I read the first clue: "If H.R. MacMillan could take his brassy stare of the tour buses and look to the left, he would see the hiding place." I easily found the statue of H.R. MacMillan and looked to its left, towards a small wooded hillside. Nothing major. I figure, "oh this will be easy!"
I decoded the next clue, "If the cougar on the tree could do a long backflip, he would abridge the cache." And there was the carved cougar on the tree, with his back to a small wooden bridge. "Abridge the cache"! Hey, I was banging on all cylinders now!! My heart beat excitedly as I walked over to the bridge. The waypoints on my GPS Unit were spot on. I could see H.R. MacMillan and the cougar, so I started to search under the bridge first. Nothing. I felt around under and over all of the supporting wood planks under it. Nothing.
OK, there are a few trees in front of the bridge on the hill, so maybe the cache is hidden in the ivy which covered the hillside. I went to the first tree and narrowly missed putting my entire face and head right through a large spiderweb with a spider in the center. Anyone who knows me, knows what my "spider shriek" sounds like. Fortunately I managed to keep it down to a quiet'ish squeak as I grabbed a stick and decimated the web. I resumed searching for the cache box around the tree. Nothing.
Now I can feel my frustration level rising. "OK, Jo, calm down....check the waypoints on the GPS again, and start from the beginning." So I tramp back up to the bridge and start over. I am supposedly on top of the damn thing. I start poking around under the bridge again....what did I miss? The sun is beating on this hillside & I'm getting really hot under the collar about this seemingly easy cache. I can feel sweat running down my back. Still nothing. So I start checking around ALL the trees on the hill. A slippery hill full of ivy. Nearly losing my balance and slipping on my kiester about 6 times, I was grabbing wildly at the tree branches to help steady me. Remember, when you geocache, you are trying to be discreet and quiet....neither of which are my strongest qualities.
All I got for my efforts geocaching in that alleged "easy" spot was 2 twisted ankles, major low back pain and sweat-soaked clothes. I was lumbering around that hillside like a crazed T-Rex. I didn't care how much effing noise I was making either. People are riding by on bikes down below, looking up at this weirdo chick with 10,000 cameras slung around her neck, rooting through the ivy around all the trees, rivers of sweat pouring down her face, glasses all fogged up, muttering copious quantities of four letter words and other swear-combo's that I usually reserve for traffic situations and people who piss me off.
I was so angry that I was really, really close to pitching the GPS Unit into the Strait of Georgia. I stomped back to my car, angrily tossed the geocaching crap into the back seat and continued on with my day. When I got back to the hotel, I pitched a major hissy fit, stomped my foot like a 2 year old, whined "I QUIT!" and threw out all the geocaching info for other places I was going to try on Vancouver Island.
I was keeping the hope alive that maybe the Chemainus cache had been "muggled" and was, therefore, missing. Yeah, that has to be it, right? Those hopes were dashed when I logged on to the website yesterday and saw that two separate people located the cache on Sunday, a mere 4 days after I was there.
Since I got the GPS unit in May, I have been out a few times around Bonney Lake and Sumner, and have only found one cache, so clearly it's me.
Brian's offered to come with me, once the weather cools off and the trees and underbrush start dying this fall, help me try to find the caches and, hopefully, figure out what I'm doing wrong.