+Cachepal Posted March 30, 2010 Share Posted March 30, 2010 If I had to sum up the entire 24-hour, 566 finds experience in one word, it would be: EXHILARATING! Exciting, awesome, scary, nerve-wracking, focused, bonding, breath-taking, inspiring, tedious, repetitive, victorious, unforgettable -- and fun. I was blown away when Ventura Kid Steve invited me to take part in this adventure. It wasn't exactly on my "bucket list," but it was definitely an offer I couldn't refuse. Who wouldn't want to go on a major caching expedition with three of the greatest, most experienced cachers on earth -- all of whom who were dead serious about trying to set a new record for the most finds in 24 hours. I can't describe how much planning, routing and mapping the VK's and f0t0m0m did to prepare for this trek -- it reminded me of a military maneuver! I immediately decided that my job was to do all I could to maintain the fast pace, and to do nothing that might waste time. Practically speaking, that meant that I had two things to do: help locate the caches, and then either (1) to extract the log from the container and race back to the car; or (2) to slap a sticker onto the log-sheet and race back to the car. Once we found our rhythm, got a pattern going, and were humming along like a well-oiled machine, the camaraderie and the teamwork had a transforming effect: the 4 of us became as one. It was extraordinary. Let me tell you though, folks, it was not at all a walk in the park. There were pitfalls aplenty, from terrain that was very tough even for a 4-wheel drive vehicle, to Ventura Kid Sandy falling hard on her ankle at the end of a steep descent and being sidelined in our 12th hour. Sandy later said that even if it had been broken, she wouldn't have let us stop! So we just hung in there and stopped for nothing except gas - twice. We ate in shifts as we continued to roll, and peed in the desert or when we stopped for gas. We wasted almost no time on DNF’s – just moved on. The weather was perfect for what we were doing, and we just wouldn’t let anything slow us down. I must mention one more thing, the most important one of all: in addition to many the factors that contributed to our success - the talent, the toughness and the indefatigable single-mindedness - here was our secret ingredient: laughter, high spirits, and a light-hearted sense of humor which never flagged for one minute - not in the 11th hour, not in the 23rd hour (although as I recall, Steve did get a mite testy in the 17th hour!) Even when it became an ordeal, it was always fun. My deepest thanks to my 3 teammates for giving me the adventure of a lifetime. Quote Link to comment
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