Sunday, June 30, 2013

GC - Ghosts of Spanish Conquistadors

Geocache name:    Ghosts of Spanish Conquistadors
Hidden by:    Old River Runner
Location:    Dover, Ark.

I planed a weekend camping trip to Long Pool Recreation Area for this past weekend. My niece, 11, nephew, 13 and my sister, 33, arrived about 7:30 p.m. Friday. After setting up camp we went for a swim until dark, roasted hot dogs on the fire and told some scary stories. Around 10:30 we left camp to attempt our first night cache.
We began by parking at the overlook and looking out into the valley and up at the stars. I haven't seen that many stars in ages! The overlook was crowded with people, most of whom appeared to be high school students, drinking and playing music. We left the overlook and pulled in on a dirt road which didn't appear to have much traffic. We walked back east down the road and began the hunt.

After about five minutes of walking it became a more difficult to see between the reflective tacks and I had to  watch the GPS to make sure we were not walking in circles. It felt like we were but the GPS said we were still on the path. It wasn't long before I began hearing rustling in the leaves somewhere in the darkness around us. I told the kids to be quiet and listen. We clearly heard an owl somewhere, but the rustling seemed to stop. We heard it a little more as we continued through the woods looking for more reflective tape.

Having a GPS in my hand keeps me comfortable that we won't get lost, but I don't know where the spiders or snakes are. I don't know how close we came to finding the geocache, we found as many as three tacks on some trees but we never spotted four. We ended up somewhere close to a road and we could see break lights and hear voices. We had also been spotted as we could clearly tell by the voices. It didn't help that my sister had a red light and my niece had a blue light. The lights kept malfunctioning and flashing so it could have appeared as if they were police lights. As I said, they were drinking, and my sister was afraid they would be drunk and possibly violent. That lead to our giving up on the geocache and just trying to get out of the woods without being seen.

We had to walk without lights at times adding to the spookiness. We walked into several branches and thickets before stopping to listen and to watch. There were lights that would appear and disappear, making it difficult to tell how far we were from the road at times. I don't think I have seen that many lightening bugs in 10 years. We never got far from the road as we wandered through the woods, trying to stay out of sight. From the sounds of things we had scared those at the overlook off as well. We made it back to the car safely and it made for the most interesting "Did Not Find (DNF)" caching story I have experienced.

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