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31350Re: [CentralTexasGeocachers] TxGCC Challenge - we finished 2! (The sequel)

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  • Carlin
    Nov 3, 2009
      Yeah, congrats!  And thanks for sharing the enjoyable blow by blow story of the adventure.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Doc
      Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 9:41 PM
      Subject: [CentralTexasGeocachers] TxGCC Challenge - we finished 2! (The sequel)


      Doc Geo (and wife) are done! 
      The plan all last week was to get perhaps 6 of the series yesterday (Sunday) and maybe the rest on the next Sunday (I have GeoVolunteer training this Saturday).  As I sat at home Saturday night and saw the geocaches being reactivated, I thought well, if we're going out tomorrow to get caches, I could get Bastrop and Buescher tonight so we have more time tomorrow.   So about 10:30 pm Saturday night, I made up my mind, got dressed, got provisioned, rechecked logs (Buescher's coords were updated - whew!) and set off.  Bastrop was first because I knew the road I'd be walking down would be a long one. When I parked at the gate to that road, the GPS said a mile - straight....  wonderful... .   By the time I got there, it was after midnight and by the time I got back to my truck, I was seeing my breath condense...  (it was cold).  FTF!
      On to Buescher taking the back park road.  As I entered Buescher, the bearing line on the GPS swung around to the left.  hhmmm.... only a few hundred feet off the road...  sign says Gates are locked at 10 PM.  It was after 1am and they were open.  Cool...  I drove on straight into a parking area and walked back towards Bastrop until I was even with the cache and found a "relatively" easy way in.  Found the cache ok, but thought the coords were still a little off.  FTF!
      Got to bed about 2:something and got up at 4:something and we took off for Somerville Lake.
      Timing was perfect.  We got to Nails Creek with just enough light that we could leave our flashlights in the truck.  Parked in the equestrian area and took the pedestrian trail over the mulch pile.  Future cachers should take the equestrian trail to the left.  Much easier.  Nice realtively short walk and easy find.  FTF! 
      On to Birch Creek.  A shorter walk and a little wetter, but not bad. FTF!
      On to Washington on the Brazos.  Longer walk but not too bad.  Easy find.  No FTF this time...
      On to Huntsville.  We drove in and the GPS said to drive across the lake.  Wait, there's no bridge!  Crap....  Asked a staff person.  Drive around "that way" and it will take you there.  Ok...  Drove around "that way"...  it looped around and pointed us back out.  We stopped and asked someone else...  "No, they were right.  Drive around "that way", park and take the Orange trail... here's a trail map...  let's see....  OMG....  3 mile round trip....
      On our way there, it wasn't long before we ran into Emmie -n- Sapphie, we chatted about the series and this particular cache.  They said they were FTF here.  Cool!  We'll be #2.  When we got there, we were #4.  On our way back we passed two more groups of geocachers (one group was LoneStar Luke n Leia, Bananapoo and ItsLoveInStereo) heading to the cache.
      Ok, I had breakfast, but the wife didn't so we headed into Huntsville for Wendy's.  I think the enitre staff was new.  Took 15 minutes to get our food.  Now fed, we were on our way to LaGrange and after that we'd take stock of our time, the available daylight and what time we would likely get home by to decide if we would try for Palmetto and Lockhart.  We got to Monument Hill in LaGrange at about 4 pm (the park attendant told us the park closes at 5 pm).  We used the bathroom facilities (long drive from Huntsville with Wendy's food in our stomachs) and headed for the Nature Trail.  As we looped around the far end, I could see it was going to be "down there"....  So off trail and down hill we went.  "Oh, there's a road down here..."  Of course...  we walked up the road, saw the cache and I went down to log it while Sue watched for muggles.  "Some people are coming"  "Ok, get down here and maybe they won't see us."  As we knelt down below the wall, I heard voices and popped my head up.  Emmie -n- Sapphie again!  We just beat them for FTF by about 30 seconds after seeing them over 100 miles away a few hours ago!
      We logged and passed the cache onto them and we headed back to the truck.
      We decided that based on the GPS reported sunset time and time to get there by using road navigation on our GPS, we would get to Palmetto with enough daylight.  Emmy -n- Sapphie said it was not far from the bathroom...  So off we went.  We parked on the wrong side of the river!  I hopped the "strainers" on the footbridge across the river as the water was rushing across the footbridge too bad to just walk it.  Ran up to it and got it and back to Sue (who didn't want to cross the river) with still some light left, but it was dark before we left the park.
      On to Lockhart...  As we drove through Luling, we thought we were just going to pass out from the gas in the area....  what a stinking stink that is!!!!  We drove into Lockart SP about 7 PM or so. We parked in an open camping spot, walked across 3 fairways of the golf course and were met with a wall of trees.  Not easy trying to find a way in by flashlight.  We walked right and then left and found an overgrown road in.  Got to ground zero and searched for about 20 mintues.  Finally found it and headed home.  What a day!  5 FTF's in the series and 9 out of the 12 down.
      Today, Monday, I dropped wife off at work in Austin and arrived at Government Canyon in San Antonio about 9:00 or so (store was open).  Very quick find, bought souvenier for wife and headed for Guadalupe River SP.  Picked up 10 regular geocaches outside and just inside the park and headed for the TxGCC cache.  Passed LoneStar Luke n Leia, Bananapoo and ItsLoveInStereo 100 feet from the cache as they were headed back out.  Just met them yesterday hundreds of miles away at Huntsville SP!  We chatted briefly and they headed out and I got my 11th cache of the series.  Great view and could see the homestead mentioned in the log book.
      On to Austin to pick up Sue from work and then on to McKinney Falls SP on the way home to Bastrop.  We got to the river to find no dry way across!  As we were looking for a way across, here comes the Deafdillos!  Very cool!  We watched as they crossed over, having just came from the cache (their first of the series).  We "chatted", posed for a picture and they were on their way.  Good thing I brought my backpack.  With jeans rolled up and shoes either carried or stowed in backpack, we carefully shuffled our feet in very slippery, icy water for about 10 minutes and got to the other side.  We put socks and shoes back on and found the cache quickly.  Back across with cold, wet feet, we got back to the truck with daylight still left (about 5:15 pm).
      All done!  Whew!  Kind of like a mini County Challenge... ok, maybe not...
      But still, very fun and learned a LOT about the parks and saw some new parks we had not been to before.  All in all, a very educational experience.. .
      Kudos to the TPWD for putting this together...

      Barry and Sue
      aka Doc Geo
      Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, a burger in one hand, a beer in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

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