Geocaching not for the faint at heart
DigressionsSometimes I can be very impulsive. This quality usually presents itself while I'm shopping, but every now and then I read about an exciting opportunity that I can't wait to fully immerse myself into; like the time I read a newspaper article about geocaching.
Published: December 3, 2010
Published: December 3, 2010
In case you are not aware of this activity, it is like a modern day treasure hunt where people use their GPS to locate a cache (hidden container). Inside are either an ink stamp used to validate your find or a trinket to take and replace with one of your own.
I couldn't wait to start an adventure that was easy and cheap enough for me to consider embarking upon so I convinced my friend, Michele, to come along and we gathered our children and set off to search for a cache stashed somewhere along the banks of the Peace River.
On this muggy morning we headed to Ft. Meade lacking any proper equipment for trail walking (i.e. bottled water or sensible shoes). We parked in a very small, empty lot next to the trail head just south of the middle of nowhere and set off to trek a mile and a half towards the river's edge and locate our prized stamp.
The first thing I noticed is that my cell phone's bars were conspicuously absent and I would not be able to call 911 should an emergency arise. It took no time at all (about 6 steps) for all my irrational fears to kick in and I started constructing mental images of the exact type of serial killer who would stalk for victims in this mosquito-infested marsh.
He wouldn't look like an obvious murderer, more like an upstanding citizen who could blend in at a local chamber mixer. If he ever gets caught, all his neighbors will testify that they never would've suspected him capable of such heinous acts.
I began complaining of the heat and general creepiness of the fact that our phones are useless when I abandoned the killer scenario and mentally switchd gears to the possibility of being attacked to death by a carnivorous beast. My friend's son was wearing flip flops so he wouldn't be able to run for it; easy pickings. I determine that it will be up to me to save these innocent children and decided I need a stick, so I snap off the shaft end of a palm frond.
While my right brain is hard at work fabricating vivid images of bear teeth ripping into my flesh, my left brain is frantically scanning its mental files for anything resembling statistics on nature trail deaths due to animal mauling in the Central Florida area. I yell at the kids to stay close and my friend is busy telling me that I'm acting crazy when we come upon a patch of mud.
In this mud were footprints; large, bear-like animal footprints. It rained the previous night so these tracks are fresh from this morning. Michele finally succumbed to my paranoid delusions and we decide to abandon our mission.
The kids were less than enthusiastic as we quickly stumbled our way back through the woods. I'm trying to figure out the best way to kill a bear with my bare hands and a palm frond shaft while attempting to predict how cooperative said animal will be in assisting with its own demise, but we managed to make it back uneventfully and vowed to never do this again without our big, strong husbands present.
Thus ends my one and only adventure with geocaching. I suppose we'll try to stick to more public caches in the future.