I'm a failure . . . after 1600 caches I still suck at urban micros . . .
So, Wednesday, I loaded the geepus with caches along my proposed route into town and I followed it from Casa de Oro to Spring Valley to Lemon Grove. Along the way I looked for eleven caches and couldn't find six of them.
The first cache I looked for was between a road and the 94 freeway. There was trash, discarded clothing, broken glass, and rusty cans, along with feces . . . whether it was dog or human, I don't know. I looked for a long time, getting discouraged that I was looking for something in such a location. Finally, just as I was getting out my Palm to mark the cache as a DNF, I stepped on one of those little fake rock hide-a-keys. I was not amused, but I did sign the log.
The next cache was near this neat old ranch house.
It took me way too long to find this one because I was looking in all the wrong places. I took the wording in the hint much too literally when the cache owner talked about a "big tree."
From there I headed down the street less than a quarter of a mile. There were two more caches by that same cache owner. I looked and looked for the first one and finally gave up. I should have stopped looking ten minutes earlier because I searched past the time when I was still having fun.
There was another cache in that park less than .2 miles away, so I walked to it. The coordinates for that cache were off also, so it was hard to know where to center my search. I looked and looked and inspected that bridge and never found the wasp nests people mentioned in the past logs, or the words in the hint, or the cache.
So . . . I walked back to my car and headed off to another cache. From reading the description, I knew it was in someone's front yard. I should have just continued on to the next cache, but didn't. I drove around the block almost two complete times trying to figure out where the house was. Finally, I pulled over in the shade and reread the description to see that there was a note about parking on one street and walking in the Court. Oh . . . okay. So, the navigation problem I was having was my fault. The cache owner was nice enough to give parking directions.
The trash truck was trying to negotiate the narrow entry into the Court as I walked past the noisy vehicle. At the house, I saw the railroad ties and I looked for the '1' Difficulty cache, expecting it to be visible. But it wasn't, and the trash barrels next to me smelled, and the trash truck was coming slowly up the Court towards me. After one last look under the top, loose, railroad tie, I turned around and headed back to my car.
Okay, three DNFs in a row. I have more than 1600 Finds now and don't remember ever having 3 DNFs in a row before . . .
The next cache was in a nice little park in Lemon Grove. It was in the far corner away from any muggles. Confidence restored, I continued to the next cache which was right on Broadway in Lemon Grove. It was in a nice area, similar to where Pathfinder and Snoopy have a cache in La Mesa. The difference between the two caches was that I found the P & S cache. This was another one by Neptune's Daughter . . . and so far, I haven't found one of her caches. The other one I looked for I DNF'd also.
I walked about .2 to the next cache, expecting it to be like those hider's other ones. Nope . . . not this one. I have no idea where it was hidden, but my GPSr took me around the corner of a building, which was good since there is a "lonely guy" out in front of the next building. I couldn't get away from there fast enough, but I wasn't quick enough, or invisible enough, to walk away before he asked me if I had any questions. I was tempted to ask if he knew where the cache was . . .
The next cache I looked for was in a nice park where this beautiful house had been moved when a highway cut through another part of town.
The cache itself deserved this writeup . . . courtesy of the Groundspeak Forums and DocDiTTo's creativity:
"I saw her from across the parking lot. Just standing there, glistening in the hot summer sun. I knew at once I had to have her; she would be mine. Slowly I cruised over in my car, windows down, radio playing soft, romantic music. I pulled up next to her, got out of my car, but didn't say a word. I looked at her, and she just stood there, almost beckoning, taunting, teasing me. I knew what I wanted, and she had it. But would she give it away to a stranger? I was going to find out, regardless of the consequences. I began my approach, never taking my eyes off her. Slowly, but confidently I advanced. She didn't move an inch. It was as if she was saying "its all up to you, friend". Suddenly, I was beside her. I put one hand out, and touched her. She was hot, and smooth as a baby's bottom. I knew it was now or never, there was no turning back. I put my hands on her skirt, and pulled it straight up to see what was hidden beneath it. There it was, staring me in the face, only inches away. Slowly, cautiously, I reached out and grabbed it. Finally!! The cache was mine! Quickly signed the log, put the container back under the skirt and was on my way. Thanks for the cache!"
After signing the log and replacing the cache, I walked around the grounds where the smell of roses and other flowers was wonderful. I learned more about the park and the historical buildings and other items, including this tombstone that was rescued from where it was going to be dumped and buried.
Before heading into San Diego to get closer to the movie theater before rush hour traffic started to build, I looked for one more cache a quiet area behind a shopping center. I couldn't find it. So, that was it. My sixth DNF in one short afternoon. However, it was a very nice day, I got out and saw things I hadn't known about before, and that really should be the only goal of any Geocaching adventure.
POSTSCRIPT: The movie was great and I kept thinking about all the great Geocaching puzzle minds and how much they would enjoy it. I was awed by the people who can create crossword puzzles, and those who can do the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink.