This one started out as a late-evening cache hike, but turned into a bit of an adventure for the Firefishe.
My tagline reads Caching in On The Journey, and boy did the Journey kick my butt!
I got to the historical marker in about twenty minutes, and, thankfully, the sun was still up. I had a backpack on with two LED 2-D-Cell Maglight flashlights with freshly charged batteries, drinks, and money, of course, so I was prepared in advance.
My Garmin Dakota 20 is always loaded with the latest updated caches, ala GSAK's GC.com API interface, so I'm always up to date. I also recently updated my free maps from garmin.openstreetmap.nl, as well as the usual 24K topo maps from the gpsfiledepot.com.
(Author's Note: If no one has heard, there are a ton of free, highly detailed and up-to-date maps available for the Garmin Colorado, Oregon, and Dakota series of GPS receivers. All legal. All Free! All from public-domain information! I'm waiting to buy an Oregon, so I can use 3D maps, a bigger display, geotagging camera and voice recorder, but for $230 plus a Garmin Chirp geocache beacon, the Dakota 20 package I bought worked out beautifully for my budget, and still gave me a great system! I'm loving it!)
Back to the hike.
I solved the puzzle easily enough, and was going to just walk the streets to where I needed to be ( had been there before, but didn't log my first DNF earlier this summer when I tried this the first time.)when I came across something I had never seen before: A New Bike/Walking Path! Apparently, this is part of the Jefferson City Greenway, which is a paved biking and walking trail within the general city limits of Jefferson City.
I recalled that I was out on an adventure that evening, so I didn't hesitate when I was across from the Jefferson City High School and the new (to me) bike trail just seemed to beckon me to 'take a chance.' Well, that 'chance' led me up and down so many hills, that my legs were like toast at the end of the evening. The hike took me, ultimately, to the bottom of a hill where lay a little community park I never knew existed. Aurora Community Park or something like that.
Since the new trail ended there, I had no choice but to go up the street--anything to break the monotony of the trail--and follow it a bit, but where I ended up was news to me! I ended up in a part of town I'd driven in a few times, but never thought I'd ever end up hiking in, it's just not 'that kind of neighborhood, if you know what I mean. Not really dangerous, mind you, just more given over to vehicle traffic than foot traffic. The sides of the roads don't always have sidewalks, and one has to step over to the curb to let cars by now and again. Not really pedestrian friendly, but what can you do?
I was glad to see the Jefferson Street Break Time convenience store, and bought a huge Landshire microwave-ready burger, the big one that's nearly six inches in diameter! That burger and a one-liter lemonade hit the spot! I was ready to go again after about a half-hour rest period, most of it spent sitting outside on the curb near the car wash in the rear of the building. It was good to see lots of people after almost two hours of trekking in unfamiliar streets!
Well, to wrap it up, I made my way via more familiar streets, to the part of the Greenway trail I knew went directly to the cache area from the opposite end of where one usually parks to get to this cache. Good thing, too, as there was a car that seemed to be going back and forth along the street next to the sidewalk I was on; when he went out of sight, I did a quick jog to the Greenway trail, went down a hill, and was glad when I was below eye-level view.
So I make my way to where the cache is supposed to be, and my GPS takes me up a slope (I won't say which one, and there are many!) to within 3 feet of Ground Zero, but alas, no cache! Not even in mega-bright-white LED lighting from my mag light. So, and because I had forgotten my red lenses for the lights, I decided to wait until a daylight excursion can be made, preferably on a Sunday afternoon when things are quiet and not many people are about. I do try to protect the integrity of the caches I hunt, and have been doing so since 2002! :-)
Well, that's it! I'm writing this on 20 OCT 2012 on an early Saturday morning. I'm hoping to get out later today, weather permitting--and in possession of the family car--and get this one logged! My 46-year-old body is not as peppy as I'd like, and regular visits to my gym are in order, so I can do more like this, but man! What a rush! I felt better, albeit achey, after three-and-a-half hours of pure exercise I haven't done in months! I Love Geocaching!
Thanks for a Grand Adventure R-L-P! I'll be back to log this one soon!
Warm Regards From,
Caching In On The Journey