CacheCrazy.Com: Caching in Texas

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Caching in Texas


CACHING IN TEXAS
By Big Al
Original post on 4/14/2011 but it is so good, I just had to play it again! BH





WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!
GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE OR TEA, SIT BACK AND WATCH OUT FOR THE SNAKES.

Last week my son invited me to San Antonio, TX for his graduation from Airman Leadership School. He is stationed there at Lackland Air Force Base. Because of scheduling my wife and kids could not go so I made a solo trip to see him.  He told me that I would be free to do whatever I wanted while he was in class on Monday and Tuesday.  So I gave it some thought and then decided I could find some caches while he was in class. This was going to be like heading down memory lane for me because I did my Air Force training there back in the summer of 1981. 

I arrived on Sunday afternoon after a fairly short and cramped plane ride.  After visiting a gun show (quality time with my son) he got me all settled in at his house.   We visited for a while and checked out his new M-57 Tokarev pistol, and then I started checking out the caches in the area and I found 9 that were in a park near his house. I could not wait to go out the next morning and find them.  The one thing I noticed was that these were all medium to large sized caches, which are right up my alley. 



The next morning I took him to class and then headed off to the park. The park is called “Cathedral Rock Nature Park” and it is quite large. As I entered the park area I noticed that there were trails made of concrete, and they were really wide. Then I noticed this entry sign.


Once I started walking the trails I could not believe some people come here in wheelchairs. These are some rugged trails.

Well I  was hoping to find all nine caches in the park. I headed to the first cache, which was a pretty easy find after walking past some cactus and through some small trees. The cache had been hidden very well, but sometimes you just KNOW the spot.  I signed the log, put the cache back, and then headed off to the next one. I loved the fact that each one was a little more challenging than the previous one. 


As I walked along going to the next cache I realized I was coming out into a very dry riverbed. This was so cool looking. I had to travel through several of these and each one, just like the caches, got better than the last one.


           The cache is on the ridge



I came out to some really neat and very large rock formations too, which I just had to stop and take pictures of.  One of the caches, called Shelob’s Lair, had a large rubber spider come out when you opened the top. It really scared me and then I began to laugh. He got me for sure.

Another cache I did along the way seemed really easy; almost too easy. I found it and realized it was a very small container. I opened it up and found that it said “This is not the final cache”, and it was empty. I laughed about that one too. Again, he got me. It took a little searching around, but I eventually did find the final cache. These caches were well done and really made it worth my while.

The next cache I went for was spotted right away, but there was a critter hanging around it.


It was an opossum and he sure moved slowly. I waited for him to move along and then took some pictures of him. He did not seem to mind at all. I retrieved that cache and signed the log and put it back. 

As I was heading to the last cache I saw two guys driving towards me in a truck. They were driving along the old riverbed. They stopped and told me that their Rottweiler “Katy” had gotten out and they were looking for her. Well that was all I needed to hear; A big Rottweiler on the loose. The guys just told me to call her if I saw her and then they drove off. What? You want me to call the dog over if I see it and you won’t even be here.  I mean come on, I’m a visitor in an area I don’t know and you want me to try and get a dog I don’t know to come to me.  I don’t think so.  So now every sound I hear in the weeds I think is going to be this dog coming at me. What was that? Oh, just a Mourning Dove. Okay. I don’t care how NICE they say she is I did not want to run into her. I kept on going towards the last cache. I might have been a little concerned about the dog, but that is not going to keep me from caching.  I did find the last cache, which was a sphericle cache,  and as I was leaving the area a big dog came barking at me.  Thankfully it was on the other side of a fence. This dog was a big Pit-bull and was not named Katy, and did not look very friendly.  I just headed back towards my son’s truck hoping NOT to run into Katy the Rottweiler.

As I was heading back I happened to be between two of the caches and I heard some rustling in the leaves and thought I might get a picture of a squirrel or gecko or something.
                                                            
Well to my surprise it was a snake. Remember, this is Texas and it is about 82 degrees out. Hehehe NEPA it's 82 here. I started taking pictures of it and then I began to think about the colors on the snake. What was that old saying I learned so long ago about poisonous snakes? Something to do with rings, or no maybe it was colors like Red, Yellow, and Black. I can’t remember it so I’d better leave it alone.  I watched the snake move on his way and then I went on my way. I got back to my son’s house and logged all nine caches. Then I looked up the snake.


It was an Eastern Coral Snake. And by the way, the rhyme goes like this: Red next to Yellow you’re a dead fellow, Red next to Black you’re okay Jack. I’m glad I left it alone, but I’m glad I did get some nice pictures of it too. My wife was not too pleased with me when she found out about it, especially when I told her I did not hold it too long before releasing it. NO, I did not really catch it. I’m not that stupid, but I’ll never live it down at my house that I could not remember the rhyme when I needed it.

Later I went out and found three more caches. The last one I found was at a memorial for the people who lost their lives on 911.

It is a beautiful memorial with an eternal flame helping us to always remember those whose lives were taken from them for no reason at all. 

                          Eternal Flame

All in all it was a wonderful time. I got to see some interesting animals and snakes, and I got to find 12 caches in Texas. Yeah for a new state souvenir.

Tuesday evening was the graduation. My son was in his AF Mess Dress with all of his ribbons , and I was able to fit into my AF Dress Blues. Yes the uniform still fit after 18 years and a few pounds lost, and since I am retired I was allowed to wear it. The only drawback was that I had to shave my beard off, but it was worth it. It was an outstanding ceremony, and a high ranking official told me during the ceremony to go up and walk across the stage with my son. He said "This is a once in a life time experience so go join him". Well I could not refuse an order so I did it. And it was TOTALLY AWESOME. We took lots of pictures and I was able to meet a lot of people who treated me as if I was the President.
      CMSgt Lewis, SSgt Paul Alfred, and SSgt Rob Alfred

The last day I was there I took my son out and let him find some of the caches in Cathedral Rock Park. He had never been there before and could not believe how close it is to his house. We did not have time to do all 12 I had found, but he was able to log his first set of cache finds and plans on going back to pick up the others.
I want to give praise to the CO’s who did such a magnificent job on hiding each cache in a unique place. That is what I love about Geocaching; visiting places I have never been to before and may have never found if it were not for some local Geocachers who truly love their sport. 
So now I am going to give an order to YOU; get out there and find some caches, but leave the snakes alone.  
BTW, when I returned home is was 32 degrees and lightly snowing. Welcome home Big Al.
Original post on 4/14/2011 but it is so good, I just had to play it again! BH

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