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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cache Grab: Ep. 3 (5/13/10 - 5/19/10)

I'm back everyone with another installment of my Cache Grab segment. So this last week, I managed to get my first virtual cache as well as my very first event cache. I also dropped a couple of micros into the mix for the week. I have to say that heading down to the WWFM VII event was a lot of fun, even if I didn't manage to do much actual caching. Just meeting all the other area cachers and chatting a bit with them was a great way to spend a Saturday.

We are already making our plans for this week's caches, very exciting. We are going to introduce my father-in-law and his wife to geocaching this weekend and hopefully grab a couple of caches. I'm also planning a little trip north to visit a TB Hotel and dump off a couple of Bugs that I've got in my pack currently. If all goes to plan (yeah right) I'll be getting my first Earth Cache and knocking another of the Leopold Legacy series off my list. However, you never know where you'll end up so we'll just have to wait and see what next week brings.

This week's successful trips:
5. Stonefield Park Cache
6. WWFM VII: Celebration
7. Cache In Beloit
8. Hill Point Park Cache

Sunday, May 16, 2010

WWFM VII and Micro Hunting with the Boys

This weekend the kiddos and myself made the trek down to Beloit for the Worldwide Flash Mob event going on. The plan was to hit the event and then spend a little time hitting some caches in the area. Sounds great, we can handle this. Oh wait, I forgot, I have a toddler and an infant with me in the car for over an hour each way. As crazy as this seems, we managed to get packed up and on the road in time to make it to the event. Oddly enough even though Liam whined and screamed for the entire car ride to the site, once we arrived he was perfectly happy and relaxed.

The event itself was a lot of fun, it was nice to meet people, chat a bit and just enjoy the day. While we were there, we picked up a TB that needed a lift NW TB3F3K3 , can't get her quite to Montana but at least moving in the right direction. Liam was lucky enough to get a 2006 Illinois geocoin, which he is pretty excited about. He knows it's his and keeps saying "mine" when he sees it.

Once the mob dispersed, we started hiking back to the south end of Riverside Park to pickup a couple of nearby caches. Well it was not to be, the boys by this point were letting me know that they didn't have the patience or energy to watch dad stumble around looking for micro caches by the river. As a compromise, we just hiked and grabbed our first Virtual Cache, GC1ECB . I was glad to manage at least one other cache while I was in Beloit and even though we didn't manage to grab any others, we did get out and get two local micros this weekend. I know what you are thinking, only two caches in a weekend. Caching with a 2 year old and a 7 month old is definitely not as easy as one would think. It's weird, but kids just don't have the same patience and persistence when looking for a microcache. They are also very easily distracted by the ubiquitous playground structures, what are they doing in all these parks?

All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend and I'm looking forward to the next event I can make it to. In the meantime, we'll keep grabbing caches when and where we find them.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Anatomy of the "Geo" Bag

I'm going to keep it short and sweet this time. So tonight I thought that I would go over the contents of our geocaching go-bag. Since we are caching with the boys, it definitely pays to be prepared. I'm excited to be heading out tomorrow morning for the World Wide Flash Mob VII event. Looking forward to meeting some of the other geocachers from southern Wisconsin.

The magic goody bag of fun: so much happy goodness for the little pirates. We've got a veritable library of field guides of plants and birds, hiking trail maps and Madison guidebooks. The kiddos never stop eating so most of my backpack is filled up with snacks; graham crackers, lara bars and dried fruit. Must have the camera in there to document our adventures. It would be a waste to visit so many beautiful areas and never get anything to remember them with. Then we've got our swag items since Liam loves trading with the stuff we find in our caches. A couple extra diapers (for emergencies) and tissues take care of hygiene issues. Lastly, we've got pen and paper for working out clues and signing all the logs we find.

Everything you need to have some fun in one convenient carryall! I can't wait to get back out on the trails and hit some caches, we'll see you all out there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An Intro to Team Hopp Geocaching.

Say Hi to the team; nhopp22 (Nikki), kungfuhippie (August) and the L-Star Pirates (Luke & Liam). We've just recently taken up geocaching as a family hobby and I'm planning to use this blog to chronicle our achievements, adventures and all things geocaching. Since there are so many different aspects of the hobby, I will try to spotlight what each of us enjoy throughout. Although there are vast hordes of the unenlightened i.e. Muggles, geocaching has been around for 10 years. So if you enjoy getting out and exploring beautiful, natural locations I would recommend checking out the main geocaching website: to learn more about it. We'll see you on the trails.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Cache Grab: Ep. 1 (5/1/10-5/5/10)
So Tuesday morning, before the wife had to go to work, we set out to find our first cache. A nice, kid-friendly location that was close to home for us. After a minimal amount of time wandering through the park we achieved victory. A box full of goodies for Liam to check out. This isn't so bad, I think we're getting the hang of it. Since Wednesday is the wife's day off, we planned to spend the afternoon out hitting some caches and enjoying the weather. So off we head to walk the dogs, you know work before play and all. Well wouldn't you know it there's a cache hidden right in the neighborhood we are walking dogs in. Okay troops let's get this one. So after wandering around for quite a while and getting ready to call it quits, we meet Chuck. Chuck is a very nice elderly gentleman who pointed us in the correct direction to find our cache. That was a very well hidden micro cache. Once that was all said and done, we ended up at a nearby park for a mile and a half hike to the cache site. Along the way we lost one of Luke's socks, later recovered on the way out of the park, were buffeted by hurricane force winds, and stomped through a marshy grassland in flip-flops but ultimately the cache was located. Inside were quite a few interesting swag items as well as a couple of Travel Bugs. We left everything as it was and hiked our way back out to the car. Everyone was thoroughly exhausted, but ready for more adventures.

This week's successful trips:
1. Blackhawk Park
2. Simply Simple
3. Leopold Legacy: January

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Cache Grab: Ep. 2 (5/6/10 - 5/12/10)
So between inclement weather and a busy schedule, we only managed to grab one new cache this week. My oh my though, it was definitely a good one. The whole gang made it out to the Ice Age Trail near our house on Mother's Day. We had beautiful weather and found our little goody box without too much trouble. Then we spent a nice afternoon at Nana's house visiting with Abbey and Jason.

This week's successful trips:
4. Leopold Legacy: September