The coolest cache I’ve ever seen
Today, I stumbled upon the coolest geocache I’ve seen so far. I realize that there might be even more challenging or intricate caches out there, but I don’t think I’ll happen to find one anytime soon. For me at least, the experience was amazing enough that I decided to write a blog post about it. I’ve added lots of pictures, so bear with me. In order to not spoil the cache for potential finders, I will not mention its name or location. The chances of someone who’s looking for this particular cache actually stumbling upon this blog post must be infinitesimal. Here goes!
I had decided to go out and try to find a few caches. One of them seemed to lay in a green area close to a residential block, and was called something along the lines of “water metering station”. The first challenge I met was figuring out how to even get close to the area. Whichever way I drove, it seemed there was either a cul-de-sac or the road continued in a bike path. I eventually had to drive a looong way around the entire area, to get close.
Now I needed to find parking. This was almost as challenging, with most people parked in what seemed to be private spaces and no signs to be seen. When I finally noticed the P sign in the corner of my eye, I was so relieved I braked to turn immediately, not realizing there was a car behind me. There was quite a distance between us, but still. I apologize for braking like an asshole. I had to continue on, then turn around and come back, but I managed to find a free parking space.
The road toward the cache was a regular paved bike path, with lawns and houses on one side, bushes on the other. I noticed the entire right side was fenced off. “Oh great”, I thought, “another cache where I’ve entered from the wrong direction.” I thought I’d most definitely have to go on a long detour again, in order to reach the other side. It turns out I didn’t.
When I got closer, I noticed the fence starting to go off into the bushes, so I thought maybe the cache was outside the fence anyway. The grass looked sufficiently trampled to be a geopath, so I figured I was probably on the right track.
I reached as far as the fence, and realized I was wrong — the cache had to be several meters away still. Over the top of the fence and through the foliage, I could see a small brook. I realized with a sense of adventure and excitement that I might have to cross it.
A short distance away stood a tree that seemed almost to have been made for using to hop the fence.
So I did!
The stream wasn’t flowing very rapidly, and it was a summery 23°C (73°F) so I thought if I didn’t make it across without taking a plunge, I wouldn’t mind very much. I tucked my phone (which I used for navigation) into my satchel so it wouldn’t fall into the water. I’m usually quite clumsy, so it’s something that might very well have happened.
I found a place with a few rocks, tore off a wading stick from a dead branch on the ground and made my way across. My sandals were about to slip off my feet a few times, but I kept dry and on the rocks. Embedded into the concrete wall was a thick metal rod. It supported my weight with ease, and I scaled the wall on the other side.
Once again I pulled out my phone and started toward the cache. On my way I noticed an orange fuel can tossed to the side. I didn’t think much of it and walked on.
In the middle of the path was a pole. I didn’t even notice it and kept walking, until I realized I had passed the geocache and had to turn around. That’s when I noticed a strange contraption sitting on top of the pole.
I figured the device had something to do with the water metering station, and instead tried groping the inside of the pole itself, and checking the trees nearby. Eventually I realized that the device had to be the cache — somehow. Now, before I go on, let me just describe the contraption.
A U-shaped metal tube had been secured tightly to the pole, with the ends pointing upwards. One of these ends had a lid on it, and the other had a strange looking T-pipe bit on top. Along the pipe were arrows, indicating something moving from the right end of the U-bend to the left. At the bottom of all this was a smaller tube, that made the U into a Y, with a faucet that was currently opened. All of this was welded together from several parts of metal pipe.
Now, right up until I noticed the faucet, I had thought of everything but water. As soon as I saw that thing, everything suddenly made sense. I ran back (yes ran, this was exciting!) to where I found the can earlier, to pick it up and then backtracked to where I had crossed the stream. I managed to fill the can with water and get back to the cache.
I closed the faucet and started filling water into the right tube. At this point I felt like I was in an adventure game — only in real life; picking up items and going back and forth between locations to use them. Finally the water filled the entire pipe, and I was bursting with anticipation, and then… nothing happened!
I poked my finger inside the now-water-filled left opening, and felt nothing. I opened the faucet to empty out the water. It hadn’t yet ocurred to me to pour it back into the can, but several emptyings and fillings later it had become part of the process. I still eventually ended up empty handed. My heart sank, and I began thinking I’d been on the wrong path all along and that maybe I should go look among the trees again. Maybe this wasn’t the cache, but indeed just some metering station.
That’s when I noticed the stick from a firework piece lying on the ground. It was just the right length and girth to fit into the hole! I held my breath as the stick reached down and poked at the bottom of the pipe for a bit. I still felt nothing, but when I decided to call it quits and pull the stick out, I realized something was sliding upwards alongside it. I quickly removed the stick, but so much water had been flushed out that all I saw was the tiny, red top of an item just barely visible. I picked up the can again (that thing seemed to contain an infinite amount of water) and topped up the pipe.
At that point the cache proper came into full view. I rejoiced in signing the log and finished it all off by opening the faucet, replacing the lid on the left pipe, emptying the can into the brook and tossing it to the side where I’d found it. Every step of the way had felt so coincidental and lucky, from the perfect fence-hopping tree branch and the wading stick, to the rocks in the stream, the metal rod in the wall, the tossed-to-the-side can and the firework stick.
I left the scene the same way I came, feeling happy and content. I love the geocaching community and its giving nature and I love the rare instances where someone goes to such great lengths to make others enjoy themselves (for free I might add), and I’m proud to call myself a member.
I’ve been inspired to create something cool myself. Not being very proficient in construction, I figure calculations, cryptic texts and mysteries will have to be my vocation. Hopefully I’ll get some grand idea sometime this summer. I would like to thank the creators of this geocache for being so awesome and you for reading this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.