Thursday, April 30, 2009
I go out for a lunch find or two for the first time in two weeks and it starts pouring down rain. Argh.
So I drive to McD to get some lunch and head back to the office. Of course it has stopped raining now. I check the radar and the rain was only in that small section of town. Argh. Wasn't meant to be I guess.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
We've had an exceptionally rainy April (I think we broke a record for rainfall) which kept me from caching either because it was raining or because it left areas flooded from the rain.
Chores. Well, there is always stuff to do at home. Unfortunately too much stuff to make time for geocaching.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I brought them to the same place, Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition, that I brought Opie (see story below). I asked about Opie but they didn't know anything. I donated some more money by buying a couple of t-shirts for my sons and also a stuffed raccoon.
Monday, April 20, 2009
UPDATE - Consecutive days streak broken. Got 10 days in. But this is OK. I have a story to tell and I'll do it when I get a chance.
OK, not every post on this blog is directly geocache-related so shoot me.
We were just about to sit down for supper when a neighbor hurriedly rang the doorbell. He told me he watched a possum come into our front yard from a couple of houses away. The possum wasn't moving and he said he was just playing dead. But I could see from 15' away that there were flies around him. I walked over to him and saw that he was alive but that maybe he had been hit by a car. The flies swarmed his left back leg which had an open wound.
I know this possum. We call him Opie. For the past year+, he comes into our gargage every night and eats the cat food. We don't mind. He's fun to watch and doesn't bother the cats. I had just taken the picture below of him the night before.
I think Opie was coming home (to die or be safe). I ran into the house to grab a cat carrier and to tell my wife that Opie was outside and that he had been hurt. We successfully got him in the carrier. I was able to take him to the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition. I gave a donation and checked off on the form to let us know what happens to him.
We miss you Opie.
As of 5-1-09, I still hadn't heard how he is doing. I'm hoping no news is good news.
Oh, I finally got news on Opie (6-1-09), he was euthanized shortly after I brought him in. :-(
Geocachers prompt Boulder school evacuation
A buried geocaching box prompted an evacuation of Fairview High School in Boulder today while officials determined what what in it.
A teacher called from the school at 1515 Greenbriar Blvd. at 11:40 this morning, police said. The teacher saw" a man and a woman burying some kind of box near the stone sign in front of the school," a news release said. They drove away in a cream-colored SUV with Nebraska license plates.
Officers went to the school and decided to evacuate while the building while they investigated the box.
Students were moved to Southern Hills Middle School, 1500 Knox Drive, and Fairview High School was closed for the rest of the day, police said.
Geocachers use hand-held GPS devices to pinpoint hidden caches filled with trinkets.
UPDATE from Darcie Gudger - Boulder High School evacuated because of geocache
UPDATE2 - this looks like the complete story here - Couple seeking teacher's geocache cause school's evacuation
Sunday, April 19, 2009
But right after supper, I grabbed younger BadAnimal in search of a regular geocache, A Honey of a Cache, for obvious reasons, his favorite. Unfortunately the rain over the past two days had left this field flooded and neither us wanted to go through the standing water. We headed home. We'll have to come back here another day.
Later, I needed gas for my vehicle and since maybe I am obsessed and a little OCD about breaking the daily streak, I went to get gas where I knew there was a cache nearby.
I easily found this one, Hail to the Chief - John Adams. Sorry no picture of my (ugly) mug, my Blackberry was being squirelly and I needed to get back home. Signed log.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
But the youngest and I had a good day starting out at the Scout Fair (where I worked a booth for an hour and a half and young BadAnimal went off to have fun) and then we went to a shop that gives free magic lessons every 3rd Saturday of the month. Unfortunately I got a little lost getting there, amazing to me how much I depend on seeing the skyline and the sun, today's washout had me totally lost. After buying him a couple of magic tricks, we went in search of a cache. Hey, I need to keep my consecutive days streak intact!
I used to work across the street from this cache, Good to the last drop, back in 2000 for Kraft (Maxwell House), so going back to this area brought back some good memories. We parked as close as possible and had to use an umbrella. I spied it first and then he did. We brought the cache back to the vehicle to examine the contents and sign the log book in drier conditions. Took 2, left 2. Signed log.
Underpass under water. Poor picture quality. You can barely make out a car partially submerged.
Friday, April 17, 2009
I went by this one, Dementia Concretia, on the way home, it had been a very stormy afternoon. I had never heard of this place so it was a great new find. This one was a virtual cache.
Before I reached the location, I came across this rocket house? Another thing I had never seen.
And then for the virtual cache. It was raining while I was outside visiting. I must bring my kids back to this place! The Orange Show
Geocachers Organize Events to Protect the Environment
CITO - Cache in, Trash Out
Geocaching is growing in popularity. More people are getting outside and into the woods. Volumes of people trekking to specified coordinates will impact the environment. In 2002, CITO environmental initiatives were launched by the world-wide geocaching community.
Leaving traces and trash by a few irresponsible people will ruin the sport for the rest of us. Geocachers are expected to practice "cache in trash out" whenever they are on the hunt. Also, cachers are expected to leave the area where they found the cache in better condition than when they found it (Leave No Trace).
Sometimes the volumes of trash are more than one geocacher can carry out.
CITO events, hosted by devoted geocachers. For example, a CITO event will be held along Bear Creek on May 2nd. At 11 AM, geocachers will converge on the pavilion near the parking lot at the Stone House open space. The city of Lakewood, CO is supplying trash bags for the cleanup efforts.
Picking through trash to find a cache is disgusting and dangerous as well as detrimental to the environment. Read about a blogger's experience with trash at a cache site in Houston, TX here.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Driving to the location I saw lots of flowers and other items by the mailbox of a house and then noticed the the house was badly burned and I realized that I had come across the house where two of Houston's firemen had lost their lives a couple of days ago. Very sad whenever we lose our policemen or firemen or first responders or armed forces personnel.
I parked just a house down from there and got out and began my walk. Turns out I could have parked even closer but that's OK, it was nice outside and I got to see more of the surroundings.
There were some mattresses and other furniture around but I think it was from dumping and not from folks using them. I found the geocache under a small log that the last finder had placed it under. But I saw a hole in the end of that log and saw that the geocache fit perfectly into it and left it that way confident that that was the way it was supposed to be. Signed log.
Note bayou behind me.
Bird in swampy area between where I parked and the geocache.
I went back to the Sims Bayou series hoping that there wouldn't be questionable people at these. I started with this one, Sims Bayou Adventure #1. It was on the edge of a very nice looking park.There were some neighbors out very interested in what I was doing but I tried to be as quick and stealthy as I could.
One of the logs read "poked around inside with a stick cause a massive nocturnal critter coulda been waiting for a little snack." I confess I was worried about sticking my hand in this area too. I brought a flashlight to help but it didn't. I grabbed a stick and poked around til I thought I found its shape. And then I blindly reached in and grabbed it. This cache could easily fall into some of the other areas of this space never to be retrieved. Signed log.
Frustrated look when I realized that a neighbor was standing on his front porch across the street. I don't know how long he had been watching me. He went inside when he realized that I saw him.
Pic of park next to geocache.
Pic of house next to geocache.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Grab a GPS, a trinket and start geocaching
Caroline Skelton, North Shore NewsPublished: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The growing practice of geocaching is really a simple game of hide-and-seek.
Except the seeking is done by hand-held GPS devices, and the hiding is done by geocachers keen on sharing their favourite places with the world.
The global game is a growing trend with families of all ages.
It's administered through the website www.geocaching.com, and encourages players to hide geocaches -- boxes containing a few trinkets (of no monetary value) and a logbook -- at a location they love.
Then adventurous geocachers, armed with GPS devices and co-ordinates found on the geocaching website, search for the box, take a trinket and replace it, or record their visit, and meanwhile, enjoy someone's special spot.
In North Vancouver, newcomers can use a network of geocache locations to find out more about the large and unique collection of public art on display in the community.
Lori Phillips, public art co-ordinator at the North Vancouver Office of Cultural Affairs, started the public art geocaching initiative a year ago, positioning 10 geocaches at public art sites around North Vancouver.
Geocachers were then invited to visit all 10, and get a comprehensive tour of North Vancouver's public art collection in the meantime.
The program proved an immediate success, and within the first six months of the program, Phillips had received 600 e-mails from people who had visited the sites and wanted to share their experience.
Phillips was thrilled with the results, and happy to see a new group of people discovering the public art that helps make North Vancouver a special place.
For those looking for an even greater challenge, many geocaches also contain "travel bugs" -- small trinkets with identifiable numbers that eager geocachers can take with them and leave at other geocache sites. Of the 10 that were placed at the North Vancouver sites, three have made their way around the world, to places as far-flung as Japan and the Netherlands.
There are many other geocaches hidden in North Vancouver, says Phillips, and she encourages everyone to bring the kids out to explore the special places in the community. All you need is a GPS tracker, and perhaps a few little trinkets to trade for the trinkets that are often hidden in the geocaches.
"It's a great, family-oriented game," she says. It's fun, cheap, and at the end of the day, "you're going to end up in a spot that someone else thinks is a special place in the world."
Visit www.geocaching.com for more information.
So, I drove right up to this one. No muggles around. I moved one rock looking for it and found a snake, it was a little guy, I don't know what kind it is (see pic). There's also alot of ground cover covering the concrete and trash, I was worried about sticking my hand anywhere. I finally saw it and was able to grab it without incident. There's alot of trash around this one (I didn't have a bag with me to follow CITO and this is HISD property.) Took nothing, left nothing. (It still had the golf ball and a red hotwheels truck.) Signed log.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Can you see the cache?
Pics of the swamp in Cullinan Park.
This one is located in a questionable part of town. But I wasn't too concerned. Although there was a young guy yesterday walking around with his hoodie up and it was close to 80 degrees and that was kinda strange, you could barely see his face. But today, there were couples walking around and mothers with their young children. Some of the comments in the logs made me wonder about this one too - "Lot's of people in the park and on the trail, a few of which looked on the unsavory side. But I went for it anyway and found it without incident." and "When I first parked there were too many people just sitting in their cars watching me leave. So I went back and parked closer to the playground where there were more people and activity." and "When we came out, cops were everywhere as several cars were broken into so yall be careful parking there." (I did worry about my vehicle being broken into while I was doing this one.)
Mosquitos are also mentioned but I didn't have an issue on this beautiful day.
Monday, April 13, 2009
This one, This Cache is Anchored!!, was a great park and grab. Look in the background of the pic to get an idea of what's around this location. Signed log. Log was just a little damp.
I also looked for this one, Cullinan Park Keychain Cache, for way too long and struck out.
Read this very nice article - Outdoor enthusiasts find fun in Polk with geocaching
Here's another nice one - High-tech treasure hunt - Galesburg Il
I wonder if geocaching could almost get too much publicity. Hmmm. Hopefully the more the merrier.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Had to go get some gas and drop off the paper recycling and knew that the cache was located between my two destinations. The neighborhood that this was located behind is a very nice one. I was equally impressed with the way that folks had kept up their area outside of their back fences. It did take me several minutes to find it but the encrypted hint helped alot. The only issue was some neighbors seemed to be having an argument. I couldn't hear what was being said but I kept hearing a woman scream and I kept hearing a noise like a pneumatic gun or something. This made me pretty uncomfortable in what was a pretty nice setting. I wonder what the neighbors think hearing these people argue.
Congrats to Raven for their 1,000th find! Wonder if I'll ever get close to that.
I was just the third person to log this one.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Interesting camo job!
"It’s called “Geocache” and it’s basically one big, global and (now not so) very clandestine treasure hunt. I must admit that I wanted to keep the whole thing to myself, but after a couple of days spent outdoors, discovering new places, feeling the sun on my skin, being bitten by bugs and scratched by branches, I felt the need to break the code because the more people avoiding shopping malls and PlayStations on the weekend the better. Geocache gives new life to well-worn walks, and childish promise to familiar surroundings. It makes you want to get out there."
Here's something interesting from this article! - BookCrossing - Welcome to BookCrossing, where 762,115 people in over 130 countries come to share their passion for books with the world. Where books take on a life of their own.
Oh I also ran across Letterboxing tonight.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Another great cache. Found it fairly easily. Older logs helped. Signed log.
Yes, that's the cache hanging from my sunglasses.
There were some ducks right behind me but my big head covered them up. :-)
I first went to this one, Brooks Lake 4 - Keep Fit . Found it fairly easily. Cammo'ed Altoids can. Not giving too much away here, the hint reads - magnetic.
This area is soooo much nicer than the area I was in earlier. You can definitely take your kids here and enjoy a walk along the water with the ducks.
So, I drove over the bridge and into the neighborhood looking for a place to park but settled on parking at Sonic. Walking toward the find I noticed a couple of homeless men on the under side of the bridge on the other side of the bayou. This concerned me. This is not a very good part of town and I was by myself. I continued on and continued to keep an eye on those men.
I walked into the woods there and very near the area was a homeless shelter, there were blankets hanging from the tree and I wasn't sure but I think someone may have been in there from the direction that I approached. I didn't like this at all. I walked back out and approached from another direction. Lots of ground cover here and I was happy to be wearing hiking boots and blue jeans. I spied the geocache, which is locked by a cable to a tree (smart move!) but that shanty town was still about 20' from me. I admit I was scared (my heart was racing) and quickly opened the ammo can. Yay! I am the FTF! Grabbed the FTF prize, and the Jeep toy, signed the log, put back several items all the while keeping en eye out for people.
OK, I know bad things can happen anywhere but there are some areas where the liklihood that something bad might happen increases. I DO NOT recommend doing this one alone. Finding this cache wasn't worth my life. If you go get this one, please go with several adults and have your cell ready (I was very ready to dial 911). I would not bring my kids to this one with just me. I definitely would not recommend a woman doing this alone. Oh, and please do this one during the day. You are completely isolated and if anything were to happen, nobody would see it. Sorry to sound so paranoid, but better to be safe than sorry!
So, I parked across the street at the Walgreen's and went in search. The details on the site for this one say "Never used this type container before so we'll see how its lasts. You could call it a container inside another container or draw your own conclusion. A seeing eye dog is not required to find cache." He's right, once I saw the container, I knew what it was. I opened it, grabbed the container inside, unfurled the log and verified that I would be the first! I have to post a picture of the cache at the risk of spoiling this for someone.
Signed log - BadAnimals
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Sample of article -
"The eTrex Vista has been so easy to use. I can operate it with one hand. Downloading caches from www.geocaching.com is as easy as one mouse click. The device lists the caches I hope to find in order of what's closest to where I'm standing at that very moment. When I mark one as "found" it moved to the next set of coordinates. My path of travel from one cache to the next is somewhat logical and so much fun.
Problem is, when I'm thinking it's time to head back and the next cache is only .16 miles away, I MUST find it.
For the past two days, my three-year old son and I have been out 2.5 hours at a time hunting treasures. Yesterday we meandered nearly five miles!
The geocaching community is huge and very friendly... very family friendly.
Time is a'wasting and there are some undiscovered caches out there. My next article will demystify geocaching and introduce you to the web-based cache log and community."
Here are other great geocaching-related articles from Darcie -
2. What is your GC name?
3. What kind of GPSr do you use?
Blackberry Curve 8310
4. What is your favorite feature on your GPSr?
Using Geocache Navigator on my Blackberry, I don't have to have anything else with me, I am paperless. I can look at maps and hints and past logs, it has it all.
5. What is your best memory of geocaching?
Alot of my answers on this probably don't hold alot of water since I am only at 15 finds, might be interesting to do this again a year from now. Anyway, I would say our first find was most memorable.
6. What is the farthest from your house you've ever found a cache?
42.5 miles. I guess that is by 'how the crow flies'.
7. What is the hardest cache you ever found?
Hmmm I might say Bling Baby.
8. What is the most amount of caches you've completed in one day?
9. How did you get started in geocaching?
As documented on this blog, my Scout was going to do some orienteering and I Googled that and ran across geocaching, I was immediately hooked.
10. What is the silliest mistake you've made while geocaching?
Nothing too silly yet.
11. What memorable animals have you encountered on the trail?
So far, just a rabbit.
12. What is your favorite earthcache?
I don't even know what one is. :-(
13. When do you geocache most often? (Season? Time of day?)
Only been at this a month but I can tell you the most comfortable times in Houston are Fall and Spring. Late afternoon, evening.
14. Who do you usually geocache with?
15. Have you ever logged a find on one of your own caches? If not, would you?
I haven't hidden one yet and I wouldn't do this.
16. What is the most consecutive days you've gone caching and had a find?
One, I think.
17. How do you feel about people who "collect" trackable items?
Trackable items? No way! Move it along. They probably paid money for it, it isn't yours to keep.
18. Is it all about the numbers for you?
Not at all. I know I don't have the time. I'm happy with whatever we have.
19. What have you learned since you started geocaching?
That this seems to be a really great community to be involved in. And that I get to spend time with my sons outdoors.
20. What is the most interesting travel bug or geocoin you have discovered?
I've only had two in my possession so...
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
The ground cover getting to this one was about 6" to a foot deep, I worried a little bit that there could be creatures lurking underneath.