Archive for September 29th, 2009

Caching in the RAIN

It was a dark and stormy day…that turned into a dark and stormy night. Oh sure, we’d managed to all rendezvous at the correct rendezvous spot in a timely manner. And the sun was peeking through the clouds giving a nice soft glow to the landscape. And so buoyed with optimism we (pbump, Mrs. Pbump, Knight Who Says Ni, Rock_Rat, Aquacache, Gentleman-Carpenter, Colecopes, A_Babe_in_the_Woods & yours truly) piled into our 3 vehicle caravan and headed off to parts unknown.

 

After a few quick finds we headed out to Mountwood Park which is where everything went to hell in a hand basket, a very large, wet hand basket.

 

The first sign that things were probably not going to go well the rest of the day (aside from the fact that in order to be able to see through the pelting rain, I had my windshield wipers going so fast they were nearly flung off the vehicle) was Mountwood park was awfully busy. AWFULLY BUSY. As in a throng of people & vehicles getting. It would seem that Volcano Days is a really quite big deal in Volcano. (this probably ended up saving us some grief since we had to re-route and pick some caches deeper in the park as our original plan of attack involved walking to several caches on a trail)

 

(An important thing to note is that all of us idiots are geocachers. And we knew there was a chance of rain. So we had rain gear. It wasn’t as if we were unprepared for what lay ahead. Nope. We were prepared. Or so it seemed, until our formerly waterproof gear started letting the wet through. And gortex shoes are awesome if water isn’t wicking down into them via drenched socks. The only piece of gear I had that proved its mettle was my Seattle Sombrero. Do they make a Seattle Body Suit?)

 

Five or so caches in and we were DRENCHED. Completely and utterly drenched. Wet. Wet. Wet. It was only 1:30 and our secondary rendezvous wasn’t until 6:00 in Ellenboro. That’s a long time to sit still (at least it is for me). And so with typical aplomb we agreed that we’d try for 3 more caches and then retreat to BW3 for warmth, food & beer. This is where it all went seriously, drastically and horribly wrong. WRONG. WRONG.

 

After grabbing The Mansion we set sight (or so I thought) on The Wall. Until pbump suggested we head for Jeep Cache GC1616T  and grab The Wall on the way back. I’ll let my cache log do the talking for this portion of the journey….

 

What idiot listens to anyone who tells her to ignore the closest cache and keep walking? Seriously? What kind of moron would do that? Just mosey a mere 400 or so feet past a perfectly good cache because “We can get it on the way back”? I’ll tell you what type of cacher with no higher brain function does that – this cacher. yep, Spotty Spotty Lobotomy Girl that’s who.

Marched right past The Wall and into the Field of Thorns of Doom. Now some of you may be shocked to read the next few statements, but you have to believe me that it is indeed true. So there we were, everyone but pbump who had set out on his own to rediscover the trail that he had followed on his original quest for this cache. And I was thinking that not only was I wet, but there was a perfectly good cache not too far behind us that did NOT involve the Field of Thorns of Doom. And so I sent pbump a message on my crackberry begging him to call us because this was just too much insanity. Next thing I know, the crackberry goes off and I have a minor discussion which involves pbump telling me there was only 50 feet of the Field of Thorns of Doom and then an open meadow. Me? I’m not impressed. and I’m not being responsible for dragging everyone else through the Field of Thorns of Doom. So I pass the phone on to Rock_Rat hoping he (who I assumed was smarter than he apparently is) would make an informed decision to NOT GO THROUGH the Field of Thorns of Doom. Boy did I misjudge that one!

Well if this gaggle of MAGPI was going through with this plan, I wasn’t leading. So Aquacache & I figured if we brought up the rear, at least there was a chance that the Field of Thorns of Doom would be mashed down a bit. And we waited and laughed and laughed. And then the phone jammed in my waistband began to ring. Could this get any more ridiculous? Oh yes, yes it would. It was sidekick who told me that “Hey there is a hazardous weather warning” And I lost it. I just started laughing LOUDLY (which then made me start hacking because I have this wicked amount of crud in my lungs) and said, “Uh, seriously? I’m standing in the middle of the Field of Thorns of Doom and I’m kind of wet.” Ah, comic relief.

So anyway, after what seemed like far more than 50 feet of the Field of Thorns of Doom we reached a bit of a meadow….if you squinted and soon came upon pbump who had given us up for dead.

The way back was easy peazy lemon squeezy as far as I was concerned. I’ll take a short downhill bushwhack and stroll in a wash any day over the Field of Thorns of Doom. After reaching the vehicles I showed sparks of my former brilliance by taking off my super soaked nasty gortex shoes & shocks and putting on flip flops so I could let my poor feet dry out. It didn’t take much for the group to decide that the best possible step would be to go to BW3 and dry out before our assault on Ikie’s Tomb after dark.

 

Once at BW3 I made a quick change into nice, happy dry clothes as did Knight Who Says Ni. It sure was nice to be dry. Particularly since this BW3 keeps the room at an ambient temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Suffice to say, it was a little chilly when dry. The rest of the group looked like they were suffering from hypothermia.

After meeting up with 89SC and cramming him in one of the Jeeps we headed out for our date with destiny. I should probably point out that by now it had more or less stopped raining and we had a tiny faint hope that we could conduct the rest of our caching without rain gear. Yeah, fat chance of that. We hadn’t even gotten out of the vehicles at our first stop when the rain started up again. True, it was a sprinkling, but we knew it did not bode well for the old abandon cemetery portion of the night.

This entire trip had been planned around one cache Ikie’s Tomb Night Cache GC1XTFY. This is but a glimpse of the legend behind the now abandoned site….

In 1905 seven-year-old Ikie Mooring and his four siblings traveled to town for iced milk, which was a popular treat at that time. However, the milk was spoiled and within days all five children had died.


The distraught family built a tomb – a concrete basin to put Ikie and two of his sisters in. They wrapped up the children like mummies, with only their faces showing. The basin was filled with formaldehyde and the bodies floated inside. Ikie was placed in a small concrete coffin between his sisters. A concrete slab was placed over top with a small window over top of Ikie’s face. The two infant children were placed into two stone crocks, which were filled with formaldehyde to preserve the bodies. Folks who visited the tomb said you could take the lid off the crock, remove a layer of cotton and see the babies’ bodies. The parents put toys inside the tomb in remembrance of their departed children. Those items included a tricycle, wooden train, wagon, and several books.
 

Creepy-town right? Now put yourself there in the dark with the wind whipping through the trees and rain pelting down while you try not to trip on broken tombstones or get tangled in vines. All the while searching for a few glowing tacks in the woods. Spooky. Oh yeah. Every minute of it. Every last awesome minute of it.

(Disclaimer: it was far to wet to think about risking either of my cameras. I’ve fried enough electronics this year already. The gallery is of our group at the first cache & then the not so merry band emerging from Jeep Cache)

For Rock_Rat’s take on this fiasco, check out his post.

chris on September 29th 2009 in Geocaching