I tried to get my first FTF this morning. I tried REALLY hard. I didn’t do it, but making the attempt was still quite a rush. I attempted Maggie’s Cache (GC2Q4R6) which is right across the parking lot and down in the underbrush from Whole Foods in Fair Lakes.
For some reason I was awake at five a.m. (okay — SIX a.m., now that we’ve sprung forward :)) this morning when Maggie’s Cache went live. I read the offline.cacher email and didn’t think twice about it — I threw on my clothes and motored up there. I knew exactly how to get there since Whole Foods is my favorite local grocery store.
Only after I arrived near ground zero did I realize that (1) it was still about an hour from any real daylight and (2) I had nothing to light my way down in this under-brushy soggy hole where the cache lives apart from my phone.
It really is a hole, filled with living and dead deciduous and pine trees and a thick layer of leaves and pine needles. Things that look (and feel) suspiciously like animal holes dot the underbrush. Thorny branches criss-cross the entire boggy depth. There are channels for water when it rains hard — fortunately, things had dried out somewhat. It was still gonna be tough down there.
The good news was it looked like nobody had arrived before I did, so I sat in my car at the closest vehicle point of approach, lined up my walk into the underbrush based on the satellite image and the coordinates (all using the beautiful iPhone Geocaching app’s “View on External Map” feature), and went down to get the cache. I’d also read the hint — “Move the log to sign the log” — so I knew I was looking for a log.
How tough could it be?
In the dark, with no real light, it was tough slogging. I let it go after 30 minutes and drove back home with two soggy feet. Some time later R A S got the FTF; ladyeaglerg also logged the cache a bit later saying it was about 32 feet off the posted GZ.
I usually do pretty well without a proper GPS by using my Geocaching app to line up on the satellite image, but that only works easily if the cache is exactly where GZ says it is. Still, I looked everywhere down there I could find a log that might move and didn’t find Maggie’s Cache.
Oh, well. I might have found Maggie’s Cache with some real illumination and some proper footwear…
…so now I have to add a decent flashlight and my combat boots to the list of things that are always in my car. 🙂