The 18th Annual Texas Challenge and Festival: Part the First

The first time I was here, I wasn’t involved in the actual challenge part. But this time things were different. We all stood arrayed in our in the panoplies of our regions: black, cyan, navy… We, Central Texas, stood arrayed in verdant green and I, the Captain was prepared.

All our planning had brought us to this moment. The doors closed and the announcement was made. It was time to prepare. The rules were reviewed. The teams’ logbooks were distributed. There were 120 caches spread out around pretty much the entirety of Round Rock. For each cache there was a punch stamp bearing a number. Each player had to punch the number in their book with the appropriate punch. If special means were required to get the cache, each player had to do it (each player had to climb, use a pole, cross the creek, etc.). We on Team Cen-Tex had a special weapon…

Emily, our Lackey! Visiting from HQ, she came to rub elbows and commune with the caching community that had gathered here. As fate would have it, she is originally from Austin so she decided to roll with Team Cen-Tex! W00T!

Before we were given our coordinates, a test was set before all we captains. A donut box was placed before each one of us. We were told that the coords would be given out in the order in which the box contents were consumed. Those who know me will testify that this is a moment I had spent a lifetime training for. I was almost disappointed to find only a few donut holes. I shoved them all in my mouth with one swift move and took our prize to be distributed. We downloaded and hooked up GPSs and the doors opened. We were off! Several teams sped off to their vehicles. The rest of us went to the van. Unfortunately, several members of our team could not be present for a few different reasons, most notable of which being the reasonable concern of exposure in the time of a global pandemic. Consequently, van would be short on numbers. But oh, what we managed to accomplish!

We hunted and claimed. We got info back to our comms team, which compiled and distributed all the information coming in from all our sniper teams. We climbed stairs and walked through creeks. ladders were climbed on several occasions and hooks were swung about. Did I forget to mention that we also had to accomplish other activities, too?

While some of the team was playing cornhole…

…others of us were rolling giant dice. But the best one of all…

…was the scooters! Everyone loved them, no matter the team!

But eventually time ran short. We had four hours to find and roll and activity. Any logbook not turned in by noon wouldn’t count. So by 11:50, the van party turned in our books. The teams little by little hit the turn in points and we all laughed and joked. The regional challenge of the Challenge was complete. It was time for some lunch and camaraderie as our adrenaline wound down.

What a heck of a morning! And yet, the day was not over…

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