Group Caching + Night Caching = FUN

Night CachingDespite the snow on Mt Wellington, the calendar tells us it’s now spring.  And as the number of geocaching visitors from the mainland is stepping up, I can believe it!  Our latest visitor is hi_pressure from Victoria.  He met up with some of us Monday evening at the Carlyle, and last night there was a festival of night group caching goodness when hi_pressure, SG-3, the DDTs and Snuva met up for a fun time of bumbling in the dark!

We met up the car park near TMAG.  The DDTs were on a bit of a mission as they are participating in the GeosportZ competition and wanted to visit a cache that would give them high points with a couple other teams.  I’d already found Think Inside the Box, but I brought along a laptop so hopefully SG-3 and hi_pressure could figure out the puzzle and we could visit as a group.  Either it was easier to figure out without a herd of children around or the poking with a pointed stick was effective, but soon the whole group have the information to enable a group hunt. 

Then I made a bizarre decision: I thought hi_pressure and SG-3 might want to do Nelson’s Signal as well.  So our first stop was the CSIRO car park so we could walk over to the first waypoint.  I somehow managed to pause in my annoying chatter long enough to avoid being hit any cars zooming past at all of 40 kph.  The required information eventually revealed itself in the torch light, and we made our way back to the car park.  And it was at this point that SG-3 and hi_pressure realised they would need to refer to an image, however the image didn’t appear in either of their devices holding cache information.  I checked my laptop and no: no internet connection, no image.  So we phoned el golco to see if she could get onto a computer and provide us with a description of the image; she somehow seemed a logical choice as 1) she’s friendly and helpful and 2) she lives not far from where we were headed.  Well, she was as friendly and helpful as we thought she’d be, however she was in Melbourne!  But she quickly accessed a computer and described the image.  So off we went to the next stop!

I followed the DDTs, who kindly decided to show hi_pressure quite an interesting scenic route to Think Inside the Box.  Out we all hopped, and out came the torches and electronic devices of various description.  I didn’t bring a torch as I’d already found the cache and thought being in the dark would help me resist looking at GZ while others were still hunting.  I really wish I’d remembered my camera and maybe even taken a video; it was quite amusing watching all the torches and hearing everyone clashing with the nearby triffid.  If you didn’t know what was happening this convergence of torch-bearing humans in this spot would look quite strange.  We did get a few strange looks from muggles walking past, but who is stranger: us, out doing bizarre things but with a purpose, or muggles, out walking just to get somewhere or enjoy the exercise.  No contest!  Anyway, hi_pressure used his brain rather than GPSr to make the find, and we were soon off again.

Our next stop was our original destination for the night, Mt Nelson.  Not having hover craft, we parked outside the gates and headed off to We Come in Peace.  No really, I’m not trying to pimp my own caches, but as the group was originally going to include a female cacher who wanted to do this in a group rather than alone it seemed a good choice.  The DDTs and I were just there for the walk, so SG-3 and hi_pressure bravely took the lead, despite the occasional flash of lasers (which usually seemed to hit T in the eyes) and the themed soundtrack (provided by T).  As there are still geocachers who have yet to do this cache, and as muggles must not know where the stash of friendship markers is, I won’t go into any detail that would reveal the secrets of this cache.  I’ll just say that the cache was found, alien blood was spilt on the log book, Flip’s dried and irradiated cousin was seen, and one of the aliens was reunited with his crew.

A stop on the way back to the lookout had hi_pressure and SG-3 looking for HAPPY BIRTHDAY!, which was rather appropriate as it was set by Caxixi to celebrate el golco’s birthday – and she’d helped us out earlier in the evening.  The darkness wasn’t very helpful in finding this one, and DD and I blinding everyone with flashes in our attempts to take a few photos probably didn’t help!  But the cache was found and logged and everyone’s eyesight recovered enough to do a little star gazing, although SG-3 will now need eye surgery thanks to us – I do hope it all goes well!  (And don’t even mention Colinoscopies!)

The final cache SG-3 and hi_pressure sought of the night was my stupid idea, Nelson’s Signal.  And here’s why my thinking they should go for it wasn’t such a great idea: waypoint 2 is closed at night (well, AND we had to phone someone for the image on the cache page!).  I knew some people had done it despite it being closed, however maybe hi_pressure and SG-3 didn’t really want to stand on top of benches whilst trying to train their torches through the windows of a locked building to find information.  But they did.  So coordinates for the cache location were calculated and we all headed off through the wallaby and rabbit filled darkness for them to make their find.  I was half expecting to cap off my stupid idea by them getting a DNF or being attacked by a Sabre Toothed Wombat in the dark, however the group survived and the cache was easily found.

As it was almost 10 pm and for most of us work beckoned in the morning, we called it a night.  I don’t know how the others felt about it, but I enjoyed myself thoroughly!

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