It was a suitably dark and windy night as I parked and set off. Not knowing exactly what I'd need at GZ, but knowing that I wouldn't want to trek all the way back to the car to get what would be necessary, I chose a wide selection of special equipment from the assortment that I usually carry in the car.
I read in the logs that a telescopic ladder would be useful, but mine is pretty heavy and I didn't fancy humping it half a mile. Instead, I took my grapnel and the rope ladder, as well as the reaching tool that extends my arm reach. I took a length of nylon rope and a strong magnet - some caches can be "cheated" by using a magnet. In case it was the kind of cache where you have to apply liquid to make the cache appear, I took a two litre bottle of water, and a strong head torch. And several other items, which I probably should not disclose here. I didn't bother with the ghost repellent, because, well, I don't believe in ghosts.
So I loaded up my rucksack (a wheelbarrow would have been helpful) and headed off into the night.
It was at that point that it started to rain.
But hey, I'm a cacher, a bit of wet doesn't discourage me. I pressed on.
By the time I got to GZ, the rain had turned to snow. Snow is both cold, of course, and wet, because when it settles on you, it melts. But hey, I'm a cacher, a bit of cold and wet doesn't discourage me.
I hurled my grapnel up into the darkness, and after a few tries, it lodged on something. Batman always gets his lodged first time - let me tell you that in reality, it isn't like that. So I tied my rope ladder to the grapnel, and started the ascent.
And then I saw the first lighting, and a couple of seconds later, heard the thunder. Sound travels about a kilometer in two seconds, so the the thunderstorm was a fair distance away, and I judged it safe to do the ascent.
I should have known better. Thunderstorms move, and this one was no exception. As I straddled a branch, I comforted myself with the thought that if it hit the tree, I'd probably be OK. Probably. At least I wasn't on that metal telescopic ladder! I reached for the cache, only to find that I was a couple of feet short. But I had my reacher tool! And with that, I was able to grip the cache and get it out of its niche.
And then I dropped it.
At GZ, the grass is long and the undergrowth is gnarly. And I was getting cold, wet and miserable. At least the thunderstorm had passed, so I was no longer worried about electrocution. And after a long search, I finally laid hands on the little blighter, and was able to sign the log.
The reast was easy. Or at least, it should have been. The grapnel was already in place, so getting up again was easy, and I used the reacher, careful not to drop the container, to place it back into its niche. And with that done, I sighed with relief - job done.
And it was at that moment that the owl, unused to human beings lurking in trees, flew past and complained "Woo Woo".
You remember I told you that I don't believe in ghosts? That's an evidence-based belief, based on having no evidence in favour. But when you're up in a haunted tree and something goes "Woo woo" in your ear, that isn't the time for careful reflection and the discounting of old wives tales.
Fortunately, I was already so wet from the rain and snow, that any extra liquid wouldn't show. I slunk back to the car, and drove home to a hot bath.