Monday, January 23, 2012

Before You Find the Cache...You See The Ring

That's your predicament when you go hunting for "The Curse of Samara Morgan" (GC1QF2B), over near Chapel Hill, NC. The cache's theme, of course, comes from The Ring—the U.S. version of the Japanese horror classic Ringu—in which scary psychic girl Samara Morgan gets dumped into a well, where she survives for seven days, leaving behind a curse that kills anyone unfortunate enough to be exposed to it. No question, going after this particular cache entails taking certain risks, but then that's typical of the hides placed by some of those dastardly cachers over in the NC Triangle, heh heh heh...

Yesterday turned out very cold and occasionally drizzly, but that didn't stop the team of Bridget "Suntigres" Langley, Diana Hartman, Rob "RTMLee" Lee, Scott "Diefenbaker" Hager, and the old dude from making a big day of going after a couple of particularly challenging hides around Chapel Hill. We started out with "Preparation I: There Is No 'I' in 'Team'" (GC370N8) which required two teams, working in conjunction via cell phone, to find numerous stages along two fairly lengthy trails before rejoining and heading after the final stage.

That done, we broke for lunch at one of my favorite local establishments—The Spotted Dog, in Carrboro. They have a large selection of vegetarian items on the menu, but no shortage of absolutely delicious dead animal as well. I'm quite partial to their turkey burger, fish and chips, and spicy black-eyed pea cakes, though yesterday I opted for a good old bacon cheeseburger, since I figured it might be my last meal. It did hit the spot after the big hike. Their Sunday drink specials were bloody marys, and I do love a good, spicy one from time to time, but I fear theirs were underwhelming, to say the least. Better to choose from their extensive selection of microbrews, I think.

Hunger satiated, we were braced to move on and confront our possible downfall. By the time we arrived at ground zero for "The Curse of Samara Morgan," the temperature had dropped since morning, and the skies were turning ominous. We discovered a picturesque little graveyard nearby, which we reckoned would be handy if the worst should happen. Suntigres had accompanied the previous group to claim the cache, the previous week, and they'd had the advantage of much dryer weather; since then the rain had turned the well site into a muddy morass. That did not stop her from ridiculing us for including a rope in our retrieval recipe, since her team had forsworn such safety measures. No matter. I got myself promptly hooked up and, without undue difficulty, made the descent into the 20 ft. deep shaft. Sure enough, there's the cache. And what else? Mosquitoes. Tons of them. Joy.

Anyhoo, in short order, I signed the logbook and made my way back to the surface, by all the signs unaffected by Samara's curse. I told Suntigres that I had scratched her name off the log so she'd have to go back do it all over again, but she didn't buy it for a minute. (Maybe her mistake, what do you think?)

The cache still lurks out there, waiting for the next intrepid souls to make their way into the dark depths. I've been fortunate not to receive a phone call informing me I have seven days remaining. That doesn't mean you won't, though.

Ground zero

Down we go.

Looking up

Mr. Lee takes his turn.

A nearby option, if the worst should happen.

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