When I started the weekend, I had a small rundown of the things I thought I would do, specifically cache maintenance and hunting down a coveted cache. How many of those things did I do? The title says it all. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did go get a theoretically coveted cache, but not the one I was originally thinking of. So, what did I do? When I woke up on Saturday morning, I checked my email notifications and saw something I couldn’t resist. A bonus cache for an Adventure Lab series at the Blanco County Courthouse had dropped early that morning. There are some among you who might think that I have an irrational attraction to courthouses. I don’t know if I entirely agree, but will concede that the subject falls squarely into my wheelhouse. The idea of getting the FTF on this cache was irresistible, so I threw on clothes and prepared myself for the hour-long drive to Johnson City. I checked the cache page as I was walking out the door and was stopped in my tracks. In the time it had taken me to get ready, the cache had been found by San Antonio cachers Thewildroseoftexas and her husband Huggles44, along with Denton cacher (and friend of the blog) KidWrangler. With my impetus to rush irrelevant, I kicked back, did some writing, and generally messed around the house until the afternoon. Eventually, though, I would have to go out and get a cache, so I decided to do something I had been meaning to do for quite a while. I took a drive to the other side of town.
Welcome to McKinney Falls State Park. I will again concede that the falls are far more impressive when the area doesn’t have minor drought conditions. Nothing at the park was familiar to me except for the basic geological features. I realized that was because I hadn’t been out there in over thirty years. The last time I’d been there, it was more of a day trip away from Austin. Now, it’s well within the city limits, not far from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Some new home construction is going up around it, but the park itself is a bubble of green in what no doubt will one day be a suburban sprawl. There’s a few caches in the park, but I decided to cherchez la terra and grab the EarthCache located there. I returned to another place I hadn’t been to in thirty years …
… Shelter Rock. The last time I was there, I remember moving gingerly and timidly because the entire overhang was covered by clusters of daddy longlegs. With newly (to me) carved steps and a recently built bridge, it was much easier to access and a more friendly place to visit this time. I took measurements and made observations, then submitted answers to some questions, and Bob’s your uncle. I spent a little time walking the trails and enjoyed the cool air. I didn’t grab any of the other caches in the park because I’m still sticking to one per day for the most part. Yes, for someone who is no longer streaking, I sure act like I am.
Sunday, I got up at a decent hour, set off west, and visited Johnson City. The immediate thing I noticed when I arrived, besides how many people were at some of the local restaurants, was that I was a big doofus the first time I was there all those years ago. I immediately realized that I had photographed the wrong face of the courthouse as the front. I forgave myself, though. It was only my seventh county, and I knew much less about courthouses (and had even fewer opinions regarding them). The Labs quickly yielded to me, revealing numbers, and those numbers yielded a location.
I signed the log, and my work there was complete. I thought about grabbing some lunch but decided against it. All the pubs and restaurants were filled with older folk dressed and coming from church, younger folk heading for the wineries farther west, and parents with children in tow for some time out. It was a nice scene, and I didn’t want to be involved with any of that. I mounted back up and started heading back home. Something something best-laid plans of mice and men, something something.