Monday, March 30, 2009

Park and Gab: Eleventh Edition - GC1NK8H

Great event! I got to meet and chat with Pappy'sPosse, The Popeteers and Manofsteel73. Saw Tachito but didn't get a chance to get introduced. There were many others there as well that I didn't get to meet. Picked up a TB to move along. The youngest BadAnimal attended with me and he enjoyed the games there.

Thank you Pappy'sPosse for hosting this event, I had a good time and came away much more knowledgable about geocaching.

Here's the Travel Bug, Tyler, that I picked up from the Popeteers.

Geocaching in the news...

Tired of the treadmill? Get out and play instead

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Tired of the same old exercise routine? Get out and play instead, suggests a fitness expert who spoke at the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) Annual Health and Fitness Summit in Atlanta.

Play is "the perfect anecdote for when your exercise routine starts to feel like more of a chore than an activity of enjoyment," health scientist from Bethesda, Maryland, and ACSM faculty member Dr. Carol E. Torgan noted in a statement from the meeting. It's good for the body, mind and soul.

"Think about activities you loved to do as a child and incorporate those into your routine (and) include your family," Torgan added in comments to Reuters Health.

To rediscover your inner child, visit a playground, toss a Frisbee, take a hike, go rock climbing, pick up a hoola hoop, or dance. An adult weighing 150 pounds can burn more than 300 calories an hour by dancing.

"If you spent your childhood outside exploring," suggested Torgan, "head out the front door and try Geocaching" -- an outdoor treasure hunt game using GPS.

You don't need to be young to reap the calorie-burning, mind-stimulating benefits of play. "The 'power of play' for adults," Torgan said, "lies in simply focusing on the joy of moving, having a little fun with it, and not taking ourselves too seriously."

"Whether it's shooting hoops or even playing on a teeter-totter with a friend, these unstructured activities can create a sense of belonging and community," Torgan said.

Another benefit of "play" exercise is that it "doesn't require expensive equipment, a gym membership, or form-fitting Lycra - it's free. You only need an open mind," Torgan said.

"The key for most adults," she added, "is simply to give themselves permission to play - even for 10-15 minutes. Unplug and dance. Life is too short to spend it checking your email."


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Park and Gab: Eleventh Edition

The boys and I are looking forward to this event tomorrow evening, hopefully nothing will come up where we don't get to go. I'll post about it if I do make it.


This cache, Slippin', is surrounded by ALOT of thorns, be careful! I wouldn't let my kids in without safety glasses on. I was in the midst of it and couldn't see it when my youngest, his third of the day, spied it from the outside. Took green Geocaching thing (anyone know what this is (hopefully you can see it in the picture)?) and yellow happy face whistle, left McD Dr. Oct toy and a couple of pirate coins. SL Nice cache!

Oh, and as we turned around to make our way back home, a rabbit came to visit!

Regarding the thorns issue, I saw a post on the Houston GeoCaching Society site and it was asking folks to post how much geocaching had cost them in terms of making mistakes, some folks had locked their keys in their car, or lost their GPS, etc. Well, I'd really hate to see some kid lose an eye because of geocaching in the midst of thorns. With this cache and the Bling Baby cache, you cannot avoid them. I have 5 well placed scratches on my arm from the thorns yesterday that I tried my best to avoid, well my arm is about head high for smaller kids. I'd just like you all to think about safety when it comes to geocaching, I don't want to see anyone get hurt.


Got this, Deadend, on a Sunday afternoon so the day care was closed. No muggles around except that one was cutting his grass on the other side of the brick wall, he never saw us. This was a first of its kind for us and my youngest figured it out, his second in a row for the day! TNLN SL


I haven't been in Bane Park since they made some major renovations to it and it looks great! This cache, Remember the Alamo, is super nice, full of interesting things regarding the Alamo. My youngest spied this one. Took baseball and electronic game. Left traditional yo-yo and Chinese yo-yo. Signed log. Left BUGGY ON! travel bug.

George Bush Park

I've never been to George Bush Park, but judging from this thread, it looks like we might need to check it out sometime! There are over 100 caches in the 7,800 acre park.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Geocaching in the news...

The great GPS stash hunt

Published: March 26, 2009

Click this picture to view a larger image.

A group of kids pillage a geocache stash. Geocaching is a great way to get the kids off the couch and out in mother nature.
Photo by Gary Short

By Jan Short

The ‘Wild Rivers Coast' is home to some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere in the world. The coastal trails lead to shimmering waterfalls and pristine beaches through magnificent growths of forests, ferns and wild berry patches.

What many in this area are not aware of is that these same coastal trails hide other treasures – man made in origin. These treasures are called ‘geocaches' (pronounced geo-cashes). Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache (a container filled with tradable items) anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache's existence and location online.

Anyone with a GPS unit or a map and coordinates can then try to locate the geocache. According to the official geocaching website there are 724,583 active caches worldwide. In a 30-mile radius of Gold Beach there are approximately 239 caches hidden and seven active caches within the city limits of Gold Beach.

The origins of hunting for treasures goes back as far as prehistoric man and the hiding of ‘caches' of food. Cave paintings and marks on trees may have been clues to the whereabouts of these hidden caches. As need became less of an incentive, the quest for treasures became more of a game. Modern man has developed technology to improve upon this activity.

The game of Geocaching goes back to an event that happened on May 2, 2000, when, unknown to most people, our government released orders that upgraded 24 satellites' Global Positioning Technology. Since Oregon has long been acknowledged as a stronghold of outdoor enthusiasm, conservation and adventurers, it is not surprising that on May 3, one such enthusiast, Dave Ulmer, a computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy of the new technology by hiding a navigational target in the woods near Portland. He called the idea the "Great American GPS Stash Hunt" and posted it on an Internet GPS users' group website.

The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit. In the course of a few years the game and the name evolved to include a website and players from all over the world.

It is not surprising that many innovations to this game have been added over the years. One called ‘Travel Bugs' has become very popular. Travel bugs have tags with numbers that have been logged by the official Geocaching site. When a travel bug is launched it is put into a cache and the number and location are logged online. Whenever this bug is found and moved it is logged by the finder and the new location is posted. One travel bug, "Mr. Wonderful," began its journey in Gold Beach. It has traveled across this country, the Atlantic Ocean, and through Austria, France, and back again. Mr. Wonderful has not made it back to Gold Beach, but it is still traveling in the United States and has logged more than 14,000 miles. Most travel bugs do not enjoy such a long journey; many disappear, so Mr. Wonderful's journey is quite a feat.

One of the best aspects of this game is that it leads you to places you might not have ever seen without the incentive of the game. Caches are hidden in places that people have found and want to share with others, either because of the history or the beauty of the spot. Many towns and cities have begun hiding caches in places they want people to discover such as hidden parks or memorials and places of interest within their city that the casual tourist might not ever discover on his own. Boy Scout troops have begun using the game as a means of teaching the scouts outdoor skills. Parents and families use the game as a way to explore and spend time together.

If you are interested in learning more about this game you can log onto; don't be intimidated by the fact that a GPS is required.

There is an offshoot called ‘letterboxing' that is done strictly using clues. To learn more about letterboxing you can begin on the geocaching site and then find the link.

Good hunting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Had to get some fast food for the family, was jonesing for a find! A nice quick and easy park and grab. Signed log. SkyRookie's PNG series #11

Hopefully the boys and I can get some hunting in very soon!! I'm tired of seeing my ugly mug!

Friday, March 20, 2009


I made the header for this blog last night, what do you think?


I went by Aquarium World to get rid of some of our platys (which this was my first visit there and I highly recommend going to this place, the fish they have there are as good as, if not better than, the zoo's), decided to see what geocaches were around and, again, there was one pretty much in the parking lot. Hail to the Chief - Lyndon B. Johnson. I never even knew this BBQ place (Lyndon's Pit Bar-B-Q) was here. Coords dead on. Easy find. Microcache.

I know my graphic says 7 found but one of the ones we found is for premium members only and I can't log it until if/when I become a premium member. Would someone like to buy me a membership? :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I had to get gas last night and while I was doing that I decided to check my Blackberry for nearby geocaches. Turns out there was one, SkyRookie's PNG series #10, right in the parking lot. I hadn't been geocaching in over a week and was jonesing hard. :-) Coords for this one was spot on, fun find! Signed log. I don't feel too guilty for doing some by myself, this was just a microcache anyway. :-)

Space Center Houston - Treasue exhibit

"Your hunt for fun has just begun at Space Center Houston with an exciting all new exhibit called Treasure!

This hands on exhibit features seven thematic areas that explore the unique history of treasures and treasure hunting, including mysterious underwater treasure, old treasures in the attic, Pirates’ buried treasure, gold rushes, the modern treasure hunt and more!

With interactive hands on activities, guests will be able to try the tools of a real treasure hunter, embark on a special adventure to find a hidden treasure chest, and will ultimately answer the question, what do you treasure?"


We went to Space Center Houston on this day during the boy's Spring Break. In their Treasure exhibit, they had a display of Geocaching! If you click on the pictures, you should be able to read the words on the plaques. I was hoping to get in some geocaching while we were in this area but we ran out of time. Space Center Houston is always a great time and I highly recommend taking your kids there.

And I did look for this while there -

"Attention Visitors to Space Center Houston: There are Travel Bugs to be found and/or discovered there.

I found this geocache on Thursday, February 19. I was in town to install the Treasure! exhibit at Space Center Houston. I intended to drop two TBs in this cache and two in the exhibit. I forgot to bring them when I went for this hunt and then had to catch my flight home. So, if you go to the exhibit, look for the geocache. Inside the geocache are two TBs that you may 'discover'. For one lucky person, there are also two TBs hidden under the large fern right behind the cache. (Yes, this is indoors. The fern is fake.) Please take those two TBs. One TB is wearing the other TB on its head."

But I was looking in the fern to the left and to the right of the geocache box. I didn't look (or feel) right behind it. :-(

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Geocaching in the news...

Geocaching catching on with several hundred sites within 10 miles of Saginaw

by Gus Burns | The Saginaw News
Tuesday March 17, 2009, 7:23 AM

Spring-like rays thawed the soggy the ground at St. Lorenz Lutheran Church cemetery in Frankenmuth as Michael K. Boensch, a $300 Garmin Vista HCX handheld global positioning system slung around his neck, rooted through a solitary pine tree checking and replacing his geocache.

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure-hunt-like game/hobby. Geocachers, utilizing GPS and the Internet, hunt for the "geocache" or "cache," a container with a finder's log, writing utensil and sometimes a memento. Caches are nearly everywhere, in every town and state, cemeteries, parks, mountains, historical landmarks and private property. Some 745,790 active geocaches are registered across the globe at, and several hundred are within 10 miles of Saginaw.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Geocaching in the news...

A story from the Milwaukee Outdoor Recreation Examiner

Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t mean you have to head out to the trails and parks. If the city is your type of jungle, then Milwaukee had plenty of things to do there too. For instance, you can grab a GPS receiver and head to From there you can get a list of coordinates and head out into the city. There are plenty of caches stashed around Milwaukee. For an enjoyable afternoon, you can head out to the River Walk. One I recently finished is Gertie and the Bridge War. This is a 2 part puzzle cache and a lot of fun. I recommend this one. If you don’t have a lot of time then there are also smaller micro-caches hidden around. Get a list and head out on the concrete trails. If all the walking and searching made you a little tired and hungry then stop off at the Milwaukee Public Market and grab a bite and a drink. They have free Wi-Fi so you can get online and fine a few other caches while you rest your feet.

Milwaukee is covered with geocaches. There are over 1400 caches hidden around the Milwaukee area. Geocaching is a great game that gets you outdoors, whether hiking in the parks and trails or hiking through the city. If you haven’t given it a try, get out, give it a try and enjoy the day. Take a walk along the river and stop by and say “Ayyyy” to the Fonz. Tell him Dan sent you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An unusuccesful hunt today

I looked for this cache, A Trip through the Country... #4, today, I didn't find it, not to mention that it was cold and raining. I was alone for this one. I didn't read the logs to see that maybe it wasn't there. I didn't have a chance to look for any other caches in the Waller area.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

#6 - My first solo find

Before I headed home from work this day, I decided to check the caches on a road I often go down. I decided to try to find this one - Softball Anyone?!

This one was in plain sight! And there were a bunch of folks around. At least one gentleman wondered what the heck I was doing.

Signed log. Yeah, no camera. Took travel bug. Will deposit soon! Put it (cache) back in same exact spot but threw a couple of pine needles on it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


This is one that I had looked for earlier in the week and was unsuccessful. This time the boys and I looked and looked when I finally noticed the surroundings seemed a little out of place and there it was. This was a great cache with lots of bling! We took one, left one and signed the log. BLING BABY

Be careful, this one has ALOT of thorns around it. I would not let anyone in this area without safety glasses on.


Ryan spotted this one first - Ammo Can Cache. It wasn't what I expected it to be.

#3 - Our third find

While still in the neighborhood, we go looking for Signal's in Houston! This did take about 10 minutes to find. Ryan and I spotted it at the same time. If you read the geocaching sites, they do recommend having a stick with you and after doing just a few, I wholeheartedly concur. This particular cache is just a log only. Oh, I am VERY happy with Geocache Navigator on my Blackberry. When using the radar function, it seems spot on.

#2 - The boys and I find our second cache!

We started looking for Turn around again because it was in our neighborhood. We searched for about 5 minutes before I found it. It was a very nice cache that had three travel bugs in it, I left them there because I didn't know what to do with them at the time. And I didn't get a picture. We did take one thing and left one thing and signed the log.

And, unfortunately, this is a premium member cache and I can't officially mark the log that I found it.
I found it because Geocache Navigator saw it.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


We went to Stephen F. Austin State Park today for the Spring Cub Scout campout.

I had done some research before we left and knew that there were two geocaches near the entrance of the park. We had an extra hour before supper began so we went in search of one of them, the Brazos River Run.

We spent maybe 5 minutes searching for it before I spotted it. This is great fun and my boys enjoyed it too! We took one thing and left one thing and signed the log - BadAnimals.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Looking again and striking out

Friday night I went to Walmart and searched for this one, Ozan831's park and grab #1, but maybe because it was dark, I could not locate it.

Made of notebook of some local caches...

and two of where we were going camping the next day at Stephen F. Austin State Park.

I'm not paperless. While I love Geocache Navigator on my Blackberry, it doesn't provide any hints, if there are any, from the website. It does give everything else though.

(Update - I've since realized that if there are any encrypted hints on the website, that those hints are available in the Geocache Navigator software. Also, you read any of the logs posted on the website which will often give you a hint or two and will also give you the date of when it was last found.)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Looking for my first find

After work on Wednesday, I looked for this one, Bling Baby, for about 15 minutes. I was right on top of it, as it turned out, I just didn't know what I was looking for.

I also looked for Turn around again (this one is for premium members of however you can find it with Geocache Navigator) for about one minute but was unsuccessful.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I had heard about geocaching a number of years back but since I didn't own a GPS unit, I didn't think much about it.

But on this day I found out that our Cub Scout Pack would be doing some orienteering at the upcoming campout and maybe be using GPS devices as well. Well I got a Blackberry back in September, it has GPS functionality.

I did a little bit of research and came across the geocaching info. I was hooked! I sent out an e-mail to other folks in our den -

"Good afternoon,

Do y'all know about geocaching?

I had heard of it many years back but knew that it required a GPS to participate and I haven't had a GPS unit until this past Fall when I got my Blackberry.

I know several folks in our den now have Blackberries with I assume the GPS activated.


Getting Started

Here is a map that you can scroll around and look at some of the present locations near us -

And here is the profile of one of the members of the site - lives in JV and was in Scouts.

There is free membership and then there is a premium membership as well.

If any of you guys are interested in this, we could potentially have a group (like the LostGuys).

There are even a couple of spots near Stephen F Austin Park.


I don't know why the boys are supposed to bring a compass and/or GPS this weekend, is it related to orienteering?


Anyway, I find the above pretty interesting. Looks like it could require abit of free time if you really got into it but at least it would get the boys out and about doing something. Everyone loves an Easter egg hunt or scavenger hunt.



Shortly after, I sent this out -

There is an app for the Blackberry that looks like it works in conjunction with the Geocaching site.

It has a free 30 day trial and then it is $14.95.

Point your browser on your Blackberry to -

I just installed it. Not sure how to use it just yet though. :-)"

Shortly after that, I sent this one -

"Hmmmm I'm trying to figure this out but not having much luck (after 20 minutes or so).

We might have to have a premium account on the geocaching site in order to dump info into the Cacheberry software on our Blackberries.

However, I am looking at other GPS apps for the Blackberry to see if we can input GPS coords that way."

And finally, I sent this one -

"OK, I have done alot more searching of Geocaching stuff available for Blackberries.

Try this one - Geocache Navigator. You can get a free 60-day trial here -
Fill out the info at the bottom of the page, including your phone number, so that you may easily just download it to your phone without having to use the Desktop Manager.

This software looks to be very user-friendly. Once you agree to a couple of things, like the general rules of geocaching, which by the way one of them is Cache In Trash Out, very similar to our Leave No Trace Behind rule, then just choose a menu item like Quick Cache and it'll list all of the geocaches in your area.

Here are some other links that I bookmarked concerning Geocaching -