Monday, August 19, 2013

Deep Discoveries

I've many times said the most enjoyable, oftentimes exhilarating aspect of geocaching is finding places I never knew existed. As often as not, they exist virtually next door, hiding just beyond the view of familiar, well-traveled roads and pathways. Over fifty-some years, I've explored just about every nook and cranny in and around my old hometown of Martinsville, VA, and there is scarcely a stand of woods or hidden back alley I haven't ventured into at some point or another in my life. Well, so I thought, anyway. This past weekend, I was there visiting Mum, and early Saturday morning, a new geocache was published ("Oh, the Places You'll Go," GC4JZVR). Being keen on perhaps getting first-to-find, I headed straight out to Kings Mountain Road, just beyond the city limits, parked along the roadside, and hoofed it past a bunch of boulders where the woods have been cleared to make way for some new construction.

Then I found myself facing that — the old quarry you see pictured above. The photo, of course, scarcely does the view justice (click on it to enlarge the image); I found it dizzying, and the spot where I was standing to take the picture — six feet or so from the edge — was as close as I dared venture. It's mostly just loose shale there, leading to a sheer drop of well over a hundred feet. Just east of the quarry (to the left of this photo), there's an arm of Beaver Hills Golf Course (sometimes less-than-affectionately known as The Rockpile) where I played golf several times as a teenager. Judging from the aerial views on Google maps, the quarry would likely have been visible from at least one of the fairways, though I have no recollection from those dim, distant days of actually having seen it. A cursory search for information on the place hasn't turned up much, but I find myself inclined to go digging deeper. According to a local geocacher, who used to work with my dad at Dupont, the quarry is rather infamous. Reputedly, there are several cars, some complete with bodies, in the bottom of that lake, which is some two-hundred feet deep. It is, after all, the perfect place to eliminate inconvenient evidence. I'm also told that, back in the 70s, someone went scuba diving in the lake there and never came out.

Fascinating stuff.

And yes, gracious, I did get first-to-find on that cache.

"Oh, the places you'll go. There is fun to be done!"—Dr. Seuss


Anonymous said...

Looks like a fantastic location...and hiding there, all along. That's one thing I love about geocaching, too. Finding places I never knew. Congrats on the FTF!

James Robert Smith said...

Seems like you should be able to find some journalist material on the supposed bodies and especially something official about a scuba diver who went in and never came out.

Stephen Mark Rainey said...

I'm thinking that very thing. Definitely warrants some research.