WARNING: GEOCACHE SPOILERS AHEAD. READ ON BY SCROLLING DOWN IF YOU ARE OK WITH THIS GEOCACHE BEING SPOILED FOR YOU. IF YOU LIVE IN SANTA FE OR NEARBY AND THINK YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN FINDING THIS GEOCACHE SOME DAY, I RECOMMEND YOU NOT READ BELOW. THE GEOCACHE WILL BE MORE FUN IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE SPOILERS. GC7RZ0Y
AND WE CONTINUE...
|Looking down the new pedestrian tunnel, lit up in the early morning|
The making of the Sword of Damocles geocache, GC7RZ0YConstruction has been going on here for the last year, and was completed a little while ago, but I hadn't been through the tunnel until just recently. I must say, the designers did a nice job, it is a cool tunnel and landscaped well on either side. One of the coolest features is right in the middle of the tunnel, where there is an opening in the median of St. Francis and you can look up at a grating to the open air above. Hanging from this grating are steel stalactites attached to hinges allowing them to sway slightly from the road vibrations.
The first thought that came to my mind though was the Sword of Damocles, as the metal pipes have sharpened ends and hover ominously over your head as you walk under. On one side of the tunnel, the side of the tunnel is sloped up with these little concrete ridges in such a way that you can scramble up to and grab the stalactites closest to the wall. Which is what I did, and then swung out over the open space below. FUN! But also it got me thikning about a cool urban hide that could be done here. What if I could hide a sword-like geocache container inside one of these pipes? Wouldn't that be cool? I thought so, and over the next few weeks I started working on a host container for a geocache.
My sword container took shape over a couple weekends. First I found a scrap piece of wood that I thought might fit inside one of the pipes. I cut it roughly in a sword shape and then went out to the tunnel to check that it would fit. Turns out it was a bit too large, so i had to pare it down with a table saw. That done, I cut out a slotted hole in the wood to fit a small silver bison tube. That would be the log container and would kind of match the color/look of the sword. I had to be careful about doing this to not split the wood I was using, and I went through a few scrap pieces before finally ending up with a usable result. Next I used a knife to whittle down the wood into a more sword like shape. I'm not expert whittler, but I think I at least got the general shape. I fitted a handle to one end, and thought about doing a pommel-guard of some sort, but decided that the inside diameter of the pipes were just too small to allow this.
My next task was to figure out how to keep the sword inside one of the pipes, and my first thought was magnets. Another quick trip out to the site verified that the pipes were magnetic (not stainless steel apparently) and I figured out a way to recess three small-but-strong craft magnets into the sword edge. The sword could now be slid up into one of the pipes and would stay there. The handle, a 1/4" bolt, could be pinched by nimble fingers (or a magnet retrieval tool) to pull the sword out. The finishing touches were to paint the whole thing silver and to properly label the thing as a geocache and voila... cache container complete!
Hiding the geocache turned out to be a bit of a challenge and required patience. I wanted to make sure that when I hid the cache, no one would see me climbing up to the pipes and putting my sword in place. This was difficult because the bike path is pretty popular and well used, but also because people tend to hang out at benches located outside of the tunnel, but with a clear view into it. I went out to hide the geocache on 4 different occasions and each time returned without making the hide because I could not wait out people who could clearly see me in the tunnel. But this morning at 5:45 AM, I finally managed to hide the geocache without being seen.