It's been a somewhat slower year for geocaching than others since I took it up in 2008, mainly because I've claimed most of the caches within reasonable proximity and have to travel farther and farther afield to find appreciable concentrations of hides. For a while now, I've been slowly but steadily creeping up on find number 8,000, and for that milestone, I've been hoping to go after something a little out of the ordinary. I finally settled on a cache called "All Alone in Goblintown" (GC1EAWF) at Philpott Lake, near my old hometown of Martinsville, VA. It's out on an island a good couple of miles from the nearest marinas, and it's been sitting out there unfound for the past six years. Since I do not own a boat, I'm reliant on others for water transportation, but happily, a few members of the redoubtable Team Old Fart are aficionados of paddle caches and have kayaks to spare. This weekend looked good for making the attempt, so I got together with Diefenbaker (a.k.a. Scott) and Rtmlee (a.k.a. Robbin a.k.a. Yoda Rob) to paddle out after this lonely, lonely cache.
There was no telling whether the cache might still be out there after all this time, and, if so, what condition we might find it in. All part of the challenge, of course, and most of the fun of geocaching is the journey. And this one proved quite the journey: a seven-plus mile round trip, counting a detour to go after a couple of other, considerably less lonely caches. Outbound, it wasn't too hot and we had a constant breeze, which made for a pleasant morning of it. Once we landed at Goblintown, we made our way to ground zero, and there we found the cache, quite readily and in remarkably good condition. (That's the container you see in the photo above.) We all scribbled our monikers on the log, snapped a few photos, and took a break to chow on some beef jerky and re-hydrate ourselves. Then it was back on the water to paddle over to Turkey Island for a couple of caches there. Now the wind stopped and the sun became oppressively hot — thank ye gods for sunscreen. But for us, mission accomplished.
Once back at Goosepoint marina, we hit the road and, never one to rest on our laurels, Diefenbaker and I stopped to find a few more on our way back to Greensboro. Best part of the trip back — dinner at The Celtic Fringe in Reidsville, which is one of my favorite dining spots anywhere. And lucky for me, while I was gone, a number of new caches have been placed around Greensboro, so I'll at least have a few more in the area to hunt.
Next stop: working on a new short story for an upcoming anthology. Never a dull moment.
|Old Rodan on the way to "All Alone in Goblintown"|
|Rtmlee, a.k.a. Robbin, a.k.a. Yoda Rob|
|Old man getting a workout|
|Old man taking a much-needed breather|
|It's not too far now.|
|Mission accomplished. Checking out the contents of the cache.|