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Found it Kordite found Brush Mountain

Sunday, October 19, 2003Pennsylvania

The original intention was to meet with Questmaster and Company and search for this cache as a group. I arrived at the appointed place (King's in Delmont) at the appointed time but never saw him. I went ahead and had breakfast and then went on my way.

In Altona I missed the exit that would have taken me to the recommended starting point but the next exit was very near Andrews Awesome Cache (GC9B5E) so I figured I'd log that while I was in the area. There, at the bottom of a broad power line cut, I reasoned that here I was about the same distance from the cache as if I started from the recomended starting place. Since previous logs talked about a lot of bushwacking I figured three miles of bushwacking from the north can't be any worse than three miles of bushwacking from the south. Plus, I can clearly see up the mountain at the cut and know what kind of climb I'm in for.

Starting at 10:30, it took 40 minutes to climb the 1,000 feet of elevation to the top of the ridge up a switchbacking access 'road'. It was an expansive view and my car looked very tiny.

Lesson Number Three: US Military 'Jungle' boots are too flexable for rocky terrain. Buy rigid-soled hiking boots.

In my experience, most of the ridgelines in Pennsylvania have some sort of trail. For centuries, these relatively level routes have served as highways of a sort, much better than slogging through the streams in the valleys. Brush Mountain is assuredly exception. The first Paleo-Indians in the area 13,000 years ago must have tried and decided that only a madman would attempt to make a track across the broken rock-strewn terrain. Even the deer paths are few and faint. Only because fall had thined out the undergrowth could I see such tracks at all.

Lesson Number Four: US Military 'Jungle" boots do not protect your ankles from rock edges and ankle-twisting holes. Buy rigid-soled, over-the-ankle hiking boots.

It took nearly three hours of torturous bushwacking to get to the cache location. Once there, it was actually fairly easy to find the cache. I noticed that Questmaster's name wasn't in the logbook so I had apparently beat them here. Before I had completed my own entry in the log I heard voices. I quickly threw the cache back into its hiding place and bounded over the rocks so I could nonchalantly greet Questmaster, Starlight and Company when they arrived.

It turned out that while I was inside waiting for them to show up at Kings, they were outside in the parking lot waiting for me. I had breakfast, missed the exit, snagged another cache and didn't even have any 'old vehicle trails' yet I still beat them to the cache. Starlight agreed to give me a ride back to my car after I came down the hill they had come up. I took an empty film canister (for a future micro-cache) and left a glow stick, a P-38 can opener and a GeoHack game card.

But while it was easier traveling on the quad path and other 'old vehicle trails', there was still plenty of bushwacking and that last half mile down off the ridge was murderous. From the cache to the car was a nearly four hour trek. Along the way, I was able to confirm that benchmark KX2193 had been destroyed.

Lesson Number Five: Go back the way you came.

All in all, I would say that going up the power line cut and bushwacking your way south to the cache may be the better choice. While the overall climb and hike across the ridge is no better, coming down the power cut would be a much easier ending to one's day than the rockfall deathtrap above the resourvoir.

Lunch break.About mid-way through my trek to the cache I stopped at a rocky overlook while turkey vultures wheeled overhead. I yelled up at them: 'I'm not dead yet, buzzards!'

Additional Images Additional Images

Lunch break. Lunch break.

Questmaster, Starlight and Company Questmaster, Starlight and Company

Topo Map Topo Map

infoThis is the original cache type consisting, at a bare minimum, a container and a log book. Normally you'll find a tupperware container, ammo box, or bucket filled with goodies, or smaller container ("micro cache") too small to contain items except for a log book. The coordinates listed on the traditional cache page is the exact location for the cache.
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