The last week has been interesting since I got the FTF on that challenge at the beginning of the week. That was the beginning of a four-day string of FTFs that actually weren’t that far from home for me. Something something pennies from heaven, right? But here’s the thing: I spent a little time wondering why they sat so long waiting to be found. There are folks around here who are pretty well known for snagging FTFs. In fact, there is a certain person I can think of who goes out every morning and picks them up. If I see one on the map in the evening, I either head out at that time or let it go, knowing that he’ll grab it in the morning, often before I set off for work. And yet, these sat for days. At first, I thought he might be out of town or something. Maybe none of the other FTF folks saw them? They did drop at the same time as that long trail of challenges and a whole bunch of other caches, so maybe they didn’t get noticed. That’s not likely, though. I know Cachly displays them with a nice red banner, and that certain cacher grabbed a Whereigo that dropped at the same time. There is, however, another factor that comes to mind. …
These caches have been placed in a traditionally crappy neighborhood. It has been gentrifying for a while now because Austin has gotten overwhelmingly expensive (don’t even get me started on that), but it is still thought of as a less desirable place. When I started caching, this neighborhood and several others like it on the East Side were devoid of caches. I dropped a few in some of these neighborhoods, and they didn’t/don’t get found as much as some of my others in other neighborhoods. As a practical example, the cache pictured above was placed in front of this dilapidated building (yes, that’s a mangled television in the foreground). Some of these other recent FTFs were near similar locations. Maybe that is why they sat so long. You don’t tend to see caches in poorer neighborhoods.
You know where else you don’t see them? Wealthier neighborhoods. This was another FTF I picked up back in February. I ended up rolling out in the middle of the night so that I could beat the aforementioned cacher to it. It was in front of a modern multilevel home, next to the gate for the 8-foot stone wall surrounding the house. As you can imagine, the neighborhood was quite nice, so much so that I considered whether or not I wanted to try for the cache. Wealthy areas tend to have better police and security presence, and residents are more likely to call on them. Add in the racial component, and it’s really hard to just blend in. In this particular case, it was almost midnight. I weighed the pros and cons (pro: fewer people are likely to be awake to notice me; con: if someone does, I’m definitely going to look suspicious) and ended up deciding to go for it. As you can tell from the photo, I got the cache and got away unmolested, but that hasn’t always been the case.
With 2022 being the Year of the Hide and all, maybe you’ll consider these things for a bit. Questionable neighborhoods may not be as bad as you might think. Nicer neighborhoods have more risks than you might think. I’m sure there’s something to take away from all that.
And, in case you’ve been wondering, the April Fool’s joke is that there is no April Fool’s joke. Gotcha!