The Creature of Fountainhead Park - Part 1 of 6 LbNA # 5430
|Placed Date||Nov 9 2002|
Update - 9/5/2009 - Box 4 stamp(Fred) is gone but the box and logbook are there. All the rest are safe and sound and have new logbooks.
The Scooby Series
By the Knights of Columbo
Fountainhead Regional Park
Fairfax, VA Fairfax County
While going on a hike one day you pass the Mystery Machine broken down outside the park. It’s deserted and Scooby Snacks lay scattered on the ground. Worried about the Scooby gang you decide to go look for them. What could have scared them off?
During the off-season for the park (Nov-March) the gate will be closed, but you can park along the road by the gate and just walk in. The trail is off the first parking lot on the right. Once in the parking lot, pull straight in and head towards the trail behind the Map of the park.
Take a walk (blue trail) straight down the path. There is an old cemetery on your left. Knowing that Scooby would completely panic at the thought of going near a cemetery you figure this is as good a place to start searching as any. Pretend you’re Scooby, scamper down the trail a bit farther. Notice on your left the blue trail and head down that way. On your left you spy 'Alice's' tree. Maybe Scooby followed Alice through the rabbit hole! Heading into the woods sixteen steps to the left of the tree perhaps you'll find Scooby cowering in the hole at the bottom of the tree and very happy to see you!
Sending him to wait in the Mystery Machine, you continue down the blue trail.
After a few minutes along the trail, to the right is a gully with an old wooden bridge at the bottom (sadly gone) . There are no signs of someone heading down that way so you feel confident in moving on. Up ahead on the trail you pass the sign and next spy a beech tree with a carved N inside a square. Was this a message of some kind? Deciding it had nothing to do with your search you walk on.
Continuing on you turn the corner and see a steep gully on the right with a log running across it. Wait! Was that a sound you heard? Trying to get a better view you stand by the rotten tree and for reasons known only to yourself, you take a bearing of 170 degrees. The noise sounds like it’s coming from exactly 45 steps into the woods. You were right! There was Velma hiding near the hole at the base of the tree under a rock.
You send Velma back to keep Scooby company and head back to the trail. Hefting your backpack into place, continue up the hill. Try not to trip over the many logs in the path.
With slight interest you note the sign on the left bend in the trail, which states the Appalachian Trail Club maintains the trail. Continue around the bend and to the sharp switchback up ahead.
Trying not to think about the climb back home, go down the steep hill and switch backs . At the bottom of the hill continue on the trail, taking the new wooden bridge across the streams.
After crossing the stream, keep following the blue marks on the windy trail. Climb up the wooden plank stairs. Right before you get to the next set of steps, another noise attracts your attention. Taking a seat on the bottom steps you spy an old dead log to your right (left if you facing the steps) on the edge of the steps/trail. Curled up inside is Daphne, safe and sound.
She’s more than happy to leave the park and send you to go alone up the steps of the steep hill. Take a breather at the top. Keep walking til you see a pile of stone rubble on your right. There’s a beech tree with many initials carved into it. You think you hear a mysterious voice tell you to take a reading of 200 degrees and to head 55 steps past a tree surrounded by stones. Just beyond you see a large rock/small boulder. heading over and taking a peek behind you spot Fred.
Back onto the blue trail with your mission almost complete! The last of the bunch is still waiting to be found. The trail meets a T, with the blue blazes turning uphill. Head left down a wide path. At this point you're leaving the blue trail! Be aware of your surroundings! As the trail curves left there is a large tree across the path and another path going right. Hop Over the tree (and the many others that now criss cross this old road) As you head down hill sightly the trail curves to your right and you begin to worry because of no landmarks, but never fear. Shaggy is just up ahead.
Almost without believing it, you then see what appears to be a ruined house up on the right. Walk up to it, but sternly remind the kids not to play in it! Spend a few minutes imagining when this was someone’s home and that trail you just took was their road. Walk around and find a large stone near the front of the house.
A growl from a hungry stomach catches your attention and you know your final rescue is near. Take a reading of 255degrees from that stone and walk 70 big steps to a large black stone. If the leaves allow, you’ll now have a beautiful view of the water. Face the water and look to your right. Just a bit down the hill is a large fallen tree. Following it to its base you’ll find some smaller black stones. Shaggy can be found under one. He gives you a quick “hey thanks, man” and runs towards the Mystery machine and food!
Your quest done, you’re free to return home the way you came. But what about the creature that chased the gang? Does it lay in wait in the mist-covered waters or was it a thief wearing a disguise who used these old ruins as a drop off point? We may never know….
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