Sometimes, you learn about rules the hard way. Hopefully, it goes easy. Sometimes it doesn’t. It depends on your previous experience with the matter. Today, or should I say tonight, I learned what the hours are on some of the local parks…from the police.I loaded up my GPSr and hit the door. The plan was to go get tickets to the new Bond film Quantum of Solace, then grab some caches before and after the movie. Luckily, I got there and found that the I had arrived just in time to get one of the final tickets for the upcoming show. Deciding that this would save me some wait time, I would see it then go caching afterwords.
After the film, I took a look at the GPSr and decided to stop at Cache-in-a-Box first. What looks like a simple cache describes an interesting container. However, logs indicate that the container has changed, a disappointment as I was looking forward to what was there. Parking my car, it was just a simple walk over to the hiding spot, and some searching for the right location. Once found, I grabbed the log and signed it, dropping a TB into the cache.
Back at my car, I went in search of the next spot. I decided on parking a short distance away in Tomahawk Creek Park. Even though my GPSr didn’t say it, I knew that one cache had just been fixed. I tried that one, but struggled to find it. Once home, I realized that even though it had been fixed, I forgot to write down the coordinates. After passing on that, I went after the letterbox hybrid called RACCOON. I began walking around the ball field, and quickly narrowed down where I needed to get off the path a short distance beyond the field. Finding the cache empty of TB’s and coins, I signed the log but decided to head back to my car.
As I approached the field, I began to wish I had down these two in reverse order. I saw a cop pulling up to my car and shining the light. My first thought was a simple drive through, but when they began hovering, I was began to realize that maybe the park had hours. I’m used to parks that have gates if they have hours, otherwise you’re good to walk through them. Shining my flashlight so that they could see I was nearby, they drove around. It was frustrating because I would walk around and as I got close, they kept driving away, much like that Jack Links commercial with Sasquatch. If they had held out a package of Jack Links I’m sure I would have keeled over in laughter. Finally, once behind my car, they stopped. The officer waited until my door was open before getting out. Placing my flashlight down, I asked if there was anything wrong and we quickly got into a discussion about park hours. Explaining that I’m new to the area and am used to gates being an indicator, she was thankfully understanding. She still ran my plates and ID. While waiting for that, I got scolded because I put my hands in my pockets for warmth (she even said “I know it’s cold but please don’t put your hands in your pocket.”).
Finally, once the check went through, she bid me farewell. I avoided bringing up caching, which I always prefer to do if possible, but it wasn’t until I was on my way home that my story of just wondering what was there and wanting to see if the trail kept going past the ball fields would have could have been better. Maybe I lost my GPSr while caching earlier and I’m just retracing my steps. Maybe I could use astronomy and just say that I was walking around the ball field to see how much the city lights intruded on a potential observing site. Hindsight is always a….well, you know the phrase. At least it would have been better than what I said.
So, now I know that much of the local parks are closed between 11PM & 6AM and that even parks that don’t have gates are likely to be closed (a good one to know so that I don’t run into this again).
4 down, 96 to go.
An embarrassed TripCyclone