Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Best Geocache in Minnesota - Confiscated by the Cops

You may remember all the time and effort that we put into finding the 2008 Halloween geocache series? I wrote at length about them.

The purpose was to find and collect clues from 12 Halloween themed geocaches, and use those clues to find the bonus cache - a full sized toe-pincher coffin, complete with skeleton and traditional ammo can.

Last February it was voted as the Minnesota Cache of the Month by member of the Minnesota Geocaching Association.

Here's some comments from the cache listing:

Fabulous! Certainly the granddaddy of all geocaches! The form for which all geocaches should strive. 

Wow! What an awesome end to the Halloween 2008 Series! I don't think anyone could come up with anything to top this cache!

My five-year old daughter was SO excited that we finally managed to get out and find this one before it got any colder.  ...Thank you so much for this series - I think she'll remember it when she's much older.

What an unbelievable series and some of the coolest containers ever!

WOW!!!!!!!!!!! And that doesn't even begin to show my appreciation for all of your hard work and time that you put into these Halloween 2008 caches.

AWSOME! This has to be one of our favorite caches of all time.

Absolutely outstanding - A cache that has to be seen to be believed!

Well it seems that a couple of muggles accidentally stumbled across the coffin in the woods, and instead of going along with the fun, reported it to the Dakota County Sheriffs Department.

Officials immediately went into CYA mode, and hauled the cache out. Here's the final log from the cache listing...

The Dakota County Park Service is pretending that geocaching doesn't exist when there are dozens and dozens of caches in OUR parks. On top of that, there are hundreds of website articles and web archives indicating the contrary. They may be attempting to make me, and one of my prolific and popular geocaches an example. And for that, they will get nothing from me in terms of providing geocaching entertainment. This cache has been pulled and will be archived by the end of the week.
Thank you all kind and reasonable people who have enjoyed my geocaches over the years.

You can visit the cache owner's blog to see photos of the cache under construction.

The cops even wrote about the find in their newsletter.

Technorati Tags: ,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Springtime Geocaching

Ah, spring! A time when hope flows eternal. A time for renewal and re-growth. A time for geocaching without ticks, spiders, and mosquitoes.

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Minnesota. The temperature peaked at near 70 degrees, and the snow that fell last November is almost gone.

We decided on one of the nearby regional parks, and like last week, the trails were ice packed and slippery. The ice had melted In places where the sun was able to shine through the trees, leaving slippery mud instead of ice. Some very tricky hiking, indeed!

 Snowy Trails

The first cache we found was guarded by a dead squirrel. Seriously! It was actually a stuffed squirrel - as in taxidermy - and was part of the camo. But upon first spotting it, I couldn't tell. I poked it with a stick a few times, just to be sure.

The second cache we found was a very clever hide inside a great big tree beacon. We almost gave up on that one, when Wayfarer reviewed one of the recent posts describing how they had accidentally fond it.

Big Geocache Beacon

The third was a micro hidden amongst the branches of another downed tree. Again, if not for the logs of previous finders, we may not have found that one. Definitely not winter friendly! On to number 300, which we found - but that's another story.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Massive Geocache Beacon

Here in the upper-midwest, geocaches are often hidden in, what is known as, a beacon.

Beacon:  [bee-kuhn]  a fire lit on the top of a hill as a signal

Okay, maybe a geocache beacon is not a fire, but in geocaching terms, certainly a signal. If you see the beacon, you should be able to find the geocache.

We recently found a geocache in the beacon shown below. If you were the hider, where would you put the geocache in this beacon?


Geocache Beacon

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More Island Geocaching

Well, it wasn't like this.

And it certainly wasn't like this.

But we did some island geocaching yesterday. The difference, this time we walked to the island.

I admit, that concept might confuse our faithful California readers. But around here, walking on water isn't an exercise reserved only for the Faithful. The water looked something more like this.

Lolas Lakehouse1

This is a shot of Lola's Lakehouse back on dry land.

And here's an aerial view of the lake. Lola's was our starting point, directly south of the island. For reference, it is exactly 1/2 mile from shore to the island at that point.

Lake Waconia 1

We scored the two geocaches on the island, but the really cool part was the winter walk. (Sorry.) I'm talking about 18 degrees of cool - with a 10 MPH breeze. It was a brisk walk out there. Once in the shelter of the island, though, it was quite comfortable.

The island is hilly and crisscrossed with trails. Once we neared the caches we did some bushwhacking that took us through knee-deep snowdrifts.

in 1886, Lambert Naegle purchased the island in Waconia Lake for $5,200 and built on it a resort hotel. He named his resort the "Coney Island of the West." The name could have come from as many as three sources: 1)It was named after the more famous Coney Island of the East, in Brooklyn. 2)It is a shortened version of the town's name, Waconia. 3)It was named such after the area's high population of "conies," or rabbits.

In 1889 Reinhold Zeglin bought and operated the hotel complex. Legend has it that period celebrities such as Mark Twain and Al Capone visited during this period.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Frank "Shorty" Dvorak owned and operated the dining, dance, cottage, day camp, and launch facilities on the island.

Today, it's all in ruins - the resort cabins, lodge buildings, and homes.

Waconia Ruins 1

Waconia Ruins 2

Waconia Ruins 3

A great day of geocaching!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Picking up Archived Geocaches

A few weeks back, one of our local geocachers passed away.  He had over 20 hides, several of which we had found. The rules at geocaching.com forbid anyone from adopting the caches, and the family didn't want continued emails when finds were logged on these caches. So the listings were all archived.

Now the containers are basically, litter.

We decided to go pick a couple up. I figured it was a nice thing to do, plus, those are good containers that can be recycled into new geocaches.

We knew exactly where a couple of them were, and wouldn't need a GPSr to to find them. The first one was a Park & Grab, but when we got there, it wasn't. Someone must have already picked it up.

The next one was a bit more remote - off the Luce Line Trail. Our readers may recall that we too have caches out on the Luce Line.

Geocaching Tracks in Snow

The snow was still pretty deep and we had to do a little snow-whacking to get to the hide.  But the container was there, and we picked it up.

It was a perfect day for a hike on the trail - the first day since winter began that the mercury had risen over 32 degrees.  The sun was shining, and as we walked I had to remove a layer to keep from over-heating. When we were getting close to the next hide, I asked Wayfarer to turn on the GPSr. We would need help in zeroing in on this one.

You may remember that we are now using Trimble's Geocache Navigator on Wayfarer's new Blackberry. Problem is (as we discovered while on the trail), Geocache Navigator does not list archived caches. Didn't even think of it until that moment.

And if you've ever tried accessing GC.com from a mobile device, you'd know that that's a losing cause. We turned around and headed back to the car.

Oh well, it was a good day for a walk in the woods. We'll have to go back some day soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Geocaching and the Present Day Penny

When wayfarer and I get to the woods we like to "really get away". That is, to reach a time and space where our experience is not interrupted by road noise or jet planes. Where just the slightest hint of imagination could suggest that we've been transported. The forest is ancient, and the trail, timeless.

We still have those pesky satellites guiding us to the cache, but you get the point.

We almost achieved it today.

Our journey started in a very busy section of a close-by regional park. Hundreds of people were out enjoying the relative warmth of the 25-degree day. Some were cross-country skiing, others snowshoeing, and we were geocaching.

Winter Ski Trails (Click photos to enlarge)

Winter Ski Trails

To escape the long loops in the trail, and to avoid the many skiers, I suggested that we take a short cut across the end of a nearby lake.

Not such a good idea.

The snow was thigh deep the whole way. But we made it, found the cache, and signed the log. We both decided that this section of the park was just too busy for serious geocaching. So we jumped back into the car and headed to a more remote section.

Remote Trail Through the Pines

Winter Trail

Ah, this was more like it. The trail led us through thick stands of hemlock, white pines, aspen, and spruce. On the hilltops, the wind whistled eerily through needled branches, but the valleys were still and silent. The only sound was the snow crunching beneath our feet. This is what we were looking for. Alone, in a time and space that was just ours.

That is, until we rounded a corner and saw the present day penny that pulled us away from the place that we loved.

Penny to the Present

It was good while it lasted. We found the cache, signed the log, and made our way back to the car.

If you know the reference from which the present day penny came, make mention of it in your reply.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to be a Geocacher in Minnesota

10.  You get to use those cool Winter Friendly attributes on your cache listing page.

9.  Geocaching in muck-lucks is very fashionable.

8.  Where else can you go ice fishing and geocaching in the same day?

7.  Sled dogs make great caching buddies.

6.  You can ski right up to most geocaches.

5.  After geocaching, you can warm up to a nice warm plate of lutefisk.

4.  You can geocache all 4 seasons: Almost winter. Winter. Still Winter. And construction.

3.  !0,000 lakes in which to hide a 5 X 5 geocache.

2.  Beaver lodges makes great cache hides.

1.  And the number one reason to be a geocacher in Minnesota...

Mosquito song in the summer is so beautiful.


Technorati Tags: ,

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Now This is a Geocache


This post contains descriptions and photographs of specific geocaches and may be considered a 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!

And if you've not read our previous two posts about the Halloween 2008 series, you may want to get caught up by reading this post and this post.

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

We finally got the Bonus Halloween 2008 geocache.

The idea is to find all 12 Halloween geocaches and record the 3-digit code associated with each one. After some mathematical gymnastics, one should come up with the coordinates for the Bonus Cache.

We finished the 12th find on New Year's Day by finding Palu Bufo Marinus. It's a multi, and due to the deep snow, I almost gave up on the first stage. I figured it was buried. But the lovely and talented, Wayfarer, persevered and made the find.

I'm claiming the find on the 2nd stage, but I think we both saw it at the same time.

Anyway, we took all 12 codes to lunch at Coopers Bar & Grill, ($2.50 burger baskets on Vikings football Sundays) but couldn't crack the code. We didn't have a calculator that would compute that high a number. So we schlepped all the way back home to the western suburbs without the bonus cache.


I worked on it off and on for the past two days. It took a while to get the math right, but this morning it all came together.

Let's go geocaching!

Racing ahead of another wave of winter storms, we hiked into the snowy hills to make the find. Fabulous! Certainly the granddaddy of all geocaches! The form for which all geocaches should strive.

Thanks, bflentje for all of your hard work and expense to make this our most memorable cache series to date. We enjoyed them all!

Here's a short video of the the most frightening geocache ever. View with sound on.

If you are interested in how this cache came to be, here's a link to Bart's blog.
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 Blip.fm

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