Saturday, January 15, 2011

Team Fits Tackles- One Huge Smile Series

On January 14, 2011 a group of 9 intrepid geocachers & 1 geodog assembled on the northwaste side of George Bush Park in Houston, Texas intent on tackling the infamously thorn-laden One Huge Smile series of 25 caches deep in the scrub bush and swampy bogs. The team consisted of veteran cachers, HoustonControl, MuddyWaterGirl, TeamTroglodyte, and Ags91; sub-1000 find cachers Nebulus703, myself, and Latitude_Attitude, along with the sub-100 finders mom/daughter team SavvySireGirls 1-2 & geodog Eowyn.



I had spent the last few days worrying over the near freezing weather and over-analyzing everything from the terrain, food, and how much water to carry, to how many layers of clothes I would need.
Let me back up a bit – I did this series October 1st, 2010 by myself and it was 80+ degrees and later hit 90 and back then to my amazement, the park was in full pollen bloom, most of the open areas had waist and higher vegetation and the hike took me 7 hours with not a single break, other than to sign a cache log, or untangle myself from the multi-layer thorn matrix. I also depleted my water and towards the end of the search, I was pert-near staggering.|

                           

Thus you can see my concern going out this time.

Of the 25 finds in this series, I lacked 2, as they were missing. Since then, cache maintenance has been performed and frankly, I just wanted to go along, grab the missing 2, visit with this good bunch, and get in some exercise, so I volunteered to tag along and shoot a silly video to boot.

We started off at the crack of 8am and entered the woods and within 10 minutes we realized we had ran into a wall of thorn bushes. Making a group decision to push through, it wasn’t long before we arrived at #1 and signed the log. We all high-fived around and congratulating each other began to pick-off the next caches like mutual veterans.

Latitude-Attitude had an aerial view of the smile (the course was laid out to project a giant face with eyes and a mouth with a circle going around it as the head) and a proposed course for us to follow and since it was his idea to mash-up and tackle the series, we all gladly followed his route.

One by one we made our way to each cache with me finally checking off the 2 that I did not have. Along the way, most all of us took a thorn strike (or 10!), stumbled, became entangled, fell flat on our face or buns (ouch), stumbled again, had a vine wrap around our leg or foot, or had our hat ripped off our head. No one complained, not even MuddyWaterGirl when she stepped off in a hole and fell so hard, it broke a strap on her pack. Our traveling geodog, which was a leashed pit bull, had to be dethorned a number of times also.

Our group was a unique mixture of ages, sizes, gender, and experience, but what amazed me is how equally all were treated by each other. The veterans did not show-out or put on airs and were quick to help out those of us with less experience. They also get tripped up just as fast in the heavy thorns and bush.

We saw no snakes on this trip, but we saw numerous deer and a herd of feral hogs ran in front of Latitude_Attitude. We had a great time and when we exited the woods we were met by 4 Constables wondering what all of our parked vehicles signified. We ‘splained to them our hobby and I gave away a couple of my Baytown Bert wooden geonickels after giving them my name, rank, and serial number. It was a fine geocaching day to remember and we will meet again soon on yet another geocaching adventure.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

Great article Bert I'm gonna share this with the folks I'm my office. I told them of my adventure.

Thankfully, we have an anchor!

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