Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CJ Gets a New Geocache Kitty

I recently ran across this blog post, and it's the nicest geocaching story I've ever heard. Instead of adding a smiley to her profile, this geocacher saved a stray kitten. Click on her picture to visit her blog and read the complete story. You may want to leave some kind remarks for her.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Ultimate Skirt Lifter Geocache

We've all come to know and love (or hate) those little micros hidden under the metal skirt at the base of a light post.

Here's EMC of Northridge demonstrating her skirt-lifting abilities.


The Geocats have only done one skirt-lifter. I mentioned it in this post, but what I really wanted to do was bring attention to the ultimate skirt-lifter geocache. It is located in Perth, Australia at a geocache named Snugglepot & Cuddlepie. Here's a few of the log entries . . .

I didn't spend quite enough time with this lady to call her Cutiepie let alone what I did!! Does that make me a bad person...

I'm glad the place was empty when I found this one. Could have got arrested...

You need long fingers to find this one...

Had to wait a while disguising what we were doing because of the gardeners, but finally found the tricky little spot...

It's a bit hard to look innocent in such a public area...

If anyone was watching they would think I was a pervert with the places I was putting my hands...

Instead of only looking you have to feel...

I feel dirty after finding this one...

You know what you are going to have to do - you just hope no-one is watching...

Couldn't find the micro container...I know its dark and hidden in an even darker location...I put my fingers where they shouldn't have gone, with no luck...

After the effort here, and potential for handcuffs, it was worth a find. But, it wasn’t to be...

I did look a bit stoopid looking for it. Think someone did see me too!! Probably thought i was some sad dirty ol man!

What are these people talking about!???

Well, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie is a book by Australian author, May Gibbs. The geocache is hidden on (or should I say under) a statue of Ms Gibbs. You make the call - the ultimate skirt-lifter geocache or not?


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Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Geocache Hidden - New Travel Bugs Released

We finally got the Stubbs Bay Travel Bug Hotel Wannabe geocache published. Wow, that's a mouthful isn't it?

I always wanted to have my own travel bug hotel. The idea sounded so cool. So I did it. But since it's located out on the Luce Line, it's a little off the beaten path to be a TB hotel. So it's a wannabefast! The container is my large pretzel jar that I wrote about earlier. 

FTF was claimed by rickrich within minutes of publication. Speedy guy.

His comment in the log, "Great cache" means a lot. rickrich is one of the most prolific geocachers in Minnesota. He's the man to beat when is comes to getting a FTF in this area. Here's an earlier post when we actually beat him at his own game.

We released a couple of travel bugs this week. The Lucky Penny TB has a mission to travel to Illinois and California so the kids can log the find. After that it will travel where anybody takes it. The other one we released is the Rails to Trails TB. This one is a bit cute. I expect it will go into someone's private collection before it travels too far.

Travel bug

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ice Out!

Today was declared official ice out on Lake Minnetonka. And believe it or not, boats and jet skis are already out there. Last year we had skiers on the lake the day after ice out. That's hard core! What a difference a couple days make.

Here's the lake last Sunday. (Click to Enlarge.)

Backyard in Ice


Here's the lake today.

Spring Backyard 

I was telling hick@heart just last Sunday how depressing the lake was, still in ice. Before it melts completely, it takes on a very dark gray color. Nasty looking. But today, the sky is blue, the water's blue and the grass is green. Just three days makes all the difference!

It's geocaching weather in Minnesota. Too bad they are predicting snow this weekend.smile_sad

Update: April 26. It snowed!

Not only that, the wind is howling and they're supposed to get 15 inches up north.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Boating and Geocaching

Wayfarer and I were interviewed by a reporter last month, and are now featured in an article in the May issue of Lakeland Boating Magazine!

How'd we get involved in that, you ask? I'll tell you. There was a post on the Groundspeak forums asking if any geocachers were also boaters. I thought, Gosh, we've done that, so I answered the post.Boating at Door County Amazingly, no one else did. So the next thing I know, we're in a feature magazine article! Here's the photo they used. That's me at the helm of my brother-in-law, Dave's, boat. That's the lovely wayfarer on my right. Dave is seated in the bow, and his wife, wayfarer's sister, is the one in the orange top. Another brother-in-law salutes from the stern. This picture was taken last summer Fishing at Horseshoe Isalndin Fish Creek Harbor, Door County, Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan. (Click photos to enlarge.)

Here's a picture of me fishing with the nephews later that same day. In the background is Horseshoe Island in Green Bay. We found the only geocache on the island.

Our best find of that trip was a FTF out on Chambers Island. The island is several miles out into Lake Michigan and was the farthest we've ever ventured out there. Luckily, it was a lovely day for boating. The article mentions our geocaching on Lake Minnetonka. Funny thing about that, this winter, people were walking out on the ice to score those geocaches!

You can read the entire article here at lakelandboating.com. While there, sign up to win a new Colorado.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Clever Geocaching High School Students

Here's a geocaching video made by the students of Centura High School out there in rural Nebraska. I just hope they're not studying filmmaking!

For more fun, you could watch their other video about learning the laws of physics on deserted country roads. It's not about geocaching, but it is entertaining!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Geocaching Confession: What's in Your Geo-bag?

Without Wayfarer by my side, I'd never find a single geocache! On top of that, I'd still be out in the woods - lost. That's because she carries the geo-bag; and the geo-bag is our magic carpet to geocaches, travel bugs, geocoins, and all the other wonders of the hobby. Here's what's in her geo-bag.

  1. Garmin GPS Unit: But she lets me carry it while we are on the hunt. Ours is a Garmin Map 12. (We like the challenge of geocaching with antiques.)
  2. Silva Compass: Comes in handy when zeroing in on those difficult caches. Resorting to lat/lon readings, requires that you know which way is north.
  3. PDA: For paperless caching. Ours is a Handspring Visor. (More antiques.)
  4. Spare Batteries: Many a geo-trip cut short due to low batteries.
  5. Mini LED Flashlight: I stick my hand in no dark places without looking to see what's in there first.
  6. SWAG: Always trade up. For very cool but inexpensive do it yourself SWAG, check out Renzos Custom Cache Blog.
  7. Trackables: Always put Geocoins and Travel Bugs in the same place! That way they don't get lost.
  8. Pen & Pencil: Mr Obvious. She takes few extras to drop in a cache that may not have one.
  9. Swiss Army Knife: No, not GSAK! A real knife. It has tweezers, screwdriver, scissors, can opener, cork screw. (Don't ask me, but it's in there.)
  10. Note book: Sometimes the PDA can be cumbersome for logging trackables or jotting down other notes.
  11. Mini First Aid Kit: Band Aids, mole skin, ect.
  12. Sunscreen: Although we haven't needed it here in Minnesota, PJ!
  13. Bug spray: That either!
  14. Zip Lock Bags: For replacing soggy or damaged log bags.
  15. Duct Tape: For repairing cracked or broken caches. You can carry quite a bit of the stuff by re-wrapping it in a 6-inch loop.
  16. Camera: Our's is a Olympus C4000. (Yet more antiques.) Because memories don't last a lifetime, but digital photos can. (Is that a commercial?)
  17. Snacks & Water: I usually carry that in a fanny or backpack. (I've got her pretty loaded down at this point.)
  18. Plastic Garbage Bag: When muggels are about, this is our CITO stealth. We start picking up trash.

Wow that's quite the list! So, what's in your geo-bag? What did I miss?

Now for the Shameless

Self Promotion

Get your geo-bag from CafePress. Click on the pics for more info.


One front adjustable clasp closure.
Main compartment has inside slip pocket.
Front panel has zipper compartment.
Adjustable 2" shoulder strap.
600 Denier Polyester
Size: 14 1/2" x 12" x 5"


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stubbs Bay Travel Bug Hotel Geocache

Due to the feedback from you, our readers, we replaced the smaller geocache previously hidden last week along the Luce Line Trail. As you may remember, we had prepared a peanut butter jar with camo and hid it along the trail. That's when we discovered the nearby geo-beacon that woCache Container Beforeuld hold a much larger cache container.

As pointed out to us, when possible, a larger container should be hidden. In thinking about our hide, we decided to go one step further and designate the cache as a Travel Bug Hotel.

But that adds a little trepidation, knowing that TBs may be short lived in this world. As was our experience with our Christmas Golfer TB. I just don't want anything to happen to other cacher's travel bugs when the little buggers are in our hotel.

Cache Container After

So here's before camo and after camo photos of the container. It's a full 12 inches tall, and six inches in diameter. Original contents are a Wisconsin travel book that we wrote, a Minnesota Wild necklace, a Viagra pen, a firearm safety lock that I got at a police station, and an un-activated TB dog tag for the FTF.

It will go into the woods tomorrow and will take a few days to get published.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

GPS - less Geocaching?

As geocaching gets more and more exposure in the media, more and more would-be geocachers log onto the Groundspeak forums to ask the question, "Do you really need to have a GPS unit to find geocaches?" Hmmm, difficult question. But an intriguing idea. Geocaching is usually done by following the lead of a GPS unit. However, geocaches can be found without one. If you are interested in a more traditional follow-a-pirates-map-to-secret-treasure, I would suggest Letterboxing. But if you are intent to find geocaches without the GPSr, here's a tutorial on how to do it.

Access to a couple of websites makes the task a little easier.

Downloading Google Earth would help too.

Satellite photo coverage may vary from location to location, so it's best to check the views of each web site. Some areas may have very poor satellite photo coverage, and the method for finding geocaches described here may not work. You just might have to break down and purchase that GPSr. Sorry.

The first step is to log onto geocaching.com and identify the geocache you want to find. For this exercise, we are going to use geocache, GC10XBK, Sugar and Spice. We can see from the geocaching.com web page that it's an easy cache to find, and that people are still finding it. ( Don't go looking for a cache that's got a bunch of DNFs posted.) Also, it might be easier to find a cache that is larger in size, but this one will do for our example.

Here's the satellite view of the cache in Google Earth. I've stuck a yellow pin to the cache location. (Click photo to enlarge.) I wouldn't rely on the cache icons on geocaching.com. I've verified that the pin stuck in that photo is the exact location of the cache. Although the scale is not visible in my screen shot, with it, you would see that the exact location of the cache is about 10 to 15 feet south of the main Luce Line bike path. But how do you find that exact spot on the Luce Line Trail?

Here's a shot of the same area on maps.live.com. The views look very different don't they. One is a summertime photo, the other, early spring or late fall. I know that the maps.live.com view is more recent - and probably more reliable because it's early spring right now. Plus, I can see through some of the trees.

I planned the screen shot of the upper photo so that I could draw a line from the upper left-hand corner of photo, straight through the house, and hit the pin. Now I do the same thing with the other photo and it should reveal the visual location of the cache.

Now I shoot a close up of that photo and I can see a second trail - the horse trail that parallels the bike path. So the geocache has to be located about 10 to 15 feet south of the main bike path, within a few feet of where the horse trail intersects the main bike path! So if I were to seek this cache without a GPSr, I would walk along the trail until I came to the spot where the horse trail connects with the main trail. Then walk south about 10 feet. That would easily put me within 20 feet of the cache. On an average day, with that kind of tree coverage, that's about how close a GPSr might get you.

I would use this method for seeking larger cache containers. There's not too many places to hide a large container in a circle with a 20 foot radius. The hiding place should be pretty obvious at that point.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Lovely Weather for Geocaching

Millions of people in the Upper Midwest got their first taste of spring today. Including us. It was 62 degrees - heavenly! It's the time of year when people don't know how to dress. You'll see some in shorts and t-shirts. Others are wearing jeans and sweatshirts.

But I'm sure you're not reading this for a weather report.

We took a walk down the Luce Line today to place our peanut butter jar hide. We went east this time. Not west, where we had placed our other Luce Line caches. Earlier today I had picked out a great hiding spot for the PB jar on Google Earth. Wayfarer wanted to get a good walk in, so we parked 1 & 1/2 miles from where we would actually place the cache, and started on our way. The sun was brilliant, and a soft breeze blew in from the south. Perfect walking weather! We heard several barred owls' warning calls. They are either on eggs or already have young in the nest this time of year. Their warning call is quite different from their "come hither" call. Very aggressive sounding. A whitetailed deer from across a wetlands spotted us. See if you can spot her.

Click on any image to enlarge.

How did you do?

When we got to the wooded area that I spotted on Google Earth, the woods were full of geo-beakons. Perfect! We could have hidden the thing in a dozen different spots. We settled for this one. Right there in the end of that downed tree. It's an OK hide, but won't be listed as winter accessible. One other spot really intrigued us. It was a tree that had the entire inside rotted out. A great place for a really large container. And the thing is, I've had my eye on an empty plastic container at work. It was one of those supersized things that you get at a warehouse foods place. It was full of pretzel rods. It's empty now, and that would make a great hide. And that tree would make a great hiding place.

Dilemma: should I leave the PB jar where it is and publish the cache? Or should I get the really big, pretzel rod jar from work and put it out there instead. Any suggestions?

While we were hiding the PB jar, another deer spooked and ran away. I snapped a quick picture through the trees, and caught her as she was in flight across a downed tree. Can you spot her?

How did you do?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Peanut Butter Jar Geocache II

To finish the affect, we stopped by Michael's and picked up some fake foliage.  They had the perfect sized sprig on the clearance rack for just $1.00. I snipped off a couple of twigs, stuck them to the container with a little epoxy, and it was perfect.

What do you think?

Now where should I hide this thing?


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Peanut Butter Jar Geocache

As promised, I'm using an empty Peanut Butter Jar for a geocache container. You may have read about our spider geocache or our Oreo cookie cache. Here's some hints for the perspective peanut butter jar-hider that may make your job a little easier.

I stopped by the local hardware store on the way home from work and picked up a roll of camo duct tape. The camo of choice? Mossy Oak - only because it was the only one in the place. Hint: Get your camo tape from a hunting/sporting goods store. The roll I got was one of those great big things. It cost me $7.50! That's enough duct tape to hide about 5ooo geocacahes. I know I've seen smaller rolls somewhere.

Hint: If available, get something other than actual duct tape. The camo stuff that I got stuck very well to the plastic peanut butter jar, but would not stick to itself.

I had to do a little creative cutting so there were no spots where the tape overlapped. Either get tape that sticks Peanut Butter Jar-camo opento itself well, or plan your taping so there are no overlaps.

Here's a good shot of the open container. Click on it to see more detail. As I mentioned above, the tape stuck very well to the plastic. I think it will make a great hide. Tomorrow, I'm off to Michael's to get some leaves or fake bark to attach to it. Check back to see the results.

She's Got a Big Secret

You may not know, but Wayfarer has her own blog - and she's been up to some tricks. Read about her big secret.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Caching for Cash Site

This is to announce a new concept in geocaching. It's called Caching for Cash. The idea is to get paid to seek geocaches.

Here's how it works. Everyone who is a member of geocaching.com puts $5 into each geocache they find. The amount in each cache is tallied by Groundspeak. When I want to go out geocaching, I look on the website and choose which cache has the most cash. Then, I simply go out and collect the cash. What do you think of that idea?

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

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Listen to tonka_boy's playlist on Blip.fm

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