Melvin's Multiple Madness Multi-cache
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In & around Cheesequake State Park, flat terrain, near sea level, involves walking on tidal flats. Long walk, tough terrain, hip boots recommended, unless you wear old sneakers and don't mind getting wet and muddy. Basically a 4 part multi with some compass work at the end.
Park near N40 27.307' W74 16.817' for the start. The listed coordinates get you to the first container. In it are two sets of coordinates for the second stage, one set correct and one set false, you choose. Bring a pencil and paper to write clues and directions at each cache. A compass will be helpful, almost necessary, for the last leg. All caches are small (supposedly) water-tight plastic containers. Please, be sure to close and secure containers when you leave them.
At the second stage you will be given two possible locations for the third stage, here you will find additional information needed to finish the adventure. Plan on driving to a new parking spot for the third stage. Do not try to walk from stage 2 to stage 3, take your car and make an approach from the south. Stay off the Garden State Parkway, except to drive to the next parking spot, which you decide where.
At each third stage you will get another coordinate clue, which will lead you to a prominent point on a manmade structure and other special directions. All 4 caches comprise a loop of 0.7 miles (wink!). Better allow about 3-4 hours to complete it.
Watch the tides, low tide is best. Check tide schedules here using NY & NJ Boundary area, Cheesequake Creek, Garden State Pkwy. Small kids should not attempt this cache. A boat would be helpful for some legs, but walking is the best way. Be careful, use your head, this is a difficult problem. A stout walking stick, maybe two, would be helpful. Dress appropriately, a change of dry clothes would help if you get wet.
The last leg requires formal entry into the park, plan your time accordingly, and remember that the Park closes at dusk. Navigate very carefully and precisely on the last leg. Bring an energy snack and water to drink.
Upon suggestion, this might be a good cache to do with a team approach, although its not necessary. A team with radio or cell communication between members, could cut down the walking by quite a bit. Be very precise in your compass and distance work at the final stage. The use of a good topo map or aerial photo would be helpful. Nice aerials on MapQuest.com or Terraserver or USA Photomaps.
The final stage will require you to walk a compass bearing thru wooded terrain, although the distances are short, accurate bearings are a must to save a lot of searching. Never assume that it gets cold enough for Melvin's or Cheesequake Creek to freeze enough to walk on. They never do. I recently did a maintenance visit by kayak, this is a great way to go for the first three stages, but only at high tide. If you plan on doing this cache, post your intentions on the forums so others without a partner can join you on this somewhat treacherous adventure.
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