Dropped a Trackable, Took a Trackable

Georgia, Locations, Trackables, United States 1 Comment »

With the whole family out of town but my youngest son and I, I decided to do some special geocaching with him.  (Seems that’s what happens when he winds up here with no siblings.)  We had been sitting for three weeks on a trackable that we picked up on Spring Break in Florida, so it was time to move it along.  (I made up for this by taking 2 pictures of it next to bodies of water near us, as it asked.)  So I found a regular cache (i.e. not a small or micro) near us and we headed out.

The place is a nice wooded area next to a Lutheran church, along a path that they created into it.  I assume that someone from the church knows it’s there, so we parked near the woods and walked on in.  Again, I was without a regular camera so a Blackberry in the dusk was all I had, and thus the pictures aren’t all that good.



I availed myself of the hint, but once we followed the arrow, it really wasn’t necessary.


A very swag-rich find, including 2 trackables.


We dropped off our Floridian guest and picked up a German racing coin.


The intent of the coin is to hit as many caches as it can, and travel as great a distance as possible.  I have to go start the pack-up process for my daughter at college, so I’ll bring it with me there to put a few miles on it.


We signed the log, closed it, and hid it (slightly) better than we found it.  See you later, travel bug!

Boy Scouts Getting a Geocaching Merit Badge

General No Comments »

It’s scheduled for the 2nd quarter of this year.  So, like, any minute now.

Found a Decoy

Georgia, Locations, United States 2 Comments »

We went to Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park today, and figured we’d look up a close-by cache on our Blackberries when we got there, rather that trying to guess where we might stop.  Our first order of business was taking a picture of the travel bug in our possession.  It wants to be photographed near lakes or reservoirs, so we got a shot of it by the Stone Mountain Park lagoon.


The nearby multi-stage cache said in its description that you should block out 3-4 hours to find all the stages.  Well, we didn’t have that kind of time, so we found one within a short driving distance in the park, at the old Grist Mill.


We found what was the likely drop zone and started hunting.  At one point, I thought I’d found it, but when we checked inside, we found this laminated piece of paper:


Sorry, that’s the best I could do for something this small and in the dusk light.  It says, "Sorry, This is not the cache.  Try again."  Thing is, this was a very cleverly camouflaged cache, and to be a decoy got a big chuckle out of me. 

But while it confirmed that we were in the right area, we never did find the actual cache.  There had been some recent renovations to the Grist Mill and the surrounding area, so I’m hoping it wasn’t removed in that.  The log shows that someone found it just 4 days ago, so perhaps this difficulty 2 cache was just to clever for us.  A DNF, for now.

More Savannah Searching

Georgia, Locations, United States No Comments »

Indeed, there was more searching than finding, but it actually did pay off in the end, literally.

As we were touring historic downtown Savannah, we took a couple of breaks to see if we could find something.  We took a few shots at it, but came up empty.




Later that evening, we visited my daughter’s college.  I’d suggested she go caching on her own while she was away this year, but it didn’t happen.  So while we were there, we decided to chase one down, a multi-stage in nearby woods on the college property.  This area has some walking/jogging trails that my daughter was unaware of, so she got introduced to this wonderful area via caching.


The first two stages were business-card-sized laminated paper attached to trees.  As we found them, we punched in the new coordinates and continued on.


On the way, my youngest son saw a hole in a tree that looked like a good hiding place, and even though we weren’t near the coordinates, he took a peek in there anyway.  And what do you know, there was a cache there, but it was another letterbox, similar to one we’d found (again, accidentally) previously.


As we were looking for the third and final stage, my kids were bushwhacking through off the trail towards the coordinates.  My wife and I continued down the trail, and found that it turned toward the general area of target.  And just slightly off the trail, she, who isn’t really into the whole geocaching thing but is very encouraging of the hobby, found a place that seemed like a good hiding place, and got her first find.


We left our signature boondoggle and took a Chick-Fil-A coupon.



It was only good for a specific, local Chick-Fil-A location, and was expired, but we thought we’d give it a try at supper time.  Sure enough, they took it, and I described how we found it to the girl at the register.  I thought perhaps the store manager might know about geocaching, since the coupon would have had to have come from him, but I didn’t get a chance to see him.  Ah well. 

Still, who says geocaching doesn’t pay?

Some More Spring Break Caching

Florida, Locations, United States 1 Comment »

This morning, we were visiting a science museum, and dutifully checked to see if there was a cache nearby.  Sure enough there was, and before going into the museum we thought we’d log a quick find.  No such luck.  The general area that the cache was in seemed obvious, but we did a bit of searching and this difficulty 2/5 completely eluded us.  Ah well, on we went into the museum.

[UPDATE 4/19: A recent log entry by the cache owner did indeed indicate that this cache had been lost, and there was a least one other DNF after us.  So I don’t feel so bad about not finding it.]




This evening, I planned out 5 different caches to hit with the kids.  The first one is a puzzle cache where you have to count two sets of palm trees in a traffic circle to be used in a formula to come up with the actual coordinates of the cache.  (It was in the circle, but the actual coordinates narrow it down considerably.)

Normally, I’ve seen the hint so I can offer it to the kids if they decide they need it, so since I know it I don’t actively do any searching until I’ve given out the hint to them.  There was no real hint for this one, so I participated in it, and made the find myself.


We took the black bison tube back to the van, signed the log, and, after waiting for the circle to be devoid of cars, replaced it.


The next stop was in a subdivision.  There were trees at a bend in the road, and the cache’s name, “Tree’s Bend”, made it clear we’d found the zone.  After searching up an down in here, and ensuring that we weren’t being observed from the (very close) houses nearby, my daughter found the tube.  Back to the van to sign the log.



Our next stop was one of the many “Catch Cat” caches in Bradenton.  The rapid transit system is called MCAT and it’s symbol is a cat.  These caches are, thus, stashed around bus stops all over the city.  We went to Catch Cat 4 and searched high and low, but could not find anything.  At one point, a bus pulled up and we had to wave it off.  (I figured something like that could happen.)  After a bit more searching, we decided to give up on this.  It’s considered a difficulty 1 (out of 5) so if we couldn’t find it in that time, we were either too novice to find it, or it wasn’t there.  (Once I got home, I looked up the cache’s page and the two logs since last December were DNFs; Did Not Find.  So, I don’t feel so bad about that.)



The irony of the nearby sign was not lost on me. 🙂

The next stop I had was another in the Catch Cat series, but after our failure at the previous one, we weren’t hopeful.  Again, initial searching was fruitless, and on this 5-lane road, we weren’t being exactly stealthy.  When about to give up, I checked a spot that my knowledge of the hint suggested might be the location.  My daughter, seeing that, started checking similar locations and found this extremely small log (in an extremely small baggie.



We signed the log, and tried to be not quite as obvious as we put it back.


Our final stop was to a cache called “House on a Hill”.  That’s a rather odd name for a cache in coastal Florida; virtually nothing here is “on a hill”.  And indeed this was just as flat as anything else.  Ah well, gotta name it something.



While we were looking at what was clearly the place the cache should be, a woman came out of a house across the street and asked, “Are you on a mission?”  I answered, “In a way, yes.”  We started talking and she said that she’s seen people searching there over the years and indeed knew what we were looking for.  However, where she thought the cache should be was empty.  The description for the cache noted that it had been stolen from a nearby place a few times so it had been moved, but it looks like it’s been muggled again.

The woman said that the first time she’d seen people taking this white pill bottle from its hiding place, she thought that a drug deal was going down.  However, she had retrieved the bottle, figured this was some game that people were playing, and put it back.  I explained the whole geocaching thing to her and she seemed very good-natured about the whole thing.  So one more person finds out about the hobby, and helps us realize that our lack of success wasn’t our fault.  My 9-year-old suggested that, instead of a DNF, it should be logged as a WAS; we aren’t stupid.  🙂

So we returned to our Spring Break home base having spent a fun few hours chasing down caches.