Sunday, January 18, 2009

Abby's Treasure Island

Abby's Treasure Island (GC21D1) Where to even start about this cache. I've been quietly looking at it for two or three's year's now and thinking how can I get out there to that hide. With the cold streak we have had I thought this was my chance, and was planning my "assault" on the island. I didn't know if the river was fully froze over there but I finally got the chance and headed over to the parking around on the south side of the river.

The bridge to get across to the north side of the river is still closed at the moment due to the damage it took on during the flood's from last year. As I looked around there was still some opening's in the water as it took the bend around the corner. I stood back looking and debating if it's safe to try to cross anywhere. Then I noticed some fresh track's from some snowmobile's. So after some more debating I decided I would see if I could figure out how thick the ice was.

With all the snow on the ground I found out fast there was really no way to tell. But it seemed solid and I couldn't find any slush just under the snow. So I though I would walk down as far as I could along the bank and check it out from there. When I got that far it was time to ether go for it or walk away. I was about a tenth of a mile now from the open water and figured that was a good spot to cross if any.

So I started making my way across the river. My original hope was to cross the river to the north side and follow the bank till I got to the closest point to the island, but about 3/4 of the way across, I found I was in the snowmobile track's. They where fresh as the wind was blowing very hard and would have covered them pretty quickly. So I thought I would walk down those for a while an see if there was any slush on top.

On my way to the island I did come across one spot where there was slush on the top of the ice and I quickly got some distance from it and kept going. As I neared in on the island I started seeing a bunch of bird's. Some Bald Eagle's. A whole group of them. I was thinking oh sure, some vulcher's to eat me if I fell threw. I noticed on the east side of the island a large birdhouse high up in one of the tree's and decided they must have a nest there. I'll be there was at least a dozen of them flying around.

About this time I started hearing some noise's and was wondering every time, is that the ice cracking? It was the snow being packed down under my feet as I walked along. As soon as I was to the closest point I made for the island. Dry land!!! Yes, I made it!!! Then I made my way across the island in this at some time's knee deep snow. This really slowed me down and it took a while to get to the cache spot.

About thirty feet to go and I spotted it in a tree. There is was after all this waiting for the "right time" to get to it. Now I had thought about this cache forever and figured I'd never make it out here. I don't have access to a boat and don't like to take the GPSr for a swim. I had been debating on way's I could swim out to it or even use a tube to float down and have the wife pick me up further down stream. But here it is right in my grasp. I eagerly moved the geo-flauge out of the way and grabbed the can. It barely moved. At first I though no I didn't come all this way to have it froze in place. Then I realized it was rigged up so any flooding wouldn't take it.

As I pulled down the "treasure" I spent some time cleaning it up. As I did I kept hearing this ice cracking sound. Every time I would look up and yes, I'm on land. Then I figured out that with the high wind's a part of the tree was twisting in the wind and the ice that has formed in the crouch of the tree was cracking. Ok, I can breath again.

After spending some time there I headed off with another container to look for an island further downstream that I saw on google earth. Well, all that's another story.

After all was said and done I started making my way back to the car. This was a little harder than the trip out cause now I was head right into the wind. It made for one cold trip back. I was about a 1/4 of the way back from the cache and though I heard some snowmobile engine's running. I didn't pay much attention but all of a sudden they got louder fast. I turned around and saw two of them coming right for me. They passed and I was thinking don't get those heavy thing's near me while we are all on the ice. I keep on going.

I was looking for the bridge off in the distance to judge about where I was at and how far left I had to go. By this time I had been out for about 3 hour's and my leg's where getting tired and I was getting thirsty. Just then I see the snowmobile's had turned around and where headed back my way. This time they passed and waved. I wonder what they where thinking. Is this guy nut's and what is he doing all the way out here?

I still couldn't see the bridge but thought the upcoming bend looked like I was getting close. By this time it was starting to get dark out and I went to grab my flashlight from my caching pack and realized I left it in the car. Great... But then I spotted the bridge and know I was getting close. My track's from the journey out where long gone by now and I spotted a fallen tree when I had come out on the river. I made my way back there and when I hit land I was so relieved. Then I don't know why but it seemed to take for ever to get across the park and back to the car.

All in all this is going to be one memorable trip to this cache and I wouldn't recommend to anyone to take the river like I did. When I reached the car I dumped everything in the passenger seat and went over to start it. That's went I realized my pants where frozen solid from about mid calf all the way down. I was wearing a few layer's of clothes so I never did feel that and my shoe's where almost solid ice as well. But thankfully those waterproof and really warm sock's worked well. As they thawed out on the car drive home I was feeling just how cold and wet my clothes were.

After doing this one, I'm thinking this would be a fun one to visit again and do the "tubing" kind of adventure. With this one now crossed off my "must try to do" list, I'm looking and seeing what's next. This one was truly a great adventure!!!

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