Paint Rock is situated in the far north of the county and a very short drive away from Ballinger. I mean “shorter than a drive across Austin” short. It is also quite possibly the smallest town I have ever set my feet down in. According to Wikipedia, it has a population of 273 (down from 320 in 2000). I cannot stress how absolutely tiny this town is.
Lack of cell connection cropped up again, but luckily, since it was so close to Ballinger, many cache locations were downloaded and even updated when I was back there. But here? Not so much. Luckily there was a cache at the courthouse. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it. Just as unfortunately, it turned out to be placed by That Guy. There was another cache a few blocks away, but the last couple of people who went for it didn’t find it, also placed by That Guy. There was a cemetery down the road so I decided to go get that one. I popped over with just the location, but no other info because no connection. I searched for it, but it was a DNF. I must have gotten a moment of connection somewhere in there because the cache info updated. The last person didn’t find it and it was placed by That Guy. Really?!? There was one last chance. There was a mystery cache in town not placed by That Guy so I decided to give it a try.
The mystery cache was placed at a plaque back at the courthouse. It was relatively simple so I was able to quickly get it’s coordinates. So I set off down the highway to the appropriate county road to turn, which was slowed down by road construction shutting the highway down to one lane (a lead truck had to lead groups of cars through while the other side was stopped). I turned off onto this badly paved road for a bit then turned off onto the next county road, which was just white stone. And then I turned off onto another county road which was just a dirt road. Where the heck was this thing taking me? I got to where the road was under water and decided that was as far as I was going to go, but it was fine because it was really close to the GZ. I got to the spot, followed the appropriate instructions and there it was!
I don’t usually photograph the cache itself like this, but it you can find this road 5 miles south of Paint Rock, more power to you. The cool thing is that it had a bunch of wheat pennies in it! I grabbed a few and left appropriate swag. It was annoying as heck, but it turned out pretty cool in the end. And, you know what? Stuff like this is what geocaching is all about. The thrill of the hunt, the interesting caches, the beautiful locations… I even gave it a favorite. Once everything was signed, replaced, and recovered, I got ready to go. I turned around the car and headed off for…