CacheCrazy.Com: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

CacheCrazy.Com ~ A Look Back on 2012 ~

So, another new year is here! Where does the time go? I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

2012 was an awesome year at CacheCrazy.Com World Headquarters here in the beautiful mountains of northeast Pennsylvania! New Honorary Authors, great articles by all and a dedicated readership who I'm certain enjoyed every bit of it.

I will try my very best to reflect back over this year past year and highlight (via hyperlinks) for you what I felt were the best in developments, happenings and posts. Sounds easier than it really is because there were so many great moments it's hard to consolidate them into one post but, here goes!




The year started out with BigAl 437 recovering from eye surgery. Smithie23 offered his geocaching confession and I introduced our readers to our newest Honorary Author, Ann who shared one of her adventures with us. January was also the month when we met our dear Honorary Author, Heather as she described the perils of geocaching and Dan shared his view of The Geocachers of Children's Television much to our delight! Erika Jean added another fine addition to her series, "Excerpts from ErikaJean.com" for all of us to enjoy and Dave D brought down the house with two tunnel posts in secession, The Screaming Tunnel and Blue Ghost Tunnel. I offered an update to my tending to ducks post to keep all informed and I was happy to offer a great post on Extreme Geocaching!  All in all, this was a great month for CacheCrazy.Com and a great way to start off the new year!

                                                                                                                

Bloodhounded nominated and selected as one of the final three contestants for Geocaching.com Geocacher of the Month? This was a huge honor and started the month off perfectly! It truly turned a "Rebel Cacher" into a respectable member of the caching community. And, even though the Packers lost the Super Bowl to the NY Giants I couldn't help but feel sad for Smithie as he mourned the loss of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and made a confession that he is an FTF hound and why he caches! Meanwhile, Heather offered some tips on Muggle Distraction and Kim shared the deep dark secrets of what was in her geocaching bag! Little did I know that my Valentine's Day post would be one of the most popular posts of the year and I introduced our Honorary Author, George as he provided a crash course on how to Wherigo. There were 29 days in the month this year and Hedge offered his version of a Geocaching Treatise to top off the month. And, if that wasn't enough, we also celebrated one year of CacheCrazy.Com (in it's current form).  BIG Month!

                                                                                                                

BigAl kicked off the month with his awesome review of The Leap Day Event that he attended and had us all were wishing that we could go to Buttermilk Falls with him! Kim offered a few great posts but The CGW Train post and her travelbug and mobile post were awesome! Heather told us about her geocaching with history and Smithie defended the urban hide. I explained why I haven't been geocaching and told a story of a geocache maintenance surprise that really blew my mind! Erica told us about Arizona's oldest geocache and smithie told of his other passion genealogy which I think is fascinating. Our friend Shell from LoveMyGuinness offered two outstanding posts on the sport of geocaching and a caching day gone bad.  A very busy month with so many great articles!

                                                                                                                

In April we introduced CacheCrazy.Com's free geocaching logs made by George and have had over 400 downloads to date! Smithie introduced us to Munzee and wrote an excellent article on Private Property geocaches. Dave D took us on two totally awesome epic geocaching adventures to GC Headquarters and to the original stash but introducing all of our readers to his new daughter, Abigail was the best! I introduced our readers to Miragee and her first post with us and tufelhundin talked about a travelbug graveyard of sorts. Jamie also made her debut at CacheCrazy.Com and one of the all time favorite posts by BigAl was posted in April. He took the time to offer an in depth discussion on Lyme disease and the tick invasion. All in all, a super month!

                                                                                                                

Dave D kicks off the month with an excellent post on the art of logging and added another great post on Indian Folklore Edition. BigAl had some BIG news to share with the world on BigAlJr1693 and Kyo-Kat and share he did! He even found time to post a two part series in Got a Map I and II. Great stuff! Jamie returned with a great family fun post and I shared a live camera feed on an Eagle's nest in Monday's are for the birds. Dan talked about a geo trout fishing derby which was awesome and shared his spring gobbler story with us. George showed us his world wide flash mob efforts that looked like a lot of fun and Johnnygeo told us about the dangers of lamp post caching and caching safety in general. Heather added another great post on the Then and Now series which I personally love.  Smithie told us the tale of two rocks and shared a great chicken recipe with us to top it off.
NICE!

                                                                                                                

JUNE 2012 Featured post ~ Geocache Launch Party and Cool CacheCam Video

HERE IS THE CACHECAM AND VIDEO POSTED BY
HEADHARDHAT ON JUNE 26, 2012

As the weather got warmer you would think that things would cool down at CacheCrazy.Com, right? Wrong! Check out Kim's caching Lake Michigan and hot dogs! That is living right there may friends! Big Al told us about poison ivy and how to identify it in Leaves of Three and his wife, craftimom writes about a milestone for them bothGrandpa Thrifty was introduced to our readers as was Josh who tells his tale of a geobash that he attended with his family. Dan shared his adventures at the Philadelphia Zoo and I puplished my secret Buffalo Chicken Wing Recipe.  Heather adds another entree to her Clever Caches collection and Dave D shows you how to make a clever geocache of your own. Hedge offers some snarky geologs we would like to see and Connie from MrsMamaHen.com shared her first FTF!  Smithie has a great story to tell about a cache he found and then found it again and we wrap up with a fun little geocache maintenance story that I wrote. Wow, what a great month!
                                                                                                                


BigAl started off July with a great post on the best DNF ever while Dan wished us all well from Morocco! I explained why the 4th of July isn't really Independence Day and Heather explains the ins and outs of why and how. DctrSpott surprised me with a great post with the Sheep Mountain Disaster and Smithie was busy rattling off several great posts and told us about the best cache he never found, showed us a cool unique cache container and shared some of his wedding adventures in Myrtle Beach, SC. Miragee offered two outstanding posts and awesome pictures during her adventure geocaching with Dillweed and she visited two historic caches in southern CA. I introduced our readers to Sonny and he offered his post on their geocaching vacation and I also introduced Nishollow who is an artist in his own right with his crazy cache containers. We also had celebrity status when BigAl437 was on TV and wore his CacheCrazy.Com Author hat proudly for all the world to see. I loved that! I had a similar personal experience when our blog was selected and featured as The Blog Of The Week on a regional televised Internet reviewer! That was awesome! Otherwise BigAl couldn't find his own cache, Heather took us on a walk on the canal side and Dave D announced that Aliens have landed in Denmark! What a wild month!


                                                                                                                

The month starts off with Jamie sharing a nice little story about a mushroom and BigAl and family head to the big city to meet with a doctor. Smithie tell us about his milestone cache while on the Trilogy Of Terror tour and then takes us on an adventure to do six cache types in one day! Dan takes us on an adventurer close to home with a rails to trails geocache family fun day and I did a pretty cool DIY of a bird nest cache that was well received. We featured the Outdoor Adventure Magazine which was a CacheCrazy.Com exclusive and Connie contributed an awesome photo collection of an old Gold Miners Camp. She also rolled out her series of  Monday Morning Adventures with MrsMamaHen that carried over several weeks. Speaking of morning adventures, Ann showed us one of her geomornings and Dave D came back with two great "tunnel" themed posts in "Tunnel Of Light" and "The Mosier Tunnels". Wait! That's not all! Smithie talked about the benefits of a premium membership at GC.com, BigAl pointed out the finer details of why patience is a virtue and I shared my typical morning. Yes, an action packed month and don't forget to check out the featured post on the Trilogy Of Terror which was a CacheCrazy.Com organized adventure with Dan, Smithie and myself. Great times they were, great times.

                                                                                                                

Right out the the gate I did a post of a group of folks who coordinated an effort called Space 2081. The goal is to place one cache of every type and every difficulty and terrain rating, pretty cool right? Monday Morning Adventures continued right through the month and Ann was back at with a short but sweet caching day afield. I checked into some antics that Nishollow was up to and BigAl took us all to Florida on his family vacation that just wouldn't be complete without grabbing some geocaches, 50 geocaches to be exact! We paid our respects to 9/11 and  Dan talked about his experience while bumping into a few rookies. Kim stole the show with two fantastic articles on the historic Mineola Hotel and the Crystal Lake Park District Geocache Series! While BigAl was showing us how to turn a fire extinguisher into a clever cache container, DctrSpott post a surprise astrological adventure on Cassiopeia. I asked everyone to please log those DNF's and Smithie was surprised that his cache survived a recent flood. Finally the month ended with Heather's moving story in Lee's Memorial Travel Bug Journey. Man, what a month! There was so many great features that my Google reader was smiling from ear to ear!

                                                                                                                



Dave D kicked off the month by taking us to South Mountain State Park to geocache the High Shoal Falls. He also gave us a great education on Ziplock bags and there uselessness. I did some geocaching alone and blogged about it of course while George shared his photos of caching in San Francisco, CA. The Tangled Mermaid shared a touching geocache love story with us and smithie had a message to sotp bullying that was well received. Kim gave us an education on pathtags and Bigal and I both talked about the beautiful leaves and the fun time that you could have geocaching at this time of the year. The last ten days of the month were reserved for Fright Week and I had to select 10 out of 22 entries of frightening stories by awesome authors. Some of the runners up were Kim's, Mineola Hotel and Lounge and Heather's, The Big Black Hairy Monster Under My Table (which I still owe them prizes for, sorry guys:). There were so many great stories I would check them out if I were you. This was a special month for me in many ways and an unbelievable display of the talent on the CacheCrazy.Com author team!

                                                                                                             

Oh what a November to remember! We started off the month by publishing some of the stories that I loved such as Dan's, "Was it You??" and BigAl's, "Faceless Lady" and a few more. Heather submitted a story of sports activities that a pensioner might employ or not and Tony offered his insight on trail mix. Veterans Day has a special meaning to all of us and Lea from Indulge Thyself offered a great article on our military working dogs. Smithie addressed the Munzee madness gone stale and Ann took us on a Riverside Autumn Walk where she had some fun and adventure. Kim posted a great article on all different types of cache containers and I showed our readers how to make a mushroom cache container. BigAl showed us his sensitive side while he and his wife took part in a Romantic Cache, he was obviously very proud of his son's first buck and he took the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Dan shares a hunting season tradition with us and DctrSpott takes us on an adventure out west that is sure to please. Dave D shared some tools of the geocacher, I predicted the future of geocaching and smithie talked about his geocaching slump that at one time or another, we could all relate to. Without a doubt a great month at CacheCrazy.Com.

                                                                                                                

With the holiday's quickly approaching and our schedules getting very busy all of a sudden some friends stepped forward to assist in posting fresh content everyday! Jenny from Jenny Goes Geocaching posted an article on miro managing and an awesome two part story of a multi cache in Bangor, Maine. Our friend Sonny from Life Outside My Door posted 10 tips that he has learned over the years while camping. Smithie said goodbye to challenges in, "Kiss That Frog Goodbye" and Dan offered his hunting story of bagging his buck this year. I posted a story I wrote awhile back on the worst geocaching day ever and talked about the location of a cache in relationship to how much action the cache will receive. BigAl asks a question for you to answer in, "What Would YOU Do?" and I make a bold announcement that I believe in Santa Claus! BigAl does some night caching on 12/12/12 that looks like a lot of fun, Dan and I get into a geocaching feud and we top off the month with Heather showing us ways to get yourself invited, save on gifts and have a nice CHEAP Christmas! Does it get any better than that I ask you?

                                                                                                                

Well, there you have it! One full year of fun and adventure all wrapped up in one post just for you! I'll leave it up for two days so you can really explore it and have fun but come Wednesday it's back to business bringing you all the best geocaching, outdoor adventure, fitness, family fun and some great food too that you have come accustom to here at CacheCrazy.Com. We are very eclectic so I'm sure you'll find something you like but if you have any ideas or suggestions please send me an email at Bloodhounded@gmail.com and I would be happy to hear your thoughts. Thank you all for your support and we at CacheCrazy.Com World Headquarters look forward to another wonderful year finding adventure everyday!
Happy New Year!
Bloodhounded





Friday, December 28, 2012

A Look Back At 2012

I'm not quite sure where this year went.  It feels just like yesterday I was sitting here, blogging about all the great caches I found in 2011.  I was able to get out caching practically every day, and in the process, was regularly awarding "favorite points" for awesome caches and cache experiences.  As I approached 2012, I had the 1000th cache milestone in my sights.  My GSAK stats were telling me it as a possibility in 2012.  The mild winter we had in the northeast made for prime geocaching conditions.  Compared to other winters, I found a decent amount of caches, and I was able to continue that good luck into the spring.  Unfortunately, a series of events occurring, pretty much all at the same time, during the summer have forced me into a self-imposed semi-hiatus on geocaching.  Trust me, I'm still scouring geocaching.com looking at all the awesome caches still being published.  I still work feverishly on cache puzzles (right, Harold?).  I just haven't had much time to get out there and actually search for caches, save for the quick one, here and there.

As a result of my dormancy, I've had a tough time coming up with a year-end retrospective, as it was.  It's funny how finding a cache can jog your memory on other similar caches you've found in the past.  The problem is, when you cache infrequently, some of those caches seem to slip in between the cracks. Even caches I found six months ago feel like it was ages ago.

That being said, a few caches stand out, to me, as memorable, for one reason or another.  It would have been a tall task to drum up a top ten list.  Therefore, I'd like to reflect on three caches which, to me, stood above the rest this year.

In no particular order...


GCV8GK-Pour Me A Cold One by trail hound

This is a Traditional Cache hidden in Sussex County, New Jersey.  This was a tricky hide, as it was well camouflaged in the woods.  Finding ground zero, however, was only half the battle.  In order to sign the logbook you first needed to figure out how to retrieve the cache container.  I will not give away the methods used, but I will say you need to needed to use the nearby (liquid) resources to bring the cache container within reach.  And, oh yeah, you needed to be quick about it.  There was a method to it, and I figured it out in time.  Not the first time.  Or the second, for that matter.  This cache was an inspiration for a new cache I conjured up in my head. (Right, Harold?)  Unfortunately, that's where the idea has stayed.


The cache IS there-somewhere!



GC3AFBY- Ript2Shrds- Satan's Crack by -Ript2Shrds-

If you weren't part of the 2012 CacheCrazy.com Trilogy of Terror, you missed out on a great time.  As part of the group caching experience, we went on a short, but STEEP hike up this boulder formation just outside of Hazleton, PA.  We managed some tricky maneuvering up, across, and down the boulders in order to make the find.  (As I'm writing this on a snowy and icy morning, I'd hate to see what that hike would be like on a day like this.)  Plunging into Satan's Crack with some of my finest and newest friends make for a fun summer's day.  The scenery was breathtaking, and the water was refreshing.  This is what it's all about!  I can't wait to see where we decide to go in 2013!

Our Fearless Leader!

Picturesque view.




GC3E1MG- A Little Bit of Everything by Redknight

Who says you have to complete a multicache in one trip?  Or two?  Or twelve?  This ten (yes, TEN) stage multi in Newton, New Jersey was arguably the most challenging cache adventure I've been on, from a mental standpoint.  It starts with a field puzzle which will leave you doubting your own third grade math skills, and ends with, for lack of a better expression, a balancing act in which you better be darn sure you have your footing, or you'll be taking quite the mud bath.  In between is a hodgepodge of field puzzles and waypoints which will leave you scratching your head, and cursing, under your breath, yourself,  the cache owner, and life in general.  I made the experience more interesting by finding the stages out of order.  The entire cache is located within the confines of a park, but there is a lot of ground to cover, and lots of potential hiding spaces.  Sneaky, clever hiding spaces.  The Coupe de grace was an out-of-this-world final stage.  The hide was great, trying to get to it was pure hell (it was a dry summer day), and the container was loaded with swag.  Without a doubt, it was the most rewarding finale stage I've found, to date.  Redknight is one of my favorite cache owners, and this cache is a good example of why.







Thursday, December 27, 2012

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?


WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!!!

Last week I gave you the following two scenarios to think about. I hope you did think about them. Here is what happened.



This first one happened while I was in the United States Air Force.

I had been working at the base for quite some time and I was now working the day shift of 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. One day I was coming out of our office building and I was heading to my car when I saw something laying on the ground. I was still a good ways off and it appeared to be a wad of money that someone had dropped. As I was approaching it I started thinking about what I would do if it really was money. Would I pocket it and act as if it never happened? Would I try and find out who it belonged to? Would I just walk on by?

Well as I got closer I realized it was not a wad of money; it was some trash. I walked right on by toward my car. (I was not into CITO at that point.) I began to think how it would have been best if it had been money to try and find out who lost it. But then again maybe no one would have seen me pick it up and I could by something for myself. Hmmm.

As I got closer to my car I noticed something laying on the ground. No, it wasn't a wad of money, but it was a very nice hunting knife. It was somewhat long, and very sharp.

Then my thoughts came back to me. What should I do? I knew what I would do if it had been money that I found, but this was not money.  Should I just pick it up and get in my car? Should I try and find out who it belonged to? What should I do?

I picked up the knife and went home for the day. The next day I went to work early even though it was my day off. I met with each shift throughout the day and told them what I had found. I then told them that the person who had lost the knife could talk to me later about it. The stipulation I gave was that in order for them to be able to get it back they had to describe it exactly to me.

Pretty soon I started receiving calls from guys who said it was theirs. I would ask them to describe it and they would say "well it's about 5 inches long with a black handle." Sorry, was my answer. Another one said "it's double edged with engravings on the blade." Sorry, was my answer again. I don't remember how many calls I received, but none of them could describe it to me. There was not even one who was remotely close.

After enough time passed my commander said I could keep it since no one could describe it. So I kept it and I still have it to this day. By the way, if you call me and think it's yours you'll have to describe it exactly to me. And the picture above is just that; a picture of a knife. Hey come one now you didn't think I'd post a real picture of it did you?

This second scenario happened here at our local Walmart.

It was approaching Christmas time and my wife and I were out doing some shopping for the kids. We had picked up some items for them and were actually heading to another area of the store when it happened. I looked down and laying on the ground in the isle was a wad of money. Yes I'm back to the money thing again.
My wife saw it too.  I picked it up and counted it. There was a lot of money there. Then I began to wonder what should I do with it. Hmmm.  Should I just put it in my pocket? It is Christmas time and we sure could use some extra cash. Or I could consider it a gift and buy some other things for the kids they really need.  Should I try and find someone nearby that might have dropped it? But there was no one around. Should I take it to the Customer Service Center and turn it in? Who would know if I kept it? What should I do?

After looking at the money, and counting it once again, we decided to take it to Customer Service and turn it in. It was the right thing to do. I just hope that whoever lost it went there to see if it had been turned in. Maybe they did and maybe they didn't. I was sure of one thing, I was happy with what I did.

I hope you had a great week and I hope you'll do what's right if you find yourself in a situation like I did.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

DLC Christmas Cards




We started a little tradition a few years back where we have a little fun with our annual Christmas card.  I'd like to share them...

2006


I'm the Steelers fan, she's the Eagles fan - we switched gear.  Our sports fans friends and family got a big kick out of it.

2007


Dog, chainsaw, flannel, pregnant wife... a DLC redneck Christmas!

2008


We went the camo route this year.  Can you find the hidden objects in the picture?  Hint:  There are four of them.

2009


Surprisingly, a lot of folks didn't "get" this one.  Personally, I thought it was hilarious.

2010


People had trouble figuring this one out, too.  The idea here is that the kids are serving us. 

2011


"Tis the story..."  (For the record, I think the two Brady Bunch movies are a riot...)


And finally...


I present to you...


THE 2012 DODGER LIZARD CREW WaCkY CHRISTMAS CARD



MERRY CHRISTMAS, FRIENDS, AND HAPPY CACHING IN THE NEW YEAR!

A note from Bloodhounded: I just had to make an entry to this post. This year's card (2012) took the cake. Not only does the "white trash" image come through in the picture, you have to know the details of this year's warm holiday wishes from the Werners.

First of all, this is SOOOOOO contradicting to how these folks really are. An engineer, a school teacher, a little angle in Annalie and Sadie is sweet as pie. Annalie looks like she's being held against her will and Lizzy, wow, so funny! Sadie is the obvious ring leader and Danny looks pretty much looks like he always does, lol! 

The "card" is printed out on copy paper. The folks at the end of the list received the "running out of ink" cards sure to be a collectors issue. The paper is folded and stuffed into a plain business envelope.  They even saved on postage by dropping it off in my mail box (what a nice personal touch). I was afraid to open it at first for fear of an Anthrax assault however, in the end, I just laughed out load! A perfectly classless masterpiece of the holiday season and by far the best card we have, or will receive.
Thank you and Merry Christmas!
BH    

Thursday, December 20, 2012

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!!!

Since Christmas is fast approaching I thought it would be good to give you a couple of things to think about. Today I am going to give you two scenarios that actually happened to me. I want you to think about what YOU would do in the same situation.

This first one happened while I was in the United States Air Force.

I had been working at the base for quite some time and I was now working the day shift of 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. One day I was coming out of our office building and I was heading to my car when I saw something laying on the ground. I was still a good ways off and it appeared to be a wad of money that someone had dropped. As I was approaching it I started thinking about what I would do if it really was money. Would I pocket it and act as if it never happened? Would I try and find out who it belonged to? Would I just walk on by?

Well as I got closer I realized it was not a wad of money; it was some trash. I walked right on by toward my car. (I was not into CITO at that point.) I began to think how it would have been best if it had been money to try and find out who lost it. But then again maybe no one would have seen me pick it up and I could by something for myself. Hmmm.

As I got closer to my car I noticed something laying on the ground. No, it wasn't a wad of money, but it was a very nice hunting knife. It was somewhat long, and very sharp.

Then my thoughts came back to me. What should I do? I knew what I would do if it had been money that I found, but this was not money.  Should I just pick it up and get in my car? Should I try and find out who it belonged to? What should I do?

This second scenario happened here at our local Walmart.

It was approaching Christmas time and my wife and I were out doing some shopping for the kids. We had picked up some items for them and were actually heading to another area of the store when it happened. I looked down and laying on the ground in the isle was a wad of money. Yes I'm back to the money thing again.
My wife saw it too.  I picked it up and counted it. There was a lot of money there. Then I began to wonder what should I do with it. Hmmm.  Should I just put it in my pocket? It is Christmas time and we sure could use some extra cash. Or I could consider it a gift and buy some other things for the kids they really need.  Should I try and find someone nearby that might have dropped it? But there was no one around. Should I take it to the Customer Service Center and turn it in? Who would know if I kept it? What should I do?

Well, what would YOU do in each situation? Would you keep the knife? Would you keep the money? Would you try and find the owner of each? Tune in next week and find out what I did in each situation.

Since Christmas is coming soon I want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I trust each of you will spend some quality time with your families and just enjoy being together. See you next week.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Worst Geocaching Day EVER! "I remember it like it was yesterday"

This is a re-post from the spring of 2011. I have since recovered 100%, I think? Enjoy, I'm off holiday shopping ho, ho, ho.........

Geocaching can be as passive or as aggressive as one sees best fits his/her own style of living. This usually meshes with their own “everyday” lifestyle. That way it sticks. Remember in the beginning when we all went out and got as many caches as we could? We were young and careless and grabbed C&D’s (cache and dash geocaches) on the side of busy roads, climb under bridges in the winter and just “carelessly cached” like kids. That was fun but at times dangerous. Waite a minute, or was that just a few weeks ago? I remember it like it was yesterday, or do I?


 You see my two daughters and son and I were out doing a little Geocaching at Hickory Run State Park. Boulder Field was part of the main attraction. This magnificent National Natural Landmark was right in our back yard and best of all it was home of an Earth cache and others as well. The periglacial effect on the field created a flat and deceivingly level view however, It was a little difficult jumping from boulder to boulder and I had to leave the kids behind. My oldest daughter would be heading up that group while I tried to work out the stages to the final. On the way back now I was really getting the hang of it and was somewhat on a jog with the kids in my sights. I called out to them, “look, I’m running on rocks” and the next thing you know, let’s just say I had a little "hiking accident".  I found myself face plating a 2,000 Lb boulder head first. The stem from my glasses pressed into my skin and the impact just tore a small wound in my temple. I was out like a light and came around a few seconds later.


"Holy crap (not the word I used but this is a family friendly site), what happened? WTF!" I said as I picked myself up off of the mighty boulder field. I shook my head and realized I was bleeding pretty badly. My kids freaked out! "Are you ok Dad? Are you ok?" they asked with panic in their voices. I felt like I was dreaming. I could see them and hear them but at first I couldn't respond. "I'm fine, I’m fine, just a cut from my glasses and some cobwebs" I said reassuringly. I had my bell rung. We maneuvered back to the car and I had some first aid supplies (a good geocacher is always prepared) to clean and bandage the wound. I had to calm the kids down. They wanted to go home but I told them I was fine and other than that burning pain feeling in my temple, I was ok.  “Let’s go get some of those caches in the park” I said and everyone moved on. It was at that moment I realized I was cachecrazy.


We found ourselves walking on trails that had several choices of direction and even though I had the GPS'r, we were kind of meandering around, unsure of how to get to ground zero or where we were exactly on the map. Making choices seemed difficult but we selected a path and went forth.

Ahead was a small cabin and to the side of the cabin was what appeared to be a witch. No, I don't mean ugly or cruel, I mean the long black dress and the shawl, just like Halloween but it was late April. The kids spotted her too and by this time she had spotted us as well and went about her business of brew making or whatever it was she trying to hide. Suddenly from our left we heard the clash of steel and witnessed the bantering of two young men, dressed in medieval garb. They were having what seemed to be a sword fight to the death! "Their ok", the witch said, "we are doing a reenactment of Camelot", funny, I don't remember a witch in Camelot? We just shook our heads "yes" and kept walking before she broke out her wand and turned us into a toad. Very weird!



Ground zero took us to a ravine that if I were to do the cache again, I would have realized that it was on the other side and across the creek BUT, for some reason I thought that Mike and I would scale the ravine to get the cache! We grabbed onto every root and sapling we could get our hands on to prevent us from falling to serious injuries. I wasn't scared or even concerned for my child’s welfare. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. When we realized that the cache was across the creek and after all that effort, I thought that Mike was going to throw me in the deep, cold water. Then I looked up to see my little one saying "hurry up Daddy, their coming!" Coming down was one thing and going up was another. What the hell was I thinking? 

At the top I saw what the problem was. Our medieval friends had assembled in the mess hall not far away and were taking part in some type of ceremony that I can only describe as “unusual”. It included some chanting and stomping of feet, women screaming and grunting men. "Let's get the hell out of here" I said to the kids as I too was a little freaked out by these unusual characters in the middle of nowhere. Would they capture us and use us as a sacrificial lamb? Next thing you know, we are lost in the woods. I have no idea where the car is and I can't make heads or tails out of the GPS'r. We were lucky to get back to the car before dark. This had been a terrible geocaching adventure. I wanted to go home and just lay down; I was exhausted, frustrated and a little irritable!

At home we told our tale to a doubting Mom who I think smelled my breath for alcohol. "Sounds like fun" she said sarcastically, "I’m sorry I missed it". I did a few things and then hit the sheets and slept 11 hours straight. If you know me, you would know that I have never slept more than seven hours and it is usually more like 5 or 6 at best. Something wasn't right I remember thinking but I felt good and off to the office I went.

At work it was like most any other day but I noticed two strange elements. One was that I was having trouble concentrating while trying to read emails. The other was when I went up or down stairs, I felt a little unsteady on my feet, like as if I were drunk. I knew that if I were going to drive home myself, I had to do it soon and left the office for the day knowing now that I likely sustained a mild concussion from the dreaded fall at Boulder Field.

The next four days were like a bad dream. I was in the hospital getting a CAT scan and I felt dizzy, nauseous and any type of focus was missing. Like the worst hangover I have ever had.  I recall thinking that I was going to die and if it made me feel better, so be it. For days I wobbled around the house without the ability to read, watch tv, surf the net and yes, even blog! It was terrible. The doctor said I was lucky and that I had a serious concussion. I would feel better in the next several days but likely not 100% for months. My wife says that even to this day I’m still not right (I think that’s just her way of telling me that I can be an ass sometimes and she’s right, I do seem a little different).
I had to discuss with my kids the chain of events that happened that day. Concussion or no concussion it was very odd and it had me second guessing if it was real, or just a dream? 

I am always cautious of head injuries now more than ever. You can never be too careful and if you or someone you are with takes a fall and hits their head, take immediate action to get medical attention. Don’t listen to the victim; they will swear they are ok, like I was.  To think that I may have put my kids in danger that day with my questionable judgment makes me sick! Read more about brain injuries to learn the basic symptoms. 

Today I am fine, I think? I have been reluctant to tell this story because "my playing" resulted in serious injury and quite honestly, it's a little embarrassing even after two years. The words "hey look, I'm running on rocks" is a "funny" that we only discuss among ourselves and it still brings a chuckle. It is the only geocaching adventure that I have ever had that resulted in feeling bad, stupid, scared and left me questioning myself? Without a doubt, it was my worst geocaching day ever!

Cache safe and have fun!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A "Top 10" List of Things We've Learned Camping


After a few camping excursions this past year, I'd like to make an ad lib attempt at a "Top 10" list of things that we've learned. Hopefully, a few of these pointers will help you too, if you haven't already considered them. 

 10. Be sure to greet the campground host if there is one. During our last camping trip at Reed Bingham State Park, our campground host stopped by to visit with us. During his visit, he let me know of another site that had quite a bit of leftover firewood. He then drove me over there on his golf cart to gather it up. Even though I purchased a bundle from him too, that second bundle saved me $5.00! The host may also be able to give you other valuable information about the park and trails.

 9. Get firewood! If camping in a State Park, be sure to know the park's rules and regulations on firewood. Our Georgia State Parks prefer us to use "local" firewood and their site lists a few reasons why. Be sure to check and make sure to see if there are any regulations where you are camping.


 8. Don't forget your camera. We love to take photos! While camping can be fun and relaxing, you may also find yourself wanting to preserve those memories. What better way is there to do that than by taking lots of video and pics. 


 7. Don't over-do it with the food. While we love campfire cooking, it can be quite demanding and tedious. When lots of cookware is involved, there is also lots of cleanup involved. We are very simple in our campfire cooking, although we do love to splurge occasionally, especially if we'll be there for a few nights. Some of our favorites ideas involve cooking hot dogs on marshmallow prongs. In the mornings, we also cook link sausage in the same manner.


 6. Dispose of your trash properly. This is very important to keep critters and other wild animals away from your site during the night...especially if you're in an area populated with bears. 


 5. If camping in an RV/Tent camper section of a park, choose a site that is convenient to the "Comfort Station" - aka the restroom facility. This is especially important if you wake up often during the night with a sudden urge to go. 


 4. Use large plastic bins to organize your food and other miscellaneous supplies. We have two bins. One is for all of our foods, and the other contains all of our accessories (eating utensils, plates, paper towels, flashlights, matches, cookware...etc). As a side note, be sure to sort out anything that you may need first thing in the morning so that you can avoid having to rummage through the bin while trying to find that coffee! Other campers may not enjoy those early morning hours as much as you do, and they certainly won't be too happy to hear your pots and pans clanging around at 5:00 or 6:00 am. 


 3. If you use an air mattress, be sure that your air pump and mattress works properly prior to going camping. During a recent camping trip, some of our campsite neighbors worked well into the dark hours trying to get their pump to work. 


 2. Keep a flashlight in the tent with you at night. Both my wife and I keep a flashlight on each side of the mattress in case we have to get up during the night. 


 1. Keep your firewood covered over night to prevent dampness caused by dew or rain. This will be a great help for you when you rise early and want to get a fire going. 

 So there you go. What does your list look like? If you don't mind, how about sharing with us?
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This post was written by Sonny from Team DAWGTRAX. If you enjoyed this post be sure to stop by his personal blog at 
Life Outside My Door
Sonny is a frequent contributor here at CacheCrazy.Com and just an all around great guy!
Thank you!
BH
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Kiss That Frog Goodbye!

Here at CacheCrazy.com, we've offered up several opinions on Geocaching Challenges.  I can honestly say that most of those opinions were NOT pro-Challenges.  The slogan behind Geocaching Challenges was "Go Somewhere, Do Something."  A very generic slogan, for an addition to a game of which the premise was to go somewhere (specific) and do something (namely, find a cache). 


Personally, I never sought out to do a Geocaching Challenge.  It was nothing more than an unecessary addtion to the game.  I didn't have the urge to snap a photo of me standing at the highest point in my home county, planking on the courthouse square, or...erm...kissing a frog.

Smart guy!


So, when I stumbled across this post on the Groundspeak forums, I wasn't the least bit surprised:

In our effort to inspire outdoor play through Geocaching, we are often faced with decisions about what to focus on next, and what to focus on less. It is through these decisions that we explore opportunities to grow the global game of geocaching.

Occasionally, during this process, we are faced with the reality that certain ideas don’t catch on as we had hoped. In these situations we owe it to ourselves and to you to make tough decisions about the future of every project and the resources to be applied to each. Sometimes, as a result, cool features must become casualties.

In this spirit, we have decided to retire Geocaching Challenges. 

This means that, effective today, we have disabled the ability to create new Challenges. We have also removed the Challenges application from all mobile application stores. In approximately 7 days, we will be removing all traces of the Challenges functionality and related content from Geocaching.com.

On an office wall here at HQ is a sign that reads, “Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow.” By accepting that we will sometimes get it wrong, we can allow ourselves to learn from and imagine new opportunities in the world of Geocaching. Our hope is we can take the lessons from Challenges and create better tools to guide you on your next adventure. 


Fly away, little buddy.




It's good to see Groundspeak admit they got this one wrong.  We can all put this silly experiment behind us and move on.

What is your take on the end of Geocaching Challenges?





Thursday, December 13, 2012

WHAT A BUMMER :)

WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!!

Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, lay back on the operating table and let the surgery begin.






As you may know I was in the hospital 2 years ago for heart surgery. I had had an ablation procedure, which thankfully is NOT being cut open. Jump back to August of this year and that was when I found out my surgery date for this year. I was scheduled for another ablation on 12/12/12. That's right. I was supposed to have surgery on the one day when I did not want it the most. What a bummer. I could not make it to any Geocaching Events because I was going to be laying on a table while some doctor worked on my heart through my femoral arteries. What a bummer.




We had grown use to the fact by now and just figured it was a done deal. No Geocaching on 12/12/12. But then Super Storm Sandy happened and believe it or not the Manhatten VA got slammed. They still are not open as of today. Well I received the call from the doctor stating that they would need to reschedule the surgery for another time and it would be done at the Brooklyn facility. I was told that they still do not have all of the equipment set up that they need to perform the surgeries. They do not even know when I might get back in. They assured me I am on the list, but they just don't have a date yet. You know what that means...

Geocaching on 12/12/12/. Well we still could not make it to any events due to my work schedule, but we knew we would have to go out and find some caches since a day like this will not be around for quite some time. When I got home from work I searched out some caches, loaded them into the GPS, and we headed off.

We chose three caches that are not too far from our house. We found the first one, GC3GHNC, without any problems. Actually, my son BigAlJr1693 found this first cache. Did I mention that it was only 26 degrees out and it was night time? We knew we could only do these caches at night in order to be able to get them in on 12/12/12.

From there we headed off to another cache, which was GC3XXRH4. This was another easy find made by Cacheking1998. So far we had two micro caches and we were saving the last one since it was bigger, and we had some TB's to drop off. It was GC3XXR4. This was another nice cache hide, which did not take us too long to find.

                       Craftimom looking for a cache

                                  Cacheking1998 and me
                                 
                            Signing the infamous 12/12/12/ logbook

                        12/12/12 Logbook

After finding our last cache we dropped off a TB, and some SWAG, and then we headed back to the car. Boy was it warm in that car. My wife then made the statement that she knew why she was so cold; she forgot her long-johns.

This made for a spectacular event for our family. We found three caches on 12/12/12, it was at night, and we did it as a family. This beats having surgery by a million miles. Yes, the surgery will happen eventually, but until then we will cache on into the night, or day. See you on the trails.
Wait a minute, check out that log, was I there? LMAO here is to wishing!

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