The buses on the way home were running slow, and it was 8pm by the time I finally walked in the door. Ken had been home for a while. He also had news -- a brand-new nighttime cache placed twenty miles away. If I'd gotten home or contacted him earlier, we could've left for it at dusk. Now, we didn't have such a great chance of being first finders, but... night cache! Of course I wanted to go. And good thing I'd replaced that flashlight. A quick dinner, and we were off.
It was twenty miles as the crow flies, more like thirty as the car drives. The last two miles were over a really nasty unpaved road with huge rippling ruts. Ken's car is not designed for this, so we crawled along cautiously, bouncing all over the road. The car damn near overheated, too. For a while, it looked like the road wasn't even going to take us to the starting point of the cache, but it wasn't like there were any other choices in the area. The first time a car came up from behind and passed us, we said, "Geocachers." Why would anyone else be out on this godforsaken road in the middle of nowhere? When the second, third, and dozenth cars passed, we had no idea where the hell they were going. We saw some strange, distant flashes of light, and Ken wondered if there was some kind of party or fireworks.
The erratic stream of cars made us a little uneasy, but when we finally parked near a small side road we got far enough off the main road that I thought the car would be safe. The cache description said that one could drive right up to the first waypoint and see the reflector in one's headlights, but I don't think anything reasonably described as a "car" could have made it down that bumpy, rocky dirt road. Maybe a "big assed truck" or "tank" could have. But it was only .2 miles to the cache starting point, so we set off on foot.
I love night caches. We go night caching by ourselves anyway sometimes, but a cache truly designed for night hunting, with a trail of reflectors, is on a whole 'nother level of fun. It ties into my love of stars and glowing things. We followed the reflectors up a hill and down a little, and all too soon saw the red reflector that signified the cache area. Located the cache itself without trouble. It was just a coffee can, stuffed full but with nothing I wanted. We were second finders -- someone else had been there at 8:30, before we'd even finished dinner. This wasn't quite as fun as the Wisconsin night cache, which was in a forest with eye-level reflectors -- this one was in scrub brush with little loops of reflective tape on low bushes. Still, I've long wanted to create a night cache, and if we ever do, I think we'd use tape as well, since I wouldn't be comfortable screwing reflectors into trees we don't own. So it wasn't a bad idea.
I'd brought a bunch of glow stuff, but given the size of the cache and its fullness, just left a few frogs and a skeleton keychain (which came from the Wisconsin night cache we did last October). It took us a good hour to get back down the hill, return to the car, and drive out on that awful road. By then it was nearly midnight, but we had one more stop -- the final waypoint of a huge multicache we've been doing on and off since January. You have to take down information from street signs in various places that have great views, then use a decoder to figure out the location of the actual cache. We almost did the final cache at 1:30 in the morning on the way home, but we ended up on the wrong side of the park it's in and Ken started feeling sick and we figured it would be better to do this one in daylight. Like, maybe today.
So, we now have our 150th cache. Just fifty more to go!