Sunday, April 14, 2013

From Forest of the Elves to the Domain of Dwarves

Ol' Rodan homing in on "Shields of the First Age" (GC2NTA9)

Needed exercise. Got exercise. Tired. Sore. My feets have warned me they will walk me no farther this day.

It started early. Headed out to Burlington to meet Mr. Robbin "Rtmlee" Lee so that we might snag a number of geocaches we both needed — two in particular — first at the Caswell Game Lands up the road a ways, and then over to Danville, VA. Out of a fair number of hides in the expansive game lands, we both lacked only one: a puzzle cache called "Shields of the First Age" (GC2NTA9), based on certain Elvish lore from Tolkien's The Silmarillion. (See "Middle Earth in Caswell County," Sunday, March 12, 2011, to read about our first adventure out there.) I had labored long and hard to decipher the runic symbols on the cache page, and after a nudge in the right direction from a friend who'd solved the puzzle, I finally got the hang of Elvish math. Upon reaching the game lands, we had a mile hike out to ground zero, the latter part of which offered a fair incline to negotiate, but that was naught, naught I tell you, compared to the mental challenge of this cache. Fortunately, the container was easily found; we slapped our monikers on the log, made the hike back to our vehicle, and set out for Danville. Along the way, we received a call from our geocaching friend Larry "HDJP" Roach, who was coincidentally heading for Danville at the same time from a different direction. Thus, we made plans to meet him at our other main target cache — "Dick's Downer" (GC3NVM4)

Before the next big one, Rob and I stopped for a couple of hides near the Danville Riverwalk, and who should we stumble upon but another of our geocaching buddies, Mr. Keith "KeithandLaura" McCoy. He was also keen on heading over to Dick's Downer, so after we finished our business at the Riverwalk, we hit the road for Dick's. The cache description gave us the crucial information about prerequisite equipment — things like bright flashlights or headlamps, waterproof boots, and maybe a change of clothing. Sure enough... once we reached ground zero, we saw that it clearly presented us with the expected terrain challenge. Just before we made our way into the subterranean darkness, I spied something in the water that looked rather familiar. No way, I thought... I mean, it just didn't seem even a little bit likely. So I let the thing be, and on into the dank darkness we crept. Now, I've got to tell you, I've enjoyed some caches of this type, but this one required a few interesting physical challenges that really made it stand out (imagine the old man playing Tarzan deep in the underground). It wasn't long before Mr. Lee spotted the hide, but it was... how you say... incomplete. Blimey! That thing I had seen out in the water — it sure enough was a piece of the cache! So, Mr. Keith and I backtracked, and he went out to see if he could find the thing. Happily, he soon did. So after putting in a new logsheet, he brought the container piece back in to me, and I relayed it to Mr. Lee at the cache site. Finally, we managed to get it all back together, as it was intended to be. Clearly, I should have just recognized the thing for what it was at the beginning, but that would have deprived us of half the trip's adventure. In the end, Dick's proved an enjoyable highlight of the day, and it was also a mini-milestone for me — cache find #5,800.

There were several more caches to be found over the course of the day — after a superdynawhoppin' bison burger at Ham's — so, yes, at the end of it all, my feets were uttering the uncooperative stuff I related up top. They did get a nice break this evening when Ms. B. came round so we could watch The Evil Dead II, which I've not seen in years.

Done. Ripped. Fini.
Rodan cooling off at the entrance.
Nothing satisfies one after a long hard day on the trail more than a big old burger of bison.
Railing against the man, is that it? Found on the Cane Creek Parkway, Danville, VA. Left it as found...

1 comment:

James Robert Smith said...

It's cool that you have so much fun geocaching. Kind of like the thrills I get when I go peak-bagging, waterfall wandering, or backpacking.