CacheCrazy.Com: July 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Quest ~ All they need is a geocache challenge!

I'm impressed with recent network reality TV. The Quest is just another example that people are crazy and love the "animal" within each of us. The Quest is staged in fantasy era but the challenges are pretty cool! It reminds me of a Spartan course with some technical tweaks. Check it out and you tell me what you think of clashing with the enemy, firing giant crossbows and free hand archery to remain in the game! Part reality, part fantasy, pure adventure.  I don't know about you, but I'll be watching! It's a fairy-tail with real people in it....... BH

Where did it go?


Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, sit back and imagine caches placed  back where they belong.

The other day I received an email from a cacher who had found one of my caches. He stated that it was wet and needed the CO’s attention. I decided that I had better get out there and check it out. So the next morning I headed to work a little early and stopped to check it out.

I arrived at GZ and the first thing I noticed was that the cache was not exactly where I had placed it the first time. Also, the guy was right; it was wet inside, but the log was dry. I removed everything out of the container and wiped it out with some paper towels that I had brought along. I think I’ll start carrying some of them in my caching pack from now on. Once I had it cleaned out and dry I put most of the swag back in, but left out the stuff that has been in there since day one. I figured if no one has taken it by now it needs to be removed. I then put some cool swag back in its place. That got me thinking about something; do you place the cache back exactly where you found it?

Sometimes when I arrive at GZ I have trouble finding the cache and then I realize that maybe someone else did not put it back exactly where it was supposed to be.

You know how it goes; you find the cache and your kids paw through the swag while you’re signing the log book, and then when the stuff gets put back inside your kids say “I’ll put it back dad”, so you let them. The only problem is that they don’t really put it back where it was. Then the next guy comes along and finds it and the same thing happens all over again. Before you know it your container is not where you placed it.

I therefore submit that we all change how we approach a cache when hunting for it. I am resolved to REALLY take notice where a cache is placed when I arrive at GZ. Is it in a stone wall? Is it in a pile of logs?

Is it under a rock? Is it hanging from a tree branch? Is it in a bush? The where is just as important as the how.

So next we look at how it was placed.  If it’s covered with bark and sticks I’ll be sure to do my best to recover it just the same way as when I got there. I’ll ask myself “how high in the tree is it” before I take it down.

                                            Is that high enough?

                                        Do you see the ammo can?
I’ll look at how the rocks were placed around the cache so I can place them back in the same order. Maybe the top rock is covered with moss and if I don’t place it back the same way it won’t look natural. Always remember that a cacher is looking for things that are not natural looking, or things that just look out of place.  

I’ll also watch my kids rehide the cache to make sure they put it back like we found it. If I can do this, and you could too, then maybe we’ll have better luck at finding those caches, and making sure they are placed ever so carefully back just as we found them.
I realize that some caches are just plain hard to find and that is okay, but this is a way that we can make sure that the cache we find is placed back just as we found it so it’s ready for the next cacher to find.  I think we can ALL make a difference in cache placement and that will keep the game fun for everyone for a long, long, time. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Caching Towards Galena, Illinois

By: Kim @ SnugHarborBay
Posted on September 5th, 2011
Today was a perfect day weather-wise.  Temperatures in the 60's.  Wow, we haven't seen 60 degrees in months.  It felt wonderful!  We decided to get up early and head out by 7:00 am.   We drove out to Rockford, Illinois where we ate breakfast at one of my favorite places - The Golden Corral.  I think they have the best breakfast buffet EVER!  If you see a Golden Corral, do yourself a favor and stop and eat breakfast.  You'll be glad you did.

After breakfast we headed out towards Galena, Illinois.  We stopped along the way to do some geocaches.  Can you spot the cache in this picture?

This was the first one I've found like this and I thought it was pretty good.

The next one we stopped at was at the Blackhawk Battlefield Monument.  Blackhawk was a famous indian warrior in Illinois.  Here's a little history lesson taken from "The Blackhawk War of 1832" By James Lewis, Ph.D:

As the war chief of the band, it is hardly surprising that Black Hawk himself led attacks on two white forts in northwestern Illinois, nearly a hundred miles from his main encampment at Lake Koshkonong. On June 24, Black Hawk and roughly two hundred Sauk and Fox warriors attacked a small stockade on the Apple River near modern Elizabeth, Illinois. After besieging the fort for much of the afternoon, Black Hawk sent the warriors to gather badly needed foodstuffs, horses, livestock, and other supplies from the nearby settlers' cabins and farms. The next day, they reached the small fort at Kellogg's Grove, where a Kickapoo war party and Capt. Snyder's militia company had fought nine days earlier. Black Hawk's warriors tried to ambush a group of soldiers as they left the fort, but instead found themselves pursued by a militia force under Major John Dement. A series of clashes ensued in which the militia fought bravely. At least nine of Black Hawk's warriors died in the fighting, including two of the leaders of the band.

Here is the monument....

This is the cabin that was on the property....

We searched all over for that cache but we couldn't come up with it.  I really hate to have a DNF, but we spent over half an hour looking for this one and that was long enough.  We had other places to go and caches to find, so we were soon on our way.  

The next stop was at the Apple River Fort.  This information was taken from the cache page:

Apple River Fort was hastily erected in 1832 during a period of skirmishes between settlers and Sac and Fox lead by Black Hawk. During early June 1832, a young Abraham Lincoln and his militia slept here on their way to Galena. On June 24, 1832, Black Hawk and 200 warriors attacked the fort. It is the only fort attacked by Black Hawk and his warriors.
The village of Elizabeth is named after three of the women who helped defend the fort.
The current reconstructed fort is next to the location of the original fort, which is defined by the split rail fence.

We really enjoyed doing this cache.  We quickly found the cache, where I dropped off 2 TB's and picked up one TB to move along.  But touring the fort was really the best part.  We got to climb all over everything which we really enjoyed.

Chickens and roosters were running around outside of the fort....

Louie and Chablis posed outside one of the old cabins....

Here is the fort entrance.  I am always surprised at how small these old forts really are.

The first building we explored was the blockhouse...

View from the 2nd floor....

The 2nd floor sleeping quarters.....

 Shhhh.....  who goes there??

Snoopy was thirsty and needed a drink of water...

The vegetable cellar and the tools were in another building....

Inside the cabin were 2 interperative actors.  They were actually cooking their lunch over the fire....

It was a beef stew with homemade noodles and dumplings.  It smelled really yummy!

We got to sample some pumpkin bread they had baked earlier in the day.  

See this post at Kim's blog SnugHarborBay

Monday, July 28, 2014

Running Wild With Bear Grylls premiere highlights

Bear Grylls is hardcore outdoors (I've always admired him) he's sick!
In my mind, Zac, from High School Musical, not so much....

BUT, holy crap this kid gained my respect. He self rappelled, ate the worms, crawled the rope and overall was a respectable outdoorsman in survival tactics and kept great composure. This is going to be a great series! BH

Kiss Your Cache Goodbye

exhibit A 
That's right, you may as well just stop putting them out all together. Throw away your swag and use those Lock N Lock containers for storage, because you won't be needing them any more. Forget about that great multi you've been working so hard on and the day's of hissing ammo cans opening are over. This is how the world of geocaching would be for Bloodhounded if it weren't for a few good geocachers who help with emergency cache maintenance.

And you thought I was going to relate this to kissing a frog and/or's new Challenges, right? Weren't you?

I call it "Cooperative Caching" and I have blogged about it before. I've been ridiculed, condemned and some skeptics have even written that they disagreed with me. "It's your responsibility as a CO" I'm told, "get off your lazy ass and do it yourself" says others. Still I follow my own path and shun the negativity knowing that I am a trend setter and "someday" it will become common play. That is if we want the game of geocaching to continue. Quite frankly, if it weren't for these guys/gals who assist it would be "GAME OVER" for a few of my hides. A few here get archived, a few there get archived and before you know it, that little counter on that tells you every minute how many caches there are in the world, starts counting down instead of up.

So, I'm guilty as charged! Yes, I enlist geocachers who have found my caches to gain secret information. Questions like, "how was it holding up" and "is the log full or does it have enough room" or the dreaded "did it have enough swag". You can take the tracer off my account, stop following me and taking pictures, I DID IT! I DID IT! IT WAS MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

exhibit B 
OK, so I saw a log that said the "log is full" on one of my series caches and then I saw a group of cachers (costa84 - robbinsmt - GO TEAM STEAK! thanks guys) who were likely going there because it appeared they were going after that series and they needed that one to complete it! I ASKED THEM TO CHANGE THE LOG, I DID, I DID IT!

YES, YES, YES it was me who lured the helpful, unsuspecting geocacher to one of my caches only to have a hidden agenda for them to pick up a bag of swag at a coord prearranged, to fill up the container because it was noted as "getting light on swag". I DID THAT TOO!

I'm a freak, an outcast to the geocaching community, a user and enabler of geocachers who unsuspectingly answer my emails requesting of them to do the deed that is rightfully mine as a CO (cache owner). I suck, I know and should be banned from anything that even has to do with geo, flogged, dragged through the mud, tar and feathered, kicked in the crotch and worse! An embarrassment to my fellow hiders and a disgrace to the entire geocaching sport!

BUT, I have the most awesome caches, filled with swag, dry logs and some of the most creative hides around my area, so there!
AND, compared to the new Challeneges on GC.COM, I don't look so bad after all, now do I?


YES, I DID IT, and I did it all for YOU!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Some really great caches! If Trees Could Talk

Click on picture to get a better view
Found it

Thought this was the perfect opportunity to get this one without a watercraft. The creek bed was dry and just a small stream running compared to the massive body of water that was present when I assisted the CO in placement of this cache. I was accompanied by my young male hound and gave him the GPS’r to find it. We were a bit on guard after seeing several rattlesnakes in the area over the last few weeks but, with his trusty BB gun in hand “he” felt more confident. I on the other hand packed something with a little more of a punch (just in case). We did not encounter any reptiles however it was strange to be walking in the barren creek bed, almost desert like and lacked any vegetation or signs of life. The cache location is awesome and after several minutes of searching many of the cracks, crevices, holes and dark places the cache was found. It is in excellent condition and is now packed with swag after we added a few Matchbox cars, a custom decal racer, punch balloon, die cast John Deer tractor and a Bloodhounded geocoin that I had reserved as a FTF gift for cache I never had time to place (Dan always stocks up my caches so I felt I owed him). This is a well done cache and a great view from the cache site.
Thanks for the cache and the opportunity for some Father and Son time with my boy!

I miss this car! Our Geo Mobile and literally a Geo

My body guard for the day, it was cool!

When the Dodger first placed the cache......

To when we were there. Pretty much a dry bed

Just had to hop over a creek or two and you were there

It was like walking on the Moon with the weird weathering

I loved being able to walk 30 feet under water

All in all, it was a cache that I'll always remember and a great day out with my Body Guard aka my son. That was four years ago, it's hard to believe. You may find high water and might be best to walk the route from 115 or yak in. It's a view of the dam that few see and this massive tree must have been hundreds of years old. Well done.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hot Times On The Ridgetop Trail

by: smithie23
Once upon a time, before marriage and children, I used to enjoy a good hike.  I spent many warm summer evenings on many of my favorite local trails.  Finding a new trail, or hiking system, was like Christmas, to me.  I enjoyed having the opportunity to explore new mountain ridges, follow unfamiliar river and creek beds, and take in new views of old and familiar sights.

In the summer of 2010 I discovered the Sugar Notch Trail System, in, of all places, Sugar Notch,
Pennsylvania.  Blazed on Earth Conservancy land, the Sugar Notch Trail System is 137 acres of mine reclamation area and is divided into two trails- the Park Access Trail, and Ridgetop Trail.  I was familiar with the area being reclamation area, as I was involved in youth soccer at the time, and our fields are on the same land.  It wasn't long before I was off placing caches here.  The first two caches I placed, I Gotta Feeling & This Old House, remain active, as of the writing of this article.

The aforementioned caches are essentially at the base of either end of the trail.  One summer evening I decided to make the climb to the top of the Ridgetop Trail.  Cache bag in hand, I hiked up to the top and stumbled upon some breathtaking views of the Wyoming Valley.  It wasn't the highest mountain around, but a clear line of sight gave me an excellent vantage point of Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding area.  After soaking in the environment for awhile, I found a good hiding space for my newest cache.  I returned home, later that evening, and submitted the cache for review.  Atop the Ridgetop Trail was born.

It didn't take long for a claim on the FTF.  As a matter of fact, it was that very day.  Forty minutes separated first, and second, to find.  I was happy to read the cache logs, as cachers seemed to be enjoying the cache for all the reasons I'd hoped for.  Great views, fun hike, good exercise!  In my head, I was already planning to place more caches along the trails.  It was going to be a fun summer of caching on the Sugar Notch Trail System.

Or so I thought.

One hot Sunday, I was running a few errands, and making my way up to the VA to visit a good friend. I stopped to grab lunch, and while eating, pulled out my phone to check some e-mail, when I saw our old friend, keoki_eme, had logged a find for Atop the Ridgetop Trail.  Awesome, I thought!  To cachers near headquarters, keoki_eme is somewhat of a living legend.  His cache hides are some of the craziest, most devious hides around.  He takes pride in his hides, and has great respect for geocaching.  The thought of him making a find on one of MY hides, and possibly hinting he even enjoyed it, would make my day.

What follows is the context of that log:
as i continued my way up the trail, i could smell smoke, big time.

remembered hearing on the news this morning that there was
a big brush fire somewhere yesterday. yup, it was here.

as i approach gz, i could almost predict what i was going to find.
the cache was on the WRONG side of the fire line. took
a picture of where it WAS, with the only things remaining were
ash and the wire coil for the log.

fire was roaring in a nearby tree and i attempted to put it out. called
911 and they said forestry people were out on the mountain putting out
hot spots. met up with them on my way to the next cache on the trail
and told them where the 'chimney' fire was.

if the co doesn't feel like accepting this as find, feel free to let
me know and i will change it to a note.


What a bummer!  In an area (Northeastern Pennsylvania) prone to dry summers, and subsequent brush fires, what are the odds that ground zero at my cache would fall victim to a brush fire?!  Driving home later that afternoon, I could see smoke coming from that area.  It was, indeed, quite a considerable amount of timber burning in those woods.  I temporarily disabled the cache, and soon after, archived it altogether.  Here I sit, almost three years later, and have not yet returned to the top of the Ridgetop Trail.  Recently, I've given thought to placing some new caches.  I still think it's a lovely spot, and hope to return there, with cache bag in tow.

PHOTOS By KEOKI_EME from his log date 08/08/2010 on 


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