A Find and a Half

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We started this afternoon trying to find a cache we were unable to locate before.  This time, the ball field was populated with a girls’ softball team practicing in the low-40-degree weather. 

As before, still didn’t find it.  Not for want of trying, though.  (No pictures this time.)

We decided to go for an actual find, and looked to see other caches nearby.  There is one near an historic site in Lilburn; the Wynne-Russell house.

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We did some searching in the back of the house, as that’s where our GPS pointed us.

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Finally, we looked at the hint on the web page for the cache.  Turns out that it was more a "precise location" than a hint.  Upon reading it, my son, who was within eyeshot of it, turned his head and found it.  Hence my calling it half a find.

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Since this was such an easy find, the kids wanted something a bit more challenging, so off we went.


This next cache is called "Publix Enemy Vanquished", as it is hidden on the site of an Ingles grocery store that the across-the-street Publix put out of business.  It’s now a church, but on this Saturday afternoon it was empty.

We started looking though some bushes in the parking lot, but upon further consultation with the Blackberry GPS, we realized it was elsewhere.  (No spoiler.)

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This particular cache has a unique camouflage to it that I looked right at and passed by.  My son, upon looking at it, notice that a plastic bag was sticking out and figured that was suspicious.  Sure enough that was it.  We took it back to the car to go through.


My daughter made the boondoggle in the picture, which is what we left.  We’ considering making those our "signature" drops. 

The log papers were all quite soggy, but someone had put a dry page in which we signed. 


We took a Jillian’s sports bar game token.


And actually, we accidentally took that little blue heart shown in the previous picture because it dropped into my car’s cup holder, after which I put my Blackberry on top of it.  On the back was written "Rexnest", which is a user name on Geocaching.com.  I’ll let them know we have it.

So a good find and a half today. 

Continued Searching at the Greenway

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The very first cache we tried to find was the difficulty 3 Camp Creek Greenway Trail cache.  Yeah, starting geocaching with a difficult multi was probably not the best way to get into it, but since the kids new the greenway so well, I thought it would be fun.

We went back to search for stage 3.  This was actually our second shot at it (didn’t take pictures of the first shot, which included my wife’s sister, her husband, and their 2 boys).  The stage is somewhere in a area of bamboo along the greenway.  Yeah, I didn’t think there was bamboo in Georgia, either.



Following a clue that the cache hider, geomuse, gave us, we continue our search.  Sometimes we were looking inside things.


Sometime we were looking at the bamboo from the side away from the trail.


But  we still didn’t find it.  I found a patch of ground that was naturally shielded, visually, from the trail.  I scoured that area but came up empty.  So we went back to geomuse for yet another clue.  (My daughter didn’t want to ask, but my boys were in agreement that we needed some help.)

Caches are Everywhere!

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My wife and I have organized a group of kids that memorize the Bible and compete in quizzes based on it.  We have an older group of kids that we help out with, but we’re in charge of the Junior Quizzers.  Tonight, we held a practice at the home of a couple of the quizzers, about 20 minutes away from our house.  My wife asked me to pop by the nearby Wal-Mart to pick up some things, so off I went.  I parked the van, and on my way in I checked my Blackberry just for fun to see if there were any caches nearby.

Two, and the closest on was less than 500 feet away!

So I decided that I just had to give it a shot once I left the store.  When I got back to the van, I got BlackStar cranking and drove along the parking lot until the way the arrow was moving gave me a pretty good idea of where the cache was (and the distance to the location was confirming it).  I parked, walked over to the suspected location, looked to make sure I wasn’t noticed, tried to look like I was searching for my keys on the ground, and quickly grabbed the cache.  Sweet!

It was a clear blue film canister.  I got it into the van, and it contained  rather rolled up log book.  The first (long) page was filled up so I would be the first name on the second page.

If only I could find a pen.  Which I couldn’t.  >sigh<

So to prove that I actually found this one, I took a couple of pictures of the container and the log.  Best I could do.



How did those folks get their picture in the log?  Impressive.

So I packed it all back up, put it back (again, making like I was looking for my lost keys on the ground), and drove off.  And I smiled because, indeed, caches are everywhere.

"Hey honey, I got what you asked for.  Oh, and I found a cache, too." 🙂

Trying a New Location

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Yesterday, on January 9th, we decided to try a new hunting ground.  Nearby, there is a group of ballparks paid for by a local Lion’s Club.  The first cache we sought was quite properly named "Entrance to the Lion’s Den, II"  We did some searching around, but didn’t find it.  Part of the problem was, again, I didn’t make a note of what we were trying to find; this time, another micro. 



There are two other caches near the park, so we moved on.

The next we tried looking for is called "Take Me Out to the Ball Park", and it’s in the woods at the back of the park.  We ventured down a small embankment, got our bearings, and started searching.  We did this for about 10 minutes in the light-snow-dusted woods.


At one point, my older daughter stepped on something that didn’t seem to be the ground or a branch.  She bent down, and realized she’d found it.


We now knew what an "ammo box" looks like; another common storage for caches (durable and rather weather-proof).  We opened it up and sifted through the contents. 


In keeping with the name of the cache, there were a number of balls in it (tennis, baseball, wiffle ball), as well as some other items.  Generally speaking, you’re not going to find incredibly valuable items in a cache.  It’s more the thrill of the hunt, and seeing what is actually in it.  You typically bring something to put in and take something out.


We noticed a wooded coin that said "Semper Gumby / See You Down The Trail" with an image of the old Gumby cartoon character on it.  On the coin was written a number and a date, likely a unique number and when it started circulating.  We thought at the time that this could be one of those trackable items that can be moved from cache to cache, and it’s progress can be tracked on the geocaching web site.  (I found out later that this particular one was not actually trackable, and was likely a special signature item that one particular geocacher places in caches they find.  I also found out that "Semper Gumby" is intended to mean "Always flexible".)

One interesting thing that we almost took was a film canister that held a plastic garbage bag, and a label on the outside saying that this was to support the "Cache In Trash Out" project.  The point was that you would take the bag out of the canister, clean up the area around the cache with it, then take the canister home, put a bag back in it, and put it in some other cache.  Of course, the CITO initiative suggests cleaning up around any cache, film canister or not, but it was an interesting way of keeping it fun.

But we took the coin and left a Christmas wreath ornament that includes two nails in the shape of a cross.  We then signed the log and posed for a picture at our first find that included stuff to trade.

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Fresh from this, we decided to take on one more, the Lilburn Liar’s Cache.  The description of the environment around the cache and how to retrieve it is rather funny.

This cache is hidden in a completely inaccessible portion of the park. You will need to bring climbing gear, spelunking gear, rappelling gear, a submarine, and some extreme cold weather gear.

Even during the winter, you should bring a rocket launcher
to shoot down mosquitoes that are the size of small dogs and come in swarms capable of sucking all blood from a cow in less two minutes. You may wish to wear a full chemical/
radiological/biological contamination suit (MOPP 4) and approach this cache via air with an Apache helicopter.

This cache is also guarded by a giant serpent, for REAL!

Good luck and I hope you come back alive.

Well, we used the GPS to get us to the general location and started rooting around.  At one point, however, my older son decided that that the line "This cache is also guarded by a giant serpent, for REAL!" probably meant something, so (without giving any spoilers) he returned to a spot in the area that looked like it fit the description (a spot we’d previously passed by) and instantly found it.


In this we found another "Semper Gumby" coin, so we just traded the one we found with this one, and thought we’d be able to add entries for two coins.  (Though, as I said, not really.)  We again signed the log (I did, with my frozen hands), put it back, and enjoyed the fact that we’d found two caches in one day.


Lots of fun for the whole crew.  Yeah, most of the stuff is dollar-store-type things, but it really is mostly the hunt.

Our Second Attempt: Success!

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I went out the next day (December 28th) with 3 of my 4 kids.  (The youngest was staying overnight with cousins.)  After exchanging a few e-mails with the cache hider, geomuse, we went back to the greenway.

As an aside, at this point I’ve only e-mailed this one person, but if she’s any indication, those who’ve hidden caches are willing to be helpful.  We asked a couple of general questions (didn’t want it to be too easy) and she reminded us that what we’re looking for is small.

So off we went.



We even posed for a picture when a “muggle” came by.


Yes, “muggles” is similar to how it’s used in Harry Potter; it’s someone who (presumably) doesn’t know about geocaching.  If they walk by and you’re digging around, examining light posts, or reaching into some bushes, they’ll think you strange (at least) or report you to the police (at worst).  Also, you don’t necessarily want to alert folks to boxes of interesting stuff lying nearby.  “Muggles” might take the cache or vandalize it, so it’s best not to make them aware of it.

But finally we found stage 1.  Actually, I think I was the one that found it.  But we all enjoyed the thrill of the find.


(I’ve smudged the latitude & longitude in the picture; gonna’ have to find it yourself if you want the clue. 🙂 )

As we approached the new coordinates, the kids, already thinking like a cache hider, immediately found stage 2 in (what I later found out is called) a “bison tube”.


Inside were a couple of laminated pieces of paper with the next set of coordinates.  We decided to come back some other time and look for stage 3.  In the meantime, off to downtown Lilburn to find the one there; one of the “Downtown / Main Street USA” caches.


It took a bit of time, and we did find another “muggle” walking around, but figured they would be much of a problem.



But finally my younger daughter found it.  No picture of the location (no spoilers), but here we are after signing the log on our first actual cache find.


It felt good to get a few finds under our belt.  We updated the cache’s web page, and logged our first cache find.