Not every day is philosophical or contemplative. Some days are just days. I went out to grab a few caches a couple of days ago. I had intended to get up early and do it before the heat became oppressive, but that didn’t happen. I picked a short series of Letterbox Hybrids on a street I had never been on, near a trail I had never walked, and set off.
The first one was simple enough, stuck in a patch of trees between an apartment complex and the street, which was less of a street than a paved road. The walking path started nearby. I looked up at the sun, stabbing me with the Spear of Apollo. Nope! At 8:00 a.m., when the mercury was in the eighties, sure. At 1:00 p.m. in 102-degree weather and zero shade? I’ll pass. I kept on driving down the lonely road to a bend…
…where I found the second cache. The giant iron pipe seemed the obvious place to find it, and when I saw the rubber snake with camo duct tape, I knew I had it. Except, that camo looked a little too good. I poked down with one of the amply strewn-about sticks. That snake wasn’t rubber. It lolled about for a moment and then went still again. The water in the pipe must have been a wonderful respite from the heat for that snake. For me, on the other hand, it was a quarter of a second of shock. I’ve run into a few garter snakes before, but none that made me truly frightened before. The Letterbox was behind a tree. As far as I was concerned, the snake could stay in the pipe. The third cache was at the end of the road, up the side of a newish suburb. I almost skipped it after discovering a molted snakeskin in the tree. But I got it soon enough.
I decided to get one more at an old roadside grave on the way to Bastrop but realized that I was improperly attired for all the cactus and thorns in the area. I’ll go back one day with boots and pants that are thicker and more expendable (caching has taken a small toll on my wardrobe over the years). I ended up in a small country neighborhood of only a few cross streets and discovered our tortoise friend pictured above. For those (including myself) less schooled in the order Testudines, tortoises are specifically walking, land-dwelling turtles, so the title isn’t a misnomer. I found a small handful of trackables inside. I was hesitant to grab any after The Incident, but I also know that accidents happen. And I’m going on a trip soon, so I figured I’d get them a little mileage. I grabbed a couple and headed off again. No big travels. No fancy caches. Just a couple-hour jaunt out of town in a general direction.