Sunday, February 28, 2016

Leap Day Souvenir #1

Isn't it lovely? Earned my first Leap Day 2016 souvenir while enjoying a Reindeer series of caches yesterday! Looking forward to earning its sister souvenir while attending a Leap Day event! TaGeez and I took the entire day off and plan on caching our way around the metro areas.

Speaking of which, those crazy Southeastern Michigan cachers outdid themselves this year. I think they created 18 events (starting at 12:01 am tonight)! TomasDiaz calculated that you could actually break a record and attend 16 of them! His numbers are:
  • Total time at events: 4.27 hours
  • Total driving time: 11.07 hours
  • Approximate mileage: 602 miles!
He shared an incredibly impressive spreadsheet on our group's FB page including GC codes, coordinates, event hours, estimated attendance times, drive times, and idle times. It is for this reason I struggle with his geocaching puzzles - the man is too smart!

Go out and earn your souvenir! Grab a cache this weekened! Attend an event tomorrow!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Detroit's City Sculpture Park

Categorize this as "Unexpected places geocaching takes you".

I can't tell you the GC code to this cache as it's a part of a relatively new puzzle, but TaGeez and I were thrilled to stumble across the City Sculpture Park in Detroit's New Center.

Detroit has been rated as one of the top ten influential cities for urban art. It's around so many unexpected corners!

Have you visited my blog post This is Our Detroit: An Urban Art Adventure? It's one of my favorite geocaching blog posts, and I included GC's. 

I'm looking forward to Spring when everything is in bloom. Wildflowers springing up through the cracks and fresh paint adorning the factory walls. 

Just another month until the Belle Isle event where hundreds of cachers head to downtown Detroit for caching on the Isle amongst those great buildings and along the waterways. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Winter Streaking Tip: Recently Found Caches

So far, I've cached every day for the last 1,452 days. This includes 4 Michigan winters where temps can range from a balmy 60 degrees F to as low as -26 degrees F. What is the key besides boot warmers and extremely tolerant loved ones? Pre-planning.

The calm before the next snow storm
On my 1,000th day of caching, I wrote a guide to Successful Streaking. One point I'd really like to focus on is the benefit of a good pocket query*. Several of the Southeastern Michigan streakers heavily rely on their daily or weekly Recently Found PQ.

*Note: Pocket Queries are a Premium-member feature, and, IMHO, well worth the moolah!


Winter time is hard on cachers as "park and grabs" could be buried under snow drifts, LPC's encased in snow banks, conditions dangerous with ponds barely covered in snow. For successful finds on blustery days, follow in other's footsteps (literally and figuratively)! You are more likely to find a cache if it's been found recently. I personally run this query weekly and save to a special "group" or folder in GeoSphere. You can also run it and save it to your GPSr. 

Below are general instructions to creating a pocket query. Visit the tutorials on for greater detail.

Step 1: Go to and click the Play menu. Select Pocket Queries from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Click the Create a New Query button.

Step 3: Populate the following fields (based on your personal preferences).

  • Name your Pocket Query. Make it distinct.
  • Under Days to Generate, pick the day or days of the week to run.
  • Change the Frequency to Run this query every week on the days checked.
  • Change Cache Total to 1000.
  • Change Selected Type to Traditional (*though many Virtuals, Webcams and Earth Caches are winter-friendly).
  • I leave the default of Any Container, but you can select as desired.
  • Under Status, I will select I haven't found, I don't own, Are not on my Ignore list, Found in the last 7 days, and Is Enabled. Found in the last 7 days is key! 
  • Change Terrain to Less than or equal to 2.
  • As I don't travel far in inclement weather, I change my From Origin to My Home Location.
  • Scrolling to the bottom, I will check Include Pocket Query name in download file name.
  • Click the Submit Information button.
I receive my revised pocket query on Monday and upload it to my iPhone app. Save yours to your phone or your GPSr.

My target list
Remember when you play to play safe! Even if found recently, watch for concealed holes or ponds and careful of loose or drifting snow. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Caching in Bloom County

Who knew Opus was a geocacher? 

I want to geocache in Bloom County, where the animals talk!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Wasted Trip?

"What did they mean 'Needs Maintenance'?" TaGeez bemoaned. "There was still PLENTY of room!"

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Geo-Adventure Prep: Foodie Heaven!

TaGeez and I are vibrating in excitement - just two months until our next great adventure!

Nightly we're pouring over guidebooks, reading up Virtual cache descriptions, and plotting likely Benchmarks. But tonight is a big one - FOOOOOOD!!!!

Settled in for the night, we're watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Eat the Street for fabulous food leads in DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

So much fun making lists, bookmarking restaurants and daydreaming as we catch glimpes of each town in the background. Walnut Street in Philly. Chips Pit Beef in Maryland. And this scrumptious metal & glass diner outside Arlington Cemetery.  

Add to that the need to return to Old Town Alexandria for dinner alongside that cobbled road. Crab Cakes in Baltimore, Philly Cheesesteaks... 

Food can add such amazing memories to a trip. I found myself in Philadelphia almost 9 years ago on business. My hotel, the Hilton (Garden Inn), was the home of the original Philly Cheesesteak plus the site of my very first one. I sat at a white-draped table in their top-floor restaurant and had my very first one under the watchful gaze of William Penn atop Philadelphia's City Hall. I'll never forget it.

Imagine my horror sitting next to TaGeez tonight (a man, I should add, that up to this moment I considered my heart's true love) when he turned to me and proclaimed that HIS cheesesteak will have Cheez Whiz on it! ((shudder)) Alas! A memory I hope to forget!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New TB Rescue Site

Took this off the newsletter:

As mentioned in the last newsletter, and on Facebook several times, we have began to work on something called TB Rescue. The idea comes from, which is a service that was shut down last month. After a week of development with parts of it being working double time we finally have it in a working state. It took us about 3500 lines of code to bring it together, but it's finally looking quite good. 

The concept is as follows: 

An owner of a trackable notices that their trackable has been stuck in the same geocache for at least 4 weeks. Being worried about it being lost or that just too few visits this geocache he or she creates a rescue mission at Project-GC.

Under the Tools menu, click Rescue Map

Users of Project-GC have earlier added Watch zones, ie areas where they want to be notified by email if there is a new rescue mission. If there is a watch zone where the geocache with the trackable currently is, all owners of those watch zones will be notified.

Cool stats on the right side

Those having the watch zones (called rescuers) can then act upon the email about the new mission. They are encouraged to log a note on the rescue mission (at Project-GC) saying that they will go there to take a look. If they do not find the trackable in the geocache they should log a DNF on the rescue mission (again, at Project-GC). After 3 DNF logs the rescue mission will automatically be canceled, since it's very unlikely that the trackable exists there. 
Scroll down to see the map of your zone and TB's in need of help

Examples of trackables in need
Instead, if the rescuer actually found the trackable, he should bring it with him (or her) since the rescue mission owner wanted it to be rescued. He/she can then log a found log on the rescue mission to show that he has it. Besides this, he should grab the trackable using The log at will be used to automatically close the rescue mission with the status Completed, and the rescuer will be marked as the one who completed the rescue mission. 

If you have any trackables that seem to be stuck, feel free to create your rescue mission using our TB Rescue tool.
Create a mission under My Missions (menu option or tab)
If you feel like becoming a rescuer, go to the same tool to add watch zones for the areas where you would like to be notified.

Scroll down to the map. Select your zone if you're willing to be a watcher
The system has only been live for a few days, but there are already over 100 rescue missions created, 230 users who has created watch zones, and almost 2 million km² being watched.

I've signed up! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's already started...

Rumor has it those Southeastern Michigan cachers are at it again...

Setting themselves up to qualify for the Six Events in Two Days Challenge! We'll be leaping all over this corner of the world to qualify. Wondering who will schedule the last two events?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

You Might Be a Geocacher If... Super Bowl Edition

YMBAGI.,. You see coordinates at the beginning of the Hulk/Ant Man Coke Super Bowl commercial and are anxious to see if there is a cache nearby!

Update: Wouldn't you know it? The group came up with the goods. And the closest one is an oldie, too! March 2001!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Spring Maintenance Comes Early!

My last post shared my favorite maintenance log ever on a cache. Well, the joys of spring maintenance has started early for us, too.

TaGeez and I have one cache where the outer ammo can is intact but someone took all the inner containers.  Hello in there! Echo.. echo... echo...

Thank you, DougPeterson, for adding a log

Then we received notice that one of our large containers was taken but all the inner containers were left behind and fully intact. Apparently someone needed a camo'd kitty litter container more than we did.

During an event we received two texts within a half hour of each other. One thank you for the first-to-find prize and another saying the cache is missing.  We found the replacement cache literally sitting atop the original container - twins of each other. And none of the following finders that day noticed it?

Let's not forget the Multi we archived because Mama Goose was on a rampage. 
Little Boy Blue, come, blow your horn!
The cache is in the carport where the goose honks her scorn.
Where's the hider who tucked it away so deep?
Under the apple tree, fast asleep!

Then off to the cache check because a new cacher posted a Needs Archive log on a cache with no DNF's because he was unfamiliar with magnetized PBNs in a sign. 

What a weird set of circumstances placing us on the path of repairs earlier than expected. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

On a serious note, between us, TaGeez and I have almost 300 caches. We uploaded our hides into GSAK and print out a nice spreadsheet to check off the caches as we check them - some sooner than others. I have mine saved in Dropbox so I can check them off my phone.

Monday, February 1, 2016

You heard it here second.. or third.. or fourth...

Interesting geocaching bits from social media or the blogsophere...

I admit that I love geocaching blogs, podcasts and social groups. There's just something about being around other LMW's (Like Minded Weirdos). Here's a collection of interesting tidbits from this week.
  • I read on a group site that this guy read elsewhere that this other guy from Houston attended an event in Kansas where a Lackey was present. The Lackey said Challenge caches are coming back, and that he's on the group hammering out the details. Crossing my fingers.
  • The new site for Midwest GeoBash is online and usable. Just 6 more months until Bash!
  • Don't forget two new CITO souvenirs! Attend a CITO event the weekend April 16-24 and another the weekend of September 17-25 to earn them. Check out this cool site by the A-Team of upcoming souvenirs.
  • NPR posted an interesting article about The Best Way to Keep Mosquitoes from Biting? Rates the different  sprays and how to effectively use them. Interesting, though, that they left off the surest way to avoid mosquito bites - just cache with me! They LOVE me - ugh.
  • The 104-stage D/T 5/5 Multi (L.E.G.O. - Mega Multi: The Devils Run) in Canada was archived for for lack of maintenance. I can't imagine how much room that will free-up for new caches.