Mining Some Cold Hard Cache
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Parking can be found in one of many locations along Portage Road running parallel to Highway 405 (now Isaac Brock Parkway), but for a great hike and great scenery, I suggest parking at: N43 09.516 W79 04.936 along York Road near the head of Concession 2.
There is a marker stone next to the parking area which bears the inscription "Scheaffe's Path To Victory October 13th, 1812".
This most likely refers to Major-General Roger Hale Scheaffe who arrived from Fort George during the War of 1812. After General Brock was mortally wounded eariler that same day, Scheaffe and his army attacked the American soldiers' position from the rear, trapping the invaders between his army and the escarpment. When over, almost 1000 American soldiers were taken prisoner, while the British forces lost only 28 men, with 77 wounded.
Now back to the cache.... This is an attempt at creating my most difficult, yet most interesting cache ever.
I have wanted to do a cache in the old Queenston Quarries for a long time now, and now the wait is over.
First of all, a bit of background.
This tunnel was left over from the mining operations which have been operating for almost 180 years and are of the oldest in Canada. The limestone which was quarried from this area, was used extensively for the construction of many notable structures including the First Presbyterian Church in nearby Lewiston, New York, built in 1830. Also, the Blue Ghost Tunnel and most of the tunnels and landmarks that my other caches have already taken you to have also been constructed using their limestone.
In addition to cut limestone, the quarry also supplied a nearby natural rock cement and brick manufacturing plant. Evidence of this operation is still visible as you will pass by the limestone kilns which were used to fire the limestone to reduce it to a powder. This processing plant was built in 1885 by Isaac Usher, and his eldest son, Hudson, managed the plant from 1885 until 1901. In 1904, Isaac Usher had to close his Queenston Cement Works because his product could not compete with the new "Portland" type cement, which set in 6 hours as opposed to the 24 hours which Usher's cement needed. The cement from his plant was still sought after by the building trades and was also used in many large construction projects including the Third Welland Canal, the Sault Ste Marie (Soo) Canals and the canals on the St. Lawrence River.
If you have the time, I do suggest you check out these kilns as they are very impressive and great examples of history long passed.
Now, for the cache itself.
Suggested and/or essential equipment should include, but is not limited to the following items:
flashlight (a BFL may be a good idea)
replacement batteries (lots of them)
neoprene or rubber boots
wetsuit or hipwaders
waterproof bag to hold electronics and batteries
walking stick (for added balance)
Now the above co-ordinates are for the tunnel entrance where you will see a stone wall as well as a firepit.
This area has been a hotspot for bush parties for years!
In order to find this cache, you will need to follow these directions as GPS' do not work inside most structures and tunnels/caves.
Firstly, I DO NOT suggest that anybody attempts this cache alone. You should never enter any tunnels or caves by yourself due to the inherent danger associated with this activity.
Enter the tunnel using the "RKO" entrance, you'll know what I mean when you get there.
Please watch where you step as well as where you place your hands against the walls and ceiling. There are many large spiders inhabiting the tunnel as well as bats. If you should encounter any of these, please leave them alone and DO NOT shine your lights on them or use your flash to take pictures of them.
Although they are very interesting creatures, there has been a major decline in the bat population and it has been directly linked to an increase in people caving.
Now, with that in mind, proceed into the waters and head north until you see a wooden support wedged between the floor and ceiling. From this spot, proceed north into the next room. You will notice a rock slide on the north wall and this is where the cache container is located. Use your experience and geocaching knowledge and you will come up with a find.
The cache is a large Tupperware container so it can hold large trade items.
It is absolutely imperative that you replace the cache as you found it, or better, as this tunnel is frequented by other cavers and teens.
Please do not log this as a find unless you actually have entered the tunnel and participated in the find, whether it be by yourself or with a group. Sitting outside the tunnel and having someone else sign your name in the logbook does not constitute a find for this cache.
(No hints available.)