Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July aka Independence Day - OR IS IT?

         DID YOU KNOW THAT:        

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe
that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Adams' prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.

One of the most enduring myths about Independence Day is that Congress signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The myth had become so firmly established that, decades after the event and nearing the end of their lives, even the elderly Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had come to believe that they and the other delegates had signed the Declaration on the fourth. Most delegates actually signed the Declaration on August 2, 1776. In a remarkable series of coincidences, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two founding fathers of the United States and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence to become president, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States' 50th anniversary.

So my caching friends, in the spirit of John Adams who thought the holiday should be celebrated with parades, bonfires, bells and illuminations (aka fireworks), I raise my glass to you. And to all of the men and women who have helped us maintain our independence, I thank you. 
Have a safe and happy
holiday weekend.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Analyzing The Cache

Here's a shocker:  I went for a FTF today.  The cache was Kazer71's Not quite Evil, but close (GC3EF22).  I don't want to spoil the fun for those who may plan on searching for this cache, but let's just say Kazer was being modest about the evil part.  Today's post isn't about the FTF, though.  And, while the cache was well worth the "+1" I gave it, my inspiration for today's post came from something which happened a few hours after I made the (first to) find.

Shortly after arriving after work, I logged my cache, and relayed a private message to the cache owner.  In his cache description he solicited feedback on the difficulty and terrain ratings.  In my haste to get out and grab the FTF, I overlooked this.  I made a mental note of the star ratings, and to remember there was no hint.  I felt there was nothing in the description which was going to directly aid me in finding the cache, so I didn't bother to notate it.  Now, as I sat there at my computer, I thought about something which came to mind when I was on the cache trail earlier that morning:  did the cache warrant the 2.5 star difficulty rating?  It took me a while to find the cache.  It wasn't the hardest cache hide I'd ever seen, but I didn't just walk up and find it, as I suspect no one else will.  However, the fact the cache owner didn't go with a 1 or 2 star rating told me, as I was out there walking in circles, that I was in the right spot, and the coordinates were right on.  I was able to logically rule out the 20-30 different micro containers I normally have a pulse on when searching a cache in an environment similar to the I was at today.  The thought which came to my mind out there was this: does a higher difficulty rating actually make a cache EASIER to find?


A second cacher pulled up shortly after I left the scene and found the cache.  What does he write in his found log?  The 3-1/2 stars told me to look out side the box on this one, so that actually made it easier to find! So if it were 1-1/2 stars, it would have been harder to find, making it a 3-1/2 star...I think.

Great minds think alike, eh?

NOT 5-star worthy.  Nothing to analyze here.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks and analyzes stuff like this.  There almost seems to be a certain psychology about it.  A cache owner can place a container in a given hiding spot, and slap a 1.5 star difficulty rating on it.  How many cachers are going to be looking for the fake pine cone in the tree on that one?  Not many, I'd imagine.  The "it's natural to its surroundings, but with a bison tube holding the container" hide, at very least, usually gets a 2.5-3 star difficulty rating, at least around these parts.  Logic dictates a "common type" container is going to be used with a lower difficulty rating.  The same logic dictates a clever or well-camouflaged container is going to get a higher rating.  To me, going on a cache hunt where the difficulty is, let's say 4 stars, tells me what NOT to look for.  Once I rule out what I'm not looking for, I can generally rule out where those hides would normally go.  What's left is the out-of-the-ordinary.  Fake rocks.  Fake sticks.  Fake doo-doo.  I'll look for potential hiding spots for that kind of stuff, and take it from there.  It's almost as if the D/T is an extra hint provided to us.  Speaking of hints, isn't the lack of a hint like bumping the difficulty up a bit?  The cache owner could easily tell us the cache is fake brick, in the third row of bricks in the brick wall, but that would make it too easy.  What's the point of being devious when you give away your secret beforehand?  It's like a magician telling you how he saws the girl in half.  (It's a fake set of legs and a trap door.)

This all assumes, of course, the cache owner knows what he or she is doing.  Of course, the cache owner could employ reverse psychology.  But that would be quite evil, wouldn't it?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Careful Caching

An oddly popular place for geocachers to hide their treasures is in cemeteries.  Generally, hiding caches in a cemetery is allowed if you have permission to do so.  These geocaches are typically hidden on the edges of the cemetery or on the fence around the perimeter.  These locations make for some very interesting finds.  It is generally NOT good geocaching etiquette to put geocaches in a place that would add foot traffic on the graves or if the geocache is on the headstone.  That being said, here are some of the cemeteries that I have visited.

Most recently, my friend Nick and I took advantage of one of the dry days in our stretch of rainy ones and went in search of "At the Feet of the Dead."  We parked and walked carefully through the paths leading down toward a small stream that cuts the cemetery in half.  We had little trouble crossing and followed the path until we reached a low rock wall.  The rock wall runs perpendicular to the Kenduskeag Stream which we could hear and see rushing between the banks. The cache was in a large ammo box and was in excellent condition.  Nick picked up his first Travel Bug here and left one of his own. 

One of my favorite geocaches is in a tucked away cemetery in Lincoln.  The cache is part of the Sherwood Forest series and is dedicated to Guy of Gisborne.  In the story, Guy suffers a particularly gruesome death.  How fitting that this would be located in a cemetery.  What makes this cache particularly interesting isn't the location but the container.  I've also been able to locate Gwyn in a nice clearing near Bucksport.  I'm looking forward to discovering other characters such as Little John and Friar Tuck.  Searchers, beware!

Sherwood Forest: Guy of Gisborne

Recently I got a notification showing a newly posted geocache.  It's always thrilling wondering if you might be the first to find.  I searched the fence and small trees surrounding that separated the cemetery from the road with no luck.  The description of the geocache gave very little information and no hints.  The container turned out to be a small pill bottle hidden by personal belongings on top of a headstone.  This would be an example of where NOT to place a geocahe.  Later that same day, the geocache was disabled and not available for future visits.  It's a shame, too, because it was a beautiful area and there were several other places where the cache could have been hidden. 

Remember to tread lightly and always be respectful of your surroundings, especially when geocaching in cemeteries. 


This post was written by Jenny from her personal blog, Jenny Goes Geocaching. Stop by and check out some of her adventures for yourself. Jenny is a regular contributor here at CacheCrazy.Com.
Thank you!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Update On A Recent Caching Trip

A week ago REI had their great used-gear sale. I met a friend there and afterwards we went to get a nearby cache owned by a friend of mine. HMMMmmmmm! What I thought would be an easy grab resulted in a DNF after a lengthy search.

Without really planning our next caches, we just went to the nearest one according to the GPSr. It was an easy find. The next nearest cache was located in a canyon. I'm finally learning about these and how difficult it is to gain access. Most of the canyons in the San Diego area are surrounded by residential neighborhoods with cheek by jowl private property lines. I've driven around and around these areas with the GPSr saying the cache is only 258 feet away without finding any way to access the cache location.

So, after some of this driving around, we finally found a recreation area that offered a trail into one section of Tecolote canyon. We found "Druid Hollow" cache. In fact, I didn't even have to look for it. It was sitting in its spot completely exposed. After signing the log, I replaced it and hid it with some bark and leaves.

The next cache in the canyon was the "TecoloteMagnetExchange." This fabulous tree is located just downhill from the cache location.

It was somewhat ironic that I didn't have a magnet to exchange because when I started out Geocaching that is what most of my trades were. I got a whole bunch of refrigerator magnets at a Thrift Store and those were my early swag items.

We attempted to walk to another cache, but it turned out to be too difficult from the canyon, so we walked back to the car, getting a bit "lost" and losing the trail back to the parking area at one place. 

I've found that sometimes I look at the Navigation arrow so much on the initial cache hunt that I forget to make note of the trail and general surroundings as I would without the GPSr in my hand.

Maybe setting a waypoint for the car, even in such an urban setting, is a good idea . . .

This post was written by Miragee from her personal blog Musing About Geocaching. You'll find a lot of great articles and awesome adventures there. Karen is a regular contributor to CacheCrazy.Com.
Thank you! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Caching, Lake Michigan and Hot Dogs

Look at the title of my post and what's not to love?  It's a gorgeous day here in Chicago - deep blue skies, a stiff breeze and temperatures hovering around 60.  We had to meet a client who lived near the lake this morning, so I grabbed my caching bag as we breezed out the door, hoping   insisting, that we hit the lake front for some caching afterwards.

I love unusual or big art, and the first place we stopped provided plenty of interesting things to look at.  This was at the park entrance.

I don't understand the big pencil, but it sure was different.

I don't know if these were cement benches or a breakwater wall, but I loved how they were painted.

We had to walk out to the end of this pier....

And find the cache on this search light..... 
The views of downtown Chicago were wonderful....

The next cache was hidden on this sailboat...

I would love to own this house overlooking the lake.  What a view!

Hey, is there a cache hidden in here???

Lou finally spotted this nicely hidden cache.  You can't see it in this picture, but I promise you it's there...
This was a great beach because we found some sea glass and a really pretty rock.

As we were headed for home, we spotted a street vendor selling hot dogs.  There is just something really yummy about a Chicago style hot dog with a steamed bun, so of course we had to stop.

If you are ever in Chicago, you HAVE to get a Chicago style hot dog.  They are the best!  I know I cheat and put ketchup on my dog, but then, I put ketchup on a lot of stuff.  You can read all about the history of Chicago style hot dogs here
Be sure to get them with a dash of celery salt - it just adds a little something extra.  

One of my favorite hot dogs are at Gene & Judes in River Grove, IL.  I actually like the fries better than the hot dog.  They are nice and greasy and they dump them right on top of the hot dog.  Read about them here:'s

Another favorite of mine is Superdawg in Chicago.  I have been going there since I was a kid.  The top of their building sports 2 giant hot dogs and people from all over the world have taken a picture of them.    They have 1950's style car hop service there and it's just a fun place to visit.

Who has a taste for hot dogs tonight?

See this post on Kim's blog - Snug Harbor Bay


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