Life as a Geocacher

Caching and Reviewing

This is made up of stories from my caching and my reviewing.  It is a collection of those along with comments and thoughts.  Photos, and maps of some adventures and lists of some of the oldest caches.

Star Wars - Not a Geocaching Related Post

Yep this is not about geocaching.  I have not posted in a while but I wanted to post.  Just my thoughts, and feelings on the upcoming movie. If you don't like star wars ignore this.

I turn 50 next year, yep, 50.  In 1977 I was eleven, I was the target market for the new movie coming out, Star Wars.  Well ok, perhaps they were shooting for a little bit older, but not by much.  The summer went nuts, and at some point I went to see it and was blown away.  Ok lets step back a little. At the point Star Wars was coming out my little town had one theater that showed movies well after the first release, also they would show one, empty the theater and show a different one, and the runs were long.  Some movies showed for months or years.  I remember in college in 85 that Monte Python and the Holy Grail showed every Friday night and 10pm at a theater.  But I digress.

So when the hype hit, I was far from the scene.  I begged for a book that my parents bought.  I bought a magazine.  I went and bought the book (and it turned out to be a preachers book on Star Wars, no lie), I even bought the comic books.  Yep I still own them, they are beat to death, but I own them.

I grew up a nerd.  My father was a sports guy.  He ran the baseball, and basketball leagues for the community, and refereed/umpired high school games.  I went and helped keep score.  However I had no sports skills at all.  I was even demoted from the little league to the coach pitch league because of how terrible I was. 

Yet every afternoon at 5pm (or 6pm I forget) I could hurry home and watch Star Trek on TV.  I could also enjoy a nice Lost in Space, or if I got up early Space Battleship Yamato. Those were good times.

So that summer I went up with my cousins to Salt Lake City, I bought a ton of trading cards to make a full set, and we saw the film.  I knew what would happen, but it blew me away.  It was fun, and exactly what my mind wanted.

Then came more movies, and I grew up with them.  Then the hiatus.  Then the return.  When they hit the theaters again they were remade and remastered.  If you put them side by side, the old ones suck.  Flat out suck.  Sorry.  The changes, digital re-mastering, DVD over VCR, sound, and you can see the old ones were grainy. 

Then the prequels.  I am biased here.  I loved Star Wars, it was for kids. I took my kids.  My son was 8, and he was in heaven.  For those who hate it, it still had the coolest fight seen so far.  Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn.  Ok wait there was the Yoda-Emperor scene that was pretty cool as well.

Well now it is back.  and I am going.  A 22 hour long sit in the movies to watch it with my wife.  She volunteered.  I might have taken my son, or son in law, but she wanted to go. (Did I marry the right person or what?)

More to come

Thanks For the (Unique) Log

I placed my first cache in 2008 and I quickly learned that the log is my thanks for the caches that I place.

Age Old Complaint

Every since I started caching I have heard the same complaint.  People are terrible loggers. I got that in 2008 and I get that in 2015.  I have tried to go out of my way to log something unique.  Some of the logs that I received were fantastic, and very memorable.  Yet there are others that are downright awful.  I find the terrible ones fall in two categories.

  1.  TFTC, logged, or Will log more later
  2. Some big ramble that has nothing to do with the particular cache.  You know the ones. "This was find #44 of #63 today on our trip from X to Y.  Lots of finds found, blah blah blah."

I just ignore the first, and second might be more interesting if they talked about the current cache.

Cache Types and Expectations

I have placed over 400 hides (though only about half of those are active).  They range through nine different cache types. They also run from Virtual EarthCaches, and from Micro to Large caches. 

I really have to say that caches that are sitting on the side of a city  sign I never really expect very much. It is the nature of things. Yet big puzzles, large caches, hikes, or EarthCaches I kind of expect more.  I don't always get it, but I do hope for better than a simple line.  I have tried to al least do something interesting on logs, but it does not always happen, but please try.

Some Examples

Rather than whine too much, I thought I would toss out some great examples of logs.  Some could have been simple TFTC, but the cacher made them far more.

Great Logs

Here are a collection of logs that could have been something dumb and simple, but turned out to be something to chuckle about.
ZacknMom

momof6furrballs and I accomplished our goal of finding Potters Pond cache and grabbed a few more caches on the way out on Miller Flats Rd. This was one of our stops. We parked with the other millions of trucks that were blocking the view, got out and hiked across the road to check out the cache above. The view up here was unimpeded and stunning. So worth it to get out and take a look. Tons of wildflowers blooming and 360* view. Found the cache in good shape, SL and rehid. TFTC!!! TFTView!!!

ZacknMom's photo from Geocaching.com

ZacknMom's photo from Geocaching.com

Find log by The Nighfox

Took a little longer than it should have. Road was dry but decided to walk it instead - probably was faster anyway!
A warning to anyone who goes to find the cache any time soon: There is a big cow pie near the cache with a shoe print in it. I don't know who put the cow pie there, but I do know who put the shoe print in it.
Second in the Lord of the Rings cache series for me.
Second of six in the area this morning.
Consecutive caching day #58!
TFTC!

Find log by MountainHobbit

Like Bilbo when he entertained 13 dwarves at Bag End in the beginning of The Hobbit, satisfying the Dwarves for this quest was a lot of work, especially without Durin. Still, since this hobbit likely wouldn't be down in this part of Middle-earth for another year, it had to be tried. With a little logic and a little elimination and a little guessing, this seemed the best of the possibilities. Had a lot of trouble finding the right place to start, and then the right trail. And all these trees didn't look like dwarven territory somehow. But then this hobbit spotted something through the trees, and thought, 'ah hah! Dwarves WOULD like this place!' And with great pleasure, spotted the treasure. Nice container! Took a magical light no doubt crafted by the skilled dwarvensmiths; left a TB to await another cacher on a quest.

A log by Chasing Blue Sky on something that could have easily been a TFTC, and was to many others.

I was able to skip the mosquitos this morning - it was freaking cold here for a little while as it was getting light out. Still picked up more than a few burrs of different sizes though. Nice to X this one off my list. Thanks!

Log by Fire Elemental

O U C H ! ! ! !
Revenge will be bitter-sweet!!
I will get the CO back for this one!
Somehow, someway!!
Set out to grab some in Springville today while in the area!!
I had searched very little for this one last July and saw that it had been replaced a month ago!
Determination set in of course! Knowing it WAS for sure there this time I began my search at noon!
After two hours I decided that I had enough! I was covered in pin-pricks all over my body! An I was even wearing a thick hoodie!
Went to lunch and grabbed some others in the area! Knowing I still had a few hours until the event I decided to go back! I was there another hour or so and was about to bail because I was SO SORE!!!!
WHAM-O!!!! I caught eye of it!!!
Every bird for a half mile flew away in terror as I hooted and hollered for joy!!
Inked the fresh log and jolted out of that living HELL!!
Favorite point given just for the idea of pure evil here!!
TFTF!!!!

ClownShoes

I have seen geysers in Yellowstone before but never had a clue there would be any in Utah. lagrac has never seen any at all. We never would have known this was here without Geocaching. It was quite the trek to GZ but what fun memories we have now!! We arrived at sunset and had some spectular views!! I beleive this is the last firennice EarthCache of our trip. Thanks so much for putting together so many EarthCaches in the area!!

ClownShoes photo from geocaching.com

ClownShoes photo from geocaching.com

Cold1

Back for a second try with these. When superhooper and I came up last week we thought that the whereigo was crashing. We have since realized that it was simply operator error. I blame superhooper for this. I enjoyed getting outside again. Even if the entire area looked really really familiar having walked around trying to get it to work the previous week. The two old buggers I was with weren't hurt or maimed in any way. So I didn't have to carry them up or down the mountain. That was also a plus. Thank's for the work put into these. It was really fun.

My EarthCaches and Pictures

People have two chances to say something here.  They can say something when they log the cache, or when they send the answers.  Usually there is a lot of work that goes into them  so an extra special thanks for those that say thanks, or what they enjoyed, learned or did not enjoy at the location.

On any cache it is nice to see a picture. Personally I would appreciate it if you would tell me you are going to post a picture.  If I get an email with the log, I have no idea that you uploaded anything.  However I love to see how sites have changed over the years, people that visit.

And in Conclusion

Thanks to everyone that made me want to look at my phone when I get a log.  I have some that I have stopped looking at, the logs are so terrible that I just don't take the time. However to focus on the good, thanks to you that go out of your way to say thanks, tell a story, or do something different.

As a cache owner I spend time and money putting out a cache.  Carving stamps, making a wherigo, making an interesting challenge, so my only payment is the log. Thanks for the time to say more than a simple phrase.  

Podcacher Ponderings

Right about two months ago I had an email from Podcacher  For those that are geocachers but live in a closet they are the biggest, and best podcast out there.  There are a number of others, but this is one of the most enjoyable ones out there.

The Background

Like I mentioned I got an email, someone had pointed out a blog that I did some time ago, How to annoy your geocache reviewer.  It was a tongue in cheek group of comments that I made about being a reviewer.  What annoys me and what does not.  They decided that it would be a great discussion topic and was wondering if I was willing to meet with them.

Of course I would.  I have done a few other podcasts before.  I have been on  "The Geocaching Podcast" a few times and another that went away. However this is the podcast that I rarely miss.  So I was happy to jump into it.

The Podcast

The podcast was enjoyable.  Geowoodstock was coming up, and they were getting ready to go.  There were some back and forth on emails, and then we connected via Skype and went throught the interview. 

I have to say how professional they are.  It was very enjoyable to  spend the time talking to them.  I actually spent about one third of the time discussing other things that was not related to the discussion.  That was trimmed out.

Take a listed to that episode here.

It did take few days for it to appear.  Like I said they were trying to ready for geowoodstock.  Because of that and how long we talked they decided that it would make up most of the episode. 

It was fun, and another check of my geocaching bucket list.  One that I never thought i would actually do.

Hmmmm geocaching bucket list.  Now there is a post that I may have to put together soon.

Volunteer Coins 2015

Last summer I had an idea.   Get a group of reviewers together and make a coin.   It had been many years since reviewers and volunteers had their own coin.  I tossed it out and we talked about it, and many thought it was a good idea.  Then life caught up with me and I had no time to follwo through.  Busy summer, daughter getting married, and many other things.

Happily other reviewers dove on without me and carried this through.    A number of designs were presented and reviewers voted on the different options. Eventually we settled on a design.  After many months, proofs, and waiting they were finally finished.  I bought some, yea. I would say who designed it, but withough their permission I think I should just leave it, in case they do not want others to know.

It was a happy day a few months ago when they arrived.  Unlike the earlier coins that were produced we bought the coins ourselves.  So your reviewer may have some, However I am betting that most of the reviewers did not buy any, or they just bought a couple for themselves.

There have been a few coins in the past available through the volunteers alone.  If you are interested, you might contact your reviewer, but don't get your hopes up.   I sold three and that was to pay for them, so then I could give a  few away at events.  I have even

The 2005 Volunteer coin

The 2005 Volunteer coin

The 2008 volunteer Coin

The 2008 volunteer Coin

Yes the above two were given to reviewers to give out.  Sadly there are so many reviewers that is not really much of an option anymore.  I think the costs would be way too high.   So now there are the three worldwide volunteer geocoins.

Meercat Caching

So I went caching with Meercat.  No not some long hariy weasel looking think from the Lion King.  But with the app.

Basically it is a streaming service.  Using it took a little planning to take caching.  Basically the app lets you stream a video from your phone.  People can send you messages and ask questions.  I decided I wanted to go caching.

Well the first thing was that I was not going to be able to use my phone to find caches.  Yep.  I was going to need to actually have another device. Problem solved, I have a tablet.  I loaded the local caches in offline mode, and off I went.

The tricks?  You need to stay in 4g coverage area.  I lost signal when I went into a little more remote of a location in the valley, so I had to head back.  However traveling around town was not bad.  I have a gps mount in my car.  It will also hold phones.  The camera on my phone is high enough I can stick it there and it shows a view out of my front window.  So I can see what is up, plus the people following me.

Another problem? Holding the phone.  As you are streaming you want to make sure that you show what you are doing.  Show the area you are hunting, under the trees, in the bushes.  Flashing around right to left, and showing the ground as you walk would most likely turn people off.  I had to hold my phone up. So I am sure I looked goofy.

Plus I was narrarating what I was doing. When I started to get watchers things got better.  They were asking questions.  Typical muggle stuff. "what are you doing?" "What are you looking for?" What is the best stuff you have found?"

I avoided questionable spots.  Though someone thought it was cool that there was a LPC. Most of what I found were micros in bushes.  However they were in the rural area and people were commenting that they thought utah looked like deserts, and Bryce canyon, not green fields.

I had three guys, one from Dallas, and another from somewhere in California that were going to run out and try it.  I pointed them to apps, and they were going to give it a shot.

Note: It is really tricky to hold a phone, open a cache container, take out the roll of paper, and sign it with one hand.  A friend might come in handy.  However the entire reason I did this is because I cache alone.  This gave me friends to talk with.

I think the others got more out of it than I did. It drained my battery pretty fast, about 45 minutes and it was done.  I was not charging it in any way.

It was fun. I will try it again sometime. I made a few new friends.  Right now it is just available on Android, it was pretty buggy, but it is getting much more stable.  It has been out a while on Iphones, so if you have one of those you are in luck.  A similar one is Periscope, but it is only on Iphone for a while.

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