This was not the cache I originally intended to get. I left work to grab my daily cache before going home and noticed one I thought I had gotten previously. A closer look revealed that there was a nearby cache on the same trail that I had found before, but not this one. That’s good enough for me. I parked nearby, walked past the cache I had already found, and went to my target for the day. It led me to a low bridge over the runoff course of a storm drain. It hadn’t rained in several days and was nice and warm out, so it was mostly dry. I took a knee in several locations around the bridge (wishing I had knee pads because kneeling on cement sucks) and reached under it hoping to find the cache. I couldn’t feel anything cache-like. I thought for a moment. I could easily get down on my back, scooch under the bridge, and look for it with my good old Mark 1 eyeballs. I looked down at that bridge, said nope, and began walking back to my car.
Not every cache is for every person at every moment. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen one that involved a climb or a long hike and passed on it. There have been times when I’ve pulled up to a field of rocks, realized the cache is one of them (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), and just driven off. I’ve often said out on the road that a cache is a cache is a cache, but sometimes (though rarely), I see an easy LPC and opt for something more interesting or photogenic. Some reasons are unquestionably valid. I can’t swim, so I’m not going to dog-paddle over to an island. In my earlier days, I avoided caches at or too near residences out of concern that I might be labeled a trespasser or thief and out of fear that some “Good Samaritan” muggle might take it upon themselves to intervene. I know someone who has finished the state of Colorado but hasn’t signed the Colorado County Challenge because it’s up a mountain, and they didn’t want to go up it alone because of health concerns. Some reasons, on the other hand, are kind of silly. I have skipped (or deferred) caches because it had rained recently, and I didn’t want to mess with mud. On a different day, the sun may have been beating down, sapping my will to do much of anything, much less choke on dust while going for a cache. This day, I was standing at this bridge and didn’t want to get down on the ground after my day at work.
There are some people who feel you should never give up. Victory or death! Sometimes, that’s entirely valid and necessary. I am more than happy to embrace the tactical retreat. Some hills you just don’t need to die on, and he who caches and runs away will live to cache another day. Besides, there’s always another cache.