Saturday, August 31, 2013

31 Days of August: Day 31

We did it! We cached all 31 days in August and received our virtual souvenirs!

Can you spot the Geocache in this picture? WikidKriket & SnakeyLicks did!

Friday, August 30, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 30

Had a glorious day at Robert Long Park today. I'll have to share more once it doesn't hurt to type (6 hours of walking - OUCH!)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 29

Today was sucky so I thought I'd share something to make us smile. This is A2QueenCacher posing with a minion cookie (made by Mibbs). We have a lot of baked goods at meets!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

31 Days of Caching: Day 28

One thing I love about Geocaching is that it excites so many types of people. This is a group picture from an event today. There are teachers, trainers, retirees, Academic computer operators, cable installation specialist, school kids, medical grad student, men's clothing store manager, housewives, retail Customer Service, cheerleader, programmers, Grandmothers, nature guides (off the top of my head). All ages, sizes, walks of life. In this area, it's always a WE and never a ME mentality.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 27

Challenges, like caching streaks, are easier when your caching buddy enjoys life as much as mine does.

Monday, August 26, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 26

So, I find myself pulling off in the oddest spots to grab a geocache.  In Ohio, there was no parking at the end of the Wabash Cannonball Trail.  In Auburn Hills, there was a set of nature trails behind their civic center.  I also stopped in West Bloomfield, where I walked around a public lot (at the end of an exclusive residential street).

I ALWAYS make sure parking is allowed - I never trespass or park in No Parking zones, etc.  But still... neighbors are vigilant and wonder why a strange car is parked in their neighborhood. And I'd hate to get towed.  So, I made and laminated this sign for my dashboard:

In a stroke of (I think) genius, it's reversible. The flip side, in bold red letters, reads I'M IN TROUBLE - CALL 911.  I hope to never need that.

I've really learned some safety skills in this sport.

Take care and happy caching!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 24

My sister gave me this awesome coin! It a treasure chest that opens to display its booty inside!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 22

Just hid this cache tonight. The container? It's green. And the size of a pencil eraser. That's evil. (tee hee)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 21

To help their fellow cachers reach their 31 days of caching, some of my friends have hosted geo-events this month. Today there were THREE ice cream socials scheduled! Steve (TaGeez) always enjoys a good ice cream!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

31 Days ofGeocaching: Day 20

Today's adventure brought me alongside an oft-forgotten 1930's pet cemetery on a gentleman's farm. Cool!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Best Dating Site Ever!

My Sweetie is a social butterfly, and he's in his element at our Geocaching Meets. It's not unusual for me to walk up to a grinning crowd and hear him say... "I met her on the Internet. Where?"

It's pretty special dating my caching buddy.

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 19

Not only does Geocaching take me to pretty places.... It takes me to sad places, too.

This was once a thriving elementary school in the middle of one of the richest counties in the US. Instead, the school was torn down, the baseball field abandoned, and the dog park empty. I swear... when I stepped passed the chained gate, the crickets started to sing, a soaring sound washing away their loneliness.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 15

Today was a magical experience. This adventure involved a trek into the woods, a magic wand & rabbit in a hat, solving a puzzle and making our way to the final! Victory is ours!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

31 Days of Caching: Day 14

Sometimes you find the darnedest things caching. This cache container was hidden inside a block of wood. Take out the container, and {poof} there's an alien!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 13

Speaking of bright & shiny (see yesterday's post), another fun aspect of Geocaching is the path tags!

Path tags are approximately the size of a quarter. Unlike geocoins (which are sent out with missions), path tags are customized collectables to keep or to trade.

Here are some recent trades. My sister's signature tag is the lower, left corner one.

Sometimes you can earn them (for completing a series of tasks) or receive them as a souvenir from an event. These tags are from this year'S Midwest Geobash. The lower left is my personal tag (gorgeous I person but hard to photograph). The lower right is my sister's 'Bash tag!

This year'S theme was Mardi GRAS

I've been very lucky - my sister is a very talented designer and designed both of mine. As they are too shiny to really photograph, I'll show you her blueprints.

My signature tag


My 2013 GeoBash tag

It's always a thrill to find one in a Geocache! You can log them online so the giver can see who has it, where they found it, and what they think of it.

So far I've collected a few....

So pretty!

Happy caching!



Monday, August 12, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 12

It's raining today and, as I was dressed for work, I went with an easy cache.  Not too thrilling.  What excites me, though?  Trackables!

According to Groundspeak:

A Trackable is a sort of physical geocaching "game piece." You will often find them in geocaches or see them at geocaching gatherings. Each Trackable is etched with a unique code that can be used to log its movements as it travels in the real world. Some of these items have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles thanks to geocachers who move them from cache to cache!

Trackables can be geocoins or travel bugs. A cacher will purchase a trackable with a unique tracking code, often attach it to another item (called a "hitchhiker"), and drop it into a cache with a mission.  Most commonly, the mission will be "to go as far as possible".  Then, when the next cacher finds it in a cache, they will pick it up and move it along to another cache.  Because of the unique tracking code, every movement is logged online and anyone can watch the progress of the item.

This giant Peeps mission is to attend wherever cachers meet

My trackable in the Czech Republic. 

An example of a "geocoin".  Pretty, isn't it?

This is my Ginger - I released it in Canada

This moose wanted to return to Marquette, Michigan where its owner went to college

This is an example of a "travel bug" with many "hitchhikers" attached.

Beautiful geocoin from Great Britain. 

You can attach a trackable to anything

My favorite trackable.  I moved it from Michigan to Ohio for its owner.

Often, TB owners will ask you to take pictures of their trackables with local landmarks

This one has been on the move since 2007

This one wants to re-join a matching trackable released at the same time

Because coins often go missing, many people collect and don't release geocoins

Little mouse traveled from England in memory of its late owner
Some of my trackables have traveled as far as Australia, Germany, England, Belgium, and the Netherlands.  I have many trackables with over 10,000 miles on them!

It's great to know that, even as I'm tucked at home avoiding the rain, my trackables are out there exploring the world and reporting back to me!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 11

This is the geocaching puzzle that faced me at 7:30 this morning.

It is a Difficulty 4 (out of 5 as the hardest) Terrain 3 (no stroll through the park).

And, as of the time I had awoke.... Nobody had solved it. That means I had a chance at a "First to Find".

Cachers love numbers. We love our statistics, our math problems, our grids. One of the badges of honors we wear is our FTF number - how many times was I smarter, faster, luckier than the other cachers around me.

Today, at 9:40 am, after doing some pencil work, getting a green light on the checker, and sliding down a SUPER steep & muddy riverbank, I was Top Dog! WOOT!

The thrill of the puzzle, the chase, the victory. Another reason I love Geocaching. This FTF was my 120th with an 18 consecutive month streak! See? We love our numbers!

It wasn't until I returned home that I realized today's souvenir is a detective's magnifying glass!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!



Saturday, August 10, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 10

Yesterday was an AMAZING day!
My sister, Lorna, (caching name WikidKriket) just completed her 366 challenges (she cached every day for 366 days completing both a streak and her 366 grid). In celebration, we spent the day Geocaching from Harrison Township to near Jackson, Michigan, picking up challenge caches along the way!
Blue dot is home base
We started early, after a snack stop at 7-11, heading East. First stop, Harrison Township where I claimed my 500-day caching streak challenge. We drove along the Eastern coast. We found Virtuals (more on this later), regular caches (called "Traditionals"), more challenges, and puzzle finals (you have to solve a puzzle to assemble the final cache coordinates).
One of the more memorable challenge finals was the Pulling Teeth: The 365 Day Streak Challenge. It was located behind a dentists' office. I was having sympathy pains as I had emergency dental work the day before!
After completing the East side, we cruised to Heritage Park in Farmington Hills. On this beautiful, blue day, Lorna and I walked the 1/2-mile River Path to the 366 Calendar Date Challenge cache.

Although the trails don't appear on our GPSr, I've been here enough times over the past year to walk us right to it!

We found it! Lorna tried to eat it (just kidding)!

But that was a HOT walk - a mile, round trip, in and out of the direct sun, up and down some undulating paths. After that was a break in Pei Wei's air conditioning!

OK, off to Scio and Jackson!

A friend of ours likes to hide geocaches near the former sites of movie theatres, ballrooms, and Drive-in Theatres (the Michigan Cinema History and Detroit Cinema History series). In his cache descriptions, he includes the history of the cinema and the history of that particular structure (often accompanied with the most amazing photos).

All that's left of the Scio Drive-in
On the way to Jackson, Lorna and I stopped at the Scio Drive-In Theatre. This drive-in has 2 very interesting factoids:
  1. It was the first drive-in in Michigan that featured double ramps to compliment its 65' screen.
  2. It was closed under controversy because the last owners projected porn on its 65' screen, making it easily visible to the motorists on I-94.
After that, we headed further West for one last joint challenge cache, the 365 Straight Days of Caching. This place was in the middle of.... Michigan... and nowhere. Just fields and fields of green and one lonely cache! I took a picture of the only tree nearby. Really peaceful, even though the road ran parallel to the highway.

After that challenge, onto Ann Arbor for Cherry Republic! Yum! For those not from here, Cherry Republic is a community-minded, environment-devoted, Michigan-based company that sells cherry products. The best cherry products. And they have a storefront on Maine Street. Outside the store, we saw two things of interest: a wolf playing violin and a fairy door. There are doors throughout Main Street catering to the wee folk.

As we left the store with Cherry Root Beer, Cherry Gingerale, Cherry Brownies, and Cherry Mustard, Lorna and I realized we had time for one last adventure... A Virtual!

A Virtual is a grandfathered cache type - very rare and can no longer be created. They were a way to draw attention to a site, usually of historic or artistic significance, where a traditional cache could not be hidden. To prove that you have visited the site, you must generally answer verification questions (and, sometimes, take a picture of yourself).

One of the Virtuals in Ann Arbor is The Wave Field. This field was created as a memorial for a former U of M graduate by his Baroness mother. And, let me tell you, it was DECEPTIVELY comfortable!

Now, THIS is caching!

After another small stop (we'll discuss Earth Caches another day), we headed for home where my Sweetie had hot chocolate chip cookies awaiting.

I love Geocaching because of the people I meet, the places I go, and the things I learned. And that sums up my motivation for my 526 (to date) day streak.

Friday, August 9, 2013

31 Days of Caching: Day 9

It's minutes before midnight, and I can barely keep my eyes open. Had an amazing adventure with my sister today (which I will post in detail tomorrow). I just thought I'd post this picture in the interim to keep you curious!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

31 Days of Geocaching: Day 8

Another day checked on the daily challenge. That also means another souvenir on my profile. Isn't it pretty? These were all hard-earned.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

31 Days of Caching: Day 7

The first week of the challenge is complete - woot!

One of my great joys of geocaching is my fellow Cachers! Tonight was the monthly Livonia Meet. Doesn't this look like a fun crowd? We are all sorts of people - all sorts of backgrounds & professions - and universal acceptance. We are teammates - friends - family, all rolled into one. We met many new Cachers tonight, but none are strangers. This is one of the most positive influences in my life.

Thank you, Mibbs, for another outstanding event and sharing this photo!