Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Cache, A Benchmark and a Kidnapping

At the boy's party the other day I walked past a benchmark in the State park and thought "I want to go looking for some of these."

Well today I woke up and decided to go back and get the numbers off the benchmark I passed the other day and then look for a few more and maybe a cache or two while I was out.

The Oldest Island Boy wanted to go with me so we drove over to the park to look at that benchmark and possibly find 3 more that are in the park. We found the first one and then after a long walk through the brush and briars we found the next one.

More picking our way through the briars led us to a fenced off area and of course the coordinates tell me the mark is inside the fenced area.

No luck on that one.

By now the Oldest and I are hot, very sweaty and really done with the briars so we headed back to the car.

Both of us decided that it would be more fun to wait until late afternoon to go look for the caches on my list.

When afternoon rolled around he changed his mind and wanted to stay home and play with friends.

That was ok because the Island King and I needed to go to Fort Walton to pick up the Oldest's birthday present for tomorrow (he's getting a really nice boogie board)

I offered to drive so the Island King and I climbed in my van and off we went.

What he didn't know was that my cache bag and GPS were stashed in the back.

After our trip to the surf shop I asked him if he knew where the old Howard Johnson's was on 98.

Of course he knew and I told him I wanted to drive by and take a look.

I guess it just didn't register with him why I wanted to go by there but when we pulled in the parking lot and I got the GPS out he started laughing and said he wondered why I wanted to know where this place was.

I told him that there is a benchmark here and that I wanted to find it. It was a nice afternoon and the motel is right on the Sound so the scenery was nice and I read him the description for the benchmark.

He didn't mind at all and we enjoyed looking for it. We found a witness post and the concrete that used to hold the disk but the pipe the disk was mounted on and the disk itself were gone.

After we were done he asked if there were any more around.


I laughed and pulled out my list.

We drove over to the microwave tower on Hollywood (the benchmark is the flashing light on top of the tower) and I took a quick picture.

There's another benchmark that hasn't been logged since 87 on the grounds of the Yacht Club and I asked if he wanted to go look for that one - since we were so close and all.

We were enjoying our time without the kids and having fun and he was all for it.

We wandered around the gazebo on the Yacht Club grounds for a bit and we paced off the description for the location and we found nothing.

There is new landscaping and it was either buried or removed at some point.

Oh well, we watched an interesting squall move across the Bay and the sunset was beautiful so it wasn't a wasted trip.

When we left there I drove to a small park on the water a couple of blocks away so we could look for a cache that's hidden there.

It's a pretty little park and after a few minutes of looking he spotted the cache in a palm tree.

It was a micro and I'm glad he was with me - I can't seem to find anything tucked in a palm.

The cache was just big enough for a few trinkets and he took a compass to go on his watchband. I didn't have anything small enough to leave so we left 2 quarters. We tried to leave 4 but only 2 would fit.

"See how cool caching is" I tell him, "where else can you get a compass for only $.50?"

He laughs and tells me that there is a bubble in the compass and it never stops pointing North.

We both laughed and agreed that we spent too much.

There were several other caches I wanted to find but it was getting late and I knew there would be hungry children ready for supper soon so we headed for home - well sort of.

I had to stop by the grocery store and I had read about a benchmark in front of Target - which is next to the grocery store - so I pulled up to take a picture.

The Island King wanted to know why I was parking out by the road and I told him about the benchmark on the sidewalk.

He said "I thought we were going to the grocery store and now we're looking for another benchmark? Are we going anywhere else after we leave the store?"

Well...it turns out that the water tower behind the grocery store is a benchmark and so is the water tower by the duck pond and since we were out I thought I'd snap a couple of pictures before we went home.

"I've been kidnapped!!" he yells. "No wonder the kids won't even go to the store with you anymore - you're a kidnapper"

I was laughing so hard I couldn't even defend myself.

He said that he'd noticed that whenever I said I had errands to run that the kids all hid so they wouldn't have to go with me.

We found the benchmark and were off to the grocery store.

After a long debate in the grocery store parking lot over what we'd have for dinner I went and in got what we needed but forgot the Oldest's birthday card and cupcake (they always get a cupcake for breakfast on their birthday)and of course I didn't realize I'd forgotten them until later.

We left the store and I pulled over to take a picture of the water tower.

He's laughing and telling me what an odd person I am but I got my picture and off we went.

We passed the tower by our house and I pulled over and got a picture of that one too and as I was getting back into the car I remembered the cupcake and birthday card so we turned around and back to the store we went.

All the while he's muttering about kidnapping and a crazy woman.

After our second trip to the store it really was time to go home. When we got home he told the kids that he'd been kidnapped and they all started laughing and agreeing and the Oldest said "It's not safe to go off with her - you never know where you'll end up"
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