Not a hint for caches mentioned

It’s been a while since I’ve done some “good” geocaching.  No lamp posts, no guardrails, nothing with a rating of 1/1.  (Overall difficulty / terrain difficulty)  Nothing too urban that involves park and rides, bus stops, or parking lots.  I haven’t been in the woods in a while or done a good multi-cache.  Well today I broke that dry spell.  I found an awesome series of caches that took me all around uptown Charlotte introducing me to different parks and monuments that honor our veterans.

The main cache in the series was called “Veterans Cache.”  In order to find this cache you had to travel to 4 different parks, cemeteries, and monuments around Charlotte and answer a few questions.  Each cache along the way would give you some numbers that were needed to find the final cache through some simple math.

doughboy sculptures

The first one I did from the series was “Spirit Of the American Doughboy.”  It was at a statue near the center of the city that I’ve driven by many times in the past.  Thanks to geocaching I actually stopped this time and got to learn a little history.  This statue was created by Ernest Moore “Dick” Viquesney (how does a guy named Earl get the nickname Dick?) and is just one of many throughout the country honoring those that fought in World War I.   In order to find the actual container for this cache I had to get a few numbers off the statue and use those to calculate the final cache location about a quarter of a mile away.  All told, it was quick and easy but very interesting.

Moving through Charlotte, and advancing in history a few years, I went to the cache that honored those that fought in WWII, “The Greatest Generation”  Not only does it remember those that passed in the conflict itself it has a nearby plaque with a bit of local history that I found interesting.  If you’re into Charlotte history, or history in general read about the Quartermasters depot.  There’s not much overall, but just a neat little tidbit in case you need to find a random conversation about Charlotte’s role in WWII.  After counting a few names and plugging number into an equation you are off to the the final cache in a nearby nature preserve where there are a few other caches.  The paths in the park aren’t all that well marked and it is easy to get twisted around but you’re not in the wilderness so there is no reason to be afraid.  Once you get to the cache location it’s a pretty easy find.

From here I either got tired, careless, or my brain shut off because I had troubles with the numbers to the last two.  With a little perseverance I got the right numbers though.  First I went to “The Wall.”  A very informative and, as expected, touching memorial to the Vietnam war veterans.  Charlotte’s version of the wall (history of Charlotte’s wall) gives everything from year by year history, poetic quotes, and the names of the 100+ men from Mecklenberg County that gave their lives in the conflict.  It’s almost surprising how peaceful this tiny little triangle of land can be since it is squished in between busy intersections with the Charlotte skyline prominently displayed in the backdrop.  Gathering numbers here to answer questions had my brain spinning.  The questions seemed a little vague but eventually I managed to finagle them enough to make them word and take me to the container about a mile away.

Finally I raced back back in time to the “Lost Cause” cache commemorating the Confederate War in uptown Elmwood/Pinewood cemetery.  This cemetery is absolutely huge and is amazing that it has survived this long on the edge of a quickly growing city like Charlotte.  The monument in the center honoring those that died long ago stands beautifully surrounded by more than 100 headstones and a few large stones filled with history of the war and about the plot of land where these warriors now lay.  The physical container was just outside the cemetery near a local business.

With 4 caches grabbed and numbers clogging up a sheet of paper next to me I went to step one of the final cache.  A nearby VFW.  Rather fitting I’d say.  Nothing to do here but get the post number and do a lot of math.  After checking my calculations a few times and finally making them come out right I was off to another VFW to do more calculations.  As the sun set on a great day of caching I found myself briskly walking through a local park watching the numbers on the GPS go down.  The final coordinates brought me to a very logical spot and after a few minutes of searching with a flashlight I found myself saying “I actually found it!”  Partly because I was glad to not have to come back, and partially because it was a pretty small container to see in the dark.

All told this was an awesome series with only one teensy tiny complaint.  And it isn’t even a complaint per-se, just a pet peeve.  When you have to go through “this much work” to find a cache, the final container should be more than a bison tube hung in a tree.  People need to share their experiences in an actual log.