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Amazon Annie

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  1. I don't know if it's just my imagination or not but I found the rechargeable batteries didn't last as long in the winter as the regular alkaline ones. I've been using the 48 pack that I got in my 'stocking' at Xmas so I have a big pile of flat rechargeables sitting and waiting for me. I read somewhere that it isn't a good idea to let them discharge on their own. The rechargeables were starting to lose their charge faster than when they started out - that "Great Battery Shootout" site was a great place for this info - looks like time for a refresher!
  2. Hello to Knitter and Hamgram, I for one was blown away by all the effort you put into the last Harvestfest! I still have my magnet on my fridge and it's one of the first things people see when they come in the house. Guaranteed to get a reaction! (okay the pink flamingos also draw some comments) I enjoyed meeting a group of people that I wouldn't otherwise meet due to distance issues or other reasons. Despite the weather (and the fact that our driver walked off the boardwalk and we almost lost her in a bog) we had a great time in your area. I love caching in Ingersoll/Woodstock/London and another excuse to come out that way is fine by me. I'm not much of an host of events - my pub night was just that. No frills, no thrills and no special caches. It was done solely for the chance for people to cache in a new area (and not one of my caches was done that day). Sometimes I feel that people back off from hosting because they feel the expectations are too large. I feel that if it's a pub night then it's to meet and greet some new cachers and to rib some seasoned ones. No expectations of a big multi-cache event type of thing. Your Harvestfest was more of an event than a pub night though. Rather than a huge apres-dark Amazing Race type of thing how about just a pubnight and if you needed to add something then keep it simpler and do an icebreaker or something at the venue. Hopefully I'll get Hamgram back her sunglasses before then! Thanks to both of you for all your hard work and fabulous caches. Let us know what you decide so we know whether to hold off and let the caches build up for an event/pub night or not (although DN Stephen's Tour of Woodstock has been on a list for a long, long time now!)
  3. April 8th sounds good, Fizbot should be home from his Euro-Caching trip and can regale us on the trails with all is adventures. I just hope there isn't as much mud out there as there is now! Do April showers bring May flowers? Farmer's Almanac says: April 2006 Avg. Temperature: 43° (4° below avg.) Precipitation: 5.5" (2" above avg.) Apr. 1-12: Chilly, periods of rain and snow Apr. 13-19: Mild, rain Apr. 20-30: Cool, showers Hate to put a damper on things
  4. I don't know about that... I'm looking at the people who are signing up for the daytime hike and you all have legs as long as I am tall. Don't know that I will be able to keep up with you fellas! At least on Dex's 5/5 I had some people that walked at my pace. I think I'll suggest parking a vehicle 1/2 way or somewhere around 6th Line so that we have a) an emergency vehicle available and those of us that are not sure about their ability to conquer this in one go will have the ability to decide at that point. If I pulled my muscle again like I did in December then that would just be too far and you'd have to airlift me out. Does that open it up to some people who are 'on the fence' about this?
  5. Just a note - Nozzletime has posted a "not recommended at night" attribute on the cache. Hilton Falls Conservation is closed at night and the route takes you through private property. Not sure if that would be considered trespassing but I just though you should be aware if you're planning a night hike.
  6. I agree - find a local that is willing to show you the ropes. That's how I started - I saw a local event and wandered in with GPS in hand and started asking questions. I found out that I was using the wrong screen on my GPS to do the searching (it was a wonder that I had found one!). Comparing GPS coords with another GPS might highlight any problems (try to compare a Magellan with a Magellan and Garmin/Garmin.) I would suggest you turn on your GPS while standing still out in the open- and let it settle for a good while and get a good satellite lock before you venture out. There are resets that can be done if the GPS is way out of wack compared to another one but I don't think that's necessary. The other thing that needs 'training' was my way of searching. I now go out and say "If I were to hide a cache, where would I put it?" Look for "1" difficulty caches rather than anything in the other end of the spectrum. Hopefully the cache hiders have rated their caches properly. If you see "great hide" in the logs then maybe find another. (Of course I've had troubles with "quick easy finds" but we won't talk about those. ) Good luck on your hunt!
  7. There was a local cache placed in an area that during the day is pretty innocuous - it is used by downtown workers for their summer lunch area. Unfortunately, after hours it is not a place that you would want to visit. After the cache was placed those "in the know" posted notes and the cache was fixed to mention that is it daytime friendly only. Whether you agree that the location is cacheworthy or not, I would hope that locals would post helpful notes so that the cache owner is aware of the .. ahem... other uses of area and can make an informed decision whether to carry on with the cache. There is a great area in Hamilton that just begs a cache - great views, interesting plaques etc..... but... it's a known 'pickup' place for alternative lifestyle participants (mostly at night). I don't know how well this is known though, it was in the paper a few years ago. I did one cache down in the US that had the interesting name of Pickle Park. 'Nuff said.
  8. Count me in! I'm in with the day crowd - a chance to spend a day hunting with the likes of CA, CZ, Olar and even that BQ fella. I'd prefer the no-snow option too - knowing that tract of land and having covered a good part of the escarpment trail in snow, I'd rather not do that again (although at night the height of the bridge wouldn't bother me as much!). If you search for all the caches nearby I might actually be able to keep up with you guys.
  9. Ah, Deer Bait I know you well... Maybe not as well as some others but thanks to Lugnuts my first visit was very pleasant. He and his uncle met Capjap and I armed with Topos, printouts, plenty of water, extensive research and interviewing of fellow cachers who had found the cache previously. We were all set for whatever challenge that awaited us. The walk was pleasant (even the time of year was calculated I seemed to remember) and we found the cache and avoided most of the "road apples" left from horses and the tearing up of the path due to mountain bikes. Despite the longer walk, we still had enough energy to do the other 3 caches in the park. I was surprised as I had read the logs extensively and was prepared for a huge challenge (I seem to recall Algonquin Bound's adventures were particularly well documented). For me sometimes it doesn't pay to read the logs as the cache becomes absolutely monumental and I tend to leave it for "later"....thankfully I have friends who say "Let's do it!" I have returned to the area a few times for varying reasons and in varying seasons (twice on October 11th!) and Short Hills is certainly high on my list of favourite hikes (except that huge hill right at the end that you have to get up to reach your car!)
  10. There is a story about a new employee being taken on tour of the office. When they get to the lunch room, he goes to put his lunch in the fridge and finds a mold covered doughnut. "Why is that in there?" he asks... "Oh, that's Carol's... she quit 6 months ago, but since it's hers, we won't throw it away. She might come back" -Anon
  11. I feel compelled to reply to this post as there are a few things here that need to be pointed out. First of all 2nd Ship was a nasty cache. The area was horribly overgrown and that was Aug. 04. The path had long since disappeared. November 8, 2004 Logger reported that the cache was in need of maintenance and in May 24, 2005 it was reported missing. In January, 2006 BQ wrote to the cache owner "to determine if the owner was still active and still wishing to maintain this Geocache." and did not receive a reply. On the profile it says: Last Visit: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 Is this necessary? Yes, I believe so. It is a nice area and it's time someone refreshes it with a new cache (I don't care so much about the numbers, it's the hike around the lake that is so pleasant just as long as you don't make me go back in those thorns again - see my picture back in Aug. 04.) Vigilantism? Piracy? I don't believe that for one minute. Cleaning up caches that are abandoned so that others can place them and/or allowing others to adopt the cache is a great idea! I know more than a few areas that need old moldy caches removed so that a new fresh cache (that has good coords and even a unique hide) could go in. I believe it's piracy if you remove the cache without a word. Warning the public as BQ has done that the cache(s) will be removed in the future with plenty of warning if A) no one adopts the cache or the cache owner doesn't reply. This is an example of good stewardship. Try taking a new cacher to a cache and let them find a moldy broken cache and see if they share your excitement. Been there, done that ... and have had to explain to the new person while cleaning up the cache and replacing the log book and contents. Gee, looks like fun to me too! Long winded? Yeah I agree but rather than posting "I've contacted you, you're ignoring me, clean up your cache or I will" is a bit..er... too strong (although I must say I've been tempted). If adoptions didn't happen then we wouldn't have Deer Bait any more. Thanks to kdkk17 it is still in existance. I say Bravo to Colin for attempting to contact the owners and then posting a note so others are aware of the situation and then taking it on himself to clean up where it is needed. I too have done enough long drives to non-existant caches and it's time someone takes ownership. Sorry I can't agree with you Keith.
  12. I have been resisting going to the "Dark Side" of PPC mainly due to the fact that CacheMate was a Palm app. Now I may have to rethink my choices ! Thanks for the update before I made my purchase.
  13. Ah, not necessarily! Check out this cache: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...8c-af5f561aac7f
  14. I have a Sony ClieSJ22 (no longer made) and it was left out in the snow for over 24hrs until it was found by another local cacher. It continued to work perfectly until I added a bit too much moisture while trying to put on a new screen protector a few months later. The replacement ($50 on ebay) has been dropped, used in the rain and snow etc and is still chugging along just fine. I want a new Palm T|X but I'm afraid I'm too abusive toward my PDA's. I'd get a hard case to protect it for sure.
  15. For those that are interested in Ontario - around the Halton area (now that we have our snow back) there are "Snow Shoe Hikes" @ Crawford Lake Conservation area on Sundays in January. There is a charge for the event but "Includes park admission, snowshoe use, instruction and GST. " and on Saturday January 21st there is a "Moonlight Snowshoe Hike" with Multimedia presentation, guided snowshoe hike, fireside storytelling and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. I have no affiliation with Halton Conservation area, just thought I'd point these out. (and there are a couple of caches in there too!) Edit: Added Web Link Crawford Lake Events
  16. I got me a BFL and a ton of batteries from my brother-in-law and long underwear that I could use in the arctic and still feel warm from my sister. Santa also gave me a pulled calf muscle so I'll be sitting out on the sidelines for a while. Swifty - welcome to the Palm side! I have some games to get you even more addicted.
  17. I have a Sony Clie but they don't make 'em anymore. I really want a Palm T|X that has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc. and I've been bidding on a few on Ebay. They run around $399.99 in the stores. I really like the CacheMate software ($8US) that is for the Palm machines. I know that those that have PPC's love their software and swear by it. BQ is trying to convince me to jump ship (and after playing with my sister's "Jawbreaker" game on her Axium over Xmas I'm tempted!) The Cachemate is nice as it runs on older, slower machines where as the PPC software GPX Spinner / Sonar takes a bit more memory to run I believe. I guess it depends on which operating system you are interested in. You can see some resources here on GC.com: http://www.geocaching.com/waypoints/default.aspx Maybe you'll see something that fits with what you want and that will decide the operating system!
  18. Funny you should say that Tony! There is a new file on OGA of the "Entire 401 across Ontario". I'm sure there are others in the works. If anyone has one to contribute, please let us know and I'm sure BQ and Logger would be interested.
  19. Yup, using GPS Babel "straight up" works too but some of us like the extra-gooey ..er.. GUI interface that GSAK provides. If you read the manual on the OGA site it says: "... if you are a user of Mapsource (or Mapsend) these programs can do all the work for you. I will show an example using Mapsource but the principle is the same when using Mapsend." I can certainly work up a Mapsend tutorial for the filters if anyone needed it. For those who love GSAK like I do, these filters are great! A couple of clicks and they're installed permanently and if you're using CacheMate then sorting your categories just got even easier. Now if I could find a filter to sort out my house and office files as easily, life would be good. Best of whatever season you are celebrating or not to you and your family.
  20. Well, I might have a solution for when you get home. I do like Olar does and when "found" is checked, the cache moves to a "Log It" category. When I get home, I choose "Export Logs" and they go into my "Memo Pad". I then sync my Palm and when I look at the Memo Pad list they are all in order of finds and I can just scan through each entry and look for notes / TB etc and if need be cut and paste from there into the log. Maybe that is a work around you need?
  21. Hey NorthernPenguin, I bought mine last year at Hiker's Haven in Oakville. They have no site to speak of but this is the closest: European Bound/Hiker's Haven There are 2 types and I would suggest going with the "Pro" which have an added velcro strip that goes over the boot and reduces loss of trax. Actually I found a pair in Value Village (not the Pro's) for $3.00 ! Yahoo! They're about $40-$50 new. Try any local running shop. Most of the trax tracks I've seen lately were from joggers/runners on the trails. Annie
  22. Jayloki reminded me... snowshoes are useful for moving snow around when you reach the cache site! (Note: I'm choosing not to use the word "dig" anymore when in conjunction to caching... it tends to get misinterpreted easily by others.)
  23. My prior experiences with snowshoes were when I lived out West and I used old wooden 'beavertails' while tromping around the mountains. After a couple of times losing my boot in a snowbank or two I finally broke down and last year I bought a pair of Faber Snowshoes and I can't say enough about them! I don't use them every trip but they sure saved me on the few times I used them - especially on a 4 hr. hike in the deep snow to a final. Of course if you don't do a lot of caches in areas that aren't groomed then maybe you could find a place that rents them just to test them out. I know that last year at the end of the season Walmart was selling them off at something like $12. For those icy days I'd suggest checking out Yaktrak Walkers. They slip over your boots and you can dance on ice and laugh at your companions while they slip and slide down the trail. I can't find their webpage but you'll find them in hiking and also in running stores.
  24. I am in the Hamilton area too but I would recommend driving into Toronto to visit Radio World to talk to the people in there. They carry most of the models of GPS's (Garmin and Magellan and Lowrance) and will price match any price you can find. It is nice to talk to people who know what they are talking about and to be able to handle the actual units. Great service and free parking (in Toronto!). There's a Timmy's across the street too. ~Annie
  25. My favourite Toronto cache is A Monumental Quest. If you don't mind wandering around cemeteries, it is a great place to discover some of Toronto's notables that have passed on. The tour takes quite some time (it is worth walking around in there rather than rushing from one place to another). I also enjoyed the Toronto Island caches (the ones that I've done so far) but they won't be quite as good during the winter months. Hope you enjoy your stay! Annie
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