Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Find Bad Logs

Here is a useful tool found on Project-GC.com. It's particularly useful if your # of finds is more than the # of unique caches (You have 6000 finds on 5998 Unique Caches).  It's a good way to clean up "bad logs" that can skew your stats and milestones.

Enter your Geocaching name in the Profile Name field and click Filter. It spits back three sets of results: duplicate logs on your caches, your duplicate logs, and your logs on your own caches. If you click the GC code, a new window will open displaying the "bad log" for deleting.

I think one feature Geocaching.com should add is a Reason field. When I deleted the duplicate logs on my caches today (left column), the original loggers were notified their logs were deleted but not why. That would've saved some time when I started receiving messages this afternoon.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Indiana Adventure: JASMER Completed!

According to the Geocaching.com blog:
Jasmer Challenge
Popular in the United States, the Jasmer asks geocachers to find one cache hidden in every month since geocaching began in May 2000. To give you a sense of the difficulty of this challenge, there are under 150 caches hidden in 2000 still enabled. Geocaching road trip, anyone?
Actually, as of today according to one source, there are only 115 active caches worldwide hidden in 2000. And I found 9 of them - the last two I needed this past week!


Change is in the air for Fall, so TaGeez and I decided we should cap off the Summer with one last road trip. Funny how the last of the Year 2000 (Y2K) caches we needed to complete our challenges are in our own backyard.  We both need 2 in Indiana and TaGeez needs 1 more near Chicago!

On Friday, August 21st, we rented a car and headed to Indiana.  20 hours and 865 miles later, we nabbed many cemetery caches, interesting Virtuals and 2 Y2K caches! JASMER completed for me!

To begin, we couldn't leave Michigan without a cache.  TaGeez and I have been working on the Historic Caches of Michigan Counties challenges and realized we would be passing within a few miles of a critical Hillsdale County cache.  This one (below), in a beautiful old rural cemetery near Coldwater, is the last qualifier for the challenge cache. You can see it was a beautiful, sunny day.

corner stone GCQ229 near Coldwater

Michigan Spirit Quest #61 - "If It Ain't Red..." GC2YGCA

After grabbing a few more challenge and cemetery caches, we finally made it into Indiana and Indiana's First! Indiana's First is in a quiet area just outside downtown Elkhart with convenient parking nearby.  It did not take long before TaGeez made the victory shout.

Another historic cache down - 1 to go!
Indiana's First was practically a park-and-grab, which left time to visit downtown Elkhart for some Virtuals.

Seen near True 2 Life GCAA14

Along the side of the road

An island park in the middle of Elkhart, Indiana
You can see TaGeez off in the distance to the left

Hail to the Chief GCKN8T
There were so many lovely towns along our route!  Albion (Michigan), Elkhart, Indianapolis, and Terre Haute.  Vibrant, bustling downtowns of all sizes. Lovely to see them so well maintained.  Fresh paint and flowers.  Downtown Elkhart was adorned with painted elks!  Spiffy, eh?

Downtown Elkhart
Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann GC9C0A was not on our original list.  But we discovered belatedly that you can't drive directly from Elkhart to Terre Haute without passing through Indianapolis first.  This Virtual, with 144 favorite points, was just a few hundred feet off the road.  How could we not stop?

Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann GC9C0A
Boost me up!
As per usual on our adventures, we were running behind schedule.  Our plan was to return home by midnight, but, as we reached Terre Haute (and Fowler Wilderness Park) around 7pm (a 6 hour drive from home) we accepted that this trip would also be an all-nighter!

"Entrance" to Fowler Wilderness Park
TheGrundalows legal parking: N 39 20.789 W 087 21.060
This is it - the last cache needed to fill my grid.  November 2000.  There are actually 2 "November 2000" caches in Indiana, but TaGeez picked this one due to its proximity to Terre Haute. This cache also had less DNF's recently and time is at a limit. One day we will visit Turkey Run Stash GCC6 for that smiley, too.

The hill that didn't need climbing
After a few missteps and a hill that didn't need climbing, we made the find.  You can see how hot and exhausted we are below.  We are literally standing on the side of a steep hill, balancing precariously on a crumbling outcrop.  This is why we do this!  Can't you just hear the Indiana Jones music?

JASMER complete!
Hot, sweaty, tired, hungry, exhausted.  Mission complete.  But do we go home?  NO.  There are other things to be seen, including a nearby cemetery and downtown Terre Haute.  Meet Max Ehrmann, author of the poem Desiderata. According to the nearby plaque, Max spent many a day visiting this little corner of his hometown to write.

Crossroads of America GC8938

Terre Haute, Indiana
It is getting late, and we still have a 6 hour drive home.  TaGeez snapped this picture of the side-view mirror as we headed to Indianapolis in search of dinner.


Ok, we were waylaid.  After only nibbling all day, we needed food, but, again, there were Virtuals in our path.  So we made a stop at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis.  

Downtown Indianapolis
It's a beautiful area filled with restaurants, hotels and museums right on the river.  This was our first trip stopping in town versus passing on the highway, and it is lovely.  Unfortunately, it was too dark to take pictures of the art lining the river, the Indiana Steam Clock or the terraced fountains.  Like many tonight, TaGeez and I strolled hand-in-hand enjoying the nightlife along the river.

We did make a point of visiting the Indiana State Museum.  They are known for their 92 County Walk exhibit. Encircling the building and the grounds, each county of Indiana contributed a piece of artwork that represented their county (Fountain County contributed a fountain.  Henry County contributed a 3D plane. LaGrange County had these cool pig reliefs).   We walked around this mammoth structure hunting out this artwork in the dark - such a huge variety.  Some pieces were embedded high up on the walls.  Some inlaid in the steps down to the river.  Look high! Look low! Look around that corner!

The one below made me laugh out loud.  As our flashlights panned up the museum wall, about 3 stories up we lit up the Delaware County exhibit!  Hard to see in the grainy photo, but, yes, that is Garfield staring back at us!  What a jolt that caused!  Delaware County is the birthplace of the Garfield comic strip!  What a hoot!

92 Counties GC6BFF
Delaware County
After exploring downtown Indianapolis, TaGeez and I finally managed to find a Perkins restaurant at midnight for dinner.  Then headed home.  Are you aware that most highway rest stops have geocaches, too? We finally pulled in at 5:45am Saturday morning.  Mission complete.

+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

Below is a collage of my qualifying Year 2000 finds.  Clockwise is Chicago, IL > Atlanta, Georgia > Power Island in Grand Traverse Bay > Grayling, MI > near Erie, Pennsylvania > Terre Haute, IN > Elkhart, IN > near Columbia, South Carolina.


An amazing journey filled with wonderful adventures!  And I feel particularly fortunate that I was able to complete this massive challenge during the 15th Anniversary year of geocaching!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

#Geocaching15 Road Trip Shiny!


Ooh, look at the new shiny that arrived in my mailbox this week! It's a reward to myself for completing the #Geocaching15 Road Trip challenges and earning the six special souvenirs.

#IšŸ’œTrackables

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sign us as "GeoThugs"

FRIENDS + FRIENDS + FRIENDS + FRIENDS + FRIENDS + FRIENDS 

One of the most fabulous aspects of geocaching is the diverse and interesting friends we make!  After last night’s event (Happy 17th Birthday, BSW2010!) we headed out to a nearby Roseville park for gsix5666’s 17-stage multi!

RCS – A Long Trek Through Huron GC60Z8D
[Source: TheGrundalows]
Nothing like hanging out with a roving band of GeoThugs on a beautiful summer night!

FRIENDS + FRIENDS + FRIENDS + FRIENDS + FRIENDS + FRIENDS 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

You Might Be A Geocacher If... NO BOOM!




Saw this truck at the Ferndale Dream Cruise, an antique police, fire and rescue car show that kicks off the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.  This was the first vehicle we saw and immediately TaGeez and I started taking a mental inventory of all our local caches.  We're good.

After spending time with the vintage LEO's, we headed off for photos with the novelty cars!

TaGeez with the Batmobile
scrapcat - Munster Car

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Happy International Geocaching Day!

Happy International Geocaching Day!


TaGeez and I decided to celebrate by grabbing a very fun cache to earn our souvenir...

The Lodestone Getaway GC4Q1DJ

...and then had to grab 6 more on the way home.

You never know what you will find in a
rest stop cache GC22B68

Our newest souvenir fit in quite well with the two new ones we added to our collection last night!


We are Road Trip Heroes! 

Straight Outta Geocaching


Isn't this cool? My friend, Brad (Yellowjeeperman), posted an awesome picture of himself geocaching in a tunnel with the label "Straight Outta Geocaching."

http://www.straightouttasomewhere.com

He sent me this link. You fill in the "Straight Outta...." field and upload a picture. Here's my first attempt. Try it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

JING: Finding Cache Types in a State

There’s a new free tool called JING being used around the office.  It allows you to record navigation on the computer for sharing.  As I do Instructional Design for a living and am certified in several professional video-capture training tools, I thought it was worth a go.  Hey, it’s free.  Why not?

For my practice, I decided the new geocaching.com search tool might be a fun topic.  One common request on the Southeastern Michigan Geocaching Group FB page is, “I’m traveling across state.  How to I view all the events in a state?  Am I limited to the new 30 mile radius?”


And, for me personally, where are all the remaining Virtuals and webcams in my path? 




Yes, I know I can do some of this trickery using pocket queries.  I can also use Project-GC.com or the GSAK Google macro.  But when you’re settled in for the night and want to plan a quick adventure, the new search tool is pretty painless.


So, on this late Friday afternoon, I decided to take JING for a spin around the geocaching.com website and share it with you.  No sound yet – I’ll have to play with it next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

UKGCPC: Cacher of the Month!

Fabulous surprise on Facebook Sunday morning - Collin and LJ from the UK Geocaching Podcast are featuring me as Cacher of the Month on their August podcast!

The honor includes:

Their hilarious take on my interview questions
Featured on their webpage

I'm their Facebook cover page, too!


Check out the last 12 minutes of Episode 45 - August Mish Mash to hear about my "tank" adventure in Maine and tobogganing down a Michigan hill on my butt!  And when you are done, make sure you submit your entry for COTM, too!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Crosswind Marshland Meanders: a mid-Michigan Adventure!

Often we are asked where is a good place to take the family caching.  I have a new favorite answer: Crosswinds Marshland, a part of the Wayne County Park System!
Crosswinds Marsh is one of the largest man-made wetlands in the country. It was built to replace the wetlands that were paved over to expand Wayne County's Detroit Metro Airport (the McNamara terminal). Wayne County, together with Sumpter Township, purchased over 900 acres of farmland that believe it or not, was once wetland that had been converted into farm fields by draining the land...in a process that took over a year.   They flooded former farm fields, planted new wetland plants and transplanted endangered species from metro Airport.
 


There have been over 240 species of birds identified at the marsh. Additionally there are nesting bald eagles visible thru-out the year. Boardwalks were built to give the visitors an intimate view of life in the wetlands. The marsh offers year-round activities including trails for hiking (over 6 miles), horseback riding and cross-country skiing, and areas for picnicking and fishing.  [From the event cache page]
How did we happen here? After work Friday night I told TaGeez I needed a long walk - preferably a caching adventure.  We saw an event/potluck posted for the Crosswinds Marshland Meander  GC6XH86 and plans were made.  The event was part of the Crosswinds Marshland "Hobby Days" and hosted by Hooked On U, Stan&Ruth, and the Seed Spreaders.

What a hoot!  The moment we arrived Mrs. HOU said seven new caches had just pub'd in the park!  HOU had released them, hoping to draw more geocachers to the event.  Luckily, however, TaGeez and I were already there.  Grabbing KathieH63 and her grandson, Gavin, we headed out to try out luck!

Two fist-to-finds! Gavin, KathieH63, and TaGeez
At the first cache, a Multi, we saw DougPeterson and clan heading North so we decided to target the West caches.  Score!  First to find on a Multi and a Traditional!  Best part?  On the way to Eagles and Beavers and Caches OH MY! GC60HJR, we spotted an eagle flying overhead! He was leading the way!

Gavin and KathieH63
Time for the actual event.  Boy, this was well-thought out.  There was a raffle to claim FTFs on the 12 additional caches publishing in the park.  Although exciting to claim an FTF, there's a downside to winning one.  Normally you have to take off in the middle of the event, hoping to grab it before the rest of the pack is set loose.  This time, however, the FTF was guaranteed.  If you won, you could stay and enjoy the potluck. Then, at your leisure, you could claim your prize while caching the rest of the park.  TaGeez and I each won one!
June17, TaGeez, scrapcat and Freckles
After socializing over hot dogs, grapes, and chips, we plugged in the coordinates and headed out.  
TIP: When I realized there was no GPS loading at the event, I created 12 dummy caches in my Geosphere app.  When we received the very well done handout, all I had to do was edit the coordinates and off we went!  Later, when the caches published, I updated the GC code and uploaded my logs.  Piece of cake! 
This time when TaGeez and I took to the horse trails we were joined by June17 and afishoutofwater.

PRONG!

June 17 and TaGeez

TaGeez and afishoutawater and one LARGE duck


We lost count of all the wildlife.  Over a dozen swans, redwinged blackbirds, sparrows (with baby birds peering over their nests in the eaves of the pavillion), a blue heron and that glorious Eagle.  Dragonflies, butterflies, toads, and snakes.  Wildflowers, lily pads, and cattails.  


It was a lovely day with 24 finds including 3 FTFs over 6+ miles along well-tended trails and beautiful boardwalks.  To celebrate our success, dinner!  All-around perfect day!

TaGeez, scrapcat, June17 and afishoutawater
Roundhouse BBQ in Trenton

You might be a geocacher if... this bugs the daylights out of you!  Doh!  We knew we were leaving one behind - it was off the beaten trails, high terrain and buggy.  Hooked On U said they're hiding more caches in the park, and we will avenge it when we come back!


A thank you to Hooked On U, the Seed Spreaders, Stan & Ruth, and the Wayne County Park System for such a fabulous day!