I am a proud

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tracking Ryan's Arrival TB

This past summer I released a travel bug, my first and only so far, called Ryan's Arrival (TB33FDM) . It was to celebrate the birth of our third grandson on 21 June 2010. I released it in a TB hotel near the RDU (Raleigh-Durham) airport in central North Carolina. It didn't take long to realize that one can wait a while for TBs to move. Folks were discovering it but for their own good reasons were not moving it along. Finally after a month and a half (yeah, I know; that's really not long) it was picked up and within the month was placed in Nevada. Now as far as we know it is in southern California. Each time it moves I send a note to my daughter so they can track its movement too. It's destination is to come to Quito, Ecuador. We had hoped that it would make it here before little Ryan came to visit with his parents. Earlier this month his parents, his other grandfather and he spent 14 days with us! We had a great time. I see a future geocacher coming up! Maybe this TB will make its way to our beautiful adoptive country soon. Ryan got to meet all our friends. It wasn't uncommon for him to go from arm to arm. One of my favorite photos is of him with Marie Perugachi, one of our best friends. Like any grandfather I'm proud of the boy. Check out the new born and present-day photo of the little man!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh Canada, EH!

Several months ago I received an email from Doogerd saying he and his family were coming down from Canada for a month and wondering if we could meet up to go geocaching. One Saturday we met up in Parque Metropolitano. Doggerd brought his family, the pastor of the English Fellowship Church in Quito, his wife (who happened to know my youngest daughter from when she was a student at the school where she works) and an Ecuadorian friend. We were nine geocachers making our way through the park from cache to cache. Each person took turns with the GPSr hunting an finding the caches. It was great to meet these folks and get to know them. Doogerd presented me with a hat badge from his medic unit and several Canadian pins. I collect these types of things so this was a very thoughtful gift. We've had a lot of rain over the last month so this also served as chance to check on the caches. Many of the caches were wet. The worst of it was that over half the caches we visited were muggled and gone. This was an abnormally high rate of mugglings. Probably we geocachers need to take better care and not let others see us finding the caches. Doogerd also hid the Oh Canada EH (GC2PBAK) in the park. It was well stoked with Canada pins and a Canada geocoin. I really enjoyed the outing a hope that Doogerd's friends enjoyed it as well. If you get a chance to visit be sure and visit the Metropolitan Park and find the numerous caches hidden there.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chamana Waterfalls, Baños, Ecuador

I finally got to combine geocaching with horseback riding! Along with Sumajhuarmi and Rubialoca I set out from the tourist and spa town of Baños, Ecuador on horseback to ride out to the Chamana Waterfalls, just east of town. The ride took about an hour or so as we wound down the valley beside the Pastaza River. Yes, that's a picture of a teenager addicted to her text messages, even from horseback! At Ulba we crossed the main highway and began a short climb up the Chamana valley along side the Chamana River. For most of our climb we had a spectacular view of the active volcano Tungurahua above us. The snowcapped volcano was impressive, particularly with the knowledge that it frequently sends off puffs of smoke and flowing lava out the other direction from where we were. We climbed past tourist hostels and small restaurants until we arrived at the base of the waterfalls. There was a large tour group there that was canyoning. They were roped in similar to those who rapel down the mountain except for they were doing it down the canyon stream that led off of the waterfalls. It looked interesting but not interesting enough. That water had to be cold! We dismounted and secured the horses before starting up the path that takes you to the a small pool of water at the base of the first of seven waterfalls that make up Chamana Waterfall. Here people come to relax in the water on hot days. This seemed like the perfect place for a geocache so I back tracked down the path until I found a perfect location to hide the cache. The finder can step off the trail and look for the cache without being seen if he or she takes care. If you get a chance to visit Baños I suggest that you rent horses for this trip and that you check out my cache there. It is Cascadas Chamana (GC2M45Z).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ecuador has its Cracker Barrel!!!!!

Well, maybe that is saying a little too much. On a recent trip into the southern part of Ecuador I came across a welcome sight. As we were traveling through some beautiful but somewhat lonely territory we came up on a nice looking cafe/store set back off the road a little. It had a country look to it. We couldn't help but pull off the road. Two things were going through my mind. First, this looks like a nice place to stop. Second, this looks like a nice place for a geocache hide. Upon entering the place we found that it was much more. While the food isn't what we would call Cracker Barrel food the store was a close approximation to the famous North American Interstate favorite stopover. My wife had a great time looking through the store. The prices were a little higher than we like but, hey, the stuff was imported. We talked to the owner. He said that his daughter accused him of getting the idea from the Cracker Barrel chain. He denied it. Nonetheless, it is a nice place and the gentleman was very friendly. He gave me permission to hide Ecuador has its Cracker Barrel (GC2FN1C). Be sure and stop in for a visit. See if you can find the cache too! By the way, this photo, taken from the creative commons, is of the real thing, not the Ecuadorian version.