So, it’s true I almost died while geocaching. While you are probably not surprised if you have been reading this blog for long… let me explain what happened. We recently attended a geocaching campout and since I knew we would be out of cell range, I downloaded the area caches before leaving home. On the first night as we were roasting marshmallows by the fire, I opened up my geocaching list. I was happy to see there was a 5 star terrain cache nearby called GC3NZ21 Connor’s Cache. Yes! I knew immediately that I had to complete it before the weekend was over. I read a little about the cache and my plans were quickly in danger. It turns out the cache earned its 5 star terrain because it is in an island in the middle of Shadow Mountain Lake. Oops, that might present a problem.
I immediately set out to recruit others into my scheme of meeting someone new and convincing them to let us strangers borrow
their boat for a quick scavenger hunt. Surprisingly none wanted to join me on this insane quest. As the weekend ticked by, I was no closer to getting my 5 star terrain cache that was openly mocking me from my geocaching list. I had had enough. A geocacher can only take so much.
I convinced my awesome wife to drive me out to the location “just to scout the situation.” She reluctantly agreed and we were off. When we got to the park we drove as close as we could to the trail and started huffing it. We followed the trail to the edge of the lake so I could take a look. I looked across the clod lake and then down at my phone. I looked again. The lake looked really cold and the island looked VERY far away. I looked at my phone and it said that the cache was only .3 miles from the shore’s edge.
Can I let a 5 star terrain slip away just because I don’t have a boat?
Since I’m making this post, you can guess the answer. I started disrobing and dived into the lake. I was right about one thing – it was cold. I started swimming and found that I was right about another thing – it was far. I swam and arrived at the first island out of breath, but alive. I walked around for a second (ok maybe longer) catching my breath. I had to continue now. I made my way to the edge once again and jumped in to swim for the second island. When I got about halfway across – I started to fatigue. Yep, I was about to drown for a smiley. A few thoughts went through my head.
“This will be really undignified if I drown.”
“Did I seriously just jump in a lake to get a boating cache – Without a boat?”
“I bet Kristi is laughing her butt off right about now.”
With no small amount of effort, I dug down deep and thankfully made it to the second island. Once I finally caught my breath, I walked around the island hoping I would be able to find the cache without the use of a GPS. (I could’t bring it into the lake with me.) I crossed the island and came upon a group of people hanging out on a pontoon boat. They were as shocked as I was to see them.
Muggles: “Where did you come from?”
Me: “Over there..”
Muggles: “Where’s your boat?”
Me: “I swam.”
Muggles: (In shock) “What! That’s crazy! Why?”
Me: “I’m looking for a geocache.”
After a short explanation of why I was so insanely seeking a random can by swimming across a lake, the muggles disembarked and joined in on the search. A few short minutes later I returned from the trees and presented them with the prized ammocan. They answered with cheers. Even better, they gave me a beer and took me back on their boat to the island I started from. Yes, I almost died – but I got the smiley – and a beer.