We had quite the adventure today! We had big plans and we weren’t about to let the weather get in the way. Before the day was out, we had hoped to complete a kayak run 6 miles or so down the Great Miami River and capture several geocaches on the way. Then, in addition, we planned to deploy a new geocache of our own. As it turned out, we didn’t get quite everything done, but we had some fun, got soaked and at least got the geocache deployed.
We started out by meeting at Combs Park, just north of Hamilton. There, we planned to leave one vehicle, and use the other to shuttle the kayaks to Rentschler Forest for our launch. While I was waiting for Dennis to arrive, I busied myself with finding a geocache: GC1000D – Hamilton – The Wild Road’s 1k+1. It was a beautiful walk to that geocache, despite the rain! You can check out some of the pictures in the gallery below.
Once Dennis arrived, we loaded my boat in the truck and headed off to Rentschler. Fortunately the rain was light and we were optimistic that it would slack off and give us a nice day. As it turned out, it didn’t, but we were hopeful.
Once at Rentschler, we launched at what passes for a canoe and kayak launch and headed downstream, giving the massive dam a wide berth as we headed for the hydraulic canal. The original plan was we paddle into the canal, land on the island and portage our boats across to put them back in the Great Miami below the dam.
We discovered though, that there aren’t many great landing areas on the canal side of the island, and we had made it almost to the hydraulic canal dam before we found a suitable one. I was a bit concerned that we were going to have to portage across the wide part of the island, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that the canal dam spill below the dam was quite sufficient for paddling, so we decided to just follow that downstream and rejoin with the Great Miami further down river.
This made for a much shorter portage and is definitely the way we’d do it again. Anyway, once landed, we set off to find a couple of geocaches. We made our way up an access road and tried to find the first of the caches. Lets just say that despite our planning, the location turned out to be a bit more than even we anticipated. GPS accuracy was poor due to the tree cover and likely also the clouds and precipitation so that didn’t help. Worse, we were both in shorts. Have you ever heard of stinging nettle? Yeah. Ouch.
After an hour or so of hunting the first cache, Jack Sparrow walks the plank (GC3GCN2) we decided to save that and the other caches on the for a nicer day and more importantly, long pants. We were on at least a bit of a schedule, and if nothing else, I wanted to get Doc’s Adventures #1 (GC4FC6Z) deployed today. We did scope out some alternate landing areas to try to get Davey Jones Locker (GC14P4T) though. That was the cache we were really on the island for.
So, bruised, bleeding and burning from the stinging nettle, we tucked tails and headed for the boats. Portage turned out to be easy thanks to the access road and in short order we were headed downstream again toward the confluence with the Great Miami River.
Before long, we landed at the intended location for Doc’s Adventures #1 and without much trouble we placed it and were back on our way. That’s not before checking out a boxcar door which appears to have actually fallen off in transit and was laying on the incline up to the CSX tracks!
As the rain picked up, we finally made landing at Combs Park, about four hours after we started. We were soaked to the bone, but it was an awesome adventure! Quite fitting for the deployment of Doc’s Adventures #1!
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