Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New (Caching) Year!

Thank you, Diane, for sharing!

New Souvenir Today!

I only use the Intro app for the messaging feature so I was surprised when I opened it today to see this reminder. 

Go out and get a cache today! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

GeoProfile: PROBOB

I think the most valuable part of geocaching are the friends I've met. 

I once attended a geocaching event in Essex County, Ontario. The waitress was confused - said she didn't understand the dynamics of this strange group. Here we were, 40 geocachers sitting at 2 long tables in the backroom of a pizzeria. We acted as if we were the closest of friends - warm laughter and telling of tall tales - yet we were asking questions normally addressed to complete strangers. What do you call yourself? Where are you from? There was a feeling of instant companionship.

Our community is like that. I've mentioned the diversity of our group before, and. with each. there is an interesting story beyond geocaching. Here's a holiday story.

Bob VanLue (aka PROBOB) and his wife, Candida, have been collecting their Christmas village since their marriage in 1999.  

Currently the collection consists of more than 100 houses spanning multiple banquet tables in his basement. 

The collection ranges from a ski lift scene to a Victorian street opposite a large harbor. He has a Ford dealership, a Cowboys football stadium, and even Santa's village at the North Pole.

As you step downstairs into the wonderland, you are drawn in by the changing lights, the carousel playing Christmas carols, and....

 The drive-in theatre playing It's a Wonderful Life.

That theater is located alongside... yes, that is an Elvis spotting!

A Christmas village wouldn't be complete without Graceland.

The Village took Bob (with help form his youngest daughter) 80+ hours to setup.  Due to the size and complexity, it's currently erected every 3 years and enjoyed during an invitation-only open house.

TaGeez and I were honored to be invited this year, but, we had other commitments so we regretfully missed this year's event. Luckily, Bob was kind enough to invite us over for a private viewing with Team TopKat yesterday. 

These pictures do not do the village justice (in fact I only photographed about a sixth of it) because I was so in awe of the wonderland! But it really did kickstart the Christmas spirit in me.

As many of his guests were geocachers, Bob added a special treat for us! Four caches - 3 ammo cans and a nano - hidden in the village! This was the first one I spotted!

Source: ProBob
I'm now determined to find one missing item for his and Candida's village: a 1/43 scale Tardis for the Victorian village. Every village should have one, don't you think?

PROBOB lives in Southeastern Michigan and has been a geocaching member since 2008. He currently owns 106 caches, including 30 event caches (most of which are cohosted with Geoconsumer in the Canton-area). And, to date, he has 7,789 finds. The three things I associate with PROBOB are:
  1. Always having a smile and a kind word.
  2. The ability to locate FTFs single-handedly in the dark of night.
  3. Ninja-like stealth skills in arriving at and leaving geocaching events without notice.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

CITO Bag Tutorial by Blue Crow Expedition

A great tutorial by guest blogger Jason Michels aka Blue Crow Expedition

I live near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I do most of my geocaching there.  It's a medium-sized city with a lot of green spaces.  This is great for geocaching because you can drive right up to the edge of great geocaching locations without leaving town.  There are places where you can walk ten miles of paved trails, picking up caches along the way, and then catch an Uber back to your parking spot.

Having green spaces mixed in with urban areas also means that they get a lot of traffic and they accumulate a certain amount of litter, so there are plenty of opportunities for CITO.  Recently I have been folding up plastic grocery bags to carry in my geocaching kit. That way I always have a few with me and they don't take up much space.

This is how I do it, in case you would like to try it too.

Step 1: Get a plastic grocery bag.

Step 2: Spread it out flat.

Step 3: Fold in the sides.

Step 4: When I fold in the sides in Step 3, I make the folded bag about four and a half inches across. For this particular bag I am not quite folding it into thirds. I am not saying you should get out a ruler, but you'll make it easier on yourself later if you think about the width at this point. You might need to adjust depending on the shape of the bag.

Step 5: Fold in the tabs.

Step 6: Fold the bag in half again so you have a flat strip a little more than two inches wide.

Step 7: Starting from the bottom of the bag, fold over one corner to make a triangle.

Step 8: Fold up the triangle. Squeeze out the air as you go.

Step 9: Keep going until you get close to the end of the bag.

Step 10: Fold over the short end to make another stubby little triangle.

Step 11: If everything comes out even, you should have a flap where you can tuck the smaller triangle into the bigger triangle. If it doesn't come out even, try unfolding the bigger triangle part way and using more of the bag for the smaller triangle.

Step 12: Tidy everything up. You're ready to go out and declutter the world.

I saw this tutorial on the Geocaching for Everyone FB page and invited Jason to share it here. I really like how compact the bags are - not only handy for CITO'ing but also for emergencies.

Compact and storable in an emergency kit. 

For medical emergencies on the trails use them to carry away the bloody bandages and gauze.

Stored neatly folded you avoid the risk of puncturing it while stowed in your bag.

This would also be handy to protect your hand if you have to move something gross.

Dead squirrel laying on the cache, anyone? Reaching into a particularly moldy log? Rain dripping down onto your expensive smart phone? Soggy socks after falling into the creek? 

Add a small personalized CITO sticker to it and leave them as swag in caches for others to find.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Revenant Trackable Icon

A cool update to an earlier post thanks to afishoutawater!

#TheRevenant movie prop has a generic trackable attached but does display a special icon on your profile when discovered. Bonus!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

'Twas The Night Before Wherigo

What a hoot! Team Gates released a holiday Wherigo (GC66QGV) at tonight's event, and TaGeez & I were featured in two zones! 

Hmmmm.... Now where would he possibly get a picture of me? Stress Test: Win a Free Membership


Participate in's stress test and you have a chance at winning a 3 month free membership!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Piece of The Revenant Comes to Michigan

Two weeks ago announced The Revenant was storming the geocaching world! They are sending out 20 props from the movies as trackables!

Big announcement on the blog!

I shouted to all and asunder SHOW DETROIT SOME LOVE! SEND ONE THIS WAY! Little did I know that one of the trackables, a Revenant shield, had quietly crossed the border and was nestled safely in the BIG Orange Travel Bug Convention Center in Niles, Michigan!

A trip to Niles was in store....

Once we heard one of these elusive trackables was in Michigan, plans for a road trip filled Facebook! This is like a current day "Ape Cache" - a piece of Hollywood stepping into the geo-world - and we wanted to see it before they disappeared forever.

Last Saturday, MaxB on the River, owner of BIG Orange, dropped the trackable at a local event in Volinia, Michigan (a mere 149 miles from home). Road trip! Into the car and heading west on the adventure were myself, TaGeez, RayQix, PaRaDiZ, and Kachehuntr!

We're going to see it!

Or maybe not.

Imagine our shock and wonderment when we pulled into the park and NOBODY WAS THERE! A 3 hour road trip and we missed it? Did I really have the time wrong? CRAP!!! And no internet to contact MaxB or the event CO because we were in the middle of nowhere!

So, what do you do? Well, geocache! Virtuals, Large caches, and oldies! Views of beautiful dams, railroad bridges, lakes and small town centers.

RayQix and Kachehuntr

Much to our joy MaxB messaged us to say they were home and had the trackable in hand. Off to Niles we head! What a trifecta! A Large travel bug hotel, a piece of movie magic (trackable) and meeting MaxB on the River! What a lovely couple! They told us the tale of bringing the prop to Michigan and their vow of silence until's announcement was made. Fun! Fun!

Check it out!

RayQix, Kachehuntr, PaRaDiZ, scrapcat, and TaGeez
in front of the iconic MaxB travel post!

TaGeez with the trackable

MaxB on the river displaying the trackable prop
Up close, it looks like road kill - LOL

Afterwards with the evening ahead of us, we visited more Virtuals, Large travel bug containers with a side trip to Indiana to (re-)visit an oldie!

A Weep in the Nite! GC96A4
Read the story on this one!


Wolverine Wildlife Adventures and Travel Bug Hotel GCKADW

The best part was driving through these lovely small towns along US12 enjoying the Christmas decorations with good friends. BEST way to spend a Saturday night in December!

Life is too short not to enjoy an adventure at the drop of the hat! Happy caching!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

No! You can take the cache with you!

This is no ordinary cache.... This is a Traveling Cache!

Yes, once upon a time there were caches set out into the world to be moved! 

  • Traveling caches are a grandfathered type of cache so they are rare (which makes them exciting).
  • It's very cool to see names on logs you've never seen before.
  • Each time it's moved it's like another chance for FTF in a new location. It's thrilling to race others to the new location before it moves again.
  • If you don't feel like moving it, you can just find it and leave it for the next finder.
  • If you do move it, it does not have the same proximity requirements as a traditional cache. I've seen them "hidden" inside larger caches!
  • I know some cachers that each time the cache crosses their paths they log it as a new find.

  • If it's brought from another state, you may inadvertently earn a new state souvenir. That's how I earned a Utah souvenir without ever visiting. To remove it, you can contact to have it taken off your profile. This may also effect your statistics in GSAK and
  • As it could be hundreds or thousands of miles from it's original coordinates, it's very hard for the owner to perform container maintenance. 
  • As CO's leave the game, the coordinates are no longer updated on the cache page.
  • As it does not have a special cache-type icon they are not easy to track and you could pass by one without noticing.
  • Some CO's do not allowed traveling caches to be "found" at events and breaking that rule has caused some hard feelings when the CO's delete the logs.

To date, I've had the pleasure of crossing paths with 5 so far:
  • 50 State Traveler GC4241 - hid 03/27/02
  • Michigan Traveling Micro Cache GC7361 - hid 04/24/10
  • The Coaster Cacher II GC82D0 - hid 02/01/09
  • ABC's GCCD54 - hid 08/17/03
  • Utah MOVING Cache #3 GCDB76 - hid 01/13/03

Speaking of the ABC Traveling Cache GCCD54

Two years ago I started watching this Michigan gem with no real hopes of ever handling it. It has a strict requirement that it must remain in Genesee County, Michigan; however, I thought it's premise fun. With each new hiding of the ABC cache, it had to be hidden near a place or object starting with the next letter of the alphabet. If you found it at an Airport, you could then drop it at a Barbershop. The next hider could conceal it in a stand of Cedars. 

Then, horror! It went missing about a year and a half ago. The last hider didn't post coordinates but an ambiguous, almost-letterbox-like description. Even our most experienced finders couldn't locate it. After many communications and then the reviewers disabling it, Ken243 adopted the cache over to yellowjeeperman right before Thanksgiving 2015. Hurrah!

With joy, yellowjeeperman released the new container into the wild (which consisted, much to my joy and surprise, of handing it to me at the December Livonia Meet & Greet). A is for 'Across from Applebees'!

ABC Traveling Cache GCCD54
Yellowjeeperman changed the requirements from "must remain in Genesee County" to "must remain in Michigan"! And, so everyone can have a chance to handle a traveling cache before extinction, he lifted the ban about displaying it at events! Sweet! With yellowjeeperman's permission, I added a permanent trackable to the container, filled it with travel bugs and swag, and then moved it on it's way.

New ABC Traveling Cache Trackable TB6V62C

B is for boneyard (or milk  bone)! Your choice! 

I knew I wanted to take it to this very special place. This is the Michigan War Dog Memorial in South Lyon. In the middle of an old pet cemetery, it honors the four-legged heroes that lost their lives in the time of military or police action.

War Dog Memorial - South Lyon, MI

ABC at the War Dog Memorial - South Lyon, MI
On Thursday as the sun was setting, TaGeez and I checked another item off my geo-bucket list: moving and hiding a traveling cache.

TaGeez concealring the hide: N 42 28.483 W 083 36.834
There are several Traveling Cache lists, but this one has a nice description for each bookmarked cache. Let me know if you move one along and have a story to share!