October 20, 2012

Disappointment, Heartache, And Three Not Founds

Wednesday, I was up in South Dakota for National Fossil Day and decided I would go geocaching.  I have two geocoins that need to be sent out into the world, and I had the perfect place picked out.

It was a crazy day to be out and about.  If you have never tried to drive across the high plains with a 60 mph cross wind, you haven’t lived, let me tell you.  And when your GPS tells you to go down a road PLAINLY marked private, it gets a little more interesting. Luckily for me, a very nice lady and her toddler were coming out to check the mail.

I explained my predicament, and she told me that I certainly could use their road, and that it WOULD take me where I wanted to go, but that it was very close to dark, and that road was “an adventure” in full light.  I very gratefully took her directions to come at it from another direction.  Although, I have to tell you, I fully intend to go back in the daylight and take that “adventure.”

Mountain View Cemetery is the only cemetery in the world with a view of Mount Rushmore, and it is beautiful.  This cemetery and the view from it are well worth the drive without the geocache.  It even feels peaceful that Teddy Roosevelt is staring down at you. I know where the cache is.  I went right to it.  And searched.. and searched.. and searched again.  I tried my GPS, two different programs on my cell phone, no luck at all.

I really wanted to release the John Grisham geocoin in such a neat spot, but okay… I’ve missed before.  I came with options just in case.

So next I headed off to find Picture Perfect.  Again, I knew just where to look (have I mentioned how much I love Keystone, SD?)  I drove around and up and down and around… and climbed rocks and down slopes.  Again, total disappointment.   *sigh* okay, I’m getting a little irate at this point, but I’ve got one more try and just about 30 minutes before dark.

I needed to come down out of the mountains before dark, because during the daylight I had seen so many deer that if I had a rifle with me, I could have used every tag on my hunting license sitting in my car that day.  I did NOT want to run into  those beautiful, tasty critters on my drive home.

I headed off to my final try, Don’t take that Tunnel!  Again, I knew EXACTLY where to look.  And look, and look, and try my cell phone and my GPS and climb down slopes and trek through waist high prairie grasses and poke around rocks.

This is one of the pitfalls of geocaching, some days it just DOESN’T work.  No matter how hard you try, no matter how many different places and styles and times you try.  One geocache back in Virginia took me five tries to find it.  FIVE.

The point is, don’t give up.  Keep trying because the journey, and the search, are the best parts.

Let me give a shout-out to the South Dakota geocachers.  It takes a lot to stump me three times in one day.  You guys are good!

Peace Out!

Image Credit: Sandra Cunningham / Shutterstock

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