Sunday, September 18, 2011

Team Evelev's 500th Find

I'm going to make this really easy for was uneventful.  If it wasn't my 500th find, I probably wouldn't even write about it.  This milestone actually occured two months ago and I've been trying to avoid this inevitable blog post.

I've never chosen a cache to be my milestone before.  Usually I just go out caching for the day and try to take note of the one that was the milestone.  But for my 500th, well, it had to be good.  The morning of, I started scoping out candidates.  I didn't have any good puzzles waiting to be sought, because, honestly, once the puzzle is solved, I must search for the cache immediately.  In fact, I avoid working on puzzles at night, because I spend the pre-dawn hours twisted in my bed sheets, posed like a dead bug and just as rigid.

I settled on two multi caches.  The second was a back-up in case I had to DNF the first.  And that's exactly what happened, but not until Brian and I exhausted ourselves wandering around a muggy park in 102 degree heat.  I did, however, stumble across this waterproof match container. 

At first I thought it might be one of the stages to the cache we were looking for, but then I saw the label.  Inside I found a sticker with a single word, which it turns out is a password.  To "play",  you go on the website and find a QuestCache in your area.  Each one starts with a few parahraphs of a story.  To get the rest of the story, you go to the posted coordinates and find the cache, which contains a password to get another part of the story and coordinates to the next password.  The idea is that you follow the path and eventually complete the story.  The one that I stumbled upon is called Katarina, in Kraft Azalea Park in Winter Park.  I tried to use the password I found on the website, but it didn't work.  Not sure if the website is down, or if it somehow knows I want to make fun of it on my blog.

I kid, I kid...I don't want to make fun of it.  It could be fun if you're a slut for literature and enjoy having bugs gnaw at your flesh.  It's kind of like National Treasure or the DaVinci Code, except that you're putting together a short story instead of reassembling history, discovering priceless artifacts, and "getting" some girl (plucky sidekick: optional).  I don't know, I guess it has a better payoff than geocaching, because you have a goal and are guaranteed to get something other than your name on a moldy log. Meh.  To each their own.
Actually, I just noticed that there is a "I couldn't find it, continue anyway" button that moves you through the story without the password.  Lame. 

After that little discovery I DNF'd the cache and moved onto the next.  The cache that ended up being our 500th is called Pingy Head South and claims itself to be Central Florida's first geocache.  It was placed on August 12, 2001, which certainly puts it among the oldest of all caches.  The first few years were uneventful, but recently it's had more attention.  In 2008 it was archived after being flooded by hurricane Fay. The owner feared it would float away, but when the water receded it was still there, ready to be reactivated.  Last year it was muggled by a City of Winter Park employee.  He gave it to his wife, who took it upon herself to figure out why there was an ammo can full of chotchkis in Mead Gardens.  She kindly returned it to the owner.  But most importantly, it was found 368 times before me and has played a significant role in Central Florida's geocaching history.

It wasn't my favorite cache, but it was just challenging enough to qualify as memorable.  Challenging really isn't the right word, all I had to do was look up a few numbers on a sign and do some basic math.  It was better than your average PnG.  After I figured out the coordinates, we made our way to GZ, where we found a hoard of ravenous mosquitos - is there any other kind?  The tall grasses weren't easily navigable for Brian, but you could say it's handicap-accessible for the stouthearted.  He really didn't have a choice in the matter.  Walker be damned, I needed someone to take my picture.

The reason I'm holding up the logbook is that I wrote #500 is big letters...but Brian failed to tell me that this wasn't visible in the pic.  He pretended he didn't notice. I think it was some kind of payback for dragging him out into the wilderness.

We spent the rest of our afternoon looking for other caches, and later, looking for food.  On a side note, I fought off a huge spider for the rights to a cache. 

It felt like this: 

 It was actually more like this:

Wouldn't you know it?  I forgot my Light of Eärendil.  I nudged the cache with my foot, thinking any intelligent creature would realize my vast superiority and flee.  No, it reared back like it was going to attack me.  I responded to the challenge with reason.  I said, "Look spider, I don't want anyone to get hurt here, I just want you to go about your business."  Then I kicked the cache again.  This time it scuttled off like an embarassed crab. 

Thus concludes the tale of Team Evelev's 500th find, an extremely average geocaching day.  I suppose it could have been worse.

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