Sunday, March 28, 2010

The more things change, they really change.

Our nephew, Overcast_shade, came down to Orlando to spend the weekend with us again. Faced with an amazingly beautiful day, I simply couldn't let either of us waste a Saturday on the couch killing zombies. I decided to take him to one my favorite caches: GC18HQF. I know I'm breaking my policy about naming caches, but it's ok because the cache is easy to find, not so easy to get to. If you recall my blog post The Evelev School of Flipflip Geocaching, I had to cross a creek (by walking barefoot across a log) to get to this cache. It was a blast, and I knew he would enjoy it.

But here was my first clue:

Not so scary, right? Except that last time I was here, it looked like this:

I guess we've had a lot more rain in the last 5 months than I thought. The water was too big to jump across, so we bushwhacked a bit until we found a nice wide log we could walk across. Our next task was finding the log I used to get to the area where the cache is. This is what it looked like in October:

Now? It's 2 feet under water. So we set about finding another way across. This is what we settled on:

"But Evelev, that log doesn't go all the way across." You're right, it doesn't, but it went further than any of the other fallen trees. Overcast_shade went first.

The plan was to get as far as possible, and then leap to the shore. It went basically like this:

I had a very similar dismount, but luckily there was no one back there taking pictures with their iPhone.

Safely across, we set about finding the cache. Actually, he set about it. I knew where it was, so I just hung out and did a little dance to keep the spiders from crawling on me. I didn't see any, but I know they're watching me. Always.

Anyway, he found the cache pretty quickly, and then we headed back across. He went first so he could take pictures of me this time.

Here's me, standing in the water, on the log. Yeah, I'm super cool.

And here's me trying really hard not to fall down. Contrary to what you might believe, it's actually a lot easier to walk on the log while it's under the water. I thought the current might unsteady my footing, but that was not the case. Coming out of the water onto the dry log was a bit challenging.

Funny story, about that stick, which I still have by the way. When I first stepped on the log (before we found the cache), I was curious to see how deep the water was. So I plunged the stick into the water by the shore. My hand got lower, and lower, and I damn near fell in. So, I don't really know how deep the water least as long as that stick.

Oh, by the way, my leg is went from when I tried to jump off the log and onto the shore. I didn't pee myself, let's just be clear about that.

One cache down, we set about finding another in the area. Brian and I tried for this other cache a few months back, but didn't find it. Someone has since updated the coordinates, so we decided to try again. The map showed that we were .09 miles away. Cool, let's bushwhack. I'm game. After all, I remembered the cache being just a little off the path. 20 minutes later, we were still .08 miles away, and somehow ended up back at the log we used to get to the first cache. Oy. We headed back to the car.

And then it hit me. The cache was right off the path...just not the path we were on. I had forgotten that Brian and I had taken a different trail. So we walked (on the outside of the woods) to that trail, bushwhacked for about 10 minutes, and found the cache. If I gave a prize for the cutest log, it would be this one:

After that, I had yet another goal. Flashback for just a moment to November, The Honeymoon is Over, when I was stung by a wasp while looking for a cache. In my frenzy, I lost a travel bug I was going to release. I've been meaning to go back and look for it, seeing as how no one has come across it. We weren't right next to the cache when this wasp-incidence occured, but I was hoping that someone else in their quest might wander by my travel bug.

We didn't find it either. Too much new leaf cover. I might go back with a metal detector. What we did find this owl, just hanging out on a branch. I think it might be a barred owl, but I'm not sure. We we were about 30 feet away when I saw it looking at us. It was about 5pm, so I suppose it just waking up. Owls are so elusive, I was surprised to see one so calm, and out in the daylight.

We did a few more caches after that. We had the unfortunate experience of accidentally wandering into private property, twice. The first guy was clearly annoyed, and rightly so. We apolologized profusely and left quickly. I'm not 100% convinced it was his property, but I wasn't going to argue. At the next location, the guy was really nice, and even let us keep looking for the cache. I apologized, and apologized, but he didn't really care. The land is undeveloped and for sale, so he didn't see that we were doing any harm. We didn't find the cache, but I probably won't go back. Even if he didn't mind us being there, I was embarassed.

We did some more bushwhacking today. For some reason, today's cache locations were fraught with thorny vines. I wore jeans, but I might as well have been bare-legged. Oh, and the mosquitos are definitely back.

On our way to the first cache, the Groundspeak app went down...again. I've found it doesn't really do Sundays. To kill a little time, I took Overcast_shade to grab some of the caches I've already done. I was reminded again how fast things change in a few short months.

This cache used to be a bird. Now it's a charred marshmallow with an attitude. Looks like somebody overcooked their peep. Happy (almost) Easter.

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