I need mud under the tyres this morning. It’s only two weeks to the Adventure Race Australia and I am starting to get excited about it. So I swing my leg over my beast of a MTB and hit the fire trails for some gravel crunching and mud slinging.
While I’m out I decide to do some geocaching. There are only two more caches in our local bushland that I’ve not yet found. I tried to find them when I first got my GPS but had no luck. They are both micros with high difficulty ratings. It was a 6km ride to the area where both are hidden so it seemed like a good idea. They are also only about 2km from Mum’s house so I decided to go visit her for breakfast while I was out.
I reached the location of the first cache but had no luck finding it. The online log at Geocaching.com indicated that this was not the usual cache and the comments all said that the cache was a clever hide. After a 10 minute hunt I decided to temporarily give in to and try to find the other cache in the area where I have more luck.
There’s a large tree near the coordinates. My GPS bounces around a lot, taking me to a few different points in a 12m radius of this tree so I don’t see the cache at first. But then I come back to the tree for another look because intuition tells me the the cache is here somewhere.
I notice a strange ‘crack’ along one of the nobbly bits on the tree so I grab it. I’m not expecting anything to happen but it comes off. Someone has very cleverly cut it off the tree and reattached it with magnets.
And here it is … the cache. I have walked, run and cycled past this cache hundreds of times in the past year but have been blind to the cache.
After my success at finding this cache I head to Mum’s place for breakfast. Over my omelette I think a little more about the first cache that I couldn’t find and got an idea where the cache might be.
I go back to the location of the first cache. The GPS bounces around a lot but I decide that the cache is probably near a big tree, rather than hidden among the she-oaks. I still can’t see the hiding spot when I am almost on top of it.
I suspect that the cache is hidden in a fungus that has been adapted to hold a cache. Or more likely, a fake fungus. So I start touching all the fungi in the area, including these ones.
I get a huge surprise when the little she-oak stump comes apart to reveal the cache. It’s another fantastic hide and I almost can’t believe I found it.
I think I earned my geostripes today. And I got a fantastic MTB ride in at the same time, with plenty of mud on my tyres.