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.