Thursday, August 11, 2011

Monkeying Around

Back in Nashville and catching up on household chores in both the house and RV.  But I did take some time to go on a couple of really fun geocaching trips.  My caching buddy Filbert sent me an email when he saw that I needed a particular difficulty/terrain combination for my fizzy chart (sorry for the geo-speak) and he knew of a certain cache that would fulfill the requirement.  And since he had just found that cache only a week ago he would be happy to be my guide.  Well, OK, I'm game.  So on Sunday morning, in a light rain, here comes Filbert with "da boat".  Oh yeah, this particular cache is submerged, at least it is this time of year.  So we drove out to a ramp on Stones River and launched.  Now the "da boat" is big on spirit but small on horsepower.  It has 5 horses to be exact, so getting from the ramp to the area of the cache took a little while, but the rain had stopped and the river was like a piece of glass.

Once we were in the general vicinity we tied up "da boat" and entered the water.  So that's when Filbert informs me that we have to walk a certain distance from the shore and start "noodling" with our feet.  Thirty minutes later and up to our necks in river water my "guide" finally declared "It's here!"  That's only half the problem.  Now we know where it is but I still had to dive down through five feet of murky river water, move a rock, find a waterproof box under a rock ledge, return to the surface, open the box, sign the paper log, return the log and weights to the waterproof box, dive back down through the murky water again, wedge the box back under the rock ledge and place the other rock back in front of the ledge.  No problem.  Only took about 20 minutes.  And it would have taken much longer without my guide/buddy Filbert.  Lots of fun!

After loading "da boat" back on the trailer we drove back toward Nashville and this time launched on Percy Priest Lake not too far from the Hobson Pike bridge.  In fact we had to manuever our little sailing vessel under the bridge while also dodging the wakes of much larger boats.  Oh, did I mention the rain?  First we went to a nearby island so that I could sign off on a multistage cache I had begun last summer but never finished.  It's a new favorite of mine called "Wet Monkeys Tell No Tales" and frankly we were a couple of wet monkeys between the rain showers, the river water, and the lake water.  But we were having lots of laughs. 

We launched from the beach near Wet Monkeys and headed to a little nothing slip of an island for the first stage of another multistage island cache.  It was placed by an Army guy from Ft. Campbell who warned not to try this one if you're not in good shape.  Last summer I had attempted to find the first stage but just as I figured out the first stage a rain storm came up and I had to hop in my kayak and head for shelter.  Seems rain and this cache go together because Filbert and his nephew Kelvis (that's Elvis with a K) also found the first stage but were rained out.  So this time we were going to finish things up.  And I was looking forward to claiming the last island cache on Percy Priest for my smiley map. 

Since we both knew what the first stage was like we brought along our "tools of the trade" which made stage one quick and easy.  Next stop was another nearby island - lots of island hopping - and the final stage which once again required some special use of special tools of the trade.  And a bit of monkey business on my part.  After signing the log and replacing the container we laughed and did the happy dance then took a quick swim off the beach and laughed some more.  This one was really fun!  At last I can say I have found all the island caches on Percy Priest.  And except for these last 2 on "da boat" I can also say that I kayaked to every one with Gus along to help guide me on the trails. 

Oh no, wait, there's still one cache left: a four stage multi called "Aye Bear Pyrates Treasure".  Tuesday morning, in the rain of course, Gus and I met up with Filbert and nephew Kelvis at the boat ramp.  With the Jolly Roger flying from the prow of "da boat" and Kelvis really getting into the pirate spirit we headed across the lake dodging rain drops and riding some whitecaps.  It didn't take too long but the hike was filled with briars and chiggers just to keep it interesting.  Sadly, the final stage was filled with slimy water and the log book turned to mush, so we left a new log in a waterproof bag and took the rest of the treasure home to repair.  But finally I can say that I have signed the log of every island cache on the lake.  And had a great 2 days monkeying around on the water with some fine caching buddies.  Now I just have to get the treasure chest restocked and returned to the island.

Sounds like a kayak trip to me!

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea that some of the geocaches were actually underwater. It sounds like it would be lots more fun to do this with at least one other person. You sure had an adventure even though the weather could have been better.