One year, almost to the day, had passed, since Betty and I laid eyes on the first Oliver Legacy Elite that we had ever seen. That had been at the first River Valley Egg Rally, in Van Buren Arkansas. On this particular day, we were at the River Valley Egg Rally number two, with other new Oliver owner's. Our campground was located just off of interstate 40, with lots of great Casita folks, and other molded fiberglass owners, as well as fellow new Oliver owner’s.
Present were, Chuck and Geri, Steve and Tali, Paul and Sherry, Pete and Oscar as well as Betty and I. This was likely the first Oliver mini rally, and there were five Oliver's present at this gathering, back in October of 2008.
ARCTIC AIRBORNE RANGER’S PATHTAG
It was a rainy part of the day, at RVER II, ( River Valley Egg Rally ) in VanBuren Arkansas. The rain had eased up to a slow drizzle and the barbeque grills were smoking under molded fiberglass trailer awnings. Some folks had started a domino game of Mexican train in the meeting hall, some were involved in needle work and chatting. Some were just napping.
I had other plans, however. Before leaving for the rally, I had loaded several nearby geocaches into our Magellan GPS. Though we had been very near to one of the geocaches while eating a meal at Rick's Ribs barbeque place, we had not had a chance to look for the cache. I was going to look for the cache in the rain. Everyone seemed to be busy and I had just checked email on the laptop, the time seemed right.
Sitting at the small dinette in our travel trailer, I turned on the GPS.
When the GPS had "found it's self", it indicated that we were within a fourth of a mile of the geocache.
Though it was raining, it was a gentle rain and wasn't too chilly. I grabbed the Jeep keys and pocketed the GPS. Being dressed lightly wasn't a problem, I didn't even take a rain jacket.
Placing the GPS on the dashboard so I could monitor it, I noted that I was within one eighth of a mile of the cache when crossing the Fayetteville Highway.
Navigating in towards the geocache, I turned in by the barbeque place. The name of the cache was "pass the barbeque". And I did. Soon I was as close as the Jeep could get me, to the cache. I waited for a bit of a shower to pass. The GPS began averageing over and over, becoming more and more accurate about the location of the cache. Stepping out of the Jeep with the GPS in hand as the shower let up, I noted that the 100 foot proximity alarm went off. I was getting close now!
The geocache was a .30 calliber ammunition can and it was full of geoswag. The log book was in a ziplock baggie and it was clean and dry. Geocachers from all over the United States had visited the cache. The log book was a good read by it's self. Spreading the swag out inside the jeep so I could sign the log in the dry, I found a rare thing. A PATHTAG, loose in the wild. At first I couldn't believe my eyes ! But there it was. Pathtags are highly sought after trading coins that usually are not found loose in the wild !
Though we had only time for one geocache at VanBuren, it was a sure nuff' deuzzie'
The PathTag belonged to a Retired Army Airborne Ranger that was Artic trained. The PathTag wasn't logged in the log book. It had just simply been dropped in the cache amongst the geoswag. Later I talked to a couple of the cachers that had been there just before me. Somehow they had overlooked the articabn pathtag.
Back at the rally in the campground, we passed the pathtag around and talked about geocaching in general. Our five Olivers were in a cluster and because of their maneuverability we all had our awnings facing each other to facilitate easy visiting around our common campfire. The 5 O'clock hour was filled with animated conversation and our little group of Oliver's were in the process of making some wonderful life long friends!
Later that night as we prepared for bed and we rehashed the events of the day, Betty and I noted that our group of Oliver's seemed more like family than friends.