I've had geocaching fever for a few weeks now and there are 2 caches on Eglin Reservation that I've been wanting to get to fill in some blank spots on my stats.
We finished everything we had to do by 1:30 and I managed to talk the Island King into riding up the woods with me.
I planned on grabbing two caches and then getting back home in about two and a half hours.
The first was called Road Less Traveled and the premise of the cache is Did you drive or Did you walk?
When we got to the road the concept became quite clear.
I have 4wd but probably not the clearance to make it so we decided to walk.
It's important to note that I made the decision not to drive before the Island King could say yes or no.
We walked down to the cache and then I couldn't remember the clue to open the container. The clue was in the truck, quite a way back up the hill so I called my dad and asked for the answer.
Luckily he knew the answer so I opened the cache, signed the log and we were back in the truck in no time.
See? It really is possible to run into the woods, grab a couple of caches and get back home at a reasonable time.
We were off to the next cache which ironically is named Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.
I turned off the main road and we came across a pretty sketchy looking mud hole. There was no water but the clay was mucky looking and we had to get across the muck and up a pretty high berm so we stopped and looked at it for a minute.
Now, most people won't believe me when I say that I actually asked the Island King what he thought but it's the God's honest truth. I looked right at him and asked what he thought we should do and he said “Keep going”
So I went.
I had to go over a berm, through the muck and up another berm so I floored it and went.
Just as my front wheels hit the bottom of the berm on the other side of the muck the truck came to a complete stop.
I still had the gas pedal on the floor but the vehicle did not budge.
The Island King swears that I let off the gas but I didn't. The muck grabbed us and sucked my truck in like quicksand.
I tried to back up but obviously wasn't going anywhere.
We opened the doors and when we got out the muck sucked our boots in like quicksand. Slick, heavy, clay quick sand.
He tried to dig us out but then when I tried to move the truck we just sunk even more.
Here's where I should tell you that we knew there was a storm coming but we also thought we'd be home before the storm hit.
The sky is getting gray, the Island King is covered in mud (I didn't have one single towel in my truck) and we're not going to get unstuck without help.
Which is about the time a hunter came walking up the road. A very unfriendly hunter who, when asked if he had a tow strap, never stopped walking and mumbled something about maybe there was one in his truck.
I have a geocaching friend, Drop Hunter, that doesn't live too far from where we are and has a 4x4 that I know will be able to pull us out.
Except, I don't have his number so I have to call his brother, The Whitten Boys, to get the number.
And as expected, he laughed the entire time I was telling him the story. But he sent me Drop Hunter's number and I called him.
Sadly, he no longer has his truck.
This is not good. It's starting to rain and the spot we're stuck in is mucky because it's a drain off for rain.
Suddenly, the hunter is back with a 3 foot piece of the thinnest rope I've ever seen and asks if this will work. The Island King just shook his head and told him thanks anyway. Three feet of rope would have done no good at all.
The Island King is digging and pacing and cussing and tells me to call his brother. His brother that lives in Destin, which is about an hour away. The same brother who always gives me a hard time when stuff like this happens.
But we have no choice so we called him, sent him this picture and he said he was on his way.
It starts raining harder and the hole we're sitting in is starting to fill up with water.
This is what we saw when we pulled up the radar. The tornado warning was a nice touch too.
We're the little blue dot.
The Whitten Boys calls me back saying that he's close so he's coming even though his truck isn't 4wd and he asked where I was.
“I'm on the road to the Are you smarter than a fifth grader cache, right at the entrance, you'll see us.”
Now it's completely dark. It's lightning, raining pretty hard and we're sitting in the truck when the Island King says “So the are you smarter than a 5th grader means are you smart enough to park and walk down this road or do you try and drive through this big bleeping hole?”
If that's the case we are definitely not smarter than 5th graders.
He starts talking gloom and doom. This hole is filling up with water pretty fast. This truck is gonna be toast when it floods. Blah Blah Blah...
I refused to believe that. I mean really, statistically, how many vehicles can one woman sink? One I can believe – since it actually happened – but I'm just not buying two.
Then I get a message from The Whitten Boys telling me he's on the road to the cache but doesn't see me.
He tells me to send him my GPS coords and a few minutes later we were relieved to see headlights pull in behind us.
He stopped and picked up Drop Hunter and they are here to
laugh at me help.
Except, he thought I was in the tiny car I sunk and he only had cargo straps. Plus, he didn't realize he'd have to get close enough to possibly get stuck and his truck isn't 4wd.
We all stood there in the rain watching the water level rise for a minute when my BIL pulled up.
The first thing he said was “This is NOT the picture you sent me” which caused us to laugh and tell him that things were changing fast and that we needed to get of there as soon as possible.
He doesn't have tow straps but he does have 300 feet of good rope to use.
It's a shame that rope was tangled beyond belief but between the four of them they managed to get it untangled.
The Island King waded back into the water to tie the rope to my trailer hitch only to realize that the hitch was on his truck. I've been telling him for a while that I need my own but he thinks switching the one we have between our trucks is a better idea.
Or he did until he found out that the hitch was on his truck and not mine.
Luckily, his brother had an extra in the back of his truck so they were able to put that on and tie off the rope.
While that is going on Drop Hunter and The Whitten Boys are telling me that this isn't the road to the cache at all and as far as they can tell, there's not even a cache down this road.
Oh. I wonder if this counts as a DNF. Then they tell me the cache is on a hard packed road and the smarter than a fifth grader thing is about figuring out how to open the cache – not get to it.
AND it's over a mile away so I'm not really even close.
Finally, the rope was tied and my BIL pulled my truck right out. He said he didn't have to pull hard and the Island King told him that's because my truck floated through the hole.
So there we all stood, in the rain, wet and muddy, but we have successfully unstuck me.
I asked the Island King if wanted to try the right road and grab the cache anyway but he glared at me and I really didn't need a verbal answer.
Going straight home didn't sound like a bad idea anyway.
Thank you so much to the Whitten Boys, Drop Hunter and my BIL for helping us! If you ever need me to pull y'all out let me know – my truck will have a wench on it real soon.