Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Well I'm Meetin' On Up

Last Thursday was my first time attending a MeetUp gathering. For the last two years, I've been receiving meeting notices from Bookcrossing and Geocaching and have never attended. Oh, I came close, I suppose. I mean, I had every intention of attending, I replied a couple times to the automated invitations saying YES, I'LL ATTEND. To the best of my memory, I can't recall ever telling Mr. MeetUp, hey yeah, I'll be there, and then leave him high and dry. So... recently, I received the Geocaching invite, I replied with the YES and I went. The meeting was held at a Starbucks on the west side. Around here, going to the west side is like going to California. You have to cross the river, take a bridge, go to the other side, to get there. Folks around here have real issues with distance and consider 15-30 minutes across town as a potential family vacation. As it turns out, I took the bad bridge to get to the other side. I took the Buckman at rush hour. Oh, you silly, silly girl. People drive stupidly as it is. Add a bridge, four lanes, that hour after the work-stop-whistle blows and you're asking for trouble. I saw one Isuzu trooper get a firm kick in the arse by a beat up little pickup truck. Thank goodness I was in the better lane. After successfully navigating across the St. Johns without personal incident, I made it to the Starbucks. Fifteen minutes past seven, but I was there. I ordered my standard chai latte, only a grande this time, not the venti, and scoped out the joint. Are there a bunch of geo-nerds here or not? No one was wearing a Hello, I'm a Geo-Geek nametag, so how was I to know? I didn't see anything resembling a GPS so I wasn't sure if the group gathered in the corner were geocachers or not. It was just all too much to think about so I went to a comfy seat on the opposite side of the shop. I was, at that moment, the epitome of a wallflower. I was too shy (?) to ask that group if they were there for the same reason as me, so I sat silently across the room, piercing them with my eyes and straining my ears to pick up on keywords like: cache, GPS, hunt, find, spiders, mosquitoes, or travel bug. They were a talkative group and seemed harmless enough so I decided to approach them. Afterall, my super-hero vision and hearing skills weren't up to par from across the espresso establishment. I politely interupted their light banter to inquire if they were geocachers and they all lit up like a super-powered GPS making a dead reckoning on a waypoint. They immediately shuffled seats to make room for one more of them. What a nice welcome! I was happy to have found my way. I wonder if I'd found them quicker had I used a GPS?


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