Ok, so I played par for the course today. In golf that might be considered quite good, but in geocaching it's not that great.
Today we found GCX5EN & GCNQDJ. The two DNF's were GCNHJD & GCT2TV
I left the office a bit early, and despite just getting over a stomach flu I just had to find a few caches. When the bug bites you, there's just no stopping it! Anyways, the first was pretty simple. The cache was hidden amongst the very loose bark on a tree, and in typical fashion, I was looking for the hardest places first despite the cache being a 1 on difficulty. Revitalized, I sped to the next location and parked my car across the street. The cache was placed at a 3-way stop, a very busy 3-way stop, thus making it a difficult cache to spot without looking suspicious. Not one to be swayed by the occasional muggle, I spent my time at this spot -- at least 6 minutes or so -- but came up empty. The hint was silly.. it was a riddle of sorts. In cases like this, I believe difficulty should be set at 1.5 or 2.0 but that's just me.
There were 4-5 caches within 1/4 mile of each other so I hopped back in the car and drove to the next closest spot. It was at a Taco Bell across the street from a company I used to work for. Unfortunately the coordinates weren't exactly spot-on, so I was forced to guess what side of the building the coordinates were supposed to take me. Not wanting to be spotted by former colleagues casing a Taco Bell joint of all places, I spent only a few minutes on this one and moved on.
Lastly, I snuck up on a cache that eluded me last year. With a clear head and simple logic, I snagged it in no time flat. The owner had tucked it into one of those natural "tree holes" and covered it with a few pieces of bark. The previous year, I remember using the coordinates to get "close" but some caches are actually placed spot on to the GPS coordinates posted. I followed the GPS bug and snagged this one in no time flat.
For a brief 45 minutes spent caching urban, this wasn't a bad day! Constructively I'd love to see cache owners using their GPS units more effectively and using GPS averaging when coords are obscured by obstacles. I'd also like to see cache owners use the hint feature for what it's supposed to be.. a HINT!