Friday, December 26, 2008
Last March I had some time off work and had just gotten back from MOGA. You'd think I had my fill of the wood's and hiking for at least a week, but nope. Two day's after getting back home I made a call to Hunt & Peck about this cache up just above the Iowa border in Minnesota called Lair. (GC5D2D)
I had spotted this once while looking around for a neat cache to go and do and this one caught my eye. Why?? I'm not sure but there was over 100 picture's on the cache page at the time. So after coming threw some of those and reading the cache description I knew I had to check this one out. So it went on my watchlist.
After getting back from Moga and having the rest of the week off I called up a buddy and we met in Cascade and got into one car and headed off north. The car ride was fun up there. As we got further north and more towards the river these are area's I've never been too or have been since I was a kid. So the road trip was a lot of fun and a lot of neat stuff to see.
Once we hit the border though it was like we where two kid's planning a snowball attack or something. We had parking cord's and there was specified instructions of where to go to park. When we where a mile or so away we looked up and I think H&P said to me I think there is where we are going.
Now there is talk on the cache page about a possible cougar being seen in the area. We had chuckled about we both wouldn't have to out run the cougar just the slowest person in the group. We found the parking but couldn't get the car to it due to the wet and muddy road's so we parked it roadside and hiked in from there. At first we felt like we where trespassing as there was no trespassing sign's all over on the side's of the road. This was just the farmer trying to keep people off his land and on the road. But once we reached the top of the road and looked down into the valley where the "enchanted forest" was we saw that State DNR sign. One think less to worry about.
We where headed down the trail and cut off and bushwhacked our way to the river that looked, like it could over flow at anytime. LOL. If you go you'll get that. But after crossing that stone by stone and a leap of faith we came to the "enchanted forest". A small pine forest. Making our way threw on some game trails we came to the base of "the mountain" (if one would call it that). This is where we kind of split up a bit, trying to make the climb easier on both of us.
A few hundred feet later we could hold the excitement in anymore and the climbing went a lot faster heading towards the Lair. Once up top you could turn back and see this amazing view that you just don't see anywhere. But the neat part was the Lair was waiting right there to explore. Out come the flashlight's and we where hoping we had the right cave and didn't have to climb to the very top. Well, I won't give what you have to do away, but we pulled out this nice and rusty box that looked like some sort of miner had left behind 50 year's ago. Cracked that baby open to find us a log book and some SWAG and a few trackable's.
Well, we had come prepared and brought sack lunches. What better way to spend a day of vacation than sitting up top this large "hill" at the mouth of a cave, eating a sandwich chatting away with a buddy and just enjoying this very unique place with a heck of a view, this cache owner had found. This place is something to see and I highly recommend taking a camera.
It was kind of sad when we started to head back. I had been wanting to do that cache for a least 6 month's and our adventure was over. We made way back to the car and headed out but first a stop by an additonal waypoint the cache owner had marked. A trip to Miami. You'll have to figure that one out for yourself.
On the way home I had spotted a special groundspeak volunteer geo-coin in a cache near Decorah. Well, I wanted to see it. So some how or another we took a very long way home and picked that coin up to discover and move along. We did a couple of Geo's and Terra's while near Decorah along the way. Not very many but they where in some neat spot's that are worth taking extra 70 mile on our roadtrip.
I would highly recommend any one to do this cache. It's a very unique place to see and really the picture's don't do it any justice. If anyone want's a "tour guide" contact me. I'd love to tag along to this one again.