Ohio Geocaching- From Creeks to Cliffs

Goin’ on a cache hunt (goin’ on a cache hunt)

Gonna get a big one (gonna get a big one)

We’re not afraid… (not yet afraid…)

Up the creek (up the creek!)

I think after this weekend my friend Alison and I can safely say that we have seen a lot of the most extreme terrain North East Ohio has to offer.  See I found a list on the geocaching website on the best caches in the area and two fairly close to each other just southeast of Cleveland caught my attention, so we spent Sunday searching for them.  The first one took us to the inspirationaly named West Creek in Brooklyn Heights Village Park-

Hey, it’s a nice creek.  The thing about this creek is that you need to wade along in it to get to the caches, which considering the humid weather lately was much appreciated!

Showing my strength on top of a granite boulder dubbed “the Canadian” as such boulders in this part of the world were deposited in the past few million years by retreating glaciers from the north.  One of the thoughts that never ceases to amaze me while looking at the Great Lakes is how very fleeting the terrain in this part of the world is because in a blink of an eye on a geologic timescale Lake Erie was mercilessly crushing the terrain under several miles of ice.  Of course such hot days make you wonder when this might happen again, but that’s another story.

We posed at this rock by the way because it turns out the Canadian is a geocache in itself– a special kind known as an earthcache where instead of finding a container you find an interesting geological feature and answer a few simple questions about the science.  They can be pretty fun (and hey, if you ever find yourself at Mosi-oa-Tunya you should do that earthcache as I set it up!), but we ran into an issue here when we read the description and realized the criteria required us to measure the height and circumference of the rock with a tape measure we didn’t have.  Units weren’t specified however, so we ended up doing the old physicist trick of units that suited the problem at hand and thus our answers were “1.5 arms” and “2*pi*arm” respectively, where 1 arm is the length of Alison’s arm from shoulder to fingertips.

Continuing along, we turn into a smaller, narrower creek that was in a rather impressive steep valley for this part of the world.  Alison here is demonstrating that we probably should’ve done the water caches last, as we inevitably got rather wet and soggy for the rest of the day (problem was there was a lot of sediment in the creek and visibility in the water was nil after more than a few inches, so we stepped into the deeper water more than once).  Or at least, you know, considered the possibility that wading up a creek was a good reason to bring an extra pair of shorts.

At the end of the creek in front of (another earthcache) waterfall- the physical cache we came up here to find is nearby, but telling you where it is defeats the purpose of the game right? *wink*

This picture, by the way, resulted from one of the questions for the waterfall earthcache telling us to estimate the depth of the pool and when you’re totally soaked the logical way to find the answer is go wade in and find the deepest spot, right?

Goin’ on a cache hunt (goin’ on a cache hunt)

Gonna get a big one (gonna get a big one)

We’re not afraid (though maybe a little tired…)

Up the cliff (up the… wait, WHAT?!)

I don’t know what’s more strange, the fact that there’s a decent-sized cliff in Parma, Ohio or that if someone posts on a website that I should scale it to find a tupperware container I actually end up doing so.  Hard to get a good picture though of the whole thing through the trees!

Anyway, it turns out to get this cache you have to work your way down the hill, ford the slippery creek, and climb the cliff on the other side up a little.  Most of our energies were devoted just to finding any way up whatsoever, being a cliff and all, until finally finding a mad scramble that one could only get down later by sliding down whilst sitting.  Then you had to search along a ledge area amongst all the rocks for the one with a cache behind it…

Huzzah!  Found it in about the third place I checked while Alison was still scrambling up to the ledge area, which was a nice feeling because it would’ve been depressing to go through all that and not find it I reckon!  Then, of course, it was time to go home and indulge in those showers we’d spent an increasing amount of time fantasizing about (cleanliness is like food- when your lack becomes obvious it begins to dominate the conversation). All in all a successful cache hunt!

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