Thursday, October 29, 2015

Numbers? YES! Numbers Of Friends!

Oh, what a cast of characters!

I've been caching steadily for the last 4 years, and some of the most amazing (and fun) people I know are geocachers. You are really missing out if you don't attend events or join the group caching and get to know this collection of like-minded weirdos!

I love that we come from all walks of life. The tech support guy with his high-end sedan talking caches with the dispatcher from the East side. That girl in the corner? She owns chickens. This cute young couple met while group caching at an event as well as the old couple sitting behind this keyboard. Him? He was homeless once, and he recently hosted an event at his new house.  Her? She's on her way to becoming a crazy cat lady. He carries a sock monkey. She carries around a trackable toilet seat. Automatic friends.  Equals.  A Team.

[Source: SCOOK & CITOCacher]
Now, I'm not saying every group around the world is as fabulous as the Michigan geocachers, but you must make your own magic. Below is the advice from our friends spanning from Windsor to Kalamazoo and Detroit to Birch Run for attending your first event(s).

  • Join your local Facebook group.  It's OK to lurk at first to understand the personality of the group. When you are ready, participate in posts so they get to know you. Then, when you attend your first event, they will recognize your name and have an instant rapport when you introduce yourself. (scrapcat)
  • Don't take things too seriously. We are a diverse group of personalities, and you have to find your fit. Oh, and bring cookies. We like cookies. (TaGeez) 

Depends on the type of event. Sound advice from Commander Overlord:
  • If it's a mega don't really plan on meeting or talking to anybody besides who you came with. Most people have an agenda to grab as many caches or discover TB's or attend a schedule activity. 
  • CITO's you may get paired with someone and learn their name but it's hard work carting that spare tire out of the woods. 
  • Go to a regular local event and don't be afraid to introduce yourself. 
  • Cachers have a common bond where ever they are. I just recently went to Baltimore and and attended a local event. I didn't know anybody there. But after an hour of talking I couldn't say the same. Just introduce yourself and have a good time. (Commander Overlord)

  • Attend with someone like GLC... By the end of the event, she will have introduced you (and herself in some cases) to everyone! In other words, if you are a wallflower, find an outgoing person. I suck at attending events alone.  (JAKKofHearts) 
  • Before the event, contact the organizer and say they are new and would appreciate meeting some people who could answer some questions. Recommend that they bring a list of questions, both general and specific. This may include how to work their GPS, enter coordinates, maps etc. A good event host will try and match them with someone or a group of people who can help answer their questions and provide some advice. (Skyecat)
[SOURCE: Prong]
  • Sign in your attendance upon arrival. Mingle with everyone.. As a rule cachers are a very friendly bunch. Ask questions, share stories and have a great time Some events have agenda's to go by and some are very informal. (Grey Falcons)

But, above all, JUST GO!
  • Go prepared to talk to people. Cachers are a friendly bunch, but in my experience at events, they stick to their already established groups until you reach out. Just be prepared to introduce yourself and say hello. That's all it takes to make friends and learn from those more experienced than yourself. (Unlikely Family)
  • My fiance and I did our first picnic this year at lake Erie metropark. Our next door neighbors were the ones who put the picnic together. "Carnval". We are not the talkative type but with the cover all bingo game we played made you talk to people and learn there names. We met a lot of great people and put faces to the caches they placed. (Allthingsparacord550)
  • Go......and dont be afraid to talk to the people there. ;) (RayQix)
  • Don't be afraid to meet new people. I wasn't went I went to 275 the first time. (necthana)
  • The first Meet & Greet we went to....well we felt really out of place. It felt very Cliquey to us. We didn't know anyone and thankfully one person took it upon themselves to say "hi" because we would have been very discouraged. So I would suggest making it a point to introduce yourself to at least one or two people. Arrive "on-time" - not early cause you may not know where to find the group - and not late because it may get over crowded and you will end up sitting off to the side. (LynnGeoGin)
  • Don't be afraid to introduce yourself, and never be afraid to mention that you are either new to caching or new to events. There are plenty of experienced cachers who love to welcome new people! A great sure-fire conversation starter is to ask a question like, "What is your favorite cache you've found?" Before you know it, you can sit back and listen to some great stories as cachers get VERY excited talking about their adventures. Which brings up my final thought this morning; events are a fantastic place to listen to others talk. You can learn SO much from the experience of others, and I have picked up many hints about those pesky DNFs along the way! Happy caching! (TinaAlmighty)
  • The best advice I can give is: JUST GO!!! My husband and I were skeptical and went anyway and had a very good time. It was great to talk with other cachers who understood our new obsession, lol.(jocie1976)
  • I was hesitant to attend my first cache event. I'm outgoing and social but really shy and reserved until I feel comfortable. I wasn't sure if I would know anyone or how I would be accepted and on top of that I wasn't a very experienced cacher at all so I was worried about etiquette. All I can say is just go. Make up your mind and go. The geocaching community is very welcoming and there is nothing to worry about. The people are friendly and inviting and lots of experienced cachers to answer questions. My only other piece of advice... Get there early as I realised that you get entered into a draw for geo-swag and you won't want to miss out on that. (Parkapoo)
  • If you're there to meet other cachers, don't be afraid to start conversations and ask questions. Most cachers are very friendly people! Do some research about caches in the area, too - you may make a new caching friend and end up going caching with them! (RedhedMary)
  • Go, be prepared to meet like minded people who may become some of your best friends,and have fun! Always read ALL of the information on the event cache page for information on what to expect and any requirements.(Ron & Lois)
Always worth repeating

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cruising Outer Drive! Series Finale

We did it! 13 months from start to finish! TaGeez and I finished the 208 cache Outer Drive series yesterday.

208 geocaches spanning 40 miles around Deroit
Placed by RayQix and N8DXG in 2012, this power trail follows Detroit's famed Outer Drive.

Outer Drive is a bypass road which encircles both the eastern and western portions of the Metro Detroit area. It resembles a jagged horseshoe and was not originally intended to move traffic as much as to provide a pleasurable drive around Detroit.

Sept 8, 2014
TaGeez and I decided that finding all 200+ caches in a day/weekend wasn’t for us. We wanted a chance to explore the historic Outer Drive at our leisure so we would go out on a Friday evening or Sunday morning to grab 15-25 at a time. We did the entire 40+ mile span over 13 months.

It was fascinating that, mile-by-mile, you could see the changes in the neighborhoods. Some highly tended and some forgotten. We crossed paths with several colorful characters and neighbors coming out the help (“You looking for that thingy? Wrong tree! Those others found it at that one.”) In addition to some grand, old architecture, we saw some heartbreaking sites but never found ourselves in an unsafe situation.

October 25, 2015
After completing the 207 traditionals, we compiled the clues to find the final, SQ - ODS - Outer Drive Series Challenge.

October 26, 2015
seen at the final
Yesterday, surrounded by some of the most amazing Fall foliage, we earned one last smiley, capping off a fun year of cache runs.

Tool Tip: JOBY Grip Tight Gorilla Smarthphone Tripod

Ah! Those amazing adventures! So much to see! So much to share! So much to remember!

"Rusty" - Baker College, Dearborn, MI

So let's talk about another tool to add to your pack.

TaGeez and I had quite the summer to remember.  Michigan > Ohio > Kentucky > Tennessee > Alabama > Georgia > South Carolina > North Carolina > Virginia > West Virginia.  Let's not forget Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.  And Traverse City! We were really blessed this year.

And, luckily, we have the photographs to remember it all by. Whether it's a geo-journey or a qualifying picture in front of an Earth Cache, add this fellow (or one like it) to your pack:

JOBY Grip Tight Gorilla Smartphone Tripod

The Gorilla tripod (no affiliation - just a happy customer) is small, lightweight, and flexible. Measuring about 8", it's easy to transport and easy to setup.  The grip tight clip will hold any size smartphone and can be used standing or wrapped around an object (sign post, tree branch, historical marker).

Expands to hold any size smartphone.
Note the timer above...4...3...2..1..

Set it up, set the timer, and mosey into position. They are relatively cheap, and ours has been manhandled with no ill-effect over the last year.

Hawk Wood Conglomerate GC2QRMY
Some of our best pictures have been taking with this little gem resting on the hood of my car!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Petrifying "Evil Food"

Team Gates released a new Wherigo at the Taco Tuesday - Spooky Edition event GC645BB. 

Imagine our surprise when TaGeez & I reached this screen? What a hoot! 

Thank you for the FTF!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Star Wars Wherigo Geo-Art

How cool is this?  Complete 6 'play anywhere' Wherigo cartridges to acquire the 36 sets of coordinates to complete this Tie Fighter Geo-Art!  Geocache #1 is here.

#SouthwesternMichigan #StarWars #geo-art

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Big is Beautiful!

Ye of little faith or creativity....

I've been hearing a lot of bemoaning lately on podcasts or within the forum of the 'micro' trend. "All people do is hide micros and film canisters!".  They whine because people no longer hide larges with excuses like "you can't hide larges in a city" or "there's no room because there are so many caches out there".

And with that... I chuckle.  Above is a map of all the larges within the Metro Detroit area (it doesn't get any more urban than that!).  Within a 10 mile radius of my house are over 2,300 caches (packed, I tell you!)! And look how many larges there are!  

IT CAN BE DONE! Just ask my Sweetie.  Although he's not the hider of all, a great many of these were hidden by TaGeez.  That man has talent. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Flooding in Sumter National Forest


Just spotted on the Sumter National Forest page word of the historic flooding and closures down there. Really hits you when you are familiar with an area. In May, Steve and I were there in South Carolina for the Modoc Stash GCG4.

I'm sure the river looks considerably different now, the terrain more treacherous, and who know what damage the forest has incurred. Relief knowing the cache was hidden up a hill, though. #December2000

US 23 Discovery Trail

The Straits Area Geocachers (SAG) have been busy! They've hidden caches along the beautiful and historic Lake Huron on U.S. 23!

The first 150 cachers to find 25 of the 32+ geocaches earn a special McGulpin Lighthouse path tag. Download your passport and get outdoors!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spooky FTF Swag

Fun surprise Sunday night! An FTF on a late night pajama run and an FTF prize for Halloween! Hider's first cache - call me biased, but I think they're off to a good start.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

SQ - Clarenceville GC5RK65

I took this photo last week while hiding a geocache and Google "enhanced it". Pretty cool, eh? Looks like a lovely watercolor postcard. Cemetery postcards were popular collectibles at the turn of the 19th century.