FTF - This is a log that I recently sent to OENavigators - I was told to put it on the website that you guys (women) would enjoy. Hope you do.
After a WONDERFUL weekend geocaching with our son and daughter-in-law, the NWANaturals, we got to go see the house they hope will be their very own home at the end of May. It is a beautiful house and we are excited for them. After checking out the house and grabbing our stuff from their duplex we headed south with the intention of trying for a FTF in Barling, but before we got very far out of Fayetteville we found that it had already been found (without a GPS) so we decided to pass it by and get it the next time we visit our daughter and her very special family.
Then as we were nearing Ft. Smith up pops this really GREAT sounding geocache near Waldron.... Hum? Now for likestocanoe #2 - I was so excited! ! ! The caches placed by OENavigators are some of our very favorite caches, and in some of the best places. Now, my idea was a day trip during the coming week to see this area and get the cache - knowing that it would be a good one. Our problem started when likestocanoe #1 decided he had to have the FTF on this one... tonight.
Please understand that is it DARK by now and there is only one star and the moon peaking out from the heavy cloud cover. It had snowed all day the day before and the temperature was hovering around 28 degrees - BRRRR! ! ! My common sense was screaming at me during the entire dirt road trip to the parking spot. I could hear with every breath - "Not A Good Idea!", "It's Dark, Stupid!", "You Have Lost Your Ever Loving Mind!", and" It Is a Waterfall - The Terrain Will Be Really Rough! ". But, apparently, likestocanoe #1 was not hearing the screaming in my head or paying my verbal argument any heed ....
When we got to the parking spot there was a nice little road leading off in the proper direction so the voice in my head calmed down just a bit. The three likestocanoe team members headed off toward GZ, and could very quickly hear the peaceful sound of the waterfall which spurred us on. Since it was winter, the walking was very easy as we bushwhacked toward the sounds, soon crossing the creek at a small, but beautiful waterfall taking the time to watch as the sparkle of the water reflected in the light of our flashlights. We could hear the echo of a much larger fall very near...
Here is where the real adventure began. We have to make the point at this time that our GPSr is sometimes possessed and has a very wicked sense of humor. It was leading us across the creek and off to the left. We began our trek up and around a huge "hole" at the base of the larger waterfall, wishing every step that it was daylight so we could see more than our lights were providing. Up and over we went because the cliff bank was too sloped and dangerous. likestocanoe #1 points at the bottom of the abbess and says he is going down. The screaming voices had been in the back of my head since we crossed the stream, but at this point they erupted from my mouth asking him to not try it. BUT, being a MAN - it had to be done. He always wears his possibles pack when we are out, and inside is a parachute cord usually used to raise and lower his gun from the tree stand. Tonight it was tied to a tree and used as a tether as he lowered himself into the canyon below. Tanner and I stayed at the top - I know my limitations! As he eased his way down a wolf could be heard in the distance on down the creek bed. At this point I pulled my cell phone out of my hip pocket to see if my some miracle there was phone service in the area.... just in case I had to call for help. There was none - OH GREAT! I watched as the glow of his flashlight got fainter and finally disappeared.
Understand, I love the woods at night, but I like to have he and I on the same level, together, and on solid ground - at this moment none of the criteria applied. I could occasionally understand the words floating from the bottom..." Wow, this is fantastic" was what I heard the most. I picked a pretty flat rock and sat down as I watched the moon and more stars emerge from the parting clouds. How wonderfully beautiful it would have been if I had not been worried about my husband of thirty-four years breaking his fool neck.
I began to see his light as it inched up the other side and could hear him much better as his voice was not flowing down the canyon along with the creek. I am yelling the information I got from the web page at him as he searched unsuccessfully for the cache. He quickly realized that there was a very gentle slop where the cache might be found and that the GPSr was laughing at him for the "stupid" trek it had just sent him on. If it had been light the proper side of the fall would have been apparent, but it is 9:30 pm and even though more stars where showing themselves it was very dark.
likestocanoe #1 worked his way back across the creek and over to where Tanner and I sat, retrieved his tether string (note: string), and we went together back to the correct side to search harder for the illusive cache container. At this point the voices had gone to rest and I am feeling much better. We looked in, under, and around. We climbed up and back down looking for an ammo box in the woods as we enjoyed the sounds of the waterfall and creek. The stars began to emerge at a quicker rate as the temperature continued to drop. Number 1 pops out his cell phone and although we do have cell service on this side of the valley we don't have the owner's phone number. He calls another fellow cacher and checks if he has the number and the answer is no. By this time it is 10:15 and we are not calling anyone else in our phone directory. He calls directory assistance and is told that they have no one by that name in Waldron... Gee, they must have gotten rid of their home phone and are just using a cell phone. At this point I have the GPSr and I like a different setting on it. It is slower to use, but more precise. It keeps going back to the same area.... the same general spot. I have #1 look there and he comes up empty handed. We finally give up and head back to the cachemobile to see if I have the phone information in the computer - No, of course not, that would be too easy. In a last ditch effort to reach the owner I send out an e-mail message and post my need to talk to them on facebook thinking that the guy member often spends time on-line at night. BINGO! He calls us back and tells us where to look. We had covered the area so well that once he told likestocanoe #1 where to look he thought he knew just where to look. While the Mrs. and I visited #1 headed back at breakneck speed and soon I hear "Cha Ching" as it echoed throughout the mountainsides.
Do you want to know where it was? Just where I was pointing, but a little better hidden than likestocanoe#1 was expecting. He had looked in the exact spot more than an hour before, but not well enough - the coordinates were very good. Now, isn't that what is fun about geocaching?
Even though we had to call the owner we are still claiming this FTF as our very own. What an adventure!
We do not recommend that you hunt this cache at night, but have to say in all honesty that we enjoyed the views of the falls under the subdued light of our hand helds. We can, also, say with no doubt- if we live long enough we will be back here before the snakes come out to play. Thank you, sincerely, for the cache and for the adventure!