Monday, August 11, 2008

The Most Memorable Geocache I've Found

There is a geocache hidden near a pond in the woods on the Eglin AFB Reservation named Haunted Fishing. The guys who placed the cache are clever, devious cache hiders and they really did a good job with this one. On the pond bank are the remains of an old rowboat and these guys made up a story about the ghost of a boy who drowned when his boat sank in the pond. The cache listing tells this story and they say the boy's spirit wanders the woods along the edge of the pond. The log page gives you a GPS coordinate for the entrance to the trail leading to the pond but from that point you have to follow small reflectors that have been put on trees along the path. The reflectors create a winding path up through the woods and then down to the pond.
I love a good ghost story and I was really excited to find this cache. We picked a Friday night in February, left the kids at home, loaded the truck and headed out to find the cache. We didn't realize how cold or dark it was until we were on our way but we weren't going to let that stop us. This is what I wrote when I logged the cache.

Our first attempt at this one was back in mid February and without realizing it we picked a night with NO moon, no stars, no light period. None. It was so black you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. It took us longer than anticipated to get to the parking spot so it was completely dark when we started our hike. My
fearless husband had the GPS and was leading the way and even though I did not like not being able to see anything at all I followed along. We get to what appears to be a clearing (even with a flashlight it's so dark I really couldn't tell) and he says “Ok here’s where we start.” Here’s where we start? Not good –– It's cold and dark and we're walking up and down over these berms and I’m ready to be half done by now. With my flashlight I can see that the trail we’re to follow is not wide open like the one we’re on and it’s even darker because of the heavy canopy. I was standing still and then the oddest thing happened. I started to feel fear. Not scared of critters in the woods but just creeped out weird. It was an odd feeling because I never get spooked but with every passing second I was feeling more and more like ending the mission and going home. Finally, after shining his light around for a couple of minutes, he says “I see where we need to go” and he starts off down the trail. I catch up to him and after a few steps his flashlight goes dark and he says “You have the light and the person with the light goes first.” AAHH Have you lost your mind?!! I Am NOT Going First! So much for my “fearless leader” theory. Well I stopped dead in my tracks and when he realized I wasn’t moving he steps in front and magically he has light again and continues walking. I am now thinking there’s no way I’m doing this. I’m not sure what came over me next but a wave of utter fear rolled over me and I turned around and headed for the truck. I heard my
former fearless leader asking what was wrong and I think I heard something about “I’’ll go first –– this will be fun” but by that point I was almost at a full out run. I’m certainly not in the best of shape but I would have made an Army Ranger proud at how fast I made it back to that truck. I reached the top of the last berm and was really thinking that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up this pace
and then in the beam of my light I caught a glint of our truck. That was all I needed and I was off full speed again. I unlocked that truck, threw my gear inside, jumped in and locked the doors. Shortly after, my husband comes out of the woods and is laughing pretty hard. He said I was moving so fast there was a wind chill coming off of me and that he had never seen me run that fast in his life. As soon as he was in the truck we headed straight for home.
I don’t know what happened out there but it scared the daylights out of me. I’m not a big ‘Blair Witch’ believer but I sure didn’t like it out there that night.
I don’t like chickening out so I knew we’d be back but maybe in the daytime or definitely on a night with a full moon.

Our second attempt was tonight and we found it! I am really proud of myself but I do have to tell you that we went out there a little before sunset and wandered all around before dark. I never got that creeped out feeling and I wasn’t afraid at all –– even as it started to get dark. It wasn’t until dusk that we were able to start the hunt and we found it right about dark. Thank goodness we didn’t find this the night I got scared –– the end would have done me in. It was quite startling as
it was.
Thanks for the adventure –– this is a cache I will always remember.
NOTE: The fearless leader claims he thought I would feel better if I went first. I’m still not sure about that LOL


Yep, I chickened out on the first try and ran all the way back to the truck like a girl LOL LOL I don't know what came over me that night. I love old cemeteries and have been known to make the Island King spend most of the night in several with me trying to get ghost photographs. I've never been creeped out like that before and the really funny thing is that this story is fiction and I knew that.

The real kicker was the cache itself. We found it that second night there. It was a standard ammo can tucked under a pine tree so the Islan King pulled it out and yanked the top open. The cache was rigged and when he opened the lid a LOUD, horrible scream came out of the can. It seemed like eternity before that screaming stopped and then it took us a while to compose ourselves so we could look through the cache LOL Inside the ammo can they've rigged a small player and whenever the lid opens it triggers the player and the screaming starts. I am SO glad we didn't find this the night I got spooked! I'm sure my heart would absolutely have stopped beating LOL

The Trail (and I'm using that word losely)
The Haunted Boat
He found the cache
The goods

That was one of the most memorable caches I've ever looked for. I enjoy night caches and so far haven't been spooked again.
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