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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Anticipation Is Part of The Fun

I (Pip) have a professional training course coming up this next week in St. John's, US Virgin Islands. Sounds just awful, doesn't it? I'm staying at a really nice resort, the Florian Villa, doing lots of Yoga and hopefully doing a little geocaching.

Admittedly, I'm a little nervous, as my geocaching partner will be staying behind, tending to the farm animals and my obnoxious cats. Sigh. I've never been caching without her. But I'm told that the Virgin Islands have no snakes, so I'm not going to need her big knife...but still, solo caching doesn't sound as fun.

While I've not yet packed, I have checked out the listings for caches in the area. I've downloaded a couple to Ms. Garmin. One that I'm particulary interested in is at Cruz Bay. Fellow Geocacher, Kimchi, took this amazing photo, and I want to see this area...

There is also a geocache at Maho Bay, that was just hidden, and no one has logged a find as of yet. This would be so cool to be TFTF (The First to Find), but I imagine that a local will get to it before I will, but I can still hope.

I'll upload photos of the trip, and keep ya'll posted. While I'm away, Beth is headed back to a couple of local caches we were unable to locate.

Do something fun...for us, weekends are made for Geocaching.....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Getting Started

As with any new hobby, there is the learning curve to deal with....

First things first, you need to go to This is where the list of hidden geocaches are kept. You can search them by zip code. Go ahead, check it out, see what hidden treasures are located just around the corner from your place. We'll wait.

So, now you just log the coordinates into you bitchy GPS and away you go...on a treasure hunt.

You might want to take a few things with you. A pen, to log your find. Take some water, and some snacks. Wear some decent shoes.

Take some patience, as the owners of some caches can be pretty clever. For example, here is a shot of a cache that was hidden inside a super ball, the ball was rolled in gravel and just laying in the rocks at the location. Unbelievable.....

Some caches are a bit larger and contain little trinkets. You can exchange something inside the cache with something you brought along of equal or greater value. That is, if you remember to bring something along (a mistake we've made more than once).

There is terminology to deal with too. Muggles, for example. These are non-geocaching people that might be in the area. You want to avoid letting on what you're doing, as you don't want people not playing to disturb a cache once you leave.

Nano, we haven't quite figured out. Some cachers in our area have nano, or nanoman in their clues...we have no idea what this means, and its getting rather nerve racking. If anyone has any ideas, let us know.

And it helps if you know what you are looking for....what the heck is a bison tube, you might ask. We didn't know. Beth, being a farmer, thought maybe it was a type of rail used in fencing. No. Its a very, very small tube with a lid. Had we googled it before we left, we would have known. Damn learning curve.

Guarded cache, like hidden inside a guard rail. Duh.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

GeoCaching is Cool

Think back to scavenger hunts of your youth. Who hasn't wanted to have a map to a hidden treasure? This is GeoCaching. A hobby that can be rather inexpensive after initial set up. For more information about this high tech "sport", check out

I (Pip) was introduced to this activity by my friend twistedmystic. And trust me, he is one twisted guy, but I've grown rather fond of his picture texts, so I keep him around.

Beth willingly comes along for the fun. I send her into the scary places (frigid waters, snake infested areas, etc) She's very handy to have around. She carries a big knife. And frankly, nobody is going to mess with her. She also logs our finds, keeps notes and generally keeps me from having to get dirty - which I hate. Oh, and she's an excellent driver.

So to start this hobby, we purchased a Garmin Nuvi 500 before leaving Virginia for a trip to Tucker, Georgia. We found our first cache there on a rainy, cold day. We were hooked at that point.

Now Ms. Garmin, as we fondly call her, is a tad bit of a bitch. She's one of those GPS thingies that people purchase when they travel around a great deal. Her voice is rather annoying, especially when she is recalculating. We got her for the main purpose of geocaching, but she sure came in handy a few times while we were on the road, so we try not to talk bad about her anymore.

Besides allowing us to find hidden treasure, she and Beth got me to a nurse practitioner for acute tonsillitis the morning after our geocaching in the rain. She also found us a really cool restaurant in Midtown Atlanta where we had some awesome spinach dip and the best steak ever!

This was a mini adventure, secondary to geocaching. Sometimes the funnest part about a day of geocaching is the other stuff that happens along the way.

Ms. Garmin (with Beth's help) took it upon herself to take us a scenic route from Tucker, into Decatur and finally ending up in Midtown. Which was cool, as we had a few hours to kill before the Atlanta Thrashers took to the ice against Ottawha. (My first live professional hockey game ever, Beth has however, followed hockey since before God made dirt.) I don't remember the score, but I could turn into a real hockey fan, its cool.

We passed through some pretty fancy neighborhoods. I had a vague memory of this area from my Chiropractic College Daze (we won't discuss that here). I'm not sure what happened exactly on this trip either, as I was struggling to treat my tonsillitis with some sticky, numbing, slimy goo that I had to put on my swollen/germy tonsils. Beth was in charge of Ms. Garmin and some how, between the two of them, we ended up at Cow Tippers. I think I might have been running a fever too. Beth says it was a nice drive, I have to believe her, as no other witnesses were present.

Here is a few shots of that miserably cold, wet and yet extremely fun day of Geocaching in Tucker, Georgia:

So, our friends and family might want to know what we are doing when we pile ourselves into Beth's Toyota Tacoma and disappear for an entire day...or week...or two. We'll share most of that here, as fit for public consumption.