“No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy” ~ German field marshal, known as Moltke the Elder, believed in developing a series of options for battle instead of a single plan.
As any experienced geocacher would do, I made a list of the final 120 some odd caches I needed to find to clamor up to 2,000 in May 2021. My plan was to finish up by the end of summer, culminating with the geocache titled: Shelrik’s Center of the Universe (GC1WYHN)
As with all plans … the Universe had other ideas.
The summer of 2021 proved to be challenging for me to geocache on a consistent basis amongst the other activities I inflict myself with: work, helping friends, social life, relationship.
I focused on finishing up the Washington State Counties Challenge because by virtue of finding these specific geocaches it would increase my find count simultaneously. Again, another strategic plan that worked … somewhat.
That challenge cache guided me to visit family in the Spokane area as the counties remaining were all adjacent to Spokane county.
In June 2021, I ran off to Las Vegas with my bros which they are somewhat tolerable about my game play. I picked up a few more in the places that we visited because as we all know … geocaches are everywhere.
In the Pacific Northwest, with the sunny weather settling in, everyone crams 9 months worth of activity into the 3 months of summer. Between my outside house projects, having fun with my girlfriend, Sounders matches, the mask mandate being lifted … it left little time to geocache in my priority scale.
In July 2021, I added in the fun of West Coast Country Heat – the country western dance team I joined – parades and performances. Plus all of the above. I managed to prioritize Lake 22, Concrete and Darrington areas and Whidbey Island so that my geocache find counter kept bumping up.
By August 2021, I visited the Long Beach, WA, and Seaside, OR with my girlfriend, who also tolerates my geocaching game play, but doesn’t shut it down either.
Then … Geocaching HQ released yet another promotion to encourage geocachers to get out there – my slogan. Reach The Peak started on August 6th. Basically, finding geocaches equalled a point value. Each month has an assigned “peak”, and the elevation is represented in meters. As you gather up points, you gain elevation until you (yes, you guessed it) reach that peak.
MY race to 2,000 was renewed by this promotion! I was able to reach the peak in August, September, and October (I realize it’s only the first week of October) Finally, I was within 13 finds to 2,000.
The Final 13.
I had a rare, shared day off with WCP24 – my sister / consummate Geocaching buddy – yesterday (Monday) I explained my plan for the day: driving 3.5 hours southbound to the shadow of Mount St. Helens, and the surrounding area.
She was down for that even after returning from a long weekend trip to Disney World in Orlando. She got zero sleep the entire time, but I digress …
We loaded up the geomobile (2014 Subaru Outback named Millennium Subaru) for this perilous trip that’ll end with unpaved forest roads and car gobbling potholes.
We started off the day with a smiley, and it continued that way until the 13th: Sherlik’s Center of the Universe.
I didn’t want this to be the ending of Clark Griswold’s National Lampoon’s Vacation at Wally World: closed.
With much trepidation, we exited the Millennium Subaru to fan out for our search. The coordinates on our respective phones were bouncy due to the tree cover, and lack of a signal on the mountain.
FOUND IT! I was able to make the find to my relief. I would hate to think driving all the way out here and not complete the planned geocache find.
We didn’t have a ton of time to celebrate as the time was ticking, we needed to get back to Lake Stevens, and it was getting late. So we kamikazed our way home instead of geocaching.
I purchased the Geocoin of 2,000 Finds with it’s travel version in anticipation of this inevitable event. I’m gonna post this, and activate my coin in celebration. I definitely EARNED this one, above all others.
Until next time, let’s get out there!