I hit the Will Rogers Memorial Center before it opened. There were campers nearby of people who had spent the night previously, awaiting the big event just as I was. But the doors were not open at 7am as I stood there.
I had a personal goal for the day, though. I intended to get ten cache types in one day. I had actually already gotten my first already. On the way up, I picked up a Traditional in Waco. I needed one to bring me to 899 and I didn’t want to get one in a county I hadn’t visited yet so I didn’t have one too many entries, either. I took this opportunity to log GeoWoodstock, the Mega, milestone 900. And since I had a few hours to kill, I started working my way down the list.
This sculpture was a Virtual, made by a locally famous artist. Quite the art piece, eh?
I popped back downtown for an EarthCache, taking the opportunity to learn a little about weirs, low dams used for river control. Then I headed back in time to see people begin to congregate inside he doors of the hall.
And once the doors opened…
So many of us from all over (even Norway!) flooded in. I grabbed my credentials, took a look at some of the vendors’ wares, and greeted some friends who had come up for the thing. But I couldn’t stay long. I had something I really needed to do before it got busy: The GPS Maze waits for no man/woman!
And, with a GPS Adventures Exhibit logged (along with a bunch of Lab caches), I went to the extras outside…
Solved a WVTim original sent for the thing (dang, that guy is pretty freaking clever). Managed that Infernal Device up there. Won a preform playing Geo-Plinko.
And, of course, Vince and some of the team that set up the Maze. And, while I was in the area, I picked up my first Whereigo back behind the college grounds. But I got moving because there was more to do…
For the Multicache, I went for a Jasmer filler. This is Tombstone,
one of the oldest caches the oldest cache in the state. I wasn’t thrilled about getting behind the cemetery it’s at, but, as fate would have it, I ran into a caching family when I got there and they sent their son back over the fence to bring it out for me. Afterwards, I went and grabbed an Unknown and a Letterbox from the maze geo-art. Well, actually, a few. I won’t lie… The first one of them really threw me because it was in somebody’s back yard and I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how people were getting to it. Then it occurred to me that it had a waypoint for “parking”. Duh. They all had waypoints for “parking,” so I picked up a few scattered about. Until I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, that is. So I headed back out of Arlington (the convention was in Ft. Worth, the maze was east in Arlington, and I had gone quite a bit east of that still [though not as far as Dallas yet]) towards Ft. Worth to get some lunch and decide my next move from there.
So, something you should know about me is that I’m a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to caching. While I occasionally cache about with a friend here in Austin, I tend to cache alone for the most part. After lunch, I decided to head back to the hall to sit and rest and maybe congregate with some friends. Imagine my surprise to encounter a pack of friends caching about together! I never made it back to the hall because I got wrapped in with them and we went off on our way.
One of the things that I really liked about rolling about in a group is that different people have different skill sets. I’m a big guy so going up a tree is not in the cards for me so having people who shimmy up them like capuchins with you is definitely a plus (especially when others are carrying around ladders). On the other hand, I, being a big guy, am well suited to boosting and lifting tiny folks up to high fixtures on buildings. We grabbed unknowns and a bunch of challenges in the area. We laughed and planned and grabbed. And, unexpectedly, we sometimes squabbled. You put enough people in the same place at the same time and you will get disagreements. But we’re all friends here and all the bickering ends in the only way it could or should…
As I said, we’re all friends here.
After a few hours, dinner was had and we went our separate ways, some to grab other caches, some to get back into town. I got back to the hall, which was breaking down and packing up by this point. I had one more thing to get done today.
One last party!
There was talking and (non-alcoholic) drinking and music as all of us told stories and caroused and traded pathtags and rubbed elbows with celebrity mascots. One last Event, one last hurrah. For me, at least. Other people would be spending the night to so more caching tomorrow, or events or the CITO perhaps. But I had other plans. After this I would be heading off, but I would take stock of the day first.
I didn’t get that many caches. Only 29 along with unclaimed challenges makes this my personal best caching day. I know there are folks who did a lot more (heck, one person I know did almost 250 and completed Fizzy Loops 18-21), but it was my day and I’m glad of it. I actually saw another black cacher (though we did not meet), confirming my belief that there are literally dozens of us. I picked up a few grid spots I hadn’t found before. And my goal of ten cache types in a day?
5. GPS Adventures Exhibit
Eleven types. Eleven. Heck yes. And, goal accomplished, goodbyes said, I headed off into the night.
As a minor side note and as mentioned previously, this is my 200th entry. Again, much like in my 100th entry, I’m amazed I made it this far. And, again, I want to thank you all for sticking along with me and my journey both past and future. It’s strange thinking that at this point I’m in the denouement of this particular project, and that one day I’m going to be working new challenges for my edification and your entertainment. But it’s a thought I’ve been spending time with and I hope you decide to come along on the next one, too.
My original destination was going to be Lipscomb, but several folks warned me that perhaps that might be too far considering the time of night and the exertions of the day. Partway there, I decided they were right. A little bit of mental calculus and I realigned my map route and stopped earlier than expected for sleep in…