MOGA – Part 1

ARGH!!  A 5:30 AM wake up time is never much fun, let alone when you get startled by an odd sounding alarm from a friends cell phone which is actually about 10 feet below you.  That’s what I had to wake up to on Saturday as 8601’s phone went off.  The funny thing is that I had my phone’s alarm set too, and I could swear that I heard the vibrating of the phone going off.  Yet, as I scrambled to find where my phone was at, 8601 was lazily getting out of his bed to shut off his.  It was a comical wake up at that hour.Once up, we all got ready for the day and grabbed our gear to load up the car.  Breakfast started early because the first competition wasn’t long after that.  Our plan was to go grab some caches after breakfast to fill time before the team event.  Plus, we needed to register before we could get the meal tickets needed for breakfast.

We were all a bit excited at registration because we all wanted to see our new coins.  The MOGA coin promised to be an interesting one (one that you’ll have to wait until a later post to see 😛 ).  When we arrived at the MOGA base camp, we learned they were organized enough to even try and organize parking based on food or competition.  Now, there is a smaller cabin next to the parking area for registration and waypoint downloads, with the dining cabin located further back.   At registration, they also had a store available, though it wasn’t open yet.   We each got our registration packets and moved on to dining.

Now 8601 and I passed on the meal tickets, but JLondon was nice enough to share what she didn’t eat.  It was good food, I’ll say that.  Scrambled eggs mixed with bacon pieces, peppers, and sausage, plus biscuits and gravy.  Oh, and some french toast sticks thrown in for good measure.  I’ll have to get meal tickets next time.

Breakfast wasn’t too packed, and the line moved fast enough.  I took this photo while watching the line move along.

MOGA Breakfast

While I breakfast, I ran into The Bummy’s, a couple from nearby Raymore, MO (I got FTF on their first two hides).  It was their first MOGA too, and we exchanged some words before we split ways.  I would run into them twice more later in the day.  During breakfast, we made a plan for what to go after in the morning.  Master Cacher had already spent some time on Friday grabbing so park and grabs, so we went after a small cluster on one peninsula.

Now, if I haven’t mentioned it, the MOGA staff set up 100 new permanent caches in the area.  With a western theme this year, the caches were also named after western related things: gunslingers, Indians, movies, towns.  The group we hit were named after movies.  Working our way to the area, we finally found a spot and parked.  On this next map, you’ll see an aerial shot of the area that I have marked.  The green circle represents where we parked the car.  Rough coordinates are N 39° 31.257 W 91° 47.010.  Now, I’ve marked two routes out, both marked with an arrow to represent the first cache we went to in the route.  The yellow route was first, while the red route was second (hmmm…green, yellow, red…wonder how those colors were picked).  You’ll notice we stopped at the car once in the middle.  First, I’ll show you the aerial image:

moga-arial-b

Looking carefully at the image, you’ll notice that twice we deviated from a straight line. The first time occurred while on our way to the last cache in the yellow route. One GPSr had the old maps and showed a possible road we could get onto. However, it also didn’t show the large body of water between us and the peninsula to the East. So we went North at first before deciding that it would take to long to walk around and decided to veer back in the direction of the road we parked on. As we reached the last of the yellow caches, we confirmed with our friend Rotor Rootie that he would meet us next to our vehicle, hence why we went back there before tackling the caches to the West of the road.

Finally, back at our car, we each refueled on water a bit before heading back out, this time with Rotor Rootie and Lady Traveler in tow. Heading West, we worked our way down and back up to clear off the remaining caches on that little peninsula. This time however, it seemed to take forever for us to reach cache three and four on this route. I’m not sure why it seemed to take so long, but once done, we were ready to relax a bit. Again, you’ll notice a deviation from a straight path. This time it was because of running into someone’s property.

Once back at the car, we all relaxed a bit. It was already drizzling out and most of us were soaked to the core. Even my shirt was getting wet underneath my coat. Plus, it was not easy terrain. Don’t believe me, take a look at this map, which shows the same area as the above aerial image:
moga-topo-a

If you compare this topographic view with the aerial shot, you’ll see that we hit a lot of up and down spots along our route (that will come back to haunt us). You might also notice that the water level isn’t marked properly on the topographic map. Considering that this lake has been here as long as it has, I’m a bit surprised that they haven’t updated the topographic maps to reflect that.

Back to our day. After finishing with the red route, we headed back to our cabins to change. Thank goodness I brought a change of clothes with me, or else I would have had to stay in those drenched pants and socks all day (LOL…just wait). 8601 and I decided to head into town and see if we could find some ponchos before the competition while everyone else went to lunch. We did actually find some ponchos, and you’ll find out how effective they were in the next post.

The last thing to talk about is that while the caches are quite dense in areas, the hiking provides plenty of time to talk, goof off, and make fun of each other. Whether talking about movies and wondering why “Blazing Saddles” wasn’t recognized on the list of Westerns, or talking about caches, there was no end to what we had to talk about. Also, I got in one good prank on the rest of the group early in the day. We arrived to find a cache hidden in a soda bottle preform (looks like a large test tube with a soda pop screw on lid. As we looked around, I happened to find it. And much like I pulled in Omaha a few weeks ago, I just stopped and began signing while everyone else looked around.

Now the last time I did this, we had fun trying to misdirect everyone else into continuing the search. This time, 8601 spotted me holding the cache quickly enough. He then smiled and continued the search, actually helping me pull off what I got him twice on in Omaha. I announced a need to go take a leak and walked away. Hiding behind a tree, I opened and signed the log for everyone with 8601 in the background lobbing jokes at me. JLondon and MasterCacher were still looking around. Once signed, I turned around to find JLondon actually digging around in the spot where it was hidden.

Walking back, I suggested that we pass it up to save time. It wasn’t hard to convince them of this idea and while everyone was leaving, I got down to act like I was tying a shoe and rehid the container. About 500 feet away, I very loudly announced marking my PDA with a find. NOTHING! They didn’t hear me. So I announced it again, this time louder. Much to my satisfaction, and 8601’s laughter, I got a “WHAT?!?!” response, followed by some humorous annoyance. JLondon had already marked it as DNF in her GPSr. LOL! This time, the prank worked perfectly, and they kept an eye on me the rest of the day to make sure I didn’t pull THAT again.

Next, I’ll talk about the competition and the remainder of the day.

TripCyclone

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