The Adventures of Helen and Daniel
Chapter 3 – Caching in Phoenix
The Ambersons lived in a 6-bedroom, contemporary home on a hill in Scottsdale with a sweeping view of the city spread out for miles.
Daniel was anxiously waiting on the porch as she pulled up. She had filled him in on the weird experience on the phone as she drove over.
As she got out of her car, he embraced her protectively. “You’re shaking.” “I’ll be OK.” “Let’s just get a good night’s sleep.”
Their hosts had offered two guest rooms, which was good, as Helen and Daniel weren’t quite ready for common quarters.
Daniel slept like a rock. Helen had a nightmare about Brad Pitt with fangs. She couldn’t wait to go find some caches to clear her head.
Lauren and Jack were already up when Helen wandered in to the kitchen around 6am. “Hey, there, bed head!” teased her former roomie.
“MmMmorning,” Helen mumbled, “how was the concert last night?” “Pays the bills.” Jack offered a lovely, hot, dark-liquid-filled pot.
Helen breathed in the rich aroma of the fresh java brew before she sipped. “I saw Pammi last night at this dive bar.” Lauren grunted.
“Whatever.” Jack said curtly. “At least she still has one friend left.” Helen dropped the subject, wishing they’d all gotten past the past.
She was hoping to tell them about that Wolf guy, and how bizarre the whole thing was, but they would never believe a “vampire” story anyway.
Just then, Daniel made his entrance, already showered and dressed, and introductions were made all around. “Are we all caching today?”
“I’m up for a few,” said Lauren, “but Jack has to get some music copying done before tonight’s rehearsal.” Helen went to get ready.
Shortly, the trio was assembled in the foyer, all loaded with GPSrs, PDAs, pens, stickers, and a list. Lauren drove, as she knew the city.
The first three caches were LPCs, but traffic lights were long, so those took 35 minutes. The next one had no parking nearby.
It was worth the walk, though, because the cache was near a sculpture that emitted a moaning kind of music! They all listened a while.
Lauren had solved a sudoku puzzle cache, and that was next. It was on the fringes of the university campus, so parking was again an issue.
The cache itself was a blank face plate, always an effective camo. There was an old virtual just 45′ away that Lauren had already found.
She got the requisite photo of Helen and Daniel by the old caboose for their find. Next was another virtual at a dancing fountain.
Two quick questions at the plaque, and the three headed for a nearby cemetary. Behind it, they located an ammo can stuffed with TBs.
Daniel had a bunch of geocoins, so he dropped them in that cache. They were all looking forward to the next stop: a giant bunny.
As Helen, Daniel, and Lauren approached GZ, which was a 12-foot long bronze bunny, they saw a small group of people inspecting it.
One of them looked up sheepishly as they walked up, but then noticed all the GPSrs, and stuck out his hand. “Hi, I’m Cachepal.”
“We’re from L.A.,” he continued. “So are we!” Daniel exclaimed. Pretty soon all of the names and nicknames were exchanged.
Firestick, Jazzgoddess, & Bowmistress joined forces with Cachepal, f0t0m0m, foon, & EMC of Northridge, but the cache was tricky.
Firestick finally looked at a sign near the bunny, and voilá! le cache! Relieved, they did the sticker ritual, and all parted company.
(The “action” today is by request! LOL)
Our trio only had time for one more, but it was at an actual working drive-in theater! They marveled at that, then returned to Lauren’s.
“Have a great time on your backpacking trip!” Lauren had to run off for a rehearsal, so Helen and Daniel were left with a hug and a key.
As they walked down the hall, Daniel couldn’t resist tickling Helen. She squealed and started running toward the bedrooms.
Daniel grabbed her at the doorway to one of them, swung her around, and gave her a big, Hollywood-style kiss… then tickled her again.
Helen, caught in his firm embrace, laughed, then, wrapping one of her legs around his, threw him roughly on the bed.
After a few more kisses, Daniel reminded Helen that they had to get to the campsite before dark. They both sighed, then got up.
The drive was about 2 hours, mostly spent listening to music that Daniel was learning to conduct in a couple of weeks.
The sun was just slipping under the horizon as they parked. Helen and Daniel grabbed their gear, secured the car, and were ready.
They shouldered their packs, paused, and smiled at each other. As they held their gaze for a long moment, the sky turned brilliant pink.
They each wondered what lay ahead, both on the trail and beyond. Neither of them noticed the large black bat in a nearby boulder crevasse.
Note: I’m taking a Christmas break, so the next installment will be on Monday, December 29. Have a wonderful holiday! 🙂