Geocaching in winter has some advantages: no ticks,mosquitoes or poison ivy, and being bundled up in a parka and heavy long pantsmakes a pretty good briar barrier. On the other hand, there can be several feet of snow.
Winter cachers in Central Massachusetts have been especiallychallenged this season with the 72” of snow that fell between Christmas andearly February. Even caches ratedas “accessible in winter” proved inaccessible, except perhaps to those with snowshoes,good-size shovels and ice picks.
The “Mohegan Council Cache to Eagle #10,” in the BrighamHill Wildlife Area in Grafton, would have been an easy walk in the woods almostany other time; but in my recent attempt to get it, I stepped off mycross-country skis and a packed trail only to find myself hip-deep in snow,just 20 feet or so away from ground zero. I’ll come back in spring.
The Cape is almost tropical by comparison. No shovels were needed, nor did I riskbeing engulfed in a snow bank on an outing in Brewster. Parking’s a snap and there are fewnon-geocaching “muggles” around to interfere. The wind off the bay was finger-numbingcold, though, and after quickly finding “Picnic by the Sea,” in an easilyoverlooked pocket park by Breakwater Beach, I struggled with re-rolling andreplacing the tiny little spool of paper that was the cache’s logbook.
Heading inland for another one of the multitudinous Cape CodRail Trail series of caches, I warmed up in the hollow of a totally empty trailsegment near Nickerson Park, where I found “CCRT: Along the Way.” Sure, it would be nice to get the bike outand pick up a cache every .10 mile or so between Dennis and Wellfleet. Yet thesolitude was enjoyable too. And I didn’t come home with any bites or scratches.
Images, from top:
Brigham Hill WildlifeArea, Grafton
Cape Cod Rail Trail,Brewster