Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In which we attempt another round of Geocaching and Survive the Great Ranger Radiator Escapade.

Last opportunity for geekness for awhile, perfect early morning after some monster storms last night, appropriate targets selected.  Heigh Ho Heigh Ho. . .

One of the really special things about geocaching is the opportunity to find interesting out of the way sites right in your own backyard.  This morning's grand adventures started out just that way.  We picked three caches within a close distance to one another, and started with the one entitled Poison Ivy.  After reading the description carefully and realizing we had no heavy gloves we opted to attempt Pothole in the Woods instead. 

General area located, GPS gpsing, off into the wilderness we trekked.  Soon found ourselves standing directly on top of where the cache claimed to be located.  After about 15 minutes of wandering around in circles, with much muttering, swearing and snorting involved, it was determined the area of focus should be broadened.  Came face to face with a large traffic cone, in the middle of the woods.  WTH?  Took several mintues for it to register this was our intended target.  More muttering from the retired military guy about military geocachers.  Log signed and on to cache number two.  Still no gloves, but we decided to give it a try anyway, what's poison ivy between good friends? 

What we found was a lovely rural cemetary, full of area history, life and dreams and in at least once instance, a mother's broken heart.  The poison ivy turned out to be artificial and we learned a bit out this particular cacher, who is new to our area.  His third hide site was nearby - three for three - hoo-rahh!

Now, children, it gets ugly.  We decided to try for three more, just south in the Gamelands area near a military training site.  Made a wrong turn on the gamelands, with failing GPS (oh how I HATE AT&T and my aging iPhone!) and a poor road map.  The geocaching vehicle du jour is a POS 2002 Ford Ranger.  Doesn't run particularly well, gets lousy gas mileage and is both very underpowered and very light in the back end.  (Note: please see above reference to monster storms prior to proceeding). 

At this point we have made several wrong turns but are confident because at least one of us claims to have a general idea of a. our location and b. our destination.  This portion of the adventure has required some large puddle/stream crossings and after one very deep water hole the POS 2002 Ford Ranger sputters to a stop.  Drowned.  After repeated attempts to restart, accompanied by much swearing and sputtering, we proceed up a fairly steep incline.  (NOTE: please see reference above to light in back end and underpowered.)  Halfway up the hill we find ourselves buried up to the rear axle in soft sand.  More swearing and sputtering ensues.  POS 2002 Ford Ranger is eventually extricated and backed down the hill.  Decision is made to attempt the next cache at all costs.  Cue dramatic music.  To Be Continued. 

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