About two years back I came to Killeen to see my new grandbaby, and I contacted another blogger I’d been reading, hoping to meet up. Marcellus writes the blog Geocaching While Black. I was intrigued by his experience because I had not encountered many black geocachers, and had thought to myself this hobby might be one that was “white privilege.” I mean, I’ve been questioned infrequently by the police as I poke around in the woods, guardrails, lampposts, etc. I never had to worry that one of those encounters could turn bad. Marcellus hasn’t had any encounters like that, although he’s been questioned way more than I have and had a few encounters with “muggle” (those who don’t geocache) that were unnerving, to put it mildly.
This trip, I told everyone I was taking a day to go geocaching and meet up with Marcellus, and no one was stopping me! We met up for lunch in a Tex-Mex restaurant and after some discussion, he took me to see some of the best geocaches in Austin.
We first stopped at a building on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. There was a virtual geocache there that involved this pendulum. Unfortunately, the pendulum wasn’t working. I did get the answer I needed for the geocache though.
Our next stop was the Texas State Cemetery. I love geocaches in cemeteries. It’s one place you can wander and look around and there usually aren’t people to bother you. The key is being respectful if there are people there, particularly for a funeral. That’s the time you skip finding a geocache! Today was pretty quiet, other than the maintenance being done by cemetery caretakers.
The first stop was a memorial to the lives lost from Praha, Texas in World War II. This town had a small population, around 100 people, when the war broke out. Nine men left to fight and none of them returned. The town lost an entire generation of men in that war.
There was an Adventure Lab in the cemetery as well. As I walked through getting the answers for that, I found the graves of a Negro Leagues baseball player, Tom Landry, Sniper Chris Kyle, Stephen Austin, Barbara Jordan, and Gene Cernan.
Next, Marcellus took me to the memorial statue for Stevie Ray Vaughan. It’s in a downtown park right on Lady Bird Lake. A British couple was there while we were and remarked on what a unique statue/memorial it was.
Marcellus brought me across the lake to the Austin Public Library, where we met another geocacher, Razorbackgirl. We went to the rooftop garden, which was beautiful with a gorgeous view, and chatted for about an hour. Unfortunately, all of that “nature” was having a detrimental effect on my allergies.
Marcellus had been talking up this geocache, Necropolis of Britannia Manor III. It did not disappoint. It had 815 favorite points for a good reason. Someone put a lot of time, effort, and money into this and it’s executed very well.
This has to be one of the best executions I have seen. The geocache itself was inside the tower, but there were clues along the way to the combination lock. Really, it was amazing. It was a bit of a rough “hike” for me on my unsteady legs, but well worth it. I added my own favorite point to the count.
Marcellus has a pretty amazing geo-streak going of finding a geocache every day for 1,747 days. I was not about to let the day he was hanging out with me be the end of the streak, so we parked and walked to another geocache in a local park that he hadn’t found yet. Woohoo – streak continues!
This was a great day Thanks Marcellus for taking me around and introducing me to another geocacher and some of Austin’s best sites.