It was a lovely summer evening, as he entered the park. The muggles had left. It was quiet. He headed to his favorite bench near the pond. That was where he had found the first cache of Mighty Magoo's Mythic Multicache. It was a film canister, a microcache, wedged in a hole under the bench. It had been tough to get to with the muggles. That's why he hunted this cache in the evening.

N 40° 32.419 W 074° 30.656 Park at Bakelite Park. That he had done, and discovered the first cache. He looked for the swans at the pond. He didn't see them at first, but yes, there they are, over next to the reeds. The second part of the cache had been relatively easy. A new set of coordinates, that had led him to another microcache hidden in the reeds. It was the third part of the multi that had him baffled. He went over to the plaque again.

"To get the latitude (North coordinates) of the cache, add the number of "Pathfinder," the number of "Leadership" and 0.9 together. Divide by 100 and subtract the result from the first stop's latitude minutes. To get the longitude (West coordinates), add .92 to the number of "Leaderships" and divide by 10. Subtract the result from the first stop's longitude minutes."

Did husband and wife count as one or two 'leaderships'? He did the math again. He'd done it several times. With the coordinates plugged into the GPS, it continued to point across the canal and towpath, right into the middle of the Raritan River. That could not be right. 34' west. The middle of the river.

He wanted this find. This cache had the Mt. Katahdin TB. The Bug wanted to go to the top of Mount Katahdin, to have its picture taken. He was going to hike Katahdin in a few weeks. He wanted the Bug! He wanted it desperately!

He gazed at the plaque again, and lowered himself to the bench. There was a palm pilot sitting there. "Strange", he thought. He picked it up, and scrolled through it. "Hmm". It belonged to Tiffany's Slaves, another geocacher. He read the entries. Tiffany's Slaves was going for a nearby cache "Vertigo! Where to go?" That one sounded a bit frightening! "Aha!” thought he. Tiffany's Slaves had solved Mighty Magoo's Mythic Multicache! There was the answer to the problem! The second part of the clue should read "divide by 100". He went back over to the reeds, and pulled the cache out from under the rock. The paper was damp, but he looked carefully, and decided it might very well have said 'divide by 100'. The writing was faded and damp.

He fed the new numbers into the GPS. Now, they pointed north, toward the lock. He hiked north, and crossed the bridge over to the towpath. .1 north. He was getting close. 489’. He followed the towpath. 315’. Still pointing along the towpath. He wouldn’t veer off the trail until it pointed off, or until the distance increased. 49’. Pointing toward the lock. He was getting close. Think like a cache. “I’m an ammo box. Where would I hide?” 15” x 6” x 9”. Ammo boxes are fairly large, all things considered. It should be in a fairly dry place. Somewhere where a mild flood wouldn’t float it off. Hmm. He sat on a wall and considered.

Under ideal conditions, a GPS is only accurate to within 17’. He thought back on Captain Ishi’s Bounty, on the Hudson River waterfront, under the Palisades. Reception was not good under the cliffs. The GPS never settled sown there. He never found that cache. Here on the canal towpath the GPS settled down. It pointed toward the lock. 4.92’. Then he noticed it. That rock did NOT look right. It had scrape marks on it. Only rocks that have been moved have scrape marks. It was high on the lock. He moved the rock. AHA! He had found it. There was the cache. The ammo box was wedged into a hole in the lock. He pulled it out.

Hopefully, the Bug was still there. Sometimes people remove them and do not log the retrieval. His heart beat loudly. He opened the box, and removed the contents. The ubiquitous log book was there in a Ziploc. He looked further. There it was!!!!! It was a small bear, with the dog tag attached, and a plastic coated tag. “My name is Mt. Katahdin. I want to go to the top of Mount Katahdin. Take my picture.” He took out his camera and took a picture of Mt. Katahdin sitting on the ammo box alongside the canal.



He signed the logbook. “Harry Dolphin was here. Took Mt. Katahdin. Left some agates. Hope to get the Bug to Katahdin soon.” He reclosed the ammo box, and recached it, carefully putting the rock in front of it to hide it from muggles.

He hiked back, crossed over the bridge back to Bakelite Pak, and drove home. He logged on to geocaching.com, and recorded his find, and the retrieval of the Bug, using its six-digit serial number. Then he e-mailed Tiffany’s Slaves. “Found your palm pilot at Mighty Magoo's Mythic Multicache. Let me know how to get it back to you. Thanks for the clue.”

It was a good find, and Mt. Katahdin would soon be on its way to its goal.

~ Paul (AHikingDude@aol.com)

©August 2004





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