Two short trails

18 06 2012

Trails are something that I approach with mixed feelings, especially if they are prefixed with the word “Power”. I enjoy finding caches in new places where there is something of interest to see and I enjoy walking on walking trails. Jumping in and out of a car every 200m just to grab a micro in a ditch for hours on end is not my idea of fun. So, power trails that I can walk along are fine, especially if it is a loop track of between 10 and 20km. The problem with linear trails is that I have to walk the whole way back to my car from wherever I leave the trail, thus doubling the length of my walk.

Until recently the closest loop trail was about 70km away from home but it was overshadowed by several long power trails not that much further away in the Sala/Hedemora area. Last Sunday afternoon a new short circular trail appeared in Sandviken called Slí na Sláinte (Path to health) that contained nine caches and as I had nothing else special to do I thought I would do the walk of 5km. The trail followed the canal into Sandviken from the river Jädraån and is a popular walking track for locals.

To my surprise I was first out and got FTF’s on all nine caches in the series. What I enjoyed most was the walk itself. The sun was shining and all the summer flowers were in full bloom so the walk was pleasant. Even the number of mosquitoes buzzing around was manageable. I used to live less than 1km from the track for nearly 25 years, and walked here often. However, I moved so I haven’t walked here for at least 13 years.

A couple of days later I had a meeting in Sandviken after work so I had a couple of hours to kill and what better way than to find some caches? This gave me the opportunity to do the “The Knuven Challenge Trail” consisting of 6 caches. I decided to do it in reverse order as it was where the closest parking spot was. There had been some showers in the afternoon but the rain had stopped and the temperature was around 15C when I set off. I found the first two caches in the dry but as I started off towards #3 I observed that the path was rather muddy and that the mosquitoes were out in full force.

The muddy track of the Knuven trail

As I arrived at #3 the rain started again and before I had got half way to #4 I was soaked. Retrieval and replacement of #3 was easier that it appeared at first but that was because I had the right tools with me. 🙂 Don’t be fooled by the photo. The door was twice my height!

It’s a long reach

I continued on and spent a good twenty minutes looking for #2 but gave up and reported a DNF. #1.5 was also a cache that took me a further 15minutes or so to find but that wasn’t due to any high degree of difficult but because it was really pouring down and I had been befriended by a huge black dog that had appeared from nowhere and wanted to play. I wasn’t too bothered except that it kept jumping up and putting it’s paws on my shoulders. i.e. a big dog! Once the dog disappeared the cache magically appeared in front of me (which is where it had been all the time of course).

The final cache, #1, was a humdinger! I spent another 20 minutes exploring a huge “glacial erratic” to use the correct term. In layman’s terms, a huge isolated block of stone. It was only when I crawled in under it that my perseverance paid off. Not only was I wet but I was now muddy and green and had to walk back to my car along the same muddy path.

Logging Knuven Challenge Trail #1 surrounded by mosquitoes

Luckily, the rain eased off when I got to the car so I could spend the remaining time before my meeting finding a few drive by caches and drying out. Most of the mud had dried off enough for me to brush it off my trousers. My jacket was left in the car. Only my squelching shoes gave the game away to the others at the meeting. (I hope). 😉 Despite the rain and the tricky hides I had fun.




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