View Larger Map
We find that going on a geocaching hunt lands us in some of the "off the beaten path" areas, so I pored over the geocache map of the area, and plotted a loop course of caches to try and find. It also makes us drive slower so we see more, and we get out of the truck a lot which makes the dogs happy :-)
First stop was Union River Bay boat launch in Surry. Surry is a tiny town, and without knowing there is a cache here, you would never think to turn down this little side street. A very peaceful spot with small waterfalls flowing down from the left hand side.
There are wildflowers everywhere at the moment.
Another cache spot in Surry, with scores of wild lupines along the river shore.
Newbury Neck Beach area looked very popular for swimming. This is the far, rocky end, but there was a sandier area. There were a lot of people there, though, and I knew if it were me, I wouldn't want pictures of myself in a bathing suit on the internet! :-)
Tiny lobster shack just off the beach. Nice place for a quick seafood lunch!
Another cache was found at the Town Park in Blue Hill. Blue Hill is another really cute seaside town with a wonderful waterfront park. Lots of picnic tables set up, a nice playground for the kids, and a set of stairs leading down to the beach area. The tide is down in this pictures, so the islands in Blue Hill harbor are quite prominent. Again, stealth was required for the cache as there were several muggles in the area :-)
Peaceful scene at Blue Hills Falls. There are two caches here, a regular cache and an "earth cache". An earth cache is not a physical cache, but one that has you observe and investigate some sort of natural feature that you answer questions about to claim your cache. This one was Blue Hill Tidal Falls.
The side going out to sea....
the side going to the Salt Pond.
"Tides passing in and out over the shallow bottom ledge under the bridge into Salt Pond in Blue Hill, Maine, create an impressive reversing waterfall effect that is very popular with whitewater boaters.
The tremendous tides cause the periodic rises and falls of the ocean in this area. Tides are caused by the gravitational interaction between the Earth and the Moon. The moon’s gravitational attraction causes the oceans to bulge toward the moon with another bulge occurring on the opposite side. When this bulge is coupled with the shape of the Gulf of Maine the tides become extreme. Since the earth is rotating while this is happening, two large tide events happen each day.The reversing salt-water falls occurs under the bridge on Route 175 near Carter Point in Blue Hill. This 100 meter long set of falls is formed when the water rushes through a 20-meter gap between the ledges on both sides of the bridge. As the salt water passes over jutting rocks under the bridge it causes the "waterfalls" effect. The reversing falls actually are rapids, which are caused by large boulders and ledges in a narrow passage of water. The boulders and ledges, in addition to the narrow passageway between the bridge cement structures form a bottleneck, causing a rise in the depth of water on the neap side of the falls. As the tidal current slows, the roar of the water gradually diminishes until at slack tide, for a short period of time, the water under the bridge is like a mirror. Gradually, the direction of the water changes, the seaweed is swept in the opposite direction, and before you realize it ripples appear with the waves growing in size quickly. Remember that normally that the water flow to the ocean. At low tide, the Salt Pond empty into the sea under the bridge in a waterfall or rapid. As the tide rises above the falls, the seawater forces its way against the waters flow. The rapids slow to a stop for a short period of time giving the appearance that the falls have reversed. This process repeats itself twice a day. Because the water is constantly churning things up at the Reversing Falls it often attracts seals and eagle due to the waters provide abundant food for the animals, that makes visiting this earthcache a special treat." (source: Geocache description CG17X1E).
We determined the best time to see the white water was at low tide, when the water is rushing over the rocks to create the falls. We were there at quite possibly the worst time, exactly in between high and low tide...of course! But you could see the water rushing into the Salt Pond, but no wildlife beyond the gulls were in evidence.
Another lobster boat pulling pots, with the obligatory gathering of gulls behind it.
Our last cache attempt of the day ended in a "no find'...hate those! The spot is beautiful, and the tip of Naskeag Point. There's a small memorial here in honor of a Revolutionary War battle that occurred here in 1778. Unfortunately, the co-ordinates were leading straight into a dense area of very thorny shrubs, and between not wanting to get shredded up by the thorns and the impending thunderstorm about to arrive, we gave up on this find.
These look like brand new lobster pot buoys to me, the paint job is so shiny.
As we could see the storm front moving in quickly, it was time to end our caching for the day. The skies opened up in a wicked downpour shortly after we returned to the truck. We did find six, though, so it was a pretty good day, and we found some pretty little coves and towns along the way. All in all, a successful day off!