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Trekkin' and birdin'

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Everything posted by Trekkin' and birdin'

  1. Still frustrated with this issue in chilly Wisconsin, too.
  2. We had a cache, now archived for unfortunate reasons, that was part of our birding series. This one was to encourage kids to take an interest in birds, and I placed good quality children's binoculars (not a toy, but the Audubon one) in the cache for the first child to help find the cache. Fortunately, the first finders and other adults respected that request and it was eventually found by a 6 year old and his parents.
  3. We have 8 letterbox hybrid hides. Six are also listed on letterboxing.org. A couple are fairly typical, listed coordinate caches, one is obtainable by finding two others, and the last few I've placed are true letterbox style hunts, with coordinates to a starting point, then directions to find the cache. Any new ones we put out will all be of this type. All but one have stamps I have handcarved that relate to the cache. The one store bought one fits the cache theme. Someone took the original. We have had two handcarved stamps taken, which might explain why many letterbox hybrid placers opt to put in whatever was on sale on the clearance rack. Many letterbox hybrids we've found (we're currently at 84) have had the stamps go missing. I can't recall this ever happening with any of the "pure" letterboxes I've found, so I can only guess that cachers don't always understand what they're finding (even though I write right on the stamp 'please do NOT take').
  4. Man oh man, I was chosen to be on one of the Cornell search teams a couple years back and all set to head to Arkansas, but some family things made me decide to send my regrets so someone else could take my spot. One of those Big Life Regrets. I knew the chances of spotting THE bird were slim to none, but the chance to explore that habitat in detail with other birders would have been priceless. I probably could have added Red-Cockaded Woodpecker if nothing else. Sigh. I figure when my kids are truly grown up mentally, not just chronologically, they'll realize what they've done and pay for a trip to the Galapagos. NOT!!!
  5. Yes, we did take note of that, LOL. Here's another fun fact....we understand you met Trekkin's brother Timberline Echoes the other day on the trail. And all three could be tough finds depending on the snow depths, although we made them much easier for the next seekers for awhile!
  6. Some of the island caches in the Wausau area, about a half hour to the northeast of the one in question, have been rated a 4.5 terrain due to becoming reachable by foot in the winter, so that's a local convention HeliDood can exercise if he so chooses. Heck, it's his cache, he can do whatever he wants! As far as the tail wagging the dog, it will always be a game that can be played however one wishes. I share this information with the OP who has stated he's pretty new, simply to let him know some of the considerations he can choose to ponder....or not. We'll go after interesting caches for no reason other than to enjoy the experience, and if the challenges follow.....cool! Just another aspect of the game.
  7. I wish every cache was rated and described so well, Alabama Rambler. If we know what we're in for, we usually don't shy away from anything. It's the ones that suggest an easy find, only to realize it probably should be much more difficult that irritate most cache seekers. Personally, we love all kinds of challenges, but it's nice to know what you might be facing before heading out. In the case of a mystery with an island final, out of towners might not be too happy after getting all the elements for the final, only to discover they should have hauled the kayak. Just sayin'. Most I've seen let you know that the final will require a boat/SCUBA, whatever. For us, it would not be a huge deal, as we live within 90 or so minutes of the one in question, but others might travel quite a lot farther, only to walk away disappointed. I would add this caveat about changing ratings with the seasons. Newer cache placers may not realize that a lot of more experienced cachers enjoy completing "Fizzy" or "Well Rounded Cacher" challenges, which require at least one cache find in each difficulty/terrain combination cell. When those ratings get changed on caches with higher difficulty or terrain, it can mess up how close someone might be to qualifying for the challenge. If you do decide to change ratings, state this clearly in the cache description, so seekers know not to count on it for a challenge cell.
  8. Okay, since the topic of weather extremes has been raised.....what are the temperature extremes you've "enjoyed?" For us, we were out, and some of it was decent woods hiking, in temperatures where the mercury read 25 below. Didn't want to know the windchill, although the winds were light that day. Not sure what our summer extremes might be, but it gets hot and humid in the Upper Mississippi River valley.
  9. It's funny how our regions color our view of what's "really cold." 19 F is balmy around here this time of year, actually perfect for cross country skiing or snowshoeing into remote areas for caches. That's what we'd be doing right now if it were that warm! LOL Instead, I'm parked here, since it's 5 below with a windchill of 16 below. Heck, if there were no winds, we'd be out....we went dogsledding in that kind of weather once. I do admit, we're more likely to do the infamous "number runs" in the cold weather months than when it's warmer out.
  10. Actually, it's the girl half of the team who's sold on Smart Wool! And Alabama Rambler speaks the truth, no one re-enacting needs to sacrifice much more than time. Although Trekkin' once lost a filling biting off his next load during a skirmish re-enactment. No field dentistry available, made for a long weekend, but unlike your ancestors, he knew it would be fixed soon. Not so with those in true battle. How fortunate you have those journals to study, Trekkin' looks for that kind of thing for his own period of history.
  11. Both of us are 1750s Great Lakes F & I. Trekkin' takes it a step beyond and does these historical treks out into the wilderness with other crazies. He was part of a 357 river mile expedition on the upper Mississippi River in real birchbark several years ago. And back in the day, he was known to camp out in weather far worse than this! He says he no longer has to prove himself, he's slept in a snow shelter in 70 below windchills! LOL You Civil War guys are way more disciplined than us. My theory has always been that the Civil War re-enactors have only a couple generations back to gather their personas, and thus stick to them better than we generally do. There is a group in our area that represents Wis Company B, many of whose descendants live in the town we live and its surrounding coulees here today. Back OT, we used to be more "hardcore" about going out to cache in the nastiest of weather, but we've been striving to bring back some balance, and the potential for frostbite is a good incentive. Been there, done that, don't need to do it again. Wind is indeed the issue, not the temps. We do appreciate the lack of bugs, though, and agree that hot summer is way nastier than this. Wool is one of the gifts of re-enacting involvement, actually. Of course the synthetics aren't "period correct," so discovering the beauty of wool came with that game. Not only does it insulate wonderfully, but it doesn't hold moisture close to the skin. I have bought several pairs of Smart Wool hiking socks, both winter and summer weight and those things are worth every penny they cost me.
  12. We're in Wisconsin. We've done *many* of the island caches in the state, both on snowshoe and by canoe or kayak. Almost all are rated a 5 star. Though the winter makes a boat unnecessary, there are trade offs. We look forward to seeing yours, although we aren't gung ho to look for micros in remote locations.
  13. We cache throughout the winter, but when the temps get as low as they are right now (well below zero), we will choose to keep warm. We have lots of other interests that we enjoy, ones that get ignored when we're in our caching frenzies. Knitting, quilting, reading, cooking real food!, paper arts for me. Still too cold to go birding. Trekkin' spends more time with his banjo and reading first person accounts of the time period he re-enacts. The house is a bit cleaner, too. I have solved quite a few puzzles for caches we can hunt when it warms up a bit, too. Snaps of bad weather are a blessing in some ways, because we feel like they remind us to have balance in all things.
  14. We were just commenting that getting 1000 finds is way easier than it was when we started playing. Our state forums seem to offer up congrats about three times a week now to someone who's hit 1000. There are fourteen teams in the state with over 5000 and of those, 5 are over 10.000. One is really close to 20,000. It's still a big milestone to hit 1000, but easier to do now if one chooses to cache that enthusiastically.
  15. Around here, one doesn't get gold until finding 5000. Silver is the color for 1000. Painted ammo cans are placed in honor of the cacher's accomplishment, thereby sharing the fun with anyone who wants to find it.
  16. Before we were geocachers, we biked, snowshoed, x-c skiied and canoed (one of us also kayaks). All of these pursuits have meshed nicely with the kinds of caches we most enjoy hunting. Also, one of us has long been a birder and nature photographer. I will say...the only photos I've managed to get of wolves or a fox were taken while out geocaching. Believe me, I'd tried in the days BC!
  17. That's my idea of fun, too. But if I encountered something like this on one of my searches....I know I'd crack up laughing.
  18. Am I the only one who read this and got a chuckle out of the idea of arrows to a cache? I'd forgotten about hashing, as it came to our area just a little after we "retired" from competitive running to raise kids. But the notion of arrows leading to a cache was just....funny. At least to me. I'm sure many here will disagree. But haven't we all had those caches where we *wish* someone would do just this for us? I thought this was supposed to be a game...for fun. Maybe I was wrong.
  19. 6. No bugs! 7. Falling into snow is not as hard as falling on bare earth (or rock).
  20. That would be our son also. He has absolutely no interest in the logging part of it. We put out a cache to celebrate his son's birth (first grandson), told him he had to log it since it was assumed they'd be FTF and it was only courteous to let others know it's "available for finding" (which of course it is the moment it publishes, anyway). He could not remember his previous team name or password, so had to create a new one. Trekkin' has offered to help him sort through and log things under this new name...he could care less. Hard to believe he's our son!
  21. There was one about an hour from where we live, and I tried twice to open it. Shortly after my second attempt, which drove me INSANE, because I trapped the key but could never quite get it into the tube, someone really destroyed it. The owner had hopes of putting it back in play, but it was too far gone. I was not the source of the destruction....though I *dud* think about it. Thanks for starting this thread, maybe we'll make one of these and place it to drive the FTFer's nuts!
  22. Our feeling is that the person placed a cache for us to find, so no reason to be critical. Of course, we may not FEEL that way during the hunt, but our choice remains to share the experience, not the negativity. If there is some major issue beyond the usual disgruntlement with tricky or poorly placed caches, like a problem with container or something, we might email the cacher privately, but still would not complain. We save our whining for the face to face experience, LOL!
  23. We got a certificate for $125. It was in a temporary event cache, which we don't log, but we were sure glad we hunted it! It was a great multi, it's too bad it couldn't have been made permanent. We've found a number of $5 gift cards for places like McD's or Starbucks, the occasional geocoin and that's been about it. Always fun to see what might be there, but more fun to enjoy visiting the places that the caches take us.
  24. Thanks for that info, too. As for binoculars.....not a problem, diehard birder here. I think at least a couple of us going plan to book a whale/puffin watching cruise, so if anyone local has insight as to recommended tour operators, that would be great, too.
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