Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Geocaching in Chandler Park

Me and Jake went geocaching at Chandler Park. There are a lot of TOUGH finds there. No silly lift-up-the-skirt-on-a-streetlight caches there. You have to work for them. They are hid in the deep woods under craggy rocks and you have to crash through brier patches to get to them. Or at least that's how I usually get to them, and then seem to find a TRAIL out. Doh!
The first one was a little hard to find, but when we found the army ammo box, there was much rejoicing. (Actually, Jake couldn't have cared less.)

The second cache we hunted was much more difficult. For one, it was getting dark. I got 100 feet into a patch of stickers and I just as well have hit a brick wall. There was nothing to do but turn around and try to find another way. I found a wash that led down to near where the cache was, but ground zero was slick rocks covered by leaves accented by fallen trees.
Fun stuff, especially since the waning light of dusk was slinking away into mysterious shadows. I had not brought my nifty bionic headlamp, but had the flashlight iPhone app. I was just about to call it a day(night), but gave the perimeter one more pass, and found it under a rock ledge partially covered by rocks. Another army ammo box. I signed the log, and fumbled my way outward. Jake had a plan--why I was stumbling around looking for some dumb box, he was scouting the area for trailz. I followed him upward no more than 20 yards, and BOOM--we were on a trail that led right out of the thicket. Woulda been so easy if we had came down this way to start with.

Geocaching is a lot like fishing. Catch a fish, and you wanna stay and cast another time or two to maybe catch another. I found another one to hunt for, and away we went. This one was also down a decline through some rock formations, protected by many briers and fallen trees. (Who hides these things???) This time, my GOS on my iPhone was jumping all around. I was 41 feet away, no 18 feet, no 5 feet, no 61 feet. It was completely dark, and I had to switch from the geocache app to the iphone app many times. The hunting was slow-going, and the terrain was rough--especially in the dark. I looked down into a small cavity in the rocks, and heard something scurry. No, I did not squeal like a girl, but it did startle me. I am guessing it was a opossum. Might have been a raccoon.
I tried to take a pic, but did not think it showed up in the picture when I took it. This was enough geocaching for me. My phone gave me the 20% battery warning, and was fading fast as the GPS and flashlight apps drain the battery fast.
The smiley faces are the ones we found. The two circled are ones that are insanely harder even than the one we hunted today. The one in the square is our DNF. The one by the gate is a new one, and I am pretty sure is has bad coordinates. I would have been the first to find a few weeks back, but it is very clearly not where the GPS says it should be. This leaves four in the area for another day.

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