Friday, August 04, 2006

Dairy Joy!

This letterbox series is being planted for the Ice Cream Team, (of the gathering last April)
I highly recommend downloading and printing the map
Cat Rock Park Map

Here are some pictures of the old ski area and information

Start or end your search at the Dairy Joy roadside icecream stand (and way more!)
This is soft serve icecream, and a bit pricy, but a staple of my childhood growing up.
I especially recommend the javaberry twist. Onion rings are great, and fried clams delicious but price. Dairy Joy is at the corner of North Ave and King's Grant Road, and if you look at the map you can see a way to walk to Cat Rock Park at the end of King's Grant Road. However, if you want to drive, just head east on North Ave (117) until you see Drabbington Way. Go left and go to the end of the street, where there is a baseball field (Steven A. Melone Memorial field), and parking.

Take the trail to the left of the baseball field, which is a dirt road blocked off by a gate.
Notice the old rope tow machinery on your left as you go up.
You are overlooking the baseball field on your right.
Head into a field where the path skirts across the bottom.
About halfway, you can see the path going up the old ski hill.
Take it to the top
At the rocky top if you turn around you can see some of the industrial parks in the city of Waltham.
You will also find a geological survey "high point" marker and a giant blue water tower.
Facing the water tower head back towards it.
Take a trail circling to the left of the water tower until you reach another clearing. There is a view here, as well, but I am not sure of what (but nicer than the industrial parks!)
When you first reach the clearing, you will see a lone cedar tree.
Standing in front of it, look back over your left shoulder, you will see three large rocks in a row.
Just past them is an oak tree with a slightly smaller stone next to it.
Old Fashioned Ice Cream Maker by Detectives 5 is planted in between.
This would be a nice place for a picnic, by the way!

I highly recommend printing out the map for this section, as there is a rabbit warren of trails in this section, and I can't guarantee that you will make sense out of the many fields and trails as I describe them.

Now, go back to the high point of Cat Rock, and run all the way down.....
or not!
At the bottom of the field, turn left on the path into the woods
Pass a tree with many trunks on your left
A big metal loop is in the middle of the path, and lots of cable
Go down to a roadway type path and go left.
There will be a stone wall on your right.
You will see someone has tried to build a teepee off in the woods here
Pass a big pile of branches on the trail which you can easily go around. Not much brush in this section.
Approaching a stone wall, continue on with the stone wall on our left.
You will be crossing a small stream bed that is filled with rocks.
Now you will be emerging into a series of fields and copses
(This is where the fields are confusing, and I lost my recording!)
Stay on the the main marked road paths (checking your map) until you are going along with the largest pond on your left.

When you reach a place along the pond that looks just perfect for a letterbox, (on the left)
you will find in it a geocache!
Then you will come to a dam, where you cross a bridge over the rushing Hobb Brook.
Dogs like to be walked and swum here, so watch out for scat.
Go over a big dead log, then go right on the cart path, heading back out of the park.
You will be walking on a well defined trail/road, with visible arrows.
Next you come to a five way intersection.
If you stand at the intersection, with a small white pine on your right, and look back over your left shoulder, you will see a big huge scary looking oak tree, about 20 steps back.
At the base of this tree you will find your prize, Ice Cream Flavor? by MNX8.
After you have signed in, take a hard right at the intersection and walk back on the road till you come out at the other side of the baseball field.

I have left a hitchhiker in one of these boxes for the first finder.
This is a great place!


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