Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's raining, but I had to go!

It's been a very long time since I shared a caching adventure with you all. I have found quite a few since my last post back in June, but I didn't take the time to write them up. Spring is almost here and this weekend, although it poured all day yesterday and is still raining today, I decided to go for a newly published cache in the town I visit most often. Kit is my geodog, so she came along and Hunter, who is supposed to be the Son part of this Mom and Son Geocaching Team, has no interest in the drive, walk or search for the treasure. He just wants the treasure.

Usually, when I tell Kit to got outside and it's rainy, she absolutely refuses until I force her stubby tailed tush out the door. But when she saw me pull out her coat and her walking harness, she couldn't get out the door fast enough. First we traveled to our local Wal-Mart to get new batteries as I hadn't used my handheld Magellan Triton since November. With new batteries inserted and the waterproof back screwed on nice and snug, I entered the parking coordinates that would bring me close to the cache into Richard (my TomTom in case you've forgotten) and off we went.

Just a few short days ago it was sunny and a wonderful 63 degrees, but no more! The temperature was just above 40 as I clipped Kit's leash on her and grabbed my umbrella. Since this cache was listed as a micro and I didn't have a long walk, I left my geogear bag behind. With me I carried my GPS on a lanyard under the front my jacket, my phone in an outside pocket, a pen, a doggie poop bag and Kit's leash. My 11 pound dog didn't care one bit that it was raining. She led the way, pausing for a few sniffs here and there, as we casually walked along the sidewalk.

I hadn't been down that road in some time. The only thing along it is a subdivision of cookie cutter houses with no apparent privacy in between. Before reaching the first drive that lead between the rows of houses, I came to a pavilion at the front of a wide open field. Having scouted out this cache using Google Earth already, I knew the hide would be found inside the treeline at the other end of the field, almost directly across from the pavilion. I released Kit from her lead, but she didn't wander too far ahead and seemed to be thinking that this wet and muddy ground wasn't going to be all that fun. I squished along behind the muddy water she was kicking up, angling myself in line with the arrow on my GPS. Once in the trees Kit forgot about the mud and became all nose and speed, covering one side and then the other by the time I spotted the tree I would have chosen had I been the one to hide this cache.

There were only a few older trees in this strip of woods, all dark and somewhat diseased looking in the rain. The one I had focused on actually split into two trunks about four feet off the ground. My plan was to make my way around the tree where there was less undergrowth and look in the split for a micro sized cache, but as I came around the side of the tree, I spotted a hole in one of the separate trunks and just outside that hole was a grey and black string looped over a piece of bark. I knew I had found it even before I pulled out the camouflaged taped capsule. This one was on the larger size for a micro, about as wide around as the body of a water bottle, but only half as tall. It is considered a micro, however, for the lack of space inside for tradeable items. I screwed off the top, I pulled out the rolled log book in its small plastic bag and signed my find with my username, The Cache Checkers. Then I sealed the bag and screwed the top back on nice and snug. I slid the tube back into the hole and made sure the string was still secured in place. All the while, Kit was running all over, racing to see how many wonderful smells she could find before I called her back over. I had left my umbrella back behind a tree when I first came to the search area. Even though there were no leaves on the branches, I wasn't getting too wet from the rain. I pulled my hood up over my head and walked along a path deeper into the trees while Kit took the lead. She's no scout! If she saw something ahead, she'd start barking like crazy at the same time as she ran back to me!

I noticed when I first started walking across the open field some interesting metal contraptions with bright yellow tops in the distance. Now I was in an area free of trees with Kit and spotted some more. I thought maybe they were the skeletons for seasonal trash containers, but without the bags hanging down. As I got closer though, there were loose, small linked, thin metal chains inside the yellow loop at the top that ran to the bottom where there was a hard, wide spaced matching basket and each had a number. I didn't realize what these were all about until Kit and I made it back across the field and saw a sign outside the pavilion that told us how to play Frisbee Golf.

Once back on the leash and heading toward the van, Kit felt every drop of rain. Of course she was shivering, she's always shivering, but her ears were flat and her head hung low. Every time I stopped or slowed down, she looked back and me, squinting against the drops, with a look that told me she was thinking of her padded bed back on a seat in my van. This spoiled dog also has a blanket there, waiting for her to bury herself underneath.

I thought about going for another cache, but as my partner was looking pretty sad and my fingers were cold, we headed home and I'm already looking forward to getting out again. No more snow!

I didn't take any pictures of this adventure. I'd like to say it was because of the rain, but it's actually because I forgot my camera.