Did I get into trouble while geocaching? Yes and no. At least I met a really friendly agent or officer? How are the cops working for the sheriff called? Ok let's start with the flood.
|A dead end road|
This geocache I was after is located in Mississippi state in the United States, not far from Memphis. Work got me here and I had some extra hours to spend so what else to do then picking geocaches which are helping filling up some of the matrixes? I came well prepared for the trip, put together different trails to hunt down and I also had some simple ones to get the statistics going.
I read the last logs of this geocache as well and they were mentioning road closure and that you can still walk to the geocache, so I said some walk won't hurt. When I arrived to the location I saw it will be a bit over a few steps, but come on I flew over the ocean to get to this geocache some walk won't stop me.
|Used to be a building?|
So I parked in front of the big signs and the roadblocks and started to walk to the coordinates, while enjoying the work of mother nature. It is so amazing so much power that just wipes out a road. Like the one on the top picture. That used to be a dead end, but not after 3 steps. While walking I met some cool birds, you most probably saw on any of the TV channels where they have programs on birds and other animals and they show how some of them is distracting a predator and getting it away from its nest and eggs or babies. At first I was fooled by the little bird, I thought something happened to it, while I was walking towards it I saw like its wing is hurt or broken, and still trying to run and fly away. I did not pay much attention to it just kept on going towards the coordinates, it was even crying, I felt sorry for the little bird, but what could I do, it was running away from me, no chance to catch and bring to anywhere. Then at a point it just flew away like nothing happened. I still did not really think of anything at this point.
So as I'm walking and re-reading the logs and description of the geocache, which I usually read. I saw this topic from time to time coming up on different places if people actually read the description or not, so I do. It helps or if not that it shares information you can learn from. It is part of the game this makes it great. So while reading walking over the below bridge.
|The bridge and the flood behind|
Missing the bridge? Oh I guess just like all the cars usually took this route to get where they wanted. It was partially taken by the flood and the the rest had to be gone and they just started to rebuild it. As I learned from the cop. So how did the cop show up, and why? There was no one anywhere here, not a single muggle, quiet a bit windy but perfect to start a good search. So as I walked the last 50 meters or so I see a car coming. First I thought why is the other side not closed? Then I started to get the picture, it is a police car. Great news, they are good in searching, I'll ask him to help... unless he gets me to jail or fines me. So he pulls over slowly, - just like in the movies when something is happening at such a speed that you say to yourself: Come on, we all know the window will go down... - so he slowly pulls the window down and as we are in the southern area with a perfect local accent he asked something. Now I knew I'm in trouble, I do not speak this accent at all, this is English but one of the hardest ones. What should I do, run? no chance too far and he has a car filled with all the goodies to take me down. I just asked him to repeat what he was saying, and I guess he immediately figured out I'm not from the area. Let me drop more picture here ...
|The road, at least what is already rebuilt|
He switched to the more understandable accent and asked what am I doing in a closed area? I knew the best way to deal with the cops is to be honest simple like that. So I told him I am looking for a geocache, which is magnetic so there should be something a magnet sticks to, which at the location would probably be a guard rail, but there is not a single piece. His face turned from serious to more relaxed, I was hoping it is not the I got someone to fine finally then I can go home face... So he knew about the game, he even found one accidentally in a forest. And then we started talking for at least 20-30 minutes. We discussed many topics from the regular where am I from to the good that I speak good English and the travelling etc. etc. I have to say he was really friendly and he explained that I am not supposed to be on that road not even on foot, they are rebuilding it and till the closed sign is out there no one may enter. Then I asked why he came by? He explained that some people still use the road and he fines them he comes by multiple times per day. And the best way to understand is with an example as we just discussed this a car comes where I parked, he spots the police car and turns around immediately. The cop said you see there is one, he spotted him that is why he turned around.
|The view form the bridge|
As chatting there I was thinking what if he does not let me go? Gets me in... How am I going to call to get me out? These are the geocaches which gives you great memories. Now the small problem if the geocache was taken by mother nature and missing in action. At the end of our chat he wished me more luck with the other geocaches and we just went the opposite direction.
Oh did I forget anything? oh yeah the matrix... This time let's talk about one that is harder to fill over time, the earlier you started playing the easier it was.
|Finds by hidden month|
The finds by hidden month. Once an older geocacher told me when you go to a place always go for the oldest geocaches in the area, they have the biggest chance to disappear before you can revisit. Cache owners retire, stop playing, even die (unfortunately geocaching is not a solution for living forever) and then their caches are left till gone and at some point hey archive them. As you can see on my stats I am missing many from the early months. In the really beginning not many active players managed to hide a geocache so that explains why not many existed and at some point I guess around 2007 it started to pick up and more and more players started to hide.
As a preparation for this trip, I searched for geocaches hidden in the area in a month missing from my matrix, I have to say there were a few but not enough to fill all the gaps and as you can see one was already gone before I arrived. And I had to drive 30 minutes to this one from the hotel. I put the effort but mother nature did not want me to have that gap filled, no worries I will try my best at other ones.
Before you think I forgot about the bird let me finish that story. As you cannot see on the above picture the bird that is how tricky it was. I cannot say it was a boy or a girl, but it was a bird for sure. While walking back to the car and being happy that I got away without making this my most expensive DNF at around the same location I heard the same crying I am hurt sound from the little bird... That was the point when as looking at it I realised how brilliant actor this bird is. He fooled me on the way to the coordinates and now again, I slowed down to see what will happen. And there you go the bird saw me not moving while it was trying to run away from me, so he changed course and moved towards me like: 'Look I'm an easy target, get me'. Then I stepped towards it and the show continued till I was far enough then it flew away. Now the other cool thing I saw as at this stage I was observing it is that it did not just fly away straight back to its nest along the road, but it flew towards some trees in case I was looking I'll see it there and not back at the nest. Isn't it cool to see that what they capture on camera as a way of distracting the predators is really there all you need to do is just see.
|The flooded area... a small part of it|
As I learned form the cop the water level on this area is really high as you can see the trees are pretty much learning to live underwater.
I'd like to thank the cache owner for this hide, even now that I had to log a DNF and that I drove long to try to get it it was a great DNF.
I'd also like to thank the cop for the nice talking and letting me go.
As a summary, if you are caught in action, just be honest that is the fastest way out of the situation. Nowadays most cops might be aware of the game and most of them might even know where it is hidden as they might have caught multiple geocachers at the same location and when you already found it show it to them so they do not suspect anything bad.