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.


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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.
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