Missed Geocaching Opportunity

by updated 2012/03/26

Have you ever been somewhere new and wanted to do something that you ended up not doing?  It happened to me today and I am still not sure I made the right decision.  I had to fly cross-country for a week and on the return trip had a connection in Philadelphia. This was my first time in Pennsylvania and my wait time was well over five hours so I certainly could not use time as my excuse for this missed opportunity.

Being a pretty avid geocacher, once I determined there was not an earlier flight to the west coast, I pulled out my cell phone to locate nearby caches.  There was one, aptly named “Philadelphia Airport” about 1,500 feet from my immediate location.  If I found it I could add Pennsylvania to my list of states I have found caches in.  This was a very attractive possibility.  There was one very large problem though…

To walk to the cache, which was hidden in the cell phone waiting area, I would have to EXIT THE SECURE AREA OF THE AIRPORT AND RE-ENTER THROUGH THE SECURITY CHECK POINT.  As anyone who travels knows, having a root canal would almost have been a more attractive option.  So unfortunately the great state of Pennsylvania will not be added to my state list.  I was here. I am sure I could have found the cache. I was just to much of a airport wimp to do what was required.

Oh well.  Back in the good old days of virtual and locationless caches I might have had a chance.  But those have unfortunately been transferred from geocaching over to the pretty much ignored website of waymarking.

Will Sig
1 Binky

It’s nice that flying is such an ordeal these days. Welcome to the future!
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2 Will

The future is now!

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3 RK Henderson

C’mon, Will! They say we don’t have to take our shoes off anymore! Don’t be so hard on our benevolent masters.

Frankly, the atmosphere in those places is so violent that I’d be afraid to do any geocache-finding there. I can just imagine the conversation: “Hey, didn’t you just come through here? What are you doing back?” “I was finding a geocache.” This would break 3 cardinal rules of dealing with border guards (which air travel essentially is now): 1. Never attract their attention 2. Never tell them anything they don’t understand. 3. Never suggest you may not have rightwing sympathies. (From my “Stuff Canadians Know” file.)

All things considered, I’d have chosen to let it go, too.

Robin

Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit
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4 Will

They made me take my shoes off. When I first went through I got stopped because I forgot to empty my water bottle. I had to go out and back through a second time.

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5 Tony McGurk

I agree with RK. The way they are at airports now it probably would’ve raised their suspicions about you & they would’ve possibly put you through all sorts of rigmarole
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6 Will

Yeah I thought of that. I even figured if I went out and back in and they asked why, the easiest reason to give, even though of course I don’t smoke, would have been that I went out for a cigarette.

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7 Tony McGurk

I just remembered. I saw a British Airport reality show filmed at Heathrow Airport. There was a man who went through security with a violin case. They asked him what was in it & he jokingly said a Machine Gun. They went into full alert & even after he showed them it was only a violin inside & explained that he was only joking they detained him for over an hour of interrogation. They even called the police in to take him away for further investigation. I couldn’t believe the hell they put this poor man through over a silly joke. Never mess with airport security even if your’re just joking.
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8 Will

First rule is never joke with a security guard of any type. I think they are trained to take everything as deadly serious. Or maybe only deadly serious people are hired for those jobs. And in reality I am probably kind of glad only deadly serious people are doing those jobs.

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