First, I must provide an update on the status of team Evelev. As I mentioned before, Brian had back surgery on April 2nd. He spent the next two weeks in inpatient physical therapy. His recovery was going extremely well, until April 17th when he had an emergency apendectomy. By the time he went into surgery, his appendix had ruptured. So began a longer and more arduous recovery than we ever anticipated.
He came home a little over a week ago. Since then, I've spent 18+ hours a day helping Brian, studying for finals, working, and reclaiming our home. After three weeks of doing little more in this house than sleeping, our beautiful new home turned into Lord of the Flies. The dog is Piggy, the cat is Jack, and the bird is somewhere in between. Our lawn turned yellow-ish, which became the talk of the neighbordhood. One neightbor actually called Brian to tattle on me. I can't wait to get back to my normal, boring life. I appreciate it a lot more now.
It will be a while longer before we get back to geocaching. That's ok, I was obviously FTF-addicted. This is like my own form of rehab. I haven't hallucinated any disembodied babies on the ceiling yet, so I guess I'm doing ok.
When we do we get back out there, and we will, it will be with some modifications. Brian might be in a wheelchair for a while longer. It won't be permanent, but recovery takes time. We'll probably start out with a steady diet of park and grabs, then we'll work up to parks and eventually woods.
The other day I came across Handicaching.com, which allows users to re-rate caches on a slightly different scale. I went through my past 10 caches and couldn't find any that had been re-rated. Then I realized they only have 21,700 caches re-rated. I guess it's not that popular, but it's a fantastic concept.
The most recent re-rated cache is GC10KX7, a 1/1.5 in Australia. The new rating on handicaching.com keeps the 1 for difficulty, but increases the terrain to 5. The rater notes "impossible for a wheelchair" due to rough/bumpy terrain with small-moderate obstructions (branches, vegetation, etc). To be fair, the cache page includes an attribute for "not wheelchair accessible." And, according to cacheopedia.com, "a 1½-star terrain rating could indicate a very easy hike (easier than typical 2-star terrain), but a cache location that is not wheelchair accessible." So, it's not that the original rating is wrong, but the handicaching.com rating provides more information.
To do my part, I rated a cache I grabbed a few weeks ago, GC23HCP. If you have nothing better to do, here's my rating. The cache description is really honest about this cache, so it's not like I'm making a difference, but it makes me feel useful. I'd like to get into the habit of re-rating caches for handicaching.com...we'll see.
What I can say for sure is that we are about to evolve as geocachers. It should be a good experience, like holding your toothbrush with the other hand. A little strange at first, but we'll get used to it. One of the beautiful things about geocaching is the flexibility it offers. We will definitely put that to the test.