A few days ago I went on a little hike. There’s a challenge cache here called the Completely Kosher Cacher Challenge. I actually completed it about three weeks before with a caching buddy but I only got around to going to get it now-ish. I made ultimately two mistakes: 1) I forgot to bring my water bottle along and 2) I’d been to the park before and, instead of following the trail leading to the cache, I followed the trail I knew along the creek. Not having water was merely annoying, but following the wrong trail means I ended up taking the harder route to the cache.
There were on again-off again trails in random places in the park. A lot of places were fenced off because this park is also a wildlife preserve a few months out of the year (springtime when the golden cheeked warbler uses the area as a breeding ground). So I got to go up the hills avoiding barbed wire and fences, walking along short pseudo-trails that would randomly appear and disappear. But the scenery was picturesque as all get out.
Eventually I ended up finding my way back to the main trail I should have followed in the first place. About another thousand feet and I hit the GZ. I searched and searched until I heard an “Oh S#!%!” as a shirtless runner rolled up on me from out of nowhere. “You scared the s#!% out of me!” he said while running off. Eventually, I found an unusual pile of rocks at the base of the tree just off the trail as prophesied by the hint. I moved them and guess what I found?
W00T! The log was signed. I left something and took something. It was great. And once I replaced it, I set off down the trail I didn’t take in the first place. As fate would have it, there was another challenge cache on the way down the trail. So I snagged it and signed it. Sure, to claim it I’m going to have to get a cache in every state, DC, and all eight territorial possessions, but maybe some day. But that’s the real point of all this. When we’re new, a lot of these challenges look really daunting and impossible. But I want to remind everyone new that, while they may be hard when you’ve been in it a month, over time they get done. Heck, the previous day I found my 500th Traditional, completing a challenge I signed in Fredericksburg three months ago. So don’t be daunted. Just keep going and one day you’ll look back and find out you’ve accomplished some pretty amazing things.
In the meantime, cache on, my friends!