Last night a new puzzle cache popped up nearby, and Rich happened to notice the notification email. You never know until you solve the puzzle (or complete whatever the task or activity is) what the real coordinates for a mystery cache are, but we knew because of Geocaching.com’s rules that they had to be within two miles of the posted coordinates. So that meant it would still be close to home. It was worth trying to figure out the puzzle, if we could, and attempt a First Find!
The puzzle turned out to be an unusual one—at least for us, because we haven’t done many geocaches at all lately. I’m sure we’ve missed out on a lot of tricks that mystery cache hiders are using now! But after working with what we thought was the puzzle last night, I noticed something this morning on the geocache page that sent us in another direction entirely. When we noticed this certain discrepancy, the coordinates became clear to us. It really was straightforward once you figured out that particular trick! Now to drive to the location and look for the cache itself.
The location was nothing exciting, to be sure, and it was busy so being stealthy was important and not all that easy. No one bothered us, though. But we looked and looked and just didn’t see many logical hiding spots, and no cache in the few logical spots we did see. We reluctantly gave up for the time being, wanting to confirm with the cache owner that the location was correct. (We knew our coordinates were correct, but it was still possible he had made a mistake when recording them, and that we were not in the right spot.)
Back home, I wrote to the cache owner, who confirmed that it sounded like the right location. He gave us one tiny nudge as to what we were looking for. That was all it took to convince us to return to the location for one more try. This time, perhaps it was the evening light or just a different perspective on things, but I was able to spot the cache (or the minuscule portion of it that was visible) pretty quickly.
The whole time we were thinking that Tundra Wolf, a prolific geocacher from New York, might have already been here and signed the log. He hadn’t logged anything on the geocache webpage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything—if he were in PA on a day trip he probably wouldn’t log his find until later. So I was a bit surprised to open the cache container and see a blank log sheet. We were indeed the First Finders!
- Owner: zzbob
- Location: N 41° 34.081' W 075° 32.271'
- Log Type: Found it
- Date: 14 July 2020
- Original Geocaching.com listing
It was a pleasant surprise to see a mystery cache pop up relatively close by. We puzzled over it for a while last night, and this morning we noticed something that suddenly made the solution clear to us. Our first trip to the cache coordinates wasn’t fruitful, and we were even concerned that we might be in the wrong spot. But with our location doubly confirmed, we tried again this evening, and we were successful! Thanks for a tricky puzzle and hunt.
Found it with Zhanna this evening during our second attempt today.
• Puzzle rating => Devilishly SNEAKY!!!
• Cache Hide rating => Very well concealed, coordinates spot on.
• Cache Location rating => Meh. Nothing much to see here.
Thanks for the cache. We will be checking out some of your other nearby Mystery caches soon.
~Rich in NEPA~