So here I am down in this underground pipe. What's that sound? A dreaded subterranean bigfoot, perhaps...?
A little while back, I was getting somewhere near finding my 4,000th cache when talk of going after "Triskaphobia" (GC2935M) came up among a number of local cachers, most of them significantly madder than I. So of course I said, "Absolutely." Come last night, I was four shy of 4K, so I went out in the rain and snagged them. Then, early this morning, it was out with a group of cachers from both near and far (well, as far as the NC Triangle), and—armed with what we hoped was the proper equipment—we set out to conquer this dreaded three-headed beast. I didn't quite know what to expect, other than at least a portion of it involved negotiating some extreme terrain. Stage 1, we determined, was a walk in the park. Wait...did I say "park"? Not park. Dark. Stage 2: that's where Audra "Homestyle" Webb comes in. She's bad, she's mad, she's...hitting the heights. Quite literally (see photos below). As she made her way to perform the necessary task, there was much jubilation from the peanut gallery: cheering, singing, and a jovial young voice yelling, "My mom is committing suicide!" Happily—at least for the rest of us, as it would have made proceeding a bit tricky—there was no gory death involved. Onward to Stage 3, where Mr. Ken "Alethiometrist" MacDonald donned the necessary gear and made the descent into the hairiest of heights. (Again, see photos.) But...oh, shock! There's nothing where there ought to be something. One of the previous finders confirmed that we were right where we were supposed to be...but nature or something more insidious has made off with a key puzzle piece, and we must rely on the wisdom of others to acquire the necessary information. Fortunately, we are able to continue, and only a short time later, I'm striking find #4,000 with my hiking stick.
To be sure, "Triskaphobia" ("The Fear of Three") is not a cache for the faint of heart, small animals (including wallabies, wombats, and woosels), or badly drawn cartoon characters. Those of us who made the journey today must sincerely thank the members of the first-to-find group who shared essential wisdom with us, or we would never have managed to reach stage 1, much less any stages that followed. Compared to what they went through to get the smiley, ours was a picnic at the beach (minus the ocean, sand, food, etc.). But the adventure made this one of my most memorable caches, and surely a fitting object for my 4,000th find. Granted, had it been my 333rd, I would have surely captured the kharmic energy of the entire universe, but since it wasn't, I didn't, and just never you mind.
Click on the pics to enlarge.
Ken "Mr. Alethiometrist" MacDonald getting fitted to hunt for another stage.
"Don't you have this in pink and blue?"
Damned Rodan hits 4,000 finds. We R Team "R We Stoopid?"
After all this, Audra, Lonnie "Moncure Bee Dude" Drain, Larry "HDJP" Roach, and I went out and about into the wilds of Pittsylvania County to hunt some more unsuspecting caches. We found a few, all very nice...encountering several other friendly neighborhood cachers on more than one occasion. Alas and alack! At one particularly scenic spot—right amid a sea of squishy soft mud—Larry ends up with a flat tire. It's quite the job to make reparations here, as jacks sink and collapse, spare tires fail to cooperate, and a dead deer lying nearby keeps giving us very hard stares. Eventually, however, we prevail and are back on the road again. A couple more highly entertaining caches—more for the surrounding scenery than the caches themselves. An old delivery truck rusting away peacefully in the woods (at least until Audra tries to drive it away). A haunted house that suddenly comes alive with the sounds of demonic laughter...oh, wait, that's just Audra's young'uns, Zachary and Amanda. But no...oh, lord, they're way over yonder, and the mad wailing is coming from within the old, abandoned ruin. Oh, dear, it's just Lonnie, as giddy as a ghoul in a house of a thousand corpses. Getting him out of the place is harder than changing Larry's tire.
Then it's off to the Happy Holidays event (GC366M4) at the Corner Cafe in Ringgold, where we have sixteen tons of fabulous food and a bunch of cache containers for the Dirty Santa exchange. Yay! It's unbelievably good stuff, since I haven't eaten in a month. Or at least since this morning, which is just like being a month ago, given all that we fit in today.
Martini time. And where's my damned masseuse?
At first, just ghostly.
If you said "yes"...ten points from Hufflepuff.