"When you go to hide a cache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot.
If the only reason is for the cache, then find a better spot."
.... Briansnat


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Do You Really CITO?

We're nearing the end of the annual CITO and souvenirs fall week where cachers go out and clean a park in exchange for a smiley and a souvenir. That's a good thing, but would you attend a CITO if there were no souvenir waiting? If it weren't advertised on social media? We attended one official CITO March 25 at the Erie National Wildlife Refuge. It was the second year we gave back to the wildlife refuge which has opened its lands to physical caches. We got a smiley for it. We met with geofriends (all two who joined us). We gathered a lot of trash.

Beyond that, we entered the game at a time when CITO was mostly about picking up trash on caching journeys. There were no souvenirs and CITO's were less common. We usually have bags with us and will stop and pick up trash on our way back to the hide. It's an easy practice and makes the trail so much better for the next visitor. We don't get a smiley, but we do get the satisfaction of giving back and making the world a better place.

CITO From McKean Reservoir Trails August 2018

It would be great to see geocaching return to this piece of its roots.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Cache Gnomes

We've found two caches recently with gnomes for cache guardians.

Norman the Gnome

The Unknown Gnome

Friday, August 24, 2018

Beach Tube Hide

This was a fun way to hide a beach tube in the woods.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Completing The Ohio State Parks Geocache Challenge

We earned our souvenir for International Geocaching Day. We hope you were able to enjoy a little caching too.

When the Ohio State Park Geocache Challenge was published in 2011, it became part of our geocaching bucket list. We had a good start through the state parks' twenty cache series, but reaching 55 was a six-plus year journey. Today was wet and at times frustrating. It was sunny on the way here, but grey by the time we arrived.

Ali spotted a rainbow while we were at the marina.

We spent a while watching the rain through the windshield.

Eventually, we gave up and hit the trail. This was almost a six-hour round trip driving to reach the park so missing the main event would have been frustrating.

We tried three different trails that missed getting us to the cache, We did get to see the end of the rain at one of the dead ends.

The ammo can was still dry when we found the cache, and we were able to enjoy the setting sun as the rain moved on.

These are just a few of the new state parks we explored after publication of this challenge.

July 2012 Harrison Lake State Park

October 2013 Barkcamp State Park

April 2014 Burr Oak State Park

July 2016 Scioto Lake State Park

July 2016 Paint Creek State Park

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Our Virtual Has Been Published

Time is growing short for the Virtual Rewards to be submitted and published. As reviewers, we were granted one to place. I could say we love to procrastinate, but that would only be partially true. We were actually torn between where to place the virtual. One side of us said Northeast Ohio is our home, and it should be there. We also thought of placing one near our home in Pennsylvania. It has been a place of rest and refuge for us. We also thought of places we both consider special with great memories. In the end, we thought about...

Northeast Ohio

For Northeast Ohio, we considered resurrecting an old virtual which was archived when the subject moved. The Lawless Politician was a good subject for a virtual in the past. In the end, we decided to let a the former virtual remain a former virtual ans create a different experience for cachers.

Warren County Pennsylvania

We thought about placing a cache in the Hearts Content Scenic area. It is a place we have enjoyed for many years. As a scenic area, placing a physical cache requires permission. It has been granted once while we have been caching.

Sheldon Marsh along the Lake Erie shore

Sheldon Marsh is a special place for us. It is a place of peace for us and a place we have retreated in time of concern and uncertainty. It is a place we visit at least once every spring. As a State Nature Preserve, there is no chance of a physical cache being granted permission.

Franklin Mineral Museum (New Jersey)

I think the Franklin Mineral Museum was the first choice for both of us. It required a trip back to New Jersey. It has been a long time since we enjoyed a couple amazing vacations in the state. It was a great time to go back. It wasn't going to happen with my schedule this year. :(

And the winner is... Sheldon Marsh! We're hoping visitors enjoy this virtual as much as we have through the years.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Water Your GeoDogs

Whether we are geocaching or not, our dogs spend a lot of time outdoors with us on the trail. Lizzie the GeoAussie is always looking for water. Her thick coat and warmish body temp makes her search for water understandable.

GeoBeagle Phineas is much closer to a camel on the trail. That isn't always a good thing. He's very active and loves to celebrate his hikes by baying loudly and often. He's also usually too distracted by the most recent smell to worry about water. We need to make certain he drinks water so he stays hydrated.

His Penn State pearls are a natural since his mom is a Penn State grad. The pearls clash with this red and orange dog collars, but he has no fashion fear.

We recently needed a new dog bowl for the trail. The Kurgo Zippy Bowl seemed perfect, at least for us. The design zipped into a nice compact triangle which was perfect for hanging on a backpack.

The deep bowl also accepted most of a bottle of spring water.

The bowl was okay with the dogs, but not the winner we thought it could be. Ali decided to try the round version of the Kurgo Mash and Stash bowl.

In the mashed configuration, the bowl clips to a backpack and rides easily.

In the Smashed configuration it has a deep, tapered wall to again hold most of a bottle of water for the thirsty geodogs. Phin really seems happier with the tapered wall bowl.

Liz and Phin will visit a stream when there's a choice, but we always keep the water bowl and a bottle (or two or three) for those days when there is no choice.

After all, they do find most of the caches. ;)

Now if Lizzie can just convince Ali that we need a Go Stuff It Dog Treat Bag for the trail, she will be truly happy.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Well Done Sig Items

I was in Spokane early for business and wanted an afternoon of trail caching. We had visited Pend Oreille County Park on a vacation trip in June 2014. We both enjoyed the trails. I was happy there were multiple new caches in the park and eager for an adventure.

The trails were fun with some very good views.

I also spotted a couple signature items left by past visitors.

Cachers MsLichen and MsMorrigan left these great sig items.

The other sig item was left by cachers who did not note them in their logs. The Lamp Post Inspection Team tags were fun, They were an interesting find on a day which included over ten miles of hiking.

I have been thinking about a new sig item for our caching team. Finding these in caches has insprired me to also step back to geocaching's roots. Here's a big thank you to cachers who place meaningful sig items in caches they visit.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Bomb Squad Call-Out in SW Ohio

"PIERCE TOWNSHIP FIRE RESPOND TO A SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE On May 30th our fire department responded to a call in Ohio Township at SR 132 and SR 749, near Marathon for a suspicious device. Since that location is in Ohio Township the Clermont County Sheriff's Office responded to handle the incident along with assistance from Pierce Police and the Cincinnati Bomb Squad. After investigation it was determined that the device the device was not an explosive, but a geocaching container."

The above post is from the Pierce Township Police Department Facebook page. It's never a good idea to place a geocache that looks like a bomb.

Besides looking like a bomb, pvc tubes make lousy cache containers as they always leak.

This is really good advice from the Geocaching Help Center. Please think about how your cache container will be perceived and how people passing will perceive the actions of cachers looking for your hide.

I wonder if the cache owner will be receiving bills for law enforcement and fire call-outs...

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Maybe There Should Be a Souvenir for Images Posted...

Finding caches used to be "about the journey." Now the numbers seem to be king. Has anyone noticed uploading images at cache finds no longer seems to be an activity. As we found the caches in bd's fun state series in PA State Gamelands 69, we noticed there were few images uploaded on any of the cache pages unless they were ours.

Yesterday we enjoyed the Saturday of our holiday weekend by hiking in Elk State Forest. The Fred Woods Trail is home to the cache Dobby's Home. The August 2001 cache is one of the older caches in the state and has a 40 percent favorite rating (43/233). The hike includes great rock formations and a at least one vista (two if you do the loop). The 233 finders have posted 208 images. It sounds impressive, but the last image was posted by us on a return visit in June 2013. Almost five years have passed with no images posted, not even a selfie.

In a time when nearly all cachers have cell phones and nearly all phones have reasonable image ablities, adding an image to a log is easy. Have the next few finds become so important and the presence of so many mediocre caches become so large that the memories of a wonderful journey are just blurred and not worth a picture? In the 2018 specialty world of one person driving, one person navigating, one person jumping from the vehicle for caches on the right side of the road, and one person jumping from the vehicle for caches on the left side of the road, it would seem someone would have time for an image or two.

This is my post from our July 2009 visit to the area. This is from June 2013.

For yesterday's visit, we did enjoy the rocks again.

We stopped by the second overlook...

and Ali spotted an orchid.

We also were third to find on a new cache on the trail and will post images to our log.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Caches To Do: GC12FPA

I sometimes spot caches that go on my to-do list. There is no real explanation of why or how they make it, but they do.

Big Ball of Paint has now joined that list. The ball of paint is quirky enough to grab my attention and they sound like really nice people. I will have business reasons to travel I-69 between Fort Wayne and Indy so this seems like a great place to stop for a break. ;)

Monday, May 21, 2018

Dumb Cache Idea of the Week

Here's a not so great idea, shove a pipe in the ground (not permitted within the geocaching listing guidelines) then create a cache from a fake natural gas regulator.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Missed FTF's

I was in Monterrey for business and spent Sunday afternoon hiking with my engineer. He wanted to show me the waterfalls at the end of a trail near the far end of Estanzuela Park. It sounded like the perfect way to spend the afternoon. I had loaded my gps on the hope that I might be near a cache or two while in the area. The hike back was an interesting venture. Besides a high climb, the park has placed brick walkways on the inclines. We saw a number of other visitors fall and even a few injuries. We also saw coati, but my memory card decided to eat ~40 images from the journey. :(

We stopped on the way to see the sights.

The Falls were really scenic.

Even more interesting was the gps. It showed this unfound cache was about 700 feet from the falls. This unfound cache was about 1000 feet from upstream from the falls. Could it be two unfound caches waiting almost four years were within our grasp? I must admit, this was really exciting.

We crossed the stream and made our way towards the nearest of the unfound hides. We were back in the stream and within 300 feet of the hide when the trail whistle blew. Oh no, we were being called of the trail because of the time of day. Because of the injury risks and the presence of black bears, the area we were in closed a few hours before the rest of the park. We hung our head and made our way back.

Overall, this was an extremely strenuous journey. The area closed for entries very early so we were pushing hard all the way to the restricted area. The 700 feet from the trail to the cache appears to be mostly in the fast moving stream. Having been so close, I eagerly await the return challenge first-to-find or not.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Interesting Post About Useful Apps for Geocaching

There are fewer and fewer geocachers who still blog. The Geocaching Junkie is one of the best remaining ones. A recent post covers useful apps for geocachers. The site is worth repeated visits and reads.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

To Pluto (and Back)

We had finished collecting the 500, but it seemed really strange for us to be stuck on Pluto.

It's even colder there than NE Ohio and there are no caches on Pluto.

We decided to try doubling our score to 1000 points so we could get back to earth.

We enjoyed exploring a land holding of Collins Pine while crossing a few streams and thinking it was spring.

We enjoyed Crawford County while hunting bd's fun 50-state series.

We enjoyed a number of ducks while finding caches in the annual Hudson series.

Saw an Eagle in Eastlake

Then came the last day. Thirty-five points were needed. Seven trads would do it. It was raining... a lot.

In the end, we got 1,000 points.

I haven't caught pneumonia (yet), and we got back to earth!

Friday, April 13, 2018

It's Five Weeks to ASP Geobash

If you have never been to the ASP Geobash at Allegany State Park in New York, You should plan to visit. If you've been there before, it's always a great place to say hello to friends. It's our favorite event. The park is wonderful, and there are caches for everyone. We hope to see you there.

Bridal Falls

Spring Wildflowers

Challenging Journeys

And Easy Finds

Beautiful Streams

A scenic lake

Signal will be there.

You should too!

You just might find a friend.

Or make a new one.