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Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blue Hill Caching

Our day off yesterday had a few hours of radiant sunshine, and we decided to take advantage of this by exploring the coastline just west of us in the area of Blue Hill. The Maine coastline has innumerable rocky coves, and the bumpy roads to traverse them :-). This excursion took us off Mount Desert Island north to Ellsworth, then south again along the coastline opposite from the west coast of Acadia.

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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!


  1. Beautiful! We are getting closer :)

  2. I love plotting geocache loops -- they do take you to some very interesting spots! Great pictures today -- love the one of the storm moving in!

  3. Dick and I really need to get into geocaching. We tried to go to "Geocashing 101" to get a quick course when we arrived at Brazos Bend State Park, but the "class" was full due to scouts. We have witnessed people searching and, as you say, it is a way to see areas you would not normally see. Hope to catch up with y'all again one day.

  4. Dick and I really need to get into geocaching. We tried to go to "Geocashing 101" to get a quick course when we arrived at Brazos Bend State Park, but the "class" was full due to scouts. We have witnessed people searching and, as you say, it is a way to see areas you would not normally see. Hope to catch up with y'all again one day.

  5. What a great post. You may actually be the person who has talked me into geocacheing. Lots of others have tried but the idea that it would lead me to off the map places I might not otherwise go is very persuasive. These are great pictures. Love that last one.

  6. Great Day of geocaching!! Getting to see places I would have missed otherwise is the only reason I geocache. Bill on the otherhand is all about the find;o)) Regardless of ones motivation, the results are all good:o))

    Headed north should hit southern Maine tomorrow!!

  7. Very familiar area for me! My folks-gone now-retired for many years to Sedgwick and a home on Eggemoggin Reach behind Deer Isle. You must get to Stonington, and Castine, and.....there are so many villages to explore.

  8. We're on the move again next week! You will soon have a couple of geocaching fanatics in your area!