Sunday, July 27, 2008

Travel Bug Logs over 20,000 Miles

That's right! Our Lucky Penny Travel Bug has passed the 20,000 mile mark, visiting caches on both coasts of the US and a stop in Ecuador. Local geocacher, ReefPilot - who is a real pilot - has adopted the Lucky Penny as a traveling companion. When he geocaches in remote locations, he logs the bug in and out of each cache.

Here's a sample log entry . . .

Another short layover in SAT [San Antonio]. A 5 mile walk was all I could handle in today's Texas heat. I replaced the log in a cache I own near the hotel. Also went out to found 4 other nearby caches. We leave this afternoon for IAH, then down to Ecuador (again) for 24hrs, then redeye back to IAH Monday morning.

Do to the fact that there is only ONE active cache in all of GYE (Guayaquil, Ecuador) And I placed that one! Amazing since this is the largest city in Ecuador with a population of 2.5 million. I wasn't planning on going out for any caching. Although I MIGHT just have to go out and place another of my caches - south of the equator.

Next week I am schedule for this exact same 4-day trip, so I may have "cached out" these areas with little/no more caching to be done. Hopefully I can get some local caching done this week while back home in Minnesota.

Some of the cities visited include Houston, Newark, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Oakland, New Orleans, Kansas City, and Guayaquil, Ecuador. Even lesser known locales, such as Lamoni, Iowa, Neongwa, Missouri, and the Big Steer Bug Stop near Little Chicago, MN.

Big Steer

On a sadder note: Still no word on our Raceway Woods Christmas Golfer Travel Bug. It's officially listed as MIA.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Guest Blogger - Eric

From time to time I'll run across something truly worthy of note, and so, worthy of publishing. The following is a guest post from my youngest son, Eric. (actually, it was an email from him, but guest blogger sounds cool) It's not about geocaching, but that's OK. He doesn't have a blog of his own, so I thought I would give him a voice.Nurse

Eric says...

I apologize in advance for derailing this intellectual conversation but... 

I was splitting wood this weekend with a rented log splitter and at the end of the day on Saturday I noticed my eye was irritated so I yelled at [the wife] for not cleaning the house and went to bed.

On Sunday I noticed there was a little fleck of something stuck to my cornea. 

On Monday I went to the eye doctor and had them dremel out a little flake of metal.  The doctor said he knew it was metal because he could see it rusting a little bit.  So after the doctor earned his keep, he had two nurses put some more gunk in my eye and patch me up. 

All was well until I started to pass out. 

Yeah, no kidding. 

I started to feel really dizzy and then I got the ringing ears and tunnel vision.  I told them I was getting pretty dizzy and they laid the seat back and started rubbing my neck and forehead with wet paper towels. 

I got better after a minute or so but I learned my lesson: Passing out around nurses is cool! Because they touch you and talk softly in your ear and tell you that you are looking better! 

Yes, I am that insecure. 

The last time I almost passed out was when I tried donating blood.  I was doing fine until the concerned nurse came over and looked at my blood bag and started jiggling the needle around in my arm.  That's when the tunnel vision came. 

Apparently, my body wants to clot when bleeding profusely.  The nurse said it happens all the time and if I try more often to give blood, my body will get used to it and not clot. 

I'm just guessing but, I am pretty sure that clotting is not something I want to teach my body not to do...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Geocaching with the Lizardtoadz Decypher Coin

While geocaching at the Chambers Island Light House, we picked up the Lizardtoadz Decypher Coin. (No, I didn't spell it wrong. That's its name.) The LizardToadZ team is a team of cachers from Utah, sometimes consisting of just two members (the toads) aka...The Cach-U-NutCoins, but other times the team may have as many as 6 - 8 members. 

The coin is designed to help cachers create fun and inventive geocaches. The possibilities are endless! For an explanation on how the coin is used go here:
That site also has a bunch of geo-stuff for sale. This next link leads to an example of a rather difficult 4 stage multi cache using this type of decipher coin: Olympian Cryptoponymy by MOCKBA GCHCG0.

This unique coin consists of two coins that fit together. The top one fits perfectly into the center of the bottom coin and is attached permanently onto a stud which allows the center coin to rotate.

The coin can be used to decrypt geocaching hints by aligning the pointer on the LizardZ tail to the N on the outer ring. Then find the first letter in the encrypted hint on the outer ring of the coin and find the matching letter on the inner ring of the coin and write it down. Then follow the same procedure for each letter in the encrypted hint until you have decrypted the entire message.

Pretty cool stuff if you like creating puzzle caches!

The coin had been on Chambers Island since October of last year, so we brought it back to Minnesota and dropped it into one of our geocaches on the Luce Line Trail.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who Would Publish a Bridge Geocache?

Here's a geocaching post from Hedge's Ramblinz.  Even though it is a poignant article, I just had to put the link here because of the photo. While on his site, look around a bit. Some pretty clever writing!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Geocaching Return to Chambers Island

It was a year ago last month that we took our first trip out to Chambers Island - out in the middle of Lake Michigan's Green Bay. We were in search of a geocache then, and our trip last month was for the same reason. A geocache.

For the 18th year in a row, Wayfarer and her four sisters gathered in Door County to celebrate sisterhood and enjoy each other's company. Geocaching has become part of the annual ritual.

After lunch and a visit to Fred and Fuzzy's, and after scoring a geocache Aerialphoto on "Pebble Beach" (but that's another story) we all piled back into the boat and made the 7-mile journey out into Green Bay. The air was crisp for the middle of June, and we actually were dodging rain squalls to make it to the island.

We landed at the pier shown in the right-hand side of the above photo. (Click any photo to enlarge.) The lighthouse is located on the peninsula to the north. We had been to the pier the year before, but didn't even know the lighthouse existed then.

After touring the well-kept, landscaped grounds around the lighthouse, we set out in search of the geocache. The needle led to the wooded area directly north. Nephew, Brian, made the find in short order. We signed the log, grabbed a trackable geocoin, and re-hid the cache just as we found it. When we logged our find on, we encouraged cavemenRC, the cache owner, to hide more geocaches on Chambers Island. We'll be back next year.

On the road to the lighthouse.

Group on Road

The Chambers Island Lighthouse


Front View

Lighthouse 2

Searching for the Cache


Found it!

Found it

Signing the Log

Signing the log

Grabbed the Geocoin


Safely Back at Camp

At Camp

Another Geo-Day Completed


Photo credits go to Missy!

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Door County Geocaching Challenge

As you may know, we vacationed in Door County, Wisconsin last month. (Click on any photo to enlarge.) We did some geocaching, but I just haven't had the time to post about it. Cliffs.jog (Would you like some cheese with that whine?)

One of the caches we did attempt was the Door County Challenge - a series of four, increasingly difficult geocaches in Ellison Bluff County Park. After a picnic of cheese, smoked whitefish, and fresh fruit we decided to tackle the Door County Challenge. The first stage is rated a 1 - 1, but after a mile walk, I began thinking that a 1 - 1 should be right in the parking lot. But anyway . . .

The coordinates for the second stage were recorded on the first, so we started in search of that one. As promised, the second stage was a bit trickier. We bushwhacked through the woods quite a ways, then found the cache hidden under a natural cleft in the rocks. In spite of the tree canopy, the GPSr was right on target. Whoever found this little hidey-hole out in the middle of the woods is to be commended.

We entered the third stage coords, into the GPSr, and struck out through the woods in search mode.

There are very few places in the Midwest more beautiful than Door County in June. Tourists from across the world come here to relax and enjoy the unspoiled forests and deserted shorelines. We trekked through stands of white pine and hemlock trees, hardwoods, and everything in between. Panaramic View Birds were singing and spring was giving way to summer. While the breeze was from the east, we could just feel its cooling affects, and every time we ventured near the bluffs west of us, were were treated to fantastic panoramic views of Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

And that's just where our GPSr was leading us. Right to the bluffs over-looking the lake. It became obvious that the third leg of this geocache was far below us, on the shoreline. I could see where other geo-seekers had climbed down the rocks, but we would not make the climb. Bad weather was approaching - and fast. We decided to play it safe and head back to the car.

Oh what clever people we are! By the time we reached the parking area, it was sprinkling. By the time we made it back to the main road, it was storming. Rain. Wind. Hail. No kitchen sinks, though. No cats and dogs.

Door County geocaching had not disappointed. We were thrilled to get two of the four stages. Geocaching is always better when you don't have to go back to work the next day.

The Approaching Storm

The Approaching Storm

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