NOTE: This cache is not for everyone. Part 1 involves about 2 miles of hiking and Part 2 requires about 8 miles (round-trip) of hiking or mountain biking. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me before heading out.
This cache is one of 4 Infosponge Challenge caches that are being placed in the Tampa Bay area.
Part I: The Mission (Curiosity Creek Preserve)
Tampa. I'm still only in Tampa. Every time I think I'm going to wake up back in the jungle. I've been here a week now. Waiting for a mission. Getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker. And every moment Infosponge is out in the bush he gets stronger.
The phone rings. ''Yeah?'', I answer.
''Meet me at dawn at N27°39.211 W82°28.132. Bring supplies.''
Morning came slowly. I met my contact at the gate to a county nature preserve. He spoke quickly: We need you to follow the trail of Infosponge. His methods have become...unsound. Here's your first coordinates: N27°38.820 W82°27.782.
''What will I find there?'', I asked.
''We're not sure. We monitored a transmission...well, it's something about a monster with one eye. We're not clear what he was talking about, but it sounds dangerous. Hop the gate and follow the road. Before you get to Curiosity Creek or the citrus grove there will be the overgrown remains of a two-track road on your left. Follow it! No bushwacking.'' he warned.
I grabbed my backpack and headed down the trail. I found the two-track and it led me towards the coordinates. I was worried about the monster...I could hear a distant rumble.
I found the first location and it had coordinates for another location, deeper into the preserve.
Armadillos were everywhere. They left me alone, but I couldn't help thinking they were reporting my presence to whomever was running this place.
I could feel electricity in the air...it crackled and seemed to lead towards the beast. The two-track turned to the right, and I followed it until the path was blocked, when I turned left, towards my destination. All the while the noise was getting louder. And louder. Apprehensive, but determined, I forged ahead until I saw it.
Or should I say ''them.'' Like many large menaces, this beast was made of many smaller monsters, all working together. I remained undetected. I found out what I needed to know, but I would need transportation to get there. I called for the extraction team and had them drop me off a few klicks from my next location.
Part II: Hills and Water (Balm-Boyette Scrub Preserve)
I was dropped off at the next base camp, with plenty of water and something to snack on. I was glad I had my mountain bike. I could have hiked this one, but biking would make the 8 miles ahead of me go faster.
The countryside was beautiful, but I was worried I was being watched. Birds, turtles, alligators...they all noted my passing. I found the next location, it had me on edge and stumped for a while, but the place had a great view.
I had hoped this was the end of my search, but it only led me deeper into the badlands. There were a lot of choices for trails...I was glad I'd paid attention to the map at the trailhead.
Finally...there is was! The stash left behind by Infosponge! There was some neat stuff in there, but I was mainly concerned with the code word. I wrote it down, and slowly made my way back to the base. All I could do now was head back to Tampa, and wait for my next mission.