This afternoon I finally found the time to go and take care of a few geocaching tasks that have been on my to-do list for a very long time.

My primary goal for the day: retrieve and archive my first ever placed cache, The Box. I’ve given this a lot of thought. Well, not exactly. But I have given it some thought and today just felt right. As I was making the hike I remembered that the weather was very much the same two years ago when WYlostinMA and I made the same hike on our lunch break… unusually warm for what should be winter. We were looking for a place just outside of the property of C&S Wholesale Grocers, where we both worked at the time. We hoped that if we found the right spot for the cache that we’d be able to pop out the back door of the facility whenever we wanted to and check on it. We succeeded for the most part. But, this being my first cache placement, I hadn’t taken the time to explore the area in advance. I do that all the time now. If I’d done it for this cache, I’d probably have picked another place.

Geo wagon parked under the power linesThe local floraThe C&S Westfield FreezerOne of the early finders of The Box refered to the area as “the industrial wilderness”. That pretty much covers it. The main access to the cache is a power line cut through that runs along the eastern edge of the C&S property. The whole hike takes you through a land cultivated with mud bogging ATV trails and illegal trash. From where I parked, even today, half a mile from the cache, you could hear the incessant dull roar of over a hundred refridgerated trailers running. It was so pervasive that a pair of ATV riders got within 30 feet of me on the trail before I even heard them. Nice guys. They slowed down and gave me a nod instead of zooming past and splashing me with mud. In short, there’s nothing so redeeming that would make me want to place or hunt a cache here, these days. I feel it’s a kind of blemish on my cache placement record. I’ve been short in more than one of the logs I’ve written for caches that were in places as bad or worse than this and I hate feeling that people who visit here to find my cache are being unnaturally kind about their experience.

The Box at homeIt’s too bad that the surrounding area is such a dump, because the cache location itself was superb. It was a little above eye level in a cradle of pine tree branches, and covered in a camoflauged netting. When I placed it I spent not too little time worried that it wasn’t hidden well enough… that the casual passerby would see it right away. With all the ATV trails nearby I assumed there would be non-cachers close by on a weekly basis. Two years later, I seriously doubt that was ever a concern. There was one time though that my choice of hiding spot won out over a couple of nightshift supervisors. Earlier that same day WY and I made a luchtime trip out to the cache. This involved a crawl through a frozen drainage culvert and a sprint across a partially frozen swamp before we reached the cover of the woods. Later that night, our footprints were discovered and thought to belong to individuals who had snuck into the facility and possibly stolen something. When those pair of shift supervisors (and the building’s head of security) followed the tracks into the woods all they discovered was that they ended near a large pine tree and didn’t seem to go anywhere else. Three people milling around for almost twenty minutes never found the cache that was right in front of them. I still think that’s hilarious.

So, this cache has paid it’s dues, done it’s time, served it’s purpose. Yesterday, when I stumbled on a place to which I could relocate it, the only question left was when I could retrieve it. Today was that day. It’s not going away though, it’s just moving to a better home. Oh, and getting a new name: Lovely, Dark and Deep. Frost, anyone?

As for that other task I mentioned, that’s a tale for another day.


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