Stuck at 199...not by choice

Monday, October 26, 2009

As of Saturday morning we had been in quite a slump lately when it came to cache finds(only one all month).  So Saturday we decided we would make a quick local run to knock out 7 caches to get us to exactly 200...a great milestone! 
 Well, we headed in the Berlin direction to check out some cool caches, with #200 set to be found in the White River Marsh.  The first 6 were all great caches, all was going good, no DNF's and no problems.  Now we were all set up to find #200!! 
We pulled into the parking area in the marsh, and immediately two more trucks pulled up.  Uh-oh! There were a total of four bow-hunters in those two trucks.  Being an avid deer hunter myself, I knew instantly that if they were hunting the area that the cache was in, there was no way I was going to walk right through their hunting grounds.  I decided to let the guys go their own ways, and luckily they all crossed the road. 
 Now that I did not have to worry about ruining anybodies hunt we headed out for the White River Marsh Cache.  We walked down the nice trail that had been recently cut, gps working great, there was no stopping us now!  Well to make a long story short....we found the supposed ground zero with no problem.  Unfortunately there was no cache to be found.  Our GPS seemed to be working just fine, and was not jumpy at all.    We had read on previous logs that the coordinates seemed to be off, and reception might be lacking.  So, we started to work our way outward in a huge circle, at points I was more than 300' from GZ.  We struck out on this one.  Our 200th find will have to wait until this weekend. 
Team MuddyBottoms is planning an all weekend cache excursion.  We are hoping to pass up #200 and possibly get to 250 this weekend as well.  Stay tuned to see how that goes!

High Tech vs. Low Tech

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hand held electronic devises that can pinpoint your location anywhere on the globe with the aid of billion dollar government satellites?...sounds pretty high tech to me.  Well, that is very true, but, on the other hand, how high tech is too high tech?

Recently, I have been tossing around the idea of updating my geocaching tactics and the gadgets I use to find Tupperware hidden in the woods.  I have contemplated getting a fancy new gps.  I have contemplated installing GSAK on my computer to help load up my new gps.  I have contemplated getting mapping software for my gps...I have thought about it all.  The more I thought about all of this I realized that I was worrying more about the technology involved with high tech caching, than the sport itself.  The more I thought, the more I realized that my very first caching excursion brought me to a whole new place, a place I would have never visited before.  While doing the cache called Rush Lake View (under original name of Stobber) I never once thought about why my gps was not more accurate or how I could make caching easier or faster...all I thought about was, where next??  I loved the fact that I could hike around these cool places and look for the geocache at the same time.  I remember writing down the coordinates that morning and making sure I knew were to park, and making sure my geo-pack was all full of things I thought I might need( I did not need half of what was packed).

Still to this day I use sheets that I made myself on word to write down the cache details for each cache.  I also get out my trusty gazetter and draw an arrow on the page as to where each cache of the day is going to be, I number them in order so we can make the drive easier.    When the cache is found we write comments down on that same sheet of paper so we know what to write down later when we log our finds.

To me, this is still a huge part of the fun.  I relate it personally to hunting.  Doing the set up work is part of the experience.  When I deer hunt I like to do a little scouting and make sure my stands are in the right spot.  To me mapping out my day, and handwriting down cache details is part of the caching fun.   I am usually not in a huge hurry to get to the next cache, so why download 500 caches to my gps?  I am usually spending most of my time enjoying the area that caching has brought me to, and not worrying about how many I can find in a day.  I usually map out 3 or 4 real quality caches that I want to do in a day, and hit all of the others in-between along the way.  The great thing about that is...what looks like a boring cache on paper sometimes turns out to be a great cache.

Basically to sum it all up, the other day when I was trying to figure out GSAK, and trying to find the best place to get a map chip for my Lowrance gps, it dawned on me.  Why do I need all of these gadgets?  I usually only find a few caches each time I go out.  My gps works perfectly.  I just got so frustrated trying to make everything work, why go through this just to save a few minutes?  I like my old school tactics, I think I am going to stick with them!

I do realize that my opinions are definitely not shared by everybody, but that is the beauty of the whole situation...everybody caches the way they enjoy!  Someday I may even change my mind, I cannot say that I wont, but for right now its low tech, if there is such a thing in geocaching.

 Here is a picture of what I am talking about, the sheet that I used sitting on the gazetter map. These are from the trip that we took to the U.P.  You can see the small numbers circled on the map.  The battle plan, all layed out!!

Ceresco Prairie Conservancy....more hides.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I guess I figured that placing eleven new hides on Saturday was not I hid some more.  Today I completed a 6 stage multi-cache in the Ceresco Prairie Conservancy.  Well before I was introduced to geocaching I have enjoyed this great area.  I knew right after finding out about geocaching that I would have to do some hides in this area.  It has so many different terrain types, and awesome sights to see.  There is also an abundance of wildlife to watch. 

Hiding this cache was really fun for me, because of the amount of traffic on the trail.  While I was doing the hides, the college mountain biking team was out using the trail to practice for nationals coming up soon in California.  So, every time they came by I had to either try to hide, or look totally innocent, which in turn made me look even more suspicious.  They had to have been wondering what I was up to. Not only were there the bikers, but also the normal amount of people just out for a walk.  It was very fun to try and make the hides without being noticed.  It sure would be bad if any of the hides were muggled before the cache was even made public.

The hide took me a few hours to complete, and I think it turned out pretty well.  I am not totally sure about some of my hides being muggle proof, while still staying winter friendly.  I will check them often and make sure they stick around. 

So to any fellow cachers reading have a heads up that this cache should go live in the next day or two...I am hoping tonight.

Here is the map of the trail hides encompass the part of the trail to the east of the "you are here" star.  Ups and downs...woods...prairie...ponds....rock ledges its all there. 

Let me know what you think of the cache!!

Mascoutin Valley Trail....New Hides Complete!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

This last Saturday I hooked up with a fellow geocacher from Berlin to do a cool series of caches.  His name is CodeJunkie, and he is a great guy with great geo-instincts.  We successfully hid a total of eleven new caches along the section of the Mascoutin Valley Trail that runs between Ripon and Berlin.  Ten of the caches contain a clue that you need to pair up to get the coordinates for the final.  The five hides on the Berlin half of the trail are owned by "CodeJunkie", the other five + the final on the Ripon side are owned by me,"MuddyBottoms". These caches just went live this afternoon, and already they have all been found by two cachers by the names of "BakRdz" & "jstajlr".  These two gentleman unknowingly each completed half of the caches, and teamed up to get a CO-First To Find on the final...well done.  Not only did they find them fast, they did it in the rain, and a few of them in the dark!  That's what its all about!

I hope everyone enjoys this series, and takes in all that the great trail system has to offer.

My new hide spot was too "weedy"

Sunday, October 4, 2009

 Not your normal C.I.T.O. event

I was out this afternoon checking out an area where I am going to place another hide.  While I was walking through the woods I spotted a ziplock bag, which I picked up as usual.  Normally I just throw them in the pack to be thrown out later, but this one was a little heavier than the usual.  The contents of this bag were not at all normal.  This bag contained a glass pipe, a bic lighter and another smaller bag containing remnants of marijuana.

When I got back to the truck I immediately called the Police Dept.  When officer Henke arrived he jokingly asked if I was trying to do his job.  Officer Henke is in charge of the drug dog in Ripon, so this is his forte.  I told him no, only when I have to.  I showed him the bag and he said "uh-oh, somebody is upset that they lost this."  He thanked me and we were both on our separate ways. 

Speaking of new cache hides

I am working on 3 separate caches here in Ripon.  Keep your eyes out for 3 new Multi-Caches.  Each one will accent a different nature trail system in the Ripon area.  I expect to be done with these in the next one to two weeks.  My goal for these is not for difficult finds, or super tricky puzzles, I just want to show people the great places to check out other views of Ripon.