I've been in a small group of girls (I still struggle to refer to myself and females my age as "women"...) for the past 3 and a half-ish years. The group has changed a bit since I first started, but what's been constant is the love and support and accountability and FUN!
Last night we had girls' night, and in the words of my dear friend Andrea, "It started with margaritas and ended with rabies."
We began our evening together at Ellie's house - bean & guacamole dip, grilled pineapple, chicken fajitas, luscious sunshine and a cool breeze on the deck, conversations both deep and silly... As we were wrapping up dinner, tummies content, Ellie asked, "So... what should we do?!" Katy, ever the adventurer, excitedly exclaimed, "Let's go geocaching!"
After explaining what "geocaching" was to some of our group (Wait, so there will be a box? How does the box get there? Is it a treasure hunt? Are there prizes?), we decided a leisurely walk and casual search for a geocache would be pleasant. After some outfit changing ("I wore my sparkly skirt for girls' night!"), we doused ourselves in bug spray, grabbed flashlights and headed out the door, into the woods of... suburbia.
Slight oversight on our part - our daylight was rapidly waning. As it turns out, geocaching is significantly more difficult in the dark.
We crossed the street and entered the park, following our coordinates into a small patch of trees, at which point a bat swooped down approximately 4 inches from my face, prompting multiple screams and frenzied running and covering heads. We eventually got to the point where the geocache should have been and looked high and low, to no avail.
By this time, having endured multiple mosquito bites and a near bat attack, we decided to press on and look up another geocache. Almost two-tenths of a mile away. Psh. That was nothing to our fearless...ish troop. We got to the next location and again, were unable to locate anything! We looked up the next location, which was a quarter of a mile away, back past the house. We decided to make a pit stop at the house, re-apply bug spray, and perhaps get some refreshment in the form of ice cream. On the way back, we got honked at by a passerby. Yeah, girls' night!
Refueled, we stepped back out with dauntless resolve - the third time would surely be the trick! We crossed the street. We stumbled through dewy grass. We trekked across... the hospital parking lot. Behind the hospital is a marshy, swampy... pond? There were a few sections where our path went through some undergrowth and low-hanging branches, at which point we started giggling because here we were in the middle of Canton, fighting through random bushes between the hospital and the library. We were about to cut through a playground when a scampering creature caught our attention. No big deal - it's a skunk.
Now, as you may remember, our household has had a run-in with a skunk before. And I was not about to be the one getting hosed down and taking a tomato bath in yard in the dark. Suffice to say, there was much panicking. I will admit it, folks - I nearly abandoned our quest. But we watched the little fella scamper into his wooden & plastic playground kingdom (to quote Patti, "If I were a skunk, I would totally live here at night") and still pressed on. Back through the parking lot. We got a little turned around. Our coordinates led us to the edge of the parking lot ("The cameras are totally picking us up - we are going to be on the news tomorrow. Have you seen these women? Local small group arrested for trespassing..."). Again, we searched high and we searched low, and...
We found nothing.
We endured vicious, blood-sucking mosquitoes. We battled potentially rabid swooping bats. We withstood sketchy, ogling drivers. We struggled through hidden, flip-flop eating mud holes. We ran like babies from skunks.
All this, and no geocache.
The good news is - I think it's a memory we will not soon forget. And, being extreme geocachers, we do not quit that easily. We plan to revisit these spots to find the goods... in the daylight.
L-R: Katy, Patti, Ellie, Andrea, me, Mandy