Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some details on the FTF race!

Problem with these late night runs is that between the time the cache publishes, I rush out the door, the cache is found and replaced, and I return home, I'm usually so exhausted I collapse right into bed and forget to log anything.

So, while I'm posting this later (3-6-09) allow me to detail out exactly how these nights usually go since until now I've usually just hinted at the madness that follows the Publication Notify.

NevadaWolf found Hey Kelly & Joy, There's Washoe Lake!!!, Biking to School

Okay, so Trekrr and I were on our way to dinner up at Texas RoadHouse when the notice for Back to School came in. No time, I blow it off for whomever else to find it. However, once dinner was finished (an hour later) and a cache picked up on the way home, still no one had logged it. So, we swing by to pick up b0neZ and kindergeek, and we're off to the site.

This cache is located on a semi-busy street with no parking. So, Trekrr pulls as close as he can, hits the hazards, and out jump b0neZ, kindergeek, and myself. Trekrr drives off to circle the block. As we cross the landscaping to the sidewalk, I trip and fall and my phone goes flying of my beltclip. Gather everything up, follow the GPS, 40 feet, 20 feet, 5 feet - spread out, start looking. While this one isn't hidden by the Billow Clan, the owner recently received this one from Uncle Buck who has been putting out some insanely clever though just unusual enough to stick out caches. So, as the flashlights are sweeping the ground looking for ANYTHING my beam hits it and the cache is in hand!

We gather around, the log extracted using the required tweezers, slowly unroll the sheet to find.... SECOND?! Beaten by CeeBeeNV over 45 minutes ago. ARGH!!

Signal Trekrr and we all pile back into the truck and head home.

Now, you think that'd be the end of it, right? Oh nay nay! There are two other FTF hunters in our little town here.

While lying in front of the computer, my phone suddenly rings. The caller ID shows Puzzleman, but I wouldn't even had needed that once I answered it: "Yes?" "ARGHHHH!!!!!!" "Good evening to you too!" So, we spend the time talking as he's logging the sheet and I happen to mention that while out there I lost my stylus. He's kind enough to not only search for the little itty bitty stylus, but after *finding* that, he logged Trekrr in who I forgot to while I was out there. Wonderful!!

After that conversation was over, I checked my email to see CeeBeeNV finally logged in, so I log in right behind her, and then Puzzleman makes it home to log his. But, we're still missing someone....

Just before I head to bed, Bernsports makes his log - and a sad little purple frown graces his log. Apparently he got out there, his wife doing the same thing my dad was doing, and the whole neighborhood was echoing with the barks of every dog on the street. So between trying to search, and the constant racket make by the dogs, and the fear of the owners calling the cops, he was too rattled to focus and missed the hide. Imagine his surprise at finding a half dozen Found logs all claiming to be really quick and easy. Poor guy!!

NevadaWolf hosted Carson Coffee and Chow
NevadaWolf found guarding the snag, and on 2/22/2009 found hole in one (after midnight)

For my event, I expected around 30-40 people, tops. Honestly now, Carson is not that populated with cachers. So imagine my intense surprise when over 60 showed up!! ACK! But we had an insanely fantastic time and met a ton of great new people as well as many of my dear friends who showed up from all over!

That night, while logging in and emailing Puzzleman, RoadRunner does his thing and I'm moving! Grab up all my gear, jump in the truck, reach for the GPS.... which is still in the house! Rush back in, grab it, and back into the truck, plugging in coordinates as I go. Three new caches tonight, one in Washoe Valley, two out by the golf course. I blow off the Washoe one, too far. Gun the engine and pedal to the metal out to the links. I'm lucky enough that I know where the trailhead is for these two. I'm guessing/hoping that neither Puzzleman nor Bernsports knows of this entrance.

I get out there, no one in sight, swing around to park, and glance up the trail - and am gripped by a cold gut feeling of "Do not go alone." I don't know about you, but when I get a feeling that is beyond general uneasiness, I obey without question. I've been told by my body a couple times to back off, not go, or simply something's wrong and I never want to mess with that instinct. So I parked the truck and waited....

Sure enough, here come some Jeep headlights. "You find it?" "Nope, waiting for you."

We both park and head out at a brisk pace (I'm a mere 5'4" while Puzzleman is all leg at 6' so I have to move to keep up). The first cache site is located and the search started. Our GPS units are all over the place. 5 minutes later, I'm looking far and wide and I see the power pole. "Oh! There's powerlines above us!" Puzzleman looks, thinks, and grabs the cache quickly after that. Smart-aleck. But an easy FTF for us!

Heading off towards the second cache, we reach GZ and are faced with an old concrete chute, a barbwire fence, and lots of willow trees. We search everywhere within 20 feet, including several places that certainly weren't a 1.5 star terrain. But after a half hour, we give and head back.

As we pass by the first cache, we see a truck on the road slowing down near where we parked. We stop and I turn my flashlight off. Waiting, listening - one car door... silence, then two doors slam. 3 people? Who has 3 people? We rattle off the other groups who may be out, when I catch sight of a flashlight beam hitting the powerlines above. Puzzleman tugs my sleeve and we rush off into the bushes along the side of the trail. I see another flash of light, brighter and closer, and we heard voices coming up the trail...

Freeze, silence, hide everything reflective on me behind Puzzleman's neutral coat and hat....

A guy and a boy walk by, talking, and waving their flashlights everywhere. The beam crosses us, swings back, then back again, locking in on us as we wait... "Dad, there's people over there!!" "WHAT?!"

Puzzleman jumps up and we greet a rather pale-faced Bernsports and his son. The four of us return along the trail to the first cache where I got to play Hot 'n Cold with them until it was found, then it was back to the second cache.

Again, we search and look, and poke and are poked, until 10 minutes later, Puzzleman calls us all over and says he wants to show us something. Telling us to turn off our flashlights, he waits a heartbeat, turns his off, announces he's done, and walks away. Wait?! What?! Done?? OH! DONE! He found it!

We scramble to where we saw him last, while he's laughing manically at us. Bernsports spots it next, then I do, then Bern's son makes the grab. A long worthwhile search with friends nets us a four way FTF. We chatted all the way back to the trucks, and planned pay-back caches for hiding in the bushes and the flashlight stunt (I've laid claim to that one). Then it was time for us to depart.

I truly enjoy it when our lone hunts turn into group outings. Nothing better than caching with like minded lunatics.

NevadaWolf found Beer Run

I was late on this one as I was in Tahoe at the time it published. But b0neZ, kindergeek, and I did make the find before the night was through. Came in third, but still had a lot of fun going out to grab this quicky.

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