Saturday, January 07, 2006

My Best Day Geocaching Yet

I hope you are up to a long post ! I found a record 8 caches today...well, it was a record for me, anyway. I had to go into work for a while today and one of my friends, Mike, was going to be there as well. You remember Mike, right? He was one of the people involved in rescueing me when I locked my keys in my truck. I had told him yesterday that when we were done at work, we should go do some geocaching. He had expressed an interest earlier about trying out geocaching. Shortly after I arrived, Mike and his son Josh arrived with another friend of mine, Robert. We did our work and finished that up around one thirty or so. Since Robert rode in with Mike and Josh, he got to go caching along with the rest of us.

The night before, I had done a search for geocaches in the vicinity of work. I filtered out the micro caches. I enjoy micros okay, but I didn't want to mess with them when I was taking people out that hadn't cached before. I think I ended up printing out about 15 geocaches or so.

The four of us loaded up in Mike's Suburban with the GPSr and the printouts. Unfortunately, I left my camera in my truck! We headed off to our first cache of the day. It was "East Tulsa Travel Bug Institute". When we arrived, there was little activity in the park. There were just a couple of kids playing with a soccer ball and they were not near the cache area. I was really suprised that there were not many people out today as it was almost 70 degrees. It is very rare to have weather this nice in January. We walked toward the trees where the GPS was pointing us. We ended up having to circle around to get to the cache. I was the first to spot the cache and Josh retrieved it for us. The cache was in good shape and contained two travel bugs. We left the bugs as I already have one that I am delinquent in moving along. We signed the log, took nothing, and left a 1959 foreign coin.

I have been leaving a lot of foreign coins lately and you may have noticed. I don't think this is a "normal" trade item as you don't see stuff like that very often (unless you cache behind me). They are not excessively valuable but some of the older ones I trade do have some value to them. I never really intended to use foreign coins as a frequent trade item. I collect coins and I'm facinated with foreign coins as some of the shapes and designs are great. The first time I left a foreign coin was kind of an accident. I went caching one time without my usual trade items (I had left them at home) and when I got to the first cache, I discovered they were missing. Well, I wanted to be able to trade and I noticed I happened to have a small ziplock of these foreign coins with me so I used them as trade items that day. I had no clue that I was going to get the responses I got ! Over a week period, I recieved multiple emails about how much people had enjoyed the coins I had left. I think this will end up being a bit of a signature item for me. Even when I carry the usual swag, I will trade the coins as well. I'm trying to come up with a way to incorporate foreign coins into a signature item with my name and location on it.

Next, we headed towards "Jingle Feldman Park". The challenge of this geocache was finding a place to park! You would think that a park would have SOME type of parking. No such luck. We took a short walk to the cache and Mike spotted this one first. We took nothing, left nothing, and signed the log. The three new geocachers with me seemed to be having fun at this point.

We loaded back up and drove a short distance to "Hot Wheels Exchange". This one proved to be more challenging to find. Our search resulted in major dog barkage as we were in a retention pond area and the cache was located near someone's back yard. We spent about ten minutes looking for the cache and were about to give up when Robert spotted the cache. We were so close but at the same time not even close. I can't explain without spoiling the cache hide. Robert retreived the cache. The cache had a really cool sig item in it. It was a coated foam promotional item shaped like a car. It was a promotion for Lowrance's iWay GPS. it had the name of the cache owner (BasicPoke) and a date on it. We snagged it and traded several foreign coins.

We proceeded just down the street to "Road Block on 19th Street". I can't remember who spotted this one first, but we found it quickly. There was a wooden signature coin in this one and I traded some foreign coins for it. We signed the log and replaced the cache.

Next up was "Tulsa Cache". It was a neighborhood cache. In other words, it was located in a residential area. We were able to drive right up to this one and I immediately knew where to look for the cache. Josh retreived the cache and brought it over. We signed the log and took nothing.

The next cache was just a short distance away. We drove to the general vicinity and parked in the parking area. We got out an walked towards the cache. Josh noticed something out of place and was able to quickly recover "McCullough Park" geocache. We signed the log and left a foreign coin. We took nothing.

We then drove over to "Bur Oak". This was the first REAL exercise we got geocaching today. We parked .3 of a mile from the cache and the walk required some significant elevation change. it also entailed crossing a small river...or creek. Most of us used the pedestrian bridge, but Mike choose to brave the rapids and cross on foot. This cache was in some pretty heavy tree and ground cover and took quite sometime to find. I think the coordinates are a hair off, but it could have been the tree coverage that was messing with my GPSr. One of the neatest things about this cache was the cache container. It was some tubular surplus container with a waterproop o-ring seal. Mortar container? I wish I had brought my camera ! On this cache we took nothing and left more foreign coins. (Yes, I have quite a supply of these coins).

Next up was "Eastland Cache". This was quite an adventure. We approached the cache from the wrong direction....and that is an understatement !! We didn't realize that this cache could be approached from a park to the east and we ended up approaching it on foot from the west. It was .2 of a mile through some very rough undergrowth. I am scratched up from head to toe because of all the thorns we walked through on the way to this cache. Robert and Josh ended up out in front of mike and I and found the cache first. Again, another cool tube like container. This one was made from PVC. It was painted in cammo and must have been in plain sight or it ould have been very hard to find. We signed the log and Josh took some Final Fantasy magnets and I left more foreign coins. We took the long way back to Mike's Suburban to avoid some of the thorns. I think both Mike and I were bleeding pretty good at this point : )

Last but not least, was "You Got Mail". Imagine my suprise when we walked through all those briars to get back to Mike's vehicle and I punch in the coordinates for this cache and it is almost right on top of the last cache !! At this point, we were not about to walk a half a mile round trip back through that stuff. We got back out on the road and tried to find a better approach. Sure enough, there was a park to the east of the cache and we were able to park and hike to the cache with minimal thornage. Interestingly, we were hiking throught the woods and encountered a couple getting aweful friendly with each other. Guess they weren't expecting geocachers near sunset : ) This cache was unique in that it was a mailbox nailed to a tree. We took nothing, left a foreign coin, and signed the log.

All in all a great day !! Both Robert and Mike are great friends of mine and I truly enjoyed spending time with them and Josh. I logged my finds to night as found by Team Arc. I hope that we will get to do much more caching together in the future. I think we all had a great time and I think I converted a couple of muggles : ) Actually, Robert text messaged me and he has already signed up for an account at Geocaching.com. You can see his profile here. To have friends and family is to be truly blessed.

3 comments:

Anthony said...

COOL BLOG.

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