Saturday, April 01, 2006

Flu Season?.....

Sorry I haven't posted in a while! I went on vacation for a week and when I returned, I didn't feel so hot. In fact, I've been home since the 27th of March and have yet to completely unpack from my trip! In spite of the fact that I got a flu shot for the first time in my life, I seem to have got the flu for the first time in my life (at least, that I know of). I'm not knocking getting a flu shot, I just happened to get exposed to a strain that wasn't covered by the vaccine. Today is the first day that I've actually felt like getting on the computer and blogging. I still feel a little under the weather, but I am SO much better than I was just four days ago.

First and foremost, if you are interested in the history of geocaching, head over to Adventures in Geocaching and check out John's two part article. It is a great read on the history of the sport that has captivated many! John has a great blog and if your not a regular reader, you should be :)

Second, I's like to tell you about my caching experience in Lubbock while I was on vacation. I always enjoy visiting my family in Texas. This time, I wanted to incorperate my hobby with my trip. Using my previously discussed method, I prepared for my trip. I had all the caches within 5 miles of my route downloaded to my GPSr and my Palm TX. Unfortunately, I got a late start leaving Tulsa and did not get to cache on the way down to Lubbock. Much of the trip was in the dark and I'm not to the point where I am comfortable caching after dark yet. I wasn't too worried as there was always the trip back.

My plan was to cache heavily on Friday the 24th as most of my family would be at work and I would have little to do anyways. Friday morning rolled around and my father woke my up. I knew something was wrong as he was not dressed for work and it was already 08:30. I got up and got dressed and wandered to the kitchen. Dad explained that Mom had been up sick all night. It looked like she had a bad stomach virus or something along those lines. Fortunately, both my brother and I have an extensive medical background. My brother is an RN active in emergency medicine. We have him come by and we were able to start an IV on mom and get some phenergan on board via the IV. Through the day we infused a couple of bags of fluid and I gave her a couple more doses of phenergan. Needless to say, I didn't even try to go caching. The good news is that we kept her hydrated and was able to quickly recover. The next morning she was up cooking breakfast for us.

Dad wanted to see what this "geocaching thing" was all about so we loaded up the GPS and my PDA and hit the road Saturday morning. The first cache we went for was a couple of miles from my parent house and had not yet been found. There were a couple of DNFs so I wasn't too hopeful. After about twenty minutes, I coupld see that dad wasn't having very much fun so I decided to wrap it up and head for a cache that had a good history. This cache was out in the middle of a drainage area. It was a short walk through a prairie dog area to get to the cache. They were not happy to see us. Those things "barked" at us the whole time. I had no idea that prairie dogs had become so prevelant around Lubbock. When I was a kid growing up in Lubbock, it took some work to actually see prairie dogs. Now they are everywhere! I digress...My dad was the first to spot the likely hiding spot of the cache and he was right. I pulled the cache out and we looked through the swag and signed the log. we hiked back up to my truck and headed out to find the next cache about 1/2 a mile away. We were able to park about 100 foot from this cache. We got out and walked up to where the H2O was leading us. Again, we searched for about 20 minutes to no avail. Hmmm....this was a bit discouraging! We decided to try one more.

Off we went to locate "Western Progress". This cache had a recent history of finds so I was pretty sure we would locate it is it was there. This one was located in a drainage area as well and required a good walk around the retention pond to access. Actually, some people had driven right up to the cache, but one of the reasons I cache is for the exercise so we elected to walk. Like the other retention pond cache, we were able to quickly locate this cache and log our find. We had been gone about an hour at this point and I think both dad and I were anxious to go home and check on mom so we headed back after batting 500 for the day.

It's interesting how different caching is from one locale to another. Here in Tulsa, we are very saturated with caches. This is a good thing. In Lubbock, the caches are pretty spread out. I think it has a lot to do with the ability to hide caches. If you have ever been to Lubbock, you understand. There just are not as many opportunities to hide regular size caches as there are in Tulsa. A green ammo can would stick out like a sore thumb in most places. Another aspect that suprised me was how easy caching in Lubbock was. Here in Tulsa, I am used to pretty interesting terrain, fight thorns, and heavy undergrowth. In Lubbock, my experience was you are able to just walk right up to caches. The hider must be very capable to hide caches in these conditions.

Needless to say, I wasn't feeling well on my way home and didn't hit any caches on the way back. I have a lot of PTO built up already so I'm sure I will be going back to Lubbock soon. Hopefully, I will get to spend much more time caching on my next trip !! In the mean time, maybe if I feel good enough tomorrow, I will go caching.

2 comments:

John said...

Sorry you were feeling ill, but thanks for the plug!

M-T-P

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