Sunday, January 10, 2010

Caching in this Bitterest of Florida Winters

My caching week started out with a very pouty ftf-less Evelev.

Despite yet another EyeoftheSeeker cache in my own neighborhood, which I arrived at within 40 minutes of posting, I still didn't get FTF glory. It's not that I'm an FTF hound, it's just that I got schooled on my own turf, again. And it's not like it was an easy park and grab, either. I poked around for a good 45 minutes, in the dark, in record cold temperatures (for Florida that's like 40F), in heels and a skirt, under power lines (wonky signal), creeping over various tumbleweed wannabe's that ripped holes in my tights. Then I finally find it, and two people have already signed the log. Oy.

Alas, I am not too bitter to admit that this hide was quite clever. I tend not to pay much attention to titles anymore, but the title for this cache was a good (but not glaringly obvious) clue. The cache itself was simple - a bottle cap with a chapstick tube glued to it.

Today we decided to make a third attempt at a particularly evil cache nearby. The previous two attempts lasted over an hour and left us feeling defeated. EyeoftheSeeker found this cache yesterday, which gave me hope that, a) it was still there, and b) it was in good shape and replaced properly.

Several of the people who found it before me admitted in their logs that they received a hint from War1man, but I was determined to find it on my own merit. The first attempt was an honest hunt - we poked around like normal, seriously confused about what we were looking for. The second attempt could only be described as ravenous. We yanked on every branch, flipped over every rock, and ripped out a bunch of weeds. This third attempt I spent a lot more time just looking, mostly because it was cold and my hands were shoved in my pockets. Eventually I was just glancing around, kicking some pine cones when I noticed a tuft of grass with an odd sheen. I looked away, thinking I was grasping at straws...but I couldn't resist the urge to give it a tug.

Below is what I had to work with.

And this is what I found. I admit, I'm pretty proud of myself for finally spotting it.

The rest of the day consisted of pretty easy, normal caches. Brian found the one below. It started out as an Altoid tin, and was surprisingly dry inside.

Our final find of the day was this peanut butter jar hidden off a nature trail. Although this is the first time I've seen a cache with munch marks, I'm not at all surprised to see that someone took a nibble.

We also crossed paths with some new cachers. We arrived at a playgound to see a family of four hanging around. Assuming they were muggles, we went about our search. I saw the woman looking at some handheld device, but I assumed it was a phone. It wasn't until they split up and began wandering in different directions that Brian whispered his theory about them being geocachers. I still wasn't completely convinced, and they seemed to be eyeing us cautiously, so I didn't approach them. I figured if they were geocachers, maybe they were trying to let their kids get the find without assistance? I found the cache quickly, signed the log, and replaced it, all of this in full view of them. As I was getting into the car I saw one of the kids run over and grab the cache. They actually logged it online before I did, which is how I figured out that they just started. I'm going to email them, I feel bad for being so unfriendly.

I'm excited to announce that I'm working on a paper/article about the legal consequences of the geocacher reputation. It's something I've wanted to write about for a while and I just finally got around to doing the research. Stay tuned.

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