Up to now all the geocaching I have done has been within 20km of home.
I’ve checked the Google maps for caches near my parent’s vacation condo in Florida and there are plenty nearby including quite a few at Fort de Soto Park where we usually go to the beach. I haven’t been there in a few years, but we are planning a Florida vacation for next summer, and you can bet that next to Disney World a bit of geocaching will be a priority for me. As the time gets closer I will be asking for a bit of advice about geocaching while traveling. I don’t want to end up being gator bait, and I don’t know what other hazards may be waiting, but I have a few months to worry about that.
A business trip down to Duluth, Georgia gave me the chance to get my first find away from home. Previous trips there, before I started geocaching, had been for four or five days. This time I only had a day and a half, and most of that time was booked solid. Before leaving on the trip I identified a dozen caches within wasy walking distance of my hotel, and one of them was literally right behind the building. I got my only find the first day while going for a walk before dinner: GCR3YH – John’s Gazebo and tried to find the one by the hotel, GC1VPYB – JC Cache 1, but failed due to a missed keyed digit in the coordinates. I hoped to get out before breakfast the next morning and get some more, but I only had a few minutes. I thought the sunrise might be earlier that far south of Toronto, but it wasn’t. I tried JC Cache 1 again, but my GPS didn’t want to get a signal. I new roughly where it was, but I simply didn’t have time for a thorough search. Next I will find more of them!October 9th, 2009 by Duncan | No Comments »
I kept the last site theme longer than I thought I would try it. It worked pretty well and the short comings I did find I figured I could fix with a few modifications. Then, a couple of weeks ago I found another geocaching site using it just like I did with the original theme.
The new theme I am trying is called Witcher World, and while it isn’t an outdoor theme like the previous two, I think the banner image reflects the hidden surprises that geocaching brings. Lets see how this one works out.October 9th, 2009 by Duncan | No Comments »
Despite a variety of commitments and other priorities this time of year, I keep looking for opportunities to slip in a cache here and there. After a month with no caches found, I finally got one. A brief stop at the office on Sunday to do some system maintenance lead to the chance to go to the local car pool parking lot, the site of GC1N4J2 – Mississauga Road Park and Pool. Previous attempts to do this one found the lot to be more active than expected, but Sunday mornings are quiet there and let me do the cache in just a few minutes.
On the Travel Bug front, I’ve been watching the progress of my two bugs and the one I gave my father. The first I released, Gatsby’s Ride, has made a couple of moves and is now in the hands of a cacher who is planning to take it out to Alberta. Micro Stig’s Enzo Ferrari, unfortunately, is not doing so well. After a quick start to the Great Canadian Travel Bug Race, the second cache it visited, GCJNPD – 787 Vernon, was trashed. Micro Stig is now MIA along with one or two other bugs that were in the cache. An email exchange with the person who reported the trashing suggested it didn’t look like a typical muggling. No items were obviously strewn about, and the cache was sealed and in its proper location. I’m hoping to hear from the cache owner, and I’m hopeful Micro Stig may still turn up somewhere close to the cache or possibly even in another cache. But that is probably wishful thinking. My father’s bug, Chandelle, is now traveling the east coast after a 1200km jump from Ontario to Nova Scotia.August 5th, 2009 by Duncan | No Comments »
I had a list of a dozen caches I wanted to find while on holiday for a couple of weeks. That may not sound like many, but with a three year old I find it important to pick ones she will enjoy, so she will want to do more when the opportunity arises. Also, I don’t want to dominate our activities with geocaching. A cache here and there mixed in with other activities usually works out quite nicely.
We didn’t complete any of the caches.
One day we watched airplanes taking off from the runway across the street from the Wendy’s at Airport Road and Orlando Drive where there happens to be a micro cache nearby. Even though it was lunch time, Devon didn’t want to get out of the car to look for the cache or get french fries (something she rarely turns down.)
Another day took us to a park in Churchville which was the starting point for four caches in the park and a short distance along the Credit River. The first thing we encountered there was a sign in the parking lot warning of something called Giant Hogweed. I never heard of this before which is surprising considering we were only a few kilometers from home. The warning is a little scary. It is one thing to risk contacting poison ivy, but this stuff sounds a lot worse. The sap contains compounds that are activated by sunlight and uv rays that can cause blisters and burns. Not for me thanks. I didn’t learn the details until later, but after reading the sign I decided to be very careful approaching any of the heavily overgrown areas which was most of the area near the river. We spent a little time in a playground area, but in the end it was the mosquitos that drove us out of the park. They we really bad there; the worst we’ve encountered so far this summer.July 22nd, 2009 by Duncan | No Comments »
On Saturday I prepared my second travel bug for release. As its first goal Micro Stig’s Enzo Ferrari has been sent to British Columbia to participate in the Great Canadian Travel Bug Race 2009 -2010. I found the thread about the race at the GroundSpeak forum and thought it could be fun. It was a last minute decision to enter as the race starts July 1, but I managed to get everything ready in time.
I was planning to release a travel bug like this to visit all kinds of motor racing related places, and after the race that is what I will change its goal to. If you are not familiar the name Stig, it is a reference to the mysterious driver on the BBC’s show Top Gear. If you like shows about cars this is a great one with a lot of humor.June 30th, 2009 by Duncan | No Comments »
SPOILER WARNING: While I’m careful not to give away too many specifics about a cache, it is always possible I might mention details you don’t want to know. Proceed accordingly.
We had great weather on Saturday, June 27, so the whole family headed out to the airport to release my father’s Chandelle travel bug. We parked at the Airport Hilton knowing the cache GCH31J – Not the Airport Hilton was close by. After a short stroll across the street we quickly homed in on ground zero. At a distance it looked as though a parked bus might cause some muggle interefence, but as we approached we saw that it was empty; the driver apparently gone on break. A few minutes of systematic searching followed and we found the cache, deposited my father’s travel bug as well as the two trackables I had had for two weeks.No Comments »
The weather didn’t cooperate on Saturday as expected. The closest we got to the outdoors was Bass Pro Shops at Vaughan Mills shopping center. The original plan was to give my father his gift Saturday, so we could release his travel bug after a visit to the Warplane Museum at a nearby cache. It got delayed until late afternoon Sunday. We activated the travel bug which is called Chandelle after an aerobatic maneuver. We picked a different cache to release it right by Pearson International Airport, GCH31J Not the Airport Hilton, which is both appropriate for the bug’s aviation theme and because this cache is intended as place for travellers to pick up and drop off trackable items. Hopefully we will get there within a week or so.
For Father’s Day I received some travel bugs from my daughters, and I have already prepared one of them. This will be the first travel bug I have released, and I am looking forward to tracking it. I called it Gatsby’s Ride since the car reminds of the type someone from The Great Gatsby might drive. It’s mission is to visit any automotive theme caches or any caches close to places with any sort of automotive connection. I picked a cache close to home that I have already visited to release it, GC1R7F3 – Dinky Car Treasures , and I plan to go there this evening to drop it off. Hopefully it gets picked up soon.June 23rd, 2009 by Duncan | No Comments »
One of the downsides of using freely available WordPress themes is that someone else will be using it too. That’s not so bad if we are talking about different subject matter, but I just stumbled across another geocaching blog using the same theme as I am. I shouldn’t be completely surprised, like me, the author of Cache Mania surely noticed that this theme called Kanata is brilliantly suited to a geocaching or outdoors related site.
I will have to look around for a new theme, or I might even try building one of my own. Don’t be surprised if the look of the site changes dramatically in the near future.
Update: June 19, 2009 9:00am – I activated a theme called Wilderness which I may not keep for long. It has three columns which I want but some of the styling is not the way I like. I will keep checking other themes and see what else I can find. I will probably test something new for a day or two until I finally find what I like.June 18th, 2009 by Duncan | No Comments »
I particularly enjoy finding travel bugs and geocoins in the caches I visit, seeing what their missions are and trying to help them along, seeing the variety of items with a dog tag attached, and seeing the amazing designs on the geocoins.
I figure Father’s Day will be a good time to release one of our own trackables. I’m giving the airplane travel bug pictured above to my father. We will decide on a name and a mission for the bug that morning. I expect, since my father enjoys aviation, it will have a mission to visit caches close to airports and other sites related to aviation. Since we are planning to visit the Warplane Heritage Museum (where my father is a volunteer guide) at Hamilton International Airport , I have chosen several caches in the area as places to release the bug. Hopefully all goes well although at this point the long range forecast for the weekend isn’t looking so good.2 Comments »