Monday, October 08, 2007

She's A Free and Gentle Flower, Growing Wild

I went for a little fall camping this weekend to clear my mind and it turned out to be the hottest weekend on record for October. So it goes. But I picked up another of my old nerd habits again, though this one might be considered in the tech-nerd subcategory which is more widely accepted than, say, the D&D nerd category, the comic book fan category, or a number of others that I belong to.

We went with another couple who are into Geocaching, which I dabbled with before the ominous shadow of the Patriot Act made it undesirable to be snooping around places with a GPS. We found a neat historic church with a grisly past and then found a geocache in a nearby state recreation area, placed there as part of a statewide geocaching contest by the Indiana DNR. Follow the link if you still don't know what I'm talking about.

My pal Dan and I hiked uphill in the blazing sun a mile or two back into the park, dutifully following the trail. Suddenly the GPS arrow towards the cache pointed hard left, even though the trail meandered along straight ahead out of sight.

Wringing wet and thinking about a pork loin cooking over the campfire way behind us, I suggested we cut cross country to the cache site, cutting a mile or two off of the walk. Unfortunately the arrow told us to go down a ravine and pop up on the other side.

We thrashed around for a bit in the back country before we suddenly, thankfully, found the hidden cache in a hollowed-out log. The joy that replaced the bitter anger in our hearts was short-lived when Dan slipped off the hollow log and began to tumble back down into the ravine. Fortunately a sapling smacked him in the head and broke his fall. It was one of those things that you sort of hold your breath for a moment, then laugh like dumbasses.

On the way back, my heart stopped for a moment when a camouflaged hunter stepped out from behind a tree. People asked me later why I didn't question him hunting with his friends in the state recreation area. Instead, with "Dueling Banjos" playing in my head, we loped for home.

Despite two near-death experiences, I think I'm ready to dust off my Garmin and hit the coordinates again.

Until later, give me a shout at

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