Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day FTFs

Last night, just before crawling into bed, I decided to check my "New Caches" pocket query. This query shows me all caches approved within the past 7 days. By monitoring this list regularly, I am able to get a jump on any nearby caches and improve my odds of being FTF (first-to-find). As luck would have it, there were 3 new caches approved just last night. Two were in a local arboretum which closes after dark and another was in a bad part of town where nobody would attempt to go at night. I knew really had a shot at getting some of these as FTF!

With my GPS waiting by the door for me this morning, I headed out on my way to work and stopped briefly by the arboretum which was just under 3 miles from my home coordinates. I could tell from the description that one of them was a quick PNG (park-n-grab), but the other would require a little hike off-trail. Since I was in my slacks and dress clothes, I decided I better only attempt the PNG. It was a pretty difficult cache to find at first. The container was a decon kit tucked away in a hollowed out spot in the ground along the limestone boulder trail. The hollowed opening was then covered by an additional limestone boulder which looked like it was just part of the trail. In order to access the container, you had to remove the top limestone rock from the edge of the trail and reach into the hollow underneath the original limestone rock to grab the container. Luckily, I had seen some caches hidden in a similar fashion before. This was FTF #1 for the day!

For my second FTF of the day, I decided to stop by the bad neighborhood near the downtown area on my lunch break since it was only about 2 miles from my office. By this time of day, I was sure that LifeOnEdge (our local FTF-hound) had probably already beat me to it since he seems to jump on local caches as soon as they are placed. When I arrived at the location, I was the only person around and quickly found the cache tucked into a hole in an old historic oak tree near a granite monument. The cache was a small film canister that was covered in leaves. When I opened the log book, I discovered that I was the FTF! In humorous irony, as I was placing the log book back into the container, another vehicle drove up and parked behind my car along the side of the road. Out climbed LifeOnEdge! I had just beaten him to this cache by a couple of minutes, but enough to still be FTF! We talked for a few minutes and he told me that he was on his way to the 2nd arboretum cache to claim FTF on the only new cache that I skipped earlier this morning. Unfortunately, it looks like he missed being FTF on this one too.

Sara's Place
What's in a Name?

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