Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Geocaching - Wagga Endurance weekend

After the success of the Gong gangsters assault on Bathurst back in November talk was of where we could go for our next assault. Based on a very technical formula, which I can’t explain we decided Wagga was the likely spot. We recruited a new member in Big Matt to our team and after months of planning we picked a suitable weekend. Coincidental it just happened to be the same weekend others from around the state had also decided to ascend on Wagga. An official event was organised to mark the special occasion, thus another find.
As the weekend of the 24-25th May drew near our plan was simple. Get as many traditional caches as possible between Friday night and Sunday afternoon. As our adventure unfolded we made good time down the highway bagging everything along the way. Work restraints meant we had to catch up with Steeba and Big Matt just outside Wagga, but once all together we continued zigging and zagging our way into Wagga. Just after midnight we wisely decided to make camp for the night. The thought of pressing on was tempting but the burnout factor also ran high.

A good nights sleep on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River was broken by the sounds of thousands of galahs singing in the trees. Nevertheless there was caching to be done and no time for sleep-ins. Into Wagga for the first time and we quickly picked up from the previous night. 1 then 2 then 3 and so on, reaching double figures was very quick. After car-pooling it wasn’t long before the little memorable moments began to happen. A chat with the station master here, the donning of a mask there, the drive-by caches, a game of AFL also, it all added to the fun as we headed out of town for a big loop which took us to the ‘The Rock' and through ‘Livingstone N.P’

On our return to Wagga we bagged a few very unique caches. Someone in town had put a lot of work and pride into their caching containers. These containers and hide techniques remain the highlight of my trip…. Simply they were awesome. Occasionally we’d bump into a few of the other teams that had come to Wagga, but it wasn’t till dinnertime when we got to meet the locals and others from a field. Dinner was at the local sportsman’s club and apart from the long wait it was great to meet and catch up with other cachers. While sharing a story was fun we all agreed there was a whole heap more caches to be found so it was back on the road. A few more good hides and a practical joke on the Canberra cachers all made for a good night.

Eventually the time had come where part of our team had to bid us farewell and head for home. Farewell to them and more caching for us. The city was alive with drunks and young people having fun, which often made cache hunting difficult. With our hit/miss ratio not very good we chose to abandon our nights caching.

Sunday morning dawned and it felt like I’d been hit with a sledgehammer. A massive migraine was brewing, the head and stomach were working against one another, but it takes more than that to slow me down. By 7.00am we were off in search of more caches, just at a slower pace this time. By mid morning we had pretty much cleared out all of the traditional caches in Wagga and started for home. However a cacher can never just head home, there is always one more to find and so it was that we chose to come home via the Olympic Way. Not the most direct route but very fruitful for Hoojar and myself as we nabbed another 25 caches along this road.

As I bagged my last cache in Goulburn some impressive stats were collated. From Friday night till Sunday afternoon I had amassed 133 finds, travelled some 1450km and was sporting a migraine from hell, but it was all worth it. To my fellow Gong Gangsters, thanks to all of you for another great endurance weekend. Where to next!