Sunday, August 28, 2016

MWGB Wrap Up - Cache Tales

Kneel More has posted his latest video - a recap of Midwest GeoBash 2016. Ever wonder what a Mega event is like?

And you will find yours truly midway through the video with a dragon and a frog - how cool is that? 

Thank you, Neil, for including me. I have to admit I watched the part of the little boy playing tether ball a few times and still chuckle.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mission GC - Third and Final

We did it! We solved the final Mission GC puzzle and made the grab!

Original Email to Premium Members

Click the link. Hmm... this looks familiar

Yep, the puzzle was in Semaphore

Decode the message and learn we needed to find a puzzle this weekend

And while out today at the ice cream social (yes, in torrential rain), we grabbed our puzzle and Mission GC Puzzle souvenir.

Hey, is that PopLob in the backseat? You betcha!

It wasn't until we logged our caches that we discovered a final surprise up the sleeves of HQ47 - a Mission Completed souvenir (top image). That's awesome! TaGeez just needs one more souvenir for the closest challenge to my house.  Two more weeks.tick.tick.tick.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Be Still, My Lego-beating Heart!

Just saw this in my email from! 

It combines 2 of my loves! I'm hooked!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

HQ Duck Dash Badge

I received my email this morning:
Thanks for competing in the HQ Duck Dash, Geocaching HQ's first-ever worldwide trackable race. Your trackable joined over 15,000 others in celebrating the 15th anniversary of trackables. 
And attached was the coding for my badge for my profile:

Yeah, not very thrilling. It'll be another week before the winners are announced. I know mine didn't win anything - I couldn't find a safe place to release it so I'm dropping on my trip up to Mackinaw City in a few weeks.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Are Challenge Caches Dead?

I was perusing the book of faces and came across a post on a UK geocaching site. It stated that, since the Challenge moratorium was lifted, only 26 new challenge caches were published in Great Britain.

Out of curiosity, I ran the same search for Michigan, one of the most dense caches per mile areas on the planet (or so I personally believe). Since the moratorium was lifted, there have only been 9 challenge caches published in Michigan!

I posted a poll on the Southeastern Michigan Geocaching FB Group. What do you attribute this to?

  • The new guidelines are a deterrent
  • The new checker requirement is a deterrent
  • All the good challenges already exist
  • I'm a finder not a hider
  • I don't like challenge caches
Did I miss anything? What do YOU attribute this to? 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

International Geocaching Day 2016

Happy International Geocaching Day!

TaGeez and I found ourselves alongside WikidKriket geocaching Belle Isle on Saturday. Fitting, eh, for International Geocaching Day? The isle is located in the Detroit River, 1/2-mile from Canada!

We had originally planned to cache in Windsor, but the weather app listed storms all day so we stayed closer to home. Lucky for us, too. Speaking of International, docked on Belle Isle was a Viking ship! The Draken Harald Harfagre, dubbed the world's largest replica Viking vessel, was docked at the Detroit Yacht Club for tours this weekend only! The picture above was taken across the river from the park next to the City of Detroit Mayor's Manoogian Mansion.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

You Might Be a Geocacher If.... Earthcache Edition

You Might Be a Geocacher If... you watch the opening prison scene of the original Blues Brothers movie, and your first thought is, "Hey! That's Joliet Limestone!"

Made in Joliet Earth Cache GC65Q98 - Chicago, IL

Guess I did learn something from that Earth Cache last month! 

Happy International Geocaching Day!

TaGeez and I dropped our 7 Deadly Ducks into the Livonia event. Rumor has it if you dropped your ducks into the IGD event early, you may miss the souvenir so make sure you re-date it to today. Happy caching!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Crosswinds Marsh Meandering - 2016

For the second year in a row, the Crosswinds Crew has hosted the fantastic Crosswinds Marsh Meanderings event during Hobby Days at Crosswinds Marsh in Wayne County.  From the cache page: 

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 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.  Admission to Crosswinds Marsh is free!

A stunning location for an event, TaGeez and I couldn't help but notice the heavy dark clouds looming over the picnic shelter. But that didn't stop the fun within!

The Frito Bandito and ProBob

Everybody loves FRECKLES!
The event portion included a potluck, first-to-find raffle (almost everyone a winner - sorry June17!), raffle, event path tags, and 37 new caches! 13 of them LARGES!  It must be the promise of those large caches and the chance to earn a second path tag (complete 12 preselected caches) that drove us out into these ominous skies.

But there was such prettiness all around!

TaGeez and I were lucky enough to team with June17, ProBob and ShelleyJean on the trails. I wish I had more photos to share, but, halfway through the inner trail, the downpour came! A powerful drenching rain! There really was no choice - we were already wet and halfway through our cache list. Might as well continue on then turnaround empty handed. Luckily the constant rain was also cooling which made our squelching shoes and clinging t-shirts more bearable.

TaGeez looking like a hobo as he carries  all our valuables
 in this ultra-sexy, high-tech trash bag!
ShellyJean, it was great fun meeting you. I'm sorry I didn't have a more flattering picture of you as you are quite lovely, but I enjoyed your spirit. Yes, we need to cache together again!

TaGeez and ShelleyJean after the rain stopped
Of course, after turning on our sheets for the reward path tag and going out to find the Wherigo final, we finally had a little sunshine as we headed back to the car. Look at our cheering squad!

I love Crosswinds for its wildlife and am glad we ended the day FINALLY seeing some after the rain. We didn't finish all the day's caches so we will return in the Fall when we can truly enjoy our stroll.

Several hours later TaGeez and I pulled into Famous Dave's BBQ in Taylor because we were too tired and tore up (those dratted thorns at the final) to go home and cook. This was hours later and yet we still squelched as we walked to our table. What odd looks we received as we dripped on the chairs with steam rising from our clothes. If they were geocachers they would've understood.

Post Script

A big THANK YOU to YellowJeeperman for recommending this DBPower Universal Waterproof Dry Bag Case from

We forgot our wellies, raincoats, and umbrellas, but, for some reason, I remembered to grab this as I left the house. As it poured and every inch of my clothes soaked through, none seeped into this dry bag so I was able to navigate 24 caches plus 1 Wherigo cartridge while taking random pictures. Worked like a charm!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mission GC Souvenir 2

Earlier this week Premium members received their emails that GC Mission #2 was upon us!

With great excitement we opened the puzzle and OH MY! Now, I've done these before, but, if you get a chance, print this out and give it a go. I will admit I guessed the "code word" based on the first few letters and the last one. TaGeez solved the whole thing.  Plugging in the code word into the official site, our mission file opened. 

Find one Multicache on August 13th or 14th for the next Mission GC souvenir.

The tag line is One Cache is Not Enough. TaGeez and I proved it true. We found a Multicache at the Crosswinds event (see tomorrow's post), but it still hasn't published. So, even though we know it will count when it does, we went out for a second one today. 

Ready for our next mission!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Geoca - CHI - ng on the Mag Mile!

Hey, guess who geocached in Chicago recently? After GeoBash, I had a few hours to shower, pack and head to the bus for a 4-day work conference on the Magnificent Mile!

First stop was the beautiful, historic Intercontinental Hotel! Located next door to the Tribune Building, it is simply one of the most stunning hotels I've ever visited with a phenomenal culinary staff. The history alone is an entire blog post: the Ethel Merman/Johnnie Weissmuller swimming pool, the largest Baccarat chandelier in North America, the exotic decorations on each floor and each half floor. I was lucky enough to be booked in the older portion of the hotel in a private room overlooking the Mag Mile and the Chicago River. 

Honestly, I thought my almost-5 year cache a day streak was at an end. I had a very booked schedule, but Day 1 found me with almost 4 hours of free time. Rucksack over my shoulder and a fully-charged phone in my hand, I headed back to one of my favorite Virtuals (and now an Earth Cache) about a half mile up the road to the Chicago Water Tower. 

Made in Joliet GC65Q98
I admit that I'm not an Earth Cache fan (some of those verification questions can be so ambiguous), but I do enjoy one involving architecture like the Masonic Temple in Detroit and the Hurstville Lime Kilns in Iowa.

With my goal completed and a visit at the nearby Hershey store, I turned down East Chicago Avenue towards Lake Michigan. Grabbing a few more caches and Pokemons, it was a LOVELY way to explore the streets and parks of Chi-town. I took the pedestrian tunnel to the beach and headed towards Navy Pier.

Oh, that water felt SO GOOD on my hot feet. Did I mention the record heat factor? Not much for geocaching here, but I did nab about 30 new Pokemon overall on this trip plus one tasty hot dog!

Cannot go to Chicago and not enjoy a Chicago-style dog!

Heading back to the hotel, I found myself in the middle of Streeterville and passing the statue of George Streeter himself. It was quite a challenge finding the nearby cache in Muggle-central!

Another 'hot dog'!
Last cache of the day found me taking the stairs beneath street-level of the Mag Mile and feeling up some fencing next to the famous Billy Goat Tavern. I still regret that I've never stopped in - I've heard it's delicious.

BG-YO @ the BG GC44M0W
After the opening ceremonies at the conference, many of my coworkers either headed to their rooms or across the street to the 16th floor outdoor patio for drinking at the Trump Tower. Neither seemed appealing - how can you be in one of the most exciting cities in North America and not explore!?!

With a quick change, I was out the door again heading to Navy Pier. I knew the only cache on Navy Pier was disabled so I enjoyed a leisurely ramble snapping pictures and people watching. Wow - so hard picking just a picture to share - I took over 700 on this trip!

The Tall Ship Festival was just a few days away!

View from my hotel room
I was lucky, after all, to find myself with at least an hour of free time each day to continue my caching streak and sitesee. No need to roll out of that very comfortable bed at 5 am each morning to seek my daily find. Crazy, I know and accept that.

Very common cache location in downtown
Although I've already claimed this fabulous Virtual last Fall, I had to stop back. My hotel was only a half mile away.

Cloud Gate AKA the Bean GCJZDR

And, to top of my trip, I hosted the Michigan (Ave) Travel Bug Swap and Flashmob GC6NC8H on the plaza outside the Tribune Building. My first non-Michigan swap! I was amazed that, during rush hour in downtown Chicago on a Wednesday that anybody attended! But there was 5 of us total!

CaptainBonesCrew, scrapcat, tankgirrl, and AThrilloftheHunt
Last morning in Chicago, and I still had the urge to go out of a quiet walk before and after closing cermonies. Here are a few pics from my perambulation.

Chicago River

Look at those clouds!

The Gates (of Northwestern Univ) GC4NHY9
Such a lovely and success trip both personally and professionally. I feel so inspired!


The Go Game

Geocaching is my first love, but I do enjoy (when the mood hits) Munzee, Wallabee, and Pokemon GO, too. During our Sales Conference, my company instructed us to download an iPhone app for the Go Game

Using our phones, we were given a series of challenges to complete for points. In essence, it was a way to break the ice as you took selfies with strangers and visited different areas of the hotel. 

Yes, for prizes, they rolled out another location-based game. Was it any surprise that I placed in the top 3 during both competition periods? LOL. My new boss said he's not sure if he should be proud or not that I managed to earn so many points "while I should be working". I replied, "I can obviously multitask!"

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pokemon NO GO!

I received an email from my local reviewer disabling my new puzzle cache submitted for review.
Geocaching HQ has ruled that Pokemon Go is a competing location based game and any mention of it on a cache page is not allowed.
Technically, the cache page never mentions Pokemon Go, but it does have this cute puzzle based on the Pokedex:

Now, I respect the "competition part", but, on the flip side, I'm led to understand that new geocaching memberships are up thanks to Pokemon Go. And I'm hearing tale that many geocachers are having an easier time coaxing their kids to caches with the lure of finding new Pokemon "in the wild".

Real bummer. In addition to the cute puzzle, I had a Pokemon water bottle filled with Pokemon toys as the cache container. 

I guess this is one you can't catch in the wild.