For the last few weeks, my cell phone and my GPS have been misplaced. Ever since I cleaned out the van, they are gone, and I am actually pretty darned sure they are somewhere in the house, in a 'safe' place. A bit too safe though :p
For more than a year, I have been salivating about a new GPS, but there never was a good excuse to upgrade. I finally found my excuse! And yes, I do realize that most people would replace their cell phone first, but I have found that I do not particularly want to be reachable at all times. So the lack of cell phone is not very inconvenient to me. I am sure the phone will show up again some day. But the lack of GPS, now that hurt!
Yesterday, my new GPS arrived, so what better way to test it than by going geocaching. It is really cool, I can upload waypoints/caches from my computer, so I have been putting many local and less local caches in. To my utter delight, my GPS now can show me which caches are close, what the difficulty is, and part of the hint. I have found out that the part of the hint is not always the part I actually need, but that only adds to the fun, right?
I had a lot of fun finding some caches by daylight, but then I ran out of it. Yes, yes, I know that always seems to happen to me. No problem, I could just stop at a gas station, get gas and find myself a flash light.
Checked my GPS, a few caches nearby, next to a country highway. Off I went, in search of caches. Turns out, I have forgotten how hard it is to find a small pull off in the pitch dark on a fast moving high way with impatient cars behind me. I had passed three caches on the left side of the road before I finally found a safe location for a U turn. Turned around and made it to one of the pull-ofs for a fast and easy cache.
Well... what is considered fast and easy during daylight, isn't always so fast and easy at night. Not to mention that this was so close to the highway, that the cars zooming past was a bit disconcerting. Still, I made it this far, so I got my flash light and got out of the car. No reason not to find a cache which is within 75 feet. Even if it's dark and a bit scary.
My new found courage lasted about two minutes. I was out, trying to figure out where the cache was, when a car drove past and stopped a few hundred feet away. It backed up for a bit and then turned around. I remembered my tactical self defense course and recalled that the best self defense is staying out of trouble. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity to practice that skill.
I speedily made it back to the car, started it, and drove away. When I got in, I saw the car drive past, but it didn't stop. Which was good, because by now my overactive mind had visions of a mass murderer looking for an easy target. Of course, the practical voice inside me told me that this would be a mightily inefficient way to look for victims, so I could stop worrying, and get out of here already. I didn't really worry, but I have to admit that I was in a heightened state of alertness.
I decided that I did not really want to find those other two caches either, instead I would make my way home. A car was following me, and I had the feeling it was the same car. I was so not going to try to find that out by stopping at another lonely pull-off though.
Took me a while to get to the on ramp of the interstate, and that car finally passed me. I glanced at it, to see what night time weirdos would look like. And realized that I had been followed by a State trooper...