Caches Along Skyline Parkway

I headed out last night and found two caches along Skyline Parkway near Maxwell Road:

Green Tea and Eddie's Hideout.

I knew that Green Tea was winter friendly, or relatively so, based on the logs and the hint. I wasn't really sure about Eddie's Hideout though.. I parked the truck where Maxwell Road is gated off during the winter and hiked into the area. I knew from dmnrec's log that Eddie's Hideout had a trail that went close to it, but was a ways from the parking, so I decided to do Green Tea first (which was the farther of the two caches). The thing about Green Tea is this: it's about a 6/10ths of a mile hike (no problem), but the last 250' is the killer. It's about 250' from Skyline Parkway and in that 250' you drop down the hillside about...well...250'. Previous logs talk about sliding down the hillside. I figured with some snow on the ground still that I may have a little bit of an advantage as the snow would provide additional traction to keep me from sliding down the hill. I think this proved to be true.. I skirted the side of the hill with some success, only feeling a little uneasy a couple of times, but got my feet full of snow by the time I got to the bottom. I ended up stopping and dumping all of the crystallized snow out of one boot when I got to the bottom (that foot was starting to feel awfully wet and cold), and then I wasn't doing too bad, although had by that point already told myself that I wasn't going to be going after Eddie's Hideout but was instead going to be high-tailing it back to the truck.

I found the cache after a short search, logged it (my hands were getting pretty cold by this point - did I mention that I didn't have any gloves on either?), and headed up the hill. Going up the hill was much easier than going down - I was able to hike straight up the hill and only had to worry about the steepness of the hill in one spot where I wasn't able to easily make the next step.

By the time I got to the top my feet felt nice and warm, hands were doing better, and I felt like finishing off the only other cache in the area (which is the only one in about a 5 mile radius from that location that I needed to do). To get to Eddie's Hideout I hiked down the snowmobile trail a ways until I came to a hiking trail that was used once much earlier in the winter. From the snowmobile trail to the cache was about 350'. I wasn't really looking forward to crashing through the snow and filling up my boots once again, and luckily it didn't turn out that way. The snow in this area supported my weight for 95% of the steps I took so I didn't break through hardly at all. I was able to find the cache by luck I think - it was below the snow level but an area had melted near the top of it so that I was able to spot it and get it out.

The moonlight for the night was what made it enjoyable. I didn't need a flashlight for most of the hike as the moonlight lit the area up quite well, even though it was hidden behind the clouds.

I'm planning on hitting some of the caches in the Cloquet area tonight after work, so we'll see how that goes..

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