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Stream Crossings

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We have been caching for almost a year and really enjoy the family outdoor fun. One of the reoccurring adventures is the inevitably desire to be on the other side of a free flowing stream. We search for a suitable place to jump, a brush jamb to scramble, some hopscotching rocks, a bridge or even the graceful log crawl . We haven't resorted to wading yet, but it's been pretty cold here lately in the northeast.


No epic stories so far, just wet shoes, some laughs and high fives....but I'm sure they're out there.....

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well lets see, i crossed a creak today that was about 6 inches wide........ so i guess you can draw your own conclusion. on the other hand, there was a cache that i got a week ago today where soposedly you can make it long/easy or short/hard. well, we had a storm awhile ago and a tree fell across the creak making it short easy. it was uneventful, but i did almost the excact same thing as in the pic.

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I have a story completely unrelated to geocaching but to this day it is still one of the scariest days of my life. My brother and I went with a buddy to go hunting in an area called Frog Arkansas (no I'm not kidding) We had our friends International truck similar to a Ford Bronco and went to this very remote area as the rain was coming down. On the way in you have to drive through a creek several times to get to the hunting spot, as we continued in and the rain kept falling the river got higher and higher. No one ever believes this but at one of the worst spots we actually had water rushing over the hood of the truck and the truck started being swept down the creek that had by now turned in to a full fledged river. I still have no idea how the truck stayed running or how we were able to get the truck to gain traction and get back out of the river. I'm sure that we should have ended up on the front page of a newspaper the headline should have read THREE LOCAL TEENS KILLED IN STRANGE HUNTING MISHAP. We never went hunting that day and I've never been back to Frog since that day.

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Um, yeah. Ironically, my longest log I've written was about a stream crossing gone bad.



(Thanks to www.itsnotaboutthenumbers.com for reminding me about that one.)


In short, I tried to jump a small creek. I saw nice sand on the other side of a little jump. It was quicksand basically. I was lucky my GPS was attached to the top of my pack shoulder strap and that my PDA was inside a zipped leather case (in my front pants pocket). Somehow, I did lose my money clip though, but there was not that much cash in it. The problematic crossing ended my caching day though, since I was pretty much soaked.

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Wasn't Geocaching since this was about thirty years ago, but I came up to a creek on an outside bend, my side the bank was a sheer drop about four feet to the water, the other side a nice gentle slope with sandbar along the water. It was a small stream and I figured if I jumped as hard as I could I would make it to the sandbar, so I jumped, face first into the broken end of a log. Aside from crashing into the creek I also had a piece of wood about a quarter inch in diameter and 2 inches long piercing my cheek, not into my mouth but between the skin and the inside lining. Fortunately it healed without scarring, but it proved, rather painfully, the advice "look before you leap" should be heeded.

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I was placing a cache last weekend and there is a beaver pond on the route (

) with a small outlet stream that crossed the trail.


The stream was covered with a crust of ice and was only about 6 feet wide and I guessed not very deep, so my wife and I decided to cross the ice. I outweigh her by 100 lbs, so she crossed easily and I broke through and wound up hip deep in very cold water and mud. The stream was only about a foot deep, but there were nearly another two feet of muck at the bottom. I had the video camera on when it happened, but when I played it back it only showed the water, ice and ground and the sound of me cursing loudly. Too bad my wife wasn't filming me when the mishap occurred. It would have been pretty funny I'm sure.

Edited by briansnat
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My son and I geocached in the great county park last March where one of the caches had the container strung up in a tree on one side of a creek but the rope went over the creek to a tree on the other side. We had just crossed the creek about a half mile earlier by walking a large fallen tree. I didn’t want to hike all the way back to that tree, so I went a bit further down stream and found a small tree about half under water and tried to cross there. The key word there was “tried”! Yep, I slipped in and ended up knee deep with soaked pants, wet socks and boots. Not a happy camper! I went on across and back tracked up the other side of the creek to the tree where the rope was tied off. Just to find the rope un-tied and my son holding the cache and laughing on the far side of the creek. He had done the logical, boy scout thinking way of solving the creek crossing. He took off his boots and socks, rolled up his pants and walked across the shallow creek. What’s ya going to do, out done by my own 13 year old….. again! 2f433557-46bc-4823-b5c2-96460418b59b.jpg

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There was this cache. Its on a small island surrounded by more of a swamp than a stream. Most of the water is chest deep or deeper but I managed to find someplace where it wasn't too deep and crossed there. The water was kind of nasty as you can see in the pic. My wife, who is usually game for anything refused to follow.



Edited by briansnat
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I was trying to finish off a series of caches that were located in a usually dry river bottom. The few caches left were on the other side of a narrow stream--but not narrow enough to easily jump. I finally found a place that I could jump---a log was the landing spot on the other side. The jump went fine. However, the landing was a bit of a problem. The log was rotten, so as soon as my foot touched it, it collapsed and I was out of balance. No problem, I thought. I'll just take a step or two back into the creek. I figured it was about a foot or two deep. First step, OK. Second step, I was in water up to my armpits. There was a narrow channel in the middle of the creek that was very deep. Quite a surprise.

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Not to be a buzz-kill but we just had two local hikers killed while trying to cross a creek on a log in Mt. Rainier National Park. The story serves as a good reminder of how dangerous a simple crossing can be especially this time of year. Apparently the creek was only 4 ft. deep where the first hiker went in.


Seattle Times Article

Edited by Blue Power Ranger
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We have a cache here in western PA that can only be done by walking up the stream. There is no path, although certain spots of the hike in have paths next to the creek. Several spots, though, have rockfaces on both sides of the stream and a few spots require a climb up a waterfall.



One of my favorite caches to date. It seems like were trained from childhood to not walk in the water...this one required a long walk in the water, which really made my cache partner of the day and I feel like kids again.



The Waterfall Cache

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First step, OK. Second step, I was in water up to my armpits. There was a narrow channel in the middle of the creek that was very deep. Quite a surprise.


My Dad found a stream like that once. He said it was only about three feet wide but when he stepped off into it he went in over his head and never did touch bottom, and he was 6'3".

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Went after one that was across a 3 1/2 foot wide fast flowing (warm) spring fed creek about 2 foot deep. I had my 4 year old with me and some deep basic "daddy" instinct kicked in and I didn't try to jump it with him tagging along. I nearly threw him across but then had visions of falling in myself with him on the other side. Sigh - another day.


Been across numerous other creek crossings with not much to tell. Wet feet here and there, One muddy slip and fall.

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Nothing too terribly exciting for me. Lots of mud and slime, but no 'tragedies.' Usually, it's find the stream, head along the stream until you find a narrow spot, a downed tree, or somewhere I can get a running start. Then, on the way back from the cache, "what's that? Hmm... looks like a bridge." :D My dumb luck.

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My worst stream crossing that I remember involved the Soldiers Decon cache. Night was rapidly approaching, so I decided to find a non typical parking spot closer to ground zero. The cache is along a mountain bike trail which parallels a stream. The stream is in a deep ravine. When the water is low, the ravine is 10 to 15' deep. As luck would have it, I picked the wrong side of the stream, and had to make a crossing. I found where three trees had blown over forming a natural bridge, and decided it would hold me. After a few steps above the gorge, the tree I was actually on split, dropping just a hair onto the two trees below it. This was enough to make my feet slip, and I found myself straddling the tree in a most rapid manner. "OOF!" My ....uh... lower body..., striking the cracked tree, was enough to snap the other two trees. We all plummeted to the bottom. First the lower two trees hit, then I, with my legs wrapped around the upper tree, landed on top of the lower trees. I heard lots of snapping along with the general smashing noises, (and someone screaming like a little girl), and combined with the pain of having both legs pinned amongst the rubble, I thought I must've broke something. Apparently the geo deities weren't done with me yet, cuz as night fell, I was able to extract myself from all the fallen timber. I crawled/climbed up the other side, located the cache, then limped out of there using the backlight of my GPSr to guide my way.

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Let's try this again. I typed up a reply yesterday, but by the time I finished and tried to post it, we'd lost internet connectivity. Aaaagh!


It was funny to see this newly posted, as I'd just had my first worthy stream crossing incident the day before yesterday. Nothing major and no injuries, but a story, none the less.


I'd gone out to get two between work and a certification class. It started off bad when I got to the park and found I'd left my boots at home and was stuck with my work shoes.


Fisrt one, "Cashews", was no biggie since it was only about 20-30 feet into the woods. Then I headed off to get "Peanuts" in the same park. The description had said that you could stick to the trails, but I was impatient and thought I'd make a clear shot since spring really hadn't arrived and there wasn't much greenery in the way.


Then I came across the creek that ran along the bottom of a small ravine. I searched for a good spot to cross and finally came up with one that wasn't too bad. I could stretch enough to straddle the ravine in a spot that it was about the same height on either side, but still sloped down toward the water. Since I didn't have my boots, I didn't have much traction, but was able to use a fallen tree to balance myself and not fall in.


Luckily, it was worth it and I stumbled upon the cache eventhough the GPSr was showing I had another 100 feet to go.


Of course, on the way back I found the bridge I was supposed have used in the first place.

Edited by DudleyGrunt
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Here's a log from my very first find.



February 17, 2001 by vagabond (2846 found)

Started out from black mtn parking lot, hoped the cache was still there after all the rain, crossed the creek at a real nice and slippery spot and found out the creek was about knee deep in that spot, luckly it wasn't very wide just 1 leg in.

Found the site fairly easy it was right where my gps said it was( beginners luck )

while I was going through the cache I heard a commotion accross the creek and saw 5 people coming accross, I just sat back and watched fo awhile as they tramped all around the cache site, I hollered to them that if they were looking for the cache I had it I went over to them and showed them where it was and they said they would put it back, so I headed out for the toy box confident I would find it with no problem


I crossed that darn stream about 4 or 5 times and ended up wet to both knees, little did I know that if I had just stayed on the main trail instead of following the arrow I would have arrived at a little bridge close to the cache but it was a fun 4 1/2 mile round trip, also if I had known what I was doing I could have made the trip into about a 1 mile round trip. :D:o

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Not to be a buzz-kill but we just had two local hikers killed while trying to cross a creek on a log in Mt. Rainier National Park. The story serves as a good reminder of how dangerous a simple crossing can be especially this time of year. Apparently the creek was only 4 ft. deep where the first hiker went in.


This was my nephew and his wife. Both were very experienced hikers, they would go backwoods camping at least 20 weekends a year. The wife slipped and fell in, my nephew threw off his backpack and jumped in to try to save her.


I have a few funny stories of myself and others slipping and falling into creeks, ponds and lakes. However, this does bring up the dark side. It should stand as a reminder we need to be careful, and be aware of what is potentially funny and when it could be fatal.

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