Sunday, November 30, 2008

Too Cold for Geocaching

Okay, so it wasn't really that cold.

After geocaching in those hilly parks the past few weekends (and scoring relatively few geocaches) we decided to try some flat parks near the Minnesota River. I looked up a bunch of caches that we could score in quick succession. It would be a great walk in a wooded floodplain, with not a hill in sight.

The snow that we received last night was in the processes of melting and refreezing, making the walk quite slippery - even though flat. The lovely and vivacious, Wayfarer, clutched my arm tightly, so if one of us went down we both would.

The cache was easy enough to find - a peanut butter jar wrapped in camo tape, hidden in a rock pile at the base of a tree. It was half way down an abandoned boat launch lamp that led in to the river. Ice flows passed by us, and that's when we both noticed that we were COLD!

The weatherman had predicted 30 degrees and that's what we dressed for. But it never reached 30, and we were walking face-into a stiff breeze. We hadn't dressed for that! We made it back to the car with frozen ears and pink faces. Tears were streaming from my eyes.

Our geocaching ended as quickly as it started. One more smiley.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Geocaching


This post contains descriptions and photographs of specific geocaches that may be considered spoilers. If you geocache in the Eagan/Apple Valley/Rosemount area, you are hereby warned: do not read this post until you have completed the Halloween 2008 series by bflentje.

Being surprised on your own is just too sweet!

Now, on with the post. (Scroll down.)

The disclaimer is for the creator of those caches - cause I'm a nice guy.

We celebrated Thanksgiving by doing some geocaching. We wanted to finish up the Halloween series located just south of The Cities.

Here's another scary cache container found inside a hollow log.

Make sure you read this post for photos of our first hunt.

Severed Hand

Well, we didn't get them cleaned up - still two to go - because today, one of them took a full hour to find. The name of the cache was Polycephaly - meaning, more than one head.

To get to GZ, we hiked the trail as close as it would take us, then bushwhacked to the edge of a steep hill. Luckily we chose to hunt this one in the winter when all the foliage was down. It would have required a machete otherwise.

We had pretty good GPS coverage from the top of the hill. The arrow on our device pointed directly at a giant, broken oak tree. Great place to hide a geocache. But as we went down the hill, the needle went crazy. First it pointed north, then east, then back up the hill.

Begin drunken bee dance.

Enough of this silliness. It has to be the big tree. So we went back to it.

It was obvious that previous searchers had torn through every log and branch within 20 feet of the oak.

So we looked.

We found nothing.

Wayfarer checked the post notes on her Blackberry. Polycephaly was found just yesterday. It has to be here.

We looked again.

We found nothing.

We went over that tree with a fine toothed comb. It must be nearby.

More drunken bee dance.

No, it had to be at the tree. The on-line logs claimed that this was the creepiest cache of the series - almost disturbing. It had to be here.

So I sat down and looked at the tree. Something had to be out of place. There must be a clue to the hiding spot. The tree was huge - probably 10 feet around at the base. It split into two main trunks some 4 to 5 feet off the ground, and both sections were broken off 12 to 15 feet up.

My eyes scanned from the base up to the top. Part way up through a split in the wood, I spotted something that looked . . . the wrong color.

Something was up in that broken trunk!

I climbed up as far as I could, and at the very limit of my reach, I put my hand into the tree trunk and grasped the cache container.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scary Halloween Geocache Series


This post contains descriptions and photographs of specific geocaches that may be considered spoilers. If you geocache in the Eagan/Apple Valley/Rosemount area, you are hereby warned: do not read this post until you have completed the Halloween 2008 series by bflentje.

Being surprised on your own is just too sweet!

Now, on with the post. (Scroll down.)

Although a bit late for Halloween, the lovely and vivacious wayfarer wanted to do a Scary Halloween series of Geocaches located not too far away. This is a series of 12 geocaches based on a Scary Halloween theme. Each cache contains part of a code, that when deciphered, leads the hunter to Number 13.

We tried one last weekend, and were thrilled with what we found. So we thought we'd try our hand at a bunch of them this week. For the first one we tried, instructions on the GC website instructed the finder to select one of the masks sealed inside the cache container and photograph yourself. If you don't upload a photo to the page, the find would be removed.

After a nice walk around a secluded lake, we found that cache, donned the masks, and took photos.


tonka_boy mask


wayfarer mask

Then off to to the next one. But it was a bit more challenging that we had expected. View this if you don't believe me.


As we discovered one geocache after another, the miles went by as fast as the time. We put five miles on the hiking boots and ended up with seven out of the twelve in the series. We also scored one from the Halloween 2007 series.


We'll get the rest of them on Thanksgiving Day. Here's a few photos of some of the caches in the series.

And yes, these are real geocache containers.


Head on Stick

Hanging Cache

Finger Micro

Grave Cache

Hand in log

Technorati Tags: ,,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Comment Luv Enabled

We enabled Comment Luv on our blog. When you comment on our blog, a link from your own blog will display along with your comments.

It's Comment Luv.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Saturday Spent Geocaching

Well it really wasn't a whole day geocaching. More like. . .

A Saturday Spent Driving Around.

I stayed up late last night, planning our geo-Saturday so we could score a bunch of geocaches. (It's not about the numbers.) I labeled them all on the trail map so we would be as efficient as possible. We should easily score the 14 in that park, then cruise over to Cleary Lake to finish up that bunch.

Note to our faithful readers in California . . .

It's different here. Twenty in a day, is a great day!

Murphy Map

And it's not just the geocaches.

But with winter rapidly approaching, those toasty-warm 36 degree, geocaching days are soon to be past.

Just to be outside would be a good thing.

We arrived at the park, brimming with excitement, but were met at the gate by a sign declaring,


The Five Man Electrical Band says it best.

So we drove to a different park and ended up with four.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Geocaching Last Saturday

It was c-c-c-cold Saturday.

We went to a regional park down by Prior Lake - a place that we had hiked two years ago before our addiction to geocaching.

This time we hiked with a purpose!

Rather than take up bandwidth yammering on about it, I'll just direct you to wayfarer's blog. She tells all about our trip and also talks about the recent changes to our geocaching tech gear. 

Cache on!

Technorati Tags:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Geocaching and Twitter

I've had some family and friends ask me about Twitter and why I use it to keep in touch with other geocaching folks. So I thought I'd post here, and just direct my peeps to this post.

Let's start from the beginning.

Twitter Badge

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. These posts can be conversational in nature (placing the "@" in front of a user's name, designates a post to that specific user), or they can be links to photos, videos, or other web sites. Users can choose to "follow" other users, and receive just the tweets of those designated.

The feeling of family and community develops after following other members for just a short time.

But let's back up just a step, if you are not browsing the web with Firefox, go directly to and download it. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. It's free. It will improve your Twitter experience. Why Firefox? Because developers all over the world are creating cool plug-ins and add-ons that are really helpful.

Twitthat Badge

Once you have Firefox loaded and running, go to  Drag the button up to your Firefox tool bar. This turns your browser into a tweeting machine. Just click on that button when you want to share a web site with your friends on Twitter. Just created a new post on your blog? twitthat! Uploaded a new photo or video to flikr? twitthat!

Most cool!

Then go to  Download the Twitterfox add-on. It adds a tiny button in the lower right-hand corner of your browser, that turns your browser into an automatic tweet reader. The moment someone you are following posts a tweet, it pops open, right on your browser.

Excellent! Here's what that looks like. Click to enlarge.

Twitthat view

Last week when tatooedmommie was in that long line at her polling place, she was using her cell phone, tweeting photos to Twitter - and every one popped up in my Twitterfox.

Way too many Ts, but a great way to stay in touch.

Now that we have a Twitter-powered browser, how do we get followers?  The best way, is to start following others. When you choose to follow someone on Twitter, they have the opportunity to follow you. So do a search on for geocaching, or any other interest. Look through the list to find people that are updating tweets that match your interests. When you find them, click on "Follow". Chances are, they'll follow you in return.

Another way to find people to follow is to look at the profile of a person that you are following. There will be a whole list of people with similar interests. Click on their profile, read a few tweets, if you like what you see, click on "Follow".

And make sure you tweet, tweet, tweet. No one wants to follow someone who is not tweeting. With a Twitter-powered browser, and today's phone technology, there's no reason not to let us know what you're doing.

See you on Twitter real soon!

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Geocaching Blog Added

I ran into another geocacher on Twitter this week.

Twitter is way cool - and you are not cool if you are not on it.

Anyway, I added his blog to our blogroll. He geocaches in Belgium. You can jump right to his blog by clicking on this very cool picture right here.

Check him out.

Search Jaunt


BTW . . .

It snowed here today.  heart_broken  Summer is over.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Geocaching Road Trip II

After walking straight up the bluffs of the St. Croix River for more than one geocache, we headed north - up river - for more geocaching fun.

Our first stop was the historic Boom Site, National Historic Landmark, just north of Stillwater. Back in the 1800s, timber harvested upstream was branded with the logo of the company that had harvested it, and the logs were floated down to the boom where they were sorted by the brands and delivered to the sawmills in Stillwater.

boom site

Millions of logs from the upper St. Croix and tributaries were halted here, sorted, and rafted, later to be sawed into lumber and timber products. The boom site was operated until 1914, after which it was forgotten. But it was rediscovered in 1975 by a National Park Service survey to identify historic sites along the St. Croix River.

Just below the bluff, at the water's edge, is a cave that is not only an earthcache, but a waymark to boot.

During the logging era, a cookhouse and supply store were located on top of the bluff directly above the cave and used the cave as a storeroom. A hole was cut into the roof of the cave, and a simple elevator was hoisted through the hole so that supplies could be moved from the cave to the cook shanty.

View from the outside.


View from the inside.


We didn't find an elevator shaft, but it was an interesting place to visit. It was evident at the back of the cave that people have been digging under the terminus wall, seeking the upper level to the cave.

We spent a lot of time here, walking the beach. Then our journey took us farther up river to Pine Point Park, where several geocaches awaited.

After a bit of driving, we arrived at Pine Point Park - only to find that we had to pay a fee to get in. We only had a $10 bill, and the fee was $5, we drove back into town for change.

Finally, we get to hunt some geocacahes!

There were several to be found in this very muggly park, so we chose a couple that were away from all the action. Wayfarer was using her new Blackberry phone with Geo-Navigator, rather than using our antique Garmin that we were used to. A little learning curve, but it put us spot on the hides. Here's a few photos.

Blackberry with a Travel Bug we found.


Trail in the park.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Geocaching Road Trip

Yesterday we took a trip over to Stillwater to do some geocaching.

Stillwater is often referred to as the birthplace of Minnesota. A  territorial convention in 1848 selected three leading Minnesota cities as locations for important public institutions: Minneapolis got the University of Minnesota, Saint Paul became the capital, and Stillwater was chosen as the site of the territory's first prison.

Looks like Stillwater got the short end of that stick.

But I've digressed.

Stillwater is a popular day trip for tourists who enjoy the historic downtown's used bookstores, antique shops, restaurants, historical sites and the scenic St. Croix River valley.


We parked the car in the public lot at the riverfront and proceeded to walk to our first cache only a few blocks away.

Note to self: Check topo map before geocaching in Stillwater!

You can see the bluffs overlooking the river in the above photo. And the photo below doesn't even begin to show how steep this street was. Brutal. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)

Hill Street

But the walk was worth it. Like many geocaches, the Stillwater caches took us places that we would have never seen. We did another cache at a local park.

Another hill.

Again, the photo doesn't do justice to the incline. Just try counting the steps.



Here's the view from the park at the top of the stairs.

Lift Bridge

While in Stillwater, we did one traditional cache, two virtuals, ate lunch, walked through a dozen antique shops, then headed up the river for more geocaching.

But those will be covered in tomorrow's post.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our First Waymark Post

I created our first waymark on

I know. I know.

This is supposed to be a geocaching blog. But I had to do it.

After yesterday's visit to the #100 Target store . . .

(hey listen, I go to that Target store about four times a month)

. . . we took a walk in one of the local parks here. We knew there were trails behind the ruins an old run-down homestead, because this was the site of one of our very first geocache finds.

Unlike a Target store though, this place has some real cultural significance. But the site wasn't on

I thought, if Target stores can be listed, why not this place?

Schmid House

German immigrants, the Schmid family, settled and built a beautiful fieldstone farmhouse that now stands in ruins in Lake Minnetonka Regional Park. Pretty historic and worthy of a visit.

So rather than belly ache that I can't create a virtual on, I created our first waymark on

Technorati Tags:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's Up With Virtual Geocaches?

I came across this post on the Groundspeak forums about virtual geocaches, and why new ones are not allowed. We've done a couple of virtuals, and plan to get a couple more tomorrow. They've usually been entertaining and somewhat educational.

Okay, the Mary Tyler Moore virtual?  Not so much.

The argument against them is just how much WOW factor does a site need to qualify - and who gets to decide that?

I thought there might be an argument made for allowing them, but that's what is for. So I went over there for a visit, to see what cool virtuals were in our area.

I found some old homes and churches that are on the National Historic Register. Kinda cool.

Found an artesian well nearby. That's got WOW.

There was an old post office. Hmmmmm . . .

Found a storm warning siren on a pole? ? ?

A Target store.

Wait a minute. A Target store?

Oh, it's Target store #100. Still, I'm not that impressed. But I do need some deodorant and toothpaste. 

. . . think I'll go score a virtual.

Target Store 

Technorati Tags: ,,

Ajax CommentLuv Enabled 60c1240b0ede1f711514d8b6dd4db92d

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

GeoCaching WebRing
GeoCaching WebRing by tmaster
[ Join Now | Ring Hub | Random | << Prev | Next >> ]