Saturday, November 21, 2009

Doh!

You want to know something funny?

I got lost for the first time while geocaching.

It's funny because I was only 400-some feet from my car. It's even funnier because I had just talked to my Mom's husband, Dan, about setting waypoints. I was saying how for most of the ones around here I don't set a waypoint because I know where I am and the caches I go for aren't too far away. He agreed, but said they were useful in Tucson Mountain Park, especially if you are going on a long hike.

Well guess what?

That's right.
I got lost in Tucson Mountain Park and I didn't set a waymark.

It was the last of five caches I was grabbing before dinner and the sun was setting. I was chitchatting on the phone while making the find. I had been talking with my friend for the previous four finds, and had no problems. I made it back to the car right away every time. Little did I know, this last cache would be different.

I found the last cache and signed the log. When I stood up, I realized I had no idea which way to go. I headed in the direction I thought I need to go, but after wondering around and seeing unfamiliar things . . . I knew I was going the wrong way. I tried the trackback thing on my GPS - but I honestly couldn't figure it out - and I had already circled and zigzagged all over the place.

Knowing I wasn't THAT far away from my car, I started to push the panic button on my keys. I was hoping to get a sound/direction to work with. But after walking around and having no luck with that, I knew I had to be getting farther away from my car.

Tucson Mountain Park

I was probably wondering around for 20 minutes total. I hadn't gone into full panic mode, but the odds were against me. The sun was setting and I left my geocaching bag (water snacks) in the car... because the cache was only 400 feet away! Sheesh. At least I had my cell phone. If I couldn't find my way back I figured I could always call mom and give her my coordinates - I wonder if I would be considered a mystery or virtual cache...

I hung up the phone and set my GPS to the cache I had just found. From there, my second attempt to find the car was successful. Thank goodness!

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Lessons Learned:
*Everything in the desert looks the same!
*Always take your geocaching bag with you.
*Don't talk on the phone while caching. It's too distracting.
*Mark a freakin' waypoint!

P.S. I feel pretty dumb for getting lost so close to my car!


What is Geocaching? Answer here.
Profile for ErikaJean

15 comments:

  1. Eh, it happens. ;)

    Look at the bright side... you got a good blogging story out of it!

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  2. most people who get lost and try to find their way back tend to travel in a circle not even knowing it... that sucks.

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  3. Had the same thing happen a few years ago right after finding a cache at a campground. There wasn't a clear trail back and while trying to make my way back to the trail, I ended up on a different trail and walked right past the area my car was at. When I realized it, I turned back and landed on the correct trail as I backtracked to the car. The only time that has happened to me. This was during the day.

    Yet, on another occasion I had to go off trail to find the cache. This time, working at night, I was able to find my way back to the trail without any help. Usually, this is what happens. Years of being in Boy Scouts as a kid and I've developed a sometimes uncanny internal navigation system.

    But, marking waypoints is always a good thing if you're in unfamiliar territory.

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  4. I can so see this happening to me.

    I'm glad it turned out alright and it didn't last too long.

    Take care.

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  5. never been geo cacheing did i spell that right it sounds interesting and you pics are awesome

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  6. just landed at your blog..you have got nice pics collection and obviously matter too..very impressive...

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  7. We live in South Tucson...snow birds you know! I really can see what you mean. The desert if very decieiving and sometimes unforgiving. Loved the blog.

    b

    http://orencostations.blogspot.com

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  8. We try to mark waypoints if we are on a trail and leaving the car out of site but we honestly don't always do it. We use the map a lot. We have never gotten lost like that.

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  9. Good thing it's not the middle of summer; your results would have been even more dramatic. You got some neat pictures out of it!

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  10. I had this happen to me in a small wooded area in a park...ended up lost in the woods. The only way out I could find was through private property. I ended up sneaking my way through an abandoned lot and then walking around the block back to my car. I think it happens to the best of us.

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  11. haha too funny! and scary all at the same time...GLAD you found your way BACK. oh my.

    I got lost once in my life and I was in KOREA, that was freaky!!!

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  12. Beautiful photos, but I'm very glad you got back safely to post them.
    I want a post card just like that bottom photo!!!

    Annie

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  13. Never been Geocaching, I Letterbox. It's sort of the same concept, people hide a container with a hand carved rubber stamp in it and then people try to find them. I've gotten lost too and felt like a total dork when I realized I too was sooooo close to my car. It happens.

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  14. Wow I would've been terrified!!! Also, the desert looks a lot nicer than I imagined....

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  15. LOL! We had that happen too when we were on vacation. A storm was coming in. We knew we had better make it to the car soon. We were on the top of a hill, filled with cedar trees. It was the first time I had a wee bit of panic while geocaching.

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