Into the Past with CAM

The Prince Georges County CAM-2013 Cache
My adventure of finding all 10 of the CAM-2013 caches continues with a trip last week into Prince Georges County. The cache there was near Jug Bay, and estuary and environmental area on the shores of the Patuxent River. I believed the weather wizards and headed out on a day that looked sunny here at home in Columbia. The original cache description said”

The Jug Bay Natural Area is the headquarters for the Patuxent River Park properties. This 2,000-acre tract of land is comprised of various natural habitats that buffer the Patuxent River and provide a critical link in conserving the area’s natural resources. You will notice a large eagles nest on your walk to this CAM hide, and there are several others within the park.

Jug Bay is one of the most important freshwater tidal estuaries in the Chesapeake Bay region. M-NCPPC works cooperatively with federal, state and local agencies, and conservation organizations to ensure the Patuxent River remains one of Maryland’s premiere river greenways. Jug Bay Natural Area is a component of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland, a nationwide network of diverse coastal estuaries that serve as laboratories for scientific research, education and monitoring. The park is also a site on the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, a partnership of parks, refuges, museums, historical communities and trails where visitors can experience and learn about the Chesapeake Bay. Jug Bay has been designated an “Important Birding Area” by the National Audubon Society.

The park offers a wide range of amenities for the public. There are more than eight miles of scenic woodland trails for hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders. The park provides facilities for camping and picnics. There are two fishing areas at Jug Bay that offer good tidal fishing year-round. Jug Bay has two standard boat ramps, but no overnight tie-ups or fuel facilities. Bow hunting and waterfowl hunting are permitted in designated areas. Jug Bay is excellent to explore by canoe or kayak along the Patuxent Water Trail. The park offers daily and hourly canoe and kayak rentals.

The park is home to the Patuxent Rural Life Museums. This collection of late 19th century and early 20th century buildings tells the story of life in southern Maryland. Visitors can also enjoy the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Tour, a four-mile roadway that connects the park with Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary.

3mgdpsBut by the time I arrived clouds started rolling in, and a notice from the Maryland Geocaching Society the night before said that the cache was moved, the reason is that the path to the original cache site was too close to one of the Eagle’s nest and they were becoming rather frightened at the number of people nearby. I would have liked to get some photos of the eagles with my 400mm lens, but even if I’d taken that path the lighting was not conducive to a good photo, may I’ll go back when the sun is out.

Well, as I arrived another car pulled up next to mine, and three young women emerged, yes they were cachers too. So we pooled our skills and went off in pursuit of the near by “bonus” cache, then across the road for an easy find (without scaring the eagle).

The Southern Maryland CAM-2013 Cache

This cache located in historic St. Mary’s City, another one the places like to visit, if only it was close enough to home to spend more time. The first time I was there, my mom and dad sailed into one of the small coves off the Potomac River and anchored. It probably took two trips by dinghy to row all 6 of us in the family to shore. As I remember back many years, as we strolled through what was probably St Mary’s College the only living creäture we saw was one lone cat. The sail from Annapolis where we kept the boat to St. Mary’s was a long day’s sail, so we never returned. One Thanksgiving day I drove down with my first grandson to see a re-enactment of the landing of one of the two first ships to land here, the Ark and the Dove.

3-StMarys-1Now to the cache, there were two suggested parking locations, I picked the one near the visitor’s center, that meant a longer walk. The day was sunny and warm, with only a slight breeze blowing, so this extra half mile (each way) was not long. Once I left the corn fields and road I was in a pine forest, the trail rather circuitous route, along the shores of Lucas Cove and Milburn Creek. Of course, I did need to cross a few marshy streams, 3-StMarys-2 before reaching the CAM cache, but along the way I stopped off for one that had been hidden in 2003, and after finding the CAM cache I continued on to find the CAM Cache placed for the first CAM back in 2004. So the CAM hunt was a walk back into caching history.

I finished up by passing my car, then continuing on to the historic site. where some young historians were working at a restoration of some of the old buildings, not far from the city’s Chapel.

3-StMarys-4 4StMarys-5

Oh, this was a 3 mile hike and well worth the time.


About Mike

I'm an avid bicyclist, that also enjoys Kayaking, Nature Photography, Cross Country Skiing and Geocaching. There's nothing more boring than sitting indoors in "good" weather.
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