October 2017 NoVAGO Spotlight Question: Scary Caching Story
October NoVAGO Spotlight Question: What was the scariest thing that happened to you while geocaching?
"From another log on another night cache, ca. 2014: https://coord.info/GLEZNJB9
Night creatures is right! We didn't read any of the logs going into this, so WV Kiwi and I were in for a surprise!
We started off with the other nearby night cache, then proceeded to this one. Since she'd already been here, I offered to turn back, but on we went!
We got a little turned around when one of the reflectors was hidden behind some leaves, at which point every curved stick on the ground started to resemble a snake. I think the night paranoia and the tiredness from the day started to set in.
When we finally found stage one, I stayed back to guide the way while she continued on. After a slippery trek, she reported that she was hearing disturbing sounds, like snakes, coming from GZ. I joined her and heard the same thing - a definitely animal hiss that sounded like venting steam. We also noted that the container looked as though it had been hastily tossed back in its hiding place. When we heard the sound a few more times, we decided it was time to go.
tl;dr: Didn't read the logs, heard the hiss, NOPE'd our way out of there. I'll claim the log, based on the previous notes from the CO."
"It was back in 2012 that I did a two-stage multi (now archived) near the sports complex in Virginia Beach. Both stages were in the middle of very tall weeds, but that's not what was a scary moment for me. It was coming across two marked gravestones at the final stage in the middle of tall weeds that caused me to stare blankly at the gravestones, and I was like "Oh....My.....God." Who knew they were even buried there before the CO picked that spot anyway? I believe those two people were from the early 1900s? I don't have a whole lot of scary moments, but I remember this being my first creepy/weird experience while caching, and I'm pretty sure other cachers who have attempted that cache had the same experience."
"This has happened the three times we experienced medical emergencies.
The first was the time we were far from the visitor center in Great Falls park when Jeff fell and hit his nose. Blood was everywhere. Luckily it was more blood than damage but we did end up in the emergency room.
The second time was when we were geocaching on a hill in Maryland. I was sure I knew where the find was. I headed toward it without seeing the small, ankle height chain fence. I fell, hit my head and got my first and only black eye. I told everyone that Jeff hit me.
The third time was recently at Ft. Ward. This was our third trip there to find this cache. Jeff wanted to veer off to check out one of the signs again. I went to the car to wait. He tripped on the steps at one of the views. His nose suffered another trauma."
"I can't say that I've had many experiences that were very scary other than self-inflicted situations that I could easily get out of. In tunnels, up trees, etc."
The Unstealthy Monkey:
"I don't think I have had an life-threatening things happen to me. I had my run-ins with deers and snakes. But just last week while looking for Magic: Black Mana (GC1RXTG), I nearly came face-to-face with a big wild turkey in the woods! I was looking down watching my step in the tall, tall grass and thorns when out of nowhere, this big black mass popped up and flapped itself right in front of me and ran off! Scared the sh*t out of me! Who would have thought a wild turkey lives in the woods of Sterling, VA?!?!?"
"At one cache ( https://coord.info/GC5ZAWD ), I was trying to place the ammo can back into its hiding place, in between two large rocks. When all of a sudden, a very large rock started to move towards me. My first instinct was to pull out my hands and to grab the 100+ lbs rock to prevent it from falling on top of me. I have no idea why I did such a thing except to say that maybe I did not want the cache container to get crushed?! But soon after that, the rock stopped moving thanks to a very sturdy log underneath. Whew! I hate to imagine if that sturdy log wasn’t there to prevent the rock from falling on me."
"Finding https://coord.info/GC39PYE was really a challenge. I had to do a little rock climbing and that was really scary. I felt like I was going to become one of those statistics: Tourist on vacation in Hawaii does something stupid and ends up at the bottom of a cliff."
"I feel so lame... geocaching has actually been a rather safe activity for me. A few falls and scratches but nothing major!”
"During that 2011 road trip to Washington, I learned how little I knew about the rest of the country. I had never been to any of the western states during the winter, and spoiler alert November is winter. We had great weather on the trip west and were in Seattle for a week with generally nice weather only requiring a light jacket or long sleeve shirt instead of a tshirt. But Thursday evening the bell hop clued us in to a storm that was making its way towards Seattle. But the weather report said rain and some sleet but the temperature in the city was going to be in the 40s so nothing should stick. But the bell hop was awesome and knew we had driven in from out of town (PA plates on the car we had them park) and he let us know about Snoqualmie pass and that they were looking to get a few feet. We were not appropriately concerned about it and he dropped the bomb on us. When that much snow falls it isn't like the plows are out there clearing it away and a few hours later you will drive through, nope, they close the road. So faced with a snow storm that would hit the area around noon on Friday we packed up and were on the road early Friday morning. We made it through the pass but had hundreds of miles of mountains to deal with. The snow caught up to us by the time we passed into Idaho and instead of stopping to grab all the counties along the way, I found myself in the drivers seat not willing to even get off the road because the snow was accumulating so fast and we were not carrying chains like we should have been. I followed a plow truck for a number of hours though mountain passes because he was cutting a path in the snow and the other lane wasn't even an option. It was late in the night before we finally stopped a bit north of Salt Lake City, and that was due to the snow fall that was so heavy that I could no longer see the road and make out the sides to travel safely. We pulled into a motel, that happened to have a cache in the parking lot next to it and we spent the night. We got to dig the easy park and grab lpc out from under enough snow that the only reason we knew it was there is because the light pole was sticking out of the top. It did give us our Utah cache. But the drive was the most terrifying caching experience I have had. We were far less prepared than we thought we were. The number of vehicles that were in the ditch as we followed that huge plow truck were too many to count and we saw more people end up in the ditch while trying to drive in the lane the plow wasn't in that we knew we would have no chance if we didn't stick to his tail.”
"It was a dark and stormy night... No that's not true!
Ok it was the end of a long caching day in Delaware, and the decision was made, just one more cache before we go back to the hotel. Looks easy enough, a historical, Quaker cemetery, out in the country side were we had spent the day. The container was a small, the difficulty rated 1.5. What could be so bad about that? Well there was this wall surrounding it, and the gate was not on the road side but around back, about a 800 foot walk. No problem, we still have about 15 minutes of day light left, the ground is flat, and we have fully charged flash lights for the way back. We walk across the field, around the back of the wall, find the large stone steps with the mason jar cache just as the sun sets. Last cache of the day, all is good. Now back to the car. Its dark and the flash lights are working well, about half way to the road we notice a glow starting to come from behind the walls... the closer to the car, the darker the sky the stronger the glow becomes. The mist is rising, and the glow is growing brighter and brighter. SPOOKY! Finally at the car we have to turn around to see, are there ghosts following us?? No!, The families of the dear departed had decorated some of the graves with solar lights that charged all day and came on after dark. The head stones were glowing in the dark! I don't care that there weren't any ghosts, no more cemetery caches at dusk for us.”
"Not so much scary as well-placed adventure. There was this one time SullyD and I had to hike 0.2 miles around dusk. Someone (not me) thought flashlights would be a good idea, whew! With all the switchbacks, it took us an hour to get there! Then there was this other time NutmegBrownie belayed me over the side of a bridge, above a rushing river.”
"You can read my account of the scariest thing that's happened to me in my log for "The Domino Principal" (GC2PHQ9)
4EverYoungs and I were both swept off our feet inside a storm drain.
Flash light was dropped, under water, which end is up?, knowing you will be swept into pitch black tunnels...
Zgrav, Pfenix and Melinda were somehow able to grab us in the torrent of water and we stood against the storm drain wall as a unit for nearly 40 minutes watching the water levels. For most of that, the water was a little over my knee. Absolutely terrifying and even now, my heart races when I'm confronted with quick-moving water. *shudder* “
"I end up in some scary places while caching because I do it at night after the work day when I travel. This puts me in places I an not familiar with in the dark. I have been in the woods behind deserted mall areas with fog literally circling the ground like in some cheesy horror movie. Usually I am thinking at times like that how everyone who hangs out in places like this dies in these movies.
On another night cache my co-worker and I were searching in a tree. We got about a few feet up with we startled a bird, who scared the heck out of both of us by launching out of the nest right at our heads.
Perhaps the most dangerous situation was while caching around Norfolk. A coworker and I were caching about 10 pm and doing a lot of urban hides (mostly LPC type). As we were traveling around we kept popping in and out of good and bad neighborhoods. There seemed to be no way of predicting how they were laid out. There looked to be a cache behind a flea bag hotel. Based on the map it looked like I could get around the back by driving through a narrow drive on the side. As I turned the corner I noticed that it was a dead end. I was just about to figure out how to get out when two motel room doors opened up. In one was a weather worn lady of the night in some sort of evening wear standing in the doorway. The other doorway was totally dark and empty. I imagine that was the door of her manager's room. I backed quickly out of the lot around the tight corner before I got shot. Looks like they were expecting customers, and I didn't want to interfere with her trade.”
"GC4086Y Joey-Jo Sheepsower Spills the Beans. I found the first two stages easily. The third stage was near where the third stage of the another multicache was but I left those coordinates at home. I might as well wait and come back another day. So, back I came. I found the third stage of the other multicache first. I go off to finish Joey Jo. However, in the meantime, my phone is going crazy with alerts of a thunder storm and my muggle beau calls me to remind we're going to IHOP for the over 55 year old Wednesday night dinner. I tell him not to worry, I changed my plans and am walking back towards the car, which I was because the third and fourth stage of Joey Jo were back in that direction, essentially. Third stage, no problem. Fourth stage, well, the thunder was sounding angrier and angrier. The sky was getting darker and darker. I found the right spot, I figured out the final information, plugged the coordinates in my phone and . . . no that is not right. There's no way this CO put the cache over there. I'm sure he put it on my way back to my car. So I text him with my coordinates and ask for confirmation. He must have read the panic in my text (I did mention in the text that it was about to pour on me) because he texted right back and straightened me out.
I start walking towards the coordinates as it starts to rain. No problem, I've been in the woods before in a rainstorm and I didn't get that wet. I kept walking, after all, what choice do I have. I was no longer dodging raindrops, it was seriously raining. It was also really dark. It figures that I got off on the wrong trail and ended up out on the road. "OK, I'm not going to finish this tonight. I'm going to walk along the road back to where my car is located and go home." That was not such a good idea. It was dark and pouring down rain and the cars probably couldn't see me, so when I got to the dirt road leading back into the park, I ducked down it. "Man, I'm drenched." I considered calling my muggle beau and have him pick me up and take me back to my car. "No, I can be there before he gets here. I know where the path is from here, I can make it."
Down the path I go, did I say path, no, by this time, all paths were little streams. I finally get to about where the GZ was. I get so turned around in the dark and pouring rain. I have no idea how long I looked, a half hour or so, but it was too dark and the the rain was coming down too hard. I had to admit defeat.
With my head hung low, mostly to keep the rain out of my eyes and be sure I stepping in good places, I headed back to my car. I started to hear scary things in the woods. I was beginning to recall every horror movie I ever saw. I walked faster, I saw my car, I broke into a little jog. Ke-rash! I screamed, a loud scream, the scary horror movie guy was after me. I jumped in my car. "Do I lock the doors or tear out. Tear out, tear out!" It wasn't over, "I think the scary horror movie guy is hanging onto my car", I keep hearing thumps. "I do NOT care. I am out of here."
I drove as fast as I could with the road conditions back to Yates Ford Road. "What the . . !" There was an accident on Yates Ford, I had to drive all the way back to 123 to get home. My phone had gotten soaked so it kept turning itself off so I couldn't call home. My muggle beau was going to be so angry. He was, he didn't even want to hear how I was almost murdered by the scary horror movie guy. I made him miss the IHOP dinner and he was not happy.
I finally went back out to to claim this elusive prize. A quick trip down the slightly washed away trail. A little bit of circling until I spy the cache. "Why didn't I see that Wednesday night? Oh, right, it was dark and pouring down rain and I didn't have a flashlight." I head back home. Back home, that is unless the scary horror movie guy is waiting for me. He's probably pretty mad that I dragged his body halfway back to Henderson Road. This could have been (dun dun dun) my last log. “
"This was a recent occurrence which spooked me. I stopped near the posted coords for yvruT yspoT after a CITO and started to work on the puzzle in my car. Eventually I decided to head home as it hadn't clicked. As I pulled away from the roadside, a big white guy in a yellow & orange Hawaiian shirt deliberately stepped in front of my car. I stopped. He didn't move. I signaled and went around him to the left as he snapped pictures of my car. I stopped at the stop sign and he continued following me, yelling obscenities. I made the left turn and had to stop again before making a right on Arlington. The guy was still taking photos and I realized what he was repeatedly yelling was "F@#%ing PIG" and "G$%damned COP" at me. Guess my cover is blown. Sheesh. Yeah, I'm a cop. NOT. Whatever he was planning to do, I was apparently disrupting. Best to leave him be and avoid any confrontation. I wonder what website my car and me are going to end up on.“
I have had crazy muggle encounter that was scary, but the one that brings chills to my spine is this one:
Grove at Arlington and I showed up at Four Miles High (GC1GA93) and all I brought was a 4 foot ladder. Somehow we make that work and I miraculously get up there. It took a few minutes and I signed the cache. As I go to head back down I kind of lock up.
It is not an easy drop for a big boned fell like myself. I looked down at the jagged stones on the hill, all of the briars, and Jeff standing next to my tiny ladder which appeared to be 4 miles away. All I could think of was a firetruck having to come and rescue me off that thing. If that happened a police cruiser would be sure to follow with probably some questions. I debated what was worse… a possible broken leg or possible misdemeanor trespassing charges.
Jeff assured me I could make it so I laid down, so I slowly rolled to the edge and dropped my legs. “Ok” I thought “Here goes nothing.” I just go for it and grab the edge. So I am hanging there and I missed the ladder. Jeff grabbed my foot and pulled it a few feet to the right onto the top rung. I scooched over and dropped on to the ladder. “Hah!” I thought as I landed it “Piece of cake.”
It was that day and this geocache where I made a promise to myself that I would never do anything that stupid for a geocache again.
I have adhered to that promise for the most part.“