"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, December 31, 2017

Geocaching 2017

This winter was a mild one. There were bits of snowy days, but never a lot of snow depth. Our January caching times included a hike through Cleveland Metroparks' Bedford Reservation along Tinker's Creek.

The mild weather gave us the opportunity to reach 15,000 finds at a Pennsylvania gamelands during the month.

15,000 finds

Our February was sunshine and wildlife with a visit to the Sunshine State.

Took Nothing. Left a Gator.

In March we were able to give back to the Erie National Wildlife Refuge by participating in a CITO. ENWR had kindly opened their trails to a series of physical caches several months prior. It was a fun time working with the friendly staff while seeing the refuge in spring awakening. For our effort, we happily logged an attended CITO.

April was a big puzzle month for us. We found twelve mostly hidden in Pennsylvania Game Lands by Erie County cacher bd's.

We also made our first visit to Brush Hollow for a large trail of caches in April. This was the fun visit on a super series of trails.

Most years for us, the highlight of May is attending the Mega event at Allegany State Park. ASP is one of our favorite parks and many attendees are among the people of whom we are closest. We also participate each year in the reviewer panel. It is the essence of geocaching fellowship and the best of any large event we have had the privledge to attend. The weather in southern tier New York can be fickle, and we have seen snow at this event in May. This year fate was on our sides with a perfect day. We hope to once again be able to attend next year's event.

The end of the month also brought us to what we now call Treemageddon. We returned to Brush Hollow for an expected second visit to the cache series in the area. We eventually ended up on a trail with untold damage from a storm. In our efforts to get out of the area and bring ourselves and our dogs to safety, Ali suffered a serious knee injury. It's great to see the Forest Service finally decided in October that a May storm had made the area unsafe. ;(

With Ali injured and my work load being very heavy, our 28 June finds were the lowest number since 26 in February of 2010. Somehow Ali was able to cache a couple days including a pleasant afternoon in a Game Lands. Lizzie stepped in for Ali with this ammo can find. ;)

We started finding caches in the acorn series at Roper Hollow in Warren County Pennsylvania during an abbreviated 4th of July holiday weekend.

By the 4th, my work was so busy we wouldn't really cache together until the summer was winding down. I had a stretch of two weeks on the road which included a weekend over in Spokane with a visit to the Little Spokane trail area.

I started August in Washington nearing the end of two weeks on the road. As the trip and my work in the area was winding down, I was able to spend a pleasant evening at my favorite area park Dishman Hills.

Ali was in physical therapy and feeling well enough to venture out on a biking trip to find caches on the Western Reserve GeoTrail near the end of the month.

For Labor Day weekend we tried a longer hike at Chapman State Park for Ali to test her rehab. The park will be closed for most if not all of 2018 as the state replaces the dam so we were happy to find these caches before they became unavailable.

we finished September with the extension of a business trip and a visit to the LBJ Grasslands to find the second oldest cache in Texas.

We started October with a visit to the Wichita Mountains in a mini-vacation. We enjoyed three days hiking this wonderful area (and finding a few geocaches).

I also fell into a really shallow portion of Liberty Lake in Spokane during the month, but that wasn't really fun.

We enjoyed a wonderful fall adventure in Lake County's Hell Hollow Park. There really wasn't a reason to cross the stream and follow it, but it made the journey to this well done multi awesome.

Despite the short days of November, we were still able to enjoy some fun caching time. Our trips included a visit to the former Girl Scout Camp Hilaki. The now closed camp has been converted to a local park. With an energetic beagle, we managed to miss the find at the falls picured below, but we still had a cache-filled day.

We also enjoyed a day of the Thanksgiving holiday walking the North Country Trail. The NCTGT is the geotrail that never gets finished for us. A few more of the remaining caches on the trail were found as we also enjoyed this tremendous rock formation.

The even shorter days of December were offset with vacation days to use or lose. We enjoyed a cold walk under blue skies at Lake Metroparks and a couple cold, grey visits to West Branch State Park. Caching on a cold winter day helps move the calendar one day closer to spring.

Since we are still logging July finds, I have no idea of how many caches we actually found this year. It seems to be something more than 900 and less than 1,000. It will be our fewest finds since 2005. Thankfully, after her injury this year, Ali has been able to spend time back on the trail so 2018 is looking up.

Where will we go next year? There always seem to be so many options. A return to Florida to spend more vacation time seems certain. Beyond that, Our wish list seems to go on a long way.....

A return to Washington State with a side visit to BC.
A spring trip to Shenandoah National Park and Virginia caching.
A visit at last to Utah.
A return to Arizona and the western counties of the state to help our coast-to-coast county goal.
A visit to Delaware and New Jersey.
The Dakotas.
Maine (yum scallop rolls), Vermont, New Hampshire.
Finally, Nevada and the North Rim.
May your finds be favorites. May your adventures be fun. Have a great new year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Ten Years of Reviewing

I've reached and passed my ten year anniversary of reviewing. It seems so long ago when I published my first cache. That cache had 199 finds before it was archived four years later.

My first published cache which is still active has 737 finds as of this post. Our player account never found the first cache I published, but we found the oldest still active publication about a month after publication.

Geocaching.com rightly requires Volunteer Reviewers to not share statistics so I won't do that. I will say I have published many more than our player account has found. I have published caches in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York (oops), and Denmark.

I've most enjoyed the wonderful people whose caches I have been able to review. I've been happy for the opportunities to participate in reviewer panels at Megas. I've least enjoyed a stalker who has made it clear through my player account that he knows who I am and where to find me. I don't participate in social media and have tried to stay away from one sided posts detailing all the perceived wrongs I've done to hiders.

Groundspeak had wonderful thank you gifts for the anniversary including a very limited edition of the coin shown below and a trackable jacket.

I have no idea if I will hit the eleven year anniversary let alone the next big milestone at fifteen years. For most years, I review 365 days a year with an occasional day where there are no caches submitted. A quick day may be fifteen minutes. A day with a long trail or many caches with issues can consume six or more hours on a day of the weekend. I have become very conscious of the passing of years and this year regained my desire to garden and plant. I am happy to have been able to give back to the game we enjoy so much.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Airstream Container

I spotted this homemade Airstream container in the wild in West Virginia. It's a fun whimsical container in the woods.

Saturday, December 02, 2017


I recently spotted my first Rotolog in a geocache in North Carolina. I think this is the best logbook design I have seen. Unfortunately, it is a German product and does not appear to be readily available in the US. Gone Cachin' used to sell the product, but they do not appear to be taking orders any longer. It does appear to be available through Amazon.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Super Container

We have found many fake log geocaches. Ironically, one of the first we found, Just Another Log To Sign, placed by Pirate & Crafty in the Allegheny National Forest in 2005 was one of the best.

We recently were fortunate to find another of these hides which really stands out for the design of the container.

With the drawer turned away from the seeker, the hide is extremely tough to spot. Good coordinates helped us with the find. It was a fun stop on a good day in the woods.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ammo Cans





It doesn't matter where I am or what the season. The site of an ammo can on the trail with a log book brightens my day. The days are getting short and the weather can be gloomy so now is a good time to go out and find an ammo can in the woods. Think of it as a wellness program.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Virtual Extremes

We recently enjoyed a short vacation in Texas and Oklahoma. Our main goals were to visit and hike the LBJ Grasslands and Wichita Mountains. We enjoyed both. We were also able to add another virtual extreme to our cache finds when we visited the world's littlest skyscraper in Wichita Falls.

Whoa, that's four floors shooting upward toward the clouds!

The Newman-McMahon Building was built in 1919 after cash was raised from investors to build a 146m tall building or so the investors believed. What they really invested in was the 14.6m tall building shown above. Yes, it was a scam created by a local oilman. At 146m, the building would have been 40% of the height of the Empire State Building. In the low skyline of Wichita Falls this four story building would still give a great view of the town, but it appears to be used for retail.

This wasn't our first virtual at a little place with big plans. We also enjoyed visiting the world's smallest park in Portland.

Mills End Park was another fun stop on our too brief visit to Portland in 2011.

I am happy to see virtuals have returned for at least one encore. Like all of caching, they were a mixed bag of good and uninspired, but many like the two above give us a reason to visit fun, quirky places we haven't seen and wouldn't see except by sheer luck. We have been lucky to be awarded one of the new ones to locate. Our biggest issue so far has been deciding which of the out of the way places we want to share with only one winner possible.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

We Found Cache (Oklahoma)

Yes, it exists. We were hiking in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (beautiful area) and got off at an exit marked cache. After the day's hiking was over we passed by the highway and made our way into cache to see the town. It's a lot bigger than I expected, but lacks any grocery store. For decades it was home to a popular amusement park. The park closed in 1985 when insurance became too much to remain profitable. We didn't actually find any caches in Cache since we don't load micros when on vacation. The town is populated with micros. Does anyone remember when a nice community park would have a small or a regular Tupperware-like container? We enjoyed our brief visit to Cache, Oklahoma.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sig Items

We've been caching long enough to remember when many cachers had recognizable signature items they left behind in caches. Many were designed and hand made by the cachers. They were quite creative and for a time very collectible. We see few of these among the caches we find now. I was surprised to see a new sig item placed by a local caching couple, CLE Caching Couple in a newer cache. The sig item is a wire formed into the shape of a puzzle piece. It is fitting as a sig item since they are avid solvers and finders of puzzle caches.

Monday, May 29, 2017

"We Must Know Them..."

Despite the game's popularity, the geocaching community is a small one. So when we see a vehicle it seems natural to think we must know them. We were on our way to an afternoon caching between Elk and Clearfield counties when we spotted this rv trailer in front of us at an intersection on Route 62. With its four-color geocaching sticker, we immediately noticed the trailer. The ASPGB sticker also meant we had probably both been to the ASP Geobash together at some time or another. The ANF sticker meant these cachers had possible found one of our ANF hides. Alas, the vehicle turned toward the Kinzua dam and away from our path east. We could only guess the occupants were making their way back from GeoWoodstock in North Carolina. Geocaching can make the world smaller.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Another Library Find

We recently had the opportunity to find another library cache. I always enjoy these hides and will go out of my way to find them. This one had a twist which included solving a five panel sudoku retrieve the coordinates for the first stage which led to the final. It was fun and will certainly earn a favorite once we finally log our find.

The containers for library caches are almost always large enough for dropping travel bugs. We left a Dream Big promotional trackable and an unactivated Volunteer trackable for the next finder.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Could Lamp Post Caches Be At Risk?

Maybe so if Knightscope has its way. The Silicon valley company has developed a mobile security robot for both indoor and outdoor patrols.

The article notes the robots aren't armed (yet) so they just provide video and utter metallic voice commands. I can hear it now in a metallic robot voice saying "STEP AWAY FROM THE LIGHTPOST." or maybe "DROP THE SKIRT NOW."

This one appears to be ready to apprehend hunters of a micro hidden on an unknown parking garage floor.

Uh oh... this pair has already heard of LPC's. Could it be they are caching converts? ;)

So far, it appears the K5 has only been rented to companies and stores in the Silicon Velley area. I'm not so sure they will be effective where there is snow or ice.

They appear to have a bit of an updated Dalek look to me. ;)