Should I have taken the hint?


As a geocacher, do you ever have one of those days where you feel like maybe you should just pack it in for the day? Today was one of those days for me.

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s I accidentally broke my glasses. How this happened is beyond me because I think I am the only person in the history of the world to split their frames just by cleaning the lenses. But regardless, I broke them. Gorilla Glue has helped keep the lens in place during this time, but I’ve had to re-glue them four times now, and I decided it was high time to replace them. So off I went to the local 1-hour eyeglass emporium. After the testing and picking out the frames and all, I was given a 90-minute window for them to be done. Considering I was by myself, I knew the only thing to do was cache. I fired up Geosphere and looked for some nearby caches, which in this area is plentiful.

I noticed I had a couple solved puzzle caches just waiting for me to find, so I set my sites on the one I felt I had the best chance of grabbing and headed off. Of course, this was not meant to be. The weather recently has been very Winter-like for once so the area where I could normally park was completely snowed over and the next closest parking area was a good 2/10ths of a mile away. Considering the snow on the ground leading to the GZ, not to mention the nip in the air and the possibility of slipping and getting soaked, I decided to ditch it without trying and head to the next puzzle cache a short distance down the road.

I had success at this cache, at first. I pulled up to an empty parking lot and was able to make my way to what I thought was the GZ and immediately spotted the container. Upon opening, I discovered nothing more than a laminated piece of paper with the words “Final Stage” and coordinates written on it. I quickly snapped a pic of the paper, replaced the container, and went back to the car to input the new coordinates in the app. The location resolved itself to be in another parking lot about 700 feet away. At this time I noticed a security vehicle headed my way so I quickly drove off and made myself scarce. I then tried to approach the GZ from a different direction, but the same security guard showed up so I quickly left the area. I then went to another, traditional LPC cache that is part of a massive series of caches that have just been hidden in our city.

After redeeming myself with a find I found out there was another of the series nearby so I went to find that one. As I got into the area, however, I saw another security guard parked some 30 feet from what I perceived to be the GZ. I thought I’d just pull up and wait it out but it appeared he may have just chased someone else away because he locked eyes on me and began to follow. I drove out of the parking lot and then began a little game of cat and mouse with him. Being a busy shopping mall, I was shocked it took me as long as it did to finally shake him, but once I lost sight I went back to the GZ and made the find. There was a trail of several sets of footprints in the snow and the log showed at least 3 teams had made the find so it appears the guard got wise to this area and was scoping it out. As I left the lot I saw the guard, who quickly got on my tail and followed me until I left on the main road and headed towards my glasses store.

After I picked up my glasses and picked up a few items at a craft store for my wife, I decided to give the multi/puzzle cache one more go. Over an hour had passed since my last attempt so surely the guard wouldn’t still be on the hunt for me there. Fate, as it seems, had other plans as several fire trucks were in the area near the GZ and there was a bunch of activity in and around the place that would have made it very difficult to get in and out without looking suspicious. Oh well…Meatloaf said it best when he sang “…don’t be sad ’cause two out of three ain’t bad.”. Still, I wonder if I should have just heeded the first omen, because surely my license plate is sitting in some database now and an APB to be on the lookout for me. The trouble I get myself into just to write my name on a piece of paper…sheesh!

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