Tuesday, August 2, 2016

MWGB16: Camping in the Surface of the Sun

Normally I recap our annual Midwest GeoBash adventures over a period of posts, but this year was a little different. As this was our fifth year on the same schedule and dealing with 100+ degree heat index, we played it very low key and relaxed. At a much slower pace, we truly appreciated this quiet reprieve in good company. 

Historic Woodlawn Cemetery - Toledo

I'm a huge history buff and have performed quite a few Google searches on Woodlawn Cemetery - Detroit. Invariably, Toledo's Woodlawn pops up in my search results, too. Curious, we decided to make this our primary destination on the way to Midwest GeoBash in Wauseon, OH.

One of the first features we notice is this amazing door. Isn't she beautiful? Woodlawn, the largest cemetery in Toledo, has several mausoleums dotting it's landscape, most lining the river that dissects it in two.

The next surprising feature was the pyramid. I've seen pyramid-shaped headstones, but not an actual pyramid in a cemetery. 
The 270-ton pyramid at the grave of John Gunckel, “the newsboys’ friend” who started the Toledo Newsboys Association, which lives on today as the Old Newsboys Goodfellow Association charity and the Toledo chapter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
His monument is made of cobblestones sent from around the world, according to the book. It is 30 feet high, with three 26-foot sides at the base. [Images of America: Toledo's Woodlawn Cemetery]

But the most surprising to me was the Edward Drummond Libbey plot. Edward Libbey was the founder of Libbey Glass in Toledo, OH, and started the Toledo Museum of Art in 1901. 

Doesn't the "art installation" remind you of a
skylight for an underground mausoleum? Cool!

Last year, a new glass art piece was added as a tribute for the titan of Toledo industry. "The new artwork is made of stone, sand, bronze and glass. Three glass domes on the piece replicate a pattern from the Libbey archives." [article on 13abc.com]

They are precious. I hope they stand the test of time and avoid the notice of vandals.

The Quilt Foundry - Maumee, OH

Scrapcat. Scrap for "scrap quilter". The cat part is obvious.

After a delicious lunch with TaGeez, WikidKriket and SnakeyLicks at the Smokey Bones in Maumee, we headed here. Featured several years ago in the Quilt Sampler, this quilt shop (filled with lovely batiks, Modas and bag patterns) is located in the historic Buttergilt Building built in the 1840's. It has retained its charm while reveling in a sense of fun - note fish outside.

Fulton County Fairgrounds - Wauseon, OH

With the threat of rain approaching (it lasted a total of 15 intense minutes), we boogied to Wauseon where we enjoyed Kriket's AC, cached across town and finally setup camp for the night.

I don't know what it was... probably the lack of adult responsibilities after several very trying months, but we had fun! Let our hair down (for those of us that still had it) and just enjoyed ourselves.

Poker Run

Are you familiar with this? You are given a card with seven locations listed on it. You navigate to a local business, grab a bar-coded sticker for your card, enjoy whatever goods the location offers, and then head back to the fairgrounds. With bar scanners, Volunteers will see what poker cards are embedded in your bar code to see if you have a winning hand. I think I placed 165th this year.

Our stops took us to the Event Store, a coffee shop, an ice cream stop (with an amazing gadget cache), the train depot, a winery, a candy shop and a dairy (with the most amazing garlic Chevre). We, of course, had to make the annual pilgrimage to Mom's Diner in Archbald.

Geocaching on the Fairgrounds

This year's theme was "sports" so the 25+ geocaches hidden on the fairgrounds were sports-themed. My favorites were Team Doxie's Sporting News (a large newspaper box hauled out to the middle of the woods) and Tennis (a raquet with three bison tubes hanging in a random tree in the woods).

PapaTree was the big finder

Sipping Party

As you may've heard (if you've read this blog), I was a recent winner in the Tin Cup Whiskey photo contest. I've completed my winner form and am awaiting my deluxe Tin Cup Whiskey rucksack. In celebration (and in curiosity), TaGeez had purchased a bottle of Tin Cup Whiskey to test. He decided to bring it to Bash and, throughout Friday night, friends stopped by with their Tin Cups to enjoy a sipping party.

Poor Caching Fire only got the dregs the next morning.

Treasure Hunt

Saturday of Bash wouldn't be complete without starting our day with the group photo and participating in the Treasure Hunt down in the Exhibition Ring. 

Each ticket holder (dragons included) will use a metal detector to locate a collectible MWGB16 trackable to keep. Several lucky winners will also win a new GPSr unit.

Lab Caches

Again, you could enjoy 10 new Lab Caches on the Fairgrounds. This year was a little different. Since it was a sports theme, you had to play 10 different lawn sports to earn the code word. Even in 100+ degrees, Team Free Range Lobsters rocked all the field games.

I'm really, really hoping that SnakeyLicks adds a tetherball to his back yard this year for a rematch.

Closing Ceremonies

After enjoying a little more geocaching Saturday afternoon (Gee, it's hot), we prepped for the annual closing ceremonies. 

The planners were brilliant this year. Instead of stuffing us in bleachers with no AC, they had us stand outside (mostly in the shade) and wave at a rising drone for the group shot. The drone wasn't their only technological inspiration - they used Instagram, too. By tagging your pictures #MidwestGeobash2016, you would then see your photos projected onto a large overhead screen throughout the event. Brilliant!

And, of course, no Bash would be complete unless you met the visiting Lackey and had your picture taken with Signal. I LOVE SIGNAL!


Let's face it... I've never claimed to be super camper. I have a double-high air mattress, padded floor covering, and we acquire most of our meals via a waitress. But I did tent camp in an unshaded spot for four days with the heat index over 100+ degrees.

All made bearable by these little gems:

ARCTIC COVE MISTING BUCKET TOP FAN  - This beauty comes in several sizes and various speeds. Fill your bucket with water, run the line from the mister into the bucket, and be prepared to get wet. Purchased by WikidKriket from Home Depot (about $75-ish), this little guy cooled a grouping of us for much longer than the listed battery estimation. Very portable and easy to setup. 

The only 'con' was that it attracted too many visiting camping neighbors who didn't wish to leave that cooling spray. Heaven in a bucket. 

LASKO MAX PERFORMANCE PIVOTING UTILITY FAN - Wandering down the aisle at Sam's Club, TaGeez added this guy to our cart. I objected at first - we have many fans - but he insisted the power and durability (and two additional outlets) was worth the $70. Heave Ho! He knew what he was talking about. This little fellow generated some mighty winds. We'd set it up at night, turn it on low, and watch the other end of the tent billow outwards. 

Again, the only 'con' is that each morning we would awake fighting for the covers because we were cold. Slept like rocks under it's powerful breeze. 

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