Saturday, October 31, 2015

365 True Things: 216/Frivolity

I am not especially into Halloween, but this Halloween I had a mission: to hunt down a night cache—a geocache that requires darkness and illumination (headlamps were our weapon of choice) to locate. It's called "Shivers in the Dark!!! 'A Night Hike' Returns..." Our friend Alistair told us about it, said it's one of the best caching experiences hereabouts.

So this evening, after a late-afternoon viewing of the movie Sicario (timed to avoid any early-evening trick-or-treaters—yes, I'm no fun, but honestly: I don't think we get trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, and I'd rather just avoid the possibility that a few might show up on our doorstep and expect candy), a stop at the market to pick up dinner fixings, and dropping by the house to feed the animals, we were off on an adventure! The hunt started on a dirt path in the former Fort Ord, an oak savannah wonderland—which at night becomes veritably spooky, what with long skeins of lovely lace lichen dangling from the tree branches, and spiky clumps of leafless poison oak dotting the landscape, but also plenty of open meadowland (the "savannah" part of oak savannah) to lure you ever deeper into the dark woods.

We were following little reflectors (I mean, "glowing orbs"), very bright, along the trail. "There's one!" I'd exclaim, and off we'd head in its direction. "There's another! and another!" The haunted forest had us in its thrall. (Occasionally we'd see glowing orbs down on the ground, in the grass—turned out those were spider eyes. Very reflective at night.)

We knew we were on the right track when we found the Shrunken Skull of Doom, followed by the Mask of Death. Soon a large hairy spider danced into our view. A raven, cawing "Nevermore," beckoned us onward. And then . . . we lost our way. We were still following the glowing orbs, but they brought us back to near where we'd started! What?

We wandered around scratching our heads for quite some time, then—not being quitters— decided to start over! When in doubt, do it again! The spiders may have been our cue on that count.

And so we did, and this time we noticed some glowing orbs off in a direction we hadn't followed before. When we bumped into the Bloodless Bat, we knew we were on the right path.

And yes: soon we spotted a telltale row of glowing orbs and the Cache Guardian, doing a serious job of guarding the sought-after ammo can, which was full of loot. Very fun, very imaginative, and a great way to spend a Halloween evening.

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