Sunday, May 31, 2009


I did something this morning I only get every few weekends - I went out on my own! My husband thought he was sooo funny by telling me I could start at 6:00 AM and be back before our boys woke up. I was out the door by 9:00 and the first place I went to was Home Depot to get salt for our water softner. Then I did Dunkin' Doughnuts drive thru for some much needed wake you up caffeine and a muffin. I parked in a vacant spot and while I inhaled the delicious fresh air that came in one van window and out the other, I looked up the nearest cache in my handheld and turned on Richard.

Just .04 of a mile down the road is a dead end street I pass by every time I come to this particular city. The mall we frequent with the soft indoor park, McDonald's and the big play land and the movie theatre we attend is here. Each of those destinations is past this no thru way, but this morning I waited for the traffic to pass and coasted down the quiet, shady street to the very end.

The cache information page said there was a two track at the end of this street and that I would take it for about a ten minute walk before I went off the trail about twenty feet. I was warned about getting muddy and being attacked by mosquito's and that some bushwacking might be necessary. I had brought Kit with me because you look less suspicious walking a dog and she eagerly took off and followed my gesture to the two track.
It was obvious the two track hadn't been used yet this season. I could see the brown dirt and stones among the weeds. As I followed my eager canine off the road, the trail was gone in just a few feet. From right to left I looked for the trail and saw nothing but weeds and trees. The arrow pointed the same way Kit was investigating, like both she and my GPS knew where to go and I was blind. But look at these pictures. Can YOU see a trail??

(Sorry, made the image smaller than planned and deleted the originals.)

Before I took those pictures, I actually attempted to follow that little arrow into tick city, but it was a steep slope one way and thick with brush another. I was very confused and wondered if I had saved the wrong coordinates. I let Kit run around for a few minutes longer, but I wasn't going another step further without knowing for sure this was where I needed to be. I used Google Earth and saved a screen shot of the area and thought I knew where I was going. It didn't look like there was another road into those woods, but I was looking at it from an astronaut's view!

Kit was the only one that had any real fun, but it was short lived. She showed her unhappiness with our early departure by walking through a mud puddle, which wasn't in her direct path back to the van, and then jumping onto my seat. I'm convinced I even saw her little paw do a slight twist to really grind that mud into my seat!

The other cache I was going to attempt was at a beautiful cemetery. I admit I was a bit concerned about the neighborhood I was driving in. Six miles from where I usually go, this was a part of the city that I try not to venture in. But with two miles left before Richard told me I had reached my destination, the road became less pot-holed and faded and represented a neighborhood I felt more comfortable in. No offense to anyone, just my thoughts. I should have taken more pictures instead of just this one, a distance shot of the tree line of where I was headed. I'm guessing there must be a rule at these grounds that no artificial flowers be used. As I parked my van on the side of the circular drive, I saw blooms of all types of flowers by many of the gravestones. One grave marker was being replaced by the biggest hosta I had ever seen! When I stepped out of the van and turned into the wind, the aroma of all those flowers made me go, Hmmmm.

I still had Kit with me but kept her inside the van. Many people go back and forth with cemetery caches. Some absolutely refuse to do them, saying these places are not for any kind of game. Reading through the Internet log about this cache, there were many log entries about being approached by the police. Apparently, the cache owner made a big mistake when he published his hide. Instead of saying this cache was available dawn to dusk, he typed it as dusk to dawn. That mistake was the cause of people getting in trouble by being in a cemetery after the sun set.

I think I can say I have the caching eye now. My cache count is at 39 since I began in November. I'm proud of that number, although I knew there are many more die hards out there than me. I started to get Hunter out there enjoying Mother Nature and often have my 3 1/2 year old and two year old with me!

So, I'm confident I can spot the hiding place without having to search too long. Before I even approached the tree line, I pocketed my GPS and zeroed in on this tree to the right. Stated in the information for this cache was, Children friendly. As I reviewed this line in my GPS before arriving, I felt bad that I didn't have any of my boys with me. I decided to leave two things in there and take two out and give them to Hunter and Devin later. But then I was standing in front of this tree and saw it surrounded in prickers and, was that poison ivy? Inside the area where the three trunks meet is a hole and down in the hole was the cache container. There was no way a child's arm could reach in there and I got myself a pretty good scratch for my effort. Then, after I avoided possible poison ivy, left traces of my blood on an enemy thorn, the darn thing was empty!

When I got back home and logged my find I was surprised to see that this cache had only been posted in late April. It had only been out there in the word of Geocaching for a month and it was empty. Most likely someone saw it was full of good toys and took everything without leaving anything for the next kid to come along. I posted my experience in my log entry and received an email back from the cache owner a couple hours later. She apologized that there was nothing in there to trade and promised to have it re-stocked within the week. She didn't say anything about the prickers, possible poison ivy and the long reaching retrieval. Since I already claimed the find, I won't be returning.

The next day all of us went to Nelson Ledge's to score an Earth Cache. We found ourselves; Tim, Hunter, Devin, Bryce on his dad's back and I above where we needed to go and were pointed in the right direction to find how to get there, but take a look at this picture.

If you can't tell, waaaay down there, I'm guessing 50 feet at least, is where we needed to be. There are actually people in this picture, walking in a small amount of water, on their way to the Ice Box, as this earth cache is called.

The next time I attempt this find, I won't be bringing children with me! Here are pictures of my husband and the boys there. I'll save the rest to share when I actually find the cache.

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