CacheCrazy.Com: January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

GEOWOODSTOCK XI


For those of you who didn't know it I, BigAl 437, was the roving reporter at GeoWoodstock IX. I had a great time, found lots of caches, ate lots of food, found more caches, and met lots of other cachers. Well can you believe that GeoWoodstock XI is fast approaching us? It's only 113 days away and I can't wait.

This year I have once again been appointed by the President of CacheCrazy.com to cover the event as the Roving Reporter. I was told this is an all expense paid... I mean no expense paid trip to South Central Florida with only one stipulation; Don't get eaten by an alligator. 



Yes, our family (Craftimom, me, and CacheKing1998) are going to the Mega Event this year. We decided that as a family we would go to the event, especially since it is being held in Florida, which is not too far from where my other family members live. I just love killing two gators with one stone.

                                        Craftimom and Me

                                        CachKing1998 and Me

We will be at GZ for the entire event and we'll keep you updated as to what's happening, who's who among cachers, and what Vendors are there. There will also be lots of pictures, eating, and of course plenty of caching, making new friends and reuniting with old ones.

You may be saying to yourself "self, why is BigAl talking about this now?" Well let me tell you IT'S BECAUSE I'M EXCITED ABOUT GOING! I really hope this year's event is bigger and better than the last one I went to. (I was not able to go to last year's event due to a scheduling conflict; mainly my daughter's graduation from college.) So over the next 113 days I will periodically give you an update about the upcoming event. As it stands right now they have not released all of the details for the event.

At GWS9 we went on a Train ride. At GWS10 they took a Steamboat ride, and who knows what they have in store for this year's ride. I sure hope it's not an alligator ride.


I'm sure of one thing though, the event will be lots of fun because we are doing what we enjoy... Geocaching. Visiting family will be the icing on the cake. So if you plan on being there shoot me an email, make a comment below, or send me a Facebook message, and let me know. We'd love to meet up with you and get a picture taken of all of us riding an alligator. Hahaha.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why Not Wednesday ~ Geocaching Decatur Island

Our new friend Matt tells the story but, the video speaks for itself. Enjoy a little boat trip and all the wonderful sights along the way as we charter a geocaching adventure! Climb aboard.....


We anchored out next to Decatur Island. The water was still aside from the occasional wakes of passing boats. The Velkommen and Remedy were rafted together and Bill and Sharon climbed aboard. We lowered the dingy. My father at the helm, Sarah and I climbed in. The three of us motored over to an unnamed island for the first geocache. We came to shore next to an old abandoned lime kilm. Sarah found the cache after a short hunt and continued to tromp around the small island discovering all sorts of other treasures ranging from freshly eaten crabs still swarming with scavengers to the bleached out bones of a fawn.





We motored over to Decatur Island for the next cache. My father motored back to the boats to pick up the rest of our crew. My mother, father, Bill, Sharon, Sarah, and I all made the hike. The trail winded around the edge of the island and revealed some stunning views. My father carried the GPS to ground zero, but my mother made the find. We hiked back down and spent the next hour combing the small sandbar while basking in the summer sun.

By the time we made our way back to the boats it was time to head back, ending the day two caches ahead of where we started. We shoved off Remedy and headed back to the marina. A number of seals were lying on the dock to welcome us back, taking in the last rays as the sun fell dipped below the horizon.




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

As Long As It Takes



Every once in a while a cache comes along that raises the bar.  I was fortunate enough to stumble on just such a hide right before Christmas.  I’d like to share it with you.

The cache is called As Long As It Takes (GC42Y59) and is a co-hide/co-concept of well-known Northeast Pennsylvania cacher John Galt? and his friend Manon TT Mitty.  The hide itself is quite nice, but that’s not the real trick.  You see, the cache container is locked.  Oh, I know what you’re thinking – I’ve seen this before; you have to solve a puzzle to get the combination.  Well that’s not quite it…

There is a travel bug floating around the area – travel bug TB5GYKM – that contains the lock combination.  If you can get the bug, you’ll know how to open the cache.  But like I said, it’s a travel bug… so it keeps moving around!  Where it goes, well, that’s up to whoever has it!
I just happened to get lucky the day this cache was published.  The COs started the fun by launching the travel bug in a hide that wasn’t too far from me – Runaway Hotel (GC2WJM8).  I quickly ran out to that particular cache.  When I opened it and saw the travel bug, I knew I had a First-To-Find coming!  Deciding to be a tad devilish, I didn’t log the travel bug until AFTER I found the geocache.  As you can see from the logs, others attempted to grab the bug from Runaway Hotel not knowing, of course, that somebody (me) already swiped the bug.  Yes, a slight breach of etiquette perhaps, but, hey, I had to have a LITTLE fun, right??

This is one of the cleverest ideas I’ve seen in a geocache, and I felt it needed to be shared.  Thanks to the COs for putting out great hides in our area and keeping the game fresh.  Maybe you’d like to try something like this where you live?

And to everybody still trying to log this one, keep at it… for as long as it takes!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sears Island, Maine

An experienced cacher recently suggested that I check out Sears Island for its caches and scenery.  I expected tourists, summer homes, and nicely groomed walking trails but upon arrival, I realized how little I knew about the area.

There is one road that leads to Sears Island from the mainland.  It is blocked with cement barriers preventing any traffic from traveling on the island's one "road."  The first thing I learned about this place was that they mean business when it comes to dog business.  It must be a popular place for pups and their owners to walk because not only did I see a few, but there are doggy waste bags and trash cans available.  



I parked my car on the dirt pull off with two other vehicles and grabbed my geocahing bag and a bottle of water.  It was early in the day but looking like it would turn out to be a hot one.  Behind the cement barricade is the one strip of pavement on the island.  Only having walked about fifty feet from the entrance, I started to get a very eerie feeling about the place.  The road hasn't been a road in so long that grass has started to invade some of the cracks in the tar and there are only a few barely noticeable flakes of yellow paint that used to line the road. 



I put on my brave face and set my GPS to the coordinates of the first cache.  I had to take a path off the main road to get to my destination, which made me less than comfortable.  The other two walkers chose to stick to the pavement.  It wasn't far before I turned off this path and into the woods to find my destination.  I quickly found the cache, and a swarm of mosquitoes, in the crook of a tree.  The contents of the cache, which included an old cassette tape, were pretty wet, making it difficult to sign the log. 
The next cache was down the same trail and off into the woods on the right.  Several times while looking for this cache, I walked face first into spider webs.  I couldn't bare the thought of how many bugs were probably crawling one me at any one moment.  I stopped to look under a pile of logs, and when I did, I heard something or someone crashing through the woods in front of me.  This noise was followed shortly after by another something or someone crashing through the woods.  I decided to abandon my search for the cache and got back to the main trail as quickly as possible.  I looked both up and down the path expecting to see a dog and its owner but instead I saw nothing.  My friend had told me that there were ten caches on Sears Island but at this point, I knew I would not look for them all.

The next cache I dared to do was a two stage multi cache.  A multi cache is where you have to find one or more caches that give you clues or coordinates to the final cache.  The clues were found on a telephone pole next to a sign naming the former residents of the island.  After doing some calculations and putting the numbers in the correct order, I started bushwhacking my way to the second and final stage of the puzzle.  At the posted coordinates were the remains of the foundation of a house, which was now a pond.  It had the same feeling as a cemetery. 



These were the only two geoaches I found on my trip to Sears Island.  Walking here is unlike any other place I've ever been.  I've read the expression "deafening silence" in books but experienced it for the first time here.  Not to sound like a coward but more than a few times I checked over my shoulder to see if anything was there.  Although I never saw anything, I'm not positive that there weren't eyes peeking at me from the thick woods. 

I planned on leaving as quickly as I could get myself into the car but that was before I noticed the beach.  Just as on the island paths, I didn't see anyone out on the beach.  I walked along the damp sands of low tide and collected a few shells and sea glass to take back to show my students.  Listening to the waves lap the beach, I thought wistfully of my childhood growing up on the coast.  My mom often took my sisters and I beach combing at Sandy River or Batson's Beach. 


The ocean breeze helped counter the affects of the hot summer sun.  A sea gull took the opportunity to go bobbing for some lunch, something I had never seen in my years as a Downeaster.  I then got sniffed by a soggy puppy who was doing some beach combing himself and chatted with her owner. 


Although I didn't find many caches, going to Sears Island was a nice experience.  I found some great information and history about Sears Island from this link.  I ended my day by driving into Belfast to get some lunch and stopped at Perry's Nut House, another place I hadn't been since I was a kid.  Thanks to Masterson of the Universe for the recommendation. 


**Belfast Pictures**



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

Friday, January 25, 2013

Brute Force Strength (Or Lack Thereof)


I try to cache by the rules.  When I say rules, I mean those unwritten, unofficial bylaws of the game such as a find not being an official smiley unless you sign the log.  Don't post spoiler pics on the cache description page.  Don't remove the container from it's location.  You get the idea.  I not one for ruffling feathers in other aspects of my life, and it carries over into geocaching.  I don't like to tick people off.

I went looking for a cache last week in New Jersey.  The cache description page said I was looking for a ten stage multi-cache.  WHAT?  Ten stages??  Does the cache owner think I have all day?  Well, in all fairness, he did request any cache seekers to budget a good deal of time on this cache.  All things considered, the cache piqued my interested, so off to Newton I headed.  The entire multi-cache happened to be contained within a single park.  Stage one brought me to an ice hockey rink, where I needed to solve a field puzzle to get the stage two coordinates.  I counted the necessary bleachers, speakers and light posts, then plugged in the numbers.  Said numbers pointed me to the foul pole of a baseball field.  Odd.  Unless the stage is at the TOP of the pole (unlikely),  I needed to recheck my numbers.  Back to the hockey rink I went.  I took a second glance at my math, which was correct.  However, I failed to tally up the correct amount of speakers, which threw off the coordinates.  I recalculated the equation in the puzzle, and plugged the new numbers in the GPSr.  No longer was I staring at a pole in an open field.  I was now at a storm basin, all of thirty feet from a pole in an open field.  This was going nowhere, fast!  I broadened my search, yet came up with a big handful of nothing for stage two.  I put my tail between my legs and headed to work.

Only 21 more stages to go!


Sometime, later that morning, I brought the cache page up on my computer.  I scrutinized it for clues, as well as to make sure I understood the stage one puzzle.  Everything on the page was rather cut and dry.  I then thought back to the ten stages, and how I had nine of them yet to find.  I had a brief flashback to A Walk Into Darkness, where we spent most of the day thinking we were looking for 21 stages.  You know how time seems to move slowly when you stare at a clock?  That is the same feeling I get when looking for mulit-caches with a large amount of stages.  I thought about a sentence on the cache page about the stages being multiple types of hides.  "A little bit of everything", says the page.

Then I had the following thought race through my head- What if I could just find another interim stage, using a calculated guess?

The hint said "Under a rock."


I've never really tried to "brute-force" a cache before.  On previous multi-cache, or unknown cache finds, I've always done the cache in it's proper order.  I did the first stage first, last stage last, and interim stages as they come.  I never thought of guessing where a stage would be.  That being said, I thought I would have a good chance at lucking out and finding an interim stage.  The park was large, but it contained many of the normal "typical" hiding spots-bleachers, fences, heck-even guardrails.  I thought perhaps one of those "el-cheapo" hides fell under the umbrella of  "a little bit of everything."  So, back I went to the park, ultimately hoping to find, if I was lucky, stage nine.  (I figured the final was in the woods somewhere.)  I went back to the original spot where I believed stage two to be, and poked around the baseball field.  Nothing.  I checked all the normal hiding spots at the adjacent softball field.  Nothing.  Making my way down field, I came across a picnic area.  Plenty of tables.  Not a single cache container.  I made my way to the other end of the park, where there was a playground, pavilion, and several monuments, honoring war veterans.  I struck out there as well.  When it was all said and done, I spent two hours searching for a stage- any stage- and all I had to show for it was a set of coordinates for stage two, which may or may not have been correct.

Has anyone attempted to find a cache using this method?  Is it "wrong?"  Let's hear your thoughts!  Should I have stopped lazy, and looked for cache the "right" way?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brrrrrrrr is it cold outside!!

BBBrrrrrrrrrrrr! It's cccccold outside.

WELCOME TO FROSTY THURSDAY!

Grab a cup of something hot to drink, sit back, and put another log on the fire.

Have any of you noticed lately how cold out it has been? I'm sure you have. Around my house it's been anywhere from minus something to about 32 degrees. The temperature seems to be fluctuating a lot recently and it just makes me cold. Brrrrr. Now something that probably doesn't help is the fact that I'm still on a medication that makes me cold. I can't wait to get off of it.

Now that it is cold outside I thought I'd give you two recipes to help warm you up on the inside. The first recipe is one that my wife makes for me for Christmas and it is soooooo good. It is called Fireside Coffee. This is a great hot beverage to make ahead of time and keep in an airtight container. You can then just add it to some hot water anytime and have a wonderful hot drink. You can also make some up, put it into a thermos, and take it with you on those cold hikes as you are out there looking for those cold caches.

Without any further chills here is the first recipe.

FIRESIDE COFFEE

2 Cups hot chocolate mix
1 Cup instant Decaf coffee
2 Cups non-dairy creamer
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 Cups sugar

Blend these ingredients thoroughly. When well mixed add 2 to 3 Tbsp. of the mix to a cup of hot water. Sit back and enjoy. Store unused mix in an airtight container for later use. (Another option is to use the hot chocolate mix with the little marshmallows in it.)

                    Fireside Coffee

Fireside Coffee makes a great gift for that someone special in your life. Just put it into a small tin and wrap with a red bow and tell them here is something to keep you warm when I'm not around.
Mmmm good!!

Now this next warmer upper is not for the faint of heart. I really enjoy a cup (that is a really large cup) of it on those really, really, cold days. It's not something I share with the kids, usually. It's also something my wife will not even come close to touching, let alone ingesting it. Now don't go thinking it's something with alcohol in it because it's not.  It's called SOB's Fiery Soup. My profile picture should give you a little hint if you look at it closely.

When you've got one of those really cold days and your out searching for that FTF cache, and the temp is below zero, this is what will warm you right up as well as melt the snow around you for at least 25 yards. This makes the cache easier to spot.

So without further chiles (unless you're like me and you like chiles) here is SOB's Fiery Soup.

3 Cups chicken broth                     1 Cup onions
1 tsp garlic powder  *                    1 red or green bell pepper
1 tsp salt ***                                  1 Thai Dragon pepper
1 tsp parsley flakes **                    1 Portuguese Hot pepper
4 Tbsp butter                                  2 Cayenne peppers
10 Tbsp flour                                  2 Jalapeno peppers
 2 cups milk                                    1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

In a saucepan combine broth, W. Sauce, dry ingredients (except flour), onions, and all peppers chopped up. (If you really like it hot leave the placenta in the peppers. It's the white lining that the seeds are attached to, and it's the hottest part of the pepper.) Bring mixture to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low heat until peppers and onions are tender. Place part of the mixture in a blender and blend until creamy. Place this sauce into a bowl. Do the same with the rest of the mixture and set aside in the same bowl
.
Melt the butter in the saucepan. Stir in the flour and add the milk all at once. Cook and stir constantly until thickened. Add mixture from bowl above. Once the soup is heated thoroughly, taste and season with salt and black pepper. WARNING!!!! Be cautious not to breathe in the fumes from the hot peppers as you cook and blend them. (This has been known to cause coughing episodes; just ask my family.) You can use fresh hot peppers or dried ones if you have them. I usually dry a lot of them by hanging them over the fireplace until totally dry. Then I package them with my seal-a-meal and they will last for a long time.

                   SOB's Fiery Soup

I hope you enjoy these favorites of mine as the weather continues to get colder and colder. And, if you can't stand the heat then get out of my hot peppers! LOL.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Two more days of caching and I hit 1000

Tuesday was going to be the day for my 1000th cache. We chose some out in the Jamul/Dulzura area. The first one we found was Chuy's, "Dangling Balls," that had been on my nearest list for months.



The second one was "High Voltage Fun." As usual, we didn't read the cache page before setting out on our .6 mile hike. Doh! We walked past a road that went up to a trasmission line tower, thinking it went a different direction. So we walked at least another third of a mile before finding a trail to scramble up. Only when I read the cache description that night, before logging my find, did I see that the cache owner was kind to include the coordinates for where we should have turned . . . the road we passed up . . .

We walked back to the car and then went to one of Night Hunter's "Still Standing" caches that celebrate trees that are still standing after being burned. This one is striking. I wonder what it looked like when it was alive.



Now we were at number 999 so we headed to the trailhead for "Indiana Ed's Subterranean Cache." We walked to the beginning of the "tunnel" and went through a lot of preparation before making the leap, literally, into the concrete ditch. I was worried we wouldn't be able to get out, but we found a nearby branch we were able to use as an aid to our exit. Finally we started towards the tunnel, but, when we saw a light, we stopped. It looked like there was someone in there, with a headlamp on just like our own. We finally determined it was literally "the light at the end of the tunnel," far, far away.

It got cooler as we continued down the channel, but it wasn't as spooky as Princess Toadstool anticipated. I noticed the numbers on the side of the channel and knew we would be able to find the cache easily. Before that, we were wondering how in the heck, without pedometers, we were going to go 1000 feet in the tunnel.

We found the cache, examined the contents, took the TB, took some pictures, and then turned around to make our way back, examining the tunnel more carefully this time, seeing a sleeping bat and noticing the stalagtites mentioned in the cache description.



We used our "ladder" to get out of the channel. On our walk back we observed we could have entered and exited the channel near the beginning without any trouble.

From that cache we went onto one of Night Hunter's brand new caches where we were FTF! Whoo Hoo! At that cache a Border Patrolman came by and talked to us. He was very personable and friendly. I didn't feel like it was an official "encounter." 

That wasn't the case after we found the next cache, "Stone Ruination #3--Wort Breath," which is very close to the border.



As we drove along the dirt road parallel to the metal border fence, we found ourselves surrounded by Border Patrolmen. One blocked our way with his Bronco, another came up behind us with his vehicle, and finally a third vehicle came on the scene.

All that for two "women of a certain age" in a PT Cruiser . . .

We ended the day in the near dark at the "Mystery Pools of Potrero Creek" cache. Princess Toadstool might have found it, but it was getting dark so I guided her around the rocks by the route I used last spring. Near where the cache was supposed to be, we found the container, exposed, with all the good swag taken and with the packaging scattered on the ground. We picked that up as trash, P.T. added some more stuff, and we returned the cache to its hiding place behind some very large rocks that keep it from floating away during the rainy season.

It was a great caching adventure on an incredibly warm December day.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -


Wednesday we headed up towards Ramona again, but not to attempt "Indian Head Peak." We wanted to do a couple of caches near the trailhead for Iron Mountain and then start on some of the caches in the MTB Series among other caches. The "Black Mountain Cache" took us to the most wonderful pools of water in water-sculpted rocks. 







Princess Toadstool took that picture of me walking on the rocks.

Another cache, "MTB Series - The View," took us to an extraodinary view that looked like a Maynard Dixon painting. 



And another one, "MTB Series - Subject to Flooding" took us to a place where the afternoon light created a wonderful scene.



It was a great day, however our trip back home was marred by a huge traffic jam on Highway 67. For many miles we coasted down the hill in neutral going just a couple of miles an hour. It took us more than 45 minutes to cover a part of the highway that takes less than 15 minutes. A fatal accident, involving a tow-truck, had happened just half an hour before we started down the road.


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

Friday, January 18, 2013

iGadgets-Waze

iGadgets has returned.  Last year I started a series of posts about apps I downloaded for my then-new iPhone.  Some I continue to use.  Some I haven't touched in a while.  Here's another one I recently started using.



I often commute to work in a carpool, with a friend of mine from my Wilkes-Barre days.  Among the many topics which come up during the drive is that of mobile apps.  I'm an iPhone guy, and he's partial to Android devices.  Every so often, one of us brings up a new app we've been playing around with, and the other gets hooked on it.  A few weeks ago he introduced me to Waze, a free app available for both iPhone and Android phones.



Waze is a fresh take on traditional GPS navigational software.  Granted, it will show you how to get from Point A to Point B, but its niche in the app market is its use of social networking and crowdsourcing to provide the user with the best "real-time" conditions possible.  Users are able to input data directly into the app, and update the map, in real time, with information such as where police may be stationed up ahead, approaching traffic jams, accidents, and construction.  There's even an option to pinpoint roadkill.

Much like Foursquare, there are points available for certain actions performed within the app.  You can accumulate points to upgrade your ranking, avatar status, and bragging rights in the crazy world of social traffic.  Points are awarded for things such as using the app so many times in week, driving a specific number of miles, reporting map issues, as well as live-updating the map.  Not only do you get points when you report incidents on the map, you also receive points when other members "thank" you for your reporting.





The app proved its worth in my app list on about the third day.  Using the "reports-on route" menu, I was able to see an accident about 25 miles up the road, and had plenty of time to find and alternate route, saving myself about an hour's worth of sitting in traffic, and a lot of grief.  The app will give you a real-time ETA, in time as well as in miles.  This useful feature helps me plan out my morning, and helps me alert the wife when I'm going to be late for dinner.



The only downside I've found to Waze is its half-hearted attempt to prevent distracted driving.  There's a safety feature in the app, where if you are taken to a screen where you're prompted to add text, it alerts you you're driving and shouldn't be typing.  The problem?  You can select "passenger" and continue typing.  Other than that, you can't go wrong with this free app.  If' you're in to GPS apps, it's worth checking out!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chopper Command


Some time ago I came across one of those plug-in joysticks that has all of the 1980s Activision games on it. I was like, “Far out! Old-school Atari!” I decided to grab a sixer of colas, pop in some Greg Kihn Band tunes, and try to break a few of the high scores from back in the day. It didn’t take long for the mechanics to come back. The sound effects! The graphics! The nostalgia! The simplicity of one button! Oh man, this was going to be hours of fun…!

…But after I played for awhile, some disappointment started to set in. Perhaps it was because I don’t really dig video games or because I’d rather spend time outside or play with the kids. Perhaps I just have a short attention span. Perhaps I really wanted to read a book or shoot my bow or go fishing or geocaching…

…Or perhaps it was because I finally accepted the truth…

“Chopper Command” is actually pretty lame.

I walked away let down but wiser for the experience.

Maybe it’s not Chopper Command for you. Maybe it’s “The Phantom Menace” or a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake or a tube of Mighty Putty. Maybe it’s those boats that you have to paddle by using foot pedals…

Here’s where I’m going with this. You go after a few geocaches with high expectations. You’re baited in by the cache page description and the attributes and the high difficulty and terrain rating, but in the end you come away let down. For awhile, you may tell yourself that these hides were a ton of fun, but eventually you admit the truth. They were just so-so. A seventy percent, friends. Barely passing.

Now with the millions of geocaches world-wide, statistics tell us that a few duds are inevitable. And I don’t have any illusions of superiority. Maybe some folks consider DLC hides to be on the weak side. That’s fine. I can take that. Everybody has a different taste. But it’s something that preys on my mind – Is a DLC cache considered a full-blown “Chopper Command” by someone else? Now THAT just might bum me out.

So here is the challenge for all of us. Don’t let your caches be a Chopper Command. You find enough Chopper Command caches and it’s likely that someday you’ll wake up to discover that this hobby you once enjoyed is really quite dull. That horrible feeling is something I don’t want to experience or cause somebody else to experience. That’s not why we play this game.

In the end, all we can do is try, but try we must. Don’t put geocaches out there just for the sake of it. Give them a theme. Make them fun. Load them up with prizes. Take people to some place really cool. If other cachers criticize your hides, you can consider whether it’s worthwhile criticism or whether it just should be taken with a grain of salt. If the effort is there, at least you can say you gave it your best shot.

Let’s not be Chopper Command hiders.

By the way, I’d love to hear from folks on this. Is there something that just didn’t live up to the hype for you? Something you maybe had built up a little bit too much in your mind? Tell us about YOUR Chopper Command!

Now back to my game…


“I wonder if those trucks have nĂ¼vis in them?”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WHY NOT WEDNESDAY ~ "OH BEEP" Banana's East Bridgford Series










Mark had sent this in to me asking if we still do guest submission? Are you kidding, I said, we love them and this one is a home run! Thanks for sharing your families most fun times geocaching. Enjoy!
BH

"Mark, look"
"I know, I'm being careful"
"No, look up"
"Oh sh*t" I said in despair.

Then all I heard was whispering and laughing from Amy and the kids.  A phrase was born that would become synonymous with those moments where I do something stupid or funny.  The phrase being "Oh beep".  

What the whispering was about was Sophie saying to her Mum, "Mark just said Oh Beep".  The laughing was about that and my reaction to seeing a set of steps that nearly made me cry (I'll get on to why in a moment).   Sophie had censored the swear word, which only seemed to make the whole scenario even funnier to them.
View from GC1J8W9 the top of the steps, can't see the bottom
From that moment on, whenever we go out caching, the kids and Amy wager on how many "oh beep" moments I have.  They all know that there will be at least one. Like the time I waded in to a stream to retrieve a cache.  The "Oh beep" came when the water started to touch my trousers, which were rolled up to my knees; it was at that moment that I realized I may have slightly misjudged the difficulty of getting the cache.  The kids loved it though.

As for the origin.  We had decided to do our first cache series - we were relatively new to caching and wanted to get our find rate up and also have a nice day out with the kids.  By the time we'd arrived at the foot of those steps we'd had a bit of a trek - one of the caches was at the top of a pretty big hill (GC1JE19 4 Banana's East Bridgford Surprise View) to get to the rest we had to do a bit of bushwhacking, for which we weren't prepared.  Add to this the heat and being bitten by all sorts of critters and we were in pretty bad shape.  Or should I say I was in pretty bad shape.

Seeing the pending climb up those steps - well the kids nearly saw a grown man cry.
Made it to the top - that’s pain in my eyes (not that I'm over dramatic)
Those "oh beep" moments come thick and fast when we are our caching - even I censor the swear now.  They are one of the many reasons we enjoy caching as a family.  Those funny moments, that often come out of the blue, are the ones the kids always refer back to when talking about caches we've found.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WHY NOT WEDNESDAY ~ Grandpa Thrifty's Treasure Hunt ~ A Fourth Clue!

Today we are featuring a treasure hunt of a different sort, a real live treasure hunt with a treasure valued at over $10,000! Put on your thinking caps kids and check out Grandpa Thrifty's Treasure Hunt.
Who better to feature the book and treasure hunt than the creator and author himself, Mr. Stanford Squirrel brought to you by CacheCrazy.Com


Hello Cachers,

Bloodhounded has been kind enough to let me tell you a little bit about my homemade treasure hunt project.

I’ve written a book and created a treasure hunt contest that offers readers a 
$10,269.01 prize.

The book is called “Grandpa Thrifty’s Treasure Hunt: A Clue-Filled Story that Leads to a Real Hidden Treasure”.


The way it works is that we've hidden a medallion in a tree somewhere in the continental United States.  The first person to find the medallion wins the prize.

The story contains a lot of clues and illustrations that you have to put together to figure out the location.

It’s a lot like a puzzle cache only more elaborate and less straight-forward than most of those.  You'll have to stretch your mind a little bit.

This is a Kindle book, but it can be read on any computer, tablet or smart phone with the free reading apps from Amazon.

One of the first questions people ask me about this project is:           “Why are you doing this?”

There are a few reasons. 

The first one is that as a kid I was always very interested in these types of books and contests and when the Kindle publishing program came along I realized I could create one of my own. I was also inspired by some of the adventures I had with my two very different grandfathers.

But probably the biggest reason is the same reason there are thousands of geocaches hidden all over the world.  Because it’s fun!

The whole process of hiding something and leaving clues for people to find is just inherently fun.   For example, I really enjoyed making this treasure map:

I also think it’s kind of like that feeling you get after you get older when it becomes a lot more satisfying to give gifts than to receive them.  I think life is more interesting when we know that there are little hidden treasures around us.

I have no idea if I’ll break-even on this project (the book costs $2.99 on Amazon), but I’ve really had fun creating it.  I also like the fact that people who read it will have to use their imaginations and that kids might learn a few new things.

Thank you Stanford, we will be following this contest to completion and will keep our readers abreast of developments. The Book was first made available to the public on July 14, 2011.  The Treasure Hunt will run until the medallion is found and finder verified, or until December 31, 2015 (the "End Date"), whichever is sooner

Happy Hunting!

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