Once again, we gathered to see old friends and to cheer on the new finishers. As was said to the assemblage, every state has a county challenge, but none has pride in the accomplishment as we do. Nobody celebrates completing Nebraska. Nobody celebrates completing Maine. Nobody celebrates completing Georgia or California or Illinois. But people come from all over the world to accomplish our feat, and return to these reunions to celebrate this most sublime of attainments.
Of course, this year was a little sad. The long-time host of the Reunion, Pathfinder33, hosted it for the last time. He decided that ten years was enough, and that’s a legit decision. He gave credit to many other people who came up with the Texas County Challenge and the Reunion, but a lot of credit goes to him. The big board, the blue shirts, the yearly ritual that draws so many? A lot of that is thanks to him. He might not give himself credit, but I will. And fear not! The TXGA will continue the Reunion tradition! As long as there is a Challenge, there will be a Reunion!
Inside, friend of the site Razorbackgirl stood in as Keeper of the Can, as she has in years past. When designated in their proper order, the new finishers came one by one (or, in a few cases, group by group) to place their names into the log and the pantheon of legends.
The Reunion had a complication that couldn’t have been predicted: the weekend’s temperatures dropped from warm springtime temperatures to chilly and freezing in some areas. That made the outside activities less desirable. We were also sharing a downtown intersection with a Saint Patrick’s Day street party. We signed the board to the dulcet tones of the band I began refering to as Generically Celtic (which I think would actually make for a good band name).
A special signature was added to the front of the board by Pathfinder33. Txoilgas completed and established the TCC long ago, but passed away before the Reunions began and never got a chance to sign the board. If any name deserved to be added to the board, it was his. While I give kudos to all the new finishers signing the front, two stood out to me for special note.
The first was ZSteve from Florida, who actually finished the TCC back in 2021, but wasn’t able to make it to a Reunion until this time.
The second was Super_Nate from Tennessee. Even more importantly, he had Called2Care on video to be there virtually. She was on bed rest, waiting for a little girl to pop out, but they didn’t want to miss a chance to sign the board, so Nate drove down from Nashville so they could both bask in the glory they had so richly earned! I wasn’t able to get a photo because I was too busy holding the phone so she, smiling in her blue shirt, could watch him sign!
For me, however, the personal highlight of the evening was getting to meet Michigan cachers RW and VJ. You may not know them, but I’ve been aware of them for quite a while. They have already accomplished what I aspire to do. They have found caches in every county in the United States (except Kalawao, which hadn’t been an option until last year). And I was thrown because they recognized me, too. So I got to talk county caching for some time with people I admire who have literally done it all. What a way to end the evening! But all good things come to an end. It was getting late, and I had to be up early one more time before heading back home the next day. I got a good night’s sleep, then awoke in Longview one last time to go to…