Archive for January 27th, 2012

SSPG vs The Army

My attempts at FTFs have been foiled by many things. Non-cachers, animals, mud, rain, sleet, snow, shortness, work, sickness….but never the Army. Until now.

A still as yet unfound cache was sitting in White Park by the time I was done with work and judging from the satellite image I was pretty certain I could make quite work of it.

The weather was wretched, a solid rain had been beating the city to death since early morning. I decided to stop home and grab my wellies and my parka just in case I couldn’t make quite work of the find.

With my dress pants jammed down in my pink wellies with palomino ponies and my black parka I headed out to the park. As I navigated the speed humps (no fun in a Jeep) I noticed an unusual sign (not quite verbatim, but close enough).

 WVU ARMY ROTC

Maneuvers Today

No Live Rounds

Thank You

 

Did that mean the park was off limits? It sure didn’t say so. I was confused. (I was also relieved they weren’t using live ammo in White Park.) So I decided to approach the cache from a different angle. I tried a parallel street and was happy to see no signs indicating A) the Army was around or B) the park was off limits.

I popped out of the Jeep and headed onto a nearby trail. I was following the arrow and the trail and was closing in on 75 feet to the cache when I noticed the Army. One squad (unit, troop, platoon?) was holding a small embankment which was really very close to Ground Zero. Another was approaching. Crud.

I wasn’t exactly invisible, what with my pink wellies, and I had clearly attracted the attention of at least one person. It occurred to me that the guys lying in the mud would most likely NOT appreciate me giving their position away while searching for the cache.

 

Not really willing to give up, but also not wanting to interfere with the Army I developed a secondary plan. I would go home, work out and then come back and hope the Army would be redeployed by then.

By the time I got home I had developed a third plan. I would change clothes and walk to the park, hopefully killing two birds with one stone. It was uncomfortably warm out so I shed the parka’s liner, suited up and headed out into the driving rain storm.

When I arrived at the park I was not happy to see the WVU ARMY ROTC signs still standing. Crud. Like last time I circled the park and approached the cache from the back. I was feeling pretty confident that the Army was close to being done (they were wearing blaze yellow vests at this point) so I headed to Ground Zero.

I was elated to find the cache and see an empty log. Sweet FTF victory!  I unzipped my parka, reached into my inside pocket and found…nothing. Right. My pencil was in the liner pocket. Which was in the foyer hanging on the coat rack.

There I stood, in the driving rain, parka unzipped, hunched over trying to keep the log dry  and no writing implement in hand.

I just did what I always do in these situations. I signed my name with mud. There was plenty to go around.

chris on January 27th 2012 in Geocaching