This was a very respectable courthouse! I expected something smaller or less grandiose, probably because I knew little about the town except that it was small. You would think I had seen enough towns and courthouses to know that population does not correlate to courthouse size, but sometimes I’m a victim of outmoded thinking. There’s my shame, perhaps my sin. But for now, I hope you have some popcorn ready because I’m about to bring some salt!
Tekamah is even more cache poor than Pender was, having only eight caches in the entire county. As I headed toward town, I saw there was a park-and-grab in nearby Overland and stopped for it. I spent twenty minutes in the freezing cold (alright, it wasn’t actually freezing, just fifty-one degrees) looking for this thing and couldn’t find it. I was worried because the only cache in Tekamah proper was a library cache at the town library. When I failed to find my park-and-grab, I read over the description of the Tekamah cache, and it turned out to be outside the library. Good! I did my courthouse photography, and then headed a few blocks over to the library for my search. I had to be careful because the library was next to the local bar, which was in full swing, so muggles became an issue. But I don’t live there. As long as I could do my thing and get back on the road, it’s not like I could be embarrassed by being looked at funny in a town I had no reason for (or intention of) ever visiting again.
I started my search, but the GZ didn’t seem right at all, and the hint was very, very off. Things had obviously moved, and there was no way something could be hidden there. So, I started going through the logs. Somebody (not the CO, but some other cacher) had taken the cache that had been placed outside and moved it inside! Are you F%$#ING kidding me?!?!? Who does that? I mean, I’ve seen where other cachers have moved a cache they found on the ground to where they think it might have fallen from. I’ve even seen cachers move a cache to a nearby, “better” hiding location. But who moves a cache from outdoors to indoors? What the heck kind of horse crap is that? I literally had flames on the side of my face, and believe me; my language was much, much fouler than Mrs. White’s. I looked at the other caches in the county. Four of them had a bunch of DNFs. One was a Multi-Cache in a preserve that was no doubt closed to the public at the time. That left only one, and it did not enthuse me: a micro in a tree outside a church by a cemetery off the side of some crazy Nebraska back road. On any other day, in any other situation, I would have skipped that cache, but not this day. All I could contain in my mind were two immutable facts:
- I was so livid that I had transmuted into an engine of destruction guided by Shiva!
- I was not, I repeat, not coming back to this county.
So, I drove out of town and took to the back roads, fuming that I wouldn’t be here if COs took better care of their caches, and cachers didn’t do stupid things with them sometimes. It didn’t help that these crazy back roads were “minimum maintenance roads” (a poorly punctuated road designation I didn’t even know existed until I saw the sign) or that the 2-D map didn’t show the crazy hills and valleys of the terrain. I was going up and down in a Corolla, at least once being tailgated and blinded by some dude in a “dually,” trying to drive 15 mph faster than I was. Finally, I arrived at the crossroads. I pulled to the side, pulled out my Maglite, and went to work, unconcerned with the chill because my fury kept me warm.
But I found the right tree. And the right branch. And the green pill bottle that was zip-tied to it. I signed that log and then made my way back to the car and out of this damnable county. As I drove, there was nobody in the world (except for my daughters) I didn’t hate. But my anger gently subsided with the realization that I would never have to come back here again. It most certainly wasn’t the town’s fault.
The real takeaway from all this is that if a CO places a cache, the CO is the one who should move it. Not another cacher looking to improve it—the CO. If the CO can’t take care of it, archive it. To do otherwise is not good for new cachers, who won’t know about any of this and will have a bad experience because of stuff they could never have known. It’s not good for experienced cachers, who have given their time to come for the cache and have to jump through pointless hoops for it. And it’s not good for traveling cachers, who are more than likely trying to get in and get out with a minimal amount of muss and/or fuss, not to travel the deep rural hills at 10:45 p.m.
My cheeks cooled, my love (or more likely, minimal disdain) for humanity returned, and the road led me to a much less aggravating experience upon reaching…