weather this holiday weekend ! It is supposed to get up into the 70's this weekend. Perfect caching weather, if you ask me :) I need to get out to my first cache nad hide it better. Both of the people who found it commented that it was to visible. I will hide it a bit better tomorrow. Other than that, I am just going to get some caches credits. I hope to find 10 or so caches on this 3 day weekend. I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year !!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Bummer that I can't ! It has been one of those weeks at work where I am getting to work around sunrise and leaving around sunset. I'm not big on caching at night, so that rules out night caching. I'm too worried about getting shot or arrested. Oh well, the weekend will be here soon enough.
I caught an interesting news story today. It is about the Galileo satellite system that is being placed in orbit. It will not replace GPS, but will be an alternate system for GPS users. It is civilian based, therefore, not suceptable to the whims of a government. On the plus side, it apparently will be much more accurate than GPS. Up to 5 times more accurate, apparently. It is supposed to narow down accuracy to 3 feet. If you can't find a cache with that kind of accuracy, you're in trouble ! The bad news is that it will not be available until 2010. Should be interesting to see what GPS producers jump on the bandwagon.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Okay, not so much a nightmare as a bad dream. I'll start from the beginning and get to the bad stuff in a minute.
I decided to get out and hit a few caches today since the weather was so nice. Actually, I was hoping to hit 5-6 caches, but ended up only claiming three. My first stop was a second attempt at "End of the Road #15. I had tried this one once before and could not locate the cache. After about ten minutes of walking in circles, I thought I was going to have the same results today. I finally went back to my GPS and walked into the target from three different directions. Each time, it took me to the same spot, plus or minus a few feet. I knew I had to be right on top of it. Come to find out, I was more correct than I knew. It finally hit me where it was hidden and I brushed away a few leaves and there it was! It's nice to succeed when you have failed in the past. I took nothing but left a couple of foriegn coins and signed the log.
Next, I was off to find "Mastermind and Friends". This cache was a nice walk from the parking area to the cache. There was no one around so I took my time and located the cache with ease. The cache was in good shape and I traded a 1943 VF Mercury dime for a small package of zipties. Once the cache was replaced in it's hide spot, I walked back to the pickup. I then headed for "End of the Road #9" which turned into an adventure of it's own.
After arriving at the park and finding a parking spot, I jumped out of the pickup to find the cache. By the reading on my GPS, I had a fairly good idea of where to look for this cache. It was a small hike to the cache and once in the area, I spotted it right away. I retrieved the cache and removed the Thomas' Whistle TB and traded a couple of cool foriegn coins. One was a square coin that was a 2 cent piece from the East Caribbean. The other was a Panama coin from the 1960's. If you see a theme in my trades involving coins, you're correct. I collect coins and I know how much kids enjoy unusual coins, so I try to leave them at caches. As I was walking back to my pickup, I made a horrible discovery. I did not have my keys with me! This is where the bad dream part kicks in. After arriving at my pickup, to my dismay, I do not see the keys in the ignition, or any where else for that matter! After a short time, I figure out that they must be laying in the passenger seat covered up by my cache pages (sounds like a good reason to go paperless to me). I make a couple of attempts to gain entry to my vehicle without success. There were muggles around, so I was limited in what I could do. I ended up calling a good buddy of mine, Mike, and we worked on a couple of options. I was only a couple of blocks from work and we figured out that Gerald was up at work, so I called him. He showed up with various screwdrivers and hanger. This was an exercise in frustration. No luck on getting in to the truck. Gerald took me back up to work and I called Mike back. Mike came to work and picked me up and we again tried to access my truck to no avail. Finally, I ended up calling Pop-a-lock and they were enroute to rescue me. Mike took me up to Quik-Trip and bought me a cappucino and a Snikers because I'm sure I looked pathetic at that point. We returned to the scene of the crime and waited. In the mean time, we chatted and listened to Toby Keith and Kris Kristofferson. Pop-A-Lock finally arrived after dark sometime and let me into my truck. Amazing that it only took them about 15 seconds to gain access to my truck. Needless to say, it was dark and I was cold, so I called it a day and headed home. I'm very blessed to have friends like Mike and Gerald that will take care of me even on a holiday!! True friends like them are hard to come by.
Oh, congrats to stoneposse for being the FTF on my new cache, Polecat Creek Cache !! I was excited to see someone find it on the first day !
Ah, I'm thrilled to announce that I have received word from Reviewer Jones that Polecat Creek Cache has been approved and published ! Hmmm....wonder how long until it's found for the first time?
Well, I'm off to do a little caching myself this afternoon. I'm hoping to pick up a travel bug or two that I can move to West Texas this next weekend. Wish me luck :)
Sunday, December 25, 2005
We had a beautiful Christmas day here with a high in the upper fifties. Quite a turn around from yesterdays cold rain. I decided to take advantage of it and place my first cache. As was pointed out in an earlier post, my plan was thrown a curve ball by two new caches that were placed in the park I intended to place my cache. The rule is that no two caches can be closer than one tenth of a mile apart. The good news is that it is a big park :) My fears were for naught. I was able to place my cache where I had intended to place it and was still .2 miles from Parkwest Rocky Trail and .3 miles from Parkwest Nature Trail. I hiked into my location from the park. The descent from the park was pretty steep and rocky. Geocachers will need to be careful if the rocks are wet. Once I got past the descent it was relatively flat, but heavily wooded. Fortunately, there is something there that resembles a trail. I assume it is used by people that fish in Polecat Creek. After some hiking and bushwacking, I found a nice spot to place my cache. It had a nice view of Polecat Creek and somewhat of a tree-free sky view. That will help with GPS reception. As you can tell from the photo taken about 20 foot from the cache, the view is pretty nice. My hopes are to take people to views that they haven't seen before. After I got the cache situated, I created a waypoint using the averaging function of my GPS. The GPS collected about 500 readings over 5 minutes and averaged them. The coordinates should be pretty accurate. I hiked back out and headed home. I did make one stop to see if I could be the first to find Parkwest Rocky Trail. I hunted for it about 30 minutes but was unable to find the cache. From the cache description, I wasn't real sure exactly what I was looking for anyways. It must have been well hidden, well camoed, or my eyes are just getting old. I logged it as a DNF on Geocaching.com. I'm going to get out and do some cache hunting tomorrow since Monday is our "observed" holiday at work. I'm kinda on the tail end of a chest cold and didn't feel up to much today. My real goal was to get my new cache out and I accomplished that. It has been submitted to GC.com and hopefully it will get approved soon !
I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday !
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Well, I had hoped to get out and do some geocaching, but the rain put a stop to that. I'm sure that there are a lot of geocachers that are not stopped by rain, but I'm not one of them. I don't mind being cold, but cold and wet is a whole other story! I can tell I'm addicted to geocaching by the way I have been sitting here all day clicking the refresh button on the radar web page :) It does appear that it will soon end, but with it already being 4PM, I doubt that I will get out to cache today. No worries, tomorrow is forecast to be much nicer that it was today. If I'm lucky, I will get my cache placed and find a few caches while I'm out tomorrow. Yes, I'm gonna go geocaching on Christmas Day.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, or what ever you celebrate this time of the year. I was going to be in West Texas with my family, but due to unforseen circumstances, I will spend the holiday here in Tulsa. I'm not complaining because I am here with my wonderful wife and the two dogs so it will be a great Christmas. I will, however, miss seeing my neices and the rest of my family opening presents tonight.
Go easy on the eggnog tonight !
EDIT: Geez, you would think I had been hitting the eggnog by looking at my spelling !!
Friday, December 23, 2005
bummer. As I stated in my post last night, I was scared that someone had placed a cache near where I was going to place mine this weekend. I was releived to see that it wasn't in the same spot. I was wrong. It is exactly where I had chosen to place my first cache !! Well, now I'm bummed out. I think there still may be a spot where I can place a cache and be okay with the .1 of a mile rule. I will have to check and see tomorrow. If not, I have another idea but I'm not sure it will work....dang it !
Hop on over to Adventures in Geocaching for a review of some of the more popular geocaching software packages ! Here is a direct link to the reviews. If you are considering going paperless, you need this information.
In other news, I'm looking forward to getting some caching in this weekend as well as placing my first cache. I wonder how long it takes to get a cache approved?
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Due to unexpected circumstances, my trip to be home with my family got cancelled. Well...not exactly cancelled, but moved a week. I'll get to celebrate Christmas over the New Year's weekend. I guess on the plus side, I will get to place my first cache this weekend. I finally got it painted, loaded and ready to go. I've already got the general location of where I want to place the cache. I got a little nervous tonight when I looked at my weekly notification from Geocaching.com because a local cacher had placed several new caches here in Jenks. I'm goingto have to get a move on or I will lose my location ! The good news is that it will be a nice weekend for late December. It is supposed to get up in the 60's. Should be nice weather for caching !
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
After a very stressful day at work, it is nice to be home with the wife and two dogs to do a little work on my first cache. I've got all the stuff (geocachers call it swag) that I am going to place in the cache and I'm just putting the final touches on the paint job. I think everyone will really enjoy the cache as I have some cool stuff to place in it. I've taken kids and adults into mind when gathering the items for the cache. The larger 50 cal ammo box is really nice in that you can place some larger items in the box such as DVDs and books. To top it off, I have a great FTF (first to find) prize for the cache. It should be a nice cache for geocachers to find. I've really put a lot of thought and work into it.
Putting a cache together is probably the easist aspect of placing a cache. The hard part is finding a place to put the cache one you put it together. Fortunately for me, I have already scouted out a great location for my cache. To be honest, I was quite suprised to find that there were no caches in the location I want to place mine. It is a great location with a creek running through it. There are many places along the creek to hide a cache. For some reason, no one has placed a cache there. I guess it is just good luck on my part as it is only about a half a mile from my house. It should make keeping the cache up a breeze!
I guess I will place the cache after the holidays. I am off to Texas to spend Christmas with my family in a couple of days but will be back early next week. Hopefully, I can get the cache out New Year's weekend.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
So I had some errands to run today, but I wanted to get some caching in while I was at it. Some of my errands were caching related anyway. I headed out about 10:30 this morning on a planned route that would take care of my errands and place me close to several caches along the way. The first thing I had to do was drop some bills in the mail (no fun) and then it was off to Southern Agriculture to pick up some diet dog food. Yes, I'm the proud owner of an over-weigt Dachshund who is prone to pancreatitis ! Trust me, we are working on the "over-weight" issue and it ain't easy. It is very difficult to turn down a dog with those big, sad eyes. We learned very quickly to say "no" after her first attack, though. After that mission was accomplished, I headed towards "Feed the Fowl". It was a micro cache located in a water retention area. The location was very nice as it hold quite a bit of water, has a fountain in the pond, and has a walking track around the park area. The cache holds to it's name in that there were hundreds of water fowl around. I saw gulls, several variety of ducks, and geese. I took several photos of the birds before I started looking for the cache. I searched for about 20 minutes before I finally gave up. The cache is probably still there but I just was not seeing it. I'll give it a shot another time when I have some fresh ideas on where to look.
Next, I headed for "Head Banging Rock Climber". After parking, I had a pretty good notion as to where this cache would be located. I made a short GPS guided hike to the general location. I knew right away that this one would be a challange. Stoneposse should have named this on "Head Banging Ankle Breaking Knee Trashing Rock Climber". After working my way over and through the boulders, I was able to easily locate this cache. The problem with this cache is not finding it, the problem is getting to it ! Inspite of the warning presented by the name of the cache, I still banged my head. I was glad I had a ball cap on or it might have been even more painful. I was spotted my a muggle atfter reaching the cache. He must have thought I was crazy climbing over the boulders. I don't think he had any clue what I was doing, though. I signed the log and took a photo of the Arkansas River while I was there.
The next cache was very close so I jumped back into my pickup and drove across the road to search for "Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water". This one was an easy park and grab cache with only a short walk to locate. It was a Micro as well so it only contained a log. I quickly signed the log and walked back to my truck.
My next stop was the Family Dollar Store. I wanted to shop for some items to place in my first cache. A few days ago, I picked up a 50 cal. ammo can so I have lots of space for items in my cache. Usually when I go to Family Dollar, I am looking for a specific item so I don't spend much time shopping around. I was amazed at some of the bargins to be had. They had DVDs for $1...whoda thunk it ? I ended up buying several DVDs, some nice 75 cent Hotwheels, and a few other various items that I thought would fit nicely in my cache. Oh, I had to get a log book, as well. Gotta have something for cachers to sign ! After finishing up there, I was off to find my final cache of the day.
"Best Choice" is located in a secluded park north of Glenpool. It is a pretty little park that is easy to access. The terrain is listed as 3 stars and I can see why. It isn't bad this time of the year when the creek is dry and most of the undergrowth is dead. I would hate to try this one in the late spring or summer ! I definitely got my exercise on this one. After parking the truck, I crossedthe dry stream bed and trekked into the woods. I still had some difficulty with the undergrowth. After untangling myself a couple of times, I spotted the cache sitting at the base of a tree. I opened the ammo can and the cache was in great shape. The original log book was full so someone had placed a new log book in the cache. I didn't see anything in the cache that I wanted, so I just signed the log book and left a Nascar Hotwheel.
That pretty much wrapped up my day ! Had a lot of fun and took care of my errands all at once. Logged 39 miles in 1 hour and 28 minutes.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Okay, it's not exactly snowing yet, but I hear it's gonna ! There are snow advisories and winter weather advisories just to the west of us here in Tulsa. The forecast for the next few days calls for cold weather and snow with possibly some ice on Sunday. Is that going to stop me from caching this weekend? Of course not ! Although, I'm sure it will slow me down a bit.
Actually, my main focus this weekend will be getting my first cache put together. I bought a 50 cal. ammo box and I've found a great place to hide it. There are no caches in the vicinity, so I hope it gets approved quickly. I've even come up with a really cool FTF prize. (FTF stands for First to Find.) Who ever finds the cache first gets to keep the FTF prize. Now I just gotta figure out what else to put in the cache. I have some cool books and CDs I want to include(the 50 cal. box is pretty big), but I want to find some stuff that would be neat for kids to find, as well. Plus, the box needs a good camo paint job and proper markings.
Other than that, I haven't got to do much caching this week. I haven't felt great and work has been very time consuming this week. I must be addicted as I can't wait to log a few caches !!
Monday, December 12, 2005
Took a later than normal lunch today. Ended up just down the street at Bill & Ruth's Sandwich Shop. I ate a quick bite and headed back towards work. I had my GPS with me and remembered that there was a couple of caches in a water retention area on my way back. I parked my truck and took off with my GPS in search of "Cache Meter". Unfortunately, I didn't have my print out of the cache, or the name of the cache with me; just a waypoint on my iFinder. If I would have had the info with me, I could have walked right to the cache instead of looking around. The name of the cache was a dead give away! Luckily, the second spot I checked contained the cache. I traded a lotto ticket for an ink pen and signed the log. I didn't have time to look for the other cache located there because I had to get back for a meeting. It was a great lunchtime cache as it took less than 10 minutes start to finish.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Today, we had an absolutely beautiful December day to get out and do some caching. There was little wind and the temperature was a balmy 50 something degrees. Can't complain about that in mid-December ! I swung by and picked up a friend and his two boys. He wanted to introduce them to geocaching after he and I went caching last weekend. We started the day off by going to the "Little Haikey Creek" cache. After arriving at the parking area, Jeff showed Ethan and Zak how to use the GPS. Both of them seem to be quick learners and picked up the basics of navigating with the GPS easily. After the short GPS session, we were of on our hike to the cache. It was a fairly lengthy walk and required crossing the creek. The location that we used to cross the creek had been in the shadows for the last few days and was still snowy and icy in spite of the warmer weather today. Someone had placed a steel I-beam across the creek so we didn't even get wet or muddy crossing. Once we were across, we had a pretty good idea of where the cache was located. Once Jeff and I located the hiding spot, we let the kids find it. It took a few hints and a little guidance, but they were able to sniff it out. Once I placed a travel bug and trades were made, we headed back to the car.
Our next cache was "Capture the Flag #8". Again, this was a regular size cache and required a bit of a hike. It was along a biking/walking trail and about 200 foot into the woods. Once we got throught the initial brambles, it was easy going. We got close to the waypoint and Zak eyeballed the cache. We made our trades, left a travel bug, and signed the log.
Next, we were off to find "Bluetoo". This was our longest hike of the day. The GPS showed that we were 0.2 of a mile north of the cache when we parked, but it was obviously on the south side of the highway. We started in Hunter Park and followed a biking trail to the east. After a while, the trail forked and we followed the fork under the highway. After crossing under the highway, the trail turned back to the west. Once we reached the top of the hill, we were about 40 foot north of the cache and it was an easy find after a short trek into the woods.
Our last cache was a return to "Lunchtime Cache #9". We wanted to take the boys by to see the fossils embedded in the rocks near the cache. I think they enjoyed seeing them, but they seemed to have more fun jumping from rock to rock : ) I did get a good photo of a crinoid stem that was mostly exposed. The rocks are full of crinoid stems, shells, and various other fossils.
That pretty much wrapped up our day. I had a blast. It's always more fun when you have other people along. I especially enjoyed introducing the hobby to two new people. We logged 34.2 miles in one hour and 54 minutes.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Okay, I'm a cold weather type of guy, but this is crazy. Ain't no way I'm getting out to geocache today or tomorrow. We are under a Winter Weather Advisory and it is 15 degrees with a windchill factor of 0 degrees as I type. Tomorrow is supposed to be 26 degrees with a windchill of -2 to 8 degrees. Forget that !! The good news is that it is snowing and I love snow. Oh, and it is supposed to get up into the 50's this weekend. Gotta love Oklahoma ! If you don't like the weather, just wait a bit and it will change : )
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Got out today and hit a few caches before the Bronco's game. It was quite cold and windy. The temp was around 33 with a windchill of 25 degrees. I think it had an impact on my caching as I was a little less inclined to hang out and look for a cache very long. My first find was "Circle of Life". I enjoyed the cache as the hider was very creative in placing the cache. I intended to leave Cliff Bug but forgot to do it and just signed the log.
My second find was a micro cache called "Lunchtime Cache #28". It took me a few minutes to locate as I was looking on the wrong side of the plants in the park. Once I figured that out, I quickly located the cache and signed the log.
I ended up logging 49.7 miles in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Although, not all of that was caching related as I swung by the Bass Pro Shop and bought some new shoes for work. The Bass Pro Shop is new to the Tulsa area and this was my first chance to truly look over the whole store. You could make a day of this place !
Saturday, December 03, 2005
My boss has developed an interest in geocaching so I offered to take him caching with me today. You can't blame him as I have been talking about it at work quite a bit. Before I picked him up, I had to run to a cache in Sapulpa to rescue a travel bug. The owner of the cache is moving and the cache can't remain since he is selling the property on which the cache resides. I was fortunate to get to meet the cache owner while recovering the bug. He was very hospitable and I enjoyed getting to visit with him for about 30 minutes discussing geocaching and GPSrs. After picking up "Cliff Bug", I head over to pick up my boss. He has not used a GPSr in the past, so this was an introduction to geocaching and GPSr use at the same time. I drove and he navigated.
After picking him up, I showed him how to enter the coordinates for our first cache, "Haikey Creek Cache", into the GPSr. We drove to the general location and found a parking spot. After a short trek to a wooded area, we began the search for the cache. It took us about 10 minutes and a short hike, but we located the cache. The cache was in great condition. We took nothing but signed the log and left a scratch-off lotto ticket.
Next we entered the coordinates for "The End???" It was a short drive from the first cache and you could drive right up to the cache. The cache had a great hint and we knew where to look before we even got out of my pick-up. After grabbing the cache, we signed the log and placed it back in it's original location.
Once we finished up there, we headed over to a mexican food resturant that I had not been to yet. We enjoyed a very nice, relaxing lunch before heading to the next cache.
We entered the coordinates for the next cache called "Lunchtime Cache #9". Seemed like a good cache considering we just ate lunch ! This was another park and grab type cache. It took us a few minutes to locate this one. I think maybe the coordinates are a hair off as my previous caches were dead on with my GPS. Once we located the cache, we signed the log and examined some near by rocks that were packed with crinoid stems and various other fossilized sea creatures. To me, it was the find of the day since I love rocks and fossils !
My boss had to head home at this point so I dropped him off and headed towards the house myself to get ready for my employers Christmas..er..Holiday party tonight. On the way, I thought I would hit one last cache close to the house that I have missed a couple of times due to muggles in the area. The spot was muggle free and I was able to find this micro cache called "Something Smells Fishy". It was an easy grab and a nice end to the hunt today. Timing was good as a cold front blew in and it was getting a bit cold and windy. We logged 40.6 miles in one hour and 23 minutes.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Today, I discovered that there was a geocache in the field immediately north of the building I work in. Most smokers in our company take 15 minute smoke breaks, so I figured I was entitled to a 15 minute geocache break ! I have been talking about my recent adventures in geocaching at work and knew that there were a few coworkers that might be interest. I ended up telling three coworkers to meet at my office at 3:30PM for an intra-office team building exercise. When they arrived, I told them that I was going to take them on their first geocache hunt. Their immediate responses were of concern that they might get in trouble for being away from work. I asked them if they had 15 minutes and they all said "yes". I told them that it would be no problem then. I had already entered the coordinates into my GPSr and had printed the cache page. The cache was "+". It was exactly .1 of a mile from our front door. We all donned our coats and headed out. When we were about 20 foot from the cache, I declared that the cache was in the small group of trees directly in front of us. One of my coworkers immediately walked to an out of place log and lifted it up. Sure enough, the cache was hidden below the log. We pulled the log out and signed it and traded a work related item (lanyard) for a small geode that had been left in the cache. We walked back to work and I trully think I have accomplished converting two of my coworkers into geocachers. In fact, when one of them found out I was going out tomorrow, he asked to come along for the hunt. I wish I would have had my camera with me, but no such luck. We had a blast and found a neat cache in the process. Even better, we were only gone 15 minutes and no one missed any of us. Of course, one of them was my boss so I was at little risk anyways : )