423. Vienna, Johnson County (IL008)

I thought I was out, but they pulled me back in again… I was on the way back to Arkansas when I noticed that I was passing through another county seat that I hadn’t planned for. I wanted to be in Arkansas early so I didn’t want to take a lot of time, but I was here already, so why not? The courthouse was about a block off the road I was on, so I nipped over and got a photo. It doesn’t feel like the best, though. That lit tower up there, while pretty, completely messed everything up from a lighting perspective. Then I needed a cache. There was a cache behind the courthouse at the town library. There was one minor complication though: it specifically requested that you don’t night cache it. So here’s the thing… A certain Messr. G. Slinkard, a cacher of some renown, once told me that he considered me a bit of a rebel. On one hand, I think I’m a pretty ordinary, sometimes even boring person. On the other hand, I am actively (though not seriously) considering sneaking into a cemetery to get a special cache that will remain nameless somewhere. My point here (and I do have one) is that I occasionally skirt limits to accomplish my goals. I was already there and I certainly wasn’t passing back through any time soon so I decided to throw caution to the wind and take a shot at it anyway. I passed the courthouse and the deputy looking at a laptop and pulled up behind the courthouse.

I walked up the hill to the back side of the library and around to the bushes in front. I stepped into the bushes and my search began and the cache was found. As I started to sign the log, though, it started getting really bright. I mean really bright. I froze. The deputy swung by, shining a spotlight, looking at the buildings. It didn’t shine directly on me, which is good, because I probably would have been screwed. I can only assume that I was behind the bush just enough to benefit from some camouflage. As the vehicle slowly prowled by, the light slowly faded. He obviously didn’t see me, but I decided that I didn’t want to take the chance on being caught technically maybe trespassing in a town hundreds of miles away from home. I put everything back as I found it and then got out with a quickness. And this is why I don’t have a photograph of the cache. But I put ink on the log. I’ll take it! And I’ve got an extra county that I didn’t expect so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. But I still beat a hasty retreat out of Illinois, through Missouri, into Arkansas. I drove for the rest of the night and eventually came to rest in…

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