Sunday, September 26, 2010

Eustis Geocaching Event

Geocaching has becoming a regular part of my life when I'm out paddling or hiking. I'm not much into looking for caches when driving around, but I've discovered that geocaches are often hidden in interesting and scenic areas well worth kayaking and hiking into. Flagstaff Lake in western Maine is one such area. I camped there briefly last summer, but only now have found the time to return to explore and look for caches. I found there were some serious challenges! In some cases, the fall draw-down of water has created a shoreline which is both shallow, strewn with snags, with a bottom composed of boot-sucking mud!

Once onshore, the challenge continues! I found it was seldom possible to land directly in line with the geocache's GPS coordinates, so it meant heading along the shore before entering the area of the cache. Some bays, like this one, are packed with wood debris. The gorgeous mountains in the distance, full of their fall glory made it all worthwhile, however!

On the other hand, much of the lake has shores of fine sandy beaches. Easy on the kayak's hull and it sure makes looking for a cache a whole lot easier.

The lake itself being dam controlled varies in depth over the year. Fall is the time when the water level tends to be lowest and many spots were shallow. Happily, the sandy bottom in most places means that a sudden grounding of hull or paddle isn't that damaging. The whole day varied from cloudy, then sunny and just as suddenly windy and rainy. Still, the whole lake has beautiful mountain vistas, covered at this time of the year in glorious fall colours. Highly recommended!

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