"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, August 29, 2010

If Only I had Looked Sooner....

We are both engineers so while the number of finds aren't very important to us, playing with all the other stats gives us hours of endless amusement. We also enjoy challenge caches a lot. Recently, 366 Challenges have gained popularity, and I was wondering how close we are since we are year-round cachers in a winter snowy/summer muggy area.

When It's Not About the Numbers died, we switched to My Geocaching Profile. Its graphics are nowhere near as good as the amazing INATN site, but it's still here. MGP also doesn't give the individual county finds, but we've gotten around that with a GSAK macro. That's also a different post.

Since the 366 data is available on MGP, I decided to see how close we are to meeting the requirements of the challenge. Say It Isn't So! We need only four days. Had I known (or checked earlier), I would have crawled to a cache on Leap Day. The stats are a little weird though. We may be the only residents of Northeast Ohio's snowbelt to have one find on May 21st and two finds on July 8th while finding 39 caches on December 27th and having eight days of 20 or more finds in January.

I am already challenging Ali to a goal of at least ten finds per day of the calendar. So far, she's rolling her eyes, but she'll go for this one. :-)

An update: We're getting a new refrigerator, and Ali has said "Print the image and post it on the new refrigerator so we know which days we need." Hehehe... my plan has worked. :-)

Ammo Can Art

We were playing tourists and visiting Ringwood Manor (oh yeah, there were a few caches there too ;-) ) when we found this decorated ammo can on the woods. The cache has been out for a while so the can is seeing the effects of being outdoors, but it was still a very nice effort and something other than a great camo paint job.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pennsylvania DeLorme Challenge

The weather was so pleasant when we left the parking area.

The first of two 1,000 foot climbs.

Uh Oh... there's math involved? :-0

Signal and Lucinda the Ladybug celebrate after six miles on the trail.

That's me thinking six miles back and wishing it wasn't going to rain. My wish did not come true.

It took almost six years to the day from our first find to head out and find this monster of a cache. After over 2,000 finds in PA, we finally figured out we had to find at least one on each page of the map book. :-)

Seriously, finishing all the pages was an amazing journey. It was our second state DeLorme Challenge and since this is our home state half-time, it really felt wonderful. The cache is not for the weak. It's a 1,000 feet rise from the parking lot to the highest point on the trail and back down again to the same elevation to make the find. When you find the cache after six miles of hiking, there is another six miles for the return trip and another 1,000 foot climb. Our journey took seven hours. The last three miles were in a hard rain. It's scary to think six years have passed since we signed the first log book.

We started caching before I started blogging. Some of the pictures below are from the early memories and fun we had in Pennsylvania.

The Auto Art Virtual Cache near Erie

Ali Playing on the swings at Crescent Park after we found one of Liz and Wes's caches (kcepenn).

Our Friends Grandpa and Grandma placed a cache at Frog Rock near Tionesta.

Wearing costumes for Jim and Cheryl's (Pirate & Crafty) web cam.

Celebrating an early milestone on the Tanbark Trail.

Biking Oil Creek in the fall hunting Snoop's caches.

Our 1000th find along the North Country Trail in McKean County

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Geocaching and a Droid

Cell phones and geocaching are a mixed blessing. Since they will switch gps navigation from satellite usage to cell tower triangulation without notifying the user when they lose satellite signals, they have made for some spectacularly bad coordinates on newer cache hides placed with cell phones. Still, they have brought a bunch of happy, new cachers to the game so that is good. For me, I never load caches along my entire trip when traveling, so it would be great to take a break while traveling and look for a nearby cache if one is available. I have been eagerly awaiting Geocaching.com's Droid Ap and downloaded it the first day it was available.

This evening we were on an important mission to play minature golf. :-) There is a cache in the parking lot which we had already found so it seemed a perfect one to try the gps. I liked the compass screen while driving. It seemed stable and agreed with the car's compass. At the cache location, it went quickly to ground zero. we found the cache with the gps reading six feet. We would have definitely been successful if this were a new find. The ap is really fast. At $10 it serves as a gps and a paperless cache option. We'll stick with our Garmins for our hides, but it seems a no-brainer as an extra tool for geocaching.

There's the cache.

Droid says six feet.

Ali displays her winning putting form.