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Real World Geocaching encounters


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So I was sitting in my English class bored out of my mind(Already did the assignment), so I pull out my phone and start looking at geocaches for the weekend. Then the intern teacher walks over and asks "Hey is that Geocaching". That was the first time I met someone who knows what geocaching is without me telling them. So I was thinking, I wonder if anyone else has a similar story to tell.  

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4 minutes ago, LoggieOggie said:

So I was sitting in my English class bored out of my mind(Already did the assignment), so I pull out my phone and start looking at geocaches for the weekend. Then the intern teacher walks over and asks "Hey is that Geocaching". That was the first time I met someone who knows what geocaching is without me telling them. So I was thinking, I wonder if anyone else has a similar story to tell.  

I was leading a girl scout event, including a girl who I I had known for a couple years. Her mom picked her up and says to me are you Max and 99? My jaw dropped. I had never met another geocacher in real life before. Her husband recognized my email address from the girl scout event notice, which included my moniker at the time, and put two and two together. My daughter was so thrilled to hear this because they hid her favorite geocaches.

It was quite a surprise!

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1 hour ago, LoggieOggie said:

So I was sitting in my English class bored out of my mind(Already did the assignment), so I pull out my phone and start looking at geocaches for the weekend. Then the intern teacher walks over and asks "Hey is that Geocaching". That was the first time I met someone who knows what geocaching is without me telling them. So I was thinking, I wonder if anyone else has a similar story to tell.  

Almost exactly the same.  In a computer class where the instructor was boringly re-explaining the basics to some of the students , I logged onto Geocaching and the guy next to me said, "Are you a geocacher?"

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Multiple times my stealth has been seen through and a local muggle asked me if I was looking for the geocache. Stung a bit and humbled me each time.
Most recently I was on a back country road down a side valley for GCNFN0 and climbing up on the bank at the side of the road where GZ was. I saw the muggle in their farm / yard and was using my phone to imitate taking photos of the valley from that vantage point. They asked if it was for the geocache there and said I was really close. I guess for a while it was quite popular and with few people ever going down that road, any daytime presence sticks out. She was really friendly and interested in the game even though she had no intent to geocache herself.

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Some years ago, probably at about the time I started caching, an amateur radio friend and I were at Wiseman's Ferry on the Hawkesbury River doing the communications for a canoe paddle down the river. I mentioned to him that I'd found a couple of caches in the area and he said that his wife was into caching. I haven't bumped into her at any events or seen her name appear on any of my hides so I don't know if she's still active.

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During a business trip to Detroit, before returning back home to Chicago, I allowed for a half day to cross the bridge to go into Windsor and earn an Ontario Canada badge.

When asked by the border crossing guard, he asked what was the nature of my visit to Canada.  My explanation of geocaching only made him more suspicious.  "And what do you find in these hidden containers?"  So I was directed to pull into the garage area for a full vehicle search.  YIKES!  You have to exit your car, and wait inside the building while they search your car. The woman at the counter began filling out a form documenting the detainment of this obviously suspicious character.  Again, "Nature of your visit?"  When I said geocaching, she lit up and said "Oh, I do it too!"  "Did you cross just to earn an Ontario badge?" She ran to the door and yelled to the officers who were just getting ready to start going through my car, "He's Okay?  He's just here for geocaching. Let him go through."  And then she proceeded to tell me of a nice park about 4 miles away that had some nice trails and a bunch of nice geocaches.

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3 minutes ago, JohnCNA said:

When asked by the border crossing guard, he asked what was the nature of my visit to Canada.

My wife and I were crossing the Canadian border northbound, headed for Alaska with our travel trailer via a lonely crossing in Eastern Washington. It was early, and the crossing wasn't busy. The folks ahead of us got pulled over for an inspection and we snickered since we'd never been "selected" - at least not until that morning! While we're waiting for the inspections to finish, we got to talking with the other folks who were also geocachers. With the inspections passed, we swapped our wooden nickel for one of their pathtags and went on our way.

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47 minutes ago, JustFindingOurWay said:

My wife and I were crossing the Canadian border northbound, headed for Alaska with our travel trailer via a lonely crossing in Eastern Washington.

 

At an event or two in BC, I met an active local cacher who happens to be a customs/immigration agent on the Canadian side, somewhere along that section of the line.  Can't really say more without doxxing...

 

Did you mention why you were heading up north?  B)  You could've had a great long chat, to the delay of the people in line behind you.

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When I first started geocaching we were looking for a cache along a fence line. We had no idea what we were searching for and must have looked pretty green as guy came up and asked if we were looking for a geocache and did we want help? He pointed out a fence post and Shock! the top came off and there was a cache inside! To this day, every time I find a cache in a post, I think of that first surprise.

 

My very first find was with the help of the CO who spotted me searching and stopped to help and I even had a cop drive up and give us a hint (with a friendly warning that they were "watching us").

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Several years ago I was looking for a cache on Picadilly one of the busiest tourist/shopping streets in London. From the cache description it was obviously hidden in a phone box, and when I got to the GZ there were 2 side by side. I went into the first and had a good look around with no joy, I thought it would look suspicious if I went straight into the phone box next door, so instead I decided to leave it, grab some more caches, and check out the other phone box on my way back. As I was walking away  an assistant ran out of the adjacent shop, grabbed my arm and said "No, it's in the other one look..." and took me back to the phone box and pointed inside to the cache. He told me they loved watching the cachers from inside the shop.

 

 

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I haven't run into anyone while out in the field besides at an event where it was to be expected. However, I started a new job at my university recently and found out, after loading up the website to plan a short caching trip after my shift, that several other people in my department are all geocachers, including two of my favourite hiders in the area. It isn't all that surprising given the department, but it did catch me off guard.

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I've had two encounters.

The first time, I was spotted by a fellow french Geocacher. It was during a summer hollyday in the south of Spain. I was with my husband finding a series of caches placed along a long walk by the beach. This particular one was supposed to be on a stone wall. When we got to the spot we couldn't find it. We could see lots of stones had already been removed by other geocachers looking for the container and there were already a few DNF's logged, but still we decided to take a look. We were really absorbed by our search when after some time we notice that we were being observed and the man comes up to us and says, in a very strong french accent "You are playing the Geocaching game, yes?"

We just laughed and thought stealth really isn't our super power.

The second time, we were the ones who spotted another Geocacher. This was in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, earlier this month. We were walking the streets, finding whatever caches we happened to come across. We had just logged one, placed on a traffic sign that was somewhat in the middle of the street and off any reasonable way a pedestrian would normally take. Anyone standing there by that sign would look conspicuous, so we brought the cache to the other side of the street, signed it and crossed again to place it back.  Then we stood there by the sidewalk for a few minutes while deciding which way to go next and that's when we spotted a girl, right there by the sign, sitting down to log the cache. She looked our way and we waved at her, so later she and her partner came to us and asked "are you Seekthecache? we've been following you!" turns out they had been finding the same chaches we did, only a  few minutes behind us for quite some time.

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On 3/12/2022 at 4:26 PM, MartyBartfast said:

Several years ago I was looking for a cache on Picadilly one of the busiest tourist/shopping streets in London. From the cache description it was obviously hidden in a phone box, and when I got to the GZ there were 2 side by side. I went into the first and had a good look around with no joy, I thought it would look suspicious if I went straight into the phone box next door, so instead I decided to leave it, grab some more caches, and check out the other phone box on my way back. As I was walking away  an assistant ran out of the adjacent shop, grabbed my arm and said "No, it's in the other one look..." and took me back to the phone box and pointed inside to the cache. He told me they loved watching the cachers from inside the shop.

 

 

 

I've met a number of geocachers by accident in the field and two of the most memorable were in London! One at Temple station where I had just finished putting a cache back with stealth (I thought) when a guy walked up and said "Did you just put the geocache back?!", he was a cacher who worked locally and had found it ages before. Another was a couple looking at their phones on the South Bank and so was I and eventually we realized we were looking for the same thing. Swapped TBs too... :-) Most recently I met a lovely pair of cachers who came up to do a cache at night right after me... phones out I just knew they had to be cachers. A few friends have turned out to have been cachers but they'd all retired before I got really active. 

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5 minutes ago, CCFwasG said:

 

I've met a number of geocachers by accident in the field and two of the most memorable were in London! One at Temple station where I had just finished putting a cache back with stealth (I thought) when a guy walked up and said "Did you just put the geocache back?!", he was a cacher who worked locally and had found it ages before. Another was a couple looking at their phones on the South Bank and so was I and eventually we realized we were looking for the same thing. Swapped TBs too... :-) Most recently I met a lovely pair of cachers who came up to do a cache at night right after me... phones out I just knew they had to be cachers. A few friends have turned out to have been cachers but they'd all retired before I got really active. 

 

A few years ago a new multi was published in the Watagan Mountains, about an hour's drive from here. I was still working at the time so my first opportunity to attempt it was on a Saturday three weeks after publication, with FTF still up for grabs. I'd gotten to the first waypoint, made my calculations and started walking towards where I thought the final would be when I heard a vehicle approaching. It turned out to be the CO and some of his mates whom he was showing the location to. He asked me where I was going so I showed him my calculated coordinates for GZ. A look of horror crossed his face as he realised he'd made a mistake in his formula. With new coordinates determined, I headed back the way I'd come to get to the cache and was able to claim FTF, but if it hadn't been for that chance encounter it would have been an epic DNF.

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7 hours ago, CCFwasG said:

I've met a number of geocachers by accident in the field and two of the most memorable were in London! One at Temple station where I had just finished putting a cache back with stealth (I thought) when a guy walked up and said "Did you just put the geocache back?!", he was a cacher who worked locally and had found it ages before.

Reminds me of a "random encounter" which I had in London years ago.

I was there on holiday with my family, and while sightseeing in the Buckingham Palace area, we also followed a short multi-cache in (I think) St. James's Park. When we approached the final in some relatively deserted back street, another group of people walked towards GZ from the other direction. We arrived there more or less simultaneously. We looked at each other, and it was quickly understood that we all were here for the same reason. We exchanged a few words, in English of course, and I noticed that they, just like me, spoke with a (rather mild) German accent. So I asked where they're coming from - turned out to be Austria, so we had a good laugh and continued the chat in our native language :D.

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I did the WA State Park GeoTour, and met a few. On to the next cache location, and there they were again. While driving to a cache, I spotted a couple holding what appeared to be GPS units, looking near a guard rail. I stopped and asked if they were geocachers. Turns out they were just trying geocaching out.

 

I did GC12 and GC17 a couple of days before the final Block Party, and met at least a dozen cachers with the same goals.

 

And, at a cache near home, I saw someone searching at the base of a tree where I knew there was a cache. So, I stopped to say hello. Turns out, it was Moun10Bike.

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One time I was at the geocaching HQ block party, and every time I tried to find a cache near Geocaching Headquarters, there was a ring of people three or four deep passing around a log sheet.  I think they might have been geocachers.  I didn't get to ask because after passing me the log sheet they'd look at their GPS receivers and run off.

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3 hours ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

One time I was at the geocaching HQ block party, and every time I tried to find a cache near Geocaching Headquarters, there was a ring of people three or four deep passing around a log sheet.  I think they might have been geocachers.  I didn't get to ask because after passing me the log sheet they'd look at their GPS receivers and run off.

 

That brings back memories of what caching used to be like here. Not long after I started in 2013 a new cache was published in Point Clare, four suburbs north of here and about a twenty minute drive. By the time I arrived, the cache had already been found and there was a queue of cachers waiting to sign the logbook. Afterwards we had a mini-event before moving off. These days FTF "races" are measured in weeks, not minutes. The Pi Day cache in Newcastle I FTFed on Monday still hasn't had its second finder.

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On 3/15/2022 at 8:09 AM, MartyBartfast said:

All in all I've bumped into 79 cachers by accident while out in the field, first was in 2005, last was December last year.  I keep a list of who, where and when on my profile page.

 

Wow, I have never counted, 79 is a lot though! I forgot in my prior post about meeting a lady and her granddaughter at a multi and she was so disappointed she couldn't find the final. I did the stops (all nearby) and found her error and we all went to the final together... which was in fact missing! I replaced it so we could all sign and not disappoint the granddaughter, informed Co who was grateful - all win win!

One of my favo(u)rite stories about caching all over the world: my close geo-friends in the UK went to China and did a cache there that I think they had to hike to. Got there, opened the cache, inside was a log and the most recent signature? A mutual geo-friend from the UK! :-) Neither knew they were in China (and actually didn't overlap). 

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Funny thread :) . I just remembered another story from many years ago ...

 

At work, I was involved in the recruitment process of a new employee. Not with the interviews, but as a member of a council, which has to give formal approval for new hirings. When I saw the candidate's name and e-mail address on his CV, I thought "Now that looks familiar". He was a geocacher, who was quite active at the time; we knew each other, but had no idea about each other's work life. Needless to say, I wrote him an e-mail, congratulating him on his new job :) !

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34 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

He was a geocacher, who was quite active at the time; we knew each other, but had no idea about each other's work life. 

 

Me to spouse: Oh that person is a geocacher I know!

Spouse: What's their name?

Me: I don't know their real name

Spouse: Are they married?  Kids?

Me: I don't know that either.

Spouse: What do they do for a living?

Me: I'm not sure.

Spouse: Well what do you know about them?

Me: Well, their current  find count is 4812, they've been FTF 28 times, they've hidden 63 caches and 18 of those have been events.  Their cache to cache mileage is...

Spouse: :o

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On 3/10/2022 at 1:05 AM, LoggieOggie said:

So I was sitting in my English class bored out of my mind(Already did the assignment), so I pull out my phone and start looking at geocaches for the weekend. Then the intern teacher walks over and asks "Hey is that Geocaching". That was the first time I met someone who knows what geocaching is without me telling them. So I was thinking, I wonder if anyone else has a similar story to tell.  

I am a union rep and have discovered two other reps in my company are also active cachers. The first when we met at an event and the other when we had been in a union meeting in another city and I said I was going to look for a cache and he offered to assist. It turned out I had found a lot of his caches.

I've met a few cachers "in the field" but the most memorable was a cache owner out for a walk with his kids and dog who was most amused to find someone looking for his own cache. He posted a note on the cache before I got to log the find.

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I've run into a handful of fellow cachers while out caching, but never anywhere else that I can recall.  One incident I always remember is giving up on a cache near a parking area because another car pulled in.  I hustled back to my car, where I watched as the other guy got out and walked straight to where I'd just been and start looking on the ground.  A rare case where you can start a conversation without wondering if the other guy will think you're nuts!

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There's another Florida geocacher who started the same year I did and has a similar number of Finds whom I've also met through my day job. I forget which avenue I originally met them through.

 

About a year before the pandemic someone I went to high school with showed up a local geo-event I was attending. I hadn't seen them in 20 years and didn't recognize the individual, though they recognized me.

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On 3/11/2022 at 8:26 PM, Viajero Perdido said:

At an event or two in BC, I met an active local cacher who happens to be a customs/immigration agent on the Canadian side, somewhere along that section of the line.  Can't really say more without doxxing...

 

Did you mention why you were heading up north?  B)  You could've had a great long chat, to the delay of the people in line behind you.

I know that cacher, we've been friends since meeting at GeoWoodstock 8 in Carnation.

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I've met tons of cachers on the trail as we used to have semi annual 'cache and release' (CAR) events. New caches would be published at a certain time and people would got out seeking them. So much fun at those events.

 

An early non event encounter though sticks out for me. I was parking in front of the building next to work and happened to find an empty spot in front of a lamp post. Standing beside the post was a lady I had gone to college with who I learned worked in that building and was also a geocacher. With her were two other cachers, one I already knew and another newer cacher. It turned into one big FTF party.

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I was half a planet away from home, attending a geo-event in northern Thailand.

 

A local cacher (from my local area) walked in.  I rattled my head, I looked at my drink (what's in here?), looked at her again, what?  I had no idea she was even on this continent at the same time.

 

I think she saw my will-attend, and "forgot" to log her own, to enhance the surprise.  I'm sure my expression was priceless.  B)  She ditched her family and we had a great time catching up.

 

"Of all the geo-joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into this one."

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
Forgot the punchline
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3 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

I was half a planet away from home, attending a geo-event in northern Thailand.

 

A local cacher (from my local area) walked in.  I rattled my head, I looked at my drink (what's in here?), looked at her again, what?  I had no idea she was even on this continent at the same time.

 

I think she saw my will-attend, and "forgot" to log her own, to enhance the surprise.  I'm sure my expression was priceless.  B)  She ditched her family and we had a great time catching up.

 

"Of all the geo-joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into this one."

 

I had a sneaking suspicion I knew this cacher too. So a quick little geo-stalking and my suspicion was confirmed. What a great story.

 

If you recall, I'm just down the highway a few hours from you. This same local cacher got an FTF in Kenya and I got the STF a couple of weeks later.

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A friend from the early 90s (we went to different universities but both taught in France in 1990/91; he's now a headmaster) met us for a coffee in about 2014 as we drove back from holiday past his neck of the woods. As he drank his coffee he was playing with his phone and squinting at a gatepost in the corner of the cafe car park... Oxford Stone Junior and I now meet up with him every August for an all-day caching session, anything from 50 to over 100 caches.

 

Record for bumping into the same cacher in the field is 6. Often on newish caches but not FTF hunts. We lived about 10 miles apart. (For CCFwasG's benefit: that was DD&E when they lived at RAF Benson ;) )

 

As we walked toward the oldest cache in Wales which is somewhere in a boulder field on a hilltop, Dutch and Belgian couples converged simultaneously, all 3 groups from totally different directions. A very useful place to have 7 people spread out in search.

 

Very early on we got a FTF by Lake Como - a puzzled Luxembourger was failing to find the nano under the bench, 4-year-old OS Junior found it in seconds!

 

 

 

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Love my encounters with geocachers in the field.

 

Early in my geocaching, I was still really clueless, and was searching for one near a fence with a friend. A car drove by and yelled "in the fence cap!" LOL.   We were so glad.

 

A few years later I wanted to look at a picnic bench, but there was someone sitting at it. I wandered around a while, but it was far from home and I wouldn't be back this way. I finally walked up and asked if he had heard of geocaching. and if I could look for one at their table.   Turns out, Yes, they were a geocacher!  He was excited that there was one there and he didn't even know it. We both searched and logged it.

 

 

I ran into a family caching in the woods. We were searching for a tree-climb cache. They were looking too, but didn't know it was in a tree. Their kids were pretty young to climb high, so I was glad we were there to climb up for all of us.

 

 

All of the really tough caches I've searched for, and really wished a cacher would come along right at that minute and help. Every great now and then it really does happen.

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From my log (https://coord.info/GC9RYEJ ) 

 

At Cobblestone Park an attempted carjacking of my vehicle occurred. As I was preparing navigation to the next lab, I heard a noise on my car hood and he's now walking on my hood.

 

Then he comes towards me and looks in the window. I roll down my window to see what he wants, and he just hops in my car. We're now face to face and he's head butting me. I pulled him off me and give him some scratching on his head and under his chin. Now he's drooling on me.

 

I get out of the car with him clinging to my shoulder. I take him to the open grass area and place him on the ground. I then head for my car, and he just follows me. He's back walking on my car hood and giving me that look. I can't leave without risking injuring him. I wait awhile for someone to rescue me.

 

Finally, I see a lady walking a dog on a leash. I pick up the furry carjacker and go towards her and ask if she would hold him while I made my getaway. She said no because her dog would not be friendly. So set him down again and see he's distracted by the dog. I quickly get to my car and drive away.

 

Now I feel bad and hope he finds his way home. I know cats have good homing instincts, so he should be fine. I have one waiting for me at home. TFTC

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I was checking my progress on Signal's Labyrinth on my work computer when someone asked if I was playing a game, I said it was a thing called geocaching and he knew all about it, he doesn't have an account but had been out caching with family and enjoyed it.

 

I've met a few other cachers whilst out geocaching, it usually becomes obvious when 2 people approach the same object with a smartphone or GPSr in their hand. :laughing:

 

One time I walked up to a cache location outside someone's house and paused because the homeowner was in the front garden doing some digging. He reached over the wall, grabbed the cache from its hiding place and asked "are you looking for this?"

He wasn't the cache owner but was aware of the cache and was ok with it being there.

 

I've also discovered that people I know are also geocachers when I've been looking at logs for local caches and recognised photos and usernames.

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Hunting a cache in mid-town Manhattan, NYC.  Hmm...  There's a sign.  Line of people waiting to get into a restaurant.  Lady about a foot from the sign.  Someone approaches.  "Are you geocaching?"  "Yes."  "I think it's under that sign.  But I don't know how to get to it."  I took off my backpack and put it on the curb.  Rifled thrrough it.  Grabbed the cache and handed it to the other cacher.  Got up.  We signed the log.  Went back tio the curb, and retied my shoe, and returned the cache to its spot.  Nobody noticed!  Not even the woman a foot away.

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On 12/2/2022 at 12:57 PM, Harry Dolphin said:

Hunting a cache in mid-town Manhattan, NYC.  Hmm...  There's a sign.  Line of people waiting to get into a restaurant.  Lady about a foot from the sign.  Someone approaches.  "Are you geocaching?"  "Yes."  "I think it's under that sign.  But I don't know how to get to it."  I took off my backpack and put it on the curb.  Rifled thrrough it.  Grabbed the cache and handed it to the other cacher.  Got up.  We signed the log.  Went back tio the curb, and retied my shoe, and returned the cache to its spot.  Nobody noticed!  Not even the woman a foot away.

 

Nicely done.

Black hood, eye-slits.

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