Are We There Yet?
In Iowa, United States
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Near a bike trail that treks through Black Hawk Park. The cache twists from it's holder.
Flood water level check. National Weather Service flood stage is 12 feet. (visit link)
It was an unusually cool day in mid-August, 2004 when my wife wanted to go on a family bike ride but made the mistake of leaving it up to me to determine the route. I suggested starting near my “Eye of the Needle” cache and ending in Black Hawk Park. “It doesn’t look far on the map,” I said. Choke. We set out and just after my daughter told me that she could not figure out how anybody can get tired riding on a level surface my wife hollered up to me and cried, “I need a break.” My daughter laughed.
While taking our short break along the Cedar River I spotted a sizable snake and began to yell for my kids---not to run but to look! My wife began yelling herself as I attempted to locate it in the rip rap where it hid. She said, “Tom, leave it alone!!!” In opposition my daughter exclaimed, “Catch it dad! I want to touch it!” [Got to raise kids right you know. I LOVE reptiles.] After a few minutes of pulling on large rocks and jerking my hand back whenever the snake’s gaping mouth headed my way, I finally got a hold of its tail and hauled it out of a cavity I made in the chunks of limestone. Subduing the critter was a simple matter of pinning its neck down with a weed stem and grabbing it behind the neck. Once I realized it was a fox snake I avoided its “7th planet from the sun” because when alarmed they excrete a horrible smelling goo of which I am all too familiar. (!) As I held it up my daughter got to feel it and said the scales felt like “sunflower seeds.” A good description of strongly keeled scales I might add.
As we rode on my wife said, “How much further? I thought this was going to be a short ride.” I assured her it wasn’t far....on the map. After another couple miles I began hearing the all to familiar vacation vernacular, “Are we there yet?” On the way, we passed my “Kiss’n Cousins” cache and I managed to convince my wife to let me take the kids over to it to see the awesome bike trail hills there. Wanting to try those hills myself I took the opportunity to ride over enough of them to pretty much wreck my upper back muscles. My wife came over to see what all the yelling was about. It wasn’t my back. I was just having fun. I said, “Watch this trick.” I barreled over a few steep mounds of dirt and wheeled back with the enthusiasm of a 12 year old in a 53 year old body. She said, “So what’s the trick.” “The trick,” I said, “was my getting my middle age carcass over those hills!”
Well we finally made it to our destination, Black Hawk Park. It was then that I got the idea for this “memory cache.” It wasn't long ago that my younger brother passed away and I thought I would make one for him since he liked riding his bike for miles on end. I came up with an idea to save my hide. My son and I would ride our bikes all the way back to the car to bring the transportation to the wife and daughter. She didn’t have to wait long for we made it back in ¼ the time as it took us to go the route to the park together.
Unir n frng juvyr lbh fvta gur ybt.
Last Updated: on 5/2/2015 3:18:42 PM Pacific Daylight Time (10:18 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum