I got up early and drove from Pittsburgh to join my brother and hos Boy Scout troop on a merit badge-earning bike ride along the Delaware Canal. Arriving in Uhlerstown several hours before I was supposed to meet them at the Tinicum Park I set off to try to log a few caches, which was part of my plan in leaving early.
Not being familiar with the area and foolishly not having the cache description I ended up pulling into the Tohickon Valley County Park. I looked at the heavily damaged park map and figured that this wasn't the right park. But I looked at the terrain and the map on my GPSr and though that there should be a trail that wraps around. I walked a way but veentually got lazy and decided it would probably be faster to drive around to the other side.
So, I looked at the map loaded on my GPSr and went out and around until I got to a promising sign 'Stover Park Rd.' This looked like it would take me to the right place except that there were other signs like 'Bridge Closed', 'No Outlet' and 'No Turnaround'. I considered driving down there anyway and taking my chances because I was so close but I turned back and began another loop.
Hmmmm. Dark Hollow Rd. looked like it would have taken me where I wanted to go, except there were 'Road Closed' signs there, too. Another big loop finally brings me to the park, right to the 'closed' bridge which was still open to pedestrians. It would have been easy to walk across and save myself miles of driving. On top of that, the park map here clearly shows a trail following the creek around from Tohickon Valley County Park so, if I'd kept going the first time I would have had a long walk but I would have gotten here. And it probably would have taken as long to do it.
Lesson Number Seven: Trust your instincts.
And what is it with the park map that has North towards the lower right?
I headed off down the trail. But, as I approached a large rock formation that looked like a prime cache-hiding area, my GPS was pointing 300 fet away on the other sode of the creek. I stood there for a while checking my signal. I had plenty of satellite locks and the EPE looked reasonable. The map on the GPSr seemed to indicate the cache was on this side but the vector-drwan map is not always accurate. There was a rock wall on the far side so maybe the cache was hidden there instead of the 'obvious' place amongst the rocks. I turned around and went back, crossed the bridge and headed downstream again.
What the. . . ? When I got to the aforementioned rock wall my GPSr was pointing across the creek back at the big rock fomation.
Lesson Number Eight: No, really. Trust your instincts.
I went back over to the rocks and began my search in earnest. I was getting a solid signal and it was keeping me to a 30ft area but I couldn't turn up anything/. There was a 20ft 'cave' that I looked in, even though I didn't think it would be in there (too attractive to non-cachers). Eventually 3:00 rolled around, the time I was supposed to meet my brother at the Tinicum County Park so I packed up and left in defeat.
I wasn't done for the day, though. The logs continue at http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=dbedbb72-d2a1-427f-8ad8-2ac85b18423a