"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


Monday, December 24, 2018

Holiday Greetings To All

May all your geocaching wishes be filled.

Monday, December 17, 2018

North Carolina Gadget Cache

I was caching in the Salisbury area while there for business. I visited a familiar park to find some of the newer cache hides. One of those included a bird box in the woods.

The open front of the box reveals four tumblers, a locked box, and a key to the gadget.

The combination is revealed by using the tool to align the tumblers.

Soon, the log is in hand.

The gadget isn't challenging as the cache owner explains the solution on the page, but the cache container is really well done and gives a fun experience. As a plus, the bird box is anchored to the tree with cords which doesn't deface the tree. It was a fun find on a summer evening away from home.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Accidental Letterbox

This year we have found two true letterbox hides by accident while geocaching. It isn't the first time, but it's still fun to come upon these hides by accident. One of the finds in New York happened while actually searching for a cache. That letterbox was within 50 feet of the newer geocache and had unfortunately become the geocache find for cachers who were too busy logging their latest non-find to note the sentence on the cache page stating there was a nearby letterbox which was not the cache. Signing a letterbox stamp book like it is a geocache log is beyond rude.

The second letterbox find at Stan Hyett Gardens came on an afternoon when we were looking for caches, but not at the time of the find. We were walking one of the many paths through the gardens and nearing this small tunnel to pass through.

When we reached the structure there was a rock out of place.

Only a geocacher would look at the hide location and think something may be hidden there. Once spotted we had to open it.

This true letterbox even included a hand carved stamp.

When geocaching was younger, it was not unusual to find a hand-carved stamp in a letterbox hybrid. We have found a number of older geocaches with well done stamps. I've tried my hand at carving a few stamps, but the results are usually not very good.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Perfect Micro Container

Most micro containers are not good. The leak. They rust. The logs are mush.

They seem to shout I was put here for no other reason than a cheap, fast find. There is only one exception.

It is the PETling.

We really gained respect for this geocaching-perfect container when we started spending more time in Florida. Southern Florida geocachers know and understand many of the areas where they place caches will flood many feet annually. The caches may very well see hurricanes. Many of the hiders there have embraced perfection and made our caching adventures better with these containers at their hides.

They also work great in cold climates with lots of snow.

Monday, December 03, 2018

All Caught Up

With an extremely busy work schedule and reviewing, I fell way behind on logging caches. For the last three to four years, I have been logging caches long after they were found. The list was as long as 350+ unlogged caches. When cut-and-paste logs became the norm, I decided the day I had to resort to those, I would walk away from geocaching. I've caught up with our logs so I guess it is time to cache on. It's a good feeling. Maybe I can use the extra time to blog a little more often. ;)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

It Pays To Keep Your Eyes Open

We were riding a bike trail and caching a few months ago when we stopped for a cache. We were in the wooded area when we noticed this yellow jacket nest. This hive was between shoulder and chest high and would have been a disaster if we disturbed it. The nest was about the size of a volley ball. We were lucky to leave before they realized we were there and rode away with no stings. It always pays to keep your eyes open.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

First Day of Winter Caching

The first day of winter caching takes some getting used to even after all these years. There are always questions like:

* Gloves, gloves and hand warmers, or crazy brave bare hands?
* Will the dogs be okay or should they stay behind while we go play?
* Do we need to carry a snow brush to find the containers hidden beneath the snow?

In the end we happily go out and cache while hunting caches which are much harder to find when buried beneath a carpet of snow. The cold weather is accompanied by much shorter days and earlier sunsets on those days when the sun actually peaks through the greyness. We know more DNF's are the reality of winter caching. This will be our fifteenth winter of geocaching. The day after Thanksgiving was our first snowy weather of the year. Ali found a spot where a two and a half-mile hike would take us to nine caches. Our finds were plentiful with only one missed micro which was most likely hidden in one of two flat rocks covered in snow.

A day on the caching trail in this weather gets me closer to spring. It helps me remember that the sun does shine in November in northwest Pennsylvania. It gives us time to be together outdoors. It's also a time to remember how beautiful this area can be.

It's hard to beat an icy stream flowing in the Allegheny National Forest.

Although we never spotted it, we weren't alone as we shared the trail with a turkey.

We dropped a few trackables...

and left a couple unactivated Volunteer Trackables for the next people to follow us.

Some of the caches were really winter friendly.

Some took some work to uncover.

If this is a typical winter, there's about 400 cache finds until spring...

Thursday, November 22, 2018

We've Been Streaking

No not that streaking or even a daily find streak. Ours has been a much more casual streak of months with at least one multi and one puzzle find.

We've found at least one multi every month since March 2014.

Our monthly mystery streak goes all the way back to March 2013.

The great thing about these streaks is that you have at least 28 days to continue them, and we really like these non-traitional types. These are just for fun. The multi streak is a little harder to maintain as it is not a popular cache type near our home base. They have been fun. Hopefully, the winter months will be kind to the streaks.

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.