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.

Welcome Back Challenge Caches

Well they are back.  I have really liked challenge caches.  I know some of you do not, but I enjoy setting goals and working towards them.  They are something that I do not dive into a ton, but I do like to have something to work towards other than the next number.  I would rather go find 7-8 caches that are interesting, than grab 200 for the next milestone.

Changes

Must qualify

Now you actually have to meet the challenge before placing.  I am not a big fan of this, but it helps the reviewer know if it is just a crazy challenge or not.  Meh, I can live with it.

Checker

You have to have a checker from project-gc.com I am not a huge fan of project gc, but I don't hate it.  I wish they had allowed GSAK as well.  However I understand that they do not want people to have to download anything.  Hopefully new online checkers will arise. 

No more Alphabet Soup

One of the most notable changes is caches based on titles and GC codes will go away.  These made up a lot in my area.  They are easily changed, manipulated, caches are placed to foil them, owners try to not include caches placed after.  It just became an appeals mess, and a logistical nightmare if you were following many. I will miss them, but apparently many will not.

No more puzzles to find them.

They need to be at the coordinates, or have a visible waypoint.  Not a huge change, but new.  I hated the hidden ones, or the ones that you have to contact the owner.  They seem to never respond.

One Year Streak Limit

I did this locally anyway, but I know there is one for a three year streak out there somewhere.

No More Blackout Challenges

No more caches based on you getting every cache in an area.  Another one I hated.  One hard or missing cache and you were stuck.  It encouraged people to try and get those archived.

Find Dates

You cant start a challenge at a specific date. Every find must count.  That may leave out those that have found a lot. They may have found all the caches needed.

Summary

Well, thats it for how. I will see about more later after I get questions and think some more.

Thanks FTF Loggers

This is an experiment.  I thought I would grab some logs off the most recent caches I have published.  Just to share.  I have not looked yet, so as I start copying they may be boring or interesting.


Got up early this morning and made a little hike to the cache and was the FTF.
Sure was nice and peaceful out here and just to listen to the birds making their sounds. TFTC SL

FTF this morning at 5:30. I woke up this morning to find that a cache had gotten published while I was sleeping. After seeing that it still hadn't been found I quickly got dressed and headed out. I was able to come up with it after a short systematic search.
I've lost track of the number of caches I've found in this park over the years. One of my very first FTFs was here. I think this is the 4th?
Anyway, nice hide and TFTFTF.
Day #3404

FTF Woo Hoo! Took the turkey left some $.

Photo by Cold1 from Geocaching.com

Photo by Cold1 from Geocaching.com

FTF with Cold1 at 1:30 PM. I saw this one was published and knew Cold1 was heading down to the Salina area for work today, so I told him about it and I tagged along today. After some appointments in Gunnison this morning we cached our way down to Salina. Had to be a little sneaky because there where men doing yard work around the building. Found the cache without anyone noticing, but then Cold1 went around front to take a picture and got caught by a nice little lady and the next thing we knew we were in the museum. Some very nice painting on the cache container and I would say it looks like the great work of Madambutterfly again! Sign log, took note of the number and TFTFTF!

same cache at the same time.

Photo by Superhooper55 from geocaching.com

Photo by Superhooper55 from geocaching.com

FTF with Superhooper as we cached our way down to this new Sevier Utah Geo Tour. Very cool building that I pass quite often while working in the area. As I was taking some pictures out front an older lady came out and invited me into the museum. She introduced us to another equally nice older lady and for the next hour we hear all about the artifacts in the building. Cache has tons of swag in it to the point that you almost can't close the lid. sl, tftc

Was just about to head out to get one that was posted this morning when this one popped up. Jumped in the car and headed out, as I got the other cache in the park several weeks ago. I spent about 20 minutes looking for this, knowing where it had to be, but not finding it. I was finally resigning myself to defeat for the evening, and started across the bridge, as someone approached me. "Are you a cacher?" he asked. When I said yes, he introduced himself as ETrunner, whom I'd never met but certainly recognized from all of his FTFs in the area. He wouldn't let me accept defeat tonight and encouraged me to join him, so we took another look together. Thanks to his sharp eyes, we quickly found it (don't know how I missed it before, but I did -- repeatedly) and put our mark on the log, with ET graciously sharing the FTF. A great find, and an even greater experience as I gained a new friend tonight. Thanks to the CO for this cache!

FTF at 10:20 this evening. Packed up misses cold1 and the coldettes. Headed out the door with flashlights. One of the coldettes found this one. Went to sign the log and realized we rushed out the door without a pen. The cache mobile is in the shop so our usual cache gear wasn't around. Ran to 7-11 to steal a pen so we could sign the log. Thanks for the family adventure!

Earthcaches

This was a great location and great view! I did learn more about the Texas area with this earthcache. That is what it is all about! I didn't see anyone go after this one and had to make an attempt early in the AM. Glad I was able to do it! The rock formations were very interesting to look at! Also, there is a great pull off at the location and no fees to be paid to get to this one! Good Job!
Went with the +1 to Corpus Christi to watch a co-worker graduate from Texas A&M with her Master's Degree. That was exciting! But, it was also fun to go grabbing many geocaches. I focused on cemetery caches to keep getting closer to the 500 Texas Cemetery count. We had to avoid the boil notice in Corpus and then faced downpours of rain coming back home. It was a quick, fun get away. Found some good geocaches and grabbed about 24 smiles! Our logs could be signed as "TKG + S_G"
Thanks to all the hiders, without you...there wouldn't be any finders!
Photo by the thekengrene on geocaching.com

Photo by the thekengrene on geocaching.com


FTF at 12 noon today. Parked in Welcome Wash and hiked 2.8 miles in perfect weather with my hiking dog buddy Zinger. Very enjoyable and educational. Answers have been submitted.
Photo by Billionj on geocaching.com

Photo by Billionj on geocaching.com


Went out on a great spring morning to look at these rock to come up with the answers. Sent the CO the answers to the CO, hoping they'll work since I'm not exactly a geological whiz. But, isn't that the purpose of an earthcache, to learn something new? And I did, so thanks for setting this up. TFTC!

FTF on this one. I pulled up to use the facilities and noticed that there was an earth cache. When I checked for recent activities, the only one represented on my phone is from being published. I tried to answer the questions as best as I could and I used my phone to log this and to send the answers to the cache owner. I like this little rest area it provides a much-needed break so I can get to and through Billings. I like coming up this way from Rock Springs because the views going through the various ranges and going through the Wind River Canyon are spectacular. The only drawback is that when I reach Laural, it is interstate and limited scenery most of the way home.

My conclusion

I only left two out.  The rest were actually pretty cool. Ok most of the logs that may have followed were not that great.  But thanks to the FTF finders on making this little experiment fun.

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.

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