I find a lot of Geocaches, but this one is a big deal. It has plagued me and my close friends since 2013. It made me cry. Here is what I wrote on the internet about it for the community to read:
GC 2K765 – LOST81 (4.5/4.5) Walk Don’t Run
“I hugged and kissed my wife goodbye, possibly for the very last time. It was well known that I was going out to search for this geocache, and I would die in those woods before I came back without my name on the log. I packed up Friday afternoon after playing hooky from a half day of work. I put on my geocaching in the woods costume, brought 3 liters of water, a bag of nuts, a pen, and a morbid attitude. This geocache owns at least 5 hours of my life dating back to the very beginning of my Geocaching hobby. I have searched stage 1 at least 6 or 7 times, going back to 2013, and 2 dogs ago in my life. Most times it was with my best, well-seasoned, geocaching pals JoshInChains & Cinnamon. Other times my old best pal Charlie the Dog was with us. To this day I believe it is our failures at stage 1 that led to my old dogs cancer, he just couldn’t take the disappointment. None of us ever found it. I have also been here alone, and most recently with MyWifeTheMuggle. After that last failure, I had enough. All stages had been found very recently for the first time in years. So I knew (like I always did) that it was definitely there and ready to be found.
So I headed out onto the road with my gear, ready for the end of my world if it came to that. Once at the parking lot I left a note in my car and the car unlocked. Just in case it sat there overnight a ranger would know who to contact to come and retrieve the car. Out on the trail I found myself at a very familiar stage 1, I didn’t even turn my GPS machine on until I reached stage 1, it’s location was burnt like a middle-finger-shaped brand onto my brain. Surprisingly I only spent about 10-15 minutes at stage 1 this time. I arrived at stage 1 with a corn on the cob mentality. I was going to search this area the way I eat a piece of corn on the cob, start at the top, work to the side like a typewriter, and then press the carriage return button.
I was off to stage 2. Having done this hike numerous times my GPS machine has this trail well defined, so I knew basically where I would end up. Sure enough, that is where I ended up.
After a mid-day costume change I was off to find stage 2. I spent about 20-30 minutes here, I was very pleased with the time. Once I focused on the proper area I was rewarded fairly quickly. I spent a lot of time in the wrong places looking for the wrong things.
After my final costume change of the day I was off to stage 3. Again, the trail on my GPS machine showed me where I would end up. I got there fairly quickly, my body pulsing with adrenaline. Once very close to centering in on the coordinates I got a little discouraged. Not that I would not find it, just that I was all alone. When I do stupid things I usually have someone else nearby, or at least on standby with a 9 and a 1 already punched into a telephone. I saw where I might need to end up and then remembered the ratings of the adventure. No problem. I made my way to GZ the hardest way possible (in hindsight). I was getting close, I felt like the ozone levels in the air change as my head swirled with the ideas of how I was going to tell this story to my friends, enemies, and every stranger I encountered. I saw some obvious GZ spots. I set down my GPS machine to let it settle in on a signal. I walked over to a spot. Wide-eyed, mouth gaping, I poked my head in quickly, like I was entering a surprise party in my honor that I had gained advanced knowledge of. My head quickly dropped and hung like ripe, ready to be picked and eaten Pawpaw fruit, the Appalachian Banana. As my eyes gazed down and sideways I saw another spot, just like this spot a few feet away. I walked over with my fingers crossed and praying to other people’s imaginary Gods. I looked and saw nothing. I got down on my knees and looked further and wouldn’t you know it….WOOOOO FREAKING HOOOOOO!!
TSTF (twenty sixth to find)
I sat all the way down, reached for the container and pulled it out. I imagine the way I removed this container is the inspiration for the tree stump, wood monster scene in Flash Gordon. I opened up the container and basked in the smell that was released. It smelled like cotton candy infused with redemption. I can’t lie, a single tear rolled down my face when I first laid eyes on the container. I sat there, delighted with my day and savored the find for about 10 minutes. I read every log in the log book dating back to 2011. I don’t think I have ever done this. Never has an original log book, so old, been in such perfect condition. I was honored to scribble my nonsense in there and replace as found.
Thanks for the great hide and amazing adventure.
Thank you to everyone that has anything to do with these hides. Thank you to those that came before me and gave me the strength and encouragement to never give up. This one is for you Charlie the Dog.”