Monday, May 19, 2008

The Killer Bench

Walk, or Don't
I promised some stories a few days ago and now I'll share one of the most common ones. It involves a killer bench and our first event.

Drie and I decided to head out to Midland for the MiGO 2005 Fall Fun Day first event. We had only been Geocaching for about two months and were already nearing our first hundred finds. We had no clue what to expect though so we went with our few pages of caches in the area, our Magellan Sportrak and Meridan, and the Garmin iQue. They announced the event's game -- a road rally/poker run type event with somewhere around 18 stages. Being our first game we didn't really know what to do, but immediately began plugging in the waypoints into the Sportrak and the iQue. Before we had even five in the iQue I started driving to one of the points far enough away to break loose of the pack. While Drie ran out for the first find, I stayed in the car to enter more coords. So it went for the next couple caches, but by the third all of the waypoints were entered into both the Sportrak and the iQue. We sped around the city snapping up the icons (laminated slips of paper) from each of the caches hoping to hit all of them. As the clock ran down it was looking like we'd be able to make all of the points so we were feeling pretty good, but still rushed as we wanted to make each one in the allotted time. We where heading across the tridge (a three point bridge) in a local part to the next cache. The wooden deck, rails, and benches were all painted a beige color to create a monochrome landscape interrupted by the brown of the metal structure. Each of us were looking at the GPSRs and walking across the bridge. Being a geek who used a Palm for many years I had become pretty good at that walking, typing, and reading action. Drie apparently was not as all the sudden she wasn't walking next to me anymore. Looking back I saw her laughing as she leaning on one of the benches (yes, on the bridge). It turns out that she'd been staring at the needle rather than watching where she was walking (assuming that she would be able to tell were the benches were from me moving aside or stopping). We'd been walking so fast that the impact knocked her off her feet. Her leg was cut, bruised, and bleeding from the plank of the bench, but she insisted on pushing forward. Limping, we found the cache, grabbed the icon, and returned to the car. There she did what she could with the few first aid supplies I kept in the car at the time and we wrapped up the finds before the deadline. After returning to the site of the event I discovered that I'd made a navigation error and missed two or three of the caches at the north end of town. So we didn't make all the caches in time, but neither had most of the attendees. We walked away though with an idea as to how these games worked and a great story of a killer bench.

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