CacheCrazy.Com: August 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Summer That Was

Nights are getting long,
Swallows have gone, following the sun
There's a chill in the air
Dog days are off the leash, chasing snowballs on the beach

-Summer's Gone, by Gaelic Storm

The summer, for all intensive purposes, has come to an end.  The kids are back in school.  Fall sports have begun.  I'm back in a weekly routine which will last until next June, in some form or another.  I must say, it's been one fantastic summer.  Between taking an awesome vacation to the beach, getting married, enjoying the hot, hot weather and much more, the Summer of 2012 seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye!

I cut back on my cache runs this summer.  Part of that was due to an increasingly busy workload.  Assuming a few more responsibilities at work necessitated me being at the office more, and less time working from home.  That added up to fewer mornings and afternoons available to go hit a few caches to, or from, work.  In addition, I stepped back a little from the numbers game.  I still enjoy hitting the FTF's and filling in calendar dates, as well as seeking caches to complete requirements for various puzzle/challenge caches, but for the most part I took a break.  I freed myself from the urge to find a cache every single day and/or find every single cache around me.  I realized both weren't going to be feasible.  I feel this has prevented me from getting a case of cache burnout.

Someone had fun at the beach!

What has not been lost in the mix is how many quality caches I saw over the summer.  Not only quality caches, but quality caches newly placed, and by cachers new to the game.  For how often people talk about how this type of cache and that type of cache is ruining the game, I feel things are actually going in the opposite direction.

Meeting fellow geocachers-always a good time!

I compiled a short list of my favorite caches found this summer.  My problem was I must have given out a dozen or more favorite points over the past few months.  A good problem to have, right?  In the end, I narrowed the list down to the four which I thought stood out above the rest.  The caches, or cachers, are not all necessarily new, and are in no particular order.

GC3E1MG- A Little Bit of Everything by Redknight

Sometimes favorite points are rewarded because of a cool cache container.  Sometimes they are awarded because the cache takes you to a cool place.  Sometimes it's because of the cache hunt itself.  In the case of this 10-stage multi cache in Sussex County, New Jersey, it's all of the above.  This cache first caught my eye back in March, when it was first published.  The posted coordinates take you to a park, where you need to count objects and solve a math equation to get the coordinates for stage two.  I counted the objects, did the math, and came up with a different solution almost every time I tried.  Eventually, after about the 20th time, I came up with a number set which stuck.  I was positive I had it. As it turns out, I was right.  I had the stage five.  After some conversation, via email, with the cache owner, I was assured I was on the right path, and picked away at this cache until I got to the final.  This one did, indeed have a little bit of everything, even a few decoys, one of which was unintended!  This one would also get bonus points for the large amount of swag available for trade at the final.  Well done!

GC3T9TF-MacGyver This! by magicman/sewjourner /  GCC8GK Pour Me A Cold One by trail_hound

I grouped these together for a reason.  Both caches are found in Sussex County, New Jersey.  Both are Traditional caches, which require the finder to perform the same feat of skill, in order to sign the logbook and claim the find.  Also, I unintentionally found both caches within a few short days of each other.  They both got my creative juices flowing.  As a result, you may, or may not, be seeing a new cache coming soon to a park near you.  I even thought up a crazy way of improving on their methods!

GCYMDH- Treefrogs of Equinox by treequest

Again, we go back to Sussex County, New Jersey to this Traditional Cache, located just off a trail in a Wildlife Management Area in Sparta.  This cache requires you to perform, what I'd like to call, a feat of strength, balance and patience, not so much in retrieving the cache, but rather replacing it as found.  The cache itself is a small decon container with a logbook.  As I was failing miserably in resetting the cache, I was thinking to myself about how I hoped there wasn't anyone close by, for the sound of a decon container falling on a boulder bares a great similarity to the sound of a shotgun being fired.  There's something to be said for having a sense of accomplishment after finding a geocache.  In the case of Treefrogs of Equinox, it was probably related to a sense of relief in not having to email the cache owner, in shame, telling him his cache couldn't be reset to its original position.  It took me, perhaps, a dozen tries before I put it back.  I was starting to wonder how far a decon container would fly in the woods on a hot summer day!

What's your favorite cache you've found this summer?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WHY NOT WEDNESDAY - Spreading the Goodness

This past Saturday, Dodger was at the Centre Hall Grange Fair and was sampling some hot sauces. He wanted to share the good word with us hot sauce lovers so he sent this email to BigAl and me.

Hey, guys, I know you love hot sauce and hot food, especially Rob.  I met these guys at the Centre Hall Grange Fair yesterday…

I was sampling the sauce and chatting when I noticed the hat the woman was wearing.  Yep, you guessed it – they’re geocachers, too!  And the sauce was very, very good.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it for myself!

On the weekends I am a saute cook at a popular local restaurant (if you want any recipes, I have some good ones) mostly because it pays well and the extra money doesn’t hurt but, I love it! It’s the polar opposite of my position as a program director working with the USDA child nutrition programs. I can even curse in the kitchen at the restaurant, out loud and not get fired. Like I said, I love it.

Anyway, back to the point and incidentally this has nothing to do with geocaching but I warned you that would happen now and then. The Chef lives near me in the Poconos, PA USA. He told me this story last weekend but brought in photos to prove it because no one believes him. He claimed that his family has seen on several occasions a full grown deer and a full grown coyote hanging out together and grazing, even kind of playing with one and other. Tonight he brought in pics from his game camera and sure enough there they were. Now, anyone who knows about coyotes knows that deer don’t just hang out with them. Why that would be like Ayman al-Zawahri hanging out with Barack Obama and having a few beers, it just aint gonna happen.

It got me thinking on my drive home tonight. If two wild animals can respect their differences and find a way to trust one another then it should be a piece of cake for the intelligent human being right? NOT. Now I am not saying that Barack should have beers with Ayman but, I myself have distanced myself from some people in my life and just can’t seem to find a way to put it back together. I'm working on that!

Then I thought even deeper into it. When did these guys meet? Now how did that happen? And why do they pair up and stay together? You know by deciding on this relationship there won’t be any of the deer herd coming over that deer’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. And all the coyote in the area won’t want to be seen with that “deer loving” dude. Oh no!
I know one thing, if they hook up and there are coyotes as big, strong and fast as deer we are screwed my friends! Hey, it could happen. Look at the poor platypus. It’s a love story of a beaver and a duck. Quack Quack 

I think it’s time for me to go to bed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WHY NOT WEDNESDAY ~ My Typical Morning

I was up early, like most days, and watched the sun rise from my deck. I brewed a fresh pot of coffee and settled in with my laptop to do some early summer morning reading. I can't surf too long because I have some friends who depend on me so, I had to get to work. Time to feed all of my friends and do my morning chores and I figured today I'll share with all of you just how awesome my mornings are.

First I had to take care of ME!
This is what I wanted to have......

and this is what I actually had to start my day. Fresh brewed coffee with hazelnut creamer and a sprinkle of cinnamon with a banana on the side.

  This is the Northeastern view I was treated to from my deck as the sun rose

Simba eats at the top deck so he's always first

I do not suggest that you feed wild animals but Daisy is different. She came to me one morning nearly starving and with good reason, she is supporting two beautiful baby fawns (not shown). So I give her a little duck food now and then, sue me.

Speaking of ducks, we have 10 mallard ducks that are free rangers. They can leave anytime they want to but they never do. 
They love it here.

And with digs like this, two squares a day and lots of love and care, why would they go anywhere else?

The Southeast view from my deck! isn't it beautiful?

Then my best buddy Kovu has his breakfast. He often brings me a mouse or shrew as an offering in exchange for his meal. As much as I appreciate his offering, I just pass it off into the woods for some other lucky critter to have for breakfast. 

It's a wonderful place to live!

and the beauty of the forest never disappoints.

The dogs eat a well balanced diet and I enjoy "cooking" for them!

But first I have to wake up their lazy bones....

Daisy says "Good Bye" to me as I leave for work.

I'm treated to many beautiful sights on my way to work but this view of the dam near my home is always a favorite!

When I get to work I unload my breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner into my snack drawer, crack open  my first of several bottles of water and it's time to hit it. I work hard, play hard and fuel my mind and body with beautiful sights, good whole natural foods and cold spring water! Life is good!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blast from the Past

Searching for the Lost Boy Scout Camp, Dodger Lizard Crew in its infancy two summers ago.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Ramblings of a Mad Pensioner - Then and Now No. 3

Lets go back to my "Then and Now" series which combines my geocaching hobby with photography and history. As previously mention, my local paper "The Stroud News & Journal" ran these articles for over a year and today people still asking me if am I going to produce some more. Another example of how it appeared in the paper is seen below, just click on it to read this article about the small Cotswold village called Minchinhampton.

This village is one of the most picaresque around this area, with all the buildings being uniquely built in Cotswold stone with matching slate roofs. I don't think that any are younger than 100 years old and most are very much older. The original photo was dated from 1902, when children could play in the streets without fear of being knocked down by traffic, in fact there wasn't any traffic. Your note from the new picture that the centre of the village was demolished and replaced with a WW1 monument, dedicated to all the villages killed in the conflict, this has been added to as more wars have occurred over time. As for geocaches, there are 4 or 5 very good ones in the area.

Origin of Symmetry. (GC2RYRZ).  I live in an area known as The Five Valleys, and I can tell you it's impossible to go anywhere without climbing hills, in fact I'm sure that living here for 50 years has caused me  to grow hoofed feet like a mountain goat - Baaaa!!

This urban cache was half way up a switchback road, and hidden inside a natural spring that used to supply water to the locals, today it's blocked off for health and safety reasons. Being one of the first cachers to find it, I had to inform the young owner that his container was already waterlogged and not suitable at all, he did improve it straight away.

This old photo was taken about 1910 with the photographer standing right next to the spring, which at one time was probably served all the house owners. Dorrington Terrace was built by a local mill owner to house it's workers, but by the 1911 census there were various individuals living there, and yes I had to investigate who they were in the archives.

In No.1 was a Mr. Samual William Smart (born 1856) and his wife Mary Ann (Born 1854). The most interesting was living in No. 2, Charles Ernest Young (born 1868) who was a Colporteur Evangelist born in nearby Rodborough. Well that made me scratch my head, what on earth did he do? Thankfully a quick search reviled he was a seller of bibles door to door. These people are more than likely in this old photo when a camera was a novelty.

The only change your notice is the white house at the end has been built and some of the original railings have gone, taken in the war time to be melted down for ammunitions, plus there are some alteration to windows and doors.

Five-mile Fanfare. (GC1T9CQ). - A nice little multi-cache owned by my good caching friend Sly2 that takes you around the streets and hills in the town of Nailsworth. It wasn't 5 miles long but celebrated the fact that she had completed all caches within a 5 mile radius. It started at a library and included the Town Hall, a meeting room and a Baptist Church before finishing off out in the countryside.

This is a bit of old Nailsworth and the lane in the centre is called "Butcher's Hill Lane", I just love some of the street names and I'm told that it's a great place for sledging in winter. On the right was "The Red Lion" public house, now a private home. In 1903 a report stated that it was a place of much drunkenness with the landlord, Thomas Blake, unable to control the conduct. On one occasion a policeman was called to a disturbance and was brutally assaulted with the landlord doing nothing about it. He lost his drinks licence quite often. 

On the left I was wondering if the lady shop owner was looking outside and wondering who has pinched the postbox or just perhaps in the new picture it's a very clever geocache. If you look closely at the middle cottage your notice that the building has had an extra floor added, but you will have to look closely.

Time goes by so quickly for all of us, we grow up and change, just like everything around us, in fact where did that fir tree come from in the new picture. Geocaching gives us all the chance to get out and about to see these changes whilst enjoy the environment we all live in. Enjoy it, I do.

See this post on Heather's Blog, The Ramblings of a Mad Pensioner 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We interrupt this post

                          CONGRATULATIONS, WE HAVE A 

We interrupt this post to give you the winner of last weeks photo contest. It's Dan, aka Dodger, from DLC. He guessed two of the three pictures correctly. He chose photos 5, 6, and 7. The non caching photos were 4, 6, and 7. Way to go Dan. He will win a photo of his choice. Thanks to all who participated.

Big Al

Here are the photos with their captions, and if they were featured in a post that is listed too.

                                     Picture 1: Sunset/Indian Lake Tour

                                      Picture 2: Fish On (GeoWoodstock 9)

                                   Picture 3: Butermilk Falls

                                   Picture 4: Bee Balm

                                   Picture 5: Ohio Caverns

                                   Picture 6: Fawn

                                  Picture 7: Buck

                                         Picture 8: Craftimom

                                Picture 9: The Original Authors/Up on the Rock
                                Picture 10: Caching with CK1993 and a friend   

                                  Picture 11: Caching with CacheKing1993

                                  Picture 12: Caching in Texas

                                  Picture 13: Red next to Yellow

 Picture : Adirondack Caching

Picture : Buttermilk Falls

                                 Picture 16: Bald Eagle/Caching in PA


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