The next cache was just off the Duck Pond Trail. The Duck Pond Trail. Doesn’t that have a nice, safe, dull ring to it? Doesn’t that sound like it would be safe for your toddlers? Doesn’t that sound like it would be poison ivy- and snake- free? I liked the sound of this cache already.
We took the trail, following the directions provided by our GPS units and the hints provided by the logs online. A young family with a 3-year old in tow passed us as we watched the flickering arrows and ever-changing numbers on the screens.
The unit pointed toward a gully. A bird’s shriek startled us. We consulted. The majority of us, all women, thought Randy ought to head down first.
Randy started down the gully. Another shriek. A red-tailed hawk flew by. He continued down, watching his unit. The hawk shrieked and fluttered past again. Randy stopped. At his feet was a nestling. The hawk was guarding her nest.
He tried to reach the cache from a different angle. The hawk tried to lure him off with a hurt wing routine. To get to the cache, we’d have to pass the nest.
We weren’t going to disturb the mama hawk again. We would alert the park rangers and record the need to leave that cache alone for at least six weeks so the nestling could grow up.
It was time to take me back to my car and to get lunch.