CacheCrazy.Com: August 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Really Great Caches ~ Sticks and stones may break my bones.......

But names will never hurt me. 


Remember that? 
I do and I can assure you that if FamilyTeamB heard some of the names I called them on that Thursday afternoon when Dodger, DctrSpot, Boltzmann (the geodog) and I met to do FamilyTeamB's new cache, I may have made them cry. 


Join me as we look at this geocache from a first hand expanded log of sorts complete with pictures, an awesome interview with the cache owners complete with pictures, and a reflection on an afternoon that I wont soon forget. If that sounds like fun to you then let's get started.

Up Down & All Around (sticks and stones), GC2VAPV 

on geocaching.com by: FamilyTeamB

FamilyTeamB

Paul, Nichole, Matt and Abby look like the all American family but don't let them fool you. They are evil schemers of wicked caches that have you looking for things you may have never seen before. Somewhere in Paul's garage is a secret laboratory of torturous contraptions that he and his family bring to the field and pass themselves off as a nice family of Geocachers, yeah, right! I'm on to them. They lure us out there in the middle of nowhere, dragging us through thickets and scrub oak, scraping skin on rocks, twisting ankles and climbing things that even as a child you probably wouldn't do! And you know what? 
                                                       We loved it!


DctrSpott and Dodger 

GC2VAPB, Up Down & All Around (sticks and stones) showed up on GC.com on 5/1/2011. The FTF (first to find) diehards were in pursuit but were met with some adverse conditions and stages that were not typical in terms of the “garden variety” geocache. The FTF was claimed by Cerberus1 on 5/6/2011 and with that said, the first favorite was awarded. I know Cerb and he's a pro! He doesn’t hand out those favorites easily. You have to earn them with thought, effort and a location that's cool. Since that time there have been six logged finds and 3 favorite cache awards! That's a great start for a geocache that has been hidden by a relatively new cache team, FamilyTeamB.

I had the good fortune to catch up to the CO's and asked them a few questions for our readers at CacheCrazy.Com.

Bloodhounded: Congratulations, either you guys have incredible skill or beginners luck (or a bit of both) you certainly have one hell of a cache out there!  It’s received nearly as many favorite points as it has finds! Can you tell us a little bit about your caching team and what your team goals or likes are?

FamilyTeamB: Maybe it’s a bit of both, but thanks!  Being new, we didn’t want people to think that we were going to put out a typical cache, we wanted people to complete our cache and say, hey I really enjoyed that!  We want them to know that we are going to try to use some form of originality in our caches.  Going into our first cache we didn’t expect to receive favorites points so quickly and then to receive them from such experienced cachers is an honor.  We really appreciate that.  Our team consists of myself (Nichole), my husband Paul, and our two children, Matt and Abby and occasionally my brother Josh tags along, and props to him for helping us place our first multi.   What we enjoy about caching is that we can spend family time together doing all of the good things like, seeing and learning about new places, exercising body and mind, and what’s better than finding a treasure at the end.  We love it!

Bloodhounded: What were your original thoughts when you placed this cache and why did you select the location?

Matt and Abby taunting you to find it, great kids!
FamilyTeamB:  When we planned to do this cache, we knew that originality was going to be our main goal.    We wanted to include the whole family and put some hard work into it.   We chose the location because we loved our time spent searching for Windmill Hunting in the Barrens by Dctr Spott and we thought, ya know, there are some unique hiding spots in the area not to mention, the place is beautiful and some of the views are amazing.

In order to get a view like this, you have to first climb the mountain but let me tell you, it's worth it!


Bloodhounded: What kind of reactions are you getting from the logs?

FamilyTeamB:  The reactions are great!  People seem to be having fun and that was our goal coming into this . We decided early on that we wanted people not to feel frustrated with a DNF after their search, but to come home and log a satisfying smiley.

Bloodhounded: So now that you own this awesome cache, what can we look forward to in the future? Any plans for another hide?

FamilyTeamB:  We have a small multi called, A Walk in the Park.  This one is really cute and kind of aimed toward the kids.  Our next cache will be more difficult than Up Down & All Around.  We already have a few ideas planned out but we want to take our time with it so that it will be a good quality cache.

The good doctor and I discussing infinity and beyond 
Bloodhounded:  As a relatively new player in our sport, what are your first impressions of the game and your thoughts on the future of quality geocaching?

FamilyTeamB: What I love about this game is that really anyone can play.  For the kids it’s like a treasure hunt, for adults it’s a gratifying   journey.  For us it is mainly time well spent together as a family.  My hope is that people keep putting out hides that bring some adventure and uniqueness to the game.  We will contribute to these qualities as long as we are playing the game and we have confidence that others will do the same for many years to come.

Nice folks don't you think? Now, let me tell you the story they are not telling you.

I can tell you from firsthand experience that the cache is tough and tricky at times. The terrain is rough and you had better leave the shorts, flip-flops and t-shirt at home or you’re in for a bad time (don't let the pictures of Matt and Abby fool you, they want you to wear shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops, evil, evil I tell you). Also, be prepared to use your geosenses and think outside the box. I can’t tell too much for the fear of being a spoiler but I will say that I have seen some stage cache sets here that I have not ever seen before. The hike isn't bad, the cache flows nicely and some of the views are awesome!

Don't let this nice path fool you
The area where the cache is placed is now a plethora of quality caches. You could easily spend a day here and hike around grabbing caches along the way.

Boltzmann, DctrSpott's geodog
If you are able to get all five caches in one day that would be quite an accomplishment indeed. We were so into the cache that we didn't even talk about the blog much. It showed me that we still have our priorities in order, lol!


Hey, why not grab your gear, some friends and/or family (don’t forget your furry best friend) and make sure you have a lot of time and prepare yourself for a caching adventure of a lifetime!

Cache safe! 

  Bloodhounded

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So That's What a Cache Container Looks Like!

By Kim@SnugHarborBay


Some of my readers have been asking me what cache containers look like.  Well, there are many different kinds, shapes and sizes.

These are basic ammo cans...




A large, cammo'd tube...  These are often hung from a tree branch or a fence.



Yes, a plastic pickle jar.  This was hidden in a tree stump.



A film container.....



A plastic, cammo'd tupperware container.  This is why we say we are searching for
 "Tupperware in the woods!"

A little wooden treasure chest.....



A preform container.  This looks like a test tube with electrical tape wrapped around it.


I loved this next one - it was a custom made container, out of plastic PVC pipe and wrapped in cammo tape.  This was hidden in a fallen tree in the forest.




This next one was a little container that looked like a cat....  
It was hidden outside a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.


One cache owner had several of these containers custom made with these logo's on them....



This was another good one - it was a custom made plastic light bulb, attached with a magnet (with permission) to the rear of an office building, about 6 ft. high.  Really clever!


And this one is a cammo'd lock and lock container - which is just like a fancy tupperware container.



So there you have it - a nice selection of different cache containers, but they are certainly not limited to what you see here.  The more you cache, the more different kinds you will find.

Please visit the official geocaching site and read thru this page:
http://www.geocaching.com/about/finding.aspx

It gives you lots of great information on getting started.   I suggest you start with something close to home, with a terrain and dificulty rating of 1/1.  Maybe something in a park or near a restaurant.  These are easier to do at first and can be done without a GPS unit.  Just remember to use stealth, and come back and let me know what you found!  Happy caching!



Thanks Kim for another great re-posted article! If you would like to see this article on Kim's Blog Snug Harbor Bay click here.... 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Next week we are going to tackle Lawson #4, the closest cache to my house, and a very challenging hike and climb. So, we are trying to get in shape for that adventure.

Therefore, on Tuesday, instead of driving down the old Viejas Grade to find the four caches hidden along there, we walked down the road. One of the caches is called "Back Seat Driver." P.T. is checking out the car to see if it might run again someday.



Actually, the car got caught in the fire of Ocotber 2003 and anything on it that could burn, or melt, did. Only the metal shell remained.

It was a good long hike of nearly four miles and we collected lots of cans and bottles along the way.

After we got back to the Geomobile, we headed up Hwy 79 toward Cuyamaca State Park to find Duncan!'s new cache and continue on toward an Earthcache and the Sunrise Highway. Passing Wind's "Julian Schist Earthcache" was cache number 800 for me. The description of the rocks, and the gold-bearing veins, was very educational. When we arrived at the road cut, it was in shadow, so the pictures we took were not as vivid as they could be. When I'm back on that road, I'll stop and get some better pictures of the interesting geological feature.

Although the air was hazy, it was an absolutely beautiful day to be up in the mountains. One of the most fun caches on the Sunrise Highway was "Vista del Fuego." It was placed a few months after the devastating Cedar Fire in October 2003 that burned thousands of acres. On a clear day this view would really be fantastic.



From there we headed on to a cache I had found a few months ago. While P.T. climbed up the hill, I took some pictures of the "Guardrail Philosophy."



I have an alarm clock that runs on happiness . . . 



Everytime someone smiles, I wake up . . . 

Our last stop of the day was a cache I found a few months ago that has since gone missing . . . again. It is called "Vallecito View" and highlights a wonderful viewpoint. I hope Duncan! will replace it so people will stop and see the view of the desert to the east.


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


Wednesday morning we started out at my "Steele Canyon Park" cache. While P.T. found and logged it, I collected a few more cans and bottles for the recyling center. From there we drove just a little ways to the end of Par Four Street and started what turned out to be a very long walk to attempt the multi, "Par Four," and continue up the hill to the difficult-to-access "Golden 94."

At the first waypoint for "Par Four," we found this guy:




The second waypoint was difficult to find and we looked a long time. It shouldn't have been that hard; in fact I looked in a location similar to the hiding spot, but missed searching the actual hiding spot. P.T. ultimately made the find. We took quite a few pictures of the ruins we found there.



This amazing tree might have been the hiding place for WP #3. We may never know since we looked for half an hour and never found it.




"Golden 94" was only .22 miles away from that place, but we couldn't see any direct trail to it. I was certain it was at the end of a power line access road, so we started walking up the horse trail, in our Chaco sandals, not thinking we were going to be doing all the bushwacking we ended up doing after we went up, then down, then up, then back down, then up, up, up to the ammo can hidden in a pile of rocks that can just be seen in this picture taken from "See How They Run" later in the day.



We probably hiked four or five miles during our day and had quite a bit of elevation gain and loss climbing to both of those caches.

The last cache of the day was another new one by Pathfinder and Snoopy, two cachers who really helped me out when I was a brand new cacher back in January. There caches are always fun, well-cammoed, or in interesting locations. In fact, the very first cache I found, "Hollenbeck Canyon Cache" was a Pathfinder and Snoopy cache.

Thanks, Pathfinder and Snoopy for getting me started on this obsession/addiction . . .




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!
BH

Friday, August 22, 2014

Logging your find, a CO's only reward!


By: Bloodhounded
Notes from the author: They put them out for you, they maintain them for you, they are the reason you have an opportunity to get a smiley, they are the CO's and the log you leave is their only reward. Think about it.

As a geocacher, I love to find creative caches and well thought out hides. It really doesn’t take too much to be unique; a nice container, a theme, and devious hide, a perplexing puzzle, multi with a story, a history lesson and oh yes, that totally awesome destination. Yet, many cachers just go with the Tupperware variety, unmaintained, damp log and a ground zero (GZ) that makes you wonder, WTF???? Deflating to say the least. Maintaining a good - excellent cache is a lot of work but, cache owners do it without regret. What keeps them going? The logs.

Being the owner of some 26 caches, I use as much time maintaining as I do seeking. There are few weeks that go by where I don't communicate by email and text, clues, explanation, requested missing series information, a kind "great job!" and at times encouragement to finish. I'm happy to do it! All I ask in return is a great log.

What makes a great log? It really is a matter of personal style and expression of the experience. Some cachers feel uncomfortable with writing a longer log. All I can tell you is the more you read and do the more you'll add to yours. The log is the history of the cache. Every geocache that I am aware of has two logs that need to be considered.


Physical Log - This is the log that goes inside the geocache container. It could be as small as a tiny piece of paper or as large as a notebook. It's your seal that you have been to the cache and by signing the log and dating it, you are confirmed. Some that are large enough have room for some additional fun. Jot down a few words of thanks, something that you experienced along the way and add your own style to it. I will draw a small dog paw on the log sometimes to add some individuality to the log. Dodger uses a very cool stamp that he had custom tailored to leave a DLC seal in the log book, it's quite impressive. He uses it on his posts here at CacheCrazy.Com as his avatar. When I maintain my caches I always read through the log book. I DO SEE all of the cool sigs and stamps, doodles and the like and enjoy them. Sometimes, I DON'T SEE an entree from a few that claimed it as a find on the cache page, hmmmm. You know who you are, lol! Whatever, there will always be that small percentage who play the game differently. 

Cache Page Log - It seems that most folks enjoy writing about the cache on their computer and in the solitude of their domain and as time allows. The longer you wait to log it, the shorter the log will be. All cache owners are receiving the log as it's uploaded to the page. I love it when I'm having a lousy day and all of a sudden BING, a new find, an awesome log and all of a sudden, I feel better. It's a sense of reward to read about the seekers fun and skill on your cache as you knew it would be when you put it there. I often communicate with my finders as many will attest to. I especially look for new cachers and bid them a "welcome to geocaching", offer assistance if needed and thank them for doing one of my geocaches. 

photo complements of Cache Mania
It's all a matter of what the cache is like. If it's a roadside micro, it's just not going to get the type of response that a well placed multi will receive and rightfully so. However, in my opinion, just writing "TNLN TFTC" is a little bit like saying, "this cache sucked" in my mind. Even a small one liner is better than that. The CO still placed it, maintains it, posted it and is responsible for giving you that smiley, don't you think a little " fun cache and was easy to find if you are looking, TFTC!" Is that asking too much?

In the end, the log should reflect the experience and take your time with expression. Sometimes I have to gather my thoughts before I write the log. When doing five or more finds in one day it becomes a little cloudy. I can assure you that other people will be reading your logs. make them special and if not for anyone else, let the cache owner know that you appreciate their effort and continued support to geocacheing through the log. After all, it really is the CO's only reward.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Not Wednesday ~ Everyone is doing it!



Are YOU doing it?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Running Wild with Bear Grylls


OK, so the first few episodes are over. In my opinion, it's one of the best shows on TV! Bear is a beast and he just doesn't let up. He faces a special challenge tonight. Tom Arnold recently lost 100 LBS! He's been working out and eating right so, what do you think? My bet is Bear puts together a journey that will bring out the MAN in Tom. Tom will be complete after Bear's beating. We'll just have to wait and see Monday August 18  8/7c  on NBC.
What do you thing about the series?


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Placing a Cache in Wilma Quinlan Nature Preserve

In July of 2013 I went out early one morning before work to place a new unknown (puzzle) cache at the Wilma Quinlan Nature Preserve. (The cache is MM 8C if you want to try your hand at it.) This is a great little nature preserve nestled deep in New Britain Township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The Neshaminy Creek runs right through it, and a volunteer I met informed me that they have a bridge or two planned to get to the other areas of the preserve. The preserve has about 1.5 miles of great trails for hiking, watching birds and wildlife, enjoying the wildflowers, or even geocaching!

 Preserve Map
Map of the nature preserve
History of the nature preserve (from their website): Wilma Quinlan was a member of the New Britain Borough Council that organized a group of residents to band together and purchase 23 acres of land along the creek.  In 1972 they purchased 23.76 acres of land that has evolved into the Wilma Quinlan Nature Preserve of today. Dr. Miriam Groner lived in the Mathews-Groner house across the street from the preserve, and in 2005 left her house, three acres, and much of her estate to New Britain Borough for the benefit of the Nature Preserve.
Back to today, I was walking along the trails, almost to the area I had targeted on the map earlier to hide this cache when suddenly, a swing!
2013-07-19 08.11.45
The Swing
2013-07-19 08.12.53
The Swing Again
2013-07-19 08.14.42
That swing had a long rope
I have no idea where the swing came from or why it was there. Maybe one of the neighbors placed it there. I decided not to try it out for myself and just continue with my task at hand. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to snap a few pictures of the Neshaminy Creek that runs through the preserve. I got right out into the middle of it to record this moment for you, dear readers.
2013-07-19 08.14.11
2013-07-19 08.17.06
2013-07-19 08.17.15
2013-07-19 08.18.22
2013-07-19 08.33.55
I headed back to the bank of the stream and scoped out the cache location situation. I spotted a few good spots and narrowed it down to one. I went back to the stream bed and found some good geopile stones and carried them back to my cache site. You may recognize the Wise Old Walking Stick, who I had with me, and who gave me sage advice on cache placement (mostly in the form of stern looks.)
2013-07-19 08.26.23
The Wise Old Walking Stick
Then, I spotted something amazing, out here in this big forest: a teeny, tiny forest! I think it was some sort of fungus, but it looked like a microcosm of the forest in which I now found myself. I couldn't help but wonder if at that very moment, a tiny bug was wandering inside of this tiny forest, finding an even tinier forest! Nah, probably not.
2013-07-19 08.31.10
A Tiny Forest on a stick in a big forest
I finished up my placement, then hiked over to the other side of the preserve. After heading down the trail for a while, I hit some sort of force field that let me know it was time to stop and go a different way.
2013-07-19 08.40.00
The Nature Preserve Boundary, both ways!
I started heading back to parking but was quickly distracted by the ripe, red raspberries growing along the path. A few weeks prior and I probably could have supplied a buffet, but the selfish birds and deer had picked off most of them by this point. I managed to find a few and man, were they delicious on this beautiful morning.
2013-07-19 08.43.27
2013-07-19 08.45.33
Raspberries. Delicious, beautiful, red raspberries.
I made my way back to the parking area, where a guy was placing mulch around the sign. We exchanged greetings and ended up having a long discussion about the history and future plans of the preserve, and volunteer opportunities. Maybe it will be the site of a future CITO event? We exchanged contact info, then said our goodbyes and I was on my way.
2013-07-19 08.47.33
I saw the sign
The Wilma Quinlan Nature Preserve is a great place to hide or find a geocache, or just take a walk and enjoy nature. Check it out next time you're in the area!

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