Epilogue: The Texas County Challenge

Though perhaps I could have titled it “The Final Courthouse”.

When one completes the Texas County Challenge, one submits a list of caches to or creates a public list for the official Keeper of the Can.  Once it is confirmed, the Keeper will arrange to meet you with it so you can sign it and become part of the history of the yadda yadda yadda.  Well, I had about 12,000 miles of driving to decide where I wanted to do it and only one place was truly fitting.  That is why you see pictured above, my location of choice, the Texas State Supreme Court.  I chose it because, not only was it thematically appropriate, but because it was different than perhaps the most popular location to do signings, the Texas Capitol.  That said, 90 degrees and 100 yards to the left…

…is the beast herself.  Technically, I get no points for originality, I guess.  This signing here was bittersweet because I originally had bigger plans.  I attempted to schedule the use of the Supreme Courtroom to hold an Event for my signing.  This was slightly complicated by the cache itself.  Anything having to do with guns or ammunition, including ammo cans, had to be cleared by the DPS Capitol Security Detail.  If it had been in tupperware or a briefcase, it wouldn’t even be needed.  But because it’s an ammo can, it would be.  I spent three weeks back and forth with the Office of the Clerk and the DPS trying to work this all out.  I got permission from the DPS but it was for naught.  After granting me a date and then rescinding it, the Clerk of the Court decided that a geocaching event would not be an appropriate use of the courtroom.  I shall refrain from giving my opinion on his opinion because this is a family blog.  Dejected but not finished, I turned to Option B.  Inside the Capitol is the Old Supreme Court Room and that is under the purview of the Texas State Preservation Board, not the Supreme Court.  I contacted them, spoke to the person in charge of scheduling, and explained why I wanted to use the room.  He was interested and willing to allow it but there was one added complication: the room had to be scheduled by a state lawmaker.  It can be used for any purpose, but a lawmaker has to book it.  I thought on it long and hard and decided that, as much as I would like to have an Event there, it wasn’t worth bugging Representatives and Senators to do it. 

So here I was, waiting in the rain for the Keeper of the Can in front of the Supreme Court.  Good thing I have an umbrella…  Serendipity provided an interesting bon mot of sorts to make my venue disappointment less bittersweet.  It turns out that there is a tree in front of the Courthouse that was planted with soil from all 254 counties.  That’s also about 254 kinds of fitting, no?

Finally, the one and only Keeper, Indigo Parrish, arrived.  We chatted and laughed about stuff.  He too was a little sad that my courtroom plans had not panned out because it would have certainly been like nothing anyone else had done.  Once the can was in my hands, I cracked it and the latest log book open.  My log entry was quite long, a page and a half, and could have been longer, but I opted to shorten it a bit.  I put down the pen and closed the book.  I was officially done.

And here I am, your humble narrator, along with trusty and long travelled umbrella, the 228th party to finish and to sign the log.

So passes into memory
The Texas County Challenge
Beyond the ability of people
To praise or to blame…

11 thoughts on “Epilogue: The Texas County Challenge

  1. I’ve been reading all of these entries back to back. I have been extremely hesitant to do any overnight traveling of my own post-March and reading your blog has restarted that itch. I had planned to conclude the state of Tennessee this year after finishing my home state of Kentucky in 2018. I hope to one day tackle the behemoth of Texas. Congratulations. Hopefully if you ever cache at my local courthouse, you won’t be too harsh (next to no greenery standing in one block of downtown)


  2. Hi, I stumbled across your blog today because you were featured in the geocaching newsletter today. Although I will probably never be lucky enough to find caches in Texas or even the whole US, I have read some of your blog posts with excitement and a smile in the last few hours.

    Many greetings from Germany and keep up the Blog. Wish you many happy and fine “Found It” more.


    1. Never say never! If you had told me a couple of years ago that I’d be getting greetings from someone in Germany because of something I wrote, I wouldn’t have believed you, and yet here we are!


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