To keep boredom from setting in, I’m taking this On the Grid entry in a slightly different direction than past entries.
Jenna wanted to go hiking.
I wanted to go caching. OK, so I wanted to go hiking too.
I had a cache in mind that I thought might satisfy us both.
Farm Ruins Cache (GC5T1D5) is located on the Serenbe property near Palmetto, Georgia. The cache itself is located at the site of the Condor family farm. According to information contained on a sign board near the GZ, John Condor purchased the land in 1840 and established a farm on the property along with his first wife Emily and their children. Today, all that remain of the farm are the ruins of the dairy house and several stone piles which are the remnants of other out buildings.
Our first challenge was to find the trailhead for the trail that would lead us back to the old Condor place and the GZ. I got some help from a few other cachers that had found Farm Ruins Cache prior to our visit, but even with the help, finding the trailhead wasn’t easy. We parked off of one of the roads in an undeveloped portion of the Serenbe property at a location that the GPSr said was about half a mile from the cache. Had I payed close attention to the cache description, I would have noted that the walking time to the cache was typically about 45 minutes and, at an average pace, translates to about a mile and a half.
Fortunately we found the trailhead fairly easily and we were on our way.
Apparently they don’t take too kindly to trespassers. I didn’t see any fine print indicating that there was an exception for geocachers but we pressed on anyway.
We had to make a decision, find the cache or check out the ancient Indian grounds. We decided to find the cache but will be back to visit the Indian grounds. FWIW, after we got back home I noticed that there is a cache at the Indian grounds too…even more reason to go back.
A short distance down the trail we came across an arch made of vines and a walkway that led to a clearing with a couple of wooden benches and low, flagstone walls. Folding chairs were also noted off to one side of the area. I wondered if it might be used for the summer camps for kids that the Serenbe community hosts. Jenna suggested that it was a place used for cult rituals. Where does she get this stuff?!
Just beyond the arch and the cult camp we noticed a green electrical transformer box and a water well casing sticking out of the ground. I couldn’t help myself and blurted out “Well, well, well, look, a well! Isn’t that swell?” Jenna rolls her eyes and deadpans it saying “Daddy, don’t dwell…” She’s definitely my daughter.
We finally came across a sign that gave us an idea of our route to the cache. Yep, we were definitely going to be walking more than half a mile.
When we finally reached the spur trail to the ruins of the Condor farm, we found ourselves at the Condor family cemetery where John and Emily Condor along with one of their children who died as an infant are buried.
Beyond the Condor cemetery we finally reached the ruins of the dairy house. The remnants were impressive. I would love to have been able to see it back in its day…
We found the cache, signed the log and then headed back toward the car. The trail to and from the cache took us through a creek bottom that I suspect at one time was cleared and either cultivated or used for pasture.
We were surprised not to encounter any deer or wild turkeys or even a snake. In fact, the only wildlife we encountered beyond birds and squirrels was a lone turtle.
Once back to the car my GPS tracking app on my phone told me that we had traveled three miles instead just a mile. Jenna suggested that we stop at the Blue Eyed Daisy, an eatery within the Serenbe community and pick up a cupcake for ConnieLou. And that we should also get one for each of us as a reward for our efforts. Who am I to argue with cupcakes?