Saturday, January 29, 2011

X-tream Evil

It's a multi-stage geocache — "X-tream Evil," that is (GC1AM8X). I won't be giving away any secrets by revealing that, in order to reach one of the cache stages, you have to construct a rope bridge over a ravine, which — out of necessity — makes the whole business a team effort. Our team consisted of folks with monikers like 3EaglesHigh, DLF2001, RobGSO, and Damned Rodan; we were also accompanied by the cache owner his own self, Mr. Rich "Night-Ranger" Colter, who made sure things got fixed after we broke them (or in one case, broke a stage so that it would actually work). We hit the woods at 8:00 AM, and got the quickest, easiest stages done promptly. No problems at all until we actually constructed the rope bridge across the rocky ravine. On the first test, the lower support line suffered a catastrophic failure — due to faulty equipment — which would have been bad news indeed had someone actually been out on the line. But that's why God made cache owners. In a fairly short time, he provided us with the new, necessary item to make reparations, and soon enough, a secure "Postman's Walk" spanned the ravine.

Uncle Rob went across first and procured the item that needed procuring in order to continue. Next, the two young eaglets went across, making it look shockingly easy. But then came the old dude's turn, and I gotta tell you, my crossing was far less graceful than the young 'uns who preceded me. Now the bridge isn't terribly high, though it's far enough up that, if you fall into the ravine, it's going to be an unpleasant experience. Fortunately, I remain just agile enough to maintain some semblance of balance. I reached the far side without mishap, and the rest of the team soon followed. From there, we set out for the final stages of the cache, only to find ourselves bamboozled when...lo and behold...a stage turned out to be missing.

Well, suffice it to say that the cache owner again came to the rescue, this time with a pair of bolt cutters. So off we go to the final stage, which proved to be a rigorous physical challenge in its own right. I'll give no more away than to say it was simultaneously deep, dark, dank, and very high. Uncle Rob and I undertook the necessary steps to retrieve and then return the final cache container to its rightful place.

I might mention here that all this activity takes place shockingly close to a big old Wal-Mart. We did receive some highly entertaining stares from Wal-Mart patrons, who surely thought we must be a group of maniacal survivalists training to get through the coming apocalypse. Well, it was all great; everyone contributed, and no one died. A good day's work.

Afterward, my friend Bill Mann came round for an afternoon and evening of daikaiju films, which we must on occasion do. This was all quite nice as well, though after the morning's exertions, I found my eyelids heading south several times during the movies. I reckon that's okay; I've seen them all before, and nothing appeared to be missing from the house when Bill took his leave.

Putting it all together

Uncle Rob on the Postman's Walk


Old dude making the crossing


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