So I’m a bit late writing about it, but here it goes. My review of last Saturday’s Kearney Geopicnic. Prepare to laugh, prepare to cry, prepare for…
To start with, my journey began on Friday with a rained out morning of bus duty that might have helped give me the cold that ruined my Sunday. The afternoon wasn’t so bad, but that was before I hit St. Joseph, MO and began to start going through pockets of light and heavy rain. I never truly got out of it until after Lincoln, and some sections made me quite happy that my tires had been replaced before instead of after this trip. Making my way to Lincoln, NE, I met up with 8601 and transferred my equipment to his truck before hitting the road for Kearney.
We could have made it sooner, but between a few forgotten items at home, the rain, and a need to grab some food, the day ended around 10 PM when we finally arrived. Thankfully, TC and a friend had arrived earlier and had already set the tents up, so settling in was easy. Both of us started walking around and we finally caught up with some other cachers at a small fire. Getting to see some other friends again was great. It was cool to see Hawser there, who I haven’t seen in over a year and had been off the radar since the Pants on Fire incident last October. As people began to turn in, a few of us, mainly Hawser and I at first, took a seat at the nearby shelter. Elmer’s Mayor and Bunch showed up later, followed by my friends as we all hung out to exchange stories. It was a nice way to relax at the end of the day. Even more so considering that heavy clouds helped shut down the astronomy event Twinstars had helped set up.
The next day, 8601 and I woke up early, a byproduct of our respective jobs. As a joke, we set up chairs outside TC and our friends tent and wait for them to get up. We got a good laugh when they opened the door and we started clapping and cheering, even though nothing had been going on. After that, we packed into the Blazer and drove into town for breakfast and a quick stop at some stores.
Once back at the campsite, we got ready for the picnic. I prepared the make-up for a real joke TB (I’ll talk about that one next time) as they loaded up some chairs into the Blazer. Once ready, we headed off. The picnic wasn’t too far away, but it was easier to load all our equipment and drive it. Once there, we started signed in and started meeting some other people. I hadn’t seen Jynjur or HuskerMagna since January, and I got some odd looks for my TB as people tried to get the number. I dropped off my Cache-O-Rator coin (which I later regretted) and we prepared for the festivities to begin.
The picnic started off with food, and lots of great food had been brought. With only hours having passed since breakfast, I went light with the food. Once that was done, awards were given out for milestone caches. Doogie Dog got a cool award for his 1000th find…a glass container engraved on the side and full of dog biscuits. He got excited about that one. After the awards, we launched right into signing the log books for the Delorme and 93 County challenges. Most of us signed both, though not everyone. Since Omaha couldn’t make it, Sioneva filled in, doing a great job introducing everyone…and making comments of her own. Getting to sign the logs was one of the highlights of the day, officially being able to say that I completed the challenges.
After this, Zoolution got everyone to come over so that I could get our group photo, followed by photos of the challenge signers and a quick check of how many people showed up. We were then split up into groups for the event caches. This was fun. Besides getting to cache with some other people, some great work was done on the caches themselves. One required us to go fishing, casting out to try and catch a moterized fish and ring out in a small pond. Another looked like a basic bird feeder, but was high out of reach. One was a multi where each stage had sealed envelopes with playing cards in them. A fourth one had numbers on little pieces of wood which we had to add up to 157, and a final one was just hidden with evil intentions at Zoolution’s campsite. After each find, we had to go back to Zoolution to turn in our coordinates and get a new one. We were all set to pass people up early on, then we kept getting caught with caches we already had gone after and wasted some time waiting for one we hadn’t. We finished last, but that’s okay. At the end when they had us look open up the envelopes to see what our poker hand was, our team won with a pair of Aces. We one a box of matchbox cars. LOL.
That evening, after the festivities of the day ended, they had the famous cobbler set up for people to enjoy. While that was going on, Twinstars and I were set up off to the side with binoculars and my telescope to give people and chance to see the heavens. We drew a good crowd, with many staying there so the could see different things. I moved around a lot to show different objects while Twinstars focused on showing the moon and Jupiter. From the logs people left, it seems a lot of people really enjoyed this part of the day, which made it worthwhile. After the horrible Friday weather, Saturday gave us a spectacular day, and a great evening.
One downside of the picnic was not getting to experience the famed night cache that had been advertised. I had heard that they did a great job last year, and I was looking forward to this, but it didn’t happen. One rumor I had heard was that it wasn’t ready in time. Oh well, hopefully they put it in next year.
Sunday ended the weekend, especially for me. I had to make the trip back to Kansas City with a growing headache and a full blown cold. But, we got a few stops in for caches that TC and 8601 didn’t have yet. Then we made a trip to my cache in Lincoln to do maintenance on it. After that we stopped to grab the Alphabet Challenge between Lincoln and Omaha and make a stop at a spot where TC was looking to place a cache. That’s a cache I can’t wait to see get off the ground. We even got some rest in Omaha at their apartment and grabbed a bite to eat before I went home. But it still sucked with the headache and cold.
I need to finish handling the photos so I can get them posted. Beyond that, it was a great trip. Oh…one bad thing really ruined it for me. My first geocoin, the cache-o-rator I talked about in a previous post, was stolen from the picnic. I had set it with some other “Discover Only” coins with a stick stating that on it. Yet by the end of the event caches, I went to pick it up and it was gone. Nobody has stepped forward about it, despite several notices. Nobody seems to be getting on to log it, or else I might have thought it was grabbed by accident. That put a big damper on my day, and I still have my fingers crossed that it will pop up and I can get it back. But after a week with no word, it is beginning to look like it was stolen. With that, I may not leave a coin for discovery only out again.
So that’s my review of the picnic. I had lots of fun meeting new people and seeing familiar ones. The event caches were well done, and it was great to see that many awards and challenge completions. Until next year….