26 Apr 2009 by
(Finds: 146 Score: 577)
(Hidden: 5 Score: 26)
Open Log: Personal use only
As I believe I’ve outlined on Rocky’s Lost Land Geocache, I’ve slapped together a list of 15 or so caches that I just have to do this year. This one was near the top – and as a matter of fact anytime Cayuga would open the floor to potential epic cache hunts Keller Trail was the first one I always chucked out there consideration. Perhaps it was my adorable puppy dog eyes, or more likely the fact that I’m an incessant pest, Cayuga finally booked Keller Trail, devised an agenda which included pit stops for jerky (with is always a cache hiking necessity), and dusted off his beer cooler for the transport of celebratory lagers.
So off we went on a long trek from WNY to the mystical woods of Pennsylvania. Believe it or not, the hardest part about our adventure was finding the appropriate parking. We did locate a trailhead that was .40 from the cache, but I had mentioned repeatedly about another option where we could meander a ridge for miles and miles enroute to the cache. So after some backtracking, we finally were able to find the old fire tower road, and the hike was on….well….after a few false starts I guess (I think we hiked about a half mile before we ever got 100 feet from the truck, haha). There was a little question as to which direction we should set off on to get going on the ridge, and after checking our topo, flipping a few coins, and eventually covering our eyes, spinning around 20 times and going in the direction that we fell over, we were finally on our way towards the cache.
With the exception of one pesky little hill, we arrived on the ridge and off we went through a beautiful open forest full of hardwoods with some rhododendron trimming for added “it don’t get no better than this!” effect. It was surprisingly warm out today, and I guess I was in denial that we’d see an 85 degree day in April so I wasn’t dressed for air conditioning (or aerodynamics…but that’s usually a given). Regardless the nice breeze we had throughout the duration of the hike was wonderful, and even did a decent job of keeping the bugs at bay. Along the way, we followed one grassy lane that overlooked down into the valley and another ridge off in the distance. This time of year is one of the best as you can really get a sense of how spectacular some of these areas are before the leaves get on the trees and obstruct your view. This is probably one of the reasons I love hiking on ridges so much – you’re apt to see so much more of this beautiful wilderness (and yeah, I’ll admit there are less hills…haha).
Soon we arrived at the crossroads, and headed down towards the scenic vista (in PA they aren’t called views, they are vistas, haha). At the vista we met a nice couple and asked them many questions about the lay of the land. We explained geocaching to them and they knew exactly what we were talking about which was pretty cool. So after snapping vista photos we headed over to make the cache find and after signing in we utilized the cache as photo-fodder with tasty beverage accompaniment. The cache is holding up just fine, with plenty of trade items still available for future thrill seekers.
After the cache was replaced, we took one last look from this amazing vantage point, and began the hike back to the car. The hike in total was a few miles roundtrip, and it truly was worth every step. I always say that I’d rather have Cayuga drive my ass 100 miles in search of one great cache then to go down the road and find 50 pointless park and grabs. I keep asking Cayuga to wear a cute little chauffer hat, and make multiple references to Driving Mr. Szuchie, but he’s just having none of it. I guess I’ll keep trying…either way, this was another fantastic cache Rocky, and I’m so glad we set aside the day to head southeast and give this magnificent section of trail a go. I won’t go so far as to say Cayuga held my hand and did all the work for me, but since he usually hauls in the beers so we can toast at the cache site I should probably cut him a little slack…maybe when he starts carrying in lawn chairs so I can kick up my tootsies at ground zero. Hint hint.
Anyway, thank you again Rocky. This is what makes caching so great and what continually drives me to seek out fantastic places such as this to hike and explore – awesome job!