Sunday, July 31, 2016

Speaking of souvenirs... Midwest GeoBash 2016

If you attended but your log is dated Thursday, Friday or Sunday, check your profile to see if you received your MWGB souvenir. 

If not, re-date your log to Saturday (the posted event date). After you receive your souvenir, you can change the date back.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mission GC Souvenir 1

Last week released an email to Premium Members supplying the first clue to the Mission GC souvenirs for August 2016.

Of course, the Southeastern Michigan Geocaching FB Group was right on this! But, if you couldn't solve it, hints were given on the blog and today released the solve.

To earn this first Mission GC souvenir, cachers must find and log minimum 1 geocache 
with 10+ Favorite points either today or tomorrow.

You would think this would be a piece of cake for veteran cachers, but TaGeez and I have cleared most of them off our local map. We have targeted two - one to the East and one to the West - depending on where our paths take us. 

I enjoy these annual challenges - it introduces new or better caches to newer members and rewards the veterans with some nifty souvenirs.


If you need help locating qualifying caches, just visit and click the Play button (along the top). From the drop-down, select Find a Geocache and enter your search location. Once your results appear, click the Change Filters option (under the search box).

You can refine your search by type, distance, etc. The most important fields are:
  • Minimum Favorite Points = 10
  • I Haven't Found
  • I Don't Own
  • Enabled
Once you've made your selections, click Update Search to view a list of viable listings.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

TIP: Spotting Your GPSr

By the time you read this, TaGeez and I will be on the road to Midwest GeoBash! (Special 'Thank you' to Oscar and Brenna for housesitting!)

As we were loading pocket queries and checking the lithium batteries, it hit me that I had two more tips to share:

Labeling your GPRs

I was just reading on YMBAGI (Facebook) about a man who dropped his iPhone on a power trail while caching. It goes on to tell all about his travails on relocating it (in case you were curious, he never thought to call it because he assumed it was still sitting in deep grass).

And we've all been out with someone who has lost their GPSr units while on a run. Or confused them in a group of units - heading to GeoBash, there will be hundreds laying around. Even in some of our smaller local events, you hand them over to the people loading event caches and hope the post-it note doesn't come loose.

In a crowd, they start to look alike

TIP: Even though most units have a spot in the settings to put your contact info (have you updated yours lately?), our local cachers have learned to also ink their email and phone info in the battery compartment.

GeoFleaz (AKA Travel Fleas)

In yesterday's post, you saw these little metal tabs attached to our trackables. GeoFleaz (originally called Travel Fleas) are also a handy way to personalize your carrying case. 

TaGeez and I have had ours for a few years, and you can see that the tags look brand new still.

Anyone else going to GeoBash?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

And They're Off! Prepping Trackables for Release

And they are off!

Naughty McDuck and Greedy McDuck are on the move in the HQ Duck Dash! TaGeez and I prepped them and will drop them on our way to Midwest GeoBash tomorrow.

Attached to our travelers are:

* 7 Deadly Sins Duck Trackable Tags
* Trackable Info sheets with clear missions (Ok, TaGeez's a little vague)
* GeoFleaz personalized tags
* On a ball chain with a soldered clasp (TaGeez uses liquid solder)

The Info Sheets are located in the upper right corner of the trackable page on Sending this along with the trackable gives it a better chance of success. Now, I don't particularly like the format of it, so I copy/paste the Info Sheet into Word and add my own edits. One feature is a clear tracking code for easier logging.

After I tweak it, I print them and have them laminated. It's super cheap at Office Max. Bring it home, trim it up, and punch a hole. Several bits of advice:
  1. Punch in the clear plastic and not through the paper. If you punch through the paper all you are doing is unsealing the plastic, making it no longer waterproof.
  2. If you feel the need to strengthen the hole, you can use a grommet.
  3. I like to use a scrapbooking corner punch to round the corners. Otherwise the sharp edges can tear plastic bags or cause a paper cut. 

Just remember the main rule about releasing trackables into the wild: Don't send anything out you aren't willing to lose. Trackables go missing all the time, but, sometimes there are great success stories that make it all worthwhile.

See you at the finish line!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This Picture really is a PRIZE!


My photo was one of the winners in the Tin Cup Whiskey Trackable Photo Contest!

I hope to find out soon what I won!

Oakview Cemetery is ahead of the curve

How smart is this??

Oakview Cemetery in Royal Oak, MI has put out the welcome sign to Pokemon GO  players!

And read the last bullet point...

So, out of curiosity, TaGeez and I stopped in. They are handing out free candy bars to "the kids" (us, too) and using it as an opportunity to educate the kids on appropriate behavior in a cemetery!

Brilliant! If you can't stop them, educate them! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Portable Magic: A Wherigo

You want weapons? We're in a library.
Books are the best weapon in the world.
This room's the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself!

~ Doctor Who

It's out!  I posted a few days ago that TaGeez and I had visited multiple Little Free Libraries in the area to distribute books. We were inspired to create a Wherigo tour of Ferndale, called Portable Magic, that includes a little bit of history, book quotes, and bad library puns - what a hoot!

"Picking five favorite books is like picking the five favorite body parts 
you'd most like not to lose."
~Neil Gaiman

Wherigo Pro Tip from a Reviewer

So, in creating this Wherigo, I did have a bit of a panic. I uploaded the cartridge to and made it public. Then I submitted it for review. A few days later, still unpublished, I discovered that someone had downloaded the cartridge! Oh, no! I was afraid someone had snuck in and grab the FTF before anyone had a fair chance to grab it. In a slight panic, I emailed my reviewer. DeRock, and he shared this great tip:

There are different setting for a cartridge. One is public so everyone can see it. The other is private so only those with the direct link can see it. The public setting means that your cartridge can be searched for by your caching name or by new cartridges or by area. Most folks keep their cartridge private until after the cache is published.

Michigan Reviewers are the best!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Clever Cache: Large and Lovely

Ok, TaGeez and I stopped at an amazing new geocache, and I have to share!

You plop in a quarter (you get it back) and out pops a smiley! This beauty was filled with good swag, trackables, and even some geocoins to discover.

As someone mentioned online, I don't think I'm giving anything away since the CO clearly describes is in his write-up. However, at least for now, I'm going to keep all the specifics anonymous.

Let's just label this is someplace in Michigan...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ferndale: It's a Magical Place

This looks like an unassuming alley....

But as you walk down you will see quite a sight on your right.

This is where I hid my geocache, Fantastic Ferndale, two years ago.

Since then, others have added a....



Ingress Portal

Wallabee  Foraging Spots

 and now......

Pokemon Go gym and power portal!

Recognize the kitty from the mural?

When TaGeez and I stopped today, this little alley was filling with people staring at their smartphones. 

How many of them, do you think, never noticed the cat?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mission GC - Three New Souvenirs!

Just saw this posted on the blog: three new souvenirs rewarded to those that decode special secret messages!

"New intel suggests souvenirs will only be available for procurement on the following dates:
  • The window for securing Souvenir #1 is July 30-31, 2016.
  • The window for securing Souvenir #2 is August 13-14, 2016.
  • The window for securing Souvenir #3 is August 27-28, 2016.
Given the top secret nature of this mission, the encoded messages will be sent for analysis only to those with proper security clearance. Premium members will receive an email including the encoded message one week prior to each souvenir release.Decoding the message will unlock instructions for securing the next souvenir. The first encoded message will be sent to Premium members on July 22, 2016.
Instructions for unlocking the souvenirs will be made available to members of all security levels on the morning of each souvenir release. This information will be posted on all major GCHQ 47 channels (, Geocaching® app, Facebook and Twitter)."
Ok, boys & girls! Time to mark your calendars!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Geocaching 101: Mount Clemens

Ah, converting the Muggles!

Team Gates hosted a Geocaching 101 event outside the Mount Clemens YMCA where he's interning for his major. Gates is well-qualified: joining in 2009, he has over 6,000 finds and almost 200 hides. In addition to regularly the Warren Taco Tuesday event, he is also the founder and Admin for the Southeastern Michigan Geocaching Facebook group.

TaGeez and I attended (along with GSIX) to help him with event. He gave a nice presentation on the physical, psychological and social benefits of geocaching.

After an explanation of the how's and what's, new cachers paired off with experienced ones to find the 12 hides in the park. I'm not kidding.. jealous of them. These were fun hides, and I'm bummed they were only temporary.

First find! This little fellow was unstoppable! He took off with my GPSr unit and found the first container. What a hoot!

Afterwards, the real caching began. When the kids left, the older ones (nose in their phones for Pokemon GO) stopped riverside to grab a GSIX cache. The homeless guy had us convinced that it was a rubber ducky underneath. Alas, the ducky didn't fit in the flat pack that really help the log.

Although several cachers went down, BSW made the find! Afterwards, TaGeez and I enjoyed caching in several nearby cemeteries and parks. 

Good day all around!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fun with Path Tags - LTF1999

Aren't these a hoot? 

LTF1999 enjoyed my SQ- Wandering Historic Woodlawn Wherigo so much that she mailed me two of her path tags. What a hoot - dog chasing the squirrel. I tried to take photos of the real ones, but there was too much glare.

Thank you, LTF!

Monday, July 4, 2016

"Law Enforcement Approved"

I received a message from my friend, Team GMMP, "New and improved! Custom paint! See through window to satisfy law enforcement requirements!  😀"

"For limited time only! For 10 easy payments of $0.01, buy one, get one free while supplies last! 😀"

Now, I know he's kidding about "Law Enforcement Requirements", but I think he's onto something. Top and bottom camo'd to help conceal it, but it's still transparent for law enforcement and park officials.

Sweet, Greg. Do you deliver?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Starting Our Holiday Early

Finally! The holiday is almost upon us. Thursday night TaGeez and I left work, and we new we needed to start our fun time a day early. We filled the tank, drove to Mexicantown for dinner at Mi Pueblo Taqueria and then off to Belle Isle for an adventure!

Oh, the shrimp fajitas are so good!
The Belle Isle part didn't go as plan. We wanted to park and walk to the tip of the Isle, but all the spaces were filled with Detroiters enjoying the amazingly blue sky and breeze off the river. So we moseyed over to the famed Scott Memorial Fountain.

This is the big guy himself - James Scott. From all accounts, we was a regular b@$t@rd in Detroit history. 

But he wanted to be remembered so he donated enough money for the fountain - from all accounts, it took quite a debate from the local residents to finally agree to accept the gift. Now THAT'S a way to be remembered.

Here's another view from the fountain (photographing into the sun). The fountain is actually three tiers; this is the lowest tier, which faces the RenCen Center (upper left corner).

We completed a two-stage Multi that had eluded us earlier due to the annual Grand Prix, and then headed over to one of my favorite bridges on the Isle (near the Grand Casino).

That one just happened to have a geocache underneath it, too!

We took both trackables. One had gone missing for two years and was surprisingly dropped into this cache. The other (pictured below) is a racing trackable sent out into the world by a high school First Robotics Team to visit each of the First states. It's a funny coincidence as my nephew, Michael in Missouri, just graduated from high school and was on Lee's Summit First Robotics Team (and they made it to the World Championships this year!).

As the stresses from the last few months dissipated, I knew this mini-adventure to the "D" was exactly what the geocacher ordered!

After a few more stops, we made one final stop at the pier. Easy find, and we were rewarded with seeing sailboats on the horizon and swans near the end. 

Yes, now we're truly ready to relax and enjoy this special weekend. 

Happy Independence Day!