Night Caching

It’s tough having a December birthday. It’s either too cold, too snowy or too booked up to have a proper party. After a few years you’d think I’d be over it. But nope, not me. This year I was pushing for a Pirate Theme party, but that seemed somewhat not quite right when the temps had been WAY below since the beginning of December, I went with my strong suit and issued a call for cachers.

Why have a party when you can drag your friends out in the woods in sub-freezing temps to look for caches that may or may not be buried in the snow? And if you’re going to do that, why not entice them to hang around a while and go after a night cache? Why not indeed.

And so it was that our merry band of MAGPI numbering 10 strong made our way from Morgantown toward South Park up in Pennsylvania caching along the way. The cast of characters being: me (of course), sidekick, Aquacache, Knight Who Says Ni, thebuddhaman, Dolphy, Rock_Rat, Gentleman-Carpenter, pbump & mrs. pbump.

We rolled into the park and met up with 89SC & egroeg who, it seems, had been waiting for us. 89SC had already managed to find quite a few caches and since egroeg was a local, he had cleaned out the park. Lucky for us then, since we were a bit under the gun to get to our food rendezvous with Purple Monkey Dishwasher, sidekick engineer, Colecops & Deizelsmommy.

Never being a group to shy away from following the arrow we soon found our group slipping apart and wandering aimlessly around, even though we had coordinates & two guides. It’s not a MAGPI group cache until we get confused, disoriented and make a few bad decisions.

After a proper rendezvous for food & libations our group was now at 14. And many thanks to egroeg for the suggestion of Barley’s & Hop’s for the food was delicious and the libations excellent. Amazingly enough we were only running about 30 minutes behind our tentative schedule. And so out into the cold we all went again ready to rendezvous at the parking for The Darkside. Which is where it got a little dicey since no one was familiar with the area and several of the GPS units were refusing to navigate or having some other snit. HOWEVER, and do go ahead and be shocked, we were prepared. Yes, I’ll type that again. We were PREPARED for such situation, because we had walkie talkies for each vehicle. It was a rare instance of forethought that happened to work out.

So there we go, all 14 of of us trooping our way up to where 89SC and wvhunter had parked their vehicles (some people being a little too impatient had already gone off and finished the cache) when headlights appeared behind us. Oh yes, it was the Allegheny Police Department. Seems our rather large collection of vehicles caused a little stir. But never fear….as pbump so eloquently noted, “Good thing we travel with our own sworn police officer…helps in situations like this.”

After convincing him that while we were a very strange bunch.  Trying to make us seem less like we were up to something, thebuddhaman made semi-introductions, “I pilot a boat on the Mississipi, she hands out money, they’re from West Virginia, she’s an MRI tech, they came in from Canada….:”  Which caused the police officer to ask, incredulously,  “They came all the way from Canada to get this?”   Ok, so maybe not the best way to make us seem normal, but it probably worked with the not up to no good portion of the day. After observing all of us bundled up to the gills and (acting silly) the very nice police officer declared that there were too many of us to hide a body and keep it quiet. And then he decided to join our merry little hunt!

Being at the tail end of now 20 people (89SC, Greenie333, snowXracer & wvhunter having reappeared) made finding the reflectors not too much of a problem. Or maybe that was because I bothered to put in my contacts, either way I didn’ t get lost or wander off into a field of thorns….no wait, I did do that latter. I always do that.

Many thanks to renruts for putting out a fun cache and for the motley crew for braving the elements.


chris on December 28th 2010 in Geocaching

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