CrackinUp Cache

Volume 7, Issue 115; 06 Jul 2004; last modified 08 Oct 2010

Hiking in the Holyoke Range.

The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world are not reserved for scientists but are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of the earth, sea and sky and their amazing life.

Rachel Carson

Having not studied my topographic maps with any care before heading out, I imagined that “Top of the Notch” was going to be a hard climb and “CrackinUp” was going to be a pleasant walk in the woods. It was, but it was also a bit of a leg burner up to the “Horse Caves” area of Holyoke Range State Park.

Horse Caves
Horse Caves

Along the way, I stopped to check out the local pond and wood life.

Green Frog
Green Frog
Woodland Fungi
Woodland Fungi

The coordinates of the cache placed it on an overgrown, talus slope among the sliding rocks and poison ivy. Despite scrambling over the area several times, I wasn’t able to locate the cache.

I think I found the white birch alluded to in the cache description, but nothing that resembled a crack, or a wall, or 1959. Tired and hungry, I gave up.

On the way back, two things occurred to me. One is that I’d have been pretty completely lost once or twice without the GPS. Granted, I wouldn’t go hiking around off of the trails if I didn’t have one, but still, I’ve slipped a set of backup batteries in my bag. The other is that the “track” feature of the GPS, the little dotted line that it draws, showing where you’ve been, is very handy indeed. Instead of retracing my steps down a big loop of trail, I could see that a “left turn” through the woods would be quicker.