Marcellus Cadd (atreides_78723) writes the blog Geocaching While Black. What started with finding a local cache turned into a passion for finding hidden treasures and writing about the experience of it all. This is a guest post written by Marcellus.
I had a little bit of time free after work, so I decided it was a good time to go hunt down my daily cache. I was a little bit tired and didn’t feel like making a giant adventure out of it, but one of the things I’ve always liked about geocaching is that it can be as big or small an adventure as I feel like making it. In this case, a relatively new Traditional Cache (D1.5/T1.5) had popped up in a local park close to home so I decided to go after it.
One of the reasons I’ve always been especially fond of Traditional Caches is because there’s something very elegant about them: it’s a simple and direct contest between the eye of the cacher and the cleverness of the cache. Not every cache has to be a masterwork in misdirection and camouflage to be fun. Even a simple lamp post cache can be a fun distraction from the boring stuff we have to do like work, laundry, and grocery shopping. The cache turned out to be a small film canister on a piece of wire, inserted into the protective tubing on a fence. It took me a few moments longer than it might have normally because the wire blended in just enough with the fence that it wasn’t immediately noticed. My small daily victory accomplished, I signed the log, returned the cache to its previous location, and then logged it with the app on my phone.
I decided that, since I was already at the park, I might as well go for a little walk. A primary goal of geocaching is to get people outside, whether it’s in the wilderness or the city. I continued along, thinking of some of the other caches I had gotten in the park that were now archived. One of my first cache finds was here. It was a bison tube hidden in a knot hole of a tree not very far from the cache I had just claimed, but the tree wasn’t there anymore. Another cache was in the elbow of the tree about five feet above my head. I personally am not a tree climber (though now I carry a ladder in my trunk, and that’s a conversation for a different time), but my younger daughter definitely is. She was kind enough to shimmy up the tree and grab and return the cache for me.
The next one was an ammo can hidden in the roots of a tree along the creek running through the park. That one made me feel silly because I had to tromp through a wooded area and then across the creek, only to find that none of that was required if you came at it from the other side of the park! As many other cachers have so often said, we always find the easy way out! I walked over and checked on one I had previously claimed more than a year ago. In fact, it was long enough ago that I had to search for it again. But I soon found the fake rock that it had always been.
I realized that, since I was here, it was a good time to do a little cache maintenance. I am the owner of several caches, one of which is here. What better time to check on it? Cache maintenance is just as much a part of geocaching as finding and hiding. If someone doesn’t place a cache, there’s nothing to find, and it’s only right to make sure that the hide you place can stay in good shape for future finders. I know a find is a find, but I’ve found caches that were unkempt. It always evokes a feeling in me between sadness and frustration. Luckily though, those have been few and far between. In my case, though, it was in good shape and didn’t need a new log (which is good because I didn’t bring any with me!) so I replaced its unusual rock pile, and carried on back towards the car.
One of these caches is not like the others! While I was here, looking at hides, I decided to pass by the rare one out here in the park. There is an older Virtual here, placed in the early days of 2002! This monument is here to honor one of the first scouts to enter the region on both his arrival and departure. I learned an interesting thing about the history of the area, and it’s also a good reminder that sometimes the place that the cache brings you to can be just as important as the cache itself.
And with that, it was time to head home. Dinner beckoned. In the hour between work and home, though, I had had a dash of adventure. I had found a treasure. I had walked in the green. I had enjoyed memories of adventures past. And all of it was within ten minutes from home.