Sandy Springs Road, CR 2/3, Cooper Rock Travel Bug Drop-off and Chestnut Ridge Lake Caches

Bestop Strapless Bikini installed - side view - Click to Enlarge


4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD! - Click here for details!

4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!



So finally, after a very long winter and spring, I finally got some time to hit the trail.  With the incentive of the top variation that I installed the day before, and all the cosmetic touch-ups done, I wanted to hit the trail.  The night before Ted and I took a reconnaissance trip to check the progress on the construction of the Mon-Fayette Expressway.  The hill near our house is destined to become a large highway exchange between the new expressway and the existing I-68.  Not to mention the local roads in the area.  Big change in the works.  We drove all over the hill and got some mild wheeling in.  That got me in the mood for more.

The next morning Maria and the kids went to the winery for a tour with Maria's sisters, cousin and her cousin's kids.  I took my time packing lunch, getting the camera and GPS ready.  I loaded some Geocaches to add another layer to the trip.  I aired down and disconnected in the driveway.  The trail I planned to run is so close it made no sense to do the dirty work on the side of the trail when I could do it in the relative comfort of my home!

A couple tires went down a little too far so I decided to stop at the gas station to top them up.  What a mistake that was.  The new BP station had been taken siege by all the travelers from I-68 and all the people headed for the lake for a day of boating.  But eventually I got some change and put some air in the tires.

Up the road a little way I turned onto Sandy Spring Road.  This road isn't anything too crazy though I imagine people in cars avoid it.  A good driver (or one who doesn't care) could get a car most of the way through, with a few spots where care is required.  I just like it because it's a nice drive in the woods with a few little teasers along the way.

I put in Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's "No Quarter" album - a live collection of some good tunes from their Led Zeppelin days.

Sandy Springs Road

I stopped for a break and decided I needed a picture of the Jeep before it got dirty or broken...

Quick Bio-Break

I reached the end of Sandy Spring Road without event.  Turning left, I got on County Road 2/3 and headed down into the woods again.  Pretty soon a stripped area appeared ahead.  I found it ironic that the WVU Research Forest was directly across the road!

WVU Forest

Stripped area across from WVU forest
Detail of stripped area

I want to think the best but it always concerns me to see woodlands treated so badly.  I continued on down the road and soon came to the mud bog that had slowed me down the winter we took this road to get our Christmas Tree.  I stopped to get out and take a picture, thinking I must have been crazy to drive through here in the dead of winter.

Muddy Area

Lost in my reverie I almost didn't notice the huge snake coiled in my path...

Hello there...

I was still far enough away that I didn't have to really do anything except stop walking and pay attention.  The snake didn't move so I backed up a step or two.  I continued to watch it for a minute and it didn't move, so I made a photograph and went back to the Jeep.

I took the bypass around the mud bog.  I am not a fan of mud, have paid my dues, and besides, didn't have anyone along to get me out of trouble if things got ugly.  Soon enough there was more mud and another bypass.

Another Muddy Area

The smell in the air changed giving way to the unmistakable fragrance of pine trees.  Sure enough there was a decent stand of pine on both sides of the road.  It made me think of the forests back home in Central Massachusetts where the pine is far more common than here.

Nice stand of Pines

Small Pines

I should plant some pines on my land and get some of that smell and some of those memories growing again.  Further down the road houses started to dot the road here and there.  A farmer was burning cut brush and leaves on stream banks.  Another smell from childhood.  On the side of the road, some pretty flowers.

Pretty Flowers

Pretty soon I reached pavement and set the course for a couple caches.  First was the Cooper Rock Travel Bug Drop-off Cache.

Cooper Ridge TB Drop-off

I parked the Jeep and walked the few yards to the cache.  Pretty soon I had found it.

Log Entry for Cooper Rock TB Dropoffppro Jeep TB Club at Cooper Rock TB Dropoff - Click to Enlarge
Cooper Rock TB Dropoff Contents

Back to the Jeep and onward to the Chestnut Ridge Lake Cache...

4x4 Icon at Cooper Rock TB Dropoff

I noticed this sign and thought it appropriate to photograph.

Monongalia County History Minute

I reached the lake and had this intuition that I should see Spotty Spotty Pony Girl but didn't see her.  Strange I would think of her but I dismissed it and got myself packed to go for a walk up the side of the pond to the cache.

Trout Pond

The walk on the west side of the lake was fairly easy with a trail most of the way to the cache.  There were some spots where the trail dropped off and one had to scale the hillside around fallen trees.  Finally I reached the designated coordinates.  And then I bounced around with the bounce of my GPSr signal for quite a while.  I should have listened to my intuition again - the cache location was stone-cold obvious but I resisted the obvious...

Finally I gave up on subtlety and sure enough, the obvious was the answer.  And when I opened the cache, there it was - Spotty Spotty Pony Girl had been there - First to Find!  Not less than an hour earlier!  How curious!  Aquacache had also made a visit.  Had I seen them on their exit driving down the road and subconsciously noted it but not caught it at the time?

Anyway, I cracked into the contents, signed the log, and immersed myself in photographing the items and then my own travel bugs. 

Dog Man's Sydney GeoCoinDog Man's Sydney GeoCoin
Dog Man's Sydney GeoCoin - Click to EnlargeDog Man's Sydney GeoCoin - Click to Enlarge

Chestnut Ridge Lake Cache Log Entry

Katrina the California Girl Travel Bug

Chestnut Ridge Lake Cache contents - Click to EnlargeChestnut Ridge Lake Cache contents - Click to EnlargeChestnut Ridge Lake Cache contents - Click to EnlargeOld Yeller Story Bug - Click to Enlarge

ppro Jeep Travel Bug Club
ppro Jeep Travel Bug Club

Chestnut Ridge Lake Cache

As I was doing this I heard the unmistakable sound of someone walking in the woods...  Not too heavy footed but certainly someone was about.  I looked around and saw no one so set about packing up the cache and my stuff.  Then I heard the footsteps again...

This time I saw somebody and surprise-surprise, it was "Mr. P.".  Now Mr. P. doesn't know me but I have seen his picture on one geocache log or another so I greeted him by his moniker - to his mild surprise.

Mr. P.

I introduced myself and we passed the time of day, talked about Geocaching, some of the other players, and he related his visit to Ted, Tom and  my caches near the house.  We had a few laughs and walked back to the parking area - this time going back on the east side of the lake. 

Track Legend

I got a picture of Mr. P.'s bike, and we parted company.

The Ride of Mr. P.

I finished walking over to the Jeep and then headed further down the road seeking the "Dead End" promised at the intersection back at the highway exit.  Soon enough I found the end of pavement where the road had been absorbed into the new path of I-68.  But the road continued to the north up into the woods.  How could I resist?

The road wound up the hill and soon came to another boundary of the WVU Research Forest.  As the time was getting late and I needed to get home I decided against going deeper into the woods.  Instead I followed the road back out to Route 857 and after discovering that my local car wash was closed (probably killed by the new automated BP Car Wash) I turned tail and headed home.

It had been a great day with weather to die for.  The four-wheeling was uncomplicated but satisfying.  And the chance meeting of Mr. P. at a cache was a nice way to finish the day.  I scrubbed the Jeep and called it a day!

Track Legend


Return to Off-Road Index 

Shop for Jeep Toys and Books | See the Toy Jeeps |  Jeep Specs

Darnell Hollow GPS Data

Update 1/5/2008:  GPS Data now provided in GPX format for easy transfer to your GPS!

Purchase GPS Waypoint data and access to topographic maps of this trail using Pay Pal!

Pay me securely with any major credit card through PayPal!

GPS Waypoint data is now available for a moderate fee ($10.00 U.S.).

This contribution allows us to maintain this web site, collect and maintain GPS waypoint data, and periodically verify its accuracy.  All GPS Waypoints have been verified in the field.

If you would like to purchase the coordinates for this trail, simply complete the two questions below and click "Buy Now" to pay for your purchase using Pay Pal.

For a free sample of how our GPS data is presented to our customers, click here.

How did you hear about us?
Are you planning a trip on this trail?

IMPORTANT - After you pay with PayPal be sure to click the orange button shown circled below from the PayPal Payment confirmation Screen to go to the GPS Data you purchased!



Click or the [ BACK ] button on your browser to return to the previous page.

Photos, Layout and Design 2006-2008 Paul M. Provencher All Rights Reserved.
Contents of this Web Site may not be used without written permission

Hit Counter Visitors since 5/26/07

Last Updated 02/08/2008 11:19:02 PM -0500