CacheCrazy.Com: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Tale Of Two Rocks


A funny thing happened to me recently, while out geocaching.  I found the same cache container on two successive cache finds.  No, not just the same size container.  It was the EXACT container.  It was on two different days, in two different counties, in two different states.  Under normal circumstances, I'd think that was pretty cool.  Heck, even writing that opening sequence makes it sound pretty cool.

It wasn't.  Let me elaborate.

Allow me to submit, for your approval, the fake plastic rock geocache.  I'm sure at one point in time, this was the latest innovation in cool cache containers.  Many a log surely were written about how "I've never seen anything like this before, awesome job!  TNLNSLTFTCLMFAOLOLTTYL!"  This isn't a knock on the rock cache.  It's stood the test of time, and truth be told, it's still a cool cache container.  I have no problem coming across them from time to time.


The first fake rock cache find was in a park in New Jersey.  Ground zero was at the bottom of a slope, about 100 feet in the woods from an open trail.  There were quite a few potential hiding places, and judging from the ratings, I might have to climb the slope.  The hint for this cache wasn't of much use.  If you've ever read my theory on cache ratings, you'll understand why I thought this one might be a fake something-or-another.  The difficulty rating was a four.  The terrain rating (3) led me to believe I wasn't climbing a tree, and most likely wasn't climbing to the top of the slope.  I concentrated my search to the beaten paths on either side of the large rock face.  I had no luck with the right side of the rock face.  There were no nooks or crannies with obvious hiding spaces, nor was there anything out of the ordinary.  It was shortly after I focused my attention to the left side when I saw a couple baseball-sized stones sitting about eye-high.  Bingo!  One of the stones was our aforementioned fake rock geocache.  I found this to be a great hide.  There were dozens of potential hiding spots, yet the "rock" was sitting there, in plain sight.  A well placed 4/3 rating on this one, indeed!

Cool cache container...or torture device?
A few days later I hunt for another geocache, this time in Pennsylvania.  The ratings were a 3/2, I believe.  Having read both the description and hint prior to arriving, I had a gut feeling what I was getting myself into.  Upon arriving at ground zero, my first thought was "The cache owner should have just written 'Here's 1,000 rocks, find the fake one!;"  That's exactly what I was doing for a half of an hour-fishing for a fake rock amongst a bed of rocks.  I don't know what was more aggravating- the fact the cache was where it was, and what it was, or my stubbornness keeping me looking for a stupid piece of molded plastic for so long.

Semi-pot-kettle-black alert:  I own a cache hidden in a rock bed.  It's not a rock, though, and the rock it's under is marked.

As my fiance can attest to, I have a temper.  I was so worked up after finding that cache that I had to go find ANOTHER cache to restore my faith in cache hiders everywhere.  I'm not cache crazy, am I?

Here were two identical cache containers, yet the method in which they were hidden were completely different, and as such, had different difficulty ratings.  Perhaps I can't fault the cache owner of the second cache.  It was a truly evil hide, and I'm sure other cachers would not only spend more time searching, but feel differently about their search.  I found it to be a frustrating waste of time.

Have you ever come across anything similar, where like caches hidden in a different manner, made for unique caching experiences?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pay Off

WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!!

Bundle up, sit back, and stay warm.





This year marks my third year of hunting with my son Levi. The past three years have been fun, but not very profitable for our freezer. If you'll remember last year at this time I had just had emergency eye surgery and I was recovering and wearing an eye patch. Since the surgery was right after Thanksgiving I was not allowed to hunt last year until the very end of the season, and that was only for one day. It was not my kind of year.

This year would be different though. As usual we spent Thanksgiving day with my in-laws and we had a great time. It was also when I set up our deer blinds that we would be hunting out of come opening day. My son Carl would be hunting by himself and Levi would be hunting with me. Levi was actually helping me along as I have had a cataract creep up that is starting to mess with my left eye. Maybe one year I won't have any eye problems for hunting season.

We made it to our blind before it got too light out and we got all set up. I prepared for the cold day by putting my orange bibs on to keep me warm. We both had our hand warmers going to keep the chill off of our hands. We were set.

Well we did not see any deer for quit some time. Around 9:15 I decided to put my sunglasses on, which help take the glare off, and they allow me to see better. Then at 9:25 I spotted a deer to our left. I looked at Levi and noticed he had drifted off to slumber land. I poked him, but not through Facebook, and told him there was a deer to our left. He sat up and said he saw it and that it was a buck.

Now Levi is about to turn 15 so a legal buck for him only has to have antlers that are three inches long or longer. I could not see the buck and I asked him if he could still see it. He said yes. I then asked him if he had a clear shot and he said he did. I then told him to go ahead and take the shot. BANG!! went his 30-30 rifle. I saw the deer run and stop a short distance away, but then it ducked out of sight. He said it appeared to be a 5 point buck, but he wasn't totally sure.

He then said there were more deer coming from the same direction and I looked, but could not make out if they were all doe or not. He said they were doe. That kind of blew it for me since you can't shoot doe right now; that opens this Saturday. We waited for a few minutes and then I told him to get out of the blind and I would get out too. I had him stand right in front of the blind and I started walking toward where he had shot. I was quite a ways away when I looked back and saw he was motioning me to the right.

I did not see any signs that he had hit the deer so I started walking in the direction he was pointing to. As I got closer to a steep wooded area I heard a loud snort and when I looked I saw a buck jump up and try to run. Well it did not run very far before going down again. I realized then that he had done it. All those years of target practicing at the shooting range had paid off. This was his first deer ever.

As I walked toward the deer I yelled at Levi to get down here with me. It was then that I realized just how nice of a deer it really was. Levi was wrong. It was not a 5 point buck. It had 8 points and just happened to be one of the largest deer that has ever been taken on our property. Finally, meat for our freezer, which is most important, and a nice trophy for well deserved young man.





We brought the deer to Grandma's and Grandpa's and then went to finish out the day. We did not see any more deer, but we still had a great day. Seeing how happy he was really made my day. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to hunt with all of my children. It has given us time in God's woods and allowed us to see many things He has created. I'm also thankful that when it came down to it Levi was able to make a clean shot that was a little over 100 yards. The deer weighed 154 lbs, has a 17 inch antler spread, and will put lots of meat in our freezer.

Thanks Levi, you have made your dad proud and you are turning out to be one fine young man. Okay Carl, now it's your turn.




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WHY NOT WEDNESDAY ~ The future of Geocaching according to Bloodhounded

It is my opinion that Geocaching has yet to see its full potential. In the 12 years of its existence it has become a favored past time of millions of people worldwide however, if its growth rate continues, it will explode in the next five to seven years. If you talk to some of the cachers who started in the beginning, they will gladly tell you how the game has changed. From ammo cans to nanos and letterboxes to logbooks, they just don’t play the game the way they use to. And guess what? 12 years from now it will be different from today let alone 20 or 30 years in the future.


Join me now as we look into the digital log book of a Regular Geocache hidden as “Zelton” GC23000IGH623DF50001A entered by a geocacher named “Melbrain” in the summer of 2041.

 “Wow, what a z’upper dynamic cache! I was trailing with Dembelton and saw this one come up on my encoded flash transponder. It looked Kool so we set out to find it. The heat sensory microchip was a real nice attachment from the cache guardian and we also enjoyed the lazar frequency scramblers as it made the find more challenging (how clever). Our geodynamicis were in high gear as we neared GZ and I had a feeling I knew where it was so I infrared the area and sure enough it came up on the screen. We viewed the histogram data of the cache and registered several traveling microbots after reviewing their missions and set them free. I traded the antique iPod Touch (still works much to my surprise) for a home Lasik kit that I tooled with the Melbrain 4D symbol etched into it.  TFHC!”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meat Loaf


There is much tradition that goes along with Pennsylvania deer season - tales of hunts past, stories about friends and family that have gone on before us, dreaming of the elusive whitetail buck and talking strategy to get one golden opportunity, going off to the Commonwealth's "Big Woods" along our Northern Tier to hunting camps as comforting as home...

When I go to hunting camp back in Elk County, one of our traditions is the Sunday night meal, that last meal before the opening day of deer season.  This year I finally photo documented it...


13 pounds of ground meat...


An entire bag of bread crumbs...


A dozen eggs and several jars of tomato soup...


Some hearty appetites...

Maybe next week I'll actually have some pictures of deer, too.  But one thing, we have the meat loaf to tide us over in the meantime.

Happy hunting...

DLC


Monday, November 26, 2012

X6945

X6945

DctrSpott


Becoming a mad scientist is hard work... so, naturally, I steal away whenever I get the chance. The threat of an impending snowstorm, the end of coursework and teaching for the year, and a special visitor from Pennsylvania provided ample opportunity for a much needed trek. So, the pair of us, and Boltzmann, headed south to Colorado.

A local cacher turned me on to the area over the summer, when she double dog dared me to grab a back-country cache, and ran into some nasty cacti along the way. Given my love of multi cache challenges, first introduced to me by none other than the clever Bloodhounded, I returned to the area, tempted by part one of a nine part challenge cache. The challenge investigates Greyrock Mountain, a massive and very distinct chunk of rock. The ominously named X6945 offers amazing views of the local scenery, including the northeast profile of Greyrock. So, with the sun shining brightly and the temperature perfect, we set off on an epic adventure.

The trek started off on a weird note, as we spotted a helicopter skirting extremely close to the ground and mountains. We speculated on what it might be doing, and the possibility of stumbling on a lost hiker, and having an encounter with an escaped convict. The possibility that we could become lost hikers did not even cross our mind, though I admitted my first instinct of "take cover" at the sound of helicopters. That kind of screams, "escaped convict", don't you think?


This means you, cachers.
Following the trail soon led to trouble. A gate and sign I had come across during the summer had been very recently replaced and relocked. To turn around would add several miles and steep terrain to our hike. Besides, this is national forest land. It's not like it's home to some secret government experiments, closely guarded by a daily helicopter patrol... This sign is probably just old, from before the government bought up the land to make a national forest. So, in my (disturbingly) usual, "The rules don't apply to me" fashion, I may have made the judgment call to move forward, but to do so quickly. I wasn't too keen on that helicopter coming back.

The rest of the hike to X6945 was less eventful. We ran into some local wildlife, and pushed forward as the snow became deeper. Trekking across hilltops gave better vantage points to plan an approach, and less snow, but at the cost of dealing with constant terrain changes. The choice paid off, sort of: when the ridge ended, we had a perfect vantage point of the approach we needed to reach X6945. Including the steep climb down we'd need to take in order to reach the climb up. Oh well, at least we were still on a trail.


Clambering uphill proved a challenge, but the view from the top was well worth it. Greyrock indeed was ominous peering at us from a distance, but we also had a spectacular view of the nearby Poudre river valley. Socks were changed, caches and peak registers were signed, and I briefly entertained taking a Spottish shortcut, bypassing the "private property", and taking a shorter route through the more mountainous terrain. Remembering how shortcuts always end up working out for CacheCrazy scouting parties, I quickly opted to retrace our steps for the return route. Setting my GPS to record the route, I learned our one-way trek distance was a whopping 10.77 kilometers, a 21.54 km, or about 13 mile round trip!

This half-marathon hike makes a personal best for me, but is doubly an accomplishment for my Pennsylvanian visitor, hiking at a mile high altitude change.

So, if you're in the rockies, be sure to check out this area. Cacher or not, beautiful views any time of year make this a must see.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

WELCOME TO THANKSGIVING THURSDAY!!

Today is a very special day for us and that is because our daughter Katy, and son Carl, have returned from college.

Our youngest son, Levi, has been home with us and our house has never been so quite. My two oldest boys, Paul and Sean, have been out on their own for quite some time now and we do get to see them every now and then. So today the five of us will be spending the day with my wife's parents and her brother and his family to celebrate Thanksgiving.

As many of you know today is Thanksgiving, and I thought I'd share a Thanksgiving skit with you that I wrote for our puppet team (Countryside Puppets) since we normally perform it around this time of the year.

I'll introduce the puppets to you so you have a better idea of who they are.

                                         Martha

                                 Roger

                                 John and Jenny

                                 The kids


Grandpa and Thanksgiving
By Rob Alfred

Martha:  Roger, Roger!

Roger:   Yes Martha.

Martha:  Could you come in here and help me?

Roger:   Yeah, I'll be right there.

Martha:  Roger, Roger!!

Roger:   What Martha?

Martha:  Are you going to come help me?

Roger:   But I'm watching the football game. (Football game sounds)

Martha:  It's just that I could really use your help in the kitchen.

(Roger enters the kitchen wearing his TV headset; football sounds are muffled)

Roger:   I know Martha, I'm sorry. Here I am.

Martha:  Thank you. Now I need some help getting some of the food ready for today. (Martha lifts her head up from her work.) Roger, get those things off of your head! It's almost noon and John and Jenny and the kids will be here soon.

Roger:   Oh, alright. But why do they have to come to our house for Thanksgiving? There will be kids running around, loud noises, and toys everywhere.

Martha:  Now Roger, you know we don't see the kids very often, besides you should be more thankful that they do come and visit us. Some folks don't eat together as families anymore, let alone getting together for the holidays. By the way, did you ever thank John for that big screen TV he got for you? You know the one you're watching the game on.

Roger:   Oh, I guess I forgot to tell him thanks. It sure was nice of him to buy that for me for my birthday last month.

Martha:  And how about what the kids got you?

Roger:   Oh yeah, more neck ties. I really needed those. With what the Pastor has been speaking on lately I guess I should be more thankful, especially at thanksgiving time. I almost forgot that verse he talked about last Sunday. You know the one that goes something like "giving thanks... um, giving thanks...

Martha:  You mean "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Roger:   Yeah, that's the one. Boy, it says to give thanks always, and for all things. I guess that means anytime, and for anything.

Martha:  It does Roger. Hey, were those car doors I heard?

Roger:   I think you're right.

(Door opens with loud beep, beep, sounds coming in.)

Kids:    " Grandpa, Grandma, we love you and miss you."

Roger:   Me... (Interrupted by Jenny.)

Jenny:   Whoa, watch out. There's a little one coming through.

Roger:   Me too, kids. Thanks for coming over today. I really missed you.

John:     Hi Dad.

Roger:   Hi son. Hey, I don't think I ever said thanks for the TV you bought for me, and I want to say it now. THANKS! It has been an awesome gift. Come on in and let's watch the rest of the game until it's time to eat.

(Lots of laughter and kid sounds.)

John:   What was that Dad? I couldn't hear you because of all the noise.

Roger:  I said...

Martha:  (Interrupting) Roger, watch out for that...

(Lots of commotion)

Martha:  ...toy.

Roger:   Oh well. Here we go again.


Well I hope you enjoyed that little skit about Thanksgiving. I know the kids really like it.

I do want to say a little bit about what Thanksgiving really means. Did you know that thanksgiving is really two words in one? It is. Although many people think it's just a time to get together and watch football games and eat food, which it can be, there really is much more to it.

The first part of the word is "Thanks". This means to be thankful for something. Like food, family, fellowship, and friends. (I love to illiterate.) We can be thankful for many things that we have. I personally am thankful for each day I have to live.

The second word is "Giving". This means we are to be giving to others. One year our church collected food to give to others who normally wouldn't have had a nice thanksgiving. What about you? What was the last thing you gave to someone who was in need?

As you gather with family and friends today remember to be thankful for all that you have. And, think of some way, or something, you can give to others. Your expression of love can change a life forever.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my fellow cachers and friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Geocachers of Children's Television

Running on the treadmill is boring.  To make it a bit less cumbersome, our treadmill is plopped firmly in front of the TV.  So while trotting away the other day, I had some VH1 Classic cranking.  Fun stuff - they were playing all the cool videos from the 1980s.  (I could run all day with Eddie on guitar, so keep the Van Halen coming, VH1…)  All was fine and well until the kids decided they wanted to watch one of their shows.  I was ready to balk, but they had earned it.  Fortunately they picked one of the good ones.  Some of these kids’ shows are flat-out stupid.  While I was coming up with a list of shows I’d like to ban from our television, it got me to thinking that some of these characters would make pretty good geocachers.  Conversely, others wouldn’t have a prayer.  So I present to you the following lists…


Dodger’s List of the Finest Geocachers of Kids’ Television


The Fresh Beat Band – I love these guys.  They’re all polite, well-spoken kids.  My favorite is Twist.  What a character.  Anyway, the Fresh Beat Band is four friends that go to school together.  They generally find their way into some tame mischief, work together to solve the problem, and then break out into celebratory song.  It’s pretty good stuff.  They can be a part of the DLC posse anytime.  We could always use a cool tune to go along with our Found It smiley.  Fresh Beat Band, you’re DLC-approved geocachers!


Team UmiZoomi – “I can show you anything, on my belly belly belly screen - Taxi!  Skyscraper!  Traffic Light!"  And he hits that “Traffic Light” with this righteous hard rock snarl.  So awesome.  Team UmiZoomi is a brother-sister duo and their robot named – get this – Bot.  Like the Fresh Beat Band, they like to sing.  They’re also a bunch of math geniuses and the robot, besides his belly belly screen, has a couple of other handy superpowers – he can extend his arms and legs!  Hmm.  Tricky puzzle caches?  Some tough terrain?  A cache just out of reach?  And if you lose satellite reception or your batteries die, no problem!  Bot will show you the way on his belly belly screen.  You can cache with me any day, Team UmiZoomi!


And finally…


Dora the Explorer – OMG.  This.  Kid.  Is.  Cool.  Just let me give you a rundown of some of the tomfoolery this kid gets into.  She visits Coney Island.   Rides a raft over a waterfall.  Fights an evil witch.  Gets caught in thunderstorms.  Climbs Snowy Mountain.  Hops trains.  Explores a gooey geyser.  Goes to the North Pole.  Fends off a grumpy troll.  Finds herself mired in quicksand.  Rockets to outer space...  There’s no question – I’d take this kid over that survival guy Bear any day of the week.  Keep in mind, Dora does all this stuff WITHOUT PARENTAL SUPERVISION.  Her only companion is a silly monkey, and it seems to me he causes more trouble than he solves.  My word, Coney Island?  The North Pole??  Space Travel???  Dora NEVER panics.  This kid has ice water in her veins.  Geez, this kid’s arch-nemesis is a rabid fox for crying out loud!  She is ultimately prepared with her backpack, which is loaded up with things and knick-knacks.  Bet you 50 cents there’s a GPS in there!  All kinds of adventure, and you get to learn a little Spanish, too.  Dora is my first-round pick for my geocaching team!


And now those that will have to work a lot harder to earn a spot on my geocaching team…


Dodger’s List of the Worst Geocachers of Kids’ Television


Yo Gabba Gabba – DJ Lance calls himself a DJ, but he looks like a cross between a drum major, The Greatest American Hero, and some half-@$$ed astronaut.  He’s also got this gang of strange monsters/animals/I-don’t-even know.  I can live with all that, but these guys have the worst, most monotonous songs.  “Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food.  Try new food…”  AHHHHHHHHHHHH!  Stay away from me, Yo Gabba Gabba!


Go, Diego, Go – Diego is Dora the Explorer’s hyper cousin that's always just on the edge of freaking out.  I guess running an “animal rescue center” would be pretty stressful, especially for an 8-year old, but Diego doesn’t even come close to his cousin’s coolness.  One of these days Diego is going to lose it.  I don’t want it to be on my watch on some geocaching outing.  Sorry, D.  You best stay with the animals.  No geocaching for you.



Sponge Head Square Head – Oh boy, here comes the hate mail.  Oh well.  Look, the problem with Sponge Pants Square Tom is two-fold.  One – I can never remember his name.  Two – whatever his name is, it’s too freakin’ long.  “Bob Squared Sponge Pants” – Imagine signing a geocaching logbook with such a long handle.  It’s like, I don’t know, Dodger Lizard Crew.  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Can you imagine that??  The only use I can see for having Lunch Box Square Pants on a geocache outing is that maybe I could use him for swag, but that’d be pretty weak.  I’m keeping you at home, Sponge Square, so I can use you to scrub my pans.


And finally...


Caillou - Spoiled and whiny.  Yeah, just what I want when enjoying a day of geocaching.  Sorry, Calliou, but until you toughen up, you’re going to have to stay home with your “Mummy and Duddy”. 

(Now Calliou’s mother is a different story – anybody that wears overalls 24/7 is a practical person and is probably a good geocacher.)


There you have it, folks.

Wow –all this from 30 minutes on the treadmill.

What say you???

Dodge

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Fungus A-Mungus

A DIY cache container by: Bloodhounded

Notes from the author: This is a neat little cache that you can set most any place and get great log results. It’s easy to make and fun! Why not make one of your own?



Jeff from nucci6 is a friend of mine from State College PA. He found one of my caches where I use a similar container and made mention in an email that he would really like one. So, I made a replacement and gave it to him. Now it resides at GC2RZP1, The Mushroom Cache at Penn State University mushroom research center. A very cool location indeed.

Here are just a few logs from recent finds:

·         April 10 by carels (14462 found)
# 14115 FTF Thank you for the cache. I liked the container.

·         April 11 by JBT (1784 found)
Aah, the fungus is among us! We met up with engineco3 and TheGeoSleuth near GZ and had a nice visit. Thank you for the fine hide and great cache container!

·         April 21 by kmbartek (191 found)
crazy cache container.

So, if you want to get this kind of results and place an evil cache that really looks cool, here is the DIY step by step for The Mushroom Cache.

1.       Use quality self drying clay that you can find at any craft store. Follow the package instructions. Use a water tight container. I used a chemistry set sample containers.
2.        Mold your masterpiece. Follow the package instructions for the best results. Be sure to press the bottom of the container into the clay to make and indent. Later you'll use this as the attachment location.
3.    This is your chance to inscribe your cache name of anything else (like maybe the coord to the next stage, hehehehehe [evil laughter]. Tip - don't worry about the messy "scrap" you get from etching. You can sand that off later, or leave it on as texture.
4.    Drill a small hole right through the cap (half the diameter of the nail you plan to use) 
5.    Work a nice sized nail through the hole with the point exiting the top of the cap.
6.    The end result should look like this.
7.    This will be the first time you will use the 5 minute epoxy. Get the feel for it and know it's cure stages. Epoxy the nail in place so it is solid and firmly in place. 
8.     Now it's time to paint the mushroom cap (my fav). The one on the right is the refurbished original mushroom I gave nucci6. I had to fix an area of the cap that was coming apart. I fished them both together. Any acrylic paint will work.I like to mix the paint with white glue. It adds a layer of protection and make a cool opaque look to the mushroom. 
9.      Paint it any way you wish. Glow in the dark paint would be cool for a night cache, right? I decided to match the natural as close as I could.
10.   This picture sucks but basically you want to epoxy the mushroom cap to the BOTTOM of the container. Then once it's dry "paint" the entire cap with epoxy. This works as a sealer and the epoxy makes a solid, durable surface.
11.     I like to paint the whole project and cover it totally with two coats of epoxy. Here is what it looks like when it's done. The epoxy makes it bullet proof and last for years.
12. Here is a picture of the refurbished original that resides at GZ
13.    I like to personalize stuff and love the way the paint darkens in the etched clay. This cache container complete with log was given as a gift to DctrSpott to place in the state of Wyoming while he attends grad school there this fall.

The container is naturally waterproof with the cap shedding the rain but I still like to place the log inside a small zip lock bag to add another level of protection. The nail works as a spike so it wont move, fall or roll away. 

That's all there is to it. You too can be the proud owner of this unique container that attracts favorable logs and is fun to find. All it takes is a little time between the stages and some creativity and there you go, a mushroom geocache container of your very own!

Have fun!




Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Romantic Cache

By Big Al

Have you ever read about, or hidden, a Romantic Cache? Well if not then read on and learn a few tricks from the Master.  And no, this is not so mushy that your kids can't read it. Hey,this is a kid friendly site and they might even learn a few tricks for when they get older. So...

WELCOME TO ROMANTIC THURSDAY!!!! Get your wife, a good cup of coffee, or tea, sit back together and get ready to get ROMANTIC. Just kidding. Get ready to learn how to be romantic through Geocaching.

Around our house I am known as being sly, sneaky, down right conniving, and most of all romantic when it comes to my wife and our anniversary. This would become very apparent when we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on November 2, 2009. Yes if you do the math you'll know we were married on November 2, 1984. A date I will never, ever, forget. That was the day I married the most beautiful woman in the world.

I had already surprised my wife on our 20th wedding anniversary with a one night stay at a Bed and Breakfast in Lancaster, PA, and I knew I needed to outdo myself for our 25th. So I began planning ahead. When we were married in '84 we spent our honeymoon in Niagara Falls, Canada. We stayed on the Canadian side and really loved it.  My plan was to take my wife back to Niagara Falls for our 25th anniversary. I began my sneaky moves and called and reserved a hotel room for two nights at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel on the Canadian side.  Little did I know that this hotel was the last hotel right on the edge of the Horseshoe Falls just 300 yards away. It was going to be beautiful.

                             Our Hotel

With all of the details for the hotel in place it was now time to set the surprise in motion. I had decided to put together a special romantic cache that would be published on our anniversary and therefore it is called Anniversary Cache. I put the cache together and went out to hide it on the MeadowSweet Preserve Trail. I made sure there was plenty of swag in it along with a letter to my wife, and all the details of the mini vacation. In the letter I explained how much I loved her, how much I enjoyed her company, and that we were going on a 3 day vacation to Niagara Falls for our anniversary. On the way to the trail it started raining really hard. I figured I'd stop back at a later time to hide it.

I went back home and picked up my daughter who was going to work. Now you have to understand that she was going to work dressed like a cat for Halloween. She had on black pants, a black shirt, a black cat tail, and cat ears. Her face was painted with whiskers and she looked great.

                                              Kyo-Kat

I dropped her off and went back to the trail, but it was still raining, so I went back home. When it was time to pick her up I noticed that it had stopped raining. We stopped at the trail and went into the woods and hid the cache. Current time is 9:00 p.m. and it is DARK outside. After hiding the cache we started to walk back out when a car pulled up next to my car. Me to daughter: Is that a police car? Daughter to me: I don't know because I can't see that far. What if it is? Me: He's not going to believe what we are doing. The thought in my head: "Okay officer I know I am coming out of the woods at 9:00 p.m. with a young lady dressed like a cat, but honestly she's my daughter". Wipe thoughts from my head. Let's just walk out there and see who it is.Well to our surprise it was NOT a policeman. It was a lady talking on her cell phone. Whew! Off to home.  My daughter and I will never forget that night and how much fun we had laughing about it later.

Okay, everything is set for the surprise. All I have to do is get my wife out here to find the cache. Once she finds it then I'll send it in for publishing. What? Do you think I was going to take a chance on someone finding it before my wife did? Not on your life.

The next day after church I told my wife I needed HER to check my cords for my new cache hide and see if they were correct. She took it hook, line, and sinker. Off we went. We arrived at the trail and headed into the woods. This time it was light out. My wife found the cache without too much difficulty. She opened it up to see what all was in there for the FTF. She checked out the log book and then set everything aside including my letter, and started looking at the swag. She was about to put the stuff back in when I told her to check everything out first. So she went through everything again and opened up the letter and began reading it. SURPRISE!!! She was totally speechless. She could not believe it. She then read about the mini vacation we were taking for our anniversary and I'll have to admit I think a piece of dust must have gotten in my eye because it started to water up. Okay, so I was a little emotional and those were tears welling up in my eyes. There I said it. I'm a man and I can take it; if I have to; I guess. Thanks Red.

She then asked when we were going on the trip and I told her "we're leaving tomorrow morning, so we had better go home and pack". That was when I heard the words "What?" We're leaving tomorrow? "Yes dear we are". We headed back home and while she packed I sent the cache in for review. Somewhere along the time line my wife asked me about passports. I knew I had mine and it was good to go, but her's was not. I called the border place and they said all we needed was her birth certificate and ID. Good enough for me. The next day we left for Niagara Falls.

We arrived at the border and the lady there asked us where we were going and for how long. We told her and she said have a great time. We continued on our way.  We arrived at the hotel and it was more than what I expected. The views were amazing and it was well worth the money.



                            The view out of our window



















My wife set up our room with everything from our wedding to include pictures, the guest book, our wedding topper, and everything else she had saved. We spent some time going through all of the pictures reminiscing about our first trip to Niagara Falls, the wedding, and everything else along those 25 totally amazing, awesome, years.  I'll just say that we had a magnificent time for our anniversary.  We did find several caches there in Canada, and we took some wildlife pictures too. We also walked along the streets and enjoyed the night life at the falls. It was fun reliving our anniversary and just spending time together. Before we left we bought a leather key chain and made it into a Travel Bug called Anniversary Bug.  After filling out the TB page we set it loose in a cache there and it is still traveling today. Below are some pictures of our trip and I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

The trip back home was a little more eventful. When we got to the border to come back into the Good Ol' US of A the guy there wanted to see her passport. I explained that we did not have one and I gave him the other papers. This guy then began quizzing us about our trip. We began to feel like he was not going to let  her back in. Oh great! I take my wife to Canada for a special anniversary and now I can't bring her back. Well the guy continued asking questions and then he wanted to know what was in the box in the back of the car. I told him it had our wedding things from 25 years ago. Well maybe he thought we were a little crazy, but he did let us back in with the stipulation that we had BETTER GET HER A PASSPORT or not come back again. Thank you mister 'almost ruin our day' officer. We're going back to where we are appreciated. We did make it back safely to PA.

Now you guys go buy your wife some flowers, hide a Romantic Cache, and give her an anniversary to remember. By the way, the cache was published and even though my wife did not receive the actual FTF she got the better end of the deal. Now I'm just patiently waiting for that 30 year mark. Boy have I got plans for her. I hope she doesn't pass out or something. LOL.

                         The Falls

                            The tallest man's chair

               My beautiful bride of 25 years

                                  Me

                                  Happy Couple of 25 years and still going



                         Both falls in the early morning

                                       Anniversary Bug

Big Daddy walking along the road

And just what are you looking at. Put your eyes back in your head


                      Are you seeing double?

   Tree near one of the caches. He's had a bit too much to drink and he's a little hung over


Honey, get away from the edge.

                        Honey, I'm bushed

             Either Toronto is flooded or that is one big wave. Actually just a good zoom lens.

Can you say ROMANTIC!


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