Monday, March 31, 2008

More Snow in Minnesota???

How is that possible? In like a lion. Out like what???

You are going to think that this picture is fake. But it's for real. This was taken just moments ago out the back window. It's snowing like crazy here. The weatherman says we could get 8 inches by morning. (Thanks Tim!) Look down the list of posts. Just days ago, I was busting my buttons thinking that spring was right around the corner. Man, was I ready to do some geocaching! Now, all the geocaches are buried again.

Welcome to Minnesota!

Nothing to do except create some new geocaches. Check out this empty peanut butter jar. Mmmmmm peanut butter... I love peanut butter.

But I've digressed.

In tomorrow's post I'm going to show how to change this common peanut butter jar into a cool geocaching hide. While waiting, you can check out this post by rob at There's a lot of interesting things to do with peanut butter, other than spreading it on bread.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tim Tender, Meteorologist, Falls Victim to Geocaching

It is with a heavy heart that I report that meteorologist, Tim Tender of Channel 6 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the latest victim of the geocaching addiction. I just ran across his blog entry where he describes in detail, a night caching trip upon which he found his first geocache.

His new affliction is so bad that he went as far as to purchase a Garmin GPS unit off his brother!

When will the madness end?

Springtime Geocaching?

Maybe we can shake off this cabin fever and get outside to do some geocaching. It looks like the big thaw is starting here.

I can actually see green in the back yard!

Here's what it looked like just a week ago!
Looks like a geocaching day to me! I can see geocoins, travel bugs, and lots of DNFs in my future. Tune in later to see how it went.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Return of the Geocaching Flash Mob

Some of you may remember my post last November about flash mobs. Well, I just visited Geocaching Journal where geojoe reminds us that WWFM III is coming. Go check it out at his site, and plan to make worldwide history by attending a Flash Mob event near you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Best Geocacher in Minnesota

Congratulations to TheGilby4 for scoring the FTF on the Milk & Cookies geocache - and this guy must be the best geocacher in Minnesota. Let me explain.

The email announcing the cache went out at 9:36 this morning.

At 11:30 I get this email: Milk and cookies. Winter friendly means cache is above knees for snow cover. Is it still winter friendly? If so, I suck!... Gilby

At 12:11, I get this email: Found it! However, it was 379 feet from ground zero for me. My batteries were going dead but I still had 29 feet accuracy. Maybe others will have no problems, and hopefully it was just my batts. Just wanted to let you be aware... Gilby

At 5:47 I get this email: I was hoping for a FTF, but seemed to have missed something, i.e., the cache... sparkfry

What the hay!!!!

So how does that make Gilby the greatest geocacher in Minnesota? Here's his entry on our cache description page:

FTF!!! This is a well deserved FTF! Trying to get a cache and dash for lunch, but something was amiss. I scoured GZ like CRAZY but to no avail. I decided to quit and walk back to the truck, but hoped that the coords might not be right, so I used my honed geo-senses to spot a great beacon a yonder. Yonder to the distance of 379 feet from GZ! What should I find in my new location, Cookies! Too bad I forgot the milk! Grabbed the coin and light and left a dog chain (new). Thanks for the adventure during lunch!

Congratulations to TheGilby4 for the first to find, and the title of the Greatest Geocacher in Minnesota.

Epilogue: As soon as I received those messages I disabled the cache and we dashed out there after work. Sure enough, I'm a bad geocacher. The coordinates were way off. We took new readings and enabled the cache. We met speedysk1 just as we got back to the car. He had come out to seek Milk & Cookies. I gave him the new numbers and after talking a bit he went off to find the cache.

At 9:18 I got this email: STF. I met tonka_boy and wayfarer heading back with the updated coords. They gave me the new coords, we chatted a while and I headed in. The new coords are spot on. I have no idea how gilby sniffed this out with the coords being so far off. This was well hidden, so he must have some kinds of geo-radar or something. ;) speedysk1

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Milk & Cookies Geocache

For local readers that hunt geocaches in the Twin Cities West Metro, this post contains spoilers. So if you don't want to know the truth . . .

We placed another geocache on the Luce Line this afternoon - Milk and Cookies. It's not published yet. We are going to wait a day or two so some of the snow can melt. Following our tracks right to the cache is way too easy.

That's not a cookie on the right - that's the cache container! (Click on any photo to enlarge.) Found that baby at the Dollar Store. So I went to my trusty Google Earth file showing all the geocaches on the Luce, zoomed in, and found the perfect place in the aerial photo.

When we got to the trail, it was a sloppy mess. Snowmobilers that weren't quite ready to surrender the trail to the melting snow, have churned up parts of it into gooey mud.

Anyway, when we found the perfect hiding spot and set up the trusty Garmin GPS unit, the actual coordinates were .002 N, and .001 W degrees off my Google Earth estimate. Who needs a GPSr for this stuff? Just look at that tree. Does it not cry out, "Hey there's a geocache hidden here!" When I first saw it, the thing brought tears to my eyes.

Well, that right-hand limb, the one split wide open, has the perfect hidey-hole on the back side.
There's plenty of wild rose bush to make getting to it just a bit of a challenge. Keeps the muggles from wandering off the trail too. If you enlarge the photo on the left, you will see the Oreo Cookie hidden way back in there. A small piece of bark covering it makes the whole thing complete. No one could accidentally find this one.

Just for scale.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Travel Bug Goes to Hawaii

Wayfarer's Haunted America Travel Bug is at the largest sacrificial temple on Oahu. In 1794, three of Captain George Vancouver's men of the Daedalus were sacrificed here. In 1819, the year before New England missionaries landed in Hawaii, King Kamehameha II ordered all idols here to be destroyed.

A national historic landmark, this 18th-century temple, known as the "Hill of Escape," sits on a 5-acre, 300-foot bluff overlooking Waimea Bay - all the way to Kaena Point, where the Waianae Range ends in a spirit leap to the other world. The temple appears as a huge rectangle of rocks twice as big as a football field with an altar often covered by the flower and fruit offerings left by native Hawaiians.

The photo above shows wayfarer dropping the TB into it's first cache. I inserted this picture because it's also the last known photo of our Raceway Woods Christmas Golfer TB that went missing just days later. You can see it in the plastic bag in her left hand.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

There's a New Geocacher in Town!

It looks like "whiskeyboy" has been up to a little bit more than just geocaching! He's the proud pappa of America's newest geocacher.

David Alexander Blake (Little David) was born yesterday at 11:55am - 7lbs 12oz and 20 inches long. It looks like mother and son are doing fine. Stop by whiskeyboy's blog and wish them well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mary Tyler Moore Geocache

The Geocats claimed a downtown, Minneapolis virtual geocache by Centris. In her cache description, she states, Thirty years ago, me and millions of other little preteen girls all over the USA sat down every Saturday night in front of our TV’s and watched Mary Tyler Moore throw her hat up in the air in downtown Minneapolis in a triumphant gesture of independence.

Mary Tyler Moore show put Minneapolis on the pop-culture map, and now cable re-runs keep the 1970’s career woman, Mary Richards, alive and well. Many visitors to Minneapolis come looking for Mary Richards sites.

Donaldson’s Department Store, seen in the opening credits, is long gone. However, there is now a life size bronze statue standing at the "spot".

In May 2002, Nick at Nite’s TV Land spent $150,000 to have the statue of Mary Richards created by artist Gwendolyn Gillen. The statue has been donated to the City of Minneapolis, and TV Land has provided funds for its upkeep. It is located on Nicollet Mall, between 7th and 8th Streets.

To claim credit for this "find", there is a brass plaque on the building behind the statue. The plaque tells what this building used to be, and what happened to it. I'm not going to reveal the answer. You'll just have to go there. Here's the scene we remember.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rate Your Geocache

Wouldn't it be great to have finders of your cache rate your cache?

That's one thing that does not have - a cache rating system. One that would give the reader an idea of what others thought about the cache. There are discussions at Groundspeak about adding such a thing, but at present, it doesn't exist.

By contrast, at, it's all about the rating. So much emphasis is place on the rating, a cache that receives too many low votes could possibly be voted out of existence. Such a system is not without its inherent failings of course, and I'm not suggesting that adopt such a system, but rating a cache is a keen idea. So. . . has the answer. A rating widget that you can add to your cache page that allows finders to rate your cache. To build one, go to the rating page at KeenPeople, enter the cache number, select colors, copy the code, and paste it on your the description.

Here's how it looks.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

That Geocache is Missing

We went to find the Blue Light Bug Hotel geocache today, and that cache is definitely missing. I thought it might be. There's been three DNFs posted. Muggles? Vandals? Bandits? No, it appears that Mother Nature, a city maintenance crew, and fate came together as the perfect storm in the loss of this cache.

The site is located in a busy section of Minnetonka, Minnesota, where a popular hiking/biking trail runs just behind a Kmart. Protected from the prying eyes of muggles, the cache was well hidden in the cavity of an old cottonwood tree perched on the bank of a stream. The cache, hidden almost four years ago, was a popular spot for exchanging travel bugs - sometime six or seven at a time.

It appears that a huge section of the cottonwood tree broke off and fell across the stream. City maintenance crews responded by removing parts of the tree, and it looks like they did quite a bit of buckthorn removal while they were there. The cache is gone - along with eight trackables.

Click on the photos to enlarge.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another Geocaching FTF

I had to make a business trip up to Fargo, ND this week, and it looks like someone's been posting on my blog while I was gone! Hmmm. Wonder what that's all about???? Note to self... turn on password protection.

This is how the Fargo trip went.

Anyway, enough of that.

I woke up this morning to the fun message in my email. Ponder$DOG placed Trolls on the Luce out on the Luce Line Trail. Ponder$DOG just found our Luce Line caches five days ago. That must have inspired him, because this is his first hide. It fits right in with my master plan to California-ize geocaching on the Luce Line.

It was a good hide, but it included a bridge. (Trolls? Bridge? Get it?) I generally don't like bridge caches because they are hard, and I'm a wimp. I like geocaches that are the size of a VW Beetle (the old ones) sitting on the 50-yard line in the Metrodome, with orange ribbons streaming from it. That's the kind of geocaches I like.

Trolls on the Luce was a small Lock & Lock, was well hidden, and took us a while to find the thing. But it felt great to get our 5th FTF. The photo is the Luce Line as it appeared this morning in 25 degree temps. Still cold and icy. Come on spring!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Geocaching Conspiracy Theory

Am I paranoid?

Am I reading too much into a casual conversation?

I really think that go_man and hick@heart are conspiring against me. Judge for yourself.

Read this post at, but pay particular attention to the thinly veiled banter in the comments to the original post. There's mention of rubbing a mega event in my face! And something about them working together as a team. Whoever heard of a motel room for $54 a night. Not in this decade. I think you will agree that something is in the wind.

They're plotting against me! I just know they are!

Monday, March 10, 2008

In Geocaching, What Goes Around . . .

. . . comes around. I got an email notification that geocacher, bpct, found all three of our Luce Line caches last Saturday. It took me a while to get around to seeing who bpct is (say that name three times real fast) but I now realize that he plays a very important role in our geocaching life. His Wildlife Artists Cache, was one of the first geocaches we ever found. In fact, we found it on our very first day of caching - and it's logged at as our first find! Sadly, though, that one's been archived.

His hide, Boni's Base was our first nano find. It took us a while to get it, but man, what a thrill to find that one.

We also found his hide at Langdon Lake, shown here. It's a short hike down the old railroad bed just outside of downtown Mound, Minnesota.

Congratulations to bpct for discovering our caches.

And now the circle is complete.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Geocaching Game?

I was just over on Scott's Foobar blog reading about geocaching and gaming, when I thought of a cool geo-game myself. And I'm going to solicit my readers to expand on the idea.

Maybe it's already being done (please point that out to me) but if it is, I haven't seen it.

We've probably all noticed the interesting patterns that a trackable makes when viewed in Google Earth - especially if it's been out there a while. But let's take it step further. What if a player logged a trackable in and out of geocaches in a predetermined pattern? The resulting pattern in Google Earth could be the players name. It could be a drawing. Or it could be a clue or game piece to an even larger global game.

Below is a screen print of Google Earth's view of Hick's FTF Prize Walking Geocoin. Makes an interesting pattern - a bit busy - but there it is.

Now what if I planned the order of my geocaching route and only logged the trackable in caches that added to my desired pattern? Although crudely done, might my google Earth map look something like this? Any ideas to expand or improve the concept?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Geocaching Boredom

So my hard drive crashed last night. It's like having your life pass before your eyes. Everything I do in my work and private life is on that drive. And go_man is going to beat me to all the FTCs. Luckily I'm the kind of guy that backs thing up. So not all is lost.

Thank you all for your concern.

It's two degrees below zero out there - ain't gonna be much traipsin' around in the snow today! (That's the way they talk back home.) Sorry Tinman.

Wayfarer got called into work this morning, and I'm a bit bored. Nothing to do but browse the internet, with my spare hard drive, looking for cool geocaching stuff. But I did come across this cool Cache Cow geocoin. (No spam. According to Amazon, it's not in stock.) I'd buy a bunch if they were though. I like clever. And that's clever.

Maybe I should go run the vacuum.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

15,000 Geocaching Finds

That's a lot of geocaching! EMC of Northridge reached a new plateau of 15,000 finds this week. Even more amazing (if that's possible) she did it during a run of 150 finds in a single day! She even had time to take a stroll through the desert.

Congratulations to EMC of Northridge. Visit her blog by clicking on her photo and read the entire story.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Stuff From Amazon

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

FTF on Sugar and Spice

Speedysk1, who got the FTF at Sugar and Spice, was kind enough to post the pictures on his Flikr account. (Click on the photo to view the series.)

I think he caught the red eyes perfectly!

(For the readers in Southern California and Arizona, the white stuff in the photo is snow.)

Just thought I'd share.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Disregard That Last Post

For those of you that subscribe via RSS or via email, kindly disregard the last post.

Well, not entirely... you can read it. We have all confidence that the post was informative and entertaining - in fact, riveting! But it was a bit out of context. We were editing a couple of ancient posts, and there was a little snafu with the date. A post written last August suddenly appeared on the front page, and went out via RSS.

Stupid RSS!

For those of you who do not subscribe, the others saw something like this.

So while we are still locked in the current Minnesota Ice age, the post depicting a boat show on the water (instead of ice) with the warm sun beating down, and gentle southern breezes wafting over bikini clad bodies... was entirely out of context.

We apologize. Everyone, back to winter!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Geocaching on the Luce Line

We placed two new geocaches on the Luce Line Trail today. One is named, A Good Time on the Luce Line. And the other is Sugar & Spice. A Good time on the Luce Line is a plastic coffee can, filled with decent swag; a mini flashlight, a tape measure-key chain, scary teeth with fake blood, and other cool stuff. There's plenty of room for trade items and trackables. On the left of the photo, you can see the remnants of the tree in which we placed the cache. (Click any photo to enlarge) We'll probably have to go back out in a few weeks to adjust the cache because the middle of the stump was filled with two feet of snow. Although it's only 30 feet or so off the trail, it might get a little nasty in the summer. I ran into quite a bit of wild rose on my way in there. Lots of thorns.

Sugar & Spice was also placed in a downed tree stump. Except Sugar & Spice is not as sweet as one would expect. You may remember reading my previous post about the micro in the rubber spider? Well my friends, that is Sugar & Spice.
I had to do a little work on it to get the cache container to stay put, but plastic epoxy seems to work wonders. To the left, you can see the Luce Line in snow. This is actually the horse path that parallels the bike path and hiking trail, up and to the left. This time of year they are both used primarily for snowmobiles. The broken stump right next to the trail is where Sugar & Spice is waiting for some hapless geocachers to come looking.

On the right here, is a close up of the cache container at Sugar & Spice. Although the photo doesn't show it, the spider is down in a recessed hole in the stump. We covered it with a flat piece of bark. Imagine when somebody lifts that bark and sees this!

It will take a couple of days for me to get the page on completed, and get it published.

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