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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Robert O Cook Challenge


This was a great challenge cache and I really enjoyed spending the day working on it. My wife agreed to keep the boys at home with her, which allowed me to tackle some of these caches. I arrived at the arboretum just about 9:30AM and started off the day with a couple of easier caches near the beginning of the forest. As I slowly made my way north, I picked up a few more caches. My hope for the day was to grab a couple of caches and at least find and sign the challenge cache so that when I completed the challenge I wouldn't have to go back for that one. This time of year is definitely the best time to tackle these. Today was absolutely beautiful, making the several hours of hiking bearable. It's late enough in the year that most of the undergrowth is gone and the tree cover is gone so my GPSr was able to settle pretty easily. Still there were an over-abundance of thorns near almost every GZ I approached.

By about 10:30-11AM, I finally made it towards the back of the park and had to make my water crossing if I wanted the final and the couple of other caches back there. While I was crossing over, I saw that I was fairly close to Smashing Ground's Cache of the Month winner, Just Listen. I was in a hurry to get out to the challenge cache and my GPSr wouldn't settle, so I figured that I didn't need this one and I'd just swing back later. If you end up out in the area, don't skip this cache it definitely deserves the CotM win. I did manage to come back and eventually make this find after grabbing a couple of others. However, in all this I missed completely one of the caches and when I finally realized it, I was almost a mile away and didn't really feel like hiking back, making another two water crossings and hunt for this one. Oh well, next time!

Around lunchtime, I got a call from my wife and decided to start heading back to the car and make my way home. As I wandered back grabbing caches I realized that I had found almost every cache in the park. Finally back to the car and the final tally was 18 finds, 1 DNF, 1 unsolved puzzle, 1 cache I missed and 1 cache at the entrance that I was too tired and lazy to stop and look for when I left. A pretty good day for me all in all. As I headed back towards Madison, I got ahold of a caching friend who was going to take a geocoin over to England for me.

It turned out that mxmarg was out along the Glacial Drumlin Trail working on the America the Beautiful series with mesman, legoboy13 and their family. So I ended up jogging down the trail until I met up with them and then hiking back to my car and grabbing six more AtB caches along the way. The Racing Yorkshire Geocoin Kevw is heading back home to England care of mxmarg! Thanks again for the lift. At the end of the day, I had managed 24 caches with only one DNF, met some new geocachers and managed to get a coin on its way.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stumbling upon letterboxes!?

So curiously, in the last week or so, we have stumbled upon letterboxes while searching for nearby geocaches. I thought it was a little odd that this would happen, but I guess there isn't anything stopping people that do both from placing them on top of each other. What do you guys think of this? Let me know!

The first one we found was while doing the Wherigo cache, Joey of Warner Park GC1ZFNY. When I was about 60 feet from GZ, I spotted what looked like a muggled cache in a tree stump. The bag and log as well as some other bits of junk were strewn about. When I looked at the logbook, on the cover it stated that it was a letterbox and who the owners were. I sent an email and it appears that this letterbox may have been muggled quite some time ago (and dumped in the woods?)

Then a couple of days later when working through Two Ponds GC10E7E, a very nice multicache, found a second letterbox. Once I arrived at GZ, I found the cache container lying out in the open. I signed the log, grabbed a geocoin and placed it back hidden much better. Then I spotted a camo lock and lock, looked inside and it's a letterbox. It was literally sitting less than a foot away from the cache.

Personally, I think this is a bad situation because people that are searching for the letterbox may muggle or destroy the geocache or leave it unconcealed. I hope that maybe at some point, the powers that be of these two activities can make some sort of arrangements to avoid situations like this. Based on what I saw in the two letterboxes that I've found, I'm glad that I'm a geocacher!