Thursday, January 3, 2013

Geocaching on Deployment

       On October 10th, 2012 I left for my six month deployment to Afghanistan.  The only enjoyable thing out of this deployment was the opportunity to find some geocaches in other countries.  On October 11th, I did just that.  On a small air base in Manas, Kyrgyzstan I was able to log five caches.  Kyrgyzstan was part of the Soviet Union during the cold war days and today Manas serves as a transition point into Afghanistan.

        Another member from my unit  also geocaches, so after a 12+ hour flight we found our first cache.  Customs Corner is located on the edge of the compound, it was dark, and it was obvious security forces patrol this area, it was also obvious that we probably shouldn't be here!  I am glad we found this one in a hurry as it may have been tough trying to explain to security forces what we were doing back there.  We got lucky, a micro, in a wooded area, at night...not my favorite style by any means!  We did have to hide from some other service members working nearby.  Talk about getting your adrenaline pumping.

        After four hours of sleep, we woke up an hour before sunrise, we didn't have much time as our plane was leaving in six hours and had to find as many of the 13 caches here as we could find.  We took off for the running/biking trails that are on the airfield.  Lots of dirt trails in a undeveloped area, beautiful birch trees beginning to turn orange and yellow.  There was nothing special about these caches, other than 7400 miles from home! Except for one, WESTSIDE: Off the Beaten Path is on the outskirts of the installation, and we felt we really shouldn't be out this wearing reflective PT gear we bushwhacked a good .2 miles to get to this security forces in sight.  Bingo! We signed the log book and headed back as fast as possible.

       A couple hours later we are on a C-17 headed to Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan.  Geocaches to find: ONE!  Yes one! SArges Fortress of solitude While places like Bagram Air Base has 40+ caches, I have 6 months to find one stinkin' cache!  Something about operational security is why there isn't any more here or why I can't place any new ones.   I found that single cache after 3 weeks and 3 tries later, with help from other finders by email.  I finally found it and signed the log book, dropped off some travel bugs, and dipped some others.

       So here I am, its January 2013, I have 4 months remaining.  What will I ever do?  I will write about my adventures!  I hope you enjoy my stories.  I will be updating this blog regularly.  Thank you for visiting.  

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