The “Hard Cache” Father and Son Adventure
by: Dave Oswalt
I prefer to do things the hard way, to grunt, sweat with labored breathing and collapse in exhaustion. If not, things are too easy, too simple.
For the world at large, geocaching is a simple game of treasure hunt. Find hidden Tupperware containers with a hand held GPS. Easy enough.
A recent caching trip took my son (the Kuhn_Man) and I to the backwoods of Spring Mill State Park. We parked at the Nature Center and walked a crushed stone trail around the lake. Our goal, the “Bike Trail” cache, a hike of 2/3 of a mile.
Spring Mill has undone a recent renaissance with improved trail corridors and this trail was level with easy walking. On trail, we found the north coordinate. The west coordinate line scaled a steep slope off trail. Without hesitation, we climbed, hanging onto roots and trees and boulders in our ascent.
Breathing hard in the humid air, we twisted our way through a tangled weave of thorns and briars that gnawed at our bare legs and bloodied our ungloved hands. The slope eased as we emerged onto a new trail, just as a mountain biker rode by. Heavy with fatigue, we focused on GZ and the Kuhn_Man found the cache, hidden in the crevice of a pile of limestone boulders.
We signed the log and rummaged through the swag, taking nothing and leaving nothing. The Kuhn_Man secured the lid and replaced the ammo can. The popular bike trail is part of the new renaissance. Had we parked at the trail-head, near the campground, a nice leisurely walk would have brought us to GZ.
But that’s not our style. Not wasting a moment, we jumped back into the thick undergrowth. Our new target, the Wheezy Wanda cache, an easy 2/3 mile hike.