Sunday, March 02, 2008
Someone called the police.
Yesterday Erin and I went geocaching. [I'm so sorry that all of my blog posts are about caching lately! I promise that I actually do still have other hobbies! After this I have one more story to blog about that is half geocaching related, and then I'm done.]
I got a new phone which is really awesome because it lets me access the normal Internet from anywhere. Great! So the idea was that we would go to an area that I hadn't found much in, and then just look up stuff to find as we went.
We decided to go out by the Provo Town-ey Centre. And since we drove up behind it, we chose a particular cache in back to look for, and started looking. It was a BYOP cache (Bring Your Own Pen), which means that it's usually small enough for there to be no pen inside. Great. So it was probably going to be tiny.
The coordinates led us to a big power box out in the back of the mall parking lot, next to a kind-of busy road. There were also a couple trees the cache could be in, if it was really small, and really camouflaged, and the coordinates were a bit off, so we searched them too. Mostly we searched the power box, though, because it just had to be there somewhere. The difficulty was rated 4/5, which meant it was pretty hard, and someone had commented that it was clever.
We looked and looked, and didn't find it. And finally, right before we were about to give up, Erin found it. And it was clever.
And we walked back to the car, and I pulled up some nearby caches on my phone. And then we saw a police car going around the bend. "Oh, great," we thought. The police car pulled up near us, and the policeman got out and came up to our car. "What are you up to today," he asked after I opened the door. The mall security police van pulled up next to the police car. "Geocaching!" I told the policeman, and I held up my GPS and phone. He didn't say anything for a few seconds. "If it would make you feel better, I can show you where the cache is, " I offered, grinning.
He did want to see it. It was lucky that we'd found it, because otherwise I couldn't have shown him. He and I walked across back to the power box, and I showed him. "Do you get a lot of calls for geocaching?" "Quite a few. We had someone leave one in front of the police station, and of course if people leave a box in front of the police station, you don't just wonder about it. You call the bomb squad...." He told me about one time there was a cache out at Utah Lake where they had opened the box and were really confused with the contents "there's a deck of cards...and some papers and..." It was pretty funny. The police seemed to have gotten a big kick out of it just being geocaching.
Someone had reported us tampering with the power box, and they thought that maybe we were trying to turn out the power for the whole mall.
(Why would anyone even want to do that?)
Our final cache that we found yesterday was also exciting. It was one that required hiking. It took us about an hour to find it and get back to the car. Mostly because we didn't realize that there was parking about 50 feet from the cache. So we hiked a long way up the dried, rocky creek. About when we reached a big, fresh, bloody, furry deer carcass that smelled awful, we realized there was a paved road right along the creek on the south side. But it was too hard to climb out of the creek on the south side, so we climbed out on the north side instead. And then to cross the creek we had to hike up to a trail about 100 feet above us, at a very-upward angle. Then back down and across the whole thing at a part with a real trail.
I think if we had parked at the right spot it would have probably taken us 10-15 minutes total. Ah well. Hiking is good. And the weather was great.