Category Archives: Geocaching

Captain Kidd’s Treasure Found! GeocachingNew House

Captain William Kidd stood on the Gallows & a thin rain began to fall. He was dressed in the full splendor of a decorated colonial captain of the seas from the spotless coat to the new pair
of boots. A list of crimes for which Kidd stood accused was being read for the gathered crowd but Kidd wasn’t listening. He had spent the past few weeks becoming familiar with all of the crimes he had been charged. Right now he was busily scanning the crowd & looking for a familiar face. Had his friends shown up at the last? The noose was placed around his neck & a dark sack over his head. As the darkness covered his eyes, his life, as it tends to do in these situations, flashed before them…

William Kidd was born in 1645 in Greenock Scotland. His family sailed to the New World while
Kidd was still young. They settled in New York City, which at the time was merely struggling to support itself as a seaport. Kidd spent his life on the Ocean & won acclaim fighting the French during King William’s War. He was granted the Rank of Captain & held in high regard by his community & peers. In 1695 Kidd was called to Great Britain. At the recommendation of the Earl of Bellomont, who was the Governor of New York at the time, Captain Kidd was granted an official Letter of Marque from King William III.

“William the Third, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, … To our trusty and well beloved Captain William Kid, Commander of the Ship the Adventure Galley… GREETING; Whereas we are informed, that Captain Thomas Tew, John Ireland, Captain Thomas Wake, and Captain William Maze… do, against the Law of Nations, commit many and great Pyracies, Robberies and Depredations on the Seas…. Now KNOW YE, that we being desirous to prevent the aforesaid Mischiefs, and, as much as in us lyes, to bring the said Pyrates, Free Booters and Sea Rovers to Justice, have thought fit, and do hereby give and grant to the said William Kid, to whom our Commissioners for exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral of England, have granted a Commission as a private Man of War, bearing Date the 11th Day of December 1695, … full Power and Authority to apprehend, seize, and take into your Custody… all such Pyrates… which you shall meet with upon the Seas,… with all their Ships and Vessels; and all such Merchandizes, Money, Goods and Wares as shall be found on board…”

King William also granted Captain Kidd a license as a Privateer to attack any French ship he should chance to encounter. The expedition was funded by Lord Bellomont, several politically connected Nobles & King William himself. Kidd was given command of the Adventure, a 237-ton galley featuring 34 cannon & oars for out maneuvering enemy ships. He loaded his ship with the best sailors he could find & set sail. Before the Adventure could even hit open waters a Navy vessel approached. Showing some early colonial disdain for imperial Great Britain, Captain Kidd refused to salute (or possibly mooned) the Navy vessel. The end result was the Navy forcibly impressed (or drafted) the majority of Kidd’s crew. Undaunted, he sailed for his home harbor of New York where he hoped to be able to find enough sailors to round out his crew. Unfortunately, New Yorkers had enough problems of their own without worrying about “Pyrates” hiding in the West Indies. Those he could convince to join him on the voyage were mostly made up of men who needed to flee the colonies for legal reasons & they demanded the lions share of the profits. With this inauspicious start, the Adventure set sail for Madagascar seeking pirates… with a crew made up of men who had most likely been pirates just days before signing on with Captain Kidd.

When the King of the most powerful nation in the world decides that he’s going to start hunting pirates the word spreads quickly – even over the seas. By the time Kidd was finally en route from the Americas all of the pirates mentioned in the official charter had made themselves scarce. Kidd & his crew bided their time & were able to take over a small French ship but it did little to serve their purpose… or line the greedy crew’s pockets. The Captain used the same methods he had employed with success back in the Colonies – to mingle with the other Privateers of the area. Many of the other Captains were small time pirates in their own way but Kidd was after a larger prize. Unfortunately, his crew saw this as wasted time & became restless. The Adventure encountered many richly laden Indian vessels but, despite the opposition of the crew, Kidd made no moves against them. Men started to desert &, sensing an eventual mutiny, Kidd set sail for the Red Sea with talk of intercepting a rich fleet of which he had caught rumor. “We have been unsuccessful hitherto; but courage, my boys, we’ll make our fortunes out of this fleet!”It was not meant to be & the Adventure never met the fabled fleet.
On October 30 1697 a rich Dutch ship sailed into view &, tired of waiting, the crew urged Captain Kidd to attack. The Captain refused, knowing that attacking the Dutchman would be both piratical & sure to anger King William who was of Dutch descent. William Moore, a gunner under Kidd’s command spoke out loudly against his captain & burnished a sharpened chisel. The two exchanged words & it became clear that a full-blown mutiny was sure to occur if Kidd was unable to quiet Moore. Without speaking a word Captain Kidd strongly suggested that Moore return to his work by heaving a wooden bucket at him. It was an unlucky throw as the bucket struck Moore in the head & he died the next day. A bucket is a far cry from a deadly weapon & it’s obvious that a mortal blow wasn’t intended, but the act didn’t do much to improve moral on the Adventure. The next time they docked to resupply much of the crew deserted.

In late January or early February of 1698 their luck finally turned & they were able to easily capture an Armenian ship the Quedah Merchant. Kidd & crew boarded the ship & learned that though the captain of the ship was English, he had purchased passes from the French East India Company making the Quedah Merchant a fair target of the war. The ship was one of the greatest prizes ever claimed by a Privateer. She was a 400-ton beauty laden with gold, silver & all manors of extremely valuable linens. The value might have exceeded 100 million in modern dollars. Kidd kept the French passes & the ship which he renamed Adventure Prize.

Back in England, disgruntled former crew members of the Adventure told the crown that Kidd had refused to attack pirates & had even turned pirate himself. A fantastic political scandal ensued when political opponents of the Kidd’s backers got wind that King William himself was funding a pirate! Great stories of piracy & barbarism on the high seas were invented to fan the political firestorm.

When Kidd learned he was a wanted man most of his crew deserted him so he left the Adventure behind & sailed for home in the Adventure Prize. Only 10% of the original crew remained loyal to their Captain including Monmouth County residents Moses Butterworth & William Leeds. Upon arriving in the Caribbean, Kidd learned that several British men-of-war were patrolling the East coast looking for the Quedah Merchant. Realizing his prize was marked he scuttled the Merchant & set out for New York confident he could convince Lord Bellomont of his innocence. Kidd made several stops in New Jersey & Long Island before the authorities knew he was in the area. During this time he secretly buried much of his treasure – some 40,000 pounds – to be used as leverage. Kidd, leaving several of his men in West Jersey with strict instructions on what to do in the event he was arrested, then sought out Lord Bellomont who was residing in Boston at the time. Unfortunately, Bellomont decided that bringing Kidd before the throne in chains was the best way to save his own neck & had Kidd & his men arrested.

The trial was a travesty of justice & the nobles who had financed Kidd’s voyages made sure to burn Kidd’s logbook & lose the French passes from the Quedah Merchant. In the end Kidd & most of his crew was found guilty of piracy & the murder of his gunner William Moore. Moses Butterworth & William Leeds had remained in West Jersey where they were tried & found not guilty.

… Captain Kidd awoke from his reverie in time to hear the official proclamation that he was to hang by his neck until he was dead. The rain had begun to soak through the thin sack & he could almost see through it. There was a disturbance in the crowd & some shouting but he didn’t have time to wonder what might have caused the fuss because at just that moment the floor dropped out from beneath him… & he fell… & the noose pulled tight… & the rope snapped! The crowd gasped as Captain Kidd disappeared through the trap door & landed with a grunt on the ground beneath the platform. In those days this stay of execution wasn’t seen as a sign of divine provenance but rather an indication of a poorly made knot. After a few moments of confusion Captain William Kidd was bustled back up onto the stage where the noose was refitted & secured into place. Though most of the crowd & the officials on the stage were nearly soaked to the bone, Kidd was gauged dry enough that the noose would not slip free. Without delay the trap was sprung & a few agonizing seconds later the saga of Captain William Kidd ended at the end of a taught rope. As the crowd began to disperse, William Leeds, loyal to the end, fought against the crowds until he was near the front. An old muddy pair of boots dangled at eye-level only a few yards away. He smiled.

So what of Kidd’s buried treasure? Well, there are more rumors than fact. Every state up & down the coast has a tale of Captain Kidd’s buried booty, but only two states have ever found any of it. The first cache of gold was unearthed on Gardiners Island just off the coast of Long Island New York. The owner of the land had cooperated with the British authorities in retrieving some 10,000 Pounds. Gold coins have also been discovered in New Jersey within the Raritan Bay. The first strike was at Money Island & the second at Duck Pond, now known as Treasure Lake. Let’s look at the legends & skim the fact from the fiction.
It’s a fact that William Leeds had money. In his will he left 438 acres of land to the county & the Christ Church. This land is where Thompson Park & Brookdale Community College is
today. On the foundation of an old jail (the very jail that once held his friend Moses Butterworth) Leeds built the Christ Church of Middletown.

It’s a fact that Money Island is no more. It’s been excavated to the point where it’s nothing more than a sandbar. If there was treasure on the island it’s long been spent or sent to Davy Jones’ Locker.
It’s a fact that the Army Corps of Engineers surveyed & excavated large sections of Cliffwood Beach a few decades ago. They built up the seawall as if to protect the unfound treasure from the elements. The positioning of their benchmarks is very suspicious.
It’s fiction that Captain Kidd used two gigantic trees as range markers to navigate to the hiding place of the gold. These trees, known as “Kidd’s Rangers” were supposedly at the mouth of the Raritan Creek & atop of Rose Hill in Matawan. There were indeed very large trees in those locations but it’s highly unlikely anyone could use them as markers from the bay. Of course someone did try eventually… & by no small coincidence there’s a small park at the site where the trees would lead a sailor. In fact, the exact center point has been calculated – & an ACoE benchmark labeled PL190 exists there to this day.
It’s a fact that Treasure Lake is just North of this mysterious park – & the actual site of the buried treasure! After Captain Kidd was arrested William Leeds dug up the treasure
& moved it. This is why some coins were found on Money Island. He spread rumors of “Kidd’s Rangers” to throw people off the trail but actually buried it … where X marks the spot! To help guide Kidd back to his treasure Leeds left a clue in the church he built – he carved a cross above the pulpit. The cross represented a prominent feature of the landscape of that time. It has since been replaced with a man-made structure. The treasure hunters of yesteryear got everything right except one crucial detail… they dug in the wrong direction!

Keyport in backgroundIn days gone by treasure hunters found “the cross” & started digging into the sand right on the beach but the base of the cross isn’t telling you where to dig… it’s pointing the right direction to dig! The addition of the benchmarks makes it easier on current treasure seekers. To find the current resting place of Kidd’s treasure you’ll need to locate benchmark PL160 – or the spot it would have been if treasure hunters trying to cover their tracks hadn’t removed it. You’ll need to search the seawall & find the midpoint between PL150 & PL170. From that point, follow the line of the cross 30 feet. You’ll know you are going in the right direction if you pass a smaller vertical cross. Back in Kidd’s day, your “tunnel” would have ended in buried treasure. Today you do not need to dig, as a 30-foot tunnel would come right out the other side of the hill. That spot is where you will find the treasure!

Some may call me a fool for sharing this information, but I trust that you will treat the treasure as the historical artifact that it is & take only a small sampling of the treasure for their own. Do not feel the need to trade swag at this cache. While exploring the seawall be mindful that it’s called Cliffwood beach for a reason. Be careful. Be safe. Have fun.

This cache is certified Central Jersey.
Gold Hot Rodders Cliffwood Beach Ninja Pirate Always Open Go the other way! Yarr. It be purdy. All about the Kidds Park & Walk Pirates! Central Jersey Silver

Catching up… GeocachingNews

Ok, it’s been months since I’ve typed anything into this spot so I’m way overdue (again). Today is probably not the best day to attempt creative (or accurate) writing as I’m recovering from a pretty bad bout of food poisoning. I wont go into details except to say that if Illness = Kung Fu, I was practicing the “Double Headed Dragon” for many hours yesterday. The final symptom was a fever coming in at a balmy 101.5° Fahrenheit. By that time I was able to stomach some dry toast – and cook it on my forehead.

The reason I haven’t written here is because I’ve been writing elsewhere, moonlighting if you will, albeit in the daylight mostly (Thanks, Daylight Savings Time!). I’m proud to report as of this month that is up and running. To date we have 59 users and lots of cool features that I consider cool even if you don’t because cool is subjective and all features are cooler when you identify/install/configure & manually tweak them all by yourself. Yeah, it’s been a lot of work but I’ve learned a more about PHP coding & a lot more about Joomla as a Content Management System. We’re not nearly done so I probably wont be writing here very much. Honesty == Refreshing.

Since my last writing I’ve had a few notable experiences. The first was the big trip to North Carolina to visit my Mom & check out (and volunteer for) the Storytelling Festival of the Carolinas. The festival is only in it’s 2nd year but they brought in 4 featured tellers of national acclaim and pulled off a wonder of festivality. To make things more interesting, a very large tree decided to topple (on Arbor Day no less) right onto the main tent. Now this was a Circus Quality Super Tent so the tree didn’t wreck it, but there wasn’t any way we could let people sit inside with a few tons of tree looming overhead. Some emergency management found a few guys with chainsaws & a bucket truck and the tree was gone within a few hours. The tellers put on an amazing show and I got to chat them up in between sets & after the performances. My only regret is that the festival took up large hunks of the days & I didn’t get a chance to just hang out with mi madre as much as I would have liked.

On the Geocaching front, the extra travel has netted me 3 more states & lots of finds. I’m at 560 finds as of this writing. I have 15 caches hidden (in 3 states) and 3 more caches right around the corner. My favorite is a cache honoring Capt. William Kidd. Disgraced & hanged as a Pirate, he was a actually a misunderstood privateer who simply ran afoul of his financiers. The geocache itself will be near Treasure Lake & is of the multi/puzzle variety. It will require you to piece together the clues that Capt. Kidd’s loyal crew left allowing Captain Kidd to reclaim his buried treasure one day. Gold coins were actually discovered in two spots less than a quarter mile from my home so I couldn’t resist putting a cache there. The contents of the cache are completely unique as well but I wont reveal the secret here! Kidd was hanged on May 23rd 1701 so this past weekend, exactly 307 years later, under the light of the moon, I buried Kidd’s Cache while Heather stood guard.

The most recent happening was the passing of my annual Continually Reoccurring Affirmation Period. This means I’m now 33 years old. For my birthday the most interesting gift I received was the food poisoning I mentioned earlier. Happy Barfday to meeee! Fortunately, we had done some celebrating earlier in the weekend. On Saturday night we went up to a comedy club in New Brunswick & saw comedy legend Gallagher. He’s the guy who is famous for smashing watermelons (among other things) to end his sets. Compared to other comedians his routine is very organic (no pun intended). He plays off of the audience &, in this small venue, interacted directly on several occasions. Not the least of which was allowing all of the folks who had a birthday to kneel before the smashing platform and receive some birthday cake at high velocity! Good times (and small bits of my birthday cake) were had by all.

That’s enough for today. Rest assured that other interesting things have happened and many random thoughts were thunk but until I decide that I’d rather be typing instead of jogging, caching, movie-watching, book-reading or web-community-developing… well, the postings will be less than frequent. Until next time!

This little piggy went to Old Bridge! Geocaching

Big Ed's PiggyLast night was my first attempt at co-hosting a Geocaching event. Marc (aka mblatch) was my co-hort & co-host. We set it up at Big Ed’s BBQ on Rt. 34 in Old Bridge. Besides having some fantastic ribs the place is just fun. There are giant cartoon painted wood cut-outs all over the property (example at left). It has ample parking & a front section that’s good for a larger group hanging out and chatting before getting down to some serious pigging out. The “piggy” theme was decided for us when I noticed that they sell Big Eds branded piggy banks that would make an excellent cache container. I bought the piggy bank, sealed the ‘coin hole’ with pink caulk, gorilla glued an ‘airborne’ tube inside the snout to hold a log book and hid it in the woods behind the restaurant with Heather a week before the event. Like the three little pigs this solo piggy made his house out of sticks. 🙂

Many little piggiesI also decided we needed swag so bought 2 dozen small pigs from the Oriental Trading Co. and started looking for pig themed geo-coins. I found a total of three. One I had to buy on eBay, one from a vendor in Germany and the third from a small store in the US. Unfortunately the US supplier only ships once a month and, of course, the coins didn’t arrive in time. I did manage to have the other coins present for the event and everyone got to ‘discover’ the one that had its own custom icon (Pig Icon). I wrote the name of the event & date on the bottom of all of the plastic pigs to give the attendees something to take home or use as trade swag. Last, but certainly not least, I hid a bonus cache in the parking lot of Big Ed’s – it’s just a small play-doh container made to look like a lost little piggy. I tried to time the publication of the two new caches to they’d coincide with the event. Alas, I caught the cache-reviewer on a bad weekend and the caches weren’t published in time. To compensate I printed out the cache listings and provided them to folks at the event. Tim (aka TheMadRussian) was the first person to run out to the parking lot to find the Lost Little Piggy. After the meal 7 people made the attempt at the same time. They were all lined up against the fence looking like a police lineup.

When all of the eating/paying of bills was accomplished someone (Ok, Marc) announced that we should all do some night-caches in the area. There were two available and, though one was archived, Marc & I had verified that it was indeed still there just the night before. So 9 of us piled into the 2 largest vehicles and drove the mile to the official parking coordinates. This particular night cache can only be done at night. There’s small reflective spots tacked to various trees and you have to follow the virtual trail they provide. The tacks are 50 – 150 feet apart and very hard to see in the fog but with 9 pairs of eyes and at least that many light sources the cache was easily found. From there we humped over the hill to Heather & my Piggy Bank cache. Again, they made short work of it but everyone seemed to enjoy the cache container & the hide. I basically made a log cabin for it under the roots of a tree. Philipe (aka CondorTrax) came up with the official First-To-Find and earned the Flying Pig geocoin I bought off of eBay.

Not enough boots!I knew of another cache that wasn’t exactly on the way home but with an “accidental” missed turn we found ourselves 150 feet from a 5th find of the night. This specific cache is called Whitetail Retreat and it’s on what amounts to an island in a marsh. Once one person headed into the reeds everyone quickly followed – regardless of what style of pants/shoes they were wearing. The mist wafted across the reeds. The water was cold. The mud was… odoriferous. The cache was found! Sheer numbers trump any good hide. AVGraphics took a great photo of our shoes when we got back to dry land. I’m the geek with the black shoe & his pants rolled up. The rolling didn’t help and I’ll probably have to “archive” the pants.

We returned to our rides on the easy to follow path that I conveniently missed the first time. Everyone seemed in high spirits and having such a good time that it was a shame the night had to come to a close. I can’t say for certain that this will become a recurring event, but I’ll say this… there’s another night cache within a mile of Big Ed’s. 🙂

Here’s the links:
This Little Piggy event
Lost Little Piggy
Night Vision
This Solo Piggy
Whitetail Retreat

Embarrased: Posting anyway GeocachingHealth/FitnessNew HouseNews

It’s been so long and I’ve been so bad at keeping up with posting here that I have no excuses. I’ll just say that I’m “righting” now and I’ll get “write” into it…

Having a house is a good deal of work. I was prepared for this but didn’t actually budget any extra time for unforeseen things like having to rake the front yard clear of pine needles. Those blasted trees dropped 4 giant yard bags worth of needles in under a week. Heather & I made the best of it by jumping in the giant pile of needles when we were done. It looked like a haystack. We found a haystack in the needles!

The inside of the house demands attention too of course and I’ve been just about ignoring the as of yet still packed boxes. We have to hurry up and get everything out of the way though… we have more stuff coming in! When Heather’s father moved into smaller digs we happily agreed to take some of his overflow stuff once we had the house. Well, we’ve got it and we’re getting it – even if we don’t know where we’re going with it! The big ticket item is a weight machine. The plan is to put it into the basement…. where we’ll never see it again. 😉

The cats are segregated. Poor Smechy couldn’t hack having the other two around and soiled the bed. Twice. We’re trying the Zero Odor stuff to get the stink out. The mattress is also covered with a rubber sheet & mattress pad. No stink is getting through all of that! Anyway, the kittens have the basement and Smech has the bedrooms. The rest of the house they time-share but never meet (unless a midnight storm blows the door open like this past Saturday). It’s creepy to be awoken from a deep slumber by the combined sound of gail force winds & cat growling. *shiver*

I’m still finding time to go Geocaching now and then. I’m up to 270 finds – including my first 5 star puzzle “Cloak & Dagger” which dragged me all over central Jersey finding urban micro caches, solving riddles, puzzles, ciphers & enigmas. I’m co-hosting my first event next month (This little piggy went to old bridge) & plan to launch my own puzzle soon. It’s still fun!

Besides that Heather & I have been getting up twice a week for a morning jog just as the sun comes up. Routine is the best way to stay motivated and having a partner makes it even harder to skip a day. One of us will mention how it’s pretty late and we should go to bed because we have to get up early for the jog (translation: can we skip tomorrow’s run?) and the other will invariably reply that yes we should get some sleep because I can’t wait to run in the morning! Teamwork … works. This has also given me the opportunity to explore the neighborhood a little more. I’ve discovered a back way into our neighborhood & a new park which is exciting.

That’s about enough for now. I’ll try to be more active on this site in the coming weeks. It’ll certainly be easier if it gets cold out but right now … it’s just too nice to say inside typing these words. Until next time!

On Melvin’s Mud & Sticky Chiggers Geocaching

On Sunday August 12th I competed against the mightiest Geocache of Middlesex County: Melvin’s Multiple Madness. It breaks down to a 7 stage multi-part through the title marsh of Cheesequake State Park. One branch of the Cheesequake Creek – Melvin’s Creek – is the focus & locus of the hunt. You can’t park within a mile of the first stage so your first challenge is just getting there. The best looking route by satellite images takes you through a NJ Superfund Site. Once you make it to the actual marsh you have to cross the Melvin twice and the mud/silt is deep & unusually viscous. What sinks into Melvin’s Mud stays in Melvin’s Mud. I sank up to mid thigh on the first crossing and even deeper on the return trip. I was fortunately strong enough to pull my legs out but, alas, I was stronger than my boots. The mud ripped them in half. Litterally. It took the sole right off of the leather upper and wouldn’t give it back. Henceforth I shall call it:

Melvin’s Creek – the eater of Soles.

Walking across a reeded tidal marsh full of mollusk shells and Superfund runoff in stocking feet was an adventure to be certain. You can read the full account of my adventure (and see the photos) by clicking here.

While not slogging through the marshes I’ve been busy hiding the Speedway Cache. It’s not published yet as this writing because I’ve been slowed down by work, rain & CHIGGERS! Otherwise known as the Harvest Mite, Chiggers are small (I mean small, dude!) mite/spider/ticks that cluster at the tops of tall grass or low branches and hop on as you go past. Its not uncommon to have dozens and dozens fall upon you at once. If they make contact with skin, like a tick, they’ll seek out a safe place to eat. Then, like Jeff Goldblum in “The Fly”, they squirt digestive enzyme and slurp up the liquefied you. Obviously the body doesn’t take kindly to this kind of treatment and responds with itchy painful red welts. Anyway, Nicol park, like most of New Jersey, is susceptible to chigger breeding and on my last visit I must have walked through a few hives because my right leg was covered with’m.

Not just a few dozen though.

There were HUNDREDS!

And they were HUNGRY!

And they don’t brush off!

And they don’t squish!

And they were making their way up and down my pant leg looking for MEAT!

And I, having popped out for some lunch time woods walking/coordinate verifying, was wearing my work clothing that I couldn’t shed without losing my job (and possibly freedom). What was I to do? First things first: Get the pants off! Done. Hide pants in trunk! Done. Get back in car before traffic on Rt. 34 notices me! Done. Drive back home, bathe in DEET-ful “Deep Woods” Off, Shower off anything I just killed, put on new clothing and drive back to work 30 minutes over my lunch break. Final step: work late to make up time. Oh, and itch all day for the thought of hundreds of mighty mites drinking my skin. One chigger is a nasty thought but two gross? Too gross.

Four days later the pants & shirts I was wearing that day are out on my back porch. I’m waiting for their short lifespan to pass before I go back out there. In the mean time I’ll scratch at my dozen or so potential chigger chomps and be glad that I noticed them before I got back in the car. *shudder* Mental note: Duct Tape or Lint Roller = essential late summer/early autumn caching gear!

Dang, now I itch again. Scratch these:
Melvin’s Multiple Madness
The Harvest Mite (Chigger)
Two Gross

Mighty Ericles Cache Spree of Summer 2007! Geocaching

On June 23rd I hit a cache in the parking lot of a Cabelas in Pennsylvania. The next day I hit one in Reading, PA on my way out of town. The day after that I snagged a tricky puzzle cache after work that I had finally solved earlier in the day. I had a mini-streak going but didn’t think much of it. I relaxed and allowed it to lapse the next day. Well, I planned to.

Out of the blue WWWW planted one near my place of employment and I ran out to try for FTF. I ended up 2nd, but the streak continued. Several times I quit but then I would just happen to take the scenic route home from work and oops! I did it again! FTFs are what really preserved the streak though… I’ve nabbed 5 in the past 4 weeks. Considering I only had 3 in the previous 5 months I think that’s one seriously lucky streak!

Lucky? Maybe. It’s hard not be superstitious in caching but I felt as though the streak was somehow charmed. I found everything I looked for without much trouble. Granted, I didn’t really go after the 5 star caches, but I picked off a few harder ones without trouble. I even found an unlisted benchmark! All of that changed when I got greedy with the 1st-to-find honors and picked up 2 in one day. After that my luck turned and half of the caches I looked for were simply not there. I managed to continue the streak for 2 more days but another trip to Reading this past weekend and a DNF up on a Neversink Mt. sunk the streak. I planted a new cache while I was there so I didn’t think it was a complete loss until I got home, logged my DNF and realized that there was another cache only 350 feet from where I hid mine! It’s currently “temporarily disabled” for maintenance which is why it didn’t show up on my listing but I can’t activate mine while that one is there. D’oh! I even dropped a coin in there as a FTF prize and now it’s stuck until the other cache either goes belly up or I make the pilgrimage to get the cache back. Double D’oh!

So, am I cursed? Nah. I’ll just let a few others grab the First honors for a while and go back to enjoying destination caches for a while. In the end my streak stats look like this: 28 days, 44 physical finds (5 FTF) & 2 events.

Not bad for something I basically started by accident. This will be my last attempt at a streak until I move to a completely new area. I pretty much wiped out my neck of the woods. 🙂

Profile for ericles