SPOILER ALERT: PIEDMONT NORTH CAROLINA I had been after this cache before. Two years ago I took off on a winter walk along Westchester to pick up a number of caches. That day it was below freezing, snow was on the ground and the wind chill was driving the temperature sensation down. I remembered that looking for Just Gimme Some Sorta Sign (GC21J95) was uncomfortable because I found myself searching for the cache out in traffic where everyone could see me. Now a few years later I was back to try it again, just this time in the summer sun. After reading the logs I knew that this one would surprise me. I got to the GZ, left my car in an abandoned restaurant parking lot and went out to the large shrubbery-engulfed brick sign on the corner proclaiming the name of the shopping center. I started my search around the edges of the brick wall and sign. No cache. The cache page said the cache size was not chosen so it could be anything from a nano up. To get to the sign I had to duck into the shrubbery at a crouch. While there I was out of view of the passing vehicles. I felt around in the pine needles surrounding the plants, checked the small trees and the spider webs aplenty. Still no cache. I saw a birds nest and thought this could be it. I've found fake nests before but not this time. This one was real with baby birds waiting for mother bird to come feed them. I didn't want to mess with them as they say the mother might abandon the babies if they've been touched. I continued my search on hands and knees, sweat pouring off my brow. This cache was getting the better of me once again. One log entry had said that the cacher had found it after stepping just a certain way and looking just a certain way. OK, then up off my hands and knees. Maybe it will be sighted from above looking down into the shrubbery. After a minute or two exposed to the traffic entering the shopping center I noticed a hole in the sea of shrubbery. I looked down through the break in the sea of green to see a light fixture for illuminating the sign. No surprise here. I continued on but no cache find. Then I thought I better check out that flood light to see if it was real. I was back on my hands and knees looking through the bushes at the flood light. It was a stretch but I was able to reach it from the prone position. I pulled upward and the entire assembly came out of the ground. It was fake! I pulled it to me and disassembled it. The cache was a bison tube hidden inside the base of the light bulb. What a creative cache! I signed the log, snapped a few pictures, reassembled the cache and replaced it as I had found it. Climbing out of the bushes right beside traffic was a little awkward but the satisfaction at having finally solved this mystery outweighed all that. Mark another one of the DNF list!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Want a really cool Virtual Cache? There aren't many out there but I found one just north of the Orlando International Airport. It's called Wings Over Orlando (GC4F78). Come check out the B-52 set up in this beautiful little out-of-the-way park on the north end of the airport. No spoilers here, just a commercial in hopes that if you get there you'll go see it. I really wish virtual caches would come back. I understand the concern over geocachers placing virtuals at every turn but I do believe that there could be some limitations placed on the type of cache that would make it a worthwhile thing. I really enjoyed seeing this place and seeing the aircraft that is on display. Few people know about this park and what it offers. Geocaching brought me here and gave me the chance to see it. Could we not have virtuals that are placed in a location of interest like this? Certainly there is a way to regulate this so that an LPC (Lamp post cache) doesn't become a virtual. Any thoughts on this one?
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Caching in and around Orlando, Florida has been fun. The land is flat and good for biking. Fortunately I was able to borrow a bike to do some caching while at a recent conference. I had grabbed up all the caches within a kilometer of the conference area and was ready to extend my search further out. One problem: I had no car and the amount of time when I could break away for daylight caching during the conference limited me to that which was relatively close. Fortunately a friend loaned me a bike and I was able to extend my search out to a nearby park where, thanks to Heymanncachers, the Snow White and the Dwarfs series was waiting for me. It took me several visits to complete the course. I left and pedaled my way out during two lunch breaks and two mornings before breakfast. Each morning required that I leave before sunup to get there when the light was sufficient to see. Some of these caches are along the lake in woods mixed in with residential areas. I didn't want the police to come looking for me hunting in the night. The series was a fun one and it took me to some nice wooded locations. I was thinking that there were seven dwarfs so I'm not sure why there were only six dwarf caches before getting to the multicache that crowned the series. After I finished the series a friend told me about his experience with an alligator on the sidewalk near a pond at first light. It made me wonder just what I could and should have run into going out to at least two of the caches just at daybreak. I wonder if there are any geocachers in Florida that have been alligator bait? Check out the series if you get the chance to visit the Orlando area. It is a few miles south of the Orlando airport. The final cache is Snow White (GC28CDC).
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Sumajhuarmi and I arrived at the Wycliffe Bible Translator Center near Orlando, Florida and settled in for a nice conference. I had already scoped out the caches in the area. Since I was last here two years ago it looks like someone on the staff has discovered geocaching. Fortunate me! The next morning at 6 a.m. I headed out ahead of the sunrise to find a group of caches in the area. The weather was cool and pleasant and the paved walkways are great. I was up early enough that I didn't see any joggers for a while. I made my way north and started with The Legend of Wewahottie Willie (GC2KPAT), a cache along the road. This one proved pretty easy. I'd seen this type of cache before. The sun was starting to come up as I made my way back south. All along the way I was able to find caches. Several were in trees, one an LPC and one a nano magnetic. One cache did stump me and I had to give up for lack of time. I will return tomorrow after reading a few of the cache entries for some helpful hints. My favorite of the day I did after lunch. It was the only regular size cache in the area and I wanted to introduce a friend to geocaching. After lunch at the conference center sumajhuarmi, my friend and I headed across the street to find Every Nation, Tribe and Tongue (GC2K7FH). We were pleased to find a nice ammo can container with a TB ready to go. We signed the log, took the TB and replaced the cache as we found it. This cache was definitely placed by someone working at the Wycliffe Center. We had a great time and recommend these caches to anyone who gets the chance to visit. Stop in and visit the Wycliffe Discovery Center across the street. They have a wonderful educational center which explains the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators as they strive to translate the Bible into most of the known languages of the world. You'll be in impressed!