CacheCrazy.Com

Saturday, March 28, 2015

LoveMyGuinness - The Sport Of Geocaching

The Sport of Geocaching by: LoveMyGuinness

***This post was written for the CacheCrazy.Com Geocaching Blog.***


Yes, I said sport, because if you're doing it correctly, it's real work. I do, very much, believe that there is a right way and a wrong way to Cache. I have an unfathomable love for the sport, but that love is not unconditional. I'm covering two very important aspects here that seem to be overlooked frequently. Cache Ownership & Placement and Tradeable Goodies.

This is an example of a regular run of the mill cache.
A logbook and some other random crap that no one wants to keep.

After hunting this dangerous thing, I cannot begin to explain how disappointed my kids were at the items inside. Guys, you can do better than this! Regular cache maintenance is a MUST. I wish more people cared about it. Geocache Ownership is NOT about numbers. It's aboutQUALITY. Who cares if you've placed 65 caches, if they all look like this crap? That's a waste.



What's even worse is when I pull up to a cache and this is what I see... Really? Are you that hard up for a fix that you would diminish the very essence of Geocaching just to place some container in this slum hole so you can find it while you shop? For real? Yum. Just what I want to do with my family on a day off. Sift through garbage to find more garbage. The contents of the cache at this site were atrocious. A broken keychain, an eraser and a parachuting santa toy from 1980.
Geocaching, ideally, should be about discovering new amazing places that you didn't know about or haven't explored yet. They should contain things that people want to trade. This is how I enjoy seeing my family cache. Notice there aren't garbage piles, furniture dumps or broken glass.


These are places that I want my family to see....
They were well chosen by their Cache Owners for their beauty...

How could you not want to Cache in an awe-inspiring place like this?
Or this?
These are places that I want my family to remember.
These are the memories I am building for my children.
These are the areas that we need to protect and cherish.
I consider myself a fairly responsible Cache Owner. While I only own four, they are each placed with loving care for a reason. They are places my family enjoys and that we'd like to share with others. When they were placed, they were stuffed to the gills with brand new goodies. You don't need to spend a fortune for Tradeable Items. $20 at the Dollar Store will make you look like a hero. Check up on your caches every few weeks to bulk up the goodies, because sadly, there are way too many people who don't use the honor system. Brand new l.e.d. flashlight for a business card? Sometimes people make me shake my head in complete confusion.
These were the first 6 caches that we ever assembled and you know what?
We emptied 2 of them and divided the extra goodies amongst the other containers.
Why? ...

Because THESE are the people that are finding your caches.
I keep my caches as I would like my children to find them.
Full of Awesomeness and Adventure.

Please. Don't ruin their memories.
-Shell : LoveMyGuinness

Thursday, March 5, 2015

OUR ADVENTURE BEGINS

Hey folks,
Big Al here from Thirsty Thursday bringing you another post by Tony. When I read this post I knew I had to share it with all of you. This guy is amazing with how he has weaved Geocaching into their lives to make some real adventures. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you go out and make some adventures for your own family. Hey, and if you don't have a family well then find someone else to go out caching with and make them your caching family.




Our Everyday Adventures begin


Adventure is worthwhile in itself
-Amelia Earhart
In my last post I wrote about a few years in our life that could have been better. I don’t want anyone to think that it was all bad, there were good moments also, but a lot of the time we just tried to survive. And we did survive …
Once March 21st, 2008 had passed (and our Discovery of Geocaching) we used Geocaching as a way to transform our car trips from something I had to do just to keep my son happy, to something that we both wanted to do. This in turn made it all much easier for me to keep my son in a good mood. Once all the easily accessible caches close to our home were logged we started to plan for the harder ones that involved some light hiking to be done, and this was something new for us as we had never before walked any long distances with my son, and I wasn't sure what to expect if he got tired or just decided he didn't want to go any further. 
So our everyday adventures began; not only did we learn that he could walk long distances, but he even liked it, and as long as I planned for the walks and made sure I had some motivational treats with me we never had any problems. At this moment in time we were out almost every day and went on long trips on the weekends. I noticed that the physical activity made him sleep better and for longer periods of time.  His sleeping habits changed from 4-5 hours a night to 6-8 hours, which made a lot of difference for us all. I also learned not to decide on beforehand what my son can and can’t do. As Amelia Earhart said, ‘Adventure is worthwhile in itself’, as every experience is an enabler, a key to new adventures.
I guess some who read this shake their heads thinking that our walks in the woods aren't adventures and in part they are right. Our adventures aren't what most people count as adventures, but for us it is right on the edge of what we have tried before; it teaches us about ourselves and our capabilities, just as it teaches “real adventures"  so I’ll insist it is our everyday adventures.
We continued our adventures and got further and further from home until we reached a point where we no longer could return home for lunch. This was the next step that brought some anxiety for me until we tried it, and it went much better than anticipated. I think this is where I started to realize that it wasn't my son’s disability that was stopping us, it was me as a father and my need to protect him; to lower mountains and raise canyons in his path that made it so hard to try new things. We pushed on further and further from home, and one day in July 2008 I decided to try something new.
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After work I packed our car with a tent, food, clothes and a toilet, and my son and I left home for a road trip with Geocaching as the goal. We drove in total about 1800 km over seven days, slept in a tent far from camping sites, cooked by the road, and just had fun. I think this was one of the best times I've ever had and I also think my son enjoyed it a lot.
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No more thoughts about what we can and can’t do. From now on we think in terms of ‘how can we do it?‘ Five years later, we have been Geocaching in places that are 13 hours flight from home. Before we started, we would never have dreamed about taking our son on a plane. I guess that Geocaching was the thing that motivated me to break out of my box and start to think outside it. I have thanked the people at Geocaching.com knowing that nothing I do can ever match what they have done for us.  Now, stop reading and go find what motivates you and make it an adventure. 
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Thanks so much Tony for another great article. You have helped us to see that nothing can stop us if we put our minds to it. 
Cache on my friend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Looking back at ~ The Best Guest Blogs Ever - The Forgotten Soldiers: Our Military Working Dogs at ~ Indulge Thyself

 I was so impressed with this article on U.S. military work dogs that I had to reach out to our friend and follower, Lea and ask if I could re-post it here. Her blog is Indulge Thyself and it's a great read where I find myself often. Check it out for yourself.  
Here is how she replied:
"Hi Kevin, thanks for your appreciation on the article. About the re post... sure, absolutely :) I just have a request... on the link back to my blog or credits section, can you pretty please add that since my husband is a USAF (we are serving overseas) we are humbly asking for prayers for our troops' safety. We really need support on this part especially for those serving in the dessert."

From all of us at CacheCrazy.Com To Lea and Marco Nario ~ THANK YOU! Service family's sacrifice so much, moving frequently, traveling all the time and of course always protecting our freedom.  GOD BLESS!

Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act

You might have heard about the legislation introduced early this year that would finally take U.S. military working dogs (MWDs) out of the category "equipment" and make them bona fide "Canine Members of the Armed Forces." If it passes, these loyal four-legged heroes who risk their lives for the safety of our troops would at last be officially recognized as the brave warriors and lifesavers they have been for war after war. The bill will help provide aid for the dogs when they retire. The bill is also... way, way overdue.
The legislation aims to provide (1) improved adoption process, (2) veterinary support, and (3) recognition for retired MWDs.
When soldier dogs and handlers deploy, they barely leave each other’s sides and develop a very close bond. When they have to part in order to fulfill a unit requirement, it can bring the toughest soldier to tears. I’ve never heard of soldiers who cried while returning their old rifles or body armors. The fact that dogs are considered “equipment” is terribly inhumane. Sure, they’re not human soldiers, but they’re a far cry from a rifle or any military equipment. Play a kiddie game with children and ask which of these things does not belong, and they will point right to the dog. Most people will, too. Search the Internet about the bond between a handler and his MWD. Or about the courage and loyalty of these canine partners, walking ahead of our soldiers to clear the path, sacrificing their own lives. If you call these dogs equipment that you can easily leave or get rid of after war, then I do not know what the words hero and friendship mean.
How can you consider these canine partners "equipment"?



Military service dog resting with US soldiers after a hard day's work.


How can you leave your bestfriend behind?

If you want to help the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act pass, let your senator or representative know you support it at this website
Here are the legislative IDs for the legislation: House: H.R.4103. Senate: S.2134. You can track the status of the bill here.

Project: Troop Dog’s A.D.O.P.T. Program and US War Dogs Association’s Operation Military Care K-9
Both organizations send care packages to MWD teams overseas and maintain current lists of requested items by deployed units. Their projects offer ways for groups, companies, and individuals to get involved. 
Below are some photos of care packages sent to MWD teams overseas. The dogs and handlers are extremely grateful for all the help, love, and assistance.





Donations for Specific Items
Kevlar for K9s and other Vest-A-Dog Network groups help canine units acquire protective Kevlar vests for their working dogs to wear like their human partners. Military Working Dogs Cooling Vest Project (by Support Military Working Dogs Organization) also provides cooling vests and other protective gears such as Doggles, earmuffs, Muttluks, and other items for dogs deployed in war zones in extreme climate conditions. 
Doggles have anti-fog lenses with 100% UV protection, protecting the eyes from light, dirt, sand, flying debris, and insects. The muttluks give the paws superior footwear protection as the heat of rocks and dirt on desert ground are murder to the dog’s pads. The earmuffs help the dogs relax during flight when in helicopter operations, making them ready to work when they get off.

Doggles in action


Happy with his protective vest


Muttluks protect the paws from the scorching hot ground


Earmuffs help the dogs relax while in flight


Furminators for grooming

Just a few of the letters sent by our soldiers to the Support Military Working Dogs Organization:


"The heat out here is murder on the dog's pad. The dog would jump up and down due to the heat on the ground. Before it was just pad coat but with the booties the dogs are not bothered and once back at patrol base they come off to store." - LCpl Martinez, Oscar IDD Thor
"The moondust like dirt is thick and gets into his eyes. With the goggles he doesn't have that problem. It took some adjustment but Gunner has no problem working in the moondust."
 - Cpl Cooper, Jonathan IDD Gunner.


"Tori had really bad pads with the heat on the rocks. With the booties not a problem any more. We live to hunt for IED's.
" - LCpl Valles, Chuck IDD Tori
"The cooling vests help out at the patrol base where the heat index is high. The cooling packs don't take long to cool." 
~ LCpl Lopez, Jose IDD Bandit
The Military Dog Promise (from Troop Dogs):
My eyes are your eyes.  To watch and protect you and yours.  My ears are your ears.  To hear and detect evil minds in the dark.  My nose is your nose to scent the invader of your domain.  And so you may live, my life is also yours.




This post is dedicated to all military working dogs, especially to those who never made it home.

(Special thanks to the following organizations for the information and photos: US War Dogs Association, Save-a-Vet, Troop Dogs, and Support Military Working Dogs Organization.)


Super job Lea and thank you for sharing! I also have a geocache dedicated to our military dogs called "WAR DOGS" check it out! All I can say is it takes you to a helicopter that you can explore and have fun with but the message is strictly serious. Dogs are amazing animals and I respect their contribution in our freedom efforts!

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Devil's Playground - A Geocaching nightmare come true

This was by far one of my favorite geocaches of all times! I can't help but run it again! BH

WARNING - This post contains graphic pictures, text and video. If you are offended easily, please go to this link to enjoy " Tools Of The Geocacher " Proceed at your own discretion. 
*note - some of the following is fact and some is fiction and you can decide which is which. BH

It was a Saturday evening in late February. The wind was blowing through hemlocks outside and the cold winter air frosted the window panes. I looked out onto the lawn and hoped that the weather would change for tomorrow. I had planned to attend the Travelnbhappy21 event celebrating their 2000 geocache and take part in the three caches that Nishollow had just put out named “The Devils Playground”. I placed a few more logs on the fire and retired for the evening.

I remember thinking how much fun it was going to be as I drifted off to sleep. The breakfast, meeting new geocachers, old friends and checking out all the cool raffle prizes, it was surely going to be great! Just about the time I fell asleep I entered the thought of the geocaches that Kyle had in store for us. That’s right about when the nightmare began. My body was shocked as if someone doused me with cold water. I was wide awake but I had to be dreaming, I thought to myself however, it all seemed so real.

I was driving on a dirt road and parked off to the side of a field in a place I have never been before
however, somehow I knew this was the place to park. The sky was dark and winter‘s chill was in the air as I climbed out of my truck. Over the knoll I could see this crowd of people coming towards me. There had to be at least 40 people of all ages and along with them were dogs, 6 or 8 beautiful dogs ran free and wild. I was just standing there and as they passed, some waived, others smiled and I too joined them for what, I wasn't sure, but I soon found out. We traveled through the woods at first on a trail and then through the woods of large old trees and dark forest cover. I seemed content to chat and tag along but still not knowing what our destination had in store for me?
Soon there was a group huddled around a large hollow tree, much excitement and picture taking was going on and the dogs howled with excitement. What was all the interest, I thought and I made my way through the crowd. That’s when I saw Nishollow standing there with this shit eating grin on his face saying, “Bloodhounded, come here and check this out”. He had some strange glass box in his hand and he reached out towards me. It didn't take long to realize that the box contained a freaking skull! It had some strange artwork on it and two eyes that stared at me in a way that brought chills down my back! “What the HELL is
that?” I said and everyone around me laughed but this was no laughing matter as Nishollow extended it out towards me. “Here, hold it” he said and I reluctantly held the crazy voodoo head in a box up for a closer look as others took pictures. Weird in some ways, but extremely detailed and artistic in others, I didn't know what it was, but I liked it. Soon, Kyle took the head from me and placed it back into its rightful location and while the others moved off into the woods, he hung back making sure that everything was perfectly in place before he bid the head farewell.

Fast forward to the group once again gathering around, laughing and picture taking, what did this all mean? Another head or something even stranger? I never really could make it out but one of the braver members of the group started to scale down the chasm. What was down there? The whole group cheered when Duane emerged from the gap and held a green container of sorts into the air! I recognized the container as a ammo can, and in my dream I told myself I was geocaching, but this didn't feel like any geocache adventure I have ever been on. It felt strange, like the excitement was building, I could feel the anxiety of the group and everyone looked just a little nervous as we moved on to what I assumed was the final.
The group somehow got ahead of me. Off in the distance I started to see them disappear one by one. Even the dogs were disappearing! I was reluctant to go there and slowly eased in for a look. An old abandoned mine entrance was swallowing them up whole! I was drawn to it. Closer and closer I went until I was right at the entrance and I bent down to look in. Folks were going in willingly! Were they all nuts!?! Who in their right mind would enter an old abandoned coal mine? Every childhood nightmare I ever had started to resurface! What monsters lurked in there hidden in darkness? I figured that if several
people went in ahead of me, the people eating cave dweller in there would probably have had his fill. Hey, I'm a nerd and not all that brave, old mines kinda freak me out, you got a problem with that? I too climbed in and was faced with a police boundary line that went straight across the entrance! I knew I shouldn't be there but I couldn't help myself, I had to continue in deeper and deeper. Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness I could see that others had been there before us and what I found was frightening!

This wasn't just an old abandoned mine shaft  this was a literal torture chamber with the remains of human bones and evidence of unthinkable acts everywhere. Some poor souls were completely vaporized while others beheaded and dismembered so grotesquely that I wanted to puke. Old crates that displayed this odd symbol that reminded me of a bio-hazard held some of the answers to the many questions that ran through my mind. Who would do such a thing? And, why?

Nearing the 100 feet deep mark, part of the answer was chained to the rafters. Soon I realized just what was responsible for these inhumane murders, Zombies! This was a place where zombies took their prey and tortured them for what seemed like information that they needed. They wanted something and may or may not have found it here but these carcasses appear to be that of agents from some federal division with an acronym FVZA? These agents were mangled and massacred and many still in their “death position”. There on the ground, propped up against a toxic waste barrel was a high level agent, brief case still handcuffed to him and littered with roaches and maggots. What was most frightening was the bible sat in his lap as a sign of his only comfort in the cold, damp, dark dungeon of Hell!



I had to get the Hell out of there! I could not see or stomach any more. My eyes were scarred with so many inhumane and sacrilegious sights! I feared I would never be the same. I see the light, I’m going towards the light, faster, run, don’t look back, falling down, get up, got to get out of here, I've got toooooooooooo!!!!!!!
Kevin, Kevin, Kevin wake up! My eyes shot wide open and I sat straight up in bed. My wife looked at me like I was nuts. “Bad dream?” she said half smiling.” Oh man, the worst!” I said as I wiped my eyes to clear my mind of the horror I just witnessed in my nightmare. “You had better get going if you’re going to that geocaching event” she advised. I got up and took a shower but I couldn't cleanse myself of the fear, the gore and disgust. I decided not to go to the event and started cutting firewood instead to clear my mind but no matter what I did, the memories of that dream came back to haunt me all day long!

That evening I had some time to surf the web and I thought I would check out some of the logs from the event to see what I missed. There were a few telling a tale of an awesome time which I expected and I was feeling bad that I didn't go. But, I almost fell off my chair when I looked at the group picture and standing in the second row on the left smiling away was, ME!?!?!

I leave you now with this madness and some really cool pics!

Special thanks to:
Nishollow - You never cease to amaze me! You are my Geohero! What else can I say!
travelnbhappy21 - Congratulations! You guys are two of the greatest people I know who have positivly influensed the sport of geocaching! Thank you!
All of the event attendees: I had a great time with you guys and even though I was under the weather, I enjoyed your company. Until we meet again, keep on caching!
midas1 - Always great to do some geocaching with you brother, thanks for the company!
All of our excellent contributing photographers, helpers of the hides and others:
Pserine, adam9512, John Galt?, Dave (ST.FU) Zellers, Hound,  jkur247 and captainmath! Great job guys!
Special thanks to all of the contributors of raffle prizes too many to mention! There were over 40 quality prizes up for grabs (CacheCrazy.Com contributed a wood slab woodbured clock of a pike striking a spoon, Secret Weapon #7 aka pinecone cache in display wooden box and a new concept cache duo the "his and hers" leopard print camo cache combos)
...................and thank God I have a strong faith in Jesus! That's all I can say.............BH






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