I began the day trying to join the Great Mousehunt, but when I got to the coordinates for the mouse, there was nobody there so I decided to hit a few caches that were close to the game zone. (Turns out I was in the wrong zone anyway!)
I booted up the laptop to see what was nearby only to find that there weren’t any listings nearby. At first I thought I was out of range (I only keep the 500 listings that are closest to home on the computer) but then I finally found some 30 miles to the north near Wayne. Granted I can see why the area I was in would be fairly sparse, it has hardly any population density, it’s flat, and without much to attract anyone. Still I’d thought with a ranger station in the area I’d have though there’d be at least one nearby.
In any case I made the trip north to catch the caches that were nearest so that my trip wouldn’t be totally wasted. On my way through Forrest City I discovered that Krystal’s had closed at some point since I was last there. Now the one in West Memphis is the only one left in Arkansas.
I decided on “Wayne’s Bravest” first because it was in the middle of town and looked to be the most accessible. It was a nice easy find to start the day, but the logbook was a little damp so it might need attention.
Next I headed to the “Harris Chapel Cemetery” east of town planning to end up back in Wayne for lunch before tackling the other five on the west side. It is located in a cemetery right on the north edge of Village Creek State Park. There are a few cool old tombstones but it looks like most of the graves are from the last few decades. BTW the log only had one empty space left on it, it needs a new one.
Except for the fact that I had other plans for the day I would have liked to have spent some time in the park. I didn’t even realize there was a state park out there. I may just have to come back out this way to visit it soon.
After lunch at McD’s I headed West on 284 to make a sweep of the others in the area. “Down on the Farm” was the northernmost of the lot. I like the way it was hidden, definitely different from the others I’ve found to date.
While I was filling out the logbook a pickup truck pulled off the road near my car and I figured I was going to have to answer a hundred and one questions about what geo-caching was. It turned out to be the father of the owner who knew all about it and asked if I’d gone to any of the others his son had hidden nearby. I told him that they were next on my list. We talked for a minute or two about all the people he’d seen going in and out of the woods and he was surprised by the number of people who had signed the logbook. I swapped one of my personal travel bugs for one that was in the cache.
“Down by the chapel” was my forth hit on my grand tour of Wayne’s caches. I read and re-read the listing trying to figure out the “puzzle” mentioned in the text and comparing it with what was at the location and couldn’t even come up with the question, much less the answer.
Finally I gave up and checked the hint. It turns out that you HAVE to use the hint, that’s where the question is located.
“Heart of the farm” was my only disappointment for the day and it was mostly because I never got near the cache. All the roads accessing the area had some sort of giant rake parked across them so there was no way to get closer than a mile to the cache and no place to park except the side of the road. Since I didn’t want to leave my car on the side of the road for the hour it’d take to walk a mile and back, plus time to find the cache I just passed it up.
“Leap of faith” is really off the beaten path but an easy find. It seems like every little cluster of houses out here has a church of its own. I’m surprised that none of the residents took note of the odd car in this out of the way spot.
“Ole times on the farm” was my grand adventure of the day, the last of Wayne’s seven caches. I found the container easily enough only to find it wasn’t the container. It redirected me to another spot instead. That’s when I remembered that one of the caches had been converted to a multi-cache with three stages even though it still lists as a traditional. Obviously this was the one. I entered the new coordinates and headed off in search of the second stage but couldn’t seem to find it.
After about thirty minutes I went back to the car to check the reference to see if there was any help. All I found out was that the second stage was a film canister which I already suspected.
I went back around the search area using different methods to plot the CEP, even tried some tricks to try and de-select satellites (do any of the GPSr’s have a function for that?) to see if I got a different solution. I still came up empty so I decided to check the hint.
There was only one problem, when I got back to the car I found out that I’d locked the keys inside the last time I’d been back and to make matters worse it was starting to rain. This was not looking good.
My cell-phone was in the car, I hadn’t seen a single car drive by the whole time I’d been there and I didn’t even have a coat hanger. Fortunately the window was down ¼” and I was able to use some of the swag in my backpack to nudge the window crank and open it further. (Thank goodness for manual windows.)
By the time I got back in the car it had finished raining (it never got real heavy) so I checked the hint. It really wasn’t any help; I’d already looked the place it indicated. In fact I am pretty sure the second stage is missing. The good news was that the hint for the third stage, with a small logical leap, gave away the final stage. (Don’t read it unless you want this cache to be too easy.)
After swinging back to the interstate after finishing off the caches in Wayne to head home I still had some time and the rain had stopped again so I pulled off to catch “CWL008 – Cache river” on the way by.
When I arrived there were some teens fishing nearby so I took the distance and angle to the cache from inside the car and used the cell-phone ruse to walk around and look for it, with a real cell-phone no-less.
I found it without too much trouble but the teens were were actually watching me (I think they were worried I was going to bust them for the beer and cigarettes they had.) so I couldn’t retrieve it. I knew it was going to rain again soon so I went back to the car and made a coupe of real phone calls.
Sure enough the rain came along, but the teens just got in their car and sat there smoking. They finally gave up when the rain got worse and I was able to retrieve the cache. Took a stick of soggy gum to throw away and left a toy figure.
Finally I stopped at the “I-40 East/West TB hotel” on the way home to round out the day. I needed to make a bio-stop there anyway. The cache wasn’t hard to find even in the rain. The owner mentioned it was okay to take the TB’s because traveling is what TB’s are for, but I’m sure he didn’t mean for folks to just empty the cache! The only thing left was the logbook and a Star Wars watch. (not a TB) so I added a few chunks of crystal quartz so that there would be some trading items. I’d have added a TB but I didn’t have any with me except the one I’d picked up “down on the farm” and I hadn’t even logged it in yet.
So goes a rainy Saturday.