Sunday, September 30, 2012

There It Isn't!

This was found on a silo in Boone North Carolina. Often people go out of their way to hide the location of a geocache. Rarely do they go out of the way to tell you where it isn't.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Contest: Tell me your stories, win a prize

Note: The contest is closed and the winner has been announced.

My blog has been getting extra traffic lately, and I am wondering who all you find folks are.  So I figure the best way would be to gather some of your stories from the trails.

As thanks, and a bribe for audience participation, I have reached into my personal collection of geo-swag and pulled out a prize to give away to one lucky reader.

So in exchange for your story, you will be entered into a random drawing for a brand new shiny Geo-achievement 1000 Finds pin. The pin is gold-plated, and is 1" in diameter.   Perfect for carrying on your pack, or on your lapel at geocaching events.  It can be used to celebrate this important geocaching milestone, or it can serve as motivation to get there :)

All you have to do to enter is to drop a story from the trail into the comments section below.  Please include your geocaching name, your general location (be as specific or generic as you like), and an interesting story from the trail.   Your story can be as long as you like - couple sentences to a couple novels.  It is up to you.  Extra thumbs up for your 1000th find story, if you have one.

I will hold a random drawing for the pin on October 15th, 2012.

I am looking forward to hearing about your best geocaching stories!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Travel Bug Hunting

For those that don't know, travel bugs are geocaching items with trackable numbers on them.  These items can then be discovered by other cachers and tracked online.  Some are meant so travel from cache to cache (like my alien race TBs), and some are meant to travel with geocachers.  It is not uncommon for a geocacher to have a trackable number on their vehicle (note that the numbers are not meant to be shared unless you discover them for yourself, so I have removed them from pics in this post).

On Saturday at the NCGO Fall Fling (covered here) I had some down time, so I took my toddler son Zeke travel bug hunting.

We started by checking out the travel bugs at the table inside the mess hall. These are bugs that are intended to travel from geocache to geocache, and normally have an interesting object attached to them - the perfect attention getter for a toddler.   After we finished with the TB table, I explained to him that sometimes the travel bugs live on peoples cars, and we can go find some.   This got his attention immediately.

 I took him out to the parking lot, found a car TB and showed him what to look for.  Then the hunt was on.

We went around the parking lot of the Fall Fling looking at every single car, truck, and SUV to see if they had any travel bugs on them.  Zeke had an absolute blast finding them, and after a while got quite good at it.

He loved it so much that he asked to do it again...  twice.

Our car does not have a travel bug attached to it,  but when asked Zeke said he wanted us to get one.  At the Flings raffle station there was a TB just waiting to be won - so I bought a bunch of tickets and put them all towards the bug.

Amazingly we won! To say Zeke was thrilled is an understatement.  He held onto that bug for a full 20 minutes (an eternity for a toddler) while we  watched the closing moments of the event.  When we finally got outside we headed right over to our van and he proudly put the TB on the tailgate.  There it sits, slightly askew in typical toddler fashion, hopefully for a long time, waiting to be discovered by other geocachers.

It was a great series of moments shared between father and son during a day full of activities.  If you have a young geocacher in your family, I highly recommend you take them travel bug hunting at your next event.

Here are a few more pics from the hunt, starting with Zeke finding a bug on the front fender of a jeep.

Zeke spotted this one from 50ft away.

Our brand new travel bug, lovingly placed on the tailgate of my van by Zeke.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

NGCO Fall Fling 2012

The North Carolina Geocaching Organization hosts a day long event called the Fall Fling.  This year marks their 7th year holding the event.  It was held at Camp Lapihio (pronounced Lappy-hi-ho) in W. B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh NC.

Since Raleigh is 3 hours from home, we decided to make a weekend out of it.  We drove to a hotel in nearby Cary NC Friday night, and on Saturday morning we were fresh and ready for the short trip to the park.  Along the way we picked up a dear friend who has moved to Raleigh, pioneerwoman101.

This was our first Fall Fling, so we didn't quite know what to expect.  It turned to be a day packed filled with geocaching goodness.  I'll give a breakdown of my day to give you an idea of what it is like.

The mess hall, and ground zero for the event.
9:00 AM:  Registration - pick up our meal tickets, purchased some event swag, and picked up the Geocaching Bingo sheets.  If you are not familiar, Geocaching Bingo is a sheet with a grid of 20 squares.  Each squarre as a description like "Found a 5/5 cache", "Still owns a virtual cache", "used a boat to find a cache" etc. During the day you need to find a geocacher that matches one of the descriptions.  Once you've found all 20 you hand in the sheet and qualify for a drawing for a prize.  It is a great way to encourage socialization.

9:30 AM - Signed the event log, then put my name down for some items in the silent auction.

Our geo-vehicle for the poker run.
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM -  Geocaching Poker Run. A poker run in this case is where you find a series of caches.  In each cache is a series of sealed envelopes with cards in them.  You take one card per cache, and use them to make a poker hand.  The cacher with the best hand wins.  I teamed up with 3 other cachers to do the poker run - folks I've never met before.

10:35 AM- Achievement Unlocked:  I was recognized by a cacher I have never met before by a picture of me that was shown on Geocaching World.

12:00ish - snacks.

12:30 PM - Finished my Geocaching Bingo card.  To celebrate I headed off for a hike to find the only two caches in the park (both virtuals).  Ended up being 3.5 miles. Along the way I hooked up with another group of cachers and finished the hike with them.

The cook in action.
2:30 PM - Took Zeke travel bug hunting.

3:30 PM - Dinner - oh man the food. So good. I ate my fill - twice.  Then had dessert - twice.

4:30 PM - Group photo

5:00 PM - Picked up items from the silent auction.  I got a hiking stick, a couple cache containers, a geocaching book, and a magnetic travel bug for my car.

6:00 PM - Headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

This was my first Fall Fling, but based on how much fun I had, it won't be my last.  Really its hard not to have a great deal of fun when you are with 216 of your fellow geocachers, even if 210 of them you've never met before.

I'll leave you with a few more photos of the day, starting with a pic of Yours Truly, my wifey, and my daughter taking some down time during the day:

One of my poker run team mates on the hunt:
Outside the Camp Lapihio mess hall.

pioneerwoman101 hanging out with my daughter, watching a game of cornhole (aka bean bag toss).

"Self portrait" of the group - its hard to take a photo of a crowd of 200+ people when you are in the crowd.

The official group photo photographers:

The official group photo. You can see us on the very far right (I am in orange with a Zeke on my shoulders. My wife is in front of me in purple, holding my new hiking stick).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Niagara Safari

On our recent trip back north to Canada we took a trip to Niagara Safari, a zoo type place near Fort Erie Ontario (it is not a real zoo unless they have elephants. Fact).

Zeke loved looking at, and in some cases feeding, the animals.  I of course had my camera and snapped a few.

These are the results. Personally I like the tiger shot the best, and yes the swan did try to eat my camera.


The Dreaded Weed

Most cachers have encountered the dreaded poison ivy plant sometime during there adventures, and some have even fallen victim to its sinister ways.  However, have you considered it from the ivy's point of view?

(Shamlessly stolen from Albatruse Goose - used with permission under the Creative Commons V3.0 license)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creative Geocache Containers.

I have seen some pretty neat geocaching containers over the summer. Here are a few of my favourites. I'll refrain from giving locations to avoid spoilers. I post them here to give you some inspiration for your next hide.  Awesomeness in geocaching container is just a good idea and a cool spot away from reality.

 This is a TB hotel at an animal shelter:

A cache hidden in an old pipe:

A log that hides an ammo can:

Fake rock made out of foam:

Fake egg in a fake nest - hidden in a real tree.  This nest is placed so that its obvious that its a fake nest and a fake egg.  It is placed 4ft above ground in a manner that is easy to see into the nest without disturbing it.  One shouldn't stick fingers into nests that one cannot see into for fear of disturbing eggs, or chicks.

Probably the coolest hide I've seen in a long long time:

Oxymoron alert:  A really large micro:

You can check out the rest of the posts in this series by clicking here: Creative Cache Containers: The Series.

Friday, September 14, 2012

My First Pathtag Trades

As you probably remember, last week I got my first pathtags  in the mail.

Since then I have had several requests from other pathtag owners to trade with them.  The trades are done through

These are the first 5 tags that I have traded my tag for. Sorry in advance for the bad pics - I haven't mastered pathtag photography yet.

Personal tag for the Tank Hounds:

"Moose on the Loose". The moon glows in the dark.

"I play with satellites"

Dr. Suess tag made by Swamp Teacher

Personal tag for The Mortons.  Tagline reads: Geocaching From Virginia

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Down On The Farm

My in-laws are crop farmers in southern Ontario.  They mainly grow soybeans.

A couple weeks ago I woke up before sunrise and discovered that a thick fog had settled over my in-laws farm.

I decided to go for a walk and take some pics, and perhaps grab a sunrise.  These pics , which are in chronological order, are the results.

What do you think?