Cache On Prayer Mountain

A few weeks after I returned from Seattle, I got a call from a couple of caching buddies of mine, The Outlaw and Moosiegirl. They were looking at making a maintenance trip down to Wimberly (just northwest of San Marcos) to take care of a cache they had adopted. The last few finders had reported it missing, and they certainly wanted to keep it around since it was a 2001 cache. I had long eyed this one myself, but I don’t get down to Wimberly that often, so I thought it would be a good time to go get it. I decided to go along with them. The girls would be visiting that weekend from Longview, so I considered dragging them along, but knowing the early hour this would all be happening, I seriously doubted they would want to come along. They are a teenager and a proto-teenager, after all. The night before, I told them what I planned to do in the morning and what time and gave them the choice to come along. My Older, predictably, opted to sleep in. My Younger decided she wanted to come along. I let her know she would be responsible for getting up and being ready at the appropriate ungodly hour and that if she was not up and about, I would let her sleep. Imagine my surprise when I dragged myself awake at said ungodly hour to find her waiting, missing only her shoes. I got ready and left with my newly shod daughter for an adventure. The two of us met The Outlaw, Moosiegirl, and another local cacher, Krissy4884, and we conglomerated into one vehicle and set off. Once we arrived, another cacher from down San Antonio way, 4everlyn, met us there.

Stairs… Why did it have to be stairs? Then again, what should I have expected with a name like Prayer Mountain? (Its official nomenclature is Old Baldy, as the park name suggests, but tradition dies hard). Slowly I climbed, step by step, inch by inch… Did I forget to mention that the Younger is both full of energy and part mountain goat (on her mother’s side)? I spent a bit of time looking up at her peering down on the rest of us pathetic mortals.

But, oh, what a view… It was nice to stop at the landings and look out at the trees and buildings below. It was also a good excuse to catch a few breaths and wait for other climbers below us. When we got onto one of the upper landings, we got off the stairs, out of the paths of other hikers who were ascending and descending for fitness’ sake. We made it over to the GZ and found that the cache was indeed missing. It had started as an ammo can, so The Outlaw brought another one to replace it.

Helped by our fearless and energetic scout, we scampered around on the hillside, looking for a better place to put the cache. The original location was under some tree roots. That was probably just fine when it was originally placed, but civilization has since encroached. I don’t know when the subdivision near the foot of it was begun, but I do know it was made a park in 2015. More muggles mean more chances for the cache to go missing. We ended up going a little farther afield to find a small nook, large enough for the can but out of the way enough that nobody would unintentionally stumble across it. Not too dangerous, either. We don’t want anyone falling trying to get it (or us trying to place it)!

Since she and I had never been here before, we proceeded to the top. Not only did we get an unparalleled view of the Wimberly Valley, but we also learned why this place was called Prayer Mountain. At the top were two people, one prostrate upon the ground, one kneeling with Bible in hand, speaking their prayers openly to God. I’m not a person of faith myself, but I will admit that there is something touching, even mystic, about people earnestly professing their heartfelt faith. At the same time, I made a point of standing between them and my daughter. There is also something kinetic about people earnestly professing their heartfelt faith; something energetic, unpredictable, even dangerous. Most people do not fully proskynese themselves before anything or anyone. I keep my eye on someone so full of fervor, especially when my children are nearby. One never knows how someone will be moved by extreme faith, either for good or for ill. Also, for the word nerds among you, I can’t find the anglicized verbal form of “proskynesis.” If you know what it is, don’t come at me because I got it wrong. I don’t think anyone knows what it is. My point here (and I do have one) is that after taking in the view, she and I headed back down the hill to rejoin our intrepid comrades.

Moosiegirl, my Younger, 4everlyn, Krissy4884, and The Outlaw posed to commemorate the trek. We soon parted after grabbing a few more caches, but we would meet again soon enough. There were big things afoot in San Antonio and we would all see each other a few weeks later at…

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