I Sat Down And Wept

Saturday, I went out for a cache. Obviously, I found one. It was pretty disappointing, a plastic baggie containing a broken key box and a log in a hole in a tree. It was so crappy I specifically opted not to photograph it. I have often said (and still frequently say) that a cache is a cache is a cache. That said, I have, in my travels, found a few especially disappointing caches. The first time I saw a similar baggie that was the entire cache, I was puzzled for a while whether or not I actually found it until I went ahead and logged it to be archived. Boston (no, not that Boston) was also incredibly underwhelming as well (that’s probably from lack of attention, but that’s not important right now). Then, of course, I have never forgotten Sallisaw. That wasn’t a cache; that was a joke. But I signed it anyway, so you are more than welcome to note my hypocrisy.

I have harped on the need for cache maintenance on a number of occasions, but sometimes I feel the desire to take that point to a deeper, more existential level: does every cache need to be placed? I don’t expect every cache to be a thing of art and beauty, a joy to behold. I myself have hidden at least a couple of ill-conceived caches. But a bad cache? Why? I get that someone new can make mistakes, but I’ve also seen a lot of other caches placed by experienced cachers that start out leaving something to be desired. Sometimes a bad cache can be something an experienced player does to provide a challenge, but is it really worth it? It can be especially bad when entire areas are saturated with similar unimaginative, uninteresting caches. Experience is as important as the cache itself. What’s the point of creating an experience that new cachers will find especially frustrating and practiced ones will only find arbitrarily annoying? Again, I’m not saying that every cache has to be epic. But every cache should at least be suitable.

Next weekend (postponed because of weather), the Scorpion Expeditionary Force is doing something a little different: we are going out to Lampasas to place caches instead of hunt them. One of our recurring members lives out there, and there’s not much out there to find, so we’re adding some things. A couple of small series have been placed out there already as part of our efforts. More of us are going to place both simple and interesting caches out there. We hope to bring some new people in while also adding something new for those living out there. More importantly, we want to put some quality caches out there. We don’t want to leave something that might as well be trash in a year or less. I’ve met a lot of cachers around the region, but I only know one person from the Lampasas area. Maybe I can add a few more people to that list, or even to the Geocaching rolls. That would be nice.

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