No Man Steps In The Same River Twice

It is not the same river, nor is he the same man—if you trust Heraclitus of Ephesus. I have no reason to doubt him, especially after yesterday.

My job takes two days off for Independence Day instead of just one, so I decided to use my second day off to take a morning trip down to New Braunfels. The last time I was officially here, I wasn’t making pronouncements to the Future Arborists of America, nor did I take notice of Doughboys like the one in the square. Dare I say it was a simpler time? I was younger and more naive, and the counties of Texas still felt like a daunting task instead of an achievement in the rearview mirror. But this was pure R & R, so I figured why not? I grabbed a chai latte from a coffee shop on the courthouse square (because sometimes I’m basic as all get-out) and then started walking about, grabbing some Adventure Labs.

There were a couple of series downtown, but they both had at least one outlier cache that would involve a drive. Luckily, those were basically in the same direction. Once I grabbed the Labs downtown, I went over to nearby Landa Park …

… where I picked up a Virtual and an EarthCache devoted to Comal Springs. I also picked up a simple Unknown that wasn’t too difficult to solve (though I couldn’t find one of the needed answers on-site so I had to Google that one). I give it kudos for having a nifty 3D-printed container. I noticed a nearby Traditional just off a walking path that had a pretty high Terrain rating. I figured since I was so close, I might as well go for it. If you approach it from the trail, the climb is pretty steep, and the Terrain rating might be warranted. I ended up taking a different path that was more direct and less clear but involved a gentler slope. I picked up a couple more Virtuals, one at the only other maibaum I’ve ever seen in the state, the other at the home of the father of Texas Botany.

I had to wait until the New Braunfels Visitor Center opened, but I got a Letterbox Hybrid living there once it did. Had I read the description before I went for it, I would have known about the combination lock, so imagine my surprise. Don’t tell anyone, but I could only find two of the three digits of the lock, but that just meant I had to try ten possibilities. And not even that. The description also mentioned that you wouldn’t have to talk to anyone to get to it, but you better believe the ladies staffing the place wanted to chat. Luckily, some folks from Colorado came in and were much more interesting than me from right up the road. I did what little I needed to do, and I was off again, this time for my outlying Adventure Labs. One led to a former dance hall, now a barbeque joint, and the other led to an active dance hall …

… the world-famous Gruene Hall, the so-called oldest dance hall in Texas. The Lab was easy enough to claim (if one was at the right red brick wall with a bench), as was the Virtual there that I’ve been meaning to get to for years.

I even took the opportunity to do a Multicache that was there because, again, why not? It ended up leading me out to a roadside tree a mile away from the hall. I skipped the Unknown there (I didn’t feel like fiddling with an AR cache) and the Adventure Lab series there (I just plain forgot it was there) and started heading back home. I had one more stop, though.

I ended up swinging through the Buc-ee’s in Wimberly because (a) it’s the world’s largest convenience store (seriously) and (b) there was another Adventure Lab series there! I took some time to use one of their famously clean restrooms, grab a cold drink, and grab a few more Labs before heading home.

Twenty-six caches and seven types in one morning? I call that a good morning!

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