Chris Brown’s (1Delta10Tango) geocaching accomplishments can be measured by the mile. There’s a 20 mile swath of land around his rural Oregon home where, he says, he’s found nearly every geocache. A geocache is published, Chris finds it. It’s a system. But a recent search turned up an extreme cache that he hadn’t found. The cache was hidden in an old gold mine and only one geocacher had logged the find since the difficulty four, terrain five geocache was published in 2009.
Chris and a group of local geocachers were about to set off on a geocaching adventure that would twist them through cave openings little larger then rabbit holes. The adventure would leave them rain soaked, mud covered and in awe. In typical geocacher fashion Chris calls the experience, “truly one of the most fun and exciting caches that we had ever done.”
The search for “In the MIDDLE of nowhere” (GC1XK83) began with a phone call. Chris says, “I called my geocaching buddies Team Mazda and Ladybug97470 and said we have to go for this one there has only been one finder and it has sat for almost a year.”
On the way to the cache the rain started. Chris says, “After about a 30 minute drive we arrived at our destination, the rain was falling at a steady pace and was enough to soak through our coats.” He says they did a quick safety check and, “We found a spot to park and after gearing up with flashlights, extra batteries, a few items of SWAG and our GPS we set off down the side of the mountain.”
The coordinates took them deep in the brush to a steep hillside. Chris says, “We arrived at the spot where we had to crawl into the opening of an abandoned gold mine. We all looked at each other water dripping from our faces. Chris asked, “Who is going to be Alice first?”
Crawling through the rough dirt hole, Chris says the geocachers entered another world lit only by their flashlights. Chris says,“There was no White Rabbit, Mad Hatter or Cheshire Cat in this Wonderland but there was years of preserved history just waiting for people to find it.” The mine looked very much like it did more than a hundred years before.
“We looked around amazed at what we had found. We could still see the marks in the rock from pick axes that had chiseled their way through so many years ago. It was one of the neatest places I have ever been. After looking around for a minute we decide to begin our search without any info on what we were looking for or where we would find it.”
The cache wasn’t far. “With a little searching around we managed to come up with the cache. After a few minutes of looking through the SWAG and deciding what each of us would get, we divided it up and left our own SWAG for the next seeker.”
But the team left with more than SWAG. They had an experience for a lifetime: “With a smile on all our faces we walked back down the dark corridors, back to where we started this fun and exciting venture.”
Chris hopes his story will inspire others to try more challenging caches (while taking necessary safety precautions). Chris says he is “hopeful that one day others will try this quest and get the self satisfaction of a job well done.”