Sunday, September 03, 2006

Spiders and Madness

After our 45th day of triple digit temperatures, we are finally getting a little relief from the heat. Hopefully my caching adventures can start picking up again more than they have for the past few weeks.

However, I did manage to get out of the house and do almost all of a new cache series around our county a couple of weeks ago. I use a super secret program on my desktop computer to keep me informed of new caches to help me get a jump on FTFs. I'll write about this secret little program in a later post, but now back to the topic.

One night a few weeks back, this program alerted me to about a dozen new caches that had just been approved around 10:30 p.m. By this time, the temperature had finally dropped into the mid-90's and it was a fairly moonlit night. I'm normally not a huge fan of night caching except for specially designed night caches because I typically have a hard enough time spotting cache hides in daylight much less at night. But this didn't stop me that night! I calmly walked into our bedroom where my wife was already getting ready to sleep and mentioned, "I know it is 10:30 at night, but the news tonight was boring and it looks like Leno is going to be another re-run. Can I go out caching?" Surprisingly, her answer was yes!

I grabbed my GPS, a couple of flashlights, a printed Google map of the new caches spread all over the county, and headed out! I left my home about 10:45 and spent the next several hours driving a loop around the entire county finding caches every 10 miles or so along the way. All in all, I drove a little over 84 miles through Woodway, Waco, Hewitt, Moody, McGregor, Crawford (yes, President Bush's Crawford), Speegleville, and back to Waco again. I ended up finding 11 of the 12 caches I was searching for in the Guardrail Madness series and came away with 10 FTFs. Unfortunately, I entered in the wrong coordinates for the 12th cache and spent about 45 minutes trying to get to one particular area that I just couldn't quite get to.

GRIM001 - Of Salads and Sagegrass (Traditional Cache)
GRIM003 - The Far Crossing (Traditional Cache)
GRIM004 - Crossroads (Traditional Cache)
GRIM005 - Domage (Traditional Cache)
GRIM006 - The Fishermen (Traditional Cache)
GRIM007 - The Homecoming (Traditional Cache)
GRIM008 - Where is Nowhere? (Traditional Cache)
GRIM009 - Down on the Corner (Traditional Cache)
GRIM010 - Down South (Traditional Cache)
GRIM011 - Past the Glare (Traditional Cache)
GRIM012 - A Stone's Throw (Traditional Cache)

But the story doesn't stop there! While searching miles and miles of country road guardrails, I was quickly reminded of one of the other reasons I typically do not like night caching - too many "others" out caching with me. I don't know how far north, east or west these things live, but around central Texas these things can be found out in the country abundantly. These "things" that I am referring to are the GIANT yellow and black spiders known as the Black and Yellow Argiope. Unbeknownst to me, these giant spiders love to hang out at night between the posts of guard rails like the ones I spent all night searching for. One location had more of them then all the other spots put together. I probably saw at least a dozen of the smaller (1-2 inch) spiders and probably half a dozen of the larger (3-5 inch) spiders every few feet around one cache.


Anonymous said...

Please forgive me if this posts twice...had issue logging in with Blogger beta version.

I'm a geocacher from Arlington and just found your blog. I'm really enjoying it and have added it to the RSS feeds I watch.

Come visit my blog sometime. It's not dedicated soley to geocaching, but I do have a number of posts and links. Right now I have a photo album celebrating my daughter's 200th find and fun video I put together from a cache a friend and I had to swim for.

TFTB (that's Thanks For The Blog)

BomberJohn said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I got an introduction to a large spider like the one in your picture when I was in South Carolina this summer. I was trying to get a cache in that state at dusk and as I was bushwhacking, I just caught the sight of something big. It was one of these monsters. Scared the crap out of me. We just don't have anything like that up in New England. Sure, we get the cobwebs between the trees. But absolutely nothing that size making them.

Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

It's finally getting some cooler temps up here and I can enjoy being out caching instead of suffering the hot temps.

Sounds like you and the spiders had a nice evening of caching....what kind of GPSr were those spiders using? :-)

Mark said...

Night Caching! Good to see you out in the darkness...caching. Hey, sometimes those hard to find caches reflect in the night.....Love the blog! Keep up the great work

Doug said...

I would just keel over and die from a heart attack if I ran into one of those suckers.


The Publican said...

Bleh, caching good...spiders BAD!

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