Sunday, October 30, 2011

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Despite an end result that fell shy of our hopes, Kimberly B., Dave "dlf2001" Foxworth, and Old Man Rodan had a blast traipsing into the deep, dark woods late last night on the hunt for "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (GCT3V0), a two-stage night cache out near Jordan Lake, NC. To claim this one, you must find an ammo box in the woods right at midnight because then, and only then, a spirit voice emanates from the container to give you coordinates to the final stage of the cache.

Kimberly and I had headed over to Carrboro/Chapel Hill earlier in the day for one of our regular pilgrimages to Trader Joe's, A Southern Season, The Spotted Dog, et. al., with a planned stop at the Benjamin Winery in Alamance County along the way. However, the best-laid plans, and all that.... As it turned out, the winery was closing early to host a wedding. Damn these young folks and their marriages! Anyhoo, we decided to figure out an alternative destination—for which the Android phone is a mighty handy device. We discovered that GlenMarie Winery wasn't too far away, and they were open for tastings. So, off we went, and we soon came to a scenic little spot north of Burlington...with very friendly dogs, a couple of cats, and a pair of alpacas in their front yard. Well, we figured any winery with alpacas couldn't be bad, so we did our tasting—which, I must say, proved most excellent—picked up a couple of bottles of wine, and continued on our trip to Carrboro, stopping to grab a few caches in the vicinity, of course.

Dinner and shopping done, we planted ourselves at A Southern Season's Weathervane restaurant for a while and sank a couple of glasses of vino before heading out into the wilds of Jordan Lake for the evening's big cache hunt. We found Mr. Foxworth already on the scene, having arrived at the game lands early to snag a cache or two for himself. Shortly before the witching hour, we commenced our hike into darkness, following our GPSrs and a trail of glowing fire tacks until we reached ground zero. There, we readily found the ghost box, from which the spirit voices were reputed to speak. Sure enough, right at midnight, a hollow, disembodied voice emanated from the box, saying...something. We each recorded the speech on our phones, yet when we played it back, it was an unintelligible, garbled mess. We could make out what sounded like a couple of numbers, but that was about it. We knew that, seven minutes later, a second voice was supposed to speak and repeat the coordinates, so we waited with anticipation, hoping this one would say something we could actually understand.

At the appointed time, we heard the recording start up...and then...nothing. Just a whirring, groaning sound that went on for several seconds and then fell silent.

Rather dismayed, we each listened to the first recording over and over, trying to discern some intelligible set of numbers. Using our imaginations, we managed to come up with coordinates that almost made sense, though they did not jive with certain intelligence I had received prior to making our trip out there. Regardless, we slogged out in the deep darkness through a flooded area until we reached the new ground zero. As we more than half anticipated, we found nothing there. Quite wet and cold now, we decided to admit defeat and return to our vehicles. What a disappointment! Well, it was in terms of caching, at least. On the other hand, I found it a highly entertaining little Halloween weekend adventure, complete with hooting barred and great horned owls to provide a spooky soundtrack. I didn't much mind the physical discomfort...that's a regular companion on a lot of cache hunts, particularly night caches...though I'm not too sure about Ms. Kimberly. To her credit, she didn't swat me in the head or worse.

Hopefully, the cache owner can whip those dastardly spirits into submission, and I'll no doubt conquer this intriguing little hide at the next available opportunity. I didn't crawl into bed until about 4:00 AM this morning, then slept in till 10:00. I gotta tell you, that cinnamon-hazelnut coffee from A Southern Season was just the ticket....

A couple of happy alpacas at GlenMarie Winery, Alamance County, NC

Brave, I am. Would you go into the deep, dark woods with these people?

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