A Shot in the Dark Update September 21, 2003: The first reflector has been updated. It is now a smaller reflector very near the trail and no longer green. Green relectors 2 through 6 have been confirmed as well as the final red reflector.We are pleased to offer the first night-only cache in the area (if that is not the case, please let me know!.) Your search for the cache will only be possible if you seek it under the cover of darkness. The coordinates above are for a parking area at the Lippold Outdoor Recreation Center and not the cache itself. Upon arrival, start a new track on your GPSr and grab your "quiver" (if you're not familiar with this park, you'll understand the reference when you arrive.) We suggest the following items to be included in your quiver:
||GPSr of choice (so you know how to get back!)
||A good Flashlight
||Spare batteries for both the GPSr and flashlight
||Eye protection - small branches are eye magnets at night!
Begin your journey by taking the paved path to the north and continue to follow it as it curves west toward the river. At this point, you can start looking for the first reflector. It is near the trail and will glow white though it is black in color The next five GREEN cylindrical reflectors are numbered and will lead you to the final reflector. When you locate each reflector, stop and look for the next one to continue your journey. It may be necessary to step away from the reflector a bit, but no more than 10 or 15 feet, as you locate the next one.
When you have located the fifth and final GREEN reflector, you will be looking for the final reflector which is identified by it's RED color. When you arrive at this final reflector, turn off your flashlight!
You will now be looking for a blinking green beacon not far from the last RED reflector. It is light sensitive so if you looking for it with your flashlight, the beam from your flashlight will turn it off. Of course, once you see where it is, turn your flashlight on as you make your way to where you saw the light. The beacon is not attached directly to the cache container. It is not necessary to remove the beacon to extract the cache container.
Some final thoughts and comments:
Please do not use the hint unless you have exhausted your search for the beacon. It is intended to be a back-up in the event that the battery becomes discharged before I have a chance to swap it out. I am running the prototype at home to monitor the battery life of the actual beacon. When you decrypt the clue, you will need to substitute the letter in the alphabet which precedes the one in the hint (use Z for A.) This was done to avoid someone unintentionally reading the clue. Please let me know if the beacon was not working for you.
A big thanks to fellow cacher Mannscout of Ohio for sharing with me his schematic for the beacon he uses in his night caches. Mine is based heavily on his. I will be posting pictures soon of my beacon in the event others are curious.
The Lippold Outdoor Recreation Center is open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. The parking is gated so please keep that in mind when seeking the cache. A half point has been added to the difficultly rating due to this restriction. Plan on spending between 30 minutes and an hour for your round-trip hike.
Watch for the remnants of a wire fence between the 2nd and 3rd reflectors. It was frozen to the ground so I was not able to move it aside. The fourth reflector is the most difficult to find. Look high and low..it IS there.
A quality flashlight will make your journey much easier; especially one that allows you to adjust your beam from broad to spot. Use the broad light to watch where you are walking and the spot to find the reflectors.
We think that we have stocked the cache with some nice items to get started. Do not feel that you need to trade even or up but we'd appreciate it if you could leave something that others might enjoy - especially if is "night" related.
Please let us know what you think. This is an experiment of sorts. If it goes over well, we will set-up more night-only caches. Have fun and by all means, bring the kids. This is a safe area and there is nothing along this hike that makes it too difficult for children to enjoy. At the same time, we think adult cachers will find the adventure at night fun too. When we placed this cache during the day, the river was full of thousands of geese. When we did a dry run last night, the sound of all the geese among the quiet of the night was an experience of its own.
George, George and Collin