My husband and I have gone geocaching together often enough that a theme is emerging. Usually the theme has to do with him suggesting something that I consider a little crazy, and after some negotiation, my going along with it in modified form and taking a lot of pictures. It was true for the events described in my published geocaching stories, “Bobbing for Bob,” and “Gentle Icelandic Sheep.” And it was true this past weekend in Yuba City.
My husband is a geocache collector, like people who collect baseball cards or statistics. I’ve noticed that many hard-core geocachers take this attitude. For them it’s all about the challenge of the rare find, the more obscure the better. Whereas I’m more about the views and the travel that also come with caching. I like a little reminder of where I’ve been, and there’s a bonus if there’s a good story involved, but it doesn’t matter to me if I’ve filled in the entire grid of difficulty/terrain combinations.
Our recent trip turned out to have something for both of us, but maybe more for me than for him. My husband wanted to find a series of caches with unusual terrain/difficulty combinations and he had scoped these out weeks or even months ago.
Our first attempt took us onto a trail that led into private property. We didn’t venture off the trail as we labored up the hill and down again, but as we were putting back the first stage of a multi-cache, we met up with a guy on a mountain bike coming back in the opposite direction. He told us he’d seen the property owner further down the trail with a shotgun, and that the guy wasn’t afraid to use it. He told us that we should turn around now and shouldn’t go any further. I was happy to do so, but that meant we had to abandon our plans for the rest of that cache.
We went on and arrived at another trailhead by a river and boat launch only to discover that the picnic table was no longer open for business. It had fallen into a shallow sinkhole. So we parked some distance away and would later eat our lunches in our car.
The recent rains that caused the sinkhole have left many once-green areas muddy and clogged with debris. And geocaches–often made of little Tupperware containers and camouflaged pill bottles–wash away or get covered in the same stuff.
We went down this perfectly legal trail only to discover that about a third of the caches we hoped to find there were missing. Some had fallen down and could be retrieved; others had disappeared entirely. Our feet sank down into mud, which got all over our shoes and clothes.
To me this area resembled an alien landscape: a gray/brown cracked moon. Often the path forward was not clear at all, except for the animal tracks. To my husband’s credit, he did not get too angry or frustrated about our bad caching luck. He has plans to go again next week.
And as for me, well, my shoes have cleaned up and I have plenty of pictures.
For the Mundane Monday Challenge #100.