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Hotspur.us » wading


I was out on a solo cache run trying to fill in a square for the Fizzy Challenge (‘hunter you bastard see what you get me into?) and was looking for a good spot to park that did not involve a 1.5 mile hike (one way), loose dogs or verticle bushwhacks.  My map seemed to indicate that the cache was conveniently located less than 500 feet from a road.

Now I did think that was odd since no one (Aquacache) had mentioned this option. But what the heck. I was on vacation and had time to investigate.  Ah…seems the reason no one had mentioned the option I found myself exploring was because there seemed to be a creek between me and the cache.

A wide, shallow, cold creek. Now ordinarily I’d take one look at that and figure I’d go ahead and do the 3 mile round trip. After all, a motivated Spotty Spotty Pony Girl caching solo can rip off  a mile and a half at a good clip. I’m no runner, but filling in that Fizzy Challenge Square is a pretty good motivator. Except it was now hunting season  and the parking coords were for a WMA. And it was a week day. Quite frankly I wasn’t a big fan of running the risk of getting shot with an arrow (please see phobia #42.1a).  And that left me little recourse considering I wasn’t about to drive all the way home without finding this cache.

Instead, I slung the trusty Canon around my neck, took off my shoes and socks and waded across. (Now for those of you who aren’t geocachers, I understand this may seem to be a rather rash decision, plunging into a stream in late October. After all, you might be thinking, couldn’t it just wait until Sunday when the WMA wasn’t fraught with pointy peril? No. No it couldn’t. And besides, when have I ever been known to demonstrate common sense? )

Anyway, back to my narrative. Since I was a little unclear about where the WMA actually was and extremely unclear about how irate the locals might be to find someone so close to their property (was not trespassing but some folks in that area have been known to have a different concept of private property on ocassion), I stopped to actually use the camera mid-creek. Do you have any idea how cold a mountain stream is in late October? Really. Freakin. Cold.  REALLY. REALLY. FREAKIN. COLD.  Trust me on this one.

After what seemed like an eternity searching under all sorts of leaves and rocks – oh Fall geocaching, I love it so. Lovely lovely deciduous trees. You are so awesome in making everything geo-flage-o-rific  – and answering my phone’s plaintiff vibrations at what seemed to be 30 second intervals (yes, my support team, they are so very concerned for my well being) I finally, finally found the cache.  So yay, one more geocache off the list and one more square for the Fizzy Challenge completed. 

The new challenge before me was to now descend the hillside (covered in leaves which were covering rocks that were haphazardly stacked – damn you Mother Nature for your periolous obstacles) WITHOUT taking a header into the stream. Becauase remember, the stream is cold. Really. Freakin. Cold. And me, well you know, I’m not the most graceful person on the planet.  So while I’m contemplating the best path down, I’m also thinking that should I end up IN the stream most likely I’m going to fry all the electronics except the Garmin (yay, waterproof) which is going to make it near impossible to let support team know I’m NOT DEAD. So there I stand, trying to figure out if there are such things as public pay phones yet. And then I realized I don’t know anyone’s phone number any more. “Self,” I thought, “You have the potential to really wreak some havoc today.”


(Yes, I made it down safely. No, the electronics did not get wet. Maybe I will write down some important phone numbers on a piece of paper to keep in my GCC. maybe.)

(and thanks support team….I appreciate your unrelenting concern for my safety. Or was that your unrelenting desire to not get drug out to the side of a WMA to find my carcas? Either way…thanks.)

chris on November 17th 2009 in Geocaching

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