Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
December 2022
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The cache was all there but I’m not

After our return from Burg Hochosterwitz and having dinner in Velden on the edge of Wörthersee, we went back to our guesthouse and I decided to do an evening caching run. I knew there were a couple up on a nearby hill, and with it being light until late I figured I had a good couple of hours before it was too dark.

I had heard that the path went up through a lovely gorge. What wasn’t quite so obvious was just how gloomy it would be within its narrow green confines even before the sun had gone down. The two photos here were actually taken on my return trip at the beginning of dusk, and it was actually much darker than these 1 second time exposures would suggest.

The path climbed steadily but not entirely in the direction I wanted, before hitting a rather confusing junction. At this point I realised I was closer to a cache that was different from the one I was aiming for, and so I decided to visit that one first instead. After finally picking the best path, and then doing about 80m of cross country, I came out at an interesting location partway up the hill. In the second vertical photo below you can see the small stream that greeted me, flowing in a 1m wide man-made watercourse across the face of the hill.

What was curious was where it came from. It flowed out of a culvert, a bit over 1m high, shown in the third (slightly underexposed) photo … and this was where the GPSr was indicating the cache was hiding. I did check a few surrounding hidey-holes in case I was wrong, but eventually I was reduced to staring at the hole thinking “will I, won’t I?”.

I couldn’t help myself really.

The shoes and socks came off and I took the plunge. The water was only a bit over ankle deep, the fish ran away (although I could hear them, Gollum-like, in the distance), I could bend over enough to shuffle into the void, the spiders were deterred by waving a small stick, and my torch revealed the authentic looking “beam” that was hiding the cache (although it didn’t reveal the other end of the tunnel). The log was duly signed and the cache returned to its hidey-hole, I dried my feet and put my shoes back on, and headed off to my original target.

This was near a lookout that gave fantastic views over Wörthersee and the surrounding mountains. In the first photo below, you can see the hotel complex where we stayed in the lower left corner, and the main part of Velden is at the end of the lake. The second shot is to the left of the first and shows more of the peaks across the lake.

The sun was about ten minutes away from setting when I started heading back down, and apart from the dim light in the gorge it was still quite light by the time I got back to the hotel around 9, with two more caching smilies for the collection and a stupid grin on my face.

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