Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Honeymoon is over

It was only a matter of time. Geocaching, while still very entertaining, is just a little less enticing. We've had our first big fight and it's gained 10lbs. I still love you, geocaching, but we need to talk.

First, there's all this unnecessary bushwhacking. Last Saturday I made a third and successful attempt at a cache within walking distance of my house. I brought Savannah along, and once again she was completely useless. I tied her to a tree while I followed each of several geotrails. Turns out none of them were right. All that bushwhacking was for naught.

To top it off, the cache tried to eat Savannah. Not cool.

And then there's the false sense of hope. After this little victory I suddenly had a misplaced craving for bushwhacking, so I planned an entire day of it. The next cache was near a pond at the edge of the woods. I bravely climbed into the trees and was consulting my iPhone when I felt an intense sting on my arm. "The mf-er bit me!" I blurted out and shook my arm...but it wouldn't let go. So I brushed it away and looked at Brian in horror - "what the hell was that??" And then the buzzing started. I started spinnng around, flailing my arms. "It's a yellow jacket," Brian said, "and now it's on your back."

Waving my arms around my head, I hurried towards the pond. In my haste, I forgot about the briars I had stepped over so carefully before. I was soon covered in scratches and punctures. Before I could take a breath, the buzzing resumed, as did my seizure-dance. I scurried back and forth along the edge of the pond, pausing every few seconds to see if it was gone. Finally Brian yelled "use your bug spray." Considering I had already sprayed myself, this didn't make a lot of sense, but it was worth a shot. I sprayed it all around me as if I was casting a spell Harry Potter be jealous of.

That's when I got a look at my first hornet sting, which was now quite painful and starting to swell. "I want to go home," I mumbled. Then Brian yelled that he found the cache. I sprayed a liberal amount of bug repellant into the bushes and headed towards him.

I dub this ammo-camo. Some of that bark is glued to the can.

We spent the next three hours bushwhacking to no avail. The words "this isn't fun anymore" were spoken.

The next day I awoke with a new perspective. I planned a day of easy urban caches, but of course it didn't work out that way. It started out with an uncooperative iPhone and was punctuated by geotantrums (as Brian called them). Here are the highlights.

Early in the day we went looking for a cache that made reference to finding an X. I got out of the car and saw this:

Bingo! Not so much. This X was just a coincidence. It's a good thing Brian found it because I was too hung up on this area to look elsewhere.

We had the pleasure of finding another sticker-cache. This one is notable for two reasons: a) I think it's an actual sticker, not one of the sticker-caches you buy on ebay; and b) I actually poked and dismissed it twice before finally realizing it was the cache. Well done!

I found a rock cache. It wasn't as devious as I imagined since it was actually a plastic hide-a-key. A real rock turned into a cache would be a lot tougher to find.

For the second time this month, Brian's cane proves invaluable. This cache was a bison tube with a magnet attached, placed about 8 feet in the air. It was an easy grab...for him.

The goal last weekend was to get my 200th find. It was all cool until I realized I had to go in here.

After walking face-first into a spider web, I resurrected the spider-whacking stick. It was an easy find once I got to the location. Go me.

On the way home, we grabbed one last cache. A first-of-it's-kind for me - a butterfly attached to a test tube (test, not bison), hanging from a branch. It was definitely original, but I'm afraid it's going to be a target for muggles.

And finally, to celebrate my 200th cache, Anatomy of a Geocacher.

Click to view full size.

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