I Hate The Reason

The weekend found me making an unexpected trip to Longview to attend a funeral. Luckily, the occasion, though sad, was not tragic. It did however mean that I was a little more far afield for my daily cache than usual. I headed up early, leaving a good amount of time beforehand. I stopped in a couple of towns on the way, intent on grabbing a cache, but they both came up duds. I’m sure that anyone who might have seen me in my suit might have lifted an eyebrow at me inspecting a tree or a fence line, but they probably would have assumed I had just left an early church service. Therefore, I reached L-Town with nothing to show for it. For a rare time, I completely set caching aside. The girls, their mother, and their extended family were my only concern. That, and my own feelings of sorrow and loss. Some things are more important than a smiley.

Eventually, I had to start making my way home. Some people thought it a bit insane that I drove up, stayed for a few hours, and was driving back. Those people had obviously not followed any of my adventures because four hours and four hours, thanks to all the driving I’ve done, mean little to me at this point. But I still needed a cache, though. Imagine my surprise to find a relatively new trackable hotel on the way out of town! I pulled into the parking lot of a business I’d passed a hundred times and never thought twice about to find a mailbox with treasure contained within! I’ve been a bit shy in regard to trackables ever since “The Incident,” but I had been rolling around with ten trackables since at least Challenge. As fate would have it, the hotel contained ten trackables! I did a complete swap, dropping my old ones in favor of a full range of new ones. I was also a little impressed with some of the new ones, proxies (so emphasis on “little”) that had been over a hundred thousand miles each, and had visited the entire English-speaking world (Canada, Australia, the British Isles, South Africa, et al.). I did my surreptitious, late night business, and then made for Texas Highway 31, my most common way to and from, going around Tyler, Athens, and Corsicana. It was about midnight when I hit the outskirts of Waco. As my clock began to turn over to the next day, it dawned on me that there was no reason I couldn’t stop for a quick cache and take care of the next day as well! I pulled off for an LPC between a dentists’ office and a bank. Nothing wonderous to behold, just a container obscured in an expected spot. But another day of my unofficial streak had been completed, so there’s that.

Geocaching, for me, started during a time of sadness. It served as a welcome distraction, and gave me a point of focus when the last thing I could do was care about much of anything. Since then, it has grown into a joy that has filled my life (and, one might argue, rewired my brain). We all have our sorrows that we must face, our troubles we must endure. Sometimes, the loads we bear are so great that you don’t feel you can get up from the weight of them. On days like that, caching hasn’t been a joy for me; it’s been a crutch. It’s helped me stand up and keep going, even when I feel overwhelmed by greater things. No matter how bad I may feel, I’ve got to get up and go get a cache. And that’s got me through a lot.

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