|The still before the storm|
|It got pretty smoky|
|My favorite of the day!|
With the battle over for the day I pulled myself up off the ground where I'd been sitting and headed out to find my first cache in the area. The first cache took me outside the National Military Park (there are no caches allowed here) and onto the grounds of the adjoining cemetery. I made a quick find at one of the gates to the cemetery, then in a small picnic area in a small park. I tracked to the GZ, finding that it was occupied by a young mother with her children. I sat down on a bench to wait and began double checking my readings. Sure enough, the cache had to be where they were. Finally I couldn't wait any longer. My presence was probably already a little strange. So I asked her permission to look under the metal picnic table. She agreed and immediately asked me if I was playing that Internet game. I told her I was and that it is called geocaching. She said she'd heard of it. She and her little daughter joined in on the hunt at the table. Finally the young mother came up with the cache. She was surprised at how much she enjoyed this. I explained the game and wrote down www.geocaching.com for her to learn more.
Now it was time to back track back through the park. I'd come through an apartment complex and up a hill full of briers to get to these two caches. It was the same to get back. I crossed the cemetery, hit the trails in the battleground and was soon out the other side into Country Park. One of my favorite caches of the day, one that gave me a little headache to make the find, was Mother Nature's Stepson (GC3RHT8). It was a fun cache! I looked in all the obvious places for this small container. It just wasn't showing up at all. I began to extend the radius of my search. Still nothing. "It can't be", I thought. It was just found a few days ago. I returned to the GZ and crawled on hands and knees back into the bushes to look some more. I thought I'd looked everywhere when suddenly something that looked natural turned out to have a wire connected to it. I found it! I'm sure glad I didn't give up on this one too soon.
There were two more caches in the park to be found. I head out after them. The last one was called Student Driver (GC217R6). It was a straight forward ammo box hidden in the most obvious place. I guess the name had to do with the mountain bike trail nearby. My only dilemma was that somewhere over the last kilometer I'd lost my only ink pen. I thought about taking a picture to send to the cache owner and asking permission to log it since I couldn't sign the cache. Then I looked down and saw that a brier had snagged my left wrist and I was bleeding ever so slightly. You got it. I stamped my blood onto the log sheet as proof of my presence there. I wrote this in the on-line log and hope the cache owner will be ok with my blood stamp. I guess if others have their fancy stamps I can have mine.
As I headed back to the car I was racing the clock. Numerous signs said the park gate would close promptly at 5 p.m. I drove out the gate with 15 minutes to spare. What a fun afternoon. I got a piece of history through seeing the first phase of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse reenacted. I also found six caches in and around the park. Thanks to all the cache hiders that make days like this possible! And thanks to those who reenact these battles.