"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.