Lake Somerville Island GeocacheArticle By Shorty
FOUND ON 7-7-01
I received another automatic email from Geocaching.com, and there was a new cache hidden on the island at Lake Somerville. This island is only 1.25 miles from a state park dock, and at 3.5mph that would only take about 21 minutes to reach by kayak. I printed out all sorts of maps of the area, preset the coordinates into my GPS, and told my daughter we were going out to find some treasure!!!
We drove for 2 hours to arrive at the state park. Tossed the kayak in the water, clipped on my duffel bag with my stuff in it, and paddled out into the middle of the lake. From the dock I could see what looked like a peninsula and I assumed the island was on the other side. As we got to the middle of the lake my GPS said we were half way there, and then I realized the peninsula was actually the island. Out there on the water we found a couple of 1 liter bottles that had been spray painted white, and then marked with someone's name, phone numer and address. I pulled one up and found numberous small dead bluegill fish hooked on the line as bait. It was some sort of trot line, never seen that variation before.
This is the island, and the skinny part (or neck) in the middle has a good sized beach. We counted 6 power boats, 2 pontoon boats, and a couple of jet skis. I wasn't really interested in getting in their way so I aimed a bit to the right of island's neck to a nice looking patch of beach. As I got closer to the shore my GPS pointer showed I was heading strait towards the cache.
I said "stand here, I want to take a picture of you", I turned and started to walk a couple of feet away and every step I took, she took one towards the water. Just as I brought the camera up to my face she took 3 steps and lept into the water. She just loves the beach, good thing I am into boats.
Alright, now that we have that out of our system, guess we can pose for dad. Say CHEESE!!
You want to go look for that treasure now? YEAAA!!!!! I checked the GPS, checked the compass and everything said go strait up the hill. The first entry in the geocaching log said he saw a snake, so I picked up Morgan with my left arm, and patted the ground out in front of me with my paddle and I walked up the hill. She wanted to know what I was doing with the paddle, and I told her that I wanted to let all the snakes know I was on my way and that they should move. Morgan: Snakes? Where are the snakes? I don't like snakes, but the crocodile hunter does. He really likes snakes.
We went up the hill along the left side of the fallen tree and I could see where others had been. It didn't look like a trail, just a bit of trampled grass that possibly another geocacher had just been up here. Looking left and right I could see that this was the widest clearing to the ridge so that if someone wanted to cross over to the other side, this would be a good place. We then came upon a few pieces of trash indicating this is a well frequented place.
I would stop and put Morgan down (after patting the area with the paddle first) and consult the GPS. She said hey dad, what about the snakes? Are they going to get me? I said "I don't think so, I beat the grass with my paddle to scare them so they leave". She said "can I do that?". That is the moment I learned the beauty of a take down style paddle. I popped the center button, pulled it apart and gave her half. She then proceeded to wave the paddle around in the air and then bang it down on the ground. I picked her up to move to another spot and she waved it around some more.
From re-visiting my own geocache sites I have learned that GPS is only good for about 30 feet depending on the day. After going to 4 different spots and getting the directions from the GPS and then looking at my compass to figure which way I should go, I started to think this one tree was it.
I peered at the tree, looked towards the base and could just see a little spot of white, THERE IT IS!!!!!!
We opened the container and Morgan said "Wow dad, look at all this treasure!! Can I have this, and this, and this..." It was tough but she finally decided the one thing she would take is the little battery powered fan. I took the little pocket knife, and then left an "Action Man" figure and a ShortyPen.
We went back down to the beach and played in the water. I brought a small inflatable innertube and we played in that for a while. I had her pretend to paddle a bit and took this picture. On the bow is her baby doll Jenny who always comes with us on boating trips. She is the only doll we have that doesn't have a fabric component, and the beer cozy life jacket fits her perfectly. Many passing boaters wave at the Jenny doll since I started to put her hand up.
We then practiced doing wet re-boarding and horsed around in the water some more. There is another geocache back near the dock and I was starting to think about seeking it. I then realized that I was still wearing my GPS on my life jacket -- OOPS! Pulled it out and started to navigate the menus to set a waypoint for the other geocache, and then a big drop of water rolled around the inside bottom of the display. 2 flickers and then it went dead. Fear not, for that battery case may let water in, the electronics are (now been confirmed a couple of times) waterproof. I left it up on dash in the sun during the drive home and it dried out enough to start working again.
A couple of minutes after we paddled away from the island and Morgan laid down into her afternoon siesta position for a nap. Can't believe the way she sleeps. 2 power boats and a jetski tossed wakes over the bow and she slept right thru them.
This was a great geocache to hunt for and we had a wonderful time. Thanks to Andrea for hiding it there!