I came across this geocache just by clicking around on the geocaching website. That's where I found the YouTube video for this haunted cache [click here for video]. I got really excited when I noticed that it's location was in Austin, TX, just an hour away! I have always loved hunts like this. Going to one area, figuring out a riddle or answering a question, traveling from place to place, and finding the treasure at the end. My hometown does a local treasure hunt each year, and I have been doing it for about six years now. This seemed right up my alley. I was already going to Austin for a 5K (which was postponed due to rain) and thought I could convince a friend to go along with me. She agreed! So after a quick brunch at Eastside Cafe, with the most amazing waffle ever, we got started.
Chapter One: The Stone Cutter
We followed the directions and went straight to 16th and Navasota. It was kind of creepy, with the cloudy skies and the abandoned look. Not sure if the place is actually abandoned or not, but no one was there when we got there. We read the signs then walked across the street to the cemetery.
Stone Cutter's Buidling
Stephanie at the Iron Gates
Chapter Two: The Past Guardian
We drove over to the past guardian, got the information then attempted to follow the next part of the clue. I say attempted, because Stephanie got a little stuck on Zilker. She was pretty convinced for a few minutes that Zilker was the person we were looking for. We parked by the map then walked back to Zilker and realized that he was in the wrong section from the person we were supposed to be looking for. So we went back to the map and located the section and drove over there.
Chapter Three: The Past Guardian
As we drove over to the area, we noticed that there were other geocachers. They pointed the way to the information we were looking for, then we chatted for a second. They mentioned that the coordinates would bring you to Laguna Gloria. They were gathered around Ima Hogg and we were a little confused as to why they were looking around there. Infomation? Were we missing something? Were they trying to send us away quickly so we could get lost and confused? No. Not at all. I was just being paranoid. It was probably just my treasure hunting experiences from home that were making me competitive. At home, the treasure hunt is a race with a prize money at the end. This is not a race though, and they were genuinely nice people. I was just being crazy as usual. Side note: I was somewhat informed of Ima Hogg due to this Vlogbrothers's video [click here to watch].
Chapter Four: The Glorious Lagoon
This place is pretty amazing. The scluptures, buildings, landscape, is all so beautiful. I am so glad this was one of the stops we made. We weren't exactly sure where to go, so we just walked around the whole area. We did go inside the building at Laguna Gloria and asked a lady about geocaching. She said that she has been asked about the geocache twice a week for the past five years. She was really nice about it though and told us that what we were looking for was on the right side of the building. I wonder if she had ever been curious about the geocache and tried it herself. We found what we were looking for, then headed on our way.
Chapter Five: The High Ground
This is where we got stuck. We weren't quite sure where to go. We sat in the car for a long while and started googling. Finally, we just decided to drive back to Laguna Gloria and saw a sign that said Covert Park! That's the guy we found in Chapter Two!! We knew where to go. When we got there I saw all those steps and thought "Goodness.. I am going to die.." As we got to step 60 and looked for the silver plate on the tree, we ran into the other geocachers. They had gotten ahead of us during our confusion. They pointed out the tree, then we kept going up. I began to realize how out of shape I was when I got to the top. But I'm glad I went. The view was fantastic.
Chapter Six: The Tuscan Eatery
Honestly, we just googled Tuscan restaurant or something to find this place. Like I said, we don't have GPS. We didn't even get out of our car for this one. But I do want to go back and eat there. It's probably nice.
Chapter Seven: The "Exotic" Benchmark
It was a bonus.. so we skipped this. We were on a tight schedule and needed to get through to the end.
Chapter Eight: Britannia Manor III
We made it and it was so cool!! It was a little cloudy out, but it would have been more fun later in the evening. We took our time going up to the top and saw that the others had made it before us. It was nice seeing them again and they took our picture for us! I was going to climb to the top of the little tower, but there were tons of spiders on it. Real ones, not fake ones.. Just a little too much for me. Maybe I'll go back and be a bit braver.
Overall I had such a great time and I wish I could just forget everything and do it all again. I will probably force some of my friends to do this again with me. I'll make them figure out all the clues though. If they won't agree to do it, I'll just bring them to all the places the geocache brought me. I learned so much about Austin that I never knew! Granted, I don't live in Austin, but how many times do you stop and read plaques at parks that you go to all the time? I never have before, but I might have to start now. Thanks so much for one of the most adventurous Saturdays this year!