August 23, 2003

Hail Ceasar

DNF - Was accosted by Santa Clara County Sheriff.

I "solved" this puzzle a while back. When I was solving it, I thought it would be neat if the decrypted text also had the coordinates in it somehow. I didn't see anything obvious though, so I figured I'd simply go to the location and look around based on the decrypted text. Of course, this was before the hint that the coordinates were in the puzzle.

I found the parking spot no problem, and headed to an area that looked like a likely spot for the cache. I looked in all the appropriate places a few times and was about to give up when a sheriff's car stopped across the street. I decided it was now time to give up the search and as I started heading back for the car, the sheriff's car appeared to back up and turn on another street. In the middle of the 280 overpass, he caught up with me.

"What are you doing?"

"Oh just looking at the trees."

"You look pretty suspicious and when I stopped, you didn't wave and looked like you were trying to hide. What were you doing?"

"Just looking at the trees."

"Do you have an ID? Do you have any warrants out for your arrest?"

I handed over my ID and decided I should try to explain geocaching. I showed him my GPS and described the sport. He called me in anyway and confirmed I wasn't a fugitive.

We got to talking and he pointed at the GPS V he had mounted in his squad car. Then he asked me where I lived, where I worked, if I was married, had any kids. It was clear by this point that I wasn't in any trouble, but he filled out a card anyway to record that he had talked to me and sent me on my way. I told him that lots of people were getting into geocaching and he should expect to run into more suspicous-looking people.

He drove over to the parking lot where I had my car to confirm I was leaving. I decided I was done caching for the day and went home. Next time I hope to return with real coordinates and fewer cops.

Posted by jeff at August 23, 2003 09:30 AM