A couple of months ago, I decided to go for a cache, the bonus for an Adventure Lab series, in the middle of downtown Austin. I parked close to GZ, a monument in the shadow of the state capitol, checked the cache page, and then noticed some people hanging around at the statue. I waited for a minute for them to move, but as I watched, I recognized the familiar signs: poking around in the dirt, constantly checking a device, spreading out to examine the entire area. I was 95 percent sure they were cachers, so I approached them. And I was right! They were there looking for the same cache I was. I was even recognized! That never stops being a weird feeling, but that’s beside the point. We chatted and searched together, but there was no joy in Mudville. The cache eluded us, but we resolved that we’d take another shot at it at some point in the future. We parted ways and went on with our lives. A few days back, I got a message from one of them, Escondido70. He’s from the Houston area and going to school here in Austin. He was back from the winter holidays and invited me to take another shot at our elusive prey. We got together again over the weekend at the same place and, with a trowel and further guidance from the CO, found a rock with an attached DNA tube accidentally covered over by dirt.
I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: you never know what (or whom) you’re going to run into when you’re out caching. Being open to possibilities is perhaps the most important part of the entire game. Not only does it prepare you for whatever hides you might encounter, varied as they might be, but you never know whom you might end up finding a cache with. Escondido70 and I chatted for about forty-five minutes while we were searching and signing, and that short time put ideas in my head. So get out there! With or without someone; it doesn’t matter. Just do it! See what comes into your head, and make something of it!