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Everything posted by Opalblade

  1. I would love yo go for FTFs but in my area (Austin TX) caches almost always publish after dark and neither hubby nor I are comfortable w me going out alone into a greenbelt at night. We are in an urban area w lots of campers in the greenbelts. There are a lot of nighttime FTFers in my area, though outlying caches will sometimes be found early the next morning. One time there was a daytime publish but I ended up being TTF. Note, I'm not complaining about when my reviewer publishes caches - I am grateful that he volunteers his time at any time . But was curious if other areas had caches publishing more during the day and if that's how such big groups of cachers end up gathering at GZ
  2. Congrats!! The 100+ finds limit would defintely improve things but it seems to me it could be just as misleading as the CO's rating depending on the circumstances or the finders experience level. Plus fake loggers could swoop in and skew all the ratings.
  3. I remembered a couple more, though I hadn't quite gotten home. I was walking away from a cache towards another one when I felt a squirmy feeling on my forehead. Brushed at my forehead and a gross see-through caterpillar type thing plopped onto the sidewalk - ewwww!!! Another time I'd been doing some intense bushwhacking up and down a tree covered hill. On the way back down mini ninja #2 informed me that I had a branch sticking out of my jeans. I said, "Yeah thanks I can feel it". So I pulled it out and it broke into a billion little twigs which of course went sliding down into my jeans. At the bottom of a hill was a park restroom building thing with a stone wall by it and the guys headed in there while I waited outside. The twigs were quite uncomfortably so I looked ALL around to make sure noone was nearby, put my back to the stone wall and quickly retrieved the two or three twigs. Of course, as I pulled the last one out, a couple appeared out of the shadows nearby walking their dog I commented very loudly to a nearby mini ninja about the darn twigs. Oh no!
  4. I have very long curly hair and regularly discover large twigs sticking out of my hair, sometimes hours after caching (woops). Curious what kind of surprises people have found on themselves or their clothes Twigs, leaves, mud, bugs...?
  5. I've got to get photos of two of my caches. I have Rock-eating Monsters at a site where a group of trees is eating rocks, and Wire-eating Monster where a tree has eaten a barbed wire fence.
  6. In my area most of the cachers at events look to be in their 40s and 50s. My caching friends and I are in the late 20s through early 30s range.
  7. If it's a paper item I'd laminate it. I don't personally collect the paper sig items but they're interesting to see. I'll collect the occasional sig item. Definitely wooden nickels and pathtags. A little pottery turtle w the cacher's name on the back. Others I've seen and admired but not collected include shells and polished stones w cacher names on them. Ignore the people who don't enjoy looking at or collecting sig items. Many of us love to check out and trade for cache contents of all types
  8. I've had a couple of situations that got my heart racing so far in my 3 mo of caching The first time I was about to head into a strip of woods along a creek in Plano TX with my four boys when a coyote came out of the trees right where the cache was meant to be. It was a good 100 ft off but made me nervous thinking what if b/c the boys and I had been in that same run of trees earlier. I'd read an article before about the unusually large coyotes in the area but was amazed to see this thing. It looked more like a wolf than a coyote. It just stood there looking at us while we looked at it for a long time. Then mini ninja #2 did a crazy dance and yelled "Wooo!" and it stared at him a moment longer and then slowly strolled back in to the trees. We did not go look for that cache, despite all the begging from the mini ninjas The other ACK moment was last wknd. I was bushwhacking off the trail looking for a good place to put my cache Xenogamy when I startled two huge deer out of wherever they were - like all the other deer I've encountered they stopped to stare at me for a long time (is that how all deer behave? I'd never been so close to deer before until I started caching). But one had quite a lot of antlers so I started backing up, nervous about getting too close to a Bambi and making him or his deer wife antsy or angry (having recently watched the Grey's Anatomy bear attack episode my imagination was running wild). At that point they vanished, literally from my point of view. One second they were there, the next they weren't. Also encountered a few deer once while off the trail with my friend and our sons. They not only stayed there to stare at us from about 50 feet off, but more came out of the trees to join them in the mutual staring. Eventually we walked away.
  9. I want to know who edits these stories. The writing and grammar are atrocious. Starting with the title - "popular past time". It's past time to ship the writer/editor back to English class
  10. I've been geocaching for three months and the only time I've ever seen a discrepancy is the other way around - some people write on the physical log and then don't enter it on the online log. They may have forgotten or been trying it out for the first time with a friend. Given from what I've read on the forums, it does happen from time to time that someone cheats, gets all excited about their numbers and fake online logs some finds. I just picture a young guy somewhere getting into a bit of an adrenaline rush one day and logging tons of find its until they have some nice round number. My impression is that it is a rare, isolated incident. Because it possibly happening to this cache that is special to you is bugging you, you could send an email to the cache owner to let them know of your suspicions and he/she may follow up with the person and delete their online log if they feel it's warranted. If the bad behavior of one person is enough to deter your wife from geocaching, my thought would be that maybe she isn't enjoying it very much and is (subconsciously maybe) looking for a reason to stop doing it. The vast majority of geocachers play fair and have a wonderful sense of community in my experience Do keep in mind there are some situations where you might not see a name in a written log after yours. They may have changed their caching name (I did that after my first few wks). They might not have had a pen on them that day. They might have written higher up amongst older signatures because they were in a hurry or just missed the last page. They might have gotten mixed up about which cache they were really at - I just did this yesterday. There were two very similarly named caches right by each other and I posted a found it on the wrong one. I know the cache owner so I just emailed her to let her know what I did, and deleted it of course
  11. I know this has elements of no no, but are you traveling with anyone who could place a cache for future travelers to find and upkeep if needed? Something very tiny and tucked away that wouldn't turn into geo-litter? That cache is one that I am watching but the last two logs are DNF, and one group had six people looking for it. I will find some caches in Athens but it would be nice to have something right near the port for other cachers.
  12. Did do that but in my area tree cover often obscures trails and elevation changes. In that case, have you ever tried the Terrain mode? In the right situations, its great! Thank you for that tip!!! I sure haven't. Went to look on iPhone and it shows some trails. That'll come in handy .
  13. Did do that but in my area tree cover often obscures trails and elevation changes. I really was not suggesting a terrain rating change, more suggesting the useful info about access be in the description so the terrain rating would be fitting. I'm definitely all for info about access - I enjoy the hobby for the hunt at ground zero, not the hunt FOR ground zero, especially when caching with my kids. No fun running up against a fence or a creek or a cliff. Do enjoy the hike most of the time, as long as I don't get too scratched up
  14. Hahaha, thanks, it's pretty rare I literally LOL while reading forums
  15. If I had the money to burn I'd get it. I love buying new electronic toys and this looks like a great thing to veg with in bed Wouldn't want it out and about though, my iPhone is a much better size - right in the jeans pocket. Little aside that it WAS in my Otter Box clip holder thingy until my phone fell out of it whilst I was carrying mini ninja #4 through a branchy area. It's not a very secure hold at all. So back on topic, I like having something with a good display but small enough to be easily portable and able to sit safe in my pocket
  16. I had been very curious about a cache in my area because I had read a log by a local veteran cacher that said, "The cache containers/camo, the swag, the log books and especially the location was absolutely perfect and is a perfect example of what geocaching is all about." The terrain rating was 3 and the cache description said "The cache is about a 12-15 minute hike into the trail, but much quicker if you're on a MTB" and "This is one of our first hides and will require some hiking, light bushwacking and rock scrambling. Please let us know if our Difficulty and Terrain ratings are accurate." It was myself, my friend, and my 3 1/2 yo. He's a very hardy guy and loves climbing, and has done terrain 2 to 3's in the past, so we felt comfortable bringing him along. We walked for a while on the trail, heading towards the cache location, but then we ran into a trail T with neither direction seeming helpful. We assumed this was where the light bushwhacking and rock scrambling was to begin. At first we set off in a straight line to the cache. This led up a hill and down a hill to a 5 foot high overhang over a dry creek bed. Here my friend climbed/slid down but there was no easy way to get down with mini ninja #4 or hand him down to her so I told her I was going to backtrack and find a better way down. I jokingly told her, "Yeah I don't want to die". So I went back down the hill and I found a slightly better way down. Still steep enough that my 3 1/2 yo yelled out dramatically, "Mommy I don't want to die!" (woops). So my friend went over and under fallen trees to get to us and I handed down the 3yo and then I followed. Then up up up up another hill through thick brush. Got to the top and found a trail right next to ground zero It prob took us a good 45 mins to get there. We were sore, scratched up from branches and thorns and very tired but I figured that was the kind of experience the veteran cacher enjoyed So we look around for the cache and were so tired (we'd already been doing a lot of hiking that day) that we barely poked around before looking at the hint. The hint said "go right at any trail intersections. you've gone too far if you've climbed 4 root steps." Come to find out later that you never have to go off the trail, except for the last ten feet up a little slope to get the cache. There was that one T we hit at one point but that was where we thought the bushwhacking was meant to begin as when we hit the T the cache was straight ahead. Believe me, we have already learned the lesson of stay on trails as long as possible but it did have that terrain 3 rating. The cache owners had said they wanted feedback on terrain so I contacted them saying that our experience had been beyond a terrain 3, because we hadn't read the hint. So since they wanted feedback I suggested a little bump up or moving the hint into the cache description. They responded that they weren't going to change it because no one else so far (5 or 6 people/groups before us) had had a rough time, and that it wouldn't have been necessary if we'd parked at the trail head (we did use the coordinates they provided) and read the hint prior to heading out. Disclaimers - I am not upset in any way, it was a positive experience for me. I respect their position and I DEFINITELY respect their thoughts about their terrain rating. They were going higher in terrain rating than they thought it warranted (another point they made), and I agree, given my experiences so far, it could have been a 2 1/2 or maybe even a 2 if they'd wanted. If anyone is wondering, the cache was an ammo box hidden in a large pile of boulders. It had a beautiful log book with space to write a favorite quote. The swag had been switched out too much by the time we got to it to know if there were originally very interesting things. Very pretty area I replied to the cache owners explaining my thoughts a bit more clearly, namely that I completely agreed with their terrain rating assessment, just that I wondered if others coming after us would also not read the hint and have a higher terrain experience. Which led me to ponder the following. Would you consider your cache a certain rating, if the information necessary to create that type of experience is in the hint? Do people usually read the hint before heading out? Are we the only ones trying to save ourselves from seeing spoilers before we've looked around a bit first? Is it common to have access information in the hint?
  17. In my three months of caching I've bumped into three other cachers, and all in the past few wks. The first one was the cache owner who was going for a walk with his family. My friend and I had been the ones to alert him that it had been muggled, and we were the first to find his new container. The second time we were rushing for a FTF but met the STF heading back to his car. Sadly, we had the potential to have been FTF because we were the first ones to get to the park but had a series of events occur that delayed us (a huge creek got in our way and we had to repark, I dropped my iPhone and we had to go back for it, etc). The third time I was on my third attempt at a cache. A guy went walking by holding something electronic and I was checking it out hoping it was a GPSr. Then I realized the guy had noticed I had been staring so I turned away again and he said, "Are you geocaching?". Woohoo I was so happy He'd found it and pointed me at a spot I'd checked twice before (but not thoroughly enough). It was a cache you had to feel for, but couldn't see.
  18. Also, start off looking for regular sized caches with low difficulties before looking for smalls or micros. You'll be more likely to find them and over time will give you a good idea of how far off your GPSr could be.
  19. It really depends on what you consider interesting I've been caching for a few months and still regularly find things in caches I want to keep. I have a bag of my treasures I keep in my closet and look through now and then. It might be a handmade sig item, like a cute handpainted turtle I found recently w the cachers' name painted on the bottom. Or a keychain (I've always collected keychains). A neat rock (again, always have collected rocks). A coin (LOVE coins). Or even a toy, like the two I have sitting in one of my kitchen cabinets to make me smile - a little stuffed pig and a tiny rubber ducky I have definitely found some very sad caches at times. One I found recently had a paperclip, a rubberband, a broken toy, and a few soggy business cards. In those cases I clean out the trash and put in some swag. Usually swag I put in is of the type to make kids happy. Recent batches of swag I've bought include 3 dozen hot pink mardi gras beads from ebay and a huge bag of NICE office and craft supplies from Goodwill for $4, many in their original packaging.
  20. I'd like to start bookmarking my caches that were my favorites for various reasons - where hidden, theme, container, camo, etc - and was curious what categories people who like to do such things have for their own bookmarks
  21. I had one last week. I mostly grew up overseas but spent enough of my childhood in TX to earn me a lifetime of tornado nightmares. Have been on the outskirts of a few since then. So in my dream I was driving towards home w three passengers - my geocaching buddy, and one child each. We'd spent all day caching so got caught up in rush hour traffic. I was trying to switch lanes but people were being rude and not letting me in. Suddenly I notice air starting to swirl strangely nearby, kicking up debris in that tell-tale cylindrical way. I yell, "Oh no! I think a tornado is forming over there!" We are gridlocked on traffic bit it doesn't matter because it's coming too fast. Our car gets swept up like the cows in Twister and I yell, "Goodbye (friend's name)!" in a melodramatic way. We slowly move closer and closer to a huge oak tree (another geocaching related thing here, spend a lot of time poking around oak trees) and I hope that it will end quickly. Was very glad to wake up . Not sure if that really qualifies but geocaching was involved
  22. My containers so far are mostly smalls so you can put tiny/small swag. I need to take some pics sometime. I have one ammo can out, three more to prep at home. And a ton of other containers lying all over the garage and kitchen I like doing something a little unique with all my caches and making my cache description pages interesting - facts, background image, extra attributes from 9key's The Selector. I always have ideas swimming in my head, too little time! Some have a surprise element of some kind so if you cache in Austin TX and don't want spoilers don't read this Here's a bit about six This was my first one. It's a container with three small sections that screw into each other. Camo'd with textured gray paint. It's tucked inside a dead tree (but not in a creepy reach your hand into the darkness kind of spot). Lots of comments on the uniqueness. Tiny Treasure Trio I put this one out outside the building that was the site of a Christmas event I co-hosted with a friend, at the base of a tree w UPS. Has some gingerbread men inside the ammo can and on the log book, as well as the super cute gingerbread man story on the cache description page. On pretty cardstock in the cache is "You Can't Cache Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!" You Can't Cache Me! This is my favorite one, now premium only; I'm told the last one in that park was muggled so I want to up the chances it's re-hidden extra well (under an old tree stump and UPS). It's a plastic container with two sections, one side is decorated boy and has a boy only log (says: no girls allowed!) and the other is decorated girly and has a girl only log (says: no boys allowed!). Poem is on the cache description page as well as on cardstock in the cache itself. What are little cachers made of? The rock-eating monsters are oak trees that are swallowing up several rocks. I tell them they are looking for a tupperware container and the funny thing is it is an INSANELY tiny tupperware container. It took me an hour to figure out where and how to hide this one, tucking it into a little spot under a rock and arranging tiny rocks and sticks and moss around it in a way that didn't scream URP/USP. Tiny tupperware Rock-eating Monsters Piggy Ca$he is a blue plastic piggy bank from IKEA. It's the container I was asking for advice for about a clear sealant. It has a bag of gold plastic coins from Party City in it as swag. It's in the middle of a tree that makes a perfect hidey spot with multiple trunks, brought in more camo from across a field in the form of chunks of bark that fell off some other tree. Cache tree is surrounded by thorns and apparently also poison ivy which I didn't notice when hiding it I specifically looked for a thorny area to protect my bright blue piggy bank cache from muggles. It's getting great feedback. Cache page has interesting info on the origin of the expression "Bringing home the bacon". Piggy Ca$he My latest is a premium only but I will likely be switching it to regular soon. It's dedicated to the power geocaching has over us all It's a preform and the inside has shiny red foil paper to simulate a red potion inside. It's under a UPS that hides a hole at the base of an oak tree. Love Potion No. 9
  23. I love digging through swag for little treasures . Sure the challenge of finding the cache is fun and the scenery is sometimes beautiful/memorable, but the best part of finding a regular/large is looking to see what quirky things might be inside . The kinds of unique things you can't find by shopping. Discontinued hot wheels and other old toys are my favorite to find. And non paper sig items . Travel bugs and geocoins to discover (not swag of course). I look for micros knowing there won't be swag and enjoy it but swag is the icing on the cake . My inner child loves finding treasure and leaving it equally so . Oh yeah and the mini ninjas like swag too; I'll let them look after I have (jk, really). Swag value is very subjective.
  24. I believe this went out of favor because it continued for no less than 3 minutes and in the case of the truly magnificent cacher sometimes went on long into the night over a cold brew. ROFL. Definitely impressive to chug back cold brews while skipping around in a circle. Sounds a bit nauseating Is that what your avatar is doing?
  25. How often do you tend to check on your caches that as far as you know are perfectly fine? When you go what types of things have you found wrong with them (that weren't reported by finders)? Do you add swag or let the cycle of swag take its course?
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