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Halfway to Ika


The world spins. A spinning world, within a spinning world, within a greater world yet.

The Sun exerts, the Moon pulls, and thus the ebb and flow of the tides.


It was on this day I chose, during the ebb of the local seas to make my way to Craft Island, and from there, all the way to Ika Island by means of footfall and staff-probing across barren tidal flats and through brackish sub-channels of various depths, temperatures, and dubious character to plant a cache.


It is the sort of travel I enjoy most. Desolate. God-drenched. I would do it all naked if the world included fewer people. Let the sun bake me, the rains wash me clean, the wind dry my hair. Deserts or endless emptied sea, mountainous crags, abysmal canyon. It is my spiritual alchemy; leAd to goLd.


I saw him once before this day. Spoke to him. Said “Hello”. Wide brimmed sun-hat, lawn chair in hand. It was he who led me to the idea. Gave me the thought. Made me see the possibilities. I climbed up Craft Island, he continued on. I sat and watched. He walked till he was no more than a speck. And there, where “Nowhere” IS, he unfolded his lawn chair. And sat. And read. What an incredible idea! I knew I must myself do the same someday soon. I waited. Hours passed. I could see the tide returning from my higher vantage point. When would he stir and rise? Would he realize what he could not see from lower down, and beat the fast advancing tide? It appeared not. It became evident not! Finally he rose, picked up his chair and began the long walk back. The channels widened and deepened. The day as well began to fade. One more channel to Craft Island. But it had become the sea. He carried his chair, with book high above his head, seawater up to his armpits. I left before he reached my island, but I felt certain he was ok and didn’t want to disturb his aloneness. I saw he again, another time, lawn chair in hand, headed half-way to Ika Island.


This is where Caching leads me.


Hike to Ika Island

Edited by EraSeek
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What you won’t find sometimes!


So this is my story of how it came to be that in a blizzard I found a dead person.


It was a long haul up a popular mountain in these parts. I won’t say which mountain for reasons you’ll soon understand. One non-caching friend and myself, out to show him the joys of what it is I do. This was early on in Geocaching. I don’t think he ever went with me again. Two or three thousand feet of up with no views. Near the top it opens up, but on this day it opens up to more than just a view. It opened up to the weather. Bitter cold! Blowing wind and snow! A blizzard. There were two caches here. We’d found one. A big jar snuggled in the rocks. The other was in an area that was very exposed to the weather. Between an open rock field and a sheer rock mountain wall. Our noses and hands were freezing! We looked everywhere. Turn rocks here and there, ran back to the trees to warm our hands and bodies, then out amongst the rocks once again. The snow whip along feeling like sandpaper on our faces, but it was not heavy enough to build up much in the exposed rock field. Not having much luck we spied a crevice on the rock wall. Not terribly likely. It was higher than our heads. Maybe 8’ up. We decided to give it a try. I braced against the rock wall as Mark climbed up on my shoulders and used them as you would a ladder. He succeeded in getting a foothold at the crevice, a break in the rock about 6’ long and a bit of a lip to it.

“See anything?” I yelled up.

“No. Wait a minute.. I think I see it. A box. Under some loose rock. It’s wood.”

“Yes! That must be it! Can you reach it?”

“Mmm, just barely. Umf. Ahh. Got it.”

“Awesome! Toss it down!”

“It’s got a funny lid to it. Plastic.”

He tosses it down. It appears to be a hand-crafted square wood box with laminated pieces and rounded well-made corner joints. But it has this funky thin white snap in plastic lid to it. I pull the lid out of its setting.

“What the.. What the heck?”

“What?” Mark says.

“Its someones STASH!”, I say.

I reach in and pull out a hefty clear plastic bag of white powder and show Mark who is still 8’ above.

“That’s not someone’s stash….. That IS SOMEONE!”

I look at it closer. The off-white powder is quite granular.


We look at each other and burst into uncontrollable fits of laughter! In the middle of a blowing snowstorm we had found someone’s cremated remains! We must have looked like fools. Laughing our heads off, holding up a bag of human remains in the middle of a blizzard.


But this is where Geocaching takes you.


Of coarse we returned the poor fellow traveler to his proper place with all due haste and respect, and shortly after found the correct cache. Life is an adventure.

Edited by EraSeek
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The Nightsea Cache becomes a Hydrocache.


This is the story of how I came to find and log my own cache.


Yes, not kosher. Goes against etiquette. But I logged my own cache and for good reason. Here is what happened:

Early on in Geocaching I was full of ideas. One of them was to create a cache that you had to find at night. This was the world’s first Night Cache. I called it “ The Nightsea Cache”. It was presented in the form of a (what?) Riddle? Poem? Prose? It was a multi and part of it to you to a point of land where you counted rocks and where you needed to recognize the fact that what you where looking for lay about 3 ½ miles across our inland sea, Puget Sound. There, from that point, you could see the Point-No-Point Light. Each navigational light blinks a certain pattern so you can identify it. As I recall, Point-No-Point has a three-blink-sequence. Of course you plug all this in to coordinates and it took you beyond the Ferry landing to a box filled with Fairy-Lights (glow sticks). A great, fun and safe adventure at night for any family.


Well, being in a spot where many a muggle ventured, it got plundered every now and than, as my current one nearby still does. Once I got an E-Mail from Jeremy. Some non-cacher had found my box. Not knowing or understanding the game very well, he had thought he was supposed to move it to a new location and send the new coordinates to geocaching.com. Thus the E-Mail simply stated that someone had a box belonging to Eran Peek or some such think, and a set of coordinates. Was it mine?


So after work, and still in my uniform, (how embarrassing!) I went to said coordinates. It took me to the center of Edmonds, where 5Th and Main meet. Ohhhh Kayyy!? Four corners. Four streets meet. One of those merry-go-round intersections that you navigate around a fountain. Fountain. They didn’t, did they? I navigate the traffic on foot in my telling and ridiculous outfit to the middle of the intersection. At first I see nothing. Then I do. Floating in the fountain, half submerged, is a clear heat-sealed plastic bag, my cache box inside it. I grab it. It’s half full of water. Wet arm, dripping bag, I dodge the local traffic back to one of the corners and embarrassingly do my best to disappear.


Yes, dadgum-straight I logged it! Any complaints?


But that is where geocaching can lead you. The depravity of it all!

Edited by EraSeek
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Funny story. A similar thing happended to me while placing a travel bug at one of my caches. Here is my note:


September 4, 2002 by slinger91

"Odd things have happened to me lately at or near my cache sites. 3 weeks ago it was the crop circle thing near a waypoint of mine. Today takes the cake however. I swam out to the structure, dropped off the bug, and swam back. The tide was out so I had to walk through 50ft. of tidal mud before I got to land. Than I spotted a small plastic box about 15ft. from the bank. It was probably 8in. by 10in., and had a lid that was 1/4 of the way open. I reached down and flipped it up. I noticed that it seemed fairly heavy for being filled with mud and water. when I opened it all the way, I noticed it had a plastic bag inside that was wound closed by metal bailing wire. Atatched to the wire was a circular brass tag. Than I got really excited thinking I had just stumblled on something equal to D.B. Coopers loot. Than I read the tag. Cherry Grove Crematorium # ----. In a matter of a second I went from Oh wow, to oh s**t. What are the odds. The moral of the story I guess is some small plastic container's have a person in them and not a dollar store toy. Somehow, I feel like I should be able to log this as a find. I'm not sure if God would see the humor though.


By the way I also dropped off a t.b".

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How I came across a woman praying in the forest, and what it could possibly mean.~


Deep in the heart of a southwest desert, far from any road, days from any human habitation there is a depression in the sandstone rock. The rock is blonde in color with hints of red. It is part of a vast wilderness of rock just like itself. Most of us would get lost here and die within a week’s time. No one has passed by here for decades. Perhaps centuries. It is an exposed and hidden place. A place sacred.


In the depression of this rock is a jewel hidden from the rest of the world. An element rare and abundant. It is a cupful of water. It teems with little specks of life, insignificant, almost not there unless you look. Each speck going about the business of being itself. Little do they know they exist in holy water.


This rock that holds a handful of water is not unique. There are other places like this, every now and again, throughout this hot and desolate desert. They too hold life in their hands. They too are a salvation waiting to be found. Hidden in a nook or cranny, hidden away and protected from the blazing sun.


I came across a woman praying in the woods. It was along a river in the mountains of Washington. I was looking for a box that had been secreted away. I suspect she was looking for something secreted away as well. I could not decide if her prayers were Buddhist or Muslim, though she her self I believe to be a convert to that mode of prayer. She looked like the woman next door or down the street. Rather plump and reaching middle age. Her gown spoke of her conversion, whatever it might be. It had a bit of a fortune tellers touch. I said hello and nodded as I walked by, and she did likewise. I did not linger not wanting to disturb. I questioned in my mind the legitimacy of her extra-cultural methods, though it certainly wasn’t my place to judge. I knew she was trying. Perhaps she had found. Certainly she had a proper idea. I wanted to question her about her methods and thoughts, but I knew it wasn’t the time or place. I wanted to watch to see what she did, but I knew that would be a vulgar intrusion.


I went on and found my box. When I returned she had left. Religion is a method of Man. Mine is a jewel in the desert. Hers, a prayer said in the forest. We each have our ways.


This is where geocaching has led me.

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Funny story. A similar thing happended to me while placing a travel bug at one of my caches. Here is my note:


September 4, 2002 by slinger91

"Odd things have happened to me lately at or near my cache sites. 3 weeks ago it was the crop circle thing near a waypoint of mine.


Satellite photos discover a plethora of crop cicles in Kansas! :D


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I feel like I haven't peeked in the forums for ages ('cept for a quick post here or there- I haven't read anything). Woke up really early this morning because my mind wouldn't settle down. Thanks for the great morning wake up EraSeek! I've really enjoyed reading this thread this morn- and the crop circles- LOL! :rolleyes:


Hope to contribute soon. (Got another round of family visiting starting today).

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Fear and loathing in Vantage. How worries advance with age.


I’m at the end of a dusty dirt road high above the Columbia River. Rattlesnakes live here. My bike lies next to me. I’m looking for a cache. Half a mile back up a short hill is my car. I’m greatly distressed. I could hear the radiator boiling as I removed my bike. My transmission was making horrid grinding and gnashing sounds just before I reached where I parked. Pangs of despair waft over me.


On the bike ride down I watched for snakes but saw a hummingbird and a coyote. It is lovely country but my mind is elsewhere. I have a family that I am responsible for, a not-so-well paying job. A kid in college. Two more coming up. Two cars that are on their last legs. Things are too close to the edge. I can not afford problems.


I am high above the Columbia. Just over there, on the other side and upriver a bit I once climbed that coulee wall. That was over thirty years ago. I found my way up through the rock and sage and walked across those desert lands north. Ten miles, and ten miles back in a day. There were snake pits that bloomed with cactus flowers. Beautiful. I only saw one snake but worried a bit the whole way. I made my way to an abandoned home in a gulch that I had seen since childhood from the other side of the river. I couldn’t get close. It was engulfed in brush. I was young and single then.


Down there I remember when there was a bridge and the old townsite with a gas station, and a motel, before the dam was built. And before that a ferry ride on a cable ferry. On the east side and just north of the bridge we would stop and find arrowheads out among the river rock.


Once there were other people living here long before this country ever knew a European. They left ideas drawn on the rocks. Had a tool called a slave killer. Long before them there were forests of walnut, maple and gingko. There was a great upwelling of lava that formed this land, and a great flood which shaped it. Now the river runs still. The people are nearly gone. The town drowned. And gone is my youth. Trees turned to stone and dust.


I find the box and want nothing more than to go home. Entropy is not to be underestimated.


Sometimes this is where geocaching takes you.

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A most lovely place, and beautiful young lass, Druids and a story from the past~


A few years back my oldest brother, my mom, and I took a caching road trip to south central Washington. Quite frankly it was a wonderful experience. One of the peaks of the trip was a cache called the G-Spot in Goldendale. Perhaps you’ve done it. Big yellow flowers were in bloom everywhere on that hill. It was gorgeous. It made my favorites list. Very near the cache is an observatory. I had been there before. We came back that night to visit it and had a great time and was given special tours by the head ranger including his personal library. He took me out into the night and showed me his green laser pointer, and I let him use my infrared night vision binoculars. We hit it off well.


The next day we once again visited Stonehenge, as we have on many road trips since I was a kid. Not long after we were married I took my wife here. She stood there on that rock in a very strong wind in a pink dress. I took a slow shutter-speed photo of her. In the photo her blonde hair flows out from her, the ends blurred out. Her dress is a wonderful blur of color. Her body becomes a flame of pink light. I love that photo. I have no idea where it is.


Here at Stonehenge there is a puzzle cache. I’ve wanted to do it for some time. But being travelers, it is time we don’t have. But these stones bring back thoughts and memories. One is a great respect for Sam Hill. The other is of another memory. It is of a visit here by myself in the 70’s. Here is that story:


How I played the wallflower at a Druid dance~ How the sun did an unexpected thing~ and how there was a voice shouting in the wilderness


I do not recall the year it was, perhaps 1976 maybe 1978, there was to be a total eclipse of the Sun. There upon the once mighty Columbia, sitting high on a hill is a replica of Stonehenge. Nearly as mystical a setting as the original. It was here that the totality was to pass, and here that I knew I must be to view it.


I arrived in the early afternoon on the day before it was to occur. As I wandered about Stonehenge (a place that has always held a fascination for me since childhood) more and more people began arriving. Ah, but these were not ordinary people. They came in odd clothing, white robes mostly, erected small pinnacle shaped tents, kept to themselves, built small fires in front of their tents, performed odd motions about the fires with small objects. They appeared to be praying perhaps. I wasn’t going to ask. I tried to watch without staring, a difficult task. As night came on more and more small fires were lit, then a large fire inside Stonehenge itself. I decided to leave the comfort of my quarters (was it a tent or was I sleeping in the car?) to find out what the activity was. As I approached Stonehenge it was obvious that there were a great many people on hand. I could hardly see from behind them. There was, upon the altar stone many candles aglow, there was some sort of knife, and a skull of a ram, and other things I either could not then identify or recall now. Behind the altar stone was a priest of some kind, but not the type you would see in the pulpit of any church. He waved the knife about and chanted things, though I haven’t a clue what. Then before long everyone held hands in a circle inside the ring of Stonehenge and began singing and dancing back and forth. And what might it be they were singing? “All we are saying is give peace a chance”. I thought of joining in, but the crowd seemed a bit strange and I’m forever playing the wallflower.


The next day as the hour of totality approached the clouds threatened to ruin the show. The crowd that gathered was now a mix. Druids, a professor and his students, locals, others. The Professor had brought a prismatic device that displayed the partially covered sun into a couple dozen small images on a board when it showed from between clouds. Some druids had climbed up upon the henge-stones and began banging drums and symbols. The clouds parted and the sky and landscape began to grow dim, like through a pair of sunglasses. “Through the glass darkly” seemed to apply.


It was at this moment, at the moment just before totality, that the most amazing and unexpected thing occurred. The last of the suns light intensified and began to ripple across the landscape, across the stones of the Henge, across the ground, across us. It was a most incredible thing! Ripples, bands of light and dark, moving in unison over us and the stones. Then they switched off and a sort of night came on, and a cold wind arose to chill us. There above us in a darkened sky was a blazing ring of fire. How odd it looked to see a blazing ring of light where none should be. Below us in the river valley, the streetlights had come on in the small town below. We stood silent and awestruck, even the Druids, for the few minutes it lasted. Then the famous beads appeared signaling the approaching end of totality and the Druids banged their drums and launched fireworks from atop their perch. Things passed quickly now, the light seemed to come back quicker then it had left and everything was returning to normal.


Everyone was dispersing and across to dell, someone in a camper, someone with a bullhorn, called out “This event has been brought to you by God! The maker of Heaven and Earth.” A rather fit ending I thought.


~ ~ ~


Caching takes you places in Time and Space.

Edited by EraSeek
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Caching as a family thing~


It is a delicate balance. How many of us know this! A ridgeline, a knife-edge that we walk carefully. I speak of the tension we have between our obsession and our family.


In my case, when with my family I must cache at a walking pace. This is as far as the tolerance will go. If I can find the cache by walking a bit ahead, looking, and finding the cache before they have passed me by and are out of sight, they tolerate. That’s about as far as it goes. If on the rare occasion they join in the hunt, they enjoy it. But, alas, all too rare.


On a warm summer day, or was it fall, we passed through the Yakima River canyon, my family and I. There was a place I thought they would enjoy. A break in our journey. It had a swinging bridge over the river. A fun place to explore and snack on drinks and chips. I did not have much time.


I left them happy and engaged. How long would that last? I let them know there was a cache up there and up I went. Walking easily across the bridge, a leisurely pace, I left them behind the brush as I made my way up the far river bank. Once out of site, I kick it into high gear.


The Lord blessed me with a strong enough heart that it hasn’t failed me yet, though there have been times I’ve wondered. The trail, as it was, climbed up the far side of this fair sized bluff. A road really, which faded in and out, choked with sage and rocks and to my mind, lurking rattlesnakes. I had no time to worry much about them if I was going to make it and survive as a respected member of the family. Heart pumping into overload, sweat pouring like a river, breath holding out ok, I climb the hill, make my way, watch the pointer and the numbers.


When I crest the …well,… crest of the hill, it has that lovely desolation of the Eastern Washington landscape. It would be a glorious place to be and watch as the day dies, but I don’t have that option. I make my way to the north edge of this small bare mountain and search frantically for the cache. Time is short. I find it and log.


Now, and only now do I take that moment as a gift to myself. I stand erect and take it in. The view is awesome! Down there I see the swinging bridge and those little dots are my family. I wave. They don’t acknowledge me. Either I’m in trouble or they just don’t see me. Probably both. I breathe. I listen. There are antelope on the next hill. I am aware.


It only lasts for a few ticks of a forgotten clock, and then I am gone. They are hot and grumpy. They did not see me and are unimpressed. I am slightly damaged. I could not have remained on that knife edge much longer before a total fall from grace. I add Canyon Crest to my favorites list.


This is where geocaching may take you. Tread carefully.

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...I do not recall the year it was, perhaps 1976 maybe 1978, there was to be a total eclipse of the Sun...

It was February, 1979...I know because I was there on the hill near Goldendale Observatory waiting for the clouds to part as well with my Astronomy friends from The Friends of the Planetarium from BCC...left leg in a cast with a broken leg (6 places) from my first AND ONLY skiing 'adventure' the previous November (and the reason my left knee is still FUB'ed up)...


Great story Eraseek... :lol:

Edited by Allanon
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Dying rattlesnakes as an allegory for my political views .


On a high plateau with gentle rolling hills and golden grasses that dance in the desert winds, Heaven exists.

It is so.

Here, horses run with nostrils flared.

The scent of all things good in the air.

Their riders are happy.

Happier than they have ever been before.

They have found what all creature seek.

Life truly filled with life.


We went looking for heaven but never found it. Never made it that far. My middle brother told us it was here. Up this canyon road, this gentle mountain draw. He had been there. There was no better place on Earth for a horseman, or his horse. All we saw was a dusty road, green grass and sparse trees, and an old wooden gate. That’s as far as we got. We were on foot. No truck, no horse trailer, no mount nor dog to lead the way. Heaven was too far. My elder brother, mother and I were too hot, too slow, and too old. Horse Heaven for us was not meant to be.


But there was a catch. There was a cache. That at least was a reward for the lame, the weak, the slow. It was at the old wooden gate to heaven. That is where we had to turn away and return the way we came. No St Peter to weigh our deeds, just a dusty dry mountain road.


On our return trip a huge diesel pick-up pulling a double-wide horse trailer flew round the curve and by us. On his way to heaven I guess because the devil met his due. Yes, the devil met his due as we were to discover just around that bend a moment latter. Poor devil. Double wide tire track across his middle, guts hanging out, but still alive. For awhile. My brother (the elder) got angry. Thought the trailer man nailed him on purpose. Pure meanness. I can’t say it wasn’t so. My Father-in-law does that… makes U-Turns just to run over snakes. He hates them. Can’t say as how I blame him. My elder brother finds that near criminal. He has my vote. My middle brother would find a snake of some interest, but plug him if he was a threat. Certainly the better path. My mother has no opinion. I can see her point.


Poor devil. They exist for a reason. I’m glad they do exist. As long as they keep their distance, and stay on the dry side of the mountains.

I wonder if rattlesnakes exist in heaven.


~Caching at the gates of Heaven~

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Success story


A brief respite from creative writing to draw your attention to one of my early success stories.

Early on in caching I planted a cache called Reverse world, based on me (EraSeek) being trapped in a mirror-image world where the mirror images thought they were real and we reflections. To release me a periodic table puzzle had to be solved by secessive finders. Once solved I was released, but thrown by that release into another demensional world "Flatland" and I was trapped again.


Flatland is based on a book where all the world is like a 2D tabletop. All the inhabitants and objects in Flatland are geometric shapes. To gain release from Flatland the first finder had to find the vortex and release me. That first finder was Moun10Bike. I had a surprise for him wrapped up in a black plastic garbage bag that I had placed early that morning. :laughing: Thanks guy!



Caching can be both creative and fun.

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Advice I have to offer. Items: 2

Here is item #1.


Go beyond the box! Go beyond the box.

If ever there was a better bit of advice for the geocacher in improving the quality of the hunt experience I’m not sure what it would be. I’m not sure how many times this has brought me to a new level. More often than not it seems, though perhaps not quite so. It doesn’t take much. Perhaps a few steps. Sometimes just keep walking until you find it.


How many times have I heard Geocaching is not about the box. It is the journey. Well, true enough, but why does your journey end at the box? I have found things.


Barns. Once a barn, I walked inside. Mostly trashed. I went to the loft. It was clean. It also had symbols drawn on the wall. What’s the word? Pentagram? A witchcraft circle with a star in it. Hmm.. Another barn. Abandoned. Again not much left downstairs, but upstairs… I could have sat there for an hour just taking in the atmosphere. Dust and sunlight through the cracks. A loft door swinging in the breeze.


A needle of sand that let the sea surround me. Beyond the box.

An endless high desert plateau. Only I was there. Beyond the box.

An abandoned farm.

A hidden meadow.

A swing.

Forgotten works.

A blue marble.

I can not remember them all. I know I will recall the best of them only when this story is said and done. But take my advice. Go beyond the box. See what secret you can find.

It is not about the box, you say, it is the journey. Why does your journey end there?

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Advice I have to offer: Two parts.

Item #2

Be aware.


There is another world. I have experienced it. A place one can go and find hidden things. Others pass by and do not see. Little do they know it is there. Hidden from the eye and yet not, awareness is the key. Treasures abound unseen. You know this world, you play in it all the time. A world of boxes and muggles, coordinates and swag. You know where it is and how to get there. It is a challenge, an adventure, a game of hide and seek.


But. There is another world. I have experienced it. A place one can go and find hidden things. Others pass by and do not see. Little do they know it is there. Hidden from the eye and yet not, awareness is the key. Treasures abound unseen. Do you know this world? You play in it all the time. The world of mundane miracles. Waiting to be seen. If ever there were but one bloom, one flower, in all the world, what a miracle it would be! Ahh, but why does a million blooms make it less so; less a miracle, less seen? This is the key!


If Geocaching is a world hidden from others consider what this can teach you. You see things others pass by. A slight trail into the grass. A cover of sticks; what might that hold? Take your sight and let it become a lesson. Is there more there beyond what you are seeing? What you are looking for? I find there is. And when I began to look, things began to appear as if they wanted to be seen. It is much like a photographer’s eye.


There is a place I go often when I am blue, uninspired, need exercise, or just in search of fresh air. It has never failed me. This place is not unique. There are other places much like it. But I have never failed to see something when I was there. Once it was a great horned owl but ten feet away. I looked at him, he looked at me till I tired of looking and walked away. Once it was a couple. Yes, well… . Once a humming bird attacked me. I was too close to it’s unseen nest. Once I made a fool of myself by stalking a hunter’s decoys. Once I scanned the marshes with my binoculars just to see a hunter staring back at me with a wave and smile. Once I saw gray rocks that moved ever so slightly. Seals in a rookery. Once a blizzard of snow geese. Often it has been the weather. Wind, mist, looming castles in the sky. But once I saw nothing. On my way back I thought “What’s wrong? This can’t be.” I stooped down to look and saw a tiny little bug on a vermilion berry. I no longer remember what it was all about but I watched him for the longest time, fascinated by his world and his intensity. We should be so passionate about our world as was he.


So here is my advice part 2. You must look to see.

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How we found an interesting thing and how I danced with the whirlwinds~



We are tiny creatures. Ants upon a landscape. One following the other across stone and earth. Clouds swirl about. Weather is a possibility. We hear rumbles. They sound like thunder, and that they may be. Off to the right is a sloping hill that falls off to a valley below. To the left, the same. We see but rock, earth, ice, and clouds. Ice on the mountain behind us. We are descending one of its flanks. It is called second Burroughs.


There is an anomaly in this Martian-like landscape. It is impossible to tell what it is from this distance. Metallic. It moves in the wind but is caught. Hung up by something. I go off trail and down slope to look at it. The others wait. It is a thing out of place here. It has been on a journey.


We had hiked up to the memorial to do “12 birds on the dome”. I’ve been here many times. I think Jon has been here before too. It is an awesome place. I want to take Jon on up to thirds Burroughs but we are unsure. I’ve been up here before during a lightning storm. We don’t want to get caught in that. We hear rumbles but are unsure if it is the glacier or advancing weather. We decide against. Too bad. Third Burroughs is an extraordinary place. A place worthy of ones ashes. I have been there before when weather was being born. It is the place where Burroughs becomes the trailing edge of Steamboat Prow. The rounded mountain sharpens into a knife edge. Green moist valley to the east, a direct drop to the glacier to the west. Rainier in front. It was here I stood with fog and mists lifting from the green valley and frigid air mass blasting up from the glacier. The point of their meeting was where I stood. Along this knife edge micro tornados were forming, like Whirling Dervishes, lining up, disappearing. And in these micro tornados snow formed and whirled and danced about me like spirits. They would engulf me and freeze me and spin away again. It was quite cold! And exciting. Imagine a dancing line of snow-whirlpools along this ridgeline including me in their happy existence. There was no snow anywhere else. Only here. You must go there someday.


While at Second Burroughs we lingered, enjoy the scenery and heard things on my FRS radio. They were having some sort of fair or something at Fort Lewis, and I was actually picking up conversation on my meek little radio. We were amazed at the tricks of radio reception. So what would be more unlikely than this?


I reached the object and it made me wonder. How did it get here? Than I looked the object over and I was shocked! A smile came over my face and I returned it up the slope to the others.


My E-Mail went something like this: “Dear Fort Lewis Fire Department. I have just returned from Second Burroughs on the North flanks of Mt Rainier. There, just off the ridge on the east slope at about 6000 feet or so we found one of your Mylar balloons with your Fire Department number on it. Evidently you were having an event and it escaped and made it’s way here to catch its string around a rock. Amazingly enough we could also hear your chatter on my little FRS radio. Hope you had a wonderful time.”


Sometimes… :laughing:

Edited by EraSeek
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How I went looking for Jesus and found two lost maidens in the woods and became lost myself~


Gems has an agenda. No doubt about it. He is an Evangelical; that’s who he is, and that is quite ok by me. He has a cache that is called something like “Twice dunked, once forgiven”, or some such thing. Forgive me if I’ve gotten that wrong. I went looking for his cache. It is fairly straight forward, but I figured I’d take the interesting way. Before you get to the beach there are some woods. Interesting sorts of trees that you only see near the ocean. Through these trees there is a path. The paths should lead you through the woods to the ocean. Thus I took the path less traveled as there was also a nearby road that if followed, led to the beach. This path began innocently enough with plenty of promise but soon it became blocked. There was water in these woods and a healthy bit of it was across the path. I took a secondary path and found more water still. Another secondary path eventually led to the same state of affairs. I was beginning to wonder. Not sure if I was on a path any longer, jumping bits of water here and there, I came across two young ladies doing the same as I, but they were in retreat. “There is water everywhere”, they said, “we can’t get through”.

“Yeah, I’m finding the same thing, but I think I’ll stick with it for a bit”, I said.

And thus I, being of an adventurous nature, stuck with it for a bit. I turned this way and that. I hopped over puddle, and pond, stream and ditch. Everywhere water. Increasingly less terra firma. Yes I had a GPS. Certainly I could not loose my way. But signals or not a GPS is no guarantee. I took more risky leaps. Jumped to spaces that looked like land. Avoided the deeper holes and where the water flowed. I was totally turned around. I did not know which way I had been nor which way to go. My GPS track was a mess. Spaghetti. It was more of a web than a way. My direction was useless. To achieve a bearing to follow, one must move at a walking pace. I was at one leap every 15 to 20 seconds and slowing. Silly! I began to panic in these little woods. I could bag the leaps and begin to wade, but that would be slower and more risky than my leaps. There were so many davits and ditches and ponds it would do more harm than good. Besides. Which way? Silly little bit of woods.


I leap here and I leaped there for God know how long until I came across, yes, a beer can in the woods I had already seen. Thank God, I’m on the right track! Not all trash is trash. Another ten minutes of trial and error around the beer can and I find more ground than water and I know I’m home free. I make my way back to the trailhead and my car and drive to the beach.


Along the dunes there is a cross. A large wooden cross as I recall. And nearby is the cache. I log the find. So when you go looking for Jesus, just remember, not all those who wander are lost; but some of us are.


OK it was called Sprinkled or Dunked?

Edited by EraSeek
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A murder and a dying dog coyote in the woods~


Sometimes I am the greatest recipient of my own hides. Sometimes what things were when I was there rarely occur again. Sometimes the cachers who came did not do the same things to achieve the same results as I had hoped they might. But people vary. Things change. The world is a dynamic place. It is its nature.


This is a story of crows. It is also a story how a box alone is not the thing meant to be found. But boxes are easy. People have schedules to keep, jobs and families to care for. This is also a story of how different from us crows really are. I am no expert on crows or people but how we vary in how we go about life is obvious and stunning.


For several years I had noticed flights, gatherings, of crows over my house every evening as the day grew dim. I grew in curious fascination of this. I wished to learn where they were headed and why. I began to mark a waypoint every time I had my GPS with me and I saw a group of crows fly overhead. A pattern developed which was of course the same as what I visually observed. Southwest to northeast. But now I had some degree of mapping to plot out a general heading and possible destinations. I decided it was time for the chase.


Dusk began to draw near. I kept one eye on the crows above and one eye on my gps and it’s mapping. Up the hill out of Mill Creek I went. Out on Seattle Hill road I noticed the crows dropping out of their flight. Dipping and swooping, cartwheels and twists to the ground, so I pulled over. There was a pond in a construction area where they were putting in a new development. This unlikely place is where the crows were gathering. Now I notice crows are coming in from the southwest, the west, and the east. Most are simply standing around. Many are playing. All are cawing. Some are dive-bombing the few seagulls that are mixed in. I’m seeing a personality developing here. Crows are a swaggerly lot. Playful, verbose, macho, and the obvious, mischievous.


So I’m thinking “What gives? Surely this is not THE place where they go.” And it was not. What it was, was a primary staging area, much like others far to the North or East, where they gather to make an entrance in force to their nightly roost.


After about twenty minutes of flights arriving and increased chatter, some of them began to rise. And then more, and more. I went with the first group so as not to loose them. Down Seattle hill road, just as I suspected. And there, out into the farming flats of the Snohomish valley they went. Now you’ve all seen it. Farm fields converted to high yield cottonwood forests. These quick growing woods eventually become your toilet paper. They are trees but lack any strength and often do not make it through the first good blow of weather. Well, there is such a forest here in the valley. And this was to be the roost.

I drive out on a dirt farm road between fields and find the nearest spot to the forest. It is a gate, that says not to trespass and that it belongs to a hunting club or something.


The day grows dark. I am perhaps nearly a mile from any paved road. It has a very isolated feel to it. Black shadowy crows swarm over the tops of these trees. Some sit on their tops. Others dive-bomb the others. All are causing a great noisy ruckus. Great troops of northern tribe crows arrive, as well as some from the east and west. The numbers have grown into the thousands! It is an amazing thing to witness. It is nearly dark. These crows look like a multitude of shades from hell. Ah, but to add to the atmosphere there are coyotes in the nearby woods and they add their song to the chorus. It is spooky, but not nearly so much as the next night when I come again. I wanted to make sure this gathering occurred on a regular basis, and it certainly seemed to. But this night, replace the coyote’s song with a sound from hell itself. Whether coyote or dying dog, I don’t know. But such a thing made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I’ve never heard anything like it before. Certainly an anguished sound, almost as if something unnatural were in the throes of labor. If I had to guess, it is what Fen Dweller would sound like, but this was no fantasy and it was close.


So this is where I planted my cache. I called it A Murder Of Crows, an arcane term for a flock of crows. It is also the name of a story I wrote long ago. I came back several times afterwards, not always seeing the crows, but almost always hearing that thing in the woods. People found my cache, but very few if any bothered to find it at the right time, between dusk and night. Now the lives of crows have it that they roost in fall and winter but in spring they go into a nesting pattern and break from the grouping routine. Thus any cache finds then did not produce results as well.


So not all caches are for the cache hunters. Sometimes they hold much more meaning for those who plant them. Yes, it is a strange cache and a strange idea… to be out chasing crows. But that’s just me. I just wonder what that thing is out in the woods.

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Survival on the Desert Floor~


Upon the desert floor I walked at a slow pace musing how timeless things seemed in this heat. An endless horizon, an endless scrap of earth, no apparent water nor food, or so it seemed. I understood how it comes to be; that a man placed here out of luck or bad luck, could lose himself quickly, and his life as well. It is not for the novice nor the unaware. What kills him is his own assumptions. An assumption that all is lost, that nothing is here to sustain him, that life within. But he gives up too quick! He places too little value on himself and the land through which he travels. He must look about himself and unlearn the things he had thought he had learned. He must start anew to survive.

There, upon the far horizon, the Sun makes its first appearance, and its last. But here in the center of that circle it lives at its most intense. It gives and takes and does not diminish until its appointed time. Here, man diminishes because of those things greater than he. Those include the Sun, lack of hope, lack of knowledge. The problem of the Sun can be addressed by avoidance, but when there is a ‘lack of’, whether it be hope, knowledge or something as basic as water, it must be addressed face on. There is some life; there must be some water. You must learn to find it if you wish to remain among life’s subscribers. In such a sparse place, water, like hope, like knowledge, exists in small pockets, hidden places. These places must be thought about to be found.

Assumptions kill. Logic saves. Where would you look for water? Hope? Assumption says “forget it, there is none.” But it lies there hidden in the shade; hidden in pockets round enough and deep enough to store it. In impermeable places where the desert soil cannot drink it dry. It might be a handful, perhaps much larger, but it is there, somewhere. And to assume it isn’t is not to except reality, but rather a deadly illusion, for until you have searched every quarter, that absence is only assumption and illusion. Therefore never give up whether it be on water, or knowledge, or hope. It is life.

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Ah, I hung out near that cache for over an hour, at the right time. The mere expectation of those airborn hell's angels and the darkness of the hour made for a creepy experience, even without them actually showing up in person.

One problem was that the crows stopped their roosting behavior not long into the cache's life. Still, an interesting place at dusk to be sure. I think I have seen them begin some grouping again and will check on the site soon.

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An earthquake and a rat big enough to choke your gizzard~


I had pulled the canoe into a long dead end channel, a small tidal slough long enough and just wide enough to make a few minor turns and be unseen from the secondary channel off the main slough. I was well hidden. I put the paddle down and stretched out in the bottom of the canoe to close my eyes and enjoy the silence, and sun and a slight breeze.


I had been out checking on my Skagit Delta Labyrinth cache. I placed it a few years back on the day of the Nisqually earthquake. That had been a pretty good shaker. I had been home when it happened. I jumped up and ran for the door. The dog crawled under the table like you’re suppose to. Goes to show who has more sense. I drove to school and checked on the kids and figured there was no reason not to go canoeing so I did. I found some interesting hidden channels I’d been to before, did some exploring around and planted the cache. The Skagit delta and all of it’s unique character has long been a favorite place of mine. I love its variety and its solitude.


No sooner had I settled in and closed my eyes than I heard a splash and a grunt! I lifted my head up and was staring face to face, eyeball to eyeball, with this quite large furry critter. At first I though it a beaver, but its tail was more round like a rat’s. Definitely a rodent. It grunted like a pig. It was large and seemed obviously male. It was as curious about me and what I was doing there, as I was of it. It held there about a foot and a half away for a minute or two and then with a splash it submerged and swam away.


It was a creature I had not previously known about. They are called Nutrias, and are nocturnal aquatic rodents. Introduced from South America(?) to Louisiana in the 1930’s for their beaver like fur. From there they have spread through introduction, escape, and breeding to Maryland, New Jersey, the Great Plains, Oregon and Washington. They get up to about 56” long and a weight of about 25lbs, and has the nasty habit of re-consuming its own waste. What you won’t learn from going geocaching! He was quite an interesting and impressive visitor to have. Seemed to fit right in with the personality of the nearby river shacks I had paddled by out here. A definite bayou aura to it all. Though he was friendly enough, I think I prefer the good old native beaver to this interloper.


So the next time (or the first time) you see a nearly four-and-a-half-foot water rat in a slough, just think of all the good learnin’ you got from cachin’. What you won’t learn sometimes is amazing.

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I've been enjoying your blog so much, EraSeek- I've been sitting here lost in thought for a while now and thought I'd just write a note about one of the memories your stories pulled up for me:


October last year- I had gotten a small wrist top gps to wear skating. I stumbled across geocaching and thought I'd give it a try. Technology and I don't always get along, and suffice to say my first try at the hunt turned into a multi-day affair of trying to figure out how the darn thing worked and discovering that it's very hard to find something whose appearance you don't have a clue about, and with coords you've entered wrong. My older daughter had gone back to school the previous month. Full day for the first time and my younger daughter and I were discovering the fun of spending the day wandering about in the early fall sunshine and still-bright days. I quickly realized that staring at the ground and other inanimate objects for long periods of time doesn't always hold the same fascination for a 4 yr old, so we had brought along her pet pumpkin and markers to keep her busy when her interest in the search faded. After much aimless wandering, I managed to stumble across ground zero and took a look around. Wait a minute, could that be... Do I have to... Oh my! I found it. I unrolled that piece of paper with the silliest grin on my face and added my name. We sat there for the longest time- amazed that everyone around us was going about the day just as before. I had the weirdest feeling- like I had peeked into another dimension, or maybe slipped in. So strange that there were these things- a record of someone's visit to this same spot- tucked away in plain sight, but yet not. Something only there for someone who looks for it.


Perhaps that's why I have a fondness for micros in the urban landscape. For me, hiking and being in nature will always be a pleasure in and of itself- boxes secondary to the joy of being outside and breathing clean air and finding my own pace. There's something poetic to me about that small roll of paper- hidden just out of sight, but there to show that there are others who see that world as well.


Looking forward to more stories! :D


btw- that cache was Luke McRedmond Cache

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Ah jeez Blue, ya made me tear up a bit.


My first hunt was on my Anniversay a couple of years ago with my lovely wife and my trusty sidekick Baxter. I do remember that same joy when I found it and opened that ammo can to see all the silly stuff. I always love that clunck an ammo can makes. The cache was Pee Wee.


Peace, Nolenator

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Oh my! I found it. I unrolled that piece of paper with the silliest grin on my face and added my name. We sat there for the longest time- amazed that everyone around us was going about the day just as before. I had the weirdest feeling- like I had peeked into another dimension, or maybe slipped in. So strange that there were these things- a record of someone's visit to this same spot- tucked away in plain sight, but yet not. Something only there for someone who looks for it.


Perhaps that's why I have a fondness for micros in the urban landscape. For me, hiking and being in nature will always be a pleasure in and of itself- boxes secondary to the joy of being outside and breathing clean air and finding my own pace. There's something poetic to me about that small roll of paper- hidden just out of sight, but there to show that there are others who see that world as well.

Oh my, LB! You said just what is in my heart. I could never describe it so well. :D

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Black-hearted thieves~


The story of The Song of the Wood Thrush cache.


A number of years back, early on in the era of Geocaching, one of the ‘first best’ caches I found was one by Steam. The cache was called Plane Cents and was near the Anacortes Airport. This cache fits in the best category due to the fact that it was the ‘first best’ antibox I ever found, and still ranks up there because of the creativity and quality and thought that went into it. It was a foreign coin exchange, I suppose one of the first, but what made it great was that it was a nest in a tree. A handmade nest, I’m sure, with an unusual nest egg in it. The egg was a bundle of coins and log wrapped up in purple paisley fabric and tied together in the shape of an egg. Now, this cache was plundered, and plundered again and the cacher gave up the sport of Geocaching rather angered.


Now jump ahead a couple of years. I was reading a book on birds and migration. It described how starlings will take over an active nest, kicking out the eggs, and making the nest its own. Cowbirds, being even nastier, will kick out the owners eggs, lay their own eggs it their place, and the nest owner ends up raising the cowbirds brood rather then their own. Now crows simply steal and eat the eggs: I was reading in my bird migration book about how there’s been a sever decline in the songbird population due to deforestation and forest fragmentation in the wintering grounds, the breeding grounds and on the migration routes themselves. The book was saying how exposed the nests are. That crows hunt nests along the edges of the forest but won’t penetrate into deeper forest. I put the book down and went out back to weed my small corn patch, and along came this big old crow and landed in a small cedar behind the fence. A moment later out of that same tree a robin came complaining. Then out of the heart of the branches came the crow with a robin’s egg in it’s beak. Off he flew with the mama robin chattering behind. I’d never witnessed this before nor had I known that crows even did that before I’d read about it in my book mere moments before. One of those bizarre things.


Now jump ahead to the present. I originally place the “Song of the wood thrush” cache back in the trees, off the cemetery property, but when doing so someone showed up in the woods and not being seen I quickly left. I roamed the cemetery for a bit and came across a secluded section that also had a bit of a birders theme to it, as there were wind chimes and feeders, and bird houses on and near the graves. I thought my nest would fit well here and I found some ginkgo trees well away from any individual graves and I attached my nest to it with 6 plastic eggs and a bison capsule in it. We had a windstorm that night so I checked on the cache and 3 eggs were missing. I glued 6 eggs back in the nest with silicon adhesive, but the next day the eggs were gone and the capsule on the ground. Humm. I repeated my fix, I don’t know how many times, but the same thing happened. By now I’d figured out it was those crows hanging about. I’d fix the cache, and someone would find it hours latter and it had been partly or fully robbed. I put rocks instead of eggs in the nest and again the same would happen. So my solution was to sew the eggs into the nest with monofiliment line. They again messed with it, but the eggs remained. I had anchored the capsule to the branch with fishline and placed it in the cache, but the problem remained that the capsule was always going to get pulled out and dangle from the branch. I didn’t want this, and by this time I was feeling guilty about miss-use of the cemetery and my frequent visits, and I moved the cache back into the woods.


I have since realized that Steam’s cache Plane Cents may have been robbed, but not by cachers. Yes, those darn crows!

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I will be taking a break from story-blogging till after Labor Day. Here is a non-caching but true story of ghosts to tide you over till then:


How I came to be in the rain forests in the Mayan Mountains of Belize~ How I had a vision of an evil Mayan priest~ And what happened before and after in three different countries that brought this together~




When I got out of the service it was a rough time. I was lost and didn’t know what to do with my life. I read an article in The National Geographic about British Honduras and its pending change to independence and a new country name of Belize. It also spoke of a wonderful highway to a section of coast. This highway had the lovely name of The Hummingbird Highway. Well, that sounded good to me so I called up my brother, we hopped into my ’68 Volkswagen bug, and off on a two-month, 13,500-mile journey we went.

From Mexico City on down we began visiting Toltec, Aztec, and Mayan ruins. One place we stopped was a cave just south of Chichen Itza. We were lead by a guide into a hole in the ground, which was the entrance to a medium sized cave, complete with plenty of in residence bats. At the back wall of this cave they had found some stairs buried in the stone rubble and unburied something rather interesting. We followed these very narrow stairs for a short distance into a room of decent size that contained at its center a natural calcite pillar, extending from the roof to the floor. On the fluting base of this pillar there were ancient pottery jars and a pestle and mortar or two. Here, explained the Mexican guide and a translating tourist, they sacrificed thirteen year old virgins to the rain goddess, the goddess of fertility, represented by the limestone pillar. The virgins would be made to spend some time in purification here, grind their own corn meal (for their final meal), laid before the pillar and have their young heart cut out, placed in one of these pottery jars, then the jar would be placed upon the fluting base of the pillar. Off to the left side of this pillar there was an opening in the cave wall. Through this there was another room with a sandy floor, and an underground lake of dark pure waters, which went back a ways where the cave roof finally descended becoming the back wall. It was here where the virgin drank and bathed to purify herself.

Days latter we were in Belize, in a small place called Teapot. We found a trail leading down to a river where we had thought of cooling off. There we met some locals, a couple of brothers and their sister, who invited us to their home for a meal of pig’s tail and cassava root. After that we all went out for a good time. Mostly I remember acquiring the Indian nickname of Jimmy White hawk, and having more stout then any one person should. The next day, we were on the Hummingbird highway, visiting Blue Hole (where a river comes up out of a rock wall in the jungle and in very sort order, descends into another. After a wonderful adventure-filled day, and with night descending we decided to head up off the coastal plain into the foothills of the Mayan Mountains on a dirt road we had found, to find a camping place. There was a nice cleared area with an abandoned shack on it and we decided to camp there. We pitched the tent and night descended.

Night descended and the mosquitoes swarmed. We were getting eaten alive (I got chiggers) and feeling the effects of the night before. In Belize the warmth and humidity can be such that you can never get dry. Take a shower and you may as well forget the towel because it will do you no good. To say the least, we were uncomfortable. We were laying there trying to sleep when suddenly I had a hallucination I suppose, a vision of exceptional vividness of a Mayan Mountain Priest. I bolted up and looked into the night through the mosquito netting of the tent door, and there he was, just as vivid as when my eyes were closed. I knew he was in my minds eye, but he was as real and detailed as if he were really there and I could reach out and touch him. He was a Mayan priest, decked out in ceremonial garb. His cloak went from neckline to ankle. It was covered with colored feathers, as was his elaborate headdress. And he was evil, with a grin on his face that would stop your heart. He held some ceremonial thing in his hands, a staff, a knife, I don’t recall now, but the intent was clear! I uttered some frantic noise and shook my head and tried to divert my attention from the vision. My brother asked what was wrong and I told him I was hallucinating but I thought I was ok now. Shortly after my brother, complaining of the buggy conditions in the tent, left into the night to sleep inside the shack. He was not in there long when I heard a yelp from him and a banging about. He returned to the tent and told me there was something in there. I thought he meant some sort of animal. At any rate we made it through the night and traveled on.

A day or two later, we had driven deep into Guatemala and 35km up a donkey trail through the guerrilla infested jungle to the majestic ruins of Takal. There I related my story to my brother for the first time, and to a resident anthropology student from Michigan. His theory was that our bout with stout had placed us on a lower level of reality and I had picked up on events that had occurred on that mountainside overlooking the coastline, after all, it was the perfect location for such things. My brother then reveled to me that he had been seeing a shadow since we had visited that sacrificial cave in the Yucatan, and that is what had spooked him in that dark shack in that dark night in the Mayan Mountains. Many other adventurous things happened to us on that trip south, but this one is my true spook story.

Edited by EraSeek
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My Rubicon~


Sometime in life choices are made. Sometimes they are made for you.

That is the way life is.

It was a fine experience. Open water in a small kayak. Sunshine sparkling on each and every ripple and wave. The swell and surge of the waves. Upwelling and whirlpools. Salmon fry jumping like popcorn next to the boat. It had been several years since I first conceived of the idea that one day I might just make it over here to Burrows Island. Funny how all my favorite places are named Burrows or Ebby with one spelling or another. This place was well worth the slight risk to get here. An island that is mostly forested, unpopulated, with an abandoned lighthouse on it. I placed a cache here on the far side of the island. A place of solitude and unmatched beauty.


My Rubicon crossings are occurring all the time. Launching the boat. Making the passage. Trekking into the forest to see what is on the other side. But it was on the crossing back over that the most pressing commitments were made. It had been smooth, almost glassy much of the trip and no sign of change on the way back. I stuck close to the island's shore out of prudence and for safety sake and began the turn to cross over about mid island. Maybe a bit too soon. I noticed nothing till nearly a third of the way out, and then I saw the water leaping. Why was the water leaping? But it was. Splashes shot straight up into the air. White froth. Then I noticed the water moved as well. I thought "river", for that is what it's movement was like. Of coarse it was the tide. In full force. I was not expecting this. It was in full race out to sea. And I was already well into it's edge. I gave quick thought to my choices. I had to cross or wait longer than I was willing. I could go with it to sea but that would do me no good. I needed to go against it. So I committed to its force. My greatest mistake was that I did not follow the island up far enough before I made the crossing, but I did not wish to take the time to backtrack, so I was in it. I paddled hard and hit the flows tirade. It rocked me but I seemed stable enough. The water jumped and leapt around me, and that was certainly awe inspiring. My mortality seemed in question here. I paddled hard on. I fought the waters but I was soon loosing. I had my aim right, my effort was at maximum and was not weakening, but as I ferried across the current the land on the other side was not staying put. I was being pushed seaward. I was at a point where I could go with it to sea and perhaps recover and try again but laziness prevented me from giving up any gained ground. I passed a point where I could no longer turn and run, or turn at all. I was in it to win or lose big. It appeared losing big was the determined fate of my boat and myself. I saw where I was going. It would be into the rocks that lined the other side. I wondered how I would hit and what sort of damage would result. What would happen would happen. It didn't matter. There was no option of weakening or tiring. I paddled harder yet and was not weakening. There was no fear. Still, nature is stronger than man and it was taking me. Swept away by the deep blue sea. There was only two things I could do now. Paddle with all I had and more, and look for any opening. And that is what saved me. I saw the opening. Just before the rocks, if I paddled just a bit harder I just might be able to catch that back current near the other side. That would carry me free of the rocks and in the right direction. If I missed it, I was going to find the rocks for sure. What happens then? Who knows? But make the back current I did.


Amazing how water works! It works in mysterious ways! It truly does! Upwellings, whirlpools, tidal rips and currents, and those lovely backwashes. Next time I'll watch the tides. So I land and pack up my boat. I go up on the high bluffs and watch the tide and other boats. The incoming tide races out here. There are boats much bigger than I that are having trouble. A sailboat. That's understandable. And a tugboat. Even the tugboat is rocked and threatened by this current here. I am amazed I made it through! There are many Rubicons in one's life. From birth to death. Sometimes crossing these are forced upon you. Sometimes they are there and you in they're midst before you realize it. Sometimes they are conscious irrevocable commitments, made by you and when payment comes due that is when you learn if you made the right choices or not. That branch reached for. You have bet your life on it. Sometimes faith is all that carries you through.

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How Shelly inspired what I found, and how some cachers inspire awe in how they find~


Sometimes the places I go may be a bit unusual. Really, that is why I go there. A totally different environment. I've found that the mouths of rivers hold a world often unvisited by others. Many of these river outlets are shallow, often deltas with sloughs and wetlands. One such place was the recipient of one of the better find logs for two of my caches. It is at the mouth of the Stilliguamish River. The caches are "The World at Low Tide" and "Ozymandias". This is a place of low grass and sand islands that appear and disappear with the tides. There are multiple channels and those often are so shallow it may be difficult to drag a canoe through there. There are also pockets of quicksand. Quicksand may lie just below shallow water and look like a patch of firm pea gravel, but when you step in it, it is like stepping into a bucket of wet concrete. Down goes your leg and you find yourself thigh deep. Quicksand is not like the movies where you slowly sink to and beyond your nose, You do not go that deep, but it is a bit of a struggle to extricate your leg or lower body from the suction of the watery gravel pit. Best to hold on to your boat as you drag it along.


Now “The World at Low Tide” is the easier one. It requires a boat trip down river a mile or two to a low island. Then you must find your way up the shore, where I found some quicksand, over a few logs and to the cache.


To get to “Ozymandias” requires a bit more. From “Low Tide” you must cross a major channel of the river, progress up a shallow secondary channel (more quicksand) and find a proper spot to turn inland across a mostly all sand island. A rather large sand island. It is quite a place. Now the “Ozymandias” cache (was) on the far west side of this island and in all but the lowest of tides it was underwater. But at low tide two great stones appear. They are large concrete cubes about 8’ x 8’ x 8’, and are partially sunk in the sand. This is where my cache was attached.


“I met a traveler from an antique land

Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.

And on the pedestal these words appear --

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.' ”


And thus the Ozymandias cache was born. A near replica of the story of a vast kingdom turned to dust. An interesting thing to see in a strange place. And very tough to get to.


Ah, but there are those who do not wilt under the demands of a difficult test. Such a one was Shunra. I got a call from him stating he was on the river’s bank and asking how to get to the caches.

Me… “You have a boat, don’t you?”

Him… “No…”

He said he would try to find a way anyhow. I told him there was no other way.

An hour or so later.. “EraSeek, guess where I am!”

He had made it to “Low Tide”. Amazing! But , we agreed there was no way he could make it to Ozymandias.

An hour later, “EraSeek! Guess where I am!!”

He had grabbed a log to hold on to, to make the crossing, but was swept away by the river for a ways, regained footing and made it to the other side. Unbelievable, but true! You don’t need a boat to reach my caches…. It is just highly recommended!


Read it here: Ozymandias


Some of us turn the everyday in to an adventure. Some of us turn adventures into the everyday. Either way, life is an adventure.

Edited by EraSeek
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Ah, that cache... One of my favorites...

I bought an inflatable kayak soon thereafter, but a family of baby raccoons punctured it last week, when I was drying it in our yard. I was watching them, but didn't have the heart to bother them. I have contemplated wading to your Skagit Delta #2, but I think I missed the season.


I was just asked about Ozymandias by someone last week, who couldn't find it on the site. I gave the link, and hoped he would make it there and place a new container, so it could be unarchived. I haven't heard from him yet. If he went there, I hope he took a boat and did it the safe way...

Edited by shunra
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Train tunnels; not a place to monkey around in~


My son is not athletic. He broke his leg at age five and since then he cannot run. So running was not an option. There were lights. They were coming and coming quick now. Yet they were still far enough back. If I left my kid I could just make it. But of course leaving my kid behind in a tunnel in total darkness was not an option either. We would be overtaken together.


I had a feeling. A clue that it would happen here and happen soon. I sat at home that morning hitting the refresh button. I had had no interest in the project, hardly knew what it was all about. I had just began to pay attention. When it came up I grabbed my kid and said “Let’s go!”


My adrenalin was running high as we entered the tunnel. Ah! It was oh so cool! A dark fog rolled out of the tunnel. What an awesome adventure! Two miles of lightless dripping stone to pass through to reach the prize. No one else in sight. We were the first to enter.


For the next mile we were in this dark wet world by ourselves. Then the lights appeared. Small, slow, and distant at first. They had not seen us. If I had thought to keep ourselves hidden from the start we would have made it. But I exposed our position with our lights, and by the time I was sure who they were it was too late. Their lights began to bounce. They were on the run.


As they passed us I asked, “Geocachers?”,

and they said, “Yup”,

and that was it. We were beat. As they jogged by we were nearing the end of the tunnel. When we exited they were around the corner and finding the Ape cache. When we reached them they were logging. We got to hold and examine the three foot long bronze torch that was the prize. A prop from the new Planet of the Apes movie. My kid would have loved to have that. We got a new Microsoft Train Simulator program instead, and left a clear green paintball tube full of glowsticks with several set alight, figuring it would look quite impressive when the next finder cracked open the giant ammo can. I don’t think they came for days.


The experience was great! Unfortunately the movie was anything but great. Want adventure? Forget the movies, go geocaching.

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Great stories, keep em coming! This last one struck a chord that has nothing to do with geocaching. I hope you don't mind a little thread hijack ;).




Teenagers have no concept of mortality; they risk much for the joy of the moment. This is not a bad thing, even their elders know this. Adults constantly struggle to reconcile memories of youthful joys with the realities of what might have been. You see, wisdom is a paradox. Wisdom comes from experience, and experience is often gained from a lack of wisdom.


As a teenager I often found myself with nothing to do. so I would go hang out with friends. Those friends would not usually have a plan to occupy their time either. This sometimes led to mischief but it always led to experiences that will always be remembered.


It started innocently enough one evening as two buddies and I carefully planned out the evening. “I dunno, what do you want to do” was that standard query-respond that we used to whittle down our uninspired choices. However, the resulting decision was never fully defined. “Lets go downtown”.


I don’t remember why we ended up at the waterfront. It was there one of my buddies suggested we explore the train tunnel that ran under downtown Seattle. It was dusk outside but the tunnel was very dark and damp as we ventured inside. Everything was covered with soot that immediately absorbed any stray rays of light. It didn’t matter much since we didn’t have any flashlights. The further we ventured the darker it got and the more frightened we became. Would a train come? Would we get caught? It was the fear that youth crave. It drives us to ride roller coasters and watch horror films. However, it is wisdom that tells us the only the latter is a safe form of fear.


We had ventured so far into the tunnel that we could see the faint light coming from the far entrance. That is when the idea sprang from one of our young minds, I suppose it could have been mine. Since we’re nearly halfway why not go all the way through? I would say that at the time it seemed reasonable but I don’t think any reason was applied to the thought. I also think we were not anywhere near halfway through.


As we approached the more likely halfway point I think is was the rumble that made the hairs on the backs of our necks stand up. Then the rumble turned into a roar as the huge diesel engine entered the tunnel far behind us. In an instant we stopped craving the fear that now oozed out of our every pore. The side of the tunnel was only a few feet from the tracks and would not provide any room for safety. The only option was to run for the far end. Let me tell you it’s not easy running on loose gravel, and railroad ties, in total darkness. We were not relived when the approaching light made running somewhat easier. We realized we were not going to reach the far end in time. Not knowing exactly how wide the train was we all laid down on the gravel as flat and far from the tracks as we could and waited. Would we be discovered and arrested, or would we be hit by some unseen part of the train?


I can’t recall how many cars pasted by nor how close they were to us. I don’t want to know. All I remember is running for the entrance after the train had passed us by wondering if the engineer had reported bodies laying in the tunnel.


Memories made, wisdom gained.


Now was that time we hopped a train to parts unknown before or after this experience :D ?

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