Editor’s Note: Updated in September 2013 with additional DNF numbers.
Another Editor’s note: Updated August 2014 to include the second find!
In this week’s Geocaching Weekly Mailer, we talked about logging DNFs (did not find). While no one yearns to log a DNF, they’re a necessary part of the game. DNFs can mean all sorts of things: the geocache has been moved, needs maintenance, or in the case of A Real Challenge (GC1764C), it could mean that it’s incredibly hard to find.
With 247 DNFs and only one find, A Real Challenge lives up to its name. In fact, it took nearly four years for the FTF. This geocache was hidden near Peoria, Illinois, USA by geocacher Fuzzy B, who set out with the goal of creating something he’s never seen before, which, with nearly 46,000 finds, is hard to do. “I have felt a little guilty that so many people have spent so much time searching for it,” he said when asked how it felt to be the owner of such a difficult geocache.
In the geocache description, Fuzzy B writes, “Please, to hold down the level of frustration, anger, etc., just put this on your ignore list, it’s not very findable.” But he goes on to reassure us, “Yes, its there. It’s a shelter Cache, a log in a container. Cache is not in, on, or touching any part of the electrical equipment. It’s not on the roof, or under the shingles, nor the drip edge. Cache is exposed to light and air. Cache is within the footprint of the roof. There is NO reason to damage or destroy Park property.”
A Real Challenge has only one find so far by geocacher BransonAdventure. “We found at 8:07pm, but waited to log so we could confirm with owner it wasn’t a decoy or mistake. All the way from Nebraska on vacation we extended the Eastward travel just for this cache,” they said in their log, “I will say we spent just a little under 2 hours looking when my husband found it and then to unroll the log, being so excited and shaking felt like it took about as long. The husband and kids did a little jig.” After the find, Fuzzy B came to meet the lucky geocachers.
Even if it’s a little discouraging, DNFs are an important part of the game. Just think, if all the people that had searched for A Real Challenge hadn’t logged their DNFs, the FTF wouldn’t have been as special.
There’s only one way to find out where this geocache is located, but in the meantime, we can speculate. Where do you think it’s hidden?
UPDATE, August 2014:
On August 11, 2014, a second intrepid geocacher made this nearly impossible find. This makes only two finds after nearly 7 years and 327 DNFs. Congratulations to wcs24fan for being only the second geocacher to conquer the odds and sign their name on the logbook. In their log, wcs24fan writes, “As the sun was retreating behind the clouds and beginning to paint them hues of various pinks, we were still searching for this well hidden treasure. Hope has a way of making one think they can achieve the unachievable. On this evening, for us, the unachievable was struck down as we made the find! Upon opening the container and seeing the log of the BransonAdventure team in the FTF spot, it was confirmed that we had found what we had hoped for. Excitement and elation bathed us for several minutes as we signed the log and pondered what we had just accomplished. The first to find in 3 years and only the second to find overall! Those feelings would travel with us for hours to come as we made our way through the winding back roads to the interstate and our way home. Thanks Fuzzy for giving us the hope that we could pull this off and the great adventure!”