I do love to geocache. Unfortunately, last August during the Geocaching challenge of 31 caches in 31 days, I may have burnt out a couple of family members. After that, I had to take a geocaching hiatus because they all had enough of taking the round-about way home so I could get a new geocache.
I am very thankful to report that the family love for geocaching has been restored. Thank goodness!
This weekend we stayed close to home: Helena, Montana. I know that I haven’t done even close to the 800 geocaches in the Helena area, but I feel that it’s fair to say that I’ve done quite a few. After I did all the GeoTour geocaches, I felt like I did indeed have the Helena-area highlights down.
I was reminded this weekend that one of the best parts about geocaching is that just when you feel like you’ve seen it all, you haven’t.
In doing a search for caches close to Helena, I stumbled across a cache for Ophir Cave located outside of Helena, near Avon, MT and in the Helena National Forest. It sounded like a neat area and the geocache was placed in July 2001, not long after geocaching began. I figured if the cache stood the test of time, then it would hopefully stand up to the family.
We took the bikes, the dogs and the GPS out for an adventure.
And, we were not disappointed.
Ophir Cave is an absolutely hidden treasure within the Helena National Forest. We biked to the trail head, but you can drive to a parking area and then hike an uphill 0.3 miles to the cave. The cool air spilling out of the cave is a refreshing treat at the end of the line.
The cave is beautiful and from the opening chamber you can see why cave exploration is a sport in and of itself. Please note that this cave should not be explored without proper equipment and an experienced cave guide. There are open shafts and hazards for the experienced only.
After we peered in the cave, we found the geocache and ate our lunch while trading out swag. A flashlight traded for a flashlight seemed like a logical cave trade to us. We then hopped on the bikes and cruised back down to the valley with the Pintler Range framing the ranch lands.
Thanks for the Cache! TFTC!
Now, to plan the next geocaching adventure…((evil mother laugh))