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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cache Grab: Ep. 6&7 (6/10/10 - 6/23/10)

Busy, busy the last couple of weeks but now I'm back and getting another post out. Lately, I've been moving a little further afield to hunt down caches and pick up trackables. We also managed to make it up to Roche A Cri park for a meet and greet event, which was a great time. Meeting all of our fellow cachers was quite a bit of fun and helpful to talk tips and tricks with more experienced cachers. Over Father's Day, I got to meet and spend a day visiting caches with rcflyer2242 and wingwalkers. They were nice enough to show me around McFarland so that I could pickup some caches there.

So this coming weekend, the boys and I are going to try and make it to the HAPPY HOLLOW event, GC25D9A, to meet some of our neighbors in the south of the state. It will be fun to get down to the park since I grew up in the area and haven't been back for quite a few years. Hopefully, we can manage to pickup some caches along the way and make a nice day of it.

Lastly, I managed to work it out so that one of the TBs that I had picked up could hitch a ride close to its goal. The Armadillo is on its way to Texas within the next month or so. So long buddy, enjoy your new home wherever that may be.

This week's successful trips:
42. WRR 035 - Serns Road
43. WSQ Otter Creek Cemetery
44. Milton VFW Post 9403 Becker-Godfrey
45. WSQ Hidden Markers
46. CFD
47. WSQ: Hauge Cemetary
48. WSQ Liberty Prairie
49. Gettin Jiggysaw Squares With It
50. Meet and Greet at the Park
51. Wedding Annivers-a-cri
52. Do You Feel Lucky?
53. The Critter Chronicles: Twin Towers Mark the Path
54. WSQ: Calvary Cemetary
55. Park and Grab It
56. Quick dead end in Madison #2
57. WSQ Evergreen Cemetery
58. My Turn
59. WSQ: Albion Prairie Cemetary
60. Geocacher's Race
61. Kaching With Kids - A Governor to Remember
62. VP: West
63. WSQ St Andrew
64. Hometown USA
65. VP: Kay
66. Hawk Ridge
67. WSQ: Kingsley
68. Curly, Curly Tail
69. Junction Ridge
70. Something is out of place
71. Welcome to McFarland
72. Going Back to School?
73. On the deer trail
74. Troop 53 Eagle Project
75. I hear the train a comming
76. Crab apple fall out
77. Bring Your Kit
78. Old Carriage Road

Monday, June 14, 2010

Meet & Greet and interesting TB travels!

Over the weekend, the geo-pirates and myself headed up to Roche A Cri park for the meet and greet; GC28DYW. This event marked our 50th cache in just over a month of caching and I'd like to thank baconbaits and LNJ Browning for putting it on. I was pleasantly surprised that the boys were both content and well-behaved even after our long car ride. The only downside to all this was that I wasn't able to hit any caches on the way up to the event, but I wasn't too worried since there are a few in the park and I was sure to grab some of them while visiting. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, maybe I carry unrealistic expectations I don't know. What I do know is this, by the time we were done eating and visiting and ready to "hike" as Liam calls geocaching, the boys were exhausted and I only managed to grab the cache that was about 150 feet from where the event was held. Oh well, just an excuse to come back again.

It was great to get a chance to meet so many different cachers and share stories, ideas & trackables. Liam the lil monkey got to spend time at the "Monkey table" with monkeyman81 and Firemonkee. He also got a critter nano to place from Team Firemonkee, thanks so much guys! We also got to meet pis4piglet - thanks for letting me discover your travel tag, Trekkin' and birdin', 2 o'l Farts and a GPS, TJSAAVEDRA - thanks for sharing your coins, Lions Fan and 08rocklady - nice meeting cachers from my neck of the woods and thanks for holding Luke while I was getting lunch ready, and sandlanders. I enjoyed meeting the people behind the forum posts on WGA. Once we hit the road to head home, the boys both fell asleep immediately and I was able to grab several caches along the way home. You have to love PNGs when you've got the kids sleeping in the car.

MonkeyMagic: TB3G7AV and Jane the T-Rex: TB3F3K3

I ended up playing a small part in both of these item's travels and I just thought I would share it since it shows how things will always somehow work out and hopefully will teach us to look for the best in a situation.

I got ahold of Jane at the WWFM event in Beloit, WI. She is from Rockford, IL and is trying to get to MT, since I was heading NW to Madison, jack99 gave her to me to help on her travels. I got her comfortable in a cache and was watching to see how the travels went. One day I received an email saying that it had been picked up and would be moved along soon. I was thinking great, it should be interesting to see how much closer to its goal it is. Then I see that it traveled over 200 miles....SOUTH! WTF! I'm not sure if it's too hard to read and see what the TB's goal is or if people just don't care, I mean come on. This was now further south than when it started out, even though she isn't mine I was a little upset by this. Then about a week later I saw that the next people to pick her up are headed out to Geowoodstock and are planning to move her along out west. So all is well that ends well, I'm glad to see Jane heading home.

My other story is a work in progress, in regards to MonkeyMagic. He is on a trip to Australia and while at first I had thought that the best I could do was move him along across WI it now looks like he has a ride to the Mega Event in Scotland and hopefully from there to Australia. Thanks to the generosity of Cache_boppin_BunnyFuFu and with the okay of the owner, 12_monkeys, this little monkey will be on his way across the pond by the end of July. All I will need to do is make sure that the monkey makes it out to the Waukesha area before that for pickup.

I can say that it is great being a part of a coin or bug's travels and I find it completely reprehensible that so many of these go missing. I really wish that more people could either help them along or just leave them be, as it is I know myself as well as many others are unwilling to let their trackables go out since it is most probable that they will disappear shortly. I've heard a few stories of trackables resurfacing after a long peroid of time, but it just isn't worth the risk for me. I will gladly help other cacher's items on their travels and goals and truly appreciate that those folks are willing to send their items traveling so I can share in the experience.

Until next time folks, remember - don't mess with a geocacher, we know all the best places to hide a body!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cache Grab: Ep. 5 (6/3/10 - 6/9/10)

Been keeping busy with the geo-pirates and caching. Over the last week, I managed to work on the Big 10 Challenge series as well as starting out on the Civil War Geocoin series. The whole family also spent a beautiful afternoon down by the UW campus, including a couple of caches. The boys and I are getting in gear for the Meet and Greet at Roche-A-Cri park this weekend, it should be a lot of fun. I've never actually been up to the park and I'm looking forward to at least grabbing a couple of the caches there. Lately, I've been on a puzzle cache kick, which meant today was puzzle solving day around the house. Since it was so hot and muggy and I didn't want to burnout the kids before the all day event on Saturday, I worked on a bunch of different puzzle caches. It's always fun to bring up the page and stare blankly at it because you can't even begin to wrap your head around the puzzle that is presented to you. I'm definitely more of a logic puzzle, crossword & sudoku kind of person. Some of the puzzles I've found are going to be a challenge for many moons to come, but that's okay because it should keep me interested.

This week's successful trips:
30. Big 10 Challenge: Illinois vs. Northwestern
31. WSQ West Middleton Lutheran Church
32. Big 10 Challenge: Minnesota vs. Iowa
33. MonKey Hunt
34. Big 10 Challenge: Michigan vs. Ohio State
35. Not another Pine Tree Cache!
36. Big 10 Challenge: Purdue vs. Indiana
37. Big 10 Challenge: Wisconsin, National Champs!
38. WSQ McFarland
39. STH - William Hugh. McFarland
40. Picnic Point Cache
41. Benchmarker

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First series completed and a mystery cache to boot!

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I found my first cache is the Big 10 Challenge by Lob-E-1 and decided that it would be a nice little challenge to work on. Fast forward one week and hooray I finished up the series and now we're ready for the next one to work on.

GC1D66A was the final and my very first Mystery Cache. The series was quite a bit of fun and definitely got me hooked on mystery/puzzle caches. There were a nice mix of caches with various D/T combinations including my first multi-cache, which included an amazing hide. I appreciate that these caches forced me to increase my skills and thoughts on finding hides in several different ways.

On Saturday, I was left with the last of the clue finds and the final to finish this series. So when I arrived at the park for the last of them, I had high hopes of finishing this up quickly. Sure this one is a difficulty of 4, but come on I can do this. I had the hint, "mossy dead hollow". My GPSr bought me into a thick forested area near a streambed. SHIT! I'm looking for a camo-taped matchstick container, there are a million dead trees with moss on them here. It's hot, humid and I'm pretty sure that there are all kinds of bugs crawling around my legs and neck. The ground is slick with mud and here I am in my flip-flops and shorts. One of these days I'm going to get around to changing into my hiking shoes before I head into the woods. So while I do the drunken bee dance around and around, I'm starting to think that I may not be finishing this series after all. Peeking, poking, lifting, sweating eventually I noticed a tiny bit of white tucked inside a small hole. It's about time to get out of here, and amazingly enough no ticks. So onto the final we go, I can do this. What? I'm looking for a camo bison tube and the coordinates for GZ lead to a field. Are you kidding me, then to make it better my wife calls and tells me the baby is awake. Times up, I'll have to come back for it, when I spot it. I really can't believe it, there is a god!

Now I guess I'll need to find a new challenge, I think I might tackle the Civil War Geocoin series by rcflyer2242. Until next time, happy trails and easy caches to everyone out there. Remember, don't mess with a geocacher we know all the best places to hide a body!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cache Grab: Ep. 4 (5/27/10 - 6/2/10)

It's been a very busy week here for Team Hopp Geocaching. We headed out on the trails to pickup some caches and celebrate the wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We had near perfect weather just about the entire time and we managed to squeeze in a couple of grilling sessions between hitting caches around town. Since I've got the boys with me all the time, I set a challenge for myself to pickup at least 10 caches over the long weekend, I managed to surpass my goal by a bit and grabbed 21 caches during this week. Now that I've proved to myself that we can go out and get caches even with the geo-pirates, it's on to bigger and better geocaching challenges. We closed out the week of caching with a fitting Memorial Day tribute, GC16G4V Remembrance

This week's successful trips:
9. Kati and Kenzis Cache
10. MadiSUN #5 - Solar Wind
11. On Target Dead end Nano
12. WSQ Middleton Junction #2
13. Big 10 Challenge: Michigan State vs. Penn State
14. MadiSUN #3 - Edgewood College
15. MadiSUN #2 - Parking
16. MadiSUN #4 - The Heritage Center
17. Dutch Mill Park and Ride
18. Bullseye #1
19. Drinkin and Bikin: Madison Overground Series PT1
20. El Escondrijo del B├║falo Perdido
21. Bullseye #2
22. Greenway Walk
23. Is This a Dead End Cache?
24. Deming Way O.P.
25. Twin Valley Terminal Moraine
26. Pope Farm
27. CCC 1938
28. Pay It Forward: CommanderUSN
29. Remembrance

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Run of Fun

Sorry for the long delay in posting, being a full-time dad, dog walker, geocacher & blogger really eats up the free time that is available to anyone. However, we are back with a vengeance and ready to get rolling. Now that the nice weather has finally arrived, caching is kicking into high gear for Team Hopp.

So I was lucky enough to have my holiday weekend start on Thursday afternoon and last all the way through Tuesday morning. Sometimes I just love my job! To make things even better, my new GPSr that was on backorder finally arrived. I'm now the proud papa of a Garmin 60CSx, and I can honestly say that while I love my iPhone and it did allow me to start geocaching without any initial investment, I love the new GPSr even more. Out and about with the new toy in hand, I managed to pickup quite a few caches, including my very first Multi and Earth caches. My other notable achievements of the Memorial Day weekend are introducing my mother-in-law to geocaching, getting some college friends addicted to caching and bringing the wife out of retirement and back onto the trails. She's a trooper, even though she had worked a ton of hours including the entire holiday weekend, after she got home on Monday we went out and found GC1BQGR, our first Earth Cache. The park that it was located in has become our family favorite, which in my opinion is one of the best things about geocaching. We headed back out this morning and grabbed the three traditional caches within the park. Also, while out and about, we spotted the rare and elusive wild geocoin. As we stalked our way to the final cache in the park, avoiding the tick patrols endlessly searching for us, we came upon an ammo can and inside was a tiny beauty; TB2EA1G

I've also learned that an essential tool for geocaching, especially in an urban area, is a stroller loaded up with little geo-pirates. The kids are an amazing deterrent to Muggle attention. While I would normally be looked at with suspicion if I was poking around a park or play area alone, with the boys there it seems perfectly natural. If I need to check something out, I can just roll the stroller up, give the kiddos a snack and check out whatever it is that needs to be checked. Anyone that passes by just looks at the boys and smiles, completely ignoring me and my explorations. If I happen to be poking around in shrubs or trees, I can just tell them about plants or animals and people assume that you are just out teaching the kids about nature. Perfectly acceptable, now a couple of grown adults doing the same thing is a little suspicious but hey that's the world we live in. To make this weekend perfect, since tomorrow is my wife's day off we are planning a little caching roadtrip assuming that the weather cooperates. As long as I've got my family, nice weather and new caches to find I'll be a pretty content individual. Hope to see everyone out on the trails, good night!