Friday, August 7, 2015

Midwest Geobash 2015: Superheroes I

My internet is now intact so I can finally share our latest adventure with you!

Midwest Geobash 2015 GC5D6Dk
Ah, the annual pilgrimage of most of southeastern Michigan's geocachers down to cornfields in mid-Ohio! July 23-26 found TaCat plus 1500+ of our closest friends at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Wauseon, OH. Have you ever been to a MEGA?  This was our fourth Midwest Geobash with the family (Team Free Range Lobsters) and it was an absolute hoot!

DAY 1 - The journey and the night cache

Last year it took us 11 hours to drive 77 miles.... we journeyed to Geobash via Indiana, but this year we had to take a more leisurely pace with TaGeez recovering from surgery.  On our journey down, we enjoyed a peaceful ride along the Maumee River.  There just happened to be 5 Virtuals along that route.  Coincidence? I don't think so!

scrapcat and TaGeez at the Roche de Boeuf GC9D31
You can tell from scrapcat the weekend was a high humidity nightmare
Stop number one was fascinating! The Roche de Boeuf is a big limestone outcrop which forms an island near the center of the Maumee River.  It was the location for councils for the Miami, Shawnee and Lenape Indians.  "It was used as one of the supports for the now abandoned interurban bridge... was the largest bridge that was filled with earth and reinforced by concrete."  According to the historical marker, "About one third of the rock was destroyed when the railroad bridge was built causing great controversy."

Now it stands in ruins.  Beautiful, isn't it?

Roche De Boefu was also the starting point for the
Drive-By "Grizz Tour" GC9F32
After enjoying multiple Virtual caches (most stops of the Virtual "Grizz Tour" were virtuals caches themselves), several cemetery caches, the lovely town of Grand Rapids and an enjoyable lunch at Mom's Diner in Archbold, we finally made it to Wauseon for the weekend!  Boy, the humidity was oppressive!

Caching Fire is ready for GEOBASH! 
The theme of the weekend was "Superheroes" and we really got into the spirit while setting up camp! 3inaTree won Honorable Mention in the campsite decorating contest again!

Oh, this can't be good!

Congrats to 3inaTree for winning Honorable Mention in the
campsite decorating contest for their superhero clothesline
After an enjoyable dinner cooked by TaGeez (hmmmm... brats), we set off for the group cache Justice League of America GC5X1CJ.  I put out a call for as many cachers to join us because minimally 20 had to log onto a special site online to get instructions for the find. There must've been hundreds who showed! And many sporting their superhero capes!  We nailed it. And then afterwards we were off for the night cache.

If you invite them, they will come.
Justice League of America GC5Z1CJ

BSW told me it was too early to night cache, but we had read this year's cache was a killer and we needed every advantage we could get.  We've been in those woods - daylight doesn't penetrate once you enter that tree line!

The Dark kNIGHT GC5ZDBZ Is a D/T 4/5 cache.  The terrain rating was for the knee-deep water, downed trees, swamp, poison ivy and nettle patches.  The difficulty rating was for the mosquito population (no kidding! I wore a head net!) and the red herrings -- there were three sets of trail markers.  You had to pick the right color to follow or start all over again.  Several friends later reported they bushwhacked the length of the woods and forged a swamp only to see the dreaded "frowny face" and having to start all over again.

TaGeez was exhausted from the day's adventures so he stayed back at the campsite.  I tackled this monster with Mr. and Mrs. Ratspazum and Mr. HookedOnYou.  On the down side, we were one of the first groups to do it so there were no geo-trails to help us out.  On the plus side, I was engulfed in mosquitoes in my entirety.  I looked like PigPen on Charlie Brown.  And when I'm attacked, I become really, really focused. 

Ratspazum, Mr HookedOnYou and screpcat after completing
the treacherous The Dark kNIGHT cache GC5ZDBZ
With Mr. R. close at my heels, I barreled through thorns, hopped logs, and waded through swamp in a bee-line to the cache, shouting directions and swear words behind me.  It's amazing we found the smiley face on the log and the cache with our first attempt.  The moment I spotted it I shouted out to the others and then headed for the treeline, leaving skeeters in my wake. Brutal but another square on the Fizzy filled!

DAY 2 - Poker Run

Even though we had hours before the Poker Run, TaGeez and I are in the habit of awaking early.  Being the coolest part of the day we took the opportunity to complete the 10 LAB caches that were released the night before and then do some early morning caching.

The Hulk cache was the best one on the grounds! The green container fits snugly into the bird feeder and only appears when you push the smiley face.  I heard Mrs. Ratspazum jumped because they experienced it at night and the flashing lights were more visible. We enjoyed bringing the family back here later to experience it.
Best cache of the weekend! Incredible Hulk GC5XTQN
So, I mentioned the LAB caches.  10 more to add to our totals!  For months we've been watching the cache pages and forums to see if there would be LAB caches this year - nothing.  Then Thursday night the announcement came out that the LAB caches were released!

10 new LAB caches were released Thursday night
TaGeez and I were #17 & #18 of 903 completions
Five LAB caches (Superheroes) were onsite puzzles that TaGeez & I enjoyed the night before while the others were at Area 51.  The remaining ones (Villains) were on Wanted posters throughout the fairgrounds. The family really enjoyed those!

WikidKriket gathering clues for the LAB caches
Friday of 'Bash is always Poker Run.  You take your Poker Card and visit 7 local establishments for bar-coded stickers.  Upon returning to the grounds, you turn them in to be scanned.  The top and bottom hands win GPRs units - mine came in at #29 this year!

We had a hoot on the Run with Ratspazum and the family.  The stops included the Brown Bag (we revisited this specialty food shoppe the next day), a winery, an Antique store, a general store with ice cream (built before the Civil War), and the Historical Museum.  Conveniently, one of our stops was right near Mom's Diner again so we had to stop. Yum!
Family antics during the Poker Run
We may've scared away Ratspazum for next year!
Back to Spangler Arena to see our cards scanned, do a little vendor shopping, and hang out with the family. SnakeyLicks and his friend did well at the geocoin poker game held by Team Maltese. And TaGeez ran across the Groundspeak Lackey, Bri (Sassy Bandit), who gave out free trackables - score!

Here's MY superhero!
After dinner made by 3inaTree, the family decided it was cool enough to walk the fairgrounds and grab some of the local caches.  It was peaceful, and we enjoyed the banter and horseplay.  Reality had no place here.

Sunset over the campground
Lovely sunset near the Gerald Grain Center.


Return tomorrow to see if our heroes survived the weekend!
Did they escape Joker's net?
Did they event Loki's army?
Did they ever get relief from the humidity and bugs?
Same bat time.... same bat channel.

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