Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone is doing well and ready for the new year. I was hoping to do a bit of caching this weekend but the weather may not cooperate. It is raining cats and dogs right now. It is supposed to clear up tomorrow, though. I have my latest pocket query loaded in GSAK and my waypoints downloaded to my iFinder just in case.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Okay, I couldn't stand it. I was sitting at cache number 99 after yesterday's caching. I just had to get out today and get number 100. It was Lake Front which ironically is only less than a mile from my home. I am not sure why I haven't done this cache so close to my home, but it seems fitting that it turned out to be my 100th cache.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Caching We Will Go.....

Finally....Team ARC -1 got out and hit some caches. Mike swung by and picked me up and we headed out to pick up a couple of supplies before we started. In the process, we got a call from Mike's brother-in-law and he wanted to go with us. So, we swung back by Mike's house and picked Mark up. Mark is in from Arkansas visiting for the holidays. As we were headed back into Bixby, I saw a cache on my GPS so we headed that way. We got there and started looking around, but didn't see a cache. I pulled up the cache via the WAP website at and quickly realized that there was no cache there. It was false coordinates for a puzzle cache.

With that, we jumped back in the car and headed towards Bixby. Our first cache was R U Nuts. We quickly located it and signed the log. Next up was Bixby Cache #6. This was a micro and we quickly located it and signed the log. We then headed to a cache called Golden Arches that had foiled us earlier in the year, but we wanted to try again. This time, we brought along once of those mirrors on a pole that mechanics us. With our handy new tool, we were able to locate this one this time and sign the log. Our last stop was OBI-One. This one was quite a hike in and, of course, we took the hard way in through the brambles. The cache was quickly located and we made our trades. We followed the trail back out and walked to the car.

We were cold and ready for a break at this point, so we headed to Mazzio's and enjoyed a little pizza before wrapping things up. I'm sitting at 99 caches so I feel certain that I will need to get out and grab number 100 before I return to work on Tuesday. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Wow...I have really neglected my blog!! I didn't forget, I just haven't had anything to say. To be honest, I have been so tied up with work that I just have not had time to participate in my photography or my geocaching. Actually, I have been taking some photos, but I haven't uploaded anything lately. I will take care of that this weekend.

I have to admit, I did sell my Lowrance H2O GPSr. My intent was to pick up a color unit as soon as it cooled off and I could start caching again. To make a long story short, cash has been short and I never got to where I could pick up my H2OC. However, I did get on eBay this last week and did some hard shopping. I hate to brag, but I ended up getting one hell of a deal. I walked away with an iFinder Pro for only $72. It is like brand new to boot. Additionally, it came with the software, card reader, and a CF card. I'm pretty proud of my purchase. It is not a color unit like I wanted, but I can at least start caching again. Team ARC rides again on Saturday. Look for a narrative.

Monday, September 18, 2006


sorry for the lack of post lately!! I haven't had much time to do anything recently including my photography. The good news is that it is cooling of and I plan on getting out and shooting some with the camera. It is also cool enough to do a little geocaching. I am looking to upgrade my GPS. I am seriouly considering getting the H2O Color. I have really enjoyed my H2O but color would be very useful. Since my accessories are Lowrance based, it just makes sense to stick with them for a color GPS.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I came across a really neat store today that sells geocaching related items. If you have a minute, be sure to visit them! The store is called CacherStash. They sell everything from GPS units to ziplock bags. They also sell the always vital caching containers. Best of all, they have great prices!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Okay, I have upgraded to the new beta Blogger. I will be working on moving all my new links over to the new format tonight. I was ready for a new look anyways and this seemed like a good opportunity.

Oh, by the way, I have a new Olympus 35mm Macro lens on the way as I type. Look for new macro photos here in the near future!!

Edit: I reverted back to the old template for my blog. Until they allow raw HTML editing, I will stick with the old set-up. It is was to difficult to go back and add all my links with the new system!

Fourth of July

I just noticed that I haven't posted any photos from the festivities held at my parent house on the fourth. I guess that I wasn't as happy with the shots as I expected, but I still got some nice captures. I expect that next year will result in better photos as I will have more experience with the camera!! If I haven't mentioned it lately, I love my Olympus E-300.

This was an interesting shot just because of the multiple components. I caught the moon, a star, a car, and the firework. It was one of those that spun upwards and exploded. I wish I would have caught everything in the frame!


Monday, August 14, 2006

Newish Photos

Thought I would post a few photos today. It has been WAY to hot to least, for me it has been!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


I seem to have had good luck with catching cooler weather on the weekends lately. This has resulted in my taking over 1000 photos with my Olympus E-300: mostly at the Tulsa Zoo. I've been pretty impressed with the zoo here. Granted, it is no Dallas Zoo or Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, but it is far better than I would have expect for a city the size of Tulsa. I have especially enjoyed the Wings of Wonder butterfly display. It is so soothing to be in an exhibit with hundreds of butterflies of every color flitting around you. I have capture the best butterfly photos of my amateur career here.


I spent most of last Saturday walking around the Tulsa Zoo taking photos. I have two lenses for my E-300. I have the 14-45mm zoom lens and the 40-150mm zoom lens so I am effectively covered from 14-150mm. With the Olympus 4/3rds digital system, you have a 1.9x factor so the 35mm equivilant is 28mm to 300mm (11x zoom). Needless to say, in a zoo enviroment, my larger zoom lens spends all it's time attached to the camera so that I can get the close-up photos I want. I do not have a macro lens as of yet, but as you can tell in the photo above, the 150mm lens does a pretty good job of getting in nice an close even though I was about 10 foot away from this butterfly.

The lens also lets me get up-close and person with animals. This lends itself to photos that are very personal.


It also allows me to catch so nice action shots.


All in all, I have been very impressed with the Olympus E-300 and the lenses. I've only had the camera about a month and my photos seem to be continually improving as I learn the camera. Oh, if you are ever in the Tulsa area, be sure to drop by and visit our zoo! You will be glad you did.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Okay, I know...

this is a geocaching blog, but you're going to have to put up with it being a photography blog for a little while. Why? Because it is too damn hot to geocache!! No, I'm not a weenie, but I do have Multiple Sclerosis and because of that, I am very heat sensitive. Therefore, in the summer, I can do outside stuff only on particularly cool days or I have to do things in very small segments for very short periods of time.

In light of all of this, you won't see much on geocaching for a while. But, I will keep the site active by sharing my photography! We did have a cooler day this last Saturday and I did get out and visit the zoo so I will share some of the photos I took.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Must Apologize....

for not posting in a while. Work has been insane and I have had to spend a lot of my weekend time working so I have not got to do any caching in a while. We actually intended to get out this last weekend and had a miscommunication that resulted in our not getting to cache. Hopefully, we can squeeze in some time for caching this upcoming weekend, although, I may end up having to work again.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I Really Intended....

to get out and geocache some this weekend! Unfortunately, it didn't happen. I'm a geocaching loser :) Actually, it was hotter than a...well, we've all heard the naughty comparisons so I will just say it was hot and humid. It is going to be a miserable summer. One of the symptoms of my MS is increased heat sensitivity. When you live in the south, that just sucks. Oh well, I figure I am stuck here for the time being.

Even thought I did not get to geocache today, I did spend a lot of the weekend researching my new camera. Most of everything that I have read about the Olympus E-300 has been very positive. I am really looking forward to receiving the camera! I have been doing the photography thing since I was very young. I got my first SLR camera, a Minolta XG-1, when I was 15. This will be my first DSLR camera. I am getting it only 25 years later. Bummer, I wish I hadn't thought of it that way. I still can't believe that I am 40.

Oh well, I will have a blast with the E-300!

Friday, May 19, 2006

It is a done deal...

Well, first and foremost, let me apologize for the lack of geocaching related post as of late. I have been quite busy lately and just have not had a chance to goecache. Yes, that sucks. I am going to at least try to catch a few caches this weekend, though. I would have liked to get Team ARC together for a good day of caching but real life has interfered with that. Maybe next weekend?

As for this weekend, I will get out and get a couple of caches on my own. Back to the title of this post! After much wheeling and dealing, I have sold a bunch of my stuff that was lying around doing nothing. The end result is that I have ordered my Olympus Evolt E-300. It should be here around the end of next week. I got a great deal and I am very excited about getting my new camera. It include the body and two lenses so it should meet my needs for a long time. I am determined to actually start making some money from my photography now that I have a professional camera. A lot of people who look at my photos at my photography website ask me why I don't sell my images. I guess I have always just did it for fun. That will soon change, though.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Camera Upgrade...

Well, I've finally decided to upgrade my camera. What does that mean? It means that I must sell my old camera, my iPod, and my Palm TX along with the accessories for all of the above. Hopefully, I will end up with enough to purchase an Olympus E-300 DSLR. I am very hesitant to take this step as my Sony DSC-V1 is the best camera that I have ever owned!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

We need rain but.....

I'm ready for a break !!! I was in St. Louis all week on a work related trip. It was a great trip for many reasons. I loved the drive up and back. There was a lot of beautiful scenery. We always have the option of flying on trips of this length but if we are going somewhere I have not been before, I really prefer driving if it is a less than 8 hour drive. St. Louis was only about 6 hours for us. Not only do you get to see new sights, but you have a vehicle for exploring and caching. The bad news is that I was about an hour into the trip when I realized that I had forgot my GPS! Bummer...after all that work getting my caches for St. Louis and the trip there downloaded to my GPS, I left it in my truck.

I still had the hope that I could cache this weekend, but alas, it has rained all weekend. It actually flooded while I was gone. The worst news of all was that a levee broke near the Bass Pro shop and apparently the place sustained some damage. I will have to drop by and place flowers near the building tomorrow. Surely, my fellow hunters, fishermen, and outdoors types have set up a shine of mourning.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Geocaching Withdrawals...

We had a crazy week at work. Our national auditors were in town Monday through Thursday. Overall, the audit went great. We had no system findings and only six observations. I don't think I can recall a time when we have no system findings. The department I manage had no observations and no findings. My group did an excellent job and I was very proud of them. The only bad thing was that the days were long and I had no chance to even think about caching.

No problem, there is always the weekend ! Well, if it were not pouring down rain, that might be the case. I am not going to complain much, though. We have a serious rainfall deficiet right now and we need every drop. I think we have been under red flag warnings and burn bans since the start of the year.

If the forecast holds, I may be able to do some caching tomorrow. It might be a bit muddy since it has been raining since mid-day yesterday. I'll take it though !

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Mike and I had to go into work today. We have our national auditors coming in next week and an important computer upgrade this weekend. We worked about 2 hours today and were able to get out and cache for a while.

My intent was to see how my Blackberry worked out in the field compared to my Palm TX. Unfortunately, I think my Palm TX was the clear winner when it comes to caching! Although I felt the Blackberry did okay, the Palm definitely had a leg up because the Palm TX shows pictures and maps where the Blackberry is text only when it comes to caches.

Edit- Sorry about all the typos! Also, I should add that I was on the WAP site for so pictures will not show up. If I go to the full site with the Blackberry, the photos do show but the pages are hard to navigate. I am still looking at options to make the best of caching on the Blackberry. If I do stick with a Palm, I will probably sell the TX and get an older, lower end Palm. I don't need all the features of the TX just for caching.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Sorry I never posted a follow-up to my Blackberry post. We had intended to go caching last Sunday, but it didn't happen. I felt like I was coming down with a chest cold or something so I opted to stay home and rest. We are going to get out this weekend, though. I'm not sure how much caching we will get to do as we have to work, but we will get some done. I'd really like to hit the 100 mark. Surely, we can find 7 caches close to work :D

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Blackberry 7290...

I just got a Blackberry 7290 yesterday. How much that has to do with geocaching is yet to be seen. I really never intended or wanted to get one, but when your boss "recommends" that you get one, you do as told. At least, that is the way things work in my life! I have to admit, it is very convienient to get my mail instantly and not have to worry about logging on to the work server to check my mail all the time. Since I am a gadget guy, I have spent the last 24 hour reading reviews, playing with software, and learning about my new toy. I've even logged into and bookmarked the WAP site to see how thiat works. As long as you have the CG number available on your GPS (as I do), it seems like it would be very nice to access cache information this way. I don't know if the Blackberry will replace my Palm TX yet, though. I do know that I probably won't be carrying the Palm to work anymore. After I got everything synced up with the BES, all my Calendar and Task items were on the Blackberry; not to mention all my Contacts. In other words, my brain is now available on two devices and I would rather just carry one of them. The fact that one also is a phone and has a QWERTY keyboard makes it the easy choice. Anyone need a Palm TX?

What I do need to determine is if the Blackberry can replace the Palm when it comes to caching. It is very nice to be able to download all the cache info to my Palm and have it available at a whim when I am out caching. I will probably take both devices out tomorrow and see how the Blackberry performs when it comes to pulling cache info. I am concerned about signal availability while in the woods and remote locations. What I will probably end up doing is selling my TX and replacing it with an older Palm like the M505 as I no longer need the wireless and bluetooth capability of the TX.

Oh, did I mention that work also bought me a bluetooth headset? I got a Motorola H585 Bluetooth headset to use with my Blackberry. I have to admit, it is pretty cool. The Blackberry is a bit of a brick and it is a pain to have to use as a phone. It looks like you are talking into a calculator. The headset is great in that you just leave the phone holstered and press a button on the headset to answer. So far, I am really impressed at how well the set-up works. I'll let you know how it does out geocaching tomorrow!

Sunday, April 09, 2006


In the past, I have mentioned hiking to find a cache. Today, I truly had to hike for a couple of caches! Mike picked me up today at about 1030. There was a cache close by that I have wanted to try for some time. I put it off because it was quite a walk to retrieve this cache. Today, we decided to give it a go. We arrived at the Turkey Mountain Wildlife Preserve at about 10:50. We started our hike and immediately realized that we were going to have to climb Turkey Mountain to access the cache. I'm a bit out of shape so it took us about 45-55 minutes to reach the cache. Once we were there, it took another 10 minutes to locate the cache. The cache was "The Tulsa Thanksgiving Cache" and it is one of the older caches in our area. I was excited to find this cache as it is not your usual park and grab cache. We didn't take anything from the cache, but we did add to it.

While we were in the park, we decided to go ahead and grab the other cache located there. The cache was "CTF VI". This cache was MUCH more difficult to access. To reach the first cache, we had to ascend about 270 feet and walk .5 miles. This cache required another .3 of a mile and a very steep descent. It also required some fancy foot work to reach as there was a narrow ledge with a big drop if you lost your footing. Mike quickly retrieved the cache and brought it to a safe place to inspect. He lost his footing once and scared the crap out of me....he said he did it on purpose but I don't know !! After that, be has .9 of a mile hike out. These caches are my favorite, so far. It was truly a beauitful location and it provided some great exercise. Here is a map of our hike.

Once this was done, we headed to Wendy's to grab a bite of lunch. After that long hike, it was great to sit down and eat! Oh, another thing, today was the first time out with my new fanny pack. Yesterday, I was browsing online and discovered that The Bass Pro Shop had RedHead fanny packs on sale for nearly 50% off. I ran over to our local shop and grabbed one for $14.88. It has over 400 CIs of storage and two 21oz water bottles. Last night I washed out the bottles and filled them with water. I then stuck them in the fridge. I was SO glad to have them with me today on that long hike. It is also very nice to have a lot of storage. The thing has multiple compartments and I was able to organize all my stuff before caching today.

We ended up finding 4 more caches today bringing my total number of caches to 93. I shoud break 100 over the next week! I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I'll post soon.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

My Apologies....

for not posting lately !! I had one heck of a week this week. After taking six days of vacation and nearly dying from the flu (not really, just felt like it) I ended up WAY behind at work. You take that plus the fact that I had 25 meetings this last week and I haven't had any time to post. I'm always amazed that I can get any work done at work with the number of meetings I have to attend. Amazingly, most of our meetings at work are productive. Now, I just need to figure out how to make all of them productive or eliminate the one's that aren't.

Enough about work. Let's talk about geocaching! Mike and I are going caching tomorrow. Robert is out of town and cannot join us. Tomorrow is supposed to be a wonderful 72 degrees and partly cloudy. Sounds like a great day to geocache to me. :) I'm setting at 87 finds at the moment. Yes, that means I only need 13 caches to hit 100! We are hitting the road at 10:30 in the morning, so I intend to hit a milestone tomorrow. I would be thrilled to hit 100. That would be 100 finds in less than 5 months. Not a record by any means, but it would thrill me, none the less.

I'll let you know how it went tomorrow evening. Hope everyone has a great weekend and finds lots of caches !

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Flu Season?.....

Sorry I haven't posted in a while! I went on vacation for a week and when I returned, I didn't feel so hot. In fact, I've been home since the 27th of March and have yet to completely unpack from my trip! In spite of the fact that I got a flu shot for the first time in my life, I seem to have got the flu for the first time in my life (at least, that I know of). I'm not knocking getting a flu shot, I just happened to get exposed to a strain that wasn't covered by the vaccine. Today is the first day that I've actually felt like getting on the computer and blogging. I still feel a little under the weather, but I am SO much better than I was just four days ago.

First and foremost, if you are interested in the history of geocaching, head over to Adventures in Geocaching and check out John's two part article. It is a great read on the history of the sport that has captivated many! John has a great blog and if your not a regular reader, you should be :)

Second, I's like to tell you about my caching experience in Lubbock while I was on vacation. I always enjoy visiting my family in Texas. This time, I wanted to incorperate my hobby with my trip. Using my previously discussed method, I prepared for my trip. I had all the caches within 5 miles of my route downloaded to my GPSr and my Palm TX. Unfortunately, I got a late start leaving Tulsa and did not get to cache on the way down to Lubbock. Much of the trip was in the dark and I'm not to the point where I am comfortable caching after dark yet. I wasn't too worried as there was always the trip back.

My plan was to cache heavily on Friday the 24th as most of my family would be at work and I would have little to do anyways. Friday morning rolled around and my father woke my up. I knew something was wrong as he was not dressed for work and it was already 08:30. I got up and got dressed and wandered to the kitchen. Dad explained that Mom had been up sick all night. It looked like she had a bad stomach virus or something along those lines. Fortunately, both my brother and I have an extensive medical background. My brother is an RN active in emergency medicine. We have him come by and we were able to start an IV on mom and get some phenergan on board via the IV. Through the day we infused a couple of bags of fluid and I gave her a couple more doses of phenergan. Needless to say, I didn't even try to go caching. The good news is that we kept her hydrated and was able to quickly recover. The next morning she was up cooking breakfast for us.

Dad wanted to see what this "geocaching thing" was all about so we loaded up the GPS and my PDA and hit the road Saturday morning. The first cache we went for was a couple of miles from my parent house and had not yet been found. There were a couple of DNFs so I wasn't too hopeful. After about twenty minutes, I coupld see that dad wasn't having very much fun so I decided to wrap it up and head for a cache that had a good history. This cache was out in the middle of a drainage area. It was a short walk through a prairie dog area to get to the cache. They were not happy to see us. Those things "barked" at us the whole time. I had no idea that prairie dogs had become so prevelant around Lubbock. When I was a kid growing up in Lubbock, it took some work to actually see prairie dogs. Now they are everywhere! I digress...My dad was the first to spot the likely hiding spot of the cache and he was right. I pulled the cache out and we looked through the swag and signed the log. we hiked back up to my truck and headed out to find the next cache about 1/2 a mile away. We were able to park about 100 foot from this cache. We got out and walked up to where the H2O was leading us. Again, we searched for about 20 minutes to no avail. Hmmm....this was a bit discouraging! We decided to try one more.

Off we went to locate "Western Progress". This cache had a recent history of finds so I was pretty sure we would locate it is it was there. This one was located in a drainage area as well and required a good walk around the retention pond to access. Actually, some people had driven right up to the cache, but one of the reasons I cache is for the exercise so we elected to walk. Like the other retention pond cache, we were able to quickly locate this cache and log our find. We had been gone about an hour at this point and I think both dad and I were anxious to go home and check on mom so we headed back after batting 500 for the day.

It's interesting how different caching is from one locale to another. Here in Tulsa, we are very saturated with caches. This is a good thing. In Lubbock, the caches are pretty spread out. I think it has a lot to do with the ability to hide caches. If you have ever been to Lubbock, you understand. There just are not as many opportunities to hide regular size caches as there are in Tulsa. A green ammo can would stick out like a sore thumb in most places. Another aspect that suprised me was how easy caching in Lubbock was. Here in Tulsa, I am used to pretty interesting terrain, fight thorns, and heavy undergrowth. In Lubbock, my experience was you are able to just walk right up to caches. The hider must be very capable to hide caches in these conditions.

Needless to say, I wasn't feeling well on my way home and didn't hit any caches on the way back. I have a lot of PTO built up already so I'm sure I will be going back to Lubbock soon. Hopefully, I will get to spend much more time caching on my next trip !! In the mean time, maybe if I feel good enough tomorrow, I will go caching.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Headed Southwest

Well, I'm headed to Lubbock tomorrow ! I'm not sure if I will get any caching done on the way down because I will end up leaving late. However, I do plan on some major caching once I get to Lubbock. My dad is working Friday, so I will be able to get out and cache most of the day Friday. I have also committed to taking my brother and my neices caching on Saturday.

If all else fails, I will cache my way home on Monday. I look forward to seeing my family and caching in Texas as much as I can !!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Return to Winter....

Wow, you never stop being amazed at Oklahoma weather ! I had hopes of getting out and geocaching this last weekend, in spite of the fact that there was a high percentage chance of rain. It's Oklahoma so if they are calling for a 100% chance of rain, chances are, it won't rain. Now, if there is only a slight chance....look out, it's coming a gully washer.

Well, they were right this time :( It has rained for three solid days now. Not that we didn't desperately need the rain, but that combined with the highs in the 40's definitely kept me indoors. All that said, some crazy people from SW Oklahoma came up for the TAG monthly meeting and found like 40 caches ! They are tougher than I.

On an even weirder note, it is supposed to snow tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday night. I don't think I've ever seen snow this late in the season here in the 13 years I've been here. Of course, it has yet to happen at this juncture.

I'm taking some vacation time later this week. I plan on heading southwest to visit my parents and brothers in Lubbock on Thursday. Of course, I plan on plotting an ARC and letting GSAK do it's thing. I probably won't do much caching on the way down, but once I get there, I will cache. I also plan on caching my way back to Tulsa. Hope everyone has a great week !!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Road Trip...

Well, not really. Road trip implies fun and this was a work trip. Not that I didn't have fun, I just didn't have as much fun as I would have if it had not been a work trip. Being that I only had time to do two caches in three days, I obviously was working too much. All that said, I drove down to Dallas Monday and returned to Tulsa today. I was determined to get a cache in Texas so that I could add another state to my map :D. Not to mention, I am a Native (yes, capitalized) Texan and it is a shame to be approaching 100 caches without a single Texas cache under my belt! I know, people get tired of how proud Texans can be but we can't help it. I can't, anyway. I spent the first 23 years of my life there. I would hope that most people are proud of their home and heritage.

The good news is that I won't hit 100 with only one Texas cache. I am returning to Texas next week on a true road trip to visit my family and I intend to do some serious caching around Lubbock. That reminds me, I need to run a Pocket Query for the area.

One good thing about this trip was that it gave me my first real opportunity to "cache along a route". As many post as you see on the geocaching forums about this topic, I assumed it was very difficult to do this. I couldn't have been more wrong. With the help of my already eastablished paperless method and a single website, it turned out to be quite painless. I had done some research and knew that I needed to use the ARC method and GSAK to isolate caches close to my route of travel. I also needed to have the caches along my route downloaded to GSAK.

I'll start with getting the caches loaded to GSAK. The easiest method I was able to find was to do PQs using zipcodes along my route. In other words, I looked at a map and wrote down the towns along the route. I googled the town names for zipcodes. For example, my search on google would be "Atoka zipcode". After gathering the zipcodes, I created pocket queries using these zipcodes that overlapped each other by setting the PQ search radius. Once this was done, I dropped the GPX files into GSAK and wallaa. (This really is less painful than it looks)

Next you need to filter using the ARC method. In GSAK, this basically means you need to copy and paste a list of coordinates into the filter under the ARC tab. Where do you get this list of coordinates, you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked that question because I have the answer. One way is to use MS Streets and Trips. Personally, I don't own that software so I used option number two. This involves heading over to Golden Horseshoe Geocachers website and loading up the ARC Builder page. This is an interactive map that allows you to click and create points along your route. Once you have all your points you want on the route, click on GPX File and you have what you need. Just copy and paste these coordinates and run the filter. I was amazed that it was this easy. Of course, I'm a computer geek so it seemed easy to me.

Back to the trip. On the way down, I was suprised at how sparse caches were through areas south of Tulsa. Of course, I did have my limit set to 5 miles from my path of travel. I guess I just expected more caches along a major hiway. I noticed an easy to snag cache in Calera Oklahoma, so I wandered of the beaten path by about 100 yards and grabbed "SCIFI-Stuff". That was it for that day as it was soon dark.

Today, I was preparing to depart Dallas to head home for Tulsa and I noticed that there was a cache about 2 blocks from work. It was "All by my Lonesome". I cruised over an judging by the name, it was obvious where the cache was located. I walked up to the cache, signed the log, and headed home. I feel much better now :)

Needless to say, I am very excited about the thought of geocaching around my old stomping grounds. The cache density is nothing like here in Tulsa, but it will keep me busy while I'm there. I would like to introduce some of my family to the sport at the same time. I'm sure my neices will love caching and I can't help but thinking my brother will like it as well since he is a gadget guy like me. If not, his wife is an IT person and I know she like gadgets !


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Beautiful Day to Geocache !!

We finally got out and did some caching today. Team ARC consisted of Robert, Mike and me today. We got started around 10:30 and we were able to find 3 caches in about 15 minutes right off the bat. The bad news is that I torqued the hell out of my knee on one cache. It was listed as a 4/4 and they were not lying. Between my knee and the pint of blood I lost from the thorns, I think it may need to be listed as a 5 on terrain !!

We ended up with 8 finds and 1 hide today. It was our first hide as a team and I hope to see it listed soon. I didn't find any pins today. I seem to have started a bit of a collection. My wife bought my a cork board to place them on along with my wooden geonickels. Well, I take that back...I did find one pic, but it was very religious and I ended up not taking it. I did find something cool today, though. At two of the caches we visited, we found some handmade pottery things. They were little ashtray type things painted in rainbow colors. I thing they were made by a younger person, but it was cool to find something handmade so I grabled both of them to add to my collection of stuff. Not sure what I will use them for but I like them :)

The weather was interesting today. It was warm...80ish..but we also had some thunderstorms in the area so there was some occassional sprinkles to cool us off. Most of the heavier storms were to the east so we just caught the edges. Hope everone has a great weekend. I am working from home tomorrow so my weekend is pretty much over. I have to head to Dallas on Monday, as well to meet with my counterpart for Texas. Should end up being a busy week, but I plan on catching a a cache or two while I'm there. I've already downloaded the caches in the area and just need to put the waypoints on my GPS.

Oh yeah, we also hid our first team cache today !!! It is called TARC Cache #1. Hopefully it will see approval in the near future.


Friday, March 10, 2006

It's On....

We have officially scheduled and planned a geocaching outing for tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be beautiful and I cannot think of anything that could possibly get in the way of our caching trip tomorrow ! Now to sit down with GSAK, my Palm TX, and my Lowrance H2O and get ready for the outing. I've downloaded my PQ, loaded it into GSAK and should be ready to transfer everything. Yes, I'm psyched about going caching tomorrow :D

On a related topic, I think I have become addicted to geocoins. My collection has grown to 5 metal geocoins and 3 wooden geonickels. I even participated in my first trade this week. I traded an Oklahoma TAG coin for a PCFrog coin. What was really cool was I traded with someone in the Netherlands, no less ! I've seen many people on the forums talking about geocoins and I really never understood the craze. Then I ordered my first geocoin, the Texas Bluebonnet coin designed by a fellow Texan names Chris Crake and when it arrived, I knew it was all over but the crying. I was hooked from the start. It will be hard to find a coin more beautiful than the Bluebonnet, but I will do my best to try ! Honestly, if you are going to collect something, it is hard to beat geocoins as most are around $10. It is an affordable hobby and some of these things end up worth a lot of money. I saw one on eBay go for almost $300 recently. Of course, I won't be bidding on coins like that but I will by new ones as they are issued for seven to ten dollars. The real fun is buying two and trading the second coin for another coin.

I will try to post some photos of my geocoins soon.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Happy Birthday...

to me :D Yes, I just had a birthday yesterday. It was one of the big one's, no less. I turned 40 years old. I'm officially past the half way point according to most statisitics. I want to be bummed out about that, but for some reason, I'm not. I think the average age of death for men is like 78 years old, which, of course would indicate that I am more than half way there. I guess I am pretty happy with my life up to this point. I was a Paramedic for 8 years out of high school. I moved to Tulsa to go to flight school because I wanted to be a pilot. I had spent a couple of years as a flight medic prior to that and it seemed like a natural progression to me, at the time. To be honest, I had wanted to be a pilot most all of my life. My dream was to be an Air Force pilot, but I never really pursued that because I had asthma so bad as a child and didn't think I had a chance.

Once I decided to pursue it through the private industry, I was very successful. After only three years, I had my private, instrument, commercial and CFI ratings. Of course, it was to good to be true. I started having neurological problems shortly there after and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That was the end of a dream for me. I could no longer legally fly an aircraft. I was afraid I would be bitter about it, but I never was. In the long run, I always felt that I was quite priviliged to have just have gone through the training and have spent so much time flying. My Dad once asked me if I regreted spending so much on my training when I couldn't use it and I had to tell him that I did not. I am very fortunate to have got to fufill my dream of becoming a pilot. Even if it was short lived, I accomplished something that I never thought I would accomplish.

What does this have to do with my birthday, you ask? My friends took me out the other night to celebrate and I sliiped out for a few minutes. While I was outside, an MD-80 passed overhead. At that moment, it truly hit me that I was not where I had planned to be at this point in my life. It hit me that I would never reach the goals that I had set out for myself 15 years ago.

None the less, I am so fortuante to be doing something I love. I have reached somewhere I never saw myself reaching with the company I work for today. In spite of my bad luck...I am very lucky.

All that said, I am going geocaching this weekend, come hell or high water !

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Ugh....I didn't even try to cache this weekend ! My friends took me out for my 40th birthday and I just kinda sat around and chilled this weekend.

I did watch a cool movies this weekend, though ! I watched "I walk the line" which is a movie about Johnny Cach and June Carter. It is a must see, in my opinion !

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Is it Friday Yet ?

I REALLY need to go geocaching ! It has been too long. We had two weekends of bad weather and this last weekend, I was too busy to cache. I am really looking forward to getting out this weekend and doing some caching. It will be good for my soul. Work has been hell lately and I need a break so regardless of the weather, I will find some caches this weekend.

On a completely different note, I ran across this survey on another blogger's website and had to take it. Needless to say, I scored well.

I am nerdier than 98% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Oh well, I always knew I was a nerd, so I'm not surprised.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Helmut Mueller

I just wanted to share a post I made to the forums tonight. it is one of the hardest post I have ever had to make. It concerns the death of a fellow geocacher:

Although I frequent the forums, I somehow missed that this had happened. When I read the first post, I was at a loss for words and nearly in tears even though I never had the pleasure of meeting this man and his family.

Even though I never met Helmut, I joined about the same time that he did and I have read his post for years and viewed the photos he posted in his gallery. I felt as though I knew him and I felt as though I knew his family. I took the time tonight to read each and every response in this thread and I now feel that I can talk about this. It is truly amazing how easy it is to become familiar with someone (and even feel close to them) via the internet. This has caused me to think back on everyone who I have met through the internet and even back to those from the BBS days and remember the impact that people have had on my life through computer communication. There are so many people that have been part of my life that I have never had the chance to shake their hand or share a laugh with. I am saddened by this but at the same time, I know that my life has been unmeasurably enriched because of their presence in my life even though it was not a physical presence. I am a better person because of people like Helmut.

To Ashley and Family- please know that your father touched many people. The number can never be measured because so many people have come and gone through, but I know if they spent anytime in the forums, they were impacted in some way by Helmut's post. Even if it was just learning something from what he posted, we were impacted. Please take strength from knowing how important he was to the geocaching community.

As I turn 40 in a couple of weeks. Helmut will definitely be on me mind. I am so fortunate to still have my father in my life. I grieve at your loss. There are no words that can make this any easier for you.

Friday, February 24, 2006


A fellow blogger recently emailed me about a website that I was not aware existed. THat may seem trivial, but I pride myself on researching my hobbies, so I'm a little suprised that this one was missed by me. Head over to Adventures in Geocaching and read about the website here. I have just glanced over the site and I'm very impressed so far !

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lookin' Good

This weekend is shaping up to be a good weather weekend for some geocaching. I think we are going to be able to get Team ARC out in some fashion this weekend. At a minimum, Mike and I should be able to cache. I'm ready after having miserable weather for two weekends straight! Actually, I love winter weather and I'm not really complaining, but I would have liked to have geocached, as well. This last weekend was impossible. It snowed and sleeted about 3 inched Saturday and Sunday. I know some cachers that would have got out in that, but I'm not one of them :D

We are supposed to be in the mid-50's all weekend, so hopefully, we will get some geocaches unter out belts this weekend. I will update everyone on what we do. I'm going to do my best not to forget my camera this time !

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Paperless Geocaching Premium Style

Earlier, I told you how to do paperless geocaching for free. It is relatively simple but it has a lot of steps involved. Since it was a little cumbersome, I decided to poney up some money and try to make paperless caching a little less painless. I have to tell you, it is well worth the money if you have it !

First, let me say there are several ways to go about paperless caching. It will mostly be a matter of taste and a matter of how much you can or want to spend. I will admit, I haven't bought some of the programs I would still like to try to make things even easier, but, the system I'm now using is much better than the free system.

You will need to accomplish several things before you can use this system.

1. You will need a Premium Membership at ($30)
2. Next you will need a program called GSAK. (I have not registered GSAK yet, but will soon be doing so) ($15)
3. You need a program to get your cache pages to you Palm device. I use Plucker Desktop. (Free)
4. You will need a program to read you files once they are on you Palm. I use Plucker. (Free)
5. As an alternative to Plucker and Plucker Desktop, you can use CacheMate. ($8)

Once you have you premium membership, install GSAK, install Plucker Desktop and place Plucker on your PDA, you are ready for paperless caching ! The first thing you will need to do is set up a pocket query at There are lots of articles on how to do that so I won't bore you here. Once this is done, the PQ will be delivered to you email address. Be sure to have your PQ sent to you in zip format. Once it arrives, you will want to fire up GSAK. Open the zip file containing your PQ. Depending on how you set up you PQ, you will have 2-3 files included. You will need to drag and drop the larger gpx file into the open GSAK window. GSAK will offer you some options on importing the file but I just use the default options. At this point, you PQ will be imported and you are ready to play !

Next you will need to export the waypoints to your GPS. How you accomplish this will greatly depend on what GPS unit you own. I have a Lowance H2O which does not connect directly to my computer, but uses a SD card. I export my waypoints using the Lowrance usr format. I then copy the usr file to my SD card, place the card back in my GPS and load the data. GSAK will export directly to many GPS units. Once this is done, you have accomplished loading the caches into you GPS.

Next, you need to get the cache page that contain the cache information into your PDA. Since I am using the Plucker method, I use GSAK to export my loaded caches to html format. Once this export is completed, I open Plucked Desktop, create a channel called "Caches", and update the channel by pointing PDesktop to the files that GSAK just exported in html format. (Once the channel is created, you only have to update the channel in the future.) Now that this step is complete, the next time you sync your PDA, "Caches" will be placed on the PDA. You can then open Plucker on you PDA, select "Caches" and all of your cache information is located there. GSAK creates a "start" page that allows you to search for caches in many different ways. You can even customize that page.

I cannot say enough good about GSAK. It is truly an all-in-one tool that is highly customizable. I am only beginning to learn some of the many functions of the program. You can pretty much use it in default mode, but you would be missing out on so much functionality ! It is wonderful for searching for particular caches using the filter. If you just wanted to go looking for caches with travel bugs one day, you can set up the filter and do your exports and only caches with travel bugs will be shown. You can use this filter in more ways than I can sit her and list. I highly recommend spending some time at the GSAK website linked above just reading over the features, forums, and FAQs.

That pretty much summerizes my venture into the premium version of paperless geocaching. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will try to help out or at least point you to where you can get a correct answer.

Now, if the weather would just change, I could go caching ! We have been getting snow, sleet, and freezing rain for two days now. Not the best weekend I've ever experienced :D I really don't mind the snow, but the freezing rain and wind chills in the single digits is a bit much for me to go geocaching !

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Paperless Caching

Well, I have been playing with some of the paperless caching options available for those willing to spend a few buck and I have been very impressed with the options available. First and foremost, as a Lowrance user, I would like to recommend GSAK as an option. With my Lowrance H2O, Palm TX, and GSAK, and a Premium membership, I can do everything I need to do for paperless caching in style. I must say, it is worth the extra $s to do it this way. I will write a full review on the system that I have settled with this weekend.


Just a bit of....

a test to see if a new add-on works :D

Sunday, February 12, 2006

No Geocaching this Weekend...

I was feeling a bit under the weather and it was COLD and windy. Actually, it was more windy than cold but the combination was miserable. Needless to say, I stayed in and tried to get well.

I did work on some geocaching related stuff, though. I finally came up with a signature item. Basically, it is a refridgerator magnet. Some time ago, I bought some printable magnetic sheets for some project. I never used it but I found them while digging through a filing cabinet this weekend. I pulled a couple out and placed them in my printer. I opened up Word and selected the template for the Avery business cards and went to work. The end result was a signature item that I will leave in caches that I find. I have found quite a few sig items, but I have never seen anything like these, so hopefully, people will like them. I've attached a photo of them appropriately placed on my fridge.

My other weekend indoor project was to develope a CD to leave in caches. There was a spirited debate on the forums about this idea. Many stated that they would not pick up a CD at a cache for fear of getting a computer virus. I was one of the people that thought it was an excellent idea. Almost everyone, including myself, have virus scanners and I feel that the risk is minimal coming from a fellow cacher. My CD has some freeware and shareware included that I downloaded from reputable sites and it also contains several hundred photos that I have personally taken. People can use the photos for any personal use as long as they don't try to profit from them. I love photography and I enjoy sharing my photos. I did run a scan on the disk with my updated virus scanner to make sure that it was virus free. I also printed my email address on the CD just in case someone had a problem with the CD or it's contents.

The last thing I did this weekend was make a bunch of small return address labels to use when logging finds. I'd seen this a couple of times in logs I've come across and wanted to give it a go. I printed up labels for myself, Mike, and Robert. Hope everyone else had a great weekend !!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Colder than....

a well digger's...well, you know the rest of the saying. That would be the best way to describe today's weather ! The team had discussed getting out around 1300 today and doing a little caching followed by a round or two of pool. I don't know about you, but it was blowing snow, the temp was hovering around freezing and the wind was howling resulting in a windchill around 20 degrees. Yeah, I know, I see the discussions and photos of people caching in the snow and nasty weather. Truthfully, had I not felt like I was coming down with some type if intestinal virus, I probably would have given it a try.

So, since I'm not out caching today, I will write about last weeks geocaching adventure. Sorry this is late. I had to be in Baltimore for a meeting Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I figured I would write about it from the hotel. Hah ! Little did I know that my meetings essentially were from about 0730 until 2300 (at least one night it was). The other days were very long and all I wanted to do once I got to my room was shower and crash.

Back to last weeks adventure :). Mike and I were the only participants as Robert was grouting the floor at the YMCA, thanks to his wife offering up his service for free. I have to tell you, Robert truly is a jack of all trades. We've worked together about 10 years. Currently he is not in my department, but I depend on his expertise and knowledge more than I would like to admit. He is truly and asset to our company. Since Robert was tied up, Mike and met at his house and left from there. I'm really getting into the paperless caching. I showed up with my swag, GPSr, and PDA and we were ready to go. Mike has not had a GPS yet and doesn't want to mess with navigating, so we usually end up taking his very comfortable Suburban. As you will note from my above statement about my equipment, you will see that I once again forgot my dang camera !! Mike brought his, but I'm not sure how many shots he got.

We headed towards Glenpool as we had not cached there before. There are not a lot of caches there, but we figured we might as well get them out of the way. Our first hit was "Used to be Posey". This was located just outside the parameter of a cemetary. This is near a town called Twin Mounds that was formerly Posey. It came to be in the late 1800s. We quickly located the cache, made our trades, and signed the log book. Apparently, we were not quick enough. This cache is out in the booneys and a local farmer got suspicious of our activity and approached us as we were getting ready to leave. It was somewhat of an uncomfortable conversation as he was not getting our explination of Geocaching and we did not have a flyer with us. I think he final decided that we were not doing anything malicious and let us go un-shot. (Think I will print one of those flyers right now).

Next we headed towards "Oil and Gas", this is a historical marker honoring the oil and gas industry in the area. Glenpool is named for a large oilfield find. In fact, there is a move about the oilfield called "Glenpool". This was a micro hidden close by so we just signed the log and left.

Next, we headed towards Sapulpa which is just down the road a bit. Not much on traditional caches, but they had a couple of virtuals we wanted to see. Our first cache was "Chief". This was a virtual cache that I don't want to say a lot about because it is really special and you need to just go see it. It is a virtual but I never knew it existed. Mike has lived in this area all his life and he never knew about it. It was an honor to visit this cache. If you would like details about the cache, you can email me, but I would hate to spoil the surprise for anyone else. If you are ever in this area, this is a must do cache!

We then headed for the "Sapulpa Trolley and Rail" cache. It was another historic type virtual that was very enjoyable. Apparently, at some time in the history of Sapulpa, they had a trolley system and this virtual consist of a restored trolley. Again, it is worth the visit if you are into history ! We went from here to "Rock Creek Bridge". This was a neat old bridge that was paved with bricks. No telling how old it is but it was old enough that I was a bit uncomfortable driving across it because it was quite a ways down. Turned out that the cache was not on the side of the railroad track that the bridge is on, so we had to back track a bit. Once we got on the right side of the tracks, it was an easy find. About two tens of a mile away was another virtual called "Two For One". Bet you can't guess why it was named that ! Okay, my guess is that it is only two tenths of a mile from another cache, but I could be wrong. We actually saw this on when we backtracked for the last cache.

After hitting all the caches in Sapulpa, we decided to try our luck in downtown Tulsa. This was interesting. First, we headed for "Talahassee, OK" cache. Yes, this is in downtown Tulsa. We were very confused when we first arrived as the GPSr seemed to indicate the cache was in the pparking lot of some condos. Again, this was a virtual. After some mild confusion, we discovered a very small park on the corner of the condo complex. There are a couple of questions you have to answer to get credit for the cache, but the location has great historical significance. I never knew that this would be such an educational hobby!

Next up was a traditional geocache called "Off the Beaten Path". This one was along a jogging trail near the downtown area that I did not know existed. We were able to quickly find the cache undetected and make our trades. We ended up finding several more caches by the end of the day totaling twelve caches. A new daily record for me. We found "Center of the Universe", "Zink Park Cache Returns", "Parkwest Nature Trail", and I did maintenence on my cache, "Polecat Creek Cache". We had a blast as usual and found lots of caches. Now, if I can get to feeling better, we will try to get out and cache again tomorrow !

Oh, while I was in Baltimore, of course, I had to lay claim to at least one cache ! I found "Heart of the Arts". It was a short walk from where we we staying and I can now claim that I am a multi-state cacher :)


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cool, Windy Day...

Mike and I were the only Team ARC participants to cache today. It was cool and windy, but we located 12 caches. Not too shabby. I'll post about it sometime this week. I have to pack tonight for an early morning departure for Baltimore.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Premium Membership....

Well, I got signed up at for a premium membership. I have to say, even if there were no benefits to the premium membership, I would recommend signing up just to support the site and ensure it's availability for the years to come. I have had many hobbies through the years, but I truly love geocaching. The basic services that are provided to the free membership alone are worth the $30 dollar a year fee. I've not been anywhere on the web that provides this level of service for free.

I enjoy Navicache and Terracache, but the participation levels just won't ever equal that of I mean, has over 230,000 caches listed and more than 24,000 cachers have logged more than 145,000 caches in the last 7 days !! That is just nearly impossible to top. The forums alone are worth the fee. I've learned more about geocaching reading the post on the forums than I've learned reading 100 other websites. The people their really know there stuff.

Now that I have made it clear that the free membership is well worth the $30 dollars, let's talk a little about the benefits that you receive when you sign up for the premium membership. I am a new premium member, so I have just scratched the surface of what is available to premium members. First and foremost, having a Pocket PC or Palm device will truly allow you to take full advantage of the premium membership.

The first benefit to having a premium membership is pocket queries. This allows you to download caches to your PC from based on numerous parameters that you chose. These queries can be sent to you up to five times a day, every day of the week, although, you would have to be a pretty hardcore cacher to need them that often. This feature is aimed at cachers that want to do paperless caching using a Palm Pilot or Pocket PC. I assume that there might be other uses for queries, but that is what I will use them for. I will probably set up a query to run every Friday for my weekend caching followed by a query the evening after I cache to update my finds.To take full advantage of these queries, you obviously need software to get them on to your handheld device. I will discuss some of those options in a later post. You can go with free software or shareware to accomplish this. Hint: you get what you pay for on this deal. It is doable with free software, but there is some very inexpensive shareware out there that makes a world of difference (GSAK).

The second benefit of being a premium member is the geocaching maps available on the website. These are really cool and well worth the money. They show the caches on a good quality map and you can zoom, pan, and print. Very nice !

Third is an unlimited number of watchlist. I really like adding caches to my watchlist if I DNF (do not find) the cache. When you have a cache on your watchlist, you receive an email evertime someone logs to the cache. This has resulted in me finding a cache that I DNF'd twice. I kept reading the logs of people that were finding the cache and once day someone said something that made something click in my mind as to where to locate the cache. Sure enough, I went out the next day and walked right up to the cache. Another advantage is seeing that others are unable to find the cache. This may clue you into the fact that the cache may be missing. That can prevent frustration and unneeded trips out to find something that is not there. With fuel prices as high as they are, this can be a money saver! Something else I enjoy is reading the logs of people that find the cache behind me if I placed something cool in the cache. It is really nice to read the response of a fellow cacher when they trade for a nice item I left in the cache.

Next is the Bookmark List and Ignore Feature. I have yet to try this out but it looks useful. I will report on it once I give it a shot.

Instant Notification Feature. If you like being the FTF (first to find), this is a must have! You can set up notifications based on a number of qualifications. You will receive notifications based on your selections instantly to your selected email address. If you use a cellphone email address, you can know immediately when a new cache has been placed in your area. Too cool.

The sixth benefit to a premium membership is members only caches. There have been some discussion on the forums lately concerning the merits of member only caches, but honestly, I like the idea. Some cachers want to reward those that support the site and place caches that are only visible to premium members. The plus side to this is that the caches "should" be of better quality and are less suseptable to being trashed out. Additionally, if a cacher is going to put an expensive FTF prize in the cache, they may initially set the cache to member only and open it up to the general public once the FTF has been claimed. I intend to do this with my next cache. I feel it is important to support the geocaching community and I will place a nice FTF prize to reward those that support the community. Once it is claimed, I will open it up to everyone.

There are a few remaining features, but you will just have to join to see them : ) Basically, I wanted to cover the most important features, and I think I have accomplished it here. $30 a year is not much to support a sport that we all love. Think about it, cut down on one soda a day for a month, and you have payed for your membership. Cut out one trip to McDonald's one day a month for 8 months, and you have payed for your membership. It may seem like a lot of money at the moment, but it is worth far more than $30 a year in my opinion.

Support the geocaching community and sign up for a premium membership soon !


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Geocaching with Team ARC Minus One...

Mike, Robert, and I had planned on getting out and diong some geocaching today. Unfortunately, we ran into issues early on. First, Robert ended up having to go into work to do some initial qualifications on some computers going into service in the morning (I'm very thankful that he took on that chore !). Next, when Mike and I met up at one of our work locations, they were having computer issues and we ended up spending an hour there working that out. Lastly, we had a software glitch that resulted in me being on the phone fora large precentage of the day while we attempted to geocache ! Somehow, we managed to grab 10 caches anyway. Once again, I forgot my camera !

After we got the computers up and running, we headed out to our first cache, "Where Do I Park". Trust me, it was named that way for a reason. When we figured out where we needed to park, we set out on a short hike across a retention pond area. Once we were in the area, we quickly spoted the cache. We signed the log, hiked back to the truck and headed off to the next cache.

"Hidden Park" was next on our list. This was one that was difficult to figure out how to access. Once we found a way in, it was just a short hike to the cache. It was an easy find and Mike saw it right away. As always, keep your eyes open for things that just look out of place ! We did not take anything on this cache, but left several foreign coins and signed the log. We walked back to the truck with 15+ dogs barking at us.

The next cache "Would be Prophet" was actually very close to the last cache. Unfortunately, there was a fence between us and the cache so we had to drive around to this cache. This one was a virtual cache where we had to locate the headstone of a "would be prophet". It was an interesting find in that it was the headstone of a very famous person who had started his adult life as a preacher. I had no clue he was buried in Tulsa.

At this point, we were thirsty so we headed to Quik Trip for some Gatorade. After filling up on some liquids, we headed for "East Park Tract". I have never experienced that many dogs barking at me all at once. It sounded like a dog symphony or something. To say the least, we located this one quickley, signed the log and got out of there ! The cache was pretty wet as well and some of the stuff had rusted.

Next up was "Troll Bait". This one is just down the street from work and is in the same parking lot as my very first find. This was one of those caches that you can drive right up to and walk about 15 feet to locate. I grabbed a cool wooden signature nickel and traded an Incredibles squeeze light on a carabiner.

"West Bank" was an interesting cache located on the west bank of Mingo Creek. We had a wino on a park bench that we irritated with our presence. After he got up and left, we were able to locate the cache and make our trades.

We went on to find "A Hole in One", "Lunchtime Cache #18", "End of the Road #16", and "Wizmedic's Quicky Cache II". I ended up with some neat trade items like a pin, a Texas Numismatic Association medal, and a sig card from iculungman. We had a great day all-in-all. Hopefully, next time my phone won't ring 50 times with work related calls !!

We logged63.1 miles in 2 hours and 14 minutes in Mike's truck.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Paperless Geocaching

I have ventured into the world of paperless geocaching....on the cheap. There are many different ways to do paperless geocaching. Most of which require either a premium membership to and software that you have to pay fro such as Cachemate and GSAK. I want to try paperless geocaching, but on a free basis. I was quite pleased to find that it was doable. However, it takes some time and work to accomplish. If you are a penny pincher like I am, that will be okay.

What I want to do with this post is show you how to cache paperless without paying for a membership or extra software. Obviously, the first thing you need is a Palm device of some sort. I am using a Palm TX. You can get away with a device of much less expense. I see people posting to the geocaching forums using Palms that cost less than $30 on eBay. If you don't have a Palm device, I highly recommend searching on eBay for one. Just be sure you check feedback ratings and from what country you are purchasing. I highly recommend a feedback rating of at least 98% and either Canada or the USA for the country.

Once you have your Palm device, you will need to download and install some freeware software. The program you will need is Plucker Desktop for your PDA and your desktop. This program will grab the cache pages, convert them to a format readable on your Palm device and transfer them to your Palm.

Once you have the software installed, you can use Plucker Destop to save the cache pages and transfer them to your PDA. Once on your PDA, you can open them with Plucker. The pages should look just like they would on your home computer depending if you have a color PDA or not. My PDA is color, so the cache page on my PDA looks just like it would on my home computer.

Okay, we have now suceeded in getting the cache pages to your PDA. Next we need to get your waypoints to you GPS. I use GPSBable and EasyGPS to accomplish this. Both are freeware programs. allows non-members to download .loc files to their computers. I find it easiest to search based on zpcode and check off caches on the search page. I then select "download" and transfer the .loc files to my computer. I open them with EasyGPS and convert them to the Lowrance format, .usr, using GPSBabel. Once that is done, I transfer them to my GPS SD memory card. I now have the waypoints on my GPS using the standard GCXXXX format and I have the cache pages on my PDA named in the same GCXXXX format. I can look at the map on my GPS, decide which cache is closest, pull up the related cache page on my Palm TX and head for the cache !

That's pretty much it. In other news, I am in the process of buying a premium membership and some of the pay for use software, so I will let you know how that goes, as well. I should end up with the same results I get in the above article. It will just be less tedious !


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Geocaching Tools

One of the most frequent questions I see on is "What should I Carry When Caching/". There are thread after thread discussing what people carry when out caching. I will start this off by discussing what I carry when I go geocaching. I recently purchased a cheap fanny pack at an Army Surplus store to carry my caching "goods" in while out caching. I think it cost me a total of about $9. I quicky disocovered that I needed a "butt" pack to accompany my fanny pack. A butt pack is a military issued pouch that attaches to a belt, such as the one on my fanny pack, and is about 6 inches, by 10 inches. They run about $3 at an Army Surplus store. See below for my list of what I carry:

  • Fanny Pack
  • Swag(also known as trade items)
  • Cache restocking items like spare notepads
  • GPS, of course, iFinder H20
  • Friends to keep me company
  • Gatorade...I always need something to drink!
  • Cache printouts, although, that is about to change(paperless)
  • Cellphone, just in case
  • Pen, to document my finds on the log and my cache printouts....I can't remember everything !
  • The Groundspeak Geocaching Printout in case I run into any police
  • Zip lock bags in case a cache is wet
  • Signature items
  • digital camera

That sums up what I carry. Now for some items that other cachers carry:

  • a hand towel to dry soggy caches
    extra ziplock bags
    extra pencils
    extra batteries
    a notebook to help me remember condition of caches and what I traded
    a separate container or bag or something for TB's so they don't get lost in the shuffle of stuff
    kleenex would have been useful today

  • a pair of tweezers (for getting logs out of very small containers)
    a mirror (for looking where you don't want to put your hands first)
    a flashlight
    a multi-tool
    my digital camera and an extra battery for it
    a "bag of swag"
    plastic bags for carrying out trash, cans, and bottl

Monday, January 23, 2006

Useful Geocaching Information..

I got the SD card from Mike today at work and posted the pics from this weekends geocaching, As you can tell, we had a lot of fun. Stories are great, but I think photos add so much to a post. It helps to be able to visualize the location and people involved ! By the way, my second cache should be ready to hide this next weekend. It will be a small cache in a decon container. Now to decide where to hide it.

No, that wasn't the useful geocaching information. Up until now, I have stuck to posting about my adventures geocaching. I've only found fifty caches and placed one. I am still very much a newbie. But, I am learning a lot along the way. I have also learned much just hanging out at the forums at Not to mention, the wealth of information I've picked up visiting hundreds of various websites. In the near future, I am going to start posting articles on geocaching here on the blog. Most of these articles will be about things I've learned or experienced while geocaching and compilations of information I've picked up from forums, websites, and blogs. Of course, I will properly credit and gain permission when necessary but I don't intend to do a lot of direct quoting. Mostly, it will be editorializing of what I encounter. I will also include reviews of equipment, websites, and blogs. One thing I've noticed is that the forums seem to contain the same questions over and over. I hope to compile some of that useful information in an informal FAQ type posting.

My intent is to make my blog more useful to my readers. Right now, GPSOkie's is purely for entertainment value....hopefully, in the future it will still be entertaining but contain some useful information, as well. You will see some new categories on the right side column where I will place permanent links to these post. The categories will include "Reviews", "FAQs". and "Articles".

All that said, keep reading about my geocaching adventures, as well !

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Team ARC Rides Again...

Well, minus one of our team members, anyway. Robert was in OKC attending a birthday party so that left Mike and I to get me my 50th find. We had a beautiful day for geocaching once again. It was a bit cool, but other than that it was great. We met up and loaded my stuff into Mike's vehicle. Unfortunately, I left my camera at home, so no photos for tonight. Mike did have his camera and we took photos, but I will have to get them from him before I can add them to the blog. After a quick errand, we were off to find our first cache...or so we thought.

We parked about .2 of a mile from "Skullcracker" and took of walking. From the discription of the cache, we were able to spot the likely hiding area from a ways off. Once we arrived, we started looking. The cache is hidden amongst a bunch of large rocks so there was many potential hiding spots. After 30 minutes of searching, we finally gave up. We had a mission and didn't want to spend too much time if the cache was truly missing.

After walking back to the vehicle, we plugged in the coordinates for the next cache, "Action Packed". As we were arriving at this cache, I realized that we would have to walk right by "All Keyed Up" to get to our destination. Since Mike had not found "All Keyed Up" yet, we swung by there and he located it quickly. As we continued down the trail to the next cache, we seemed to upset a large dog in someones back yard. He barked the whole time we were walking to the cache. The two caches are located along a stream that runs through a residential area. The property belongs to the city but there are houses located on both sides of the stream. It is pretty heavily wooded, though. Once we were in the cache area, we located the cache quickly. It was an action figure themed cache so we just signed the log. I may have left a foreign coin, but I can't remember now.

Next up was a new cache called "Please CITO Me". CITO stands for "Cache in, Trash out". It is part of geocaching in which all geocachers should participate. When geocaching, you should carry a garbage bag with you and pick up trash to carry out of the area. Once we parked, we again had a long walk to reach the cache and there was significant elevation changes on the way. We got our exercise on this one! As we closed in on the cache, we figured out that it was in an area of heavy brush and trees. I have to say this is the worst encounter I have had with thorn vines. It took a little while to cover the last few yards to the cache. The cache was well hidden but I look in what I thought was the most obvious spot and there it was. We signed the log, left a foreign coin, and took nothing. We quickly found a route out of the brush that was a heck of a lot easier than the one we took in.

"Lunchtime Cache #17" was a quicky cache that was right off a major road. This one required no exercise and was only 15 foot from the car door. This was a micro, so we quickly signed the log and headed out. We had wanted to get some caching supplies, so we headed over to a local army surplus store. Mike bought a couple of ammo cans and I grabbed a Decon Kit to use for a small cache. We also picked up some inexpensive cache items to place in the cache. I got out for less than $6 in caching supplies. I was suprised that the Decon Kit was only $2 !

Our final cache for the day, and find number 50 for me, was "Centinial". This was a virtual cache located in downtown Broken Arrow. It was a set of life size bronze statues representing a family; Mom, Dad, and Boy. Once you locate the virtual cache, you have to email the owner of the cache and tell them what the boy is holding. We wrapped things up after finding this cache so Mike could get to a dinner he had planned and I could go home for dinner, myself.

It was a nice, relaxing, slow paced day of caching that was truly enjoyable. It was nice to reach another milestone and I look forward to my next milestone, cache 100.

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Friday, January 20, 2006


I didn't get to hunt for ANY caches in the DFW area this week. I had really hoped to find at least one cache and even had printed off a cache sheet for a cache about .2 of a mile north of my hotel. Alas, it was not to be. My intent was to hunt it down last night when I left work at 5pm but I ended up sitting in our HR department until after dark. Today was a repeat of last night and I ended up rushing out of town to get back to Tulsa in time. Oh time, I guess.

In the mean time, I'm printing off a load of cache pages and Mike and I are going caching around noon tomorrow. I should be able to easily hit my 50 finds milestone today. Pics and such to follow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dallas Bound....

Well, I'm sitting here in Dallas in a hotel writing to my blog from my PDA. I'm here on business, but you can bet I will find at least one cache while I'm here! I'll let you know how it goes : )

Monday, January 16, 2006

Interesting Story

I was a t a meeting at work today and after the meeting, on of my co-workers came up and set a coin down in from of me. She asked me if I'd ever seem a coind like that before. I knew immediately that it was a coin much like some of the coins that I had left in some caches. I said "yes" I recognized the coin. I asked here where she had found it and she just smiled at me. Next, I asked her if she had found it in a cache and she said "yes". Come to find out, she and here family have been caching for some time. Her brother collects coins so she had picked it out of the cache. Apparently, she had figured out some time ago that I was GPSOkie and was just waiting for the opportune time to clue me in that she knew I was a cacher, too. Small world !!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Geocaching with Team ARC

This was the second weekend geocaching as a team. We decided to adopt the name Team ARC. I'm sure we will have our core group (Mike, Robert, and me) geocaching together most of the time, but there will be others that cache with us on an occassional basis. I say this because there are others at work that have expressed an interest in joining us for a day. Everyone is always welcome to join us as I go by the idea "the more the merrier".

Robert, Mike, and me started of this morning around 10:45 and set out on our first hunt. It was a Multi-stage hunt located in Bixby Oklahoma. Well, at least, it is listed as a multi, bit I think it was more of a puzzle cache than multi as we had to travel to different locations and gather clues to decode our final destination. The cache we were hunting for is called "Bixby History Tour". We headed to the first clue and found it quickly. We went through each clue relatively easily until we had decoded all the numbers for our final coordinates. I punched them into the GPS and it told us we were 5.1 miles north of our final destination. Hmmm...this was a little concerning as all the clues were in a fairly concise area. Off we went to check out our coordinates. When we arrived, we were obviously in the wrong spot. We decided to try and figure out where we had gone wrong. To make a long story short, we ended up checking two different final coordinates and neither was correct. This was not how we wanted to start our day. We had burned two hours and had yet to find a cache. My goal was to locate ten caches bringing my total up to 50.

After giving up on the puzzle cache, we head over to "Bentley Park". This was a nice cache hidden near a sports complex. I was glad it was winter as it would have been a bugger getting to it in the summer! Mike spotted the cache first and grabbed it for us. I saw a BLM pin that I wanted and Mike wanted a Statue of Liberty Patch that was in the cache. I traded a travel bug called "Thomas Whistle" and Mike traded a foreign coin. As a side note, it appears I have violated a geocaching rule without knowing it. (I just read a post on the geocaching forums about travel bugs not being trade items. I had never thought of it, but it makes sense now that I read the post and thought about it. Travel bugs are for moving, stuff you buy is for trading.) All of us signed in on the log and we moved on to the next cache.

We headed for Lake Bixhoma for our next cache. This is a lake located southwest of Bixby and I believe it is their water supply as well. I had been there once before to hunt fossils. It has an exposed are which was once a shallow coral reef and there are lots of criniod stems and brachiopods to be found. Once we parked the vehicle, we were off to find "Megan's Stash Cache". First off, let me say that this is rated as two stars on terrain. Well, it's two stars if you take the correct path to the cache ! Unfortunately, I think we took the four star route. The end result was me falling and taking a chunk out of my knee and having to stop and catch my breath. It was quite a climb up to where the cache was located. About 80 feet or so higher and we were there. This was a very nice cache that was in great condition and well hidden. I didn't do any trading but Mike made a trade for a signature card. Once we had placed the cache bak in it's hiding spot, we hiked back to the truck. We took the easy way back this time. It was about 1:30 by now so we decided to catch lunch on our way to the next cache.

After a quick bite to eat, we headed east to south Broken Arrow. The next cache was located in Ray Harrel Nature Park. The name of the cache was "Beaver's Playground". I assume it was named this as there are plenty of beavers in the area. It appears that they have built habitats to to encourage the beavers to stay in the park. This cache would have been easier if we had read the cache discription or looked at the map at the enterance of the park! We did neither and the result was a much longer walk than expected. THe walk was through rough terrain, as well, so we certainly got our exercise. Once we figured out our mistake and made it around to the right side of the beaver pond, the cache was a quick find. Unfortunately, the ammo can had leaked at some point and the cache was damp. The log was dry enough to sign, but we made not trades. We hiked back to the truck and punched in the coordinates to the next cache which we knew was close. Little did we know, we had walked past the next cache, "Cache #1", on the way to the last cache. That got a good laugh out of Team ARC. At the request of the team, I went ahead and put in the other cache in the area, "St. Patrick's Pot of Gold", and sure enough all three of the caches were in the same park ! We made quick work of the remaining two caches. While we were at the last cache, we heard a woman hollering at us from across the beaver pond. Although a bit startled, we hollered back. She wanted to know if we had found it and we immediately knew she was a cacher as well. She walked around the pond while we signed the log and made our trades and met us at the cache. She was one half of the team known as The Sooners. After introductions, we had a really nice visit with her about caching. Her and her husband have over 1000 cache finds and over 100 hides. It was great to meet up with a very active cacher ! This was a nice cache run getting us lots of photos and 3 caches and the opportunity to visit with a fellow cacher.

Once we wrapped up at Ray Harrel Nature Park, we headed back toward Bixby for the final three caches. I won't bore your with the details, but we were quite tired by this time and we got skunked on our last three caches. We decided to call it a day with my count up to 45. Not a problem, I will hit 50 another day !