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Everything posted by Monkeybrad

  1. In 2003, a Tennessee geocacher named JoGPS had a vision. His dream was to host a geocaching event that would bring together the top cachers of the time from all over the country in one place. After consulting with friends and choosing Louisville, Kentucky as a central location he hosted the first “GeoWoodstock.” Although, it was originally conceived as a national event, it quickly gained international status as cachers travelled from around the world to attend the “world’s largest gathering of geocachers”. Since then the event has enjoyed many “firsts”, including being the first event to attain “Mega-Event” status, the first “event geocoin”, and more. The event has been held all over the United States and each year a new group invites Geocachers from around the world to join them for their own take on this unique event. If you are interested in hosting a future GeoWoodstock or just want to know more about this historic Mega-Event, on behalf of the GeoWoodstock Host Committee, I invite you to visit: http://www.geowoodstock.org
  2. Congratulations on the longevity, brother.
  3. The Cherokee NF has always been good to work with and have supported Geocaching as a good activity for their lands in the past. Be sure that the ranger won't just give permission before filling out the permits. I know that the rangers can give permission on their authority without a special use permit if they decide to. I have heard that several people have had good luck just asking for permission for their hides. I just wanted to clarify, since your reviewers can publish the listing with either permission from the managing ranger in the area or with a special use permit, we are just no longer allowed to publish listings without evidence of one of those things. Hope that helps.
  4. Thank you to everyone who contacted me with advice and help. I took a chance this morning and contacted Garmin again. I got a different person today who was very helpful and after we went through the steps he had to go through he put me on hold for a while and went to find a unit that still had the 3.90 firmware. He not only sent me a copy of the firmware, but then walked me through the proper install and made sure it was functioning as expected before getting off the phone. I can confirm that rolling back to the 3.90 firmware does solve the problem and the process is fairly simple once you get the software. Although, I normally use a Mac, I switched to a PC for this operation, since that was what he used. Of course, this is just what worked for me, I make no warranties or guarantees that this won't turn your unit into a fairly ineffective boat anchor or a moderately suitable paperweight. Connect the unit to the PC Open Garmin folder on Garmin device Delete GarminDevice.xml Delete current GUPDATE.GCD Copy new GUPDATE.GCD to folder Unplug unit and allow to restart. Click yes when prompted to install older software. After that my unit worked as expected and is once again a great geocaching gps. Thank you again to everyone here for the advice and help, by documenting the problem here, you gave me the tools and inspiration to pursue this further and to get the unti functioning properly again.
  5. Thank you for starting this thread, as it looks like this is an issue that really only affects geocachers using Nuvi 500 series units. Your info helped me figure out what had happened to my GPS and hopefully will assist in getting it fixed. I did the update this weekend and it has ruined my Nuvi 500 for Geocaching. Not having my arrow as I reach GZ makes it really hard to use this unit, which has up until now, been my favorite. I spent two hours on the phone with Garmin support earlier and although they said, at first, that they had no knowledge of this issue and that it couldn't be related to the 4.20 firmware, they later confirmed that a rollback to 3.90 should fix it. However, since my unit is no longer under warranty they would not provide a copy of the previous firmware, since it might harm the unit. Unfortunately, I did not grab a backup of my GUPDATE.GCD file before I made the update, I guess I learned a lesson there. So, they confirmed that this is an issue with 4.20 and that the only way to fix it currently is to go back to the previous firmware, which they will only provide if your unit is still under warranty. They suggested that I might find a copy of it on the internet, but all of my searches, so far, have been fruitless. If anyone has a copy of the 3.90 software I can use to make my unit function properly again, I would really appreciate a copy or a point in the right direction where to find it.
  6. That idea is soooo 2003. Thanks for the shout out.
  7. Interesting topic. I had never tried to create a streak on purpose. When we first started caching there weren't enough caches in our area for it to be viable, and by the time their were enough caches we had found most of them. So my longest streak was limited to caching vacations, 23 days was the longest, I think. Last year, I found myself in a position where I was able to cache everyday for about six weeks in an area where I had lots of caches to find, so I started making sure I found at least one a day and often many more. After returning home I decided to try to keep the strak alive for as long as practical and I was surprised at how tough it was. I found myself driving past caches so I could "save" them for a rainy day. I even found myself heading out in a snowstorm to hike into a park and find the one nearest home against my wife's wishes and best judgement, just to keep the streak alive. I agree with what many above have said, it was cool, but it really began to feel like a chore and I was happy when it was over. I say I was happy, but I really mean ecstatic. As you can see my streak ended on 5/13/2010, when I found a cache with my wife about 11 PM as we were killing time in town trying to avoid going home, since we knew we were headed back to the hospital soon. At that point she had been in labor for a while, but her contractions were not close enough to go to the hospital yet, and yes caching was her idea. The next day our beautiful baby boy was born and we decided to take some time off from caching. We did not find our next cache until 5/16/2010 when we stopped on our way home from the hospital to introduce Liam to our hobby and he has been caching with us ever since. Longest Streak 98 consecutive days with finds from 02/05/2010 to 05/13/2010 Longest Slump 18 consecutive days without a find from 09/08/2008 to 09/26/2008 Edited to add that Liam's current streak is 16 days on our trip to GeoWoodstock 8.
  8. I have used several units over the years and recently purchased an Explorist GC and I have been very happy with it as a geocaching unit. I use a Mac and have had no trouble loading caches into the Explorist although I did have to borrow a pc to do a firmware upgrade. As a caching unit it seems to be fairly well thought out and easy to use, once I figured out their menu navigation logic. With that said, I only use it for trail caching, since it does not route and I have not had any trouble with it, all in all a good unit for the money. We also recently purchased a Garmin Oregon 450 for my wife and although it looked good on paper it has been a real disappointment, especially after the firmware upgrade that added chirp compatibility and broke several geocaching related features. After the upgrade the unit locks up often while in the geocaching dashboard, which means less time caching and more time removing batteries for a reboot. To make matters worse, yesterday I broke the screen...with my thumb, while operating the unit. I have strong hands, but I would think that an outdoor unit would be more robust. As my experience with Garmin units becomes less satisfying it is good to see that other companies are working on units tailored for use the way people actually geocache, which the GC gets very right, as opposed to working the way some engineer who has never cached thinks a unit should work.
  9. I have a smaller one for just middle Tennessee, but this is my worldwide favorites list with several from all across the state. They are categorized by state, so just grab the Tennessee ones and you should be good. Monkeybrad's Favorite Finds
  10. Signed in. If you get the exhibit I will be there, with my monkey bells on.
  11. I was famous in Geocaching for an afternoon once, and I have a Bacon number that rivals that of Wimseyguy. Some have even said that Monkeybrad is the first word in the Joy of Geocaching.
  12. I have not cached in Georgia as much as I would like, but I loved: Rock Town Iron Horse Counterfeit Blend The Buckhead Dragon
  13. I don't review for grammar or excellence in writing, I review for guideline compliance. Some people write well, some people, well...write. I try to not let my opinions on how "good" or "bad" a cache listing is influence my decisions.
  14. I use a Nuvi 500 and have found a couple of thousand caches with it in the last couple of years. It is not perfect, but of all the units I have tried, it is the best "all-around" unit. There are others that I prefer on hikes and it has it's shortcomings, but if I could only have one gps for caching, the nuvi 500 would be it. Edited to add: Caching with the Nuvi 500 or 550 is a completely different experience than caching with other members of the Nuvi family. The 500 and 550 have many features that make them excellent caching gps receivers, that are not shared with the rest of the Nuvi's.
  15. My nearest and first cache found back in 2003 was 18 miles, as the crow flies. My how things have changed.
  16. There are so many stories of the great places and adventures my wife and I have shared over the last seven years with Geocaching, that it is hard to decide which to tell. We discovered Geocaching shortly after we got married and spent our honeymoon caching in Western Ireland, we have hiked, paddled, flown and driven to caches in 40 states now and there is no question that caching has changed our lives considerably. When we first started I smoked and was 150 pounds heavier, now I am in much better shape and have reconnected to hiking, camping and the environment. My first instinct was to tell of some of the great adventures we have had out in the Everglades, or hiking in the Rockies, exploring the Sierra Nevadas, camping in the Great Smoky Mountains or helping to organize last year's Geowoodstock, but then I realized that my best caching story happened right here in middle Tennessee, and it is really just the prelude to another story that is about to begin. On September 14 of last year, my wife and I had finished doing some yard work and really just wanted to get away for a while, so we loaded up our kayaks and drove about 20 miles to a nearby boat ramp to attempt an as yet unfound cache. We don't normally do the FTF thing, but it was a pretty day and we were really looking forward to some time in our yaks, another hobby we picked up as a direct result of Geocaching's 5 terrain caches. Anyway, we carried the boats down the embankment and hit the water for a really lovely paddle upstream to the cache site. The temperature was in the mid-70's, the wind and current slight, it was a perfect day on the river. When we got near the cache site, we saw that our adventure was just beginning, since the cache was atop a rock column, on top of a rock bluff high above the river. We paddled around till we found a place to land the yaks and began the climb up through thick bushes, vines and poison ivy. Between the thick tree cover and high rocks we were having signal problems trying to locate ground zero, so my wife headed back down to her boat and paddled out into the river to get a clearer view of the sky. With her guidance I continued to climb up till I reached the top of the bluff, where she directed me to the correct stone column. I climbed up the backside and was soon high above the river with the cache in hand. It was a pretty awesome experience to be FTF on a 3.5/5 cache, but that is not the story I came hear to tell. After signing the log, I climbed back down taking an easier route, hopped back in my kayak and we began a lazy paddle back downstream. We laughed at how this was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend, to be riding the current into the sunset with each other. The conversation turned to all of the cool places and great experiences like this our gps had guided us to over the years, particularly our just completed cross country caching roadtrip. This, inevitably, led to discussions of future plans, mapping out the trips we wanted to take over the next year. When we got to the subject of GeoWoodstock, which we had already booked our travel for, she said we were going to have to make some adjustments to our plans. I was a little confused, so I asked her what was wrong. She replied that there was nothing wrong, but that we would have a third person joining us for the trip. I was still confused, but then it hit me, so I said, "If you are saying, what I think you are saying, that is a pretty esoteric way of saying it." She said, "That's what I am saying." Then we both cried a little, in a good way. Our first child, a son, is due to be born the first week of May, 2010. Barring complications, all three of us will be in Seattle for GeoWoodstock 8, followed by a two week caching tour on the way back home. I get the distinct impression that for us, our Geocaching adventure is just beginning. Edited to add a link to the cache with my vague, but revealing log. Sailor Boy My Log
  17. In Tennessee they are not only not allowed, but "to play at any game or amusement" is a Class E felony. Here is the relevant text: Tennessee Cemetery & Burial Site Laws Statutory Laws (Tennessee Code Annotated) Title 46. Cemeteries 46-2-105. Crimes and offenses No person shall willfully destroy, deface, or injure any monument, tomb, gravestone, or other structure placed in the cemetery, or any roadway, walk, fence or enclosure in or-around the same, or injure any tree, plant or shrub therein, or hunt or shoot therein, play at any game or amusement therein, or loiter for lascivious or lewd purposes therein, or interfere, by words or actions, with any funeral procession or any religious exercises. (A violation of this section is a Class E felony, punishable by 1 to 6 years in jail and a fine not to exceed $3,000)
  18. As I hike alone more and more often I have added a Spot to my gear list. Originally, I bought it for the protection of the 911 feature, but what I have discovered is the thing is worth it's weight in gold for the peace of mind it gives my wife when I am out there and she can look at a webpage and see that I am moving along on the trail. I had not thought about how much my crazy hiking schemes made her worry, so this little device has been a godsend. Is it perfect? By no means, but for the money it is a pretty good solution.
  19. It is a great service, when used properly. I have been surprised at how many times I have visited an earthcache and found the coordinates to be several hundred feet from the actual formation, then when I get home I find that the coordinates for the EC are the same as listed on landforms. Sadly, many people have used these to create EC's at locations they have never visited.
  20. I've been caching in South Florida for the past week and the weather and caching has been wonderful. A nice change from the continuing snow at home. I think I'll stay another couple of weeks.
  21. Sledgehammer I can verify that this "small 4X4" cache container once not only contained, but transported six very scantily clad females and one lucky monkey. Yes, I know that the 1987 Nissan Pathfinder does not have enough seatbelts for that many people, but when you are that far over the line you sort of throw caution to the wind.
  22. OK, you convinced me. I'm headed back to South Florida this week.
  23. I used a pair of these for about a year and put several trail miles on them. I was generally happy with them, good support, and they lasted fairly well. I used a pair of superfeet inserts with mine. I replaced them with REI branded Merrells, but I would buy another pair with no reservations. I am not sure about buying them too large, I would suggest having the folks at REI fit you properly.
  24. I generally carry an Olympus Stylus 770SW on caching trips. Although it is a point and shoot it does pretty well and it is part of their "tough" series. Waterproof to 33 feet, crushproof, dustproof, can survive falls and has a cool LED illuminator that I have used as a flashlight more than once. Here is a review that takes care of all the details. I have killed a couple of cameras hiking, but this one is surviving well. I also use my iPhone camera quite a bit, check my gallery for examples of my shots.
  25. I picked up an REI Camper jacket this weekend. Lightweight, water and wind resistant, packs into a small stuff sack (included) and seems reasonably warm. Definitely not for serious cold weather, but a great size and weight for throwing in your pack when there is a chance you may get stuck outside overnight. It is my new emergency pack jacket for chilly weather. For rain I keep a Sierra Designs Jacket in one pack and one of their Anoraks in the other, bioth from their microlight series. No insulation, but they will keep you dry, don't take up much space and weigh very little, plus they are great for blocking the wind.
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