Sunday, January 20, 2013

Earth, Wind, Fire, & Water

Everybody's got a laughing place. For some, it's a
crematorium oven in an old WWII POW compound.

Earth, Wind, Fire, & Water (GCJJTP). Headed out the door bright and early this morning, bound for Butner, just northeast of Durham, to meet up with a group of 20-some cachers determined to tackle this modest little hide. It's a four-stager, with each stage progressively more challenging — physically and otherwise — than the last. Among the suggested accouterments to bring along is a Native American numerologist, and, as the lot of us soon found out, for good reason. We gathered near stage 1 at 10:00 AM, and soon we were hiking out to ground zero, which turned out to be a crumbling ammo bunker circa World War II. We found and decrypted the hide quickly enough; returning it to its hiding place — an interesting balancing act — was no doubt my main material contribution to the group for the day. Alas, I did manage to carelessly place myself directly beneath a massive deluge of rusty debris as I maneuvered certain objects and ended up a very dirty Damned Rodan. From there, we had to negotiate some fairly treacherous terrain to reach the next stage, which certain of our party made short work of. At this point, though, the team became quite fragmented, and getting us all back together was kind of like trying to herd cats. At last, though, we found ourselves more or less regrouped, and thus resumed our forward progress. At the parking area for stage 3, Mr. Steve "Nthacker66" Thacker procured us a tasty bit of venison for lunch, and after we finished urping, we made the short hike to a challenging and fairly spectacular ground zero. Happily, we had brought along a few agile cachemonkeys to undertake the acrobatics — the highlight of which was an airborne squirrel passing directly over the heads of our unsuspecting, precariously perched daredevils. Finally, we're down to the final endeavor. This one had us scratching our heads for a bit, but at last, the hide revealed itself. An intrepid few of our number — military guys, much to our benefit — geared up for the job, which proved anything but quick and easy. There were a couple of fairly hairy moments here, but at the end of it, we all managed to scribble our signatures in the logbook. The cache owner and a previous finder or two came along to witness the proceedings, and I'm pretty sure they got themselves a few chuckles along the way. A great cache indeed, and a mighty fine crowd of cachers to do it with. Could hardly have asked for a better day. Many thanks to the CO and all who came out for the venture.

Hmm, did I say modest little hide up there? I meant monster hide. Yeah, that was it.
Don't do it, Ms. Nocona, don't jump! It's not THAT bad!!!
Wonder where this stage might be hidden?
Oh... yeah, there.
I say, are there trolls in this neighborhood?
Why, yes there are. The victorious caching party on the old bridge.


James Robert Smith said...

Oh, wow! Cool place! I love seeing those old abandoned mills. Was there also the remains of an abandoned town around it. Sometimes there is.

Mark Rainey said...

That's a crematorium circa WWII. There are lots of remains of structures, including old ammo bunkers, all through the woods there. Some of the maps -- even Google's -- show roads going through there, but the roads are long gone. All you can find are stretches of asphalt under the foliage.