counties for three more CAM caches and a couple other bonus caches.
Then came yesterday. With two CAM caches waiting on the Eastern Shore I was ready to nab them when a new Kayak cache popped up on GeoCaching.com near Salisbury, Md. Well what better excuse did I need to put the boat of the car and head southeast. One warning on the cache description was “go at high tide”. I had no idea as to when that was, and I didn’t have lots of time to spare. When I arrived at the launch ramp, there was only about 4″ of water over the sill at the end of the boat trailer ramp, low tide. Flood tide must be coming. So I launched and headed upstream into what turned out to be a short paddle that took hours. As I neared the cache sight (about 500′ away) I was paddling into an area of lily pads and mud. About 200′ from my destination I grounded and the paddle blades were covered with the ugliest black mud you’ve ever seen. This is typical Chesapeake Bay bottom mud. I sat and waited watching the tide slowly rise, and every 15 minutes of so I was able to float another 25′ closer to the cache.. When I was finally able to get within about 30′ of the cache, described as “you can reach it from your kayak.” I took a chance and exited the boat, immediately sinking into mud half way up my calf.
Now walking in muck like that isn’t easy, but I eventually made it to the cache, only to find that I was not first, bummer! I got the boat turned around, and got back in, muddy feet rinsed off in muddy water didn’t really help. The trip out was just as slow, trying to find the channel, if you could call 7″ of water a channel, was difficult. By then a small breeze had started blowing, the wrong way and I could tell that this estuary was slowly emptying. But I did finally get back to the boat ramp, where there was now about 1-1/2′ of water over the sill, I still don’t believe that there was another foot of water in the marsh.
Boat back on the car I headed for Pemberton Park, one CAM Cache, and two others before heading home to wash the boat, my clothes and feet. They all needed a good cleansing.