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Friday, July 10, 2009

Passing Wind

It's been a busy week of job hunting and testing Windows 7. A new weekend is coming so I thought you might want to hear about last weekends hike and Earth Cache. It was an excellent hike on the Conestoga Trail which parallels the Susquehanna River here in Lancaster County. The section I was on took you to the peak of a steep slope and to a cave which few people even know is there. I found it thanks to This was what they call an Earth Cache. With an earth cache there is no hidden box or anything, the real prize or treasure is the place itself. They called this Earth Cache "Passing Wind" probably because it is called Wind Cave and it is so easy to pass right by it when you are on the trail. It is also called Cold Cave and Pequea Cave. It turns out that when I was hiking in Reed Run and then House Rock Run nature preserves back in the Spring, I had ventured to within 1020 feet of this cave and I had no idea until last weekend.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Spoiler Alert! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Images below show the cache and may reveal the location.

I loved the hike and ventured a short distance into the cave, but I soon realized that I was extremely ill-prepared. I had told people where I was going, but I was hiking alone as usual. I decided that exploring a cave alone with such basic flashlights was not such a great idea. I left the cave, but I have every intention of returning with someone to share the experience with, oh and to cover my back in case something happens.

After I left the cave I wandered along the trail for awhile and saw either a young female Eagle or a large pale Hawk. They tend to stay above the canopy, so you only get a second or two view them. I also saw what I think was a Pileated Woodpecker. It was very large with a red head, black body, and white or pale gray underwing, but that may have been poor lighting. It was so graceful and fast even in the dense woods. It was definitely a large wood pecker because it landed on a dead tree and the pecking commenced. If it wasn't a wood pecker then this big bird must have locked his keys in the tree and he kept knocking hopeing for someone to open the trunk for him.

You may see in one of the pictures that locals had left trash on the trail. I usually try to keep a shopping bag with me to pick up a little bit of trash I find on the trails so I can dispose it. I have never filled a bag so quickly and I barely made a dent in the litter. Geocachers do something called CITO or Cache In Trash Out. It's a way to take care of the trails and repay nature and the trail blazers. This is a great place for a CITO event where many people get together to gather trash and clean the trail in a certain area. See the link to the right if you want to know more about CITO or geocaching.

Well I better get some rest, who knows where the trail will take me this weekend.