One was straightforward enough...I couldn't find it on my first two tries because it wasn't actually there. I was at the correct spot, but the cache container had been muggled (aka stolen.) The owner checked on it, confirmed that it was gone, put a new one in its spot, and Bob's your uncle...a very quick find for me on my third visit.
A second cache owned by the same guy proved a little trickier. I did eventually find the necessary clue at stage 1 (did YOU notice the three-digit numbers etched into the bolt heads on the left? You may need to click on the picture to see them.)
|The bolts in question were about waist-height on a post, helping to hold up a gate.|
I then tried to get to the final stage back in the fall but was defeated by wicked, marauding thorn bushes. I swore that I would return in winter with a machete. Well, it may have been the beginning of spring, but there was significantly less underbrush, and I was armed: I made the hike to the final site with GPS receiver in one hand and handheld garden shears in the other! One more down.
Number three: no explanation other than that I must have been blind the first time around. Solved the puzzle at stage 1 with no problem, got to stage 2, couldn't find a darned thing. The second time, I all but tripped over the container...go figure. It was exactly where it should have been and I just missed it. (But isn't the view from that cache site something??)
Number four was a raging beast. There's a guy in my area who gets his jollies out of hiding caches so well that people have a terrible time finding them...I've run into a few of his before. This particular one had a terrain rating of 2 out of 5, meaning not sidewalk but not terrible terrain either, but a difficulty rating of 4 out of 5. I actually think the latter was underrated, in retrospect. After a thoroughly frustrating stomp around in the woods looking for it the first time, a friend gave me a small hint and I went back today. Even knowing the general sort of hide I was looking for, it took me an hour to find the damned thing!
And this is why.
This is where I was looking for it. Forested area, tons of dead leaves and downed branches.
A better picture of the wooden container with the tube inserted into the hole. Again, bear in mind that this piece of wood was placed upside-down on a forest floor littered with leaves and sticks and random pieces of wood. The fact that I managed to turn over the right piece of wood was little less than serendipitous...no wonder it took me so long to find the blasted thing. Talk about a needle in a haystack!
But I did find it, and that's what matters...another one bites the dust. There's nothing special about the actual containers when you find them most of the time: the fun for me is the hunt (and the puzzle-solving as well, for the puzzle caches.) To each his own form of entertainment!