Going 4 for 3!

Georgia, Locations, Trackables, United States No Comments »

We set out to find 3 caches today, found them all, and then went to a fourth one on the spur of the moment (it was on our way back) which had eluded us 3 previous times, and we found that as well. Very satisfying.

First stop, "Celestal Moola" near a small lake called Lake Lucerne. This was a small parking area right on the lake and right off a rather busy divided highway.


The GPS showed that the spot was close to the water, but in fact it was a bit farther back. We started looking under the bridge and through the thorny scrub brush.



My youngest son had noticed a small path earlier and wandered down it a bit, but came back empty-handed. My older son finally decided to take a look himself and did find the cache.



Not too much in the cache itself, so we took nothing, left nothing and signed the log.


This was a beautiful day for caching.


We moved on to our next stop, at a church just down the highway. It’s a cache that highlights one of the special projects done by Eagle Scouts in the area, one for each of the virtues of the Boy Scout Law. As we approached it, my older son recognized one of the Eagle projects at this site that he helped out with; not the one specifically mentioned on the cache page, but the benches that were built very close to the cache location.


It didn’t take long for my oldest son to find this one, and again, in a place that my youngest son had already looked. (It was frustrating for him, let me tell you.) We brought it over to look through it.


There were some nice little things in there. We didn’t take anything, but we left the trackable we found yesterday. It was called "4Given" and it seemed like a church was a good place to drop it.



And on we went.

The next cache had a particular location, but noted that it was to be moved for a short time. We started looking at the original location, but it was no longer someplace you could reasonably hide anything.



After deciding that we’d have seen it if it was here, we went for the alternate location, which was in a grove of trees. It was easier to look through, I imagine, in winter with all the leaves off the trees.


My younger daughter found it pretty quickly once we got close.


We found a small flashlight-type toy to take. In previous photos, you notice that my older son was wearing a bracelet made of soda can tabs. He brought that in case we wanted to drop it off in a cache, and so we dropped it off here.


We signed the log and started back home.


On our way home, we were going by a cache we’d tried (at least) 3 times before to find. We figured the lack of leaves might help us here, too.


Well, indeed we found it within a couple of minutes, and in a place we’d searched before, but not because it was winter. Smile No spoilers! This time, my oldest found it.


Signed the log, and finished a fantastic day, having gone out looking for 3 and found 4.


A Cache Video

Georgia, Locations, Trackables, United States No Comments »

It was a gorgeous day in Atlanta; in the 60s, when just a few weeks ago the whole city was shut down due to snow. This was clearly a day to do some caching.

I chose a unique one. It had virtually no information on the geocaching.com page, but you had to go to YouTube to be given a video tour of the cache area. It did have the actual coordinates as well. I don’t think we’d have found it with just the video clues. It was made 4 years ago, and the area has changed a bit, most notably a new subdivision has gone up.

The path to the cache starts at a nearby pool, which has a paved walking trail behind it.


Turn right at the bench.


Hike through the woods  just a little and look for the tree that hides the cache.


We did some searching around until I looked at one tree who’s base looked like the one in the video, and my daughter went over to it and uncovered the cache.


The box was quite well stocked. It had a shrink-wrapped DVD of the original Absent-Minded Professor, a cute plastic pizza cutter, and some nicer swag than we normally find. There was also a trackable called "4Given" that we took to move on.



We signed the log, took the trackable, and replace the cache.


We had a good time, in an area that we’d been in many times before, but never knew a cache was so close by. That happens a lot.

One Year Anniversary

Georgia, Locations, Trackables, United States No Comments »

I took three of the kids out on an excursion on our 1 year anniversary of finding our first cache.  Well, technically, that was the 27th, but close enough.  I drove us to a location with a number of caches, and with at least one that could hold the traveler that I picked up in Cozumel. 

We started with the closest one we came across, a small one with just a log.  We did some searching but were unable to find it.




We moved on to the nearby Ronald Reagan Park, which has a dog running area and thus the name of the cache; Barking Lot.

I’d read the hint, but didn’t give it out to the kids.  We just followed the phone/GPS, passed a slightly frozen pond (unusual for Georgia in December), and started searching.



It didn’t take long, and my daughter found it.


As per the description, a few of the items were dog-related (food dish, leashes), but there were your typical items that folks had traded in.  We signed the log, took a toy Anakin Skywalker, and left a slightly-warped bouncey ball and the traveller.





We tried a couple of other caches, but came up empty.  The first was supposed to be a simple 2-stage multi in the same park, but we were unable to come up with the first stage.




And then we tried looking at a library across the street.  A small mayo jar in a bush.  Should have been easy but we went all through the bush we thought was the place but didn’t find it.




So we went 1 for 4, but did have a good time.  It was getting dark, so we returned home.  Happy Anniversary to us!

More Cruise Caching

Cozumel, Locations, Mexico, Trackables No Comments »

When our cruise ship docked at Cozumel, my wife and I were going separate directions; she to the Mayan ruins at Tulum, and me to geocaching in the port.  She really wanted to see the ruins, and my legs just wouldn’t handle all the walking we anticipated based on the excursion description.  But there was an interesting cache here and I figured I’d enjoy my day anyway.

Again, I had a piece of paper where I’d printed out the description of the cache and a section of Google Map showing the satellite view and the location of the cache, plus a picture some previous finder had uploaded showing the place where this was kept.  I wanted all the hints I could, because I was doing this without my GPS.

Near the El Cid hotel, there was an information desk at the street, and a nice lady asked me if I needed some help.  So I gave her my story and my map, and she and her colleagues tried to figure out where the spot on the map was.  They agreed it was at a place called Blue Angel.  I thanked them very much and headed on out.


The cache description said to ask for Danny when you’re at the coordinates and he will get the cache for you.  Sounded very spy, cloak-and-dagger stuff.  "Go to the drop point and ask the clerk for Danny. He’ll take it from there."  Danny works from 7am to 4pm, so the description said if he’s not there and you can’t get to the cache, take a picture of the big white thing nearby.  So I was also looking for a conspicuous big white thing. 

I continued down the street peeking in here and there when passed by shops but really had my mind set on the Blue Angel.  There was a long stretch of rocky beach I passed, and finally I found it, and it was quite near a very large, white lighthouse.



"This must be the place", I thought.  I went in and grabbed a quick seat.  Because of some physical issues, my walking looked rather labored and silly, even though I’d been taking a break every so often.  A lady who worked there saw me come in and quickly offered me a seat.  We started talking and I told her what I was doing.  She didn’t have any idea about it, nor knew a Danny.  I showed her the map and the picture of the location.  She wasn’t sure about the map, but was pretty sure the picture was taken at a place back the way I came, at a location with a barracuda out front.  Her husband was just going that way to gas up the car and she offered for me to go with him, but I declined, thinking it really should just be back past the rocky beach, as I didn’t really think I was that far off.

I walked back and looked in a couple of the places on the beach, but nobody knew about it, so I went back down the street, past the Blue Angel, and past the lighthouse.  The ‘big white thing’ was, according to the description, at the coordinates of the cache, not (supposedly) significantly before or after it.  Well, I went to the first restaurant past the lighthouse, at the "Beach Club Los Girasoles", and went in.  I explained myself to the waitress and she and her fellow staffers discussed, in excited Spanish, where this might be.  They all agreed that it must be back the way I came, but they weren’t sure where.  I thanked them very much, and ordered an overpriced glass of Coke; partly because they were so helpful, partly because i needed a drink, and partly because I hadn’t had a soda in almost a week.


While I was drinking my Coke, one of the staff asked if I was going to be there for a few more minutes.  I said I was, so he offered to take the map to a taxi driver friend of his just outside the door.  I let him, and when he returned, he said that the driver recognized the place.  It was about a 10 minute walk back the way I came, at a place called ‘Sunset’.  I thanked him and went on my way.

One 10-minute walk later (that is, 20 minutes later), after looking carefully in every shop on the way back, I finally came to "Sunset".  And hanging outside; yea, a cartoon barracuda.  I had passed this place about 2 hours earlier.  I stumbled up to one guy and asked for Danny, and he pointed him out for me.  I went over and said, "Danny, I’ve read a lot about you."  He smiled and asked in his Mexican accent, "Geocacher?"  He walked over to locker 11, opened it up, and handed me the cache to peruse.


I looked at the log book and noticed another entry from today.  He said they had come by that morning.  Heck, I would have been there in the morning too, if I’d stopped there the first time I passed it.  It was now about 12:45pm. 

I looked through the tub for some of the trackables that I had considered taking. 


Some that I had noted were in there last week wanted to stay in the Caribbean and other such things, so I’d written down which ones I could take back to Georgia.  None of then were there; must be a busy little cache.  I took one that said it wanted to go to North or South America ("Not Europe", it said; likely where it started).



So I took that one, signed the log (adding "Happy birthday to me" under my log entry), closed it up and handed it back to Danny.  I thanked him, and set out back for the ship.


Oh, and the big white thing?  The hotel across the street, I’m guessing.

As I passed the El Cid information booth, they remembered me and asked if I found it.  I explained to them what my day had been like, and let them know where to send anyone who mentioned geocaching in the future.

All told, I think I may have walked 2 to 2.5 miles or so.  I got more exercise than I’d gotten in a long time.  I didn’t go on the Mayan ruins tour because of all the walking that would be involved, but what I did today was all on the nice, flat sidewalk, so it was a bit different.  And that last half mile or so back to the ship was noticeably more difficult.  But it was an interesting (and cheap) excursion of my own.

First International Cache For ThePaytons

Canada, Just Shoot Me, Locations, Quebec, Trackables No Comments »

I was going to Montreal on business so I just had to get our first find outside the US. With this in mind, I had pulled out a geocoin that was in our cache as well as prepare one of ours to set on its way. I pulled up the map on geocaching.com and found that the nearest cache to the client’s preferred hotel that could hold a geocoin was a short drive away on a college campus. Sounded good

Except that when I went to book the room, they were filled up for 2 of the nights I was going to be there. The backup plan was to stay at a hotel where other folks from my company were staying doing work for another client. I booked the room first and then looked for coin-friendly cache.

Right across the street. Amazing.

Today I came back to the hotel and started looking.  Seems that whenever I go caching while on business, I wind up in an area that has lots of trash.  The location of the cache I found in Cleveland was near a dumpster, and trash was all around.  In this case, the trash was in what the cache hider referred to as a beaver den.  (Well, "la hutte du castor".  This is Montreal.)  And indeed once you approached it and walked into the bush, it did remind one of a beaver den.





But for the trash, this would be a fantastic fort for kids. 

I did some looking around, poking a stick at the stuff on the ground.  I got tired of picking through trash, so I thought I’d come back the next day.  However, it started to rain a little, and this huge bush was actually good shelter from the rain.  I decided to keep hunting until it let up.  Good thing I did.  Within 60 seconds, I found the cache.


As is my habit, I forgot to bring a pen, so I couldn’t sign the log this time, but I’ll come back tomorrow to fix that. 

Not much in the cache; a golf ball and a pencil eraser.  But I dropped off the two travel bugs I came with;  RedIrishLilly’s First Geocoin and Just Shoot Me.




Have a good trip!