19. Bandera, Bandera County

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This is another one of those courthouses that jump out at you as you’re coming up towards town.  That and, along with the slight elevation, it’s a quite lovely sight.  There’s just something about this courthouse that I find especially aesthetically pleasing.  I can’t entirely explain it, but it is.  And it even has a cache right there on the grounds!  But, actually, it doesn’t.  There’s only one place it could really be and I DNF’ed it along with the last few cachers over the last few months when for years before it has years of logs of it easily being found.  So I decided on option two, the mystery cache located across the street.

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Simple enough…  Find a certain letter that corresponds to a number, count the number of horses in a nearby mural (not pictured), count how many symbols are on a grid and use those numbers to do some math.  Easy peasey lemon squeezy.  Except, the solution wouldn’t validate.  As I would find out later, there are more horses in the nearby mural than the one I saw.  But the coordinates put me right at the edge of town and that seemed too perfect so, I shot a message to the owner and headed off to grab it.  When I got there, I was led to the trees just off the side of the beginning of a trail.  I wandered around for a bit but after popping open a small container that turned out to be a broken pen light, I stepped back and thought about it for a bit.  Besides these trees, the only thing around here was a road sign with a band of mysteriously convenient reflective tape round it.  I stuck my finger in the hollow, but nothing.  I checked some trail posts and did a little more tromping around in the trees, but nothing.  Luckily the owner got back to me.  My coordinates were .003 off because of the horses I didn’t see.  Corrected coordinates validated to give a hint that it was magnetic and 3 feet off the ground.  Like that reflective tape.  I looked again and there it was.  I only checked from above the first time.  If I had checked below, it would have totally found it. 😦 Live and learn!

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Two thoughts came out of all this:

  1. I will have to be careful with mystery caches.  This one took me an hour and I only really have so much time to spend in each town.  As it happens I’m currently budgeting 30 minutes per town.  That gives me time to take a spin around the courthouse, grab a cache, and maybe grab snacks, water or anything else before heading on to the next town.  If I had known it would take that long, I would have just found a cemetery.
  2. County bless local libraries.  While I was searching for the first cache, I sat on a patch of sticky burrs.  It was nice to have a close, clean bathroom where I could take off my pants and pull them all out.

Cache achieved, I hit the road again for…

One thought on “19. Bandera, Bandera County

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