PLEASE NOTE: Depending on the time of day / week and which way you choose to approach, there may be construction in the general area. Be smart and careful. Also, please only visit between sunrise and sunset.
This Virtual Cache will bring you to the Patuxent Branch Trail, located in the Guilford area of Howard County. You will find several informational signs that may help you answer the questions below.
What is a Watershed?
The total land area that cathes rain and drains it to a specific body of water is called a watershed. It is similar to a basin that catches water, and then pours it into a larger basin. Each small stream or tributary has its own watershed, which is part of a larger watershed of a bigger body of water.
Nature, not Man defines the boundaries of a watershed. This site is part of the Little Patuxent River Watershed. This watershed is part of the even bigger Patuxent River Watershed, and that is part of the far greater Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Watersheds are important to the health of the body of water that they supply, and that, in turn, affects the total environment. Everything that contaminates the water in a watershed can pollute the river or lake at the end of its journey. A drop of water falling in Guilford will find its way to the Chesapeake Bay.
What is the "Fall Line"?
As rivers flow from the higher Piedmont Plateau to the lower Coastal Plain in Maryland, their descent creates many waterfalls and rapids. This edge which generally follows I-95, has long been called the Fall Line. It marks the point where upstream navigation becomes difficult and the energy of the falling water can be harnessed to power mills and factories. Often the water has carved a narrow gorge through the harder rocks. Between Guilford and Savage, the river drops nearly 60 feet.
Also located at the listed coordinates, you will find a 1902 Guilford Pratt Truss B&O railroad bridge. It has been restored and now used a pedestrian crossing for the Patuxent Branch Trail.
To claim credit for this cache, please send me the answers to the following questions:
1) What is the origin of the word "Patuxent"?
2) What percentage of land on Earth is part of a watershed?
3) What did the fall line provide the mills?
4) What was quarried in Guildford starting in the 1830's?
5) Give a short description of this substance (as described on one of the informational signs).
Finally, you must visit the site in person and upload an image of you and / or your GPS taken at a recognizable location at the site which offers clear visual proof of your visit.