Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good News for Geocachers

Here's some cool news for geocachers. We certainly could have used these on some of our excursions into the woods. Read this post from

Monday, November 26, 2007


Don't have a GPS device but want to hunt and find things in the woods? Try Letterboxing. Here's how it works. There are nearly 5000 small waterproof containers hidden in neat locations in North America. The boxes all contain a logbook and a rubber stamp. The hiders have posted directions or clues to the location on the letterboxing website. You go to the website, get the clues to nearby letterboxes, then go find 'em. (There are rules of etiquette, and protocols to follow, so read up before you take off.) But don't leave empty handed! Take along a pencil to sign the log, your personal logbook to record your finds, and your own rubber stamp. When you find the letterbox, you sign the logbook and stamp it with your personal stamp. Finding letterboxes is great fun of course, but like geocaching, the hobby will take you places that you never dreamed of going. There's even a book called The Letterboxers Companion on Amazon.
Most folks design & carve their own stamps out of those big pink rubber erasers that you played with in school. Beside a cool personal design that says, I WAS HERE, an X-acto knife is all you need. Now you can't use the lack of a GPSr as an excuse. Get out in the woods!
Click on the diagram to see how it's done.

Extreme Geocaching!

Okay, so it's not Mount Everest or the Amazon Rainforest - but for the Midwest, this is some pretty tough caching. We arrived at Bjornson Educational Center, near Menominie, Wisconsin yesterday armed with nothing more than our GPSr. Only after returning home did I get the clever idea to look at the topo map. Duh! This is some very challenging caching! (Click on the picture for more detail. The smiley faces are caches that we found.)

The creek floods regularly. Even during average rain events, you're not crossing that thing. The steep hills, some rising 250 feet from the valley floor, prevent any type of decent GPS reception. And with the slightest snowfall, those hills would be impossible without crampons.

While searching for one cache, our GPSr pointed straight up a hill. So like good geocachers, we followed it. And followed it. And followed it. When we reached the top, we got new satellites, and the arrow pointed us back down the hill. The cache wasn't far from where we had started. Brutal!

Now let me climb down off my rant. The Bjornson Educational Center is a wonderful place to hike, geocache, or just to enjoy nature. While there, we saw wild turkeys, white tailed deer, and the spring fed creek was brimming with trout. Overhead we saw a barred owl, a red tailed hawk, ravens, and a bald eagle riding the thermals.

Many thanks to mama kat, who placed all these great caches! If ever in this part of Wisconsin, Bjornson is a must see. But if you are geocaching, bring your lunch... and a topo map!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Camera Geocaching

Here's a new twist in geocaching. It's called a web cam cache. The idea is to stand in front of a web cam and have a friend at home snap a still photo from the internet - proving that you were there. The above cache is a combo micro/camera cache located on the campus of Bradley University in Peoria, IL. You can see the historic Robertson Memorial Field House in the background, incidentally, scheduled to be removed soon to make way for a new sports facility.

You can view the above web cam here.

For a little more challenge, try the five web cams geocache at Clemson University.
Clemson Web Cam 1 - Bowman Field

Clemson Web Cam 2 - Center Stage

Clemson Web Cam 3 - Cox Plaza

Clemson Web Cam 4 - Reflecting Pool

Clemson Web Cam 5 - Military Plaza

Dock n Grab?

Warning: This post reveals the location of a geocache on Lake Minnetonka.

Although we weren't boating when we got this one (boating on Minnetonka in November is a little tough) the geocache named All Aboard! is certainly accessible to boaters.

Boating on Minnetonka in November

In fact, if you know where to look, it's in plain site as you sit in your boat. The most difficult part of this find is waiting for your turn at the Excelsior public docks. The description claims that STEALTH will more likely be required. Duh! Excelsior Bay is probably one of the busiest areas on Lake Minnetonka.
See the smiley. Right on the dock! I used the Hey-I-have-to-bend-down-to-tie-my-shoe stealth. In fact, I was so sneaky that Wayfarer didn't realize I had made the grab right under her nose. Sweeeet! Interesting photo, though. There are no boats under way???

While grabbing All Aboard! one should take the short walk around the bay to look for one of Bikeathon series. (where we posted a DNF) It's right by the St Albans Bay bridge. The cache is just feet from the water, but not really accessible by boat at that point. Too much boat traffic under that bridge. There are slips available at Maynard's , St Albans Boat House, or The Bayside Grille. If you dock there,
you'll have to eat lunch to get the slip.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Flash Mob Geocaching

This is the craziest thing I've ever seen! It's called a Flash Mob. It's a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, do something unusual for a brief period of time, and then quickly disperse. Here's a time lapse photo series of a Flash Mob Geocaching event in Appleton, WI. Participants appeared like average persons-on-the-street until the posted time. The event lasted exactly 15 minutes, at which time, everyone just strolled away. But what was most impressive, is that this event was coordinated with over 80 others across the globe!

Off subject... There are flash mobs that do all kinds of things. Here's one at the University of Fla. It's a flash mob - BANG, patterned after a banned XBox commercial. View this Supermarket Flashmob. It's insane!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Geocaching in South Dakota

We took a drive over to South Dakota last weekend to score a new state. The caches we chose were just across the border and not too impressive. In fact, what we saw of South Dakota was not too impressive. What was cool though was Paul Bunyan's Boat Anchor.

We also found a letterbox near the cache. But letterboxing is a whole other game!

Five Star Terrain Cache

Here's a cache that has to be rated a Five Star Difficulty. Read the post. Go ahead. Try it.

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On Zazzle, Wayfarer is known as Paintingcoyote36. Check out this great items from her store.

make custom gifts at Zazzle

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