A Bit Of A Challenge…

So last weekend I had an afternoon free so I took a quick little trip down to San Antonio. I picked up one regular cache for the day, but otherwise I was on a mission. There are a lot of challenge caches down in San Antonio, so I took a jaunt to grab some of them. There’s twenty-five down there that I either qualify for or plan to achieve in a foreseeable future but I only had time to grab thirteen of them. That took me well to the southern end of San Antonio, far enough that I actually considered shooting down to Floresville or Jourdanton to add another county (or two) to my growing list. I decided against it. While there is a small chance I may go down to one or both of those this weekend with the girls, I really prefer to keep them on the list for an upcoming trip. That said, I’m weak and currently goaded on by the fact that a local caching couple just completed the challenge themselves. And I could easily alter the future trip if I pick one or two of them up.

There’s another reason I’ve been keen to grab a bunch of challenges. Some of you may not like this, may even consider it cheating, but this is one way I play the game that may differ from others. In September, I found a challenge cache in Fredericksburg needing 500 traditionals and I only had about 250. I’m also working on a 365 day streak challenge (which I haven’t signed yet). I completed the Fredericksburg one in November, but I didn’t claim it for a while. New Year’s Day came around and I was lazy. I slept in because late night, had a luncheon that ran longer than expected, and played board games with friends until late in the evening. Finally, late at night, I decided to get a cache. Before I left, however, I got a phone call. A friend of mine and I were planning on doing the Corpus Christi leg I’ve often mentioned but have thus far never done. He was calling to cancel. Real life intruded and he couldn’t go. My trip for the next day was cancelled, but I had an idea. If I left right that second I could grab a bus out to the airport (only rental place in town open at night) and rent a car, grab a cache leaving the airport (there are lots of close-by ones for travelers), and go down to Corpus the next day myself. Great idea with only two minor flaws: 1) the airport locations won’t rent to you without a return ticket from wherever you came from (I didn’t see that on the website when I reserved the car) and 2) because New Year’s is a holiday, the buses were weird and I came in on the last bus for the night. So there I was at the airport, frustrated and cacheless. And then I remembered Fredericksburg. I claimed that bad boy right then and there. Streak maintained, crisis averted! My point here (and I do have one) is that challenges are like little Get Out of Jail Free cards when you’re working on streaks. I completed another one to keep in my pocket, but the owner decided to discontinue it once I discovered the container had been lost/muggled. She was nice enough to let me claim it, but my card was gone. Therefore San Antonio. I had already completed five of thirteen I claimedand have already used two (one was to keep my from going out in torrential rain pour and the other one was wasted on the Superbowl). So I’ve got a few left for emergencies and sometime in the next few weeks I’m going to go down there and get the other twelve, giving two or three more cards in my vest.

For the last couple of days, a data migration at work has meant my entire department has been sitting around twiddling its collective thumbs (some really important stuff is broken now). I spent a little of that time planning for the future. I figured out that the Panhandle is going to require 3 two-days to complete. I’ve got another two-day planned to Pecos to truly complete the West. There’s a one-day to Del Rio, another to Corpus, and a two-day to Brownsville that altogether would complete the South. At some point I’m going to have to go to Houston, but I’ve been avoiding that because I want to spend a day in Brenham to do its geotour (why can’t the Blue Bell factory store be open on weekends? I would have gone out there with the girls by now if they did!). I have rough plans for the counties between Waco and Dallas/Ft. Worth. A lot of the seats on the way to Longview and the northeast are already familiar to me because I’ve driven there many times. I already know a route there and a route back and ultimately hope to make it a tree day so I can hit surrounding counties (and LA, AR, and OK as well) for a day before heading back. I’ve got plans, people. Fancy plans and pants to match…

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