Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Logging a Geocache

For the uninitiated, Geocaching is a sort of treasure hunt. You can check out my Geocaching links along the right side of my page if you would like more information. But to appreciate this post, you have to understand "logging". A person uses a GPS to find the geocache, they sign the log (a little piece of paper located inside the geocache container) and then log onto www.geocaching.com and "log" the find there. You basically go to the cache listing, click on "found it" and then write some little note about your experience.

Some people find, say 25 caches in one day. They will log "found this cache today with GeoFred" and they copy/paste that for all 25 logs. BORING! People like to read stories about how you found the cache, funny things that happened, how you struggled to find it, etc.

So I found The Liar's Cache yesterday and went to log it today. This cache owner has very specific logging requirement to log your find. They said, "
Your mission is to seek out and find this simple 1/1 cache, but to log it as if it were a difficult 5/5. And I expect detail! I want to hear, in just the on-line log, about broken limbs, four mile hikes uphill both ways, days of searching. I expect creativity! I expect ingenuity! And most of all, I expect substance!?"

In other words, you are supposed to make up (LIE) a story about your find. What a fun idea! My log is quoted below. (I know...it's LONG. If you can't handle long, just skip it).

You see, I had to go pick up a chain saw from the repair shop yesterday, and the shop was on the other side of town. Since it was a bit of a drive, and since there were a few caches between here and there (if you plan your route correctly), I figured I could grab a couple. I originally planned on 3 geocaches, but the going was so good yesterday, I ened up logging nearly 400 cahces in just two hours! Only problem was, I did not have CacheMate with me...all I had was the GPS. When I found this cache, I was not sure what was going to be asked of me as far as logging requirement, but I see you cleared that up for me. So here's almost the truth, part of the truth, and little of the truth, please forgive me, God.

As I approached the cache, my first mistake was overestimating my car's ability to cross what I thought to be at shallow creek (the murky water hid it's true depth). I totally ruined the new $275 tennis shoes my wife bought me at Payless for Christmas as I had to get out of the car to retrive the jack. Of course, water flooded into the car as soon as I opened the door. I retrieved the jack only to discover that I could not find a solid part of the car frame by feel, so I made a make-shift snorkel out of a McDonalds straw (something I learned from MacGyver) and went under water trying to find a solid spot for the jack. Once again, the murky water was not helpful...today it looks like I have a piece of cottage cheese in the corner of my eye and my wife fears it is some sort of infection!

Fortunately for me, I thought to take off all of my clothes before attempting this work under water (something I learned from Bear on Man vs. Wild), because it took me 30 minutes to find enough large rocks to prop up under the jack to enable me get the car out of the creek. I was nearly hypothermic by the time I got dressed, but I was more determined than ever to grab the cache at this point.

Obviously the engine flooded sitting in the creek that long, but thanks to my subscription to AAA (Alabama Automotive Advice), I knew I could coast down a hill, pop the clutch and get the car running again. Well, you know that "little hill" near the cache? I figured I could use that to get the car started. I put the car in neutral, stepped out to get behind it to start pushing and the danged car rolled down the hill without me! I found it impossible to put the car in gear and pop the clutch while running behind the car down the hill. Did you know that creek you cross first coming in off the main road (the one where my car got stuck originally) feeds into the river at the bottom of that hill? Is that strange coincidence or what?

This time, I knew there was no using the jack to get the car out...I'd just have to call the wife and have her bring the sled dogs later. But I could see the cache from where I was standing and knew I had to take care of business first.

Seeing how high up the tree the cache was, I knew I was going to need my climbing gear. This was rather disappointing since I was still cold from my last swim and I realized my climbing gear was in the trunk of the car. But I figured I was already committed by this time, so once again, I disrobed and started swimming toward the car. Half way there, I realized my keys were still in my pants pocket. I was going to swim back to get them, but about this time, three waitresses from the diner next door were getting off work and walking by. I took a deep breath, dove down to the car and waited in there, breathing from an air pocked trapped near the roof, until I figured they were gone. While doing this, I saw the chain saw sitting in the back seat, and that gave me an idea. I took a deep breath, grabbed the chain saw and headed toward the surface. Fortunately, the waitresses were gone...unfortunately, they took my clothes with them!

But hey, you don't get to 1,000,000+ caches like I have by giving up easily. I swam to shore, walked up to that big 'ol tree, fired up the chain saw (it just came out of the shop, so it fired up the first time despite having been under water...who'd have thunk it?) and cut that gosh danged tree to the ground. Since the cache owner was not kind enough to leave a pen in the cache, I fired up the chain saw one more time, took off just a thin layer of the pointer finger on my left hand and signed the log in blood. OK, it was my left hand, so PLEASE EXCUSE ME if it's a little hard to read.

But that's when my luck turned bad. Suddenly, that wafer-thin layer I had taken off my finger started to GUSH blood...I mean it was everywhere. I saw my shoes lying there (don't know why the waitresses didn't take them) and I was trying to fashion a tourniquet from a shoestring when I must have passed out.

Next thing I knew, my wife was laying next to me, I tasted terrible morning breath and the clock on the nightstand said 7:02am. My wife looked at me and asked, "Were you dreaming? You were thrashing about mumbling something about your shoes being ruined and never eating there again."

1 comment:

Ditto said...

LOL! What a great story... and you know, some caches do feel like that! Thanks for the post, all the best.

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