Five Years and Counting
Took us a few times but stumbled accross it - my first log
And it began there. With a JacobBarlow cache a few blocks from my house. I did not find it at once, it took me a few tries to actually run accross it. It was in a guardrail. Who knew you could hide something there in plain view, I was amazed. Then I loaded another. A PeanutsParents hide out in the field. It was by my work. So I wandered over and looked around. Eventually I found a small cache at the base of a fence. Amazing
I was bitten, with the bug. There were caches hidden everywhere.
I look back now and think of where I have came from. I am working toward cache #4000. That is funny to me now. when I first found a few I went back and told Cold1, well he was not Cold1 then, just another goober listening to me ramble about this cool new thing. We discussed caching and he thought he would give it a try. I had hidden one in an empty sprinkler in the front of my house. I told people in the hint to stay away from the rose bushes, he is not so bright, and had to show off his scratches a few days later after scouts. We held a number of discussions of how these other people who had found thousands had to be crazy, nuts.
My fourth cache was a cache by DrJay. Little did I realize that this guy I would meet hunting for a cache a few months later would become a friend, along with his family. (I have to mention Nickum! here as well. He is awesome). It is funny how the first four caches were placed by people that I can now call friends.
We have shared hikes, and got blisters, crippling us in the desert, long drives placing caches, and hunting for them. I should at least mention hiding cache in a refrigerator out in the desert, with PeanutsParents. I have taken hikes that are memorable for bad reasons, "It is only a mile, how bad can it really be."
At one point I got a phone call. I was sure that it was because a bomb squad had exploded one of my caches, but alas no, it was an invitation to join the reviewer team. I wonder now why that decision was made. I did not know a lot of cachers, actually very few. Caching to me was something done alone at that point, to get away from everyone. I had only found a handful in the months before then, but I enjoyed it.
Over time I have had dinner with Jeremy, Bryan (two of the three founders), Ann, MissJenn (awesome lackeys), and with Geoaware and GeoawareHQ, along with four or five other great reviewers. I love how they listen. I think many people see the other side of these people. How they tell us what is going on, or what we need to do to get a cache listed. We do not realize how much they listen, follow in forums, and take part in discussions behind the scenes.
I was lucky enough to be a scoutmaster, and be one of a handful to give our opinions on the new Geocaching badge. It is not perfect, but the scouts did the work, we just looked for something horrible.
I travelled to Maine, and met awesome cachers at the Mega Earthcache Event, and at Salt Lake to Geocoinfest. It was great. I wish I had the opportunity to go to more.
I have seen strange valleys, hilltops, bridges, and cliffs. I have handled dead animals, spiders, snakes, and other animals, to get to the cache underneath or behind them. I traveled through areas that had biblical plague proportions of spiders, that still make me shudder. My little girl scream as I got in my car and realized there was one crawling on my neck. Or opened the letterbox with a spiders eggsack and all the little spiders that spilled out over me.
I dragged a young woman out of a river that was trapped in a fallen tree, and was shouting for help, while I just happened to be hunting for a guardrail cache. I spent that day in Heber caching in the rain, it worked for me as I was soaked up to my chest.
I have climbed trees, and cliffs, and crawled into drain pipes and old mines. I have crawled through old building foundations, and dug holes to find old benchmarks. All to be the first.
I spent a week running, wandering, and creeping around a graveyard so that I could complete part of a wherigo (still one more to go).
As a reviewer I have published caches from my home, work, a tent at scout camp, from a moving car, and from the top of a mountain. I have woken up at four in the morning to complete a request from a youth to get his cache placed at a specific time, and and a specific time in the afternoon for a man that was taking his girlfriend to propose to her. I have been up late at night while my wife waiting patiently in the other room with the candles burning.
I have been called names, swore at, yelled at during events, and received some vile emails. Yet I have recieved thanks from cachers that I have never met, in helping them with their first hide, or a special one. I still recall a conversation with a widow, in grief and asking me to archive her husbands caches, she missed him so much. Caching was part of his life, and every email on his Virtuals hurt her.
I made coins, myself at work, and eventually from some company that I cannot pronounce in China. A fun experience, nerve racking, but enjoyable. Pathtags, so I could trade with others, and leave them in caches as I went about. I designed our scout councils geocoin and geocache program. We were going to place 10 caches, and give out 20 coins, and sell 80. In the end we placed about thirty to 35 caches, gave away 150 as prizes, and sold 1200.
I love the events. UTAG, dinner events, flash mobs, eating at the mall food courts, or other all you can eat places. We have a great community, and once and a while new cachers come wandering in, or people visiting. I love to see the kids, all exited for the hunt and to see what is over the next rise. I have loved some of our hiking events. I recall chasing a group that started 35 minutes before me, I was running up the trail, coughing, and ready to die by the time I reached them, and I found an amazing wherigo that day.
I loved my days off west of the lake, in Heber, helper, or Sanpete valley wandering alone, relaxing and looking for caches. The days with JacobBarlow searching Sanpete valley, Potters ponds, or some other trip. My trip with PeanutsParents to St George, our hike with DrJay that year in the desert, and all my complaining. Or DK Titan when they came from Denmark, and I spent the day caching with them.
Lets not forget the 200 or so that follow Bluerajah on facebook, or the 800 or so that follow me on G+. Listen to my ramblings, and put up with my craziness. I have friends from all over that I have never met, Seager, Wendy, and many others that we laugh with and poke fun at. I thank the reviewers in our private forum. I tend to ramble (like this), and they put up with me. I have been told many times that I am being stupid, or that my ideas are not practical, or that I am jousting a windmill, but it sure has been fun. By the way... challenges should be their own cache type.
I have moderated in the forums for two years. I apparently am a Nazi, hate free speech, and dislike veterans and kids. I was not aware of that before I started moderating. Thanks to those that take me working with them in stride, or have taught me more.
I have a shed full of cryotubes, film canisters, and tubes. My wife gets mad at me when I buy her new Locknlocks and they vanish (honest dear it is not me). My son who is twenty that starts sobbing like a little girl when I start pulling over as we drive down the highway, wondering how this can happen to him. My daughters that will sit and read (usually while I get out and wander through the weeds).
Thanks to MissJenn, Sandy, Tiffany, Moun10bike, and other lackeys who I have dealt with on the volunteer team. Thanks to Cold1 for keeping it fun. JacobBarlow for the hides, and "one more mile of hiking". Cold1 for showering last month. DrJay and his family for laughing and having fun. PeanutsParents for the adventures. Cold1 for mocking me, and making me realize that I don't know everything, just more than he does. Tal, Art Vandelay, and other local cachers for taking the time to chat and be friends. RedHiker for his support.
Thanks to anyone I missed, and everyone that makes the game more fun.
by the way... Your cache sucks... but I will publish it anyway.