Welcome to my World of Wonderment
I really like geocaching, but sometimes lifting light skirts in a walmart parking lot, or finding a 35mm film canister in a cemetery, gets a little old. They have their place I guess, they help beef up your stats, but my favorite find is one in which the hider went out of his way to make the find interesting. Not just, oh here let me stick this film canister under this light pole while I'm parked here. To me, geocaching is about adventure, seeing new places, and using your brain a little to find something tricky. My favorite caches are either ammo cans hidden along a nice hike, or puzzle caches that took me hours of work to solve. I don't think anyone would say their favorite cache was a 35mm film canister hidden in the corner post of a fence around a cemetery.
Recently I decided to hide a geocache in the cemetery next to my house, somehow PrariePartners and the rest of the Indiana Spirit Quest crew had missed this place. Not wanting it to be a mundane hide I puzzled on how I should hide it. This is what I came up with:
You are looking for a pill bottle hidden somewhere in South Central Indiana. It is not at the posted coordinates but you are welcome to look there if you dare. Cache has a unique first finder prize so be sure you grab it.
For a few years now I've been playing a game on the forums here called What/Where Basically someone posts a pictures of a building or monument that looks unique from the satellite imagery from Google Earth and everyone else tries to guess where it is and then post the coordinates to prove your answer. If you find it before everyone else then it is your turn to post a picture.
Then last week my brother decides he wants to try to find a few park and grab caches while he is out of town, but he forgot his GPSr. So he calls up a friend, who then uses Google Earth to steer my brother toward the correct light poles and guard rails etc.... to find his caches. Well these two things gave me the idea to start a series of puzzle caches that don't require a GPSr to log a find.
All you have to do is figure out where this location is from the satellite imagery and find the cache. It should be easy to find for an experienced cacher once you get to the right area.
Well yesterday I get this email:
It has been brought to my attention that the two caches recently published in the "What/Where" series (GC1PNXT and GC1PCJ8) do not meet the guideline for GPSr usage therefore I must archive them.
From the guidleines:
[i]You as the owner of the cache must visit the site and obtain the coordinates with a GPS. GPS usage is an essential element of geocaching. Therefore, although it is possible to find a cache without a GPS, the option of using accurate GPS coordinates as an integral part of the cache hunt must be demonstrated for all physical cache submissions.[/i]
The picture has enough landmarks that you can just leave the GPS in the car. Other similar cache submissions have been denied for this same reason.
Please feel free to use these locations for new submissions.
Thanks for understanding.
And here is my response:
I know it's a guideline, and you are just following it, but I've had great feedback from these hides.
So since I don't know who brought it to your attention, I'm going to
complain a little bit to you, and maybe you'll pass my complaint along
to who ever brought it to your attention, not that I think it will do
any good, but I'll sleep better tonight.
As stated, the guidelines say I must visit the sight and obtain
coordinates, which I have done, and the Google Earth coordinates are no
further off than my Garmin Etrex Legend which I am allowed to use to
find my coordinates. Who knows how far some peoples coordinates are
off when they post their caches. Aren't we taking everyone's word
that their cache is actually at their posted coordinates. I feel
slighted that I'm not believed that my cache is not at the posted
coordinates or not findable.
Also the guidelines state that GPS usage is an essential element of
geocaching. I agree with that, and cachers have told me that once
they have obtained their coordinates from google earth, they went out
and found the cache without any problem. My picture is nothing more
than a giant hint, once they got in the right area. If someone was
going to find my cache, they would first match my picture on geocaching.com
to one on google earth. Then they would get the coordinates for that
area and load it into their GPSr. Once their GPS unit led them to the
cache area they would use the clues to find the actual cache. How is
this any different from any other geocache, other than the way the
cacher obtains the coordinates?
If the issue here is findability (I just invented that word and
copyrighted it) my caches are just as easy as any park and grab, once
you get in the right area, and they are way easier than most puzzle
You are obviously doing your job, and a thankless one at that, so I
harbor no bad feelings. That is not the point of my rebuttal. I just
feel that someone, somewhere is being a little too straight laced about
our game of geocaching, and is smothering creativity. Creativity that
is not causing anyone any harm. I could understand if it was a safety
issue, but to me this just seems like someone not liking my thinking
out of the box.
Thank you Reviewer Hilts for your time, and please understand that I
know it's just a game, and a fun one at that, but I would hope that
you pass along my complaints
Movie Cache: Hard Rain
April 5 by djhobby (439 found)
I may have to watch this movie again some time now that I've found this cache.
This cache had some serious mojo going. It shook its chicken foot at us while we were deciphering the puzzle, thunder started rumbling in the background. We knew we were probably in for trouble. We hop back into the cachecar to get closer to the final coordinates but that leads us to some private property. So we look at the puzzle again and find out I gave Tommy a wrong digit while he was putting in the corrected coordinates. Probably because we were looking out for zombies (GC1F016)
When we finally got on the right track, Lyncher almost fell down about a 10 foot drop off into the dead people's trash. He was blindly following that evil arrow on his GPSr and not paying any attention to where he was going. Probably because it was just starting to spit a little rain. Bad Mojo is smiling.
So we start searching amongst the rabbit warren of briars, broken bottles, silk flowers, and believe it or not a discarded tombstone, but no luck. Mojo shoots some lightning out of it's beady eyes at us. I finally give up, but I'm entangled in some sort of vine that I swear is trying to strangle me. Mean ol' Mojo starts to cackle.
Somehow on my way back to the cachemobile I almost step on the ammo can. This must make Mojo furious, because no sooner do we snap the lid shut on the can than it start to rain with a fury and Mojo starts to howl.
Some how we make it back to the cache-U-V and ride the storm out, but now every time I turn on my garmin, I smell sulfur and I can hear just the faintest growl in the background. Yikes
Posted by DJ Hobby at 8:55 AM
I tried to find this one early this morning but came up empty handed. FTDNF YES!
But in my defense it was probably because of the poisonous Cane Toad that I found. As I was circling around the spot where I thought the cache ought to be, I spied what I thought might have been a very unique cache container, a plastic frog. But then I picked it up I realized it was alive! In my astonishment I gasped, and the toad, doing what toads do best, hopped. Unfortunately it hopped right into my gaping maw. I spit it out immediately, but after a few short minutes my head was spinning around faster than the arrow on my GPS unit. I finally fell down, but fortunately I could still reach my phone. I called my wife and she came and got me and took me to the hospital. Luckily the effects of cane toad poisoning wears off quite quickly and I was able to go home shortly. As a matter of fact I even found a few caches today!
Even though I couldn't find your cache, as I was laying on the ground hallucinating waiting for my wife to show up, I kept imagining skibos hopping around. It got so bad I came up with a limerick to commemorate the situation.
There once was a penguin named Willy
Who thought is was always very chilly.
He donned a small hat
But he always felt a draft
And he sneezed himself quite silly.
Sometimes I wonder if your average geocacher posts their DNFs? Some people might think it's a blight on their record. Or they might think, everyone else found this so why can't I. Me, I look at a DNF as an opportunity to let the cache hider know a few things.
First and fore most, the cache may be missing. You may be giving them a heads up that it needs some maintenance. I list this reason first for my fragile ego. Because if the cache is there, I'm finding it, I'm just that good! Or so I tell myself. But in reallity I bet I have dozens of DNFs and then the next day someone logs a find. It would be interesting to go back and count the number of DNFs I've had that were found later.
Other than letting the owner know it may be missing, I like to let the owner know that maybe my DNF is because they hid it really well. A virtual pat on the back for a well placed cache. Prarie Partners hid a micro (micro is stretching it, maybe a half micron) on a telephone pole in Bedford, IN once that I must have logged 4 DNFs before I finally found that one. I'm sure he got a kick out of it, because he knew it was there, I just couldn't find it. I imagined him pumping his fist in the air in victory everytime someone logged a DNF. And well he should for that devious little hide.
My favorite reason to log a DNF though is not to compliment the owner on a great hide, and not to let them know it may be gone, but to write a DNF story. If you haven't noticed, I like to exaggerate a little bit, so every time I have a DNF I try to tell some outlandish story. I think of it as therapy. In one day last week according to my logs, I was attacked by zombies, and recieved an electromagnetic pulse from aliens rendering my equipment useless, had a run in with someone dressed as Big Bird, saw A-Rod and Madonna, and was harrased by Poe's Raven.
April 5 by djhobby (414 found)
As Lyncher and I were walking up to this one we were struck by anvoverwhelming stench. We immediately looked at each other and Tommy said, "Oh no not again." But yes too late, the zombies had risen. It seems like every time we try one of these cemetery caches this happens. We saw them starting to claw out of there graves in their never ending quest for brains. While I looked around for the cache and tried to stay out of the reach of the undead, Lyncher ran back to the car and got his emergency zombie kit. The kit consists of a baseball bat and a light chain mail shirt. Not near the protection of the full suit of armor and sword that we keep at home but it does come in handy if you are in a jam. Tommy donned the chain mail and started swinging but soon we were overwhelmed with the undead muggles. We quickly abandoned our search and decided to try again when the dead stay that way.
April 5 by djhobby (414 found)
Lyncher and I tried to find this one, but as soon as we pulled up to ground zero we saw an eerie light shoot down from the sky and hit the Jolly Old Elf. After a few minutes of this blinding light it started to dim and we saw some sort of saucer shaped flying thingy in the sky above us. After playing the theme music to Close Encounters a few times it shot off into the sky. After that, nothing electronic or magnetic worked in the vicinity. It must have been an EMP pulse. I love love redundancy, oh wait wrong cache log, (GC1EJ0B) anyway, our GPSr quit working so we have to log this one not found for now.
April 5 by djhobby (414 found)As we were parking the car someone in a Big Bird suit ran up to the window of the house right next to the park and started banging on the window. Pretty soon someone called the cops and we abandoned our hope of finding the cache with such a commotion going on in the area.April 5 by djhobby (414 found)
We had some trouble with this one. Every time we would get near a big black bird would get in my face and start quothing. After 15 minutes of "Never more" we gave up.April 5 by djhobby (414 found)
We tried to find this one Sunday, but with so many people around it was hard to search. Little did we know that the Yankees were having their opening game of the season here. A-rod and Madonna had a huge crowd around them, and of course they decided to sign autographs right where the cache was. We couldn't get anywhere near it.
This weekend I visited my sister who lives in Santa Claus, IN. She has a great little lake to fish in, and I spent all day Saturday on the lake getting sunburned and catching the occasional bluegill. The fish weren't biting like they usual do, but a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work. Usually the fish there don't even give you time to sip on your drink. Every time you reach for your can, a fish notices this and gets itself hooked on your line. This time we only caught about 50 bluegill. Which gave me plenty of time to down my frosty libations. Hooray for beer.
Before I went down to Santa Clause I pulled up Google Earth to see what the caching scene was like in that area. Boy was I surprised. There are over 50 caches within 5 miles of my sisters house! Well I couldn't miss this opportunity. So I called up my caching brother Tommy (Lyncher) and told him to get down to Santa Claus on Sunday and let's spend the day caching. Tommy was so excited about the idea he came on Saturday and camped out in the cold so we could get an early start. We had to start early or we would have froze to death. We were more than happy to start at first light, just to get in the car and out of the cold.
The first cache we attempted was Agent P by Odyssey Posse. It's an interesting puzzle that took me a while to figure out. I was on the right track but couldn't quite figure out the last part of the West coordinates. I tried a few different things, but every time I would check my answer with Geochecker.com it would say I was incorrect. I showed a friend the puzzle and he immediately came up with the same idea that I had, and after a few minutes he figured out the whole thing. Now came what I thought would be the easy part, finding the thing. But as I would learn through out the day, no hide is easy when it come to Odyssey Posse. Tommy and I arrived in the area, and it was relatively muggle free. I let Tommy circle around the cache area for a bit while I fished out my phone/GPSr. He looked all over where he thought it ought to be but he didn't have any luck. So now it was my turn. I walked right up to the spot and said, "Here it is Tommy." and retrieved the cache. Experience pays off, because I had seen a hide like this before (Thanks Prarie Partners). One Odyssey Posse puzzle down, now off to Framed!
Framed! is going to go down as one of my all time favorite caches. The puzzle part I figured out with a little help from Google and Odyssey Posse's hint. The find was a whole other problem. Tommy and I kept circling and prying and proding in this one particular area, over and over again, with no luck. One thing we learned over the day, is don't try to find any of OP's caches with a preconcieved notion of where to look. Because it's not going to be there! I had in my head that it was going to be in this certain area, and I looked and looked, and looked, but no luck. I even double checked the coordinates in my phone, making sure they were the solved puzzle's coordinates, and not the incorrect ones posted on geocaching.com. Finally I grabbed Tommy's GPSr and I walked around with both of our GPS units in my hands until I came to a spot where they both agreed upon, which was about 60 feet away from where I had been looking. Doh! This brought me to a whole other object that I had to search all over, but still no luck, when finally after about another 10 minutes of searching in vain, I looked over and saw it about 20' away, somewhere Tommy and I thought it could never be. But there it was. Diabolical came to mind, and not for the last time that day. This has got to be the most unique cache container ever. I wish I could share but I don't want to ruin the find.
Before the day was up we found 47 caches, 25 of them by Odyssey Posse. Almost of all of them were unique in some way. Tommy couldn't retreive the Ultimate Sacrafice because he was too hungry and his hands were shaking. After reading the words on the bench he felt the same way as OP, and was a little leary of eating there, but the food inside was just fine. Who Let the Dogs Out was another one that gave us fits for about 15 minutes until Tommy spotted the little devil. It took us another 15 minutes to sign the log and get the bloody thing put back in it's container. We cursed OP's name for hours after that one. Signs was another find that we assumed where it was going to be and we weren't even close. Rural Legends had us stumped for a quite a while until Lyncher spotted the needle in the haystack. Odyssey Posse gave us one of the best days of caching anyone could ask for. Any one of his caches could be considered a destination in of itself, and Tommy and I got to find 25 of OP's well thought out, interesting caches in one day. Hooray for us. Hooray of Odyssey Posse!
Odyssey Posse isn't the only great hider around though. We found some great ones in the woods hidden by Daggy. Four of them near the beautiful Colonel Jones Home located in part of Lincoln State Park. Trailside Tower was one of our favorites. We looked for quite awhile on this one until Tommy happened to spot it. Spotting it was one thing, actually putting our hands on it and signing the log was another. Weee. Kermit was another fun one. Tommy was standing right next to it, and I said, "Check along there. I bet judging from the name your close to it." So he walks on by it and looks in some stump, (he said he was peeing, but I don't believe him) I walked up to where he was and found it right away. It was also in a very neat container.
We found some neat caches hidden by Dr. Who and K-9, and some difficult ones hidden by Squire Boone. Dr. Who and K-9's caches took us to a little park in Santa Claus called Yellig Park, where all the roads nearby have football names. Tommy and I are suckers for football. But we were a little disappointed to see a soccer field on Super Bowl Rd. I hate soccer. Squire Boone had a few devious hides. We thought Riverwalk I in Jasper was going to be a cakewalk from the description, but no such luck. Fortunately (I think) it had just stormed and there was no one on the trail, so Tommy and I had plenty of muggle free time with this cache. It would be hard to explain what you were doing if you were caught red handed on this hide. Sub was another neat cache from Squire Boone. On the way to it I read the hint and told Tommy what I thought it was going to be, and I'm sure he thought I was a little crazy. As soon as we pulled next to it, I told Lyncher, "There it is!" and I had it in my hands before he could hardly get out of the car. Experience strikes again. Another one of note was Movie Cache: Hard Rain by Squire Boone. It was based on the movie Hard Rain shot in Huntingburg at the cemetery the cache is located in. We had no sooner put our ink on the log and shut the ammo can when it started pouring down rain. The day had started out as being a glorious 65 degrees and sunny, but this cache lived up to it's name and put a slight damper on part of the day. We were kind of hoping it would rain enough to be able to ride jet skis through the school, but it quit in a couple of hours. Since we were in Huntingburg and doing movie themed caches, we decided to find A Cache of their Own, another hide by Odyssey Posse. I had never seen this stadium in the flesh. It's pretty neat. My sister was an extra in the movie they shot here A League of their Own. This cache is probably one of OP's easier caches except for the fact that it was pouring down rain. Tommy and I didn't mind getting a little wet since we were properly kitted out, but my phone/GPSr is not waterproof. So I took a bearing from the car, judged the distance and swam over to the cache area. Did I mention it was storming? Tommy had came to the same conclusion and OP's hint matched what we thought ,so we started poking around. Somehow, an animal of some sort, a dog maybe?, had done it's business mere inches from the cache. After seeing all of these crazy containers OP had thrown at us all day, I thought maybe this was one of those fake dog doo hide a key containers, but after poking it with my boot I was sadly mistaken. Fortunately it was raining hard enough that in the swim back to the car my boots were pretty clean.
After the day was through, we had found 47 caches, 15 ticks, 4 other Geocachers, no mushrooms, and one awesome sunburn. My new personal best for a one day total. We averaged finding a cache every 15 minutes for 12 straight hours. Not bad considering 12 of the caches we had to hike to in order to find, and we stopped and ate for about an hour. Now to log all of these. TFTH OPYMB
AMQ #21 - "Hey Howard, there's your china man"
April 2 by djhobby (364 found)
Hey hey, FIRST TO FIND! I'll see your FTF and raise you one. We keep running into each other's caches.
I was sitting at home watching Lost on the tellie with my wife (yes I'm married, Married? yes married (visit link) when my email chirped in that I had received something important. So I hastened to see what was waiting and lo and behold it was my weekly notification from Geocaching.com about any new events, or news, and especially any new caches in the area. And what do my eyes fall upon?! A brand new cache just 10 miles away placed by Batman and Catwoman! "What?" I think,....this is just too bizarre. I quickly log on to Geocaching.com and .. yes it's true, NO ONE HAS LOGGED THIS YET! So I quickly jump into my "AUTOMOBILLLE?"( (visit link) and drive to Bedford to get my FTF.
Wolfboy (who you may have heard of) has some sort of disorder. Every time someone says the word "automobile" he has to say "AUTO-MOBILE" just like Long Duk Dong does in this movie. It is impossible for him not to do it. I once won a six pack of beer from him because he couldn't go without quoting this movie after I said "automobile"
TFTC TNLN SL FTF W00T AUTOMOBILE?!
Evolouie asked me today if I had ever heard of Terracaching. It just so happens that I just became a registered user a few weeks ago, and I had yet had the opportunity to try to find any. Since it was just about lunch time we decided to try to find one. First off we had to find out what cache we wanted to tackle. Since there are only 4 or 5 near us we chose the nearest one Patricia. I manually loaded the coordinates into my phone and out the door we went.
The terracache was located along the Clear Creek Trail which has 10 or 15 geocaches along it already. To get to our objective we had to pass by a geocache that I had already found and Evolouie had not. Neither one of us thought to grab this cache info before we left, but I strained my memory and pretty soon we had the cache in hand, but alas no log book. We didn't let this minor set back deter us though, and we headed on down the road.
After a short walk on a glorious day, we came to the terracache area, and with a little circling though the briars, we (we meaning Evolouie) found the cache. On a side note, the Clear Creek Trail has a ton of people on it, even during the day. Don't these people have jobs? Two grown men climbing around in the bushes must look a little bizaare, but hey they should be out working and contributing to the economy and quit worrying about us! Anyway we retreived the cache, signed the log, and eased on down the road.
My first impressions of Terracaching is so-so. I love the idea of a rating system. That is something I wish Geocaching.com would impliment. I have even kicked around the idea around of starting my own 3rd party rating system for geocaches but I don't quite have the html skills to do it properly. When you log a cache on terracaching.com you must rank it, which is very interesting. But the ranking system there is pretty confusing. There are tons of numbers thrown out, but I don't have the foggiest notion of what they all mean. So I give a thumbs up to trying to rank them, and a thumbs sideways for making the rankings confusing.
Something I don't really care about on terracaching.com is trying to find caches in my area. I couldn't find anywhere to put in a zip code, or state or county or anything. Finally Evolouie figured out to click the map and zoom into our area. There aren't too many around so it shouldn't be hard finding all of the close ones.
After finding the cache, I wanted to log it. So we get back to the office, and I pull up Terracaching.com, and I can't find where to put in my log entry. After a lot of fumbling I finally found the correct place to input my log. I didn't quite realize it at the time, but I was FTF. Woohoo! My first Terracache and I'm FTF. Another interesting thing about terracaching is it takes a confirmation code found in the log book to log your find. I don't think it's like that on all the terracaches but this one it was mandatory.
One other annoyance about Terracaching.com is the registration requirements. You have to be sponsored by two other members to become a member yourself. Before that you are pretty limited as to what you can even do on the web site. I'm not sure why that is, but it's annoying. It only took about 24 hours to get registered but by then the excitement of finding a terracache had wore off.
I keep trying to think back to the very first time I logged on to geocaching.com, and if I found that whole process confusing. I'm sure I did at the time. The terracaching process certainly has room for improvement, but it's still an interesting alternative to geocaching.com.