The time: 0930
The date: March 17-18, 2007
The place: Asheville, NC
The players: HawaiianNinja, RedwingGreg, Rasj, Cache-n-Kerry, and
Hockeyhick, hereafter known as the “Upstate South Carolina Tube
The mission: Tube Torcher Two (GCWA47)
After what seemed like an eternity in covert planning, the time had
come to face our most daunting geocache yet. After driving up and
meeting at our hotel, it was time to tackle the treasure hunt that we
had all been talking about.
We had reserved rooms at a local hotel, as we knew, that though our
confidence level of completing this in one day was high,
unpredictability lies beneath the comforts of the streets. The
original Tube Torcher was legendary, and based on all we have read and
heard, this one was more complicated and dangerous than the first.
When the first day was done, and darkness had settled in, we were at
best three-forths from completion, but excited and exhausted, all at
once. After a fine steak supper, and some well-needed sleep, our weary
bodies awoke on Sunday morning. We headed downstairs for breakfast,
and then to packing for our departure. Suited up, we headed out
again, this time with a “Do-or-Die” attitude, and a renewed
anticipation for what lied ahead.
From the beginning to the end, at every turn along the way, we never
knew what to expect. What may lurk around the next corner, the next
hole, or the next tube?
It’s very difficult to write of this cache without giving hints and
clues, as we are now a part of an elite group, and with that
distinction also comes the responsibility of keeping that which
happens in the tubes, within the tubes, no matter the cost.
So, with that in mind, and without giving any secrets away, let me
just tell you what we learned on this trip.
We learned that there is no graceful or inconspicuous way for four
men dressed in
helmets, head-lamps, knee-pads and rubber waders to emerge from a
storm-drain in the midst of a shopping center parking lot.
We learned that Kerry has a knack for driving and an unbelievable
ability of finding her way around the city to find us without benefit
of neither map *or* GPS.
We learned that bodies were not meant to be bent sideways for extended
periods without serious back-aches.
We learned that $20.00 was well-worth the price for waders, knee-pads
We learned that crawling for miles makes for very sore wrists and knees.
We learned that HawaiianNinja gets to travel….a lot!
We learned that we ALL snore.
We learned that Roy has more geocoins that he knows what to do with.
We learned that stray cats scare easily.
We learned that Greg isn’t fond of spiders.
We learned that ducks can scare the be-jee-zees out of even the manliest of men.
We learned that a hockey stick makes for a grand bushwhacking tool.
We learned that muck is…well…*mucky!*
Most of all, we learned that we all share a sense of teamwork and
satisfaction that few outside the USCGA experience, and it was the
same feelings that we had after completing Bradley’s Bottom. Each
person was an integral part of the fingers of the hand, the hand that
grabbed and seized the cache container at the end, and held it
triumphantly above the heads, coveted it, as if it were as important
to us as winning the Stanley Cup trophy is to a hockey player.
We were the first group entirely from the Upstate that made the trip, and made
the commitment. Rest assured, I am positive that we won’t be the last.
Should you choose to embark on this journey, keep your eyes and ears
open and keen at all times. Heed every warning and instruction well.
Do not take anything for granted, and whatever you do, be prepared,
for this cache is like nothing that you have ever experienced.
The Flame burns on.
Long live the Flame.