Our intrepid explorers, ready to set out on their great adventure. It was great to have both of my girls outdoors with me on a beautiful spring day, anxious to find some treasure. So, at about 10:30am, we are in the lot at Darlington Park, off Darlington Road just north of route 1.
Almost immediately after leaving the lot, where there were a few fishermen getting back into their cars, the trail comes upon the Chester Creek, which it will follow for almost all of our short day. Grace was overjoyed to see a few fish in the shallows, and this mother duck and her ducklings enjoying the sun.
After maybe 20 minutes of leisurely walking, we got to the area of the first cache (Middletown Trail: Darlington Daze), and had to go cross country for a couple hundred feet. Both girls thought it was great that we were off the trail and I was telling them it was ok to get a little muddy. Getting to the area where I knew the cache had to be, I checked the rock pile thoroughly for snakes, spotted the box, and then allowed Julia and Grace to search for it. Grace found it; her very first cache! In the picture, you can see the corner of the box nestled down in the rocks to her left. We signed the logbook, exchanged a couple of pokemon roller toys for a couple of dog toys, and took a commemorative picture.
During the course of our walk, the gurgling sound of Chester Creek was our constant companion. Birds were out in force, squirrels and chipmunks were all around, and the girls were thrilled to see hundreds and hundreds of tiny tadpoles in some of the stagnant water areas. The temperature was perfect (maybe 70), with a bit of a breeze, and bright sun. From time to time we saw small fish in the shallows, and minnows in some of the little feeder streams.
Perhaps 20 minutes after our first cache, we found another one. Julia and Grace stayed below, in sight of me, while I climbed a steep hill and poked around in the rocks until I found it. After getting our two, we wandered around for a bit, exploring somewhat aimlessly, and just enjoying the day. I knew there was a third cache nearby that I wanted to get, but it was at the top of a steep climb, and the girls had already been walking for the better part of an hour, which is a lot for short legs.