A Toll Must Be Paid

Once the dust had settled, the Events were attended, and the caches counted, we ended up with nearly three hundred caches in total, with three (almost four) Geoarts complete. For me persoanlly, that only leaves five that I haven’t touched, two others just to the north of them, and four I’ve started but haven’t finished. It’s going to be a while before we go for any of those again, though. There’s talk of attacking a few Geoarts between Fredericksburg and Boerne, but our next foray will probably be general caching down in San Antonio. A part of our contingent has been coming up from there, so the least we can do is go down to them from time to time (sidenote: I realized that more than half of us in the contingent were Blue Shirts). But that trip is going to be a while because, in a week and a half, most of us will be converging on scenic L-Town to attend the Texas Challenge. I must admit that I feel like the experience is going to be a little uncanny for me. I go up there all the time, so it’s nothing new or different. Then again, I didn’t have the same feeling about Challenge in Round Rock three years ago when it was a half mile from my job, so maybe I’m wrong.

Either way, I’ve been feeling a bit worn out for the last few days. Tromping around the back roads of Granger (actually, Davilla and Sharp) took a toll on me. I haven’t recovered from it as quickly as usual. I probably need to go home after work (after finding a cache, of course), and just go straight to bed and let the healing properties of sleep work their magic. But my fatigue also had me thinking about the costs I’ve paid for caching (which had already been in the back of my mind). Those of you who have not met me in person might not know I’m a little bit of a clothes-horse (which pairs with my small streak of vanity). I’d recently been doing an inventory of clothing that has begun to show the wear and tear that comes from tromping about in nature. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t go out caching in my tuxedo or anything. I am, however, noticing the pairs of slacks that have developed holes from where thorns and branches and rocks have done their damage to cloth. It’s made me think of all the car rentals, hotels, and gas I paid for during the pandemic. Sure, it was cheap(ish) because there was almost zero demand for a couple of years, but they were still paid for out of my pocket. And that has begun to turn into flights, too. I burn more fuel than I have to because I’m driving all over creation getting my daily caches. An argument could be made that caching cost me my previous car. I know that’s not entirely true, but at a minimum, I certainly wouldn’t have been a hundred and fifty miles from home when it happened. The costs add up: money, time, energy, and on a couple of occasions, the forbearance of friends. And I’m not rich or retired or young, so I don’t have limitless amounts of those things to offer.

But you know something?  When I looked out over the Grand Canyon, I didn’t care about the cost of the gas to get me there.  When my muscles were sore in Evansville, ibuprofen from a drugstore was cheap.  Washington cost me a chunk of change and some time off work (I only had so much PTO, you know?), but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  So, I’ll keep on keeping on until I can’t.  You can’t put a price on living.  I can always get more rest, more money, and more pants.* 

*Of course, if any eccentric millionaires or billionaires would like to fund my travels, I’m cool with that, too.

One thought on “A Toll Must Be Paid

  1. My motto is “adventure before dementia” but then I’m a bit older than you. Yep, it costs money, but the fun, experience, memories, and mental health recharge are all worth it!


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