Middlesex Fells Hike / Geocache - July 15, 2007
Activity by Ken L.
Photos by David J. and Ken L.
Trip report by Ken L.
Your Webmaster picked up a few geocaching travel
bugs while in Pennsylvania, and it was time to set them free in the Boston
One, named "I need a vacation!", needed a good vacation spot. So I
picked Boston (OK, let's call it "close enough to Boston"...and I'm going to
assume that at least some people call Boston a "vacation spot").
to see, but "I need a vacation!' is a 35mm film canister with Eyore inside.
The other, named "Teddy", wants to see all 50 states. So I picked
Massachusetts (not really a state*, but "close enough to being a state").
* -- Massachusetts is a commonwealth. :-)
Teddy is a big eagle.
You can go to the geocaching web
site and look up these travel bugs to see what they're doing now.
ANYWAY...The Two Daves and I wandered through the Fells on the southbound
side of Rte 93 starting at Sheepfold. The first order of business was
to get to Bear Hill to snap some photos of the travel bugs. And, of
course, where was Your Webmaster's camera? At home (so thank you Dave
for the photos, plus I grabbed one or two with my cell phone). But I
digress...The two photos above were taken from Bear Hill at the Middlesex
Fells. Bear Hill sports a lookout tower with a nice view of the
surrounding area. Unfortunately the weather was a bit hot and hazy, so
Boston didn't come out so great in the background.
Your Webmaster had chosen several geocaches to find while at the Fells.
Of the Daves, Dave had not done geocaching before, but Dave had. So it
was nice to have someone along who was new and someone who could assist.
We broke out the GPS receivers and made a bee line for the
April Fool's Cache, which turned out to be fairly close to Bear
Hill. After a bit of bushwhacking to get onto the right trail (which
we...uhhh...well, it turns out we didn't need to do :-/ ), the non-geocacher
Dave was turned into a geocacher when he found the big bucket that is the
April Fool's Cache! Good going, Dave! Teddy the Travel Bug was
released into this cache.
Dave couldn't believe how easy this was and mused about how it could
possibly be any fun at all. I assured him they weren't all this easy.
Yeah, right...you have coordinates and a GPS receiver, and there you
Not In The Subway Cache was next on the list. We got to the
right location, and Your Webmaster spotted the place the cache "should be",
and let Dave go get it...but it wasn't there. Other obvious locations?
Not there. Other not-so-obvious locations? Not there. The
three of us spent quite a while trying to locate that cache, but we were
thwarted! So, no, Dave, you don't always find them. In fact,
some of them are puzzles, and people who hide caches are starting to make
them even more difficult. Big buckets are easy. This one wasn't!
It turns out that there's a more accurate set of GPS coordinates available
in the logs for that cache, so we'll be back to get this someday with a
After failing on this cache, Dave led us to the silver mine. Silver
mine? Yes! Apparently the Fells had a silver mine.
It was off to find the third cache,
The NetWare Toolbox Massachusetts US cache, but after a little jaunt
down the trail, the heat from the day started to get to us, and Your
Webmaster needed to cool down for a while. The reservoir looked good,
but that's a no-go zone (you WILL get ticketed for going anywhere near it),
so we settled for a shady spot along the trail. After a few minutes we
got going again, and the GPS receiver kept leading us in the right
direction, but the available trails didn't! We zig-zagged a bit, and
we eventually made our way to the cache. Your Webmaster redeemed
himself by finding it straight away, and Dave found it soon after that, but
Dave took a while.
has the "I need a vacation!" travel bug ready to go into the "Toolbox"...if
Dave ever finds it! :-)
After a little coaxing, Dave found the "Toolbox", and we opened it up.
"I need a vacation!" found its way into the box along with a Jeep travel bug
Waiting to load
up the "Toolbox"
Good goin', first timer!
We stayed there for a little while cooling down, but the heat was getting
to me, so we decided to head out after just the three caches. There
are more geocaches in the the Fells, so we'll be back. I'm not giving
up on "Not In The Subway" yet!