Visiting Family Near Fort Campbell
Fort Campbell is where our brother-in-law was once stationed. After he was discharged, Laura’s sister and her new husband decided to stay in the area and started their small family in Clarksville. With a young teenager and two small children (Their small family grew quickly!), they don’t make it down to Chattanooga very often. In fact, it has been almost a year since we last saw our niece and nephews.
We had Christmas presents to deliver and had nothing else pressing on our calendar for Presidents’ Day weekend(a three-day weekend for me, Yea!!) so we spent the day traveling from Chattanooga to Clarksville, TN. I have to tell you, that was the absolute worst drive I have ever made (and I have had a tornado pass over on a drive before). We got started a little later than planned, but that was okay. I could make it up by driving straight through with no stops on the way.
Since we got a late start the rain was with us for the entire trip. So picture driving in light to heavy drizzle in Nashville traffic(if you have never driven in Nashville, TN, DON’T!)for almost four hours. By the time we arrived in Clarksville, attended the grand opening of the new JoAnn Fabrics store(not sure how I got talked into that one) and spending the afternoon with family, I was so ready to collapse on the bed in our hotel room! And that is what I did.
Fort Campbell Memorial Park
After relaxing for a little while, I noticed the muscles in my back were actually tensing up instead of getting loose. I knew what I had to do. I needed to stretch my legs a bit or I would not be able to sleep. What better way to stretch your legs than a little night caching at a local park.
I did a quick search on geocaching.com and found a small park with three geocaches less than a mile away. Fort Campbell Memorial Park honors 248 soldiers who were killed on December 12, 1985 at Gander, Newfoundland while returning home to Fort Campbell from a peace-keeping mission in the Sinai. This park was just what I needed and would provide nice a history lesson for the kids.
When we arrived in the parking lot, there was a couple sitting in a parked car right in front of the statue of the soldier (not sure what they were doing sitting in the dark). We reversed the order of our caching to let them get done with whatever they were doing and headed the last geocache first.
The walk to GC16V4X – Whomp, Whomp, Whomp was fun but a little spooky due to the fog and darkness. As we walked, Dave and Nick were burning up some of their pent-up energy pretending to be Team Skull from Pokemon (don’t ask, I don’t know!) and Shelby was making fun of them. After a while, we found the end of the sidewalk but to reach the cache we had to keep walking. We reached ground-zero for the cache and had to walk very carefully due to the mud caused by the rain earlier today. The cache was well disguised as an electrical box at the base of a large pole holding up a full-sized military helicopter, but it was easy enough to find. After signing the slightly damp log, we replaced it as we found it and started walking back toward the parking lot.
Our second stop along this path at the Fort Campbell Memorial Park was GC2YVMY – A Moose’s Best Friend. As we neared at ground-zero, we could make out a park bench and a couple of large rocks. I was pretty sure of what we was looking for, but I am trying to train my future geocachers so I let them try to figure it out. Laura and I got a good laugh when I read the hint to them “Based on a cartoon from the 1960’s and 70’s, and movie in 2000. The moose’s best friend’s name.” and they had no clue what it meant. (I guess we are showing our age!) After I explained, Little Dave was able to find the container disguised as a small rock very quickly. Dave signed the log for us and put the cache back in its hiding spot.
It was now time for us to find the geocache near the parking lot. Thankfully, the muggles who had been parked there earlier had decided to move on. GCNT31 – Rock Hard should have been easy to find with a difficulty rating of 1. The entire Crew searched for at least 30 minutes with no luck. It may be because it was dark, but a difficulty of 1 should be easy even in the dark. After searching all the bushes, rocks, the statue and the signs, but we finally had to call it a night. This one had to go in the books as a DNF.
Fort Campbell Memorial Park was a great park and I am glad geocaching brought us here even with the DNF. We learned some history we didn’t know, my back muscles finally relaxed and the children had burned off a lot of energy running around pretending to be Team Skull from Pokemon.
Has geocaching taken you places you never would have gone before? Have you learn history or science lessons along the way?
Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.