You Probably Drive By Geocaches Every Day

Have you ever driven by something like this?  Would you even think there would be a geocache there?  Well if you said, "sure, why not!" then you are right!

On the back of this town plow is hidden a hide-a-key geocache, can you guess where it might be?

Do you have any idea how many geocaches you probably drive by in a day?  They're not all hidden on mountain tops.  Did you know you could be parking right in front of one next time you stop at a rest stop?  Did you know there's quite possibly one on the porch of your local Cracker Barrel restaurant?  Who knows, maybe there's one on YOUR town plow! 

If you haven't already tried this, go to and put in your zip code and see all the geocaches you're driving by all the time.  Or better yet, if you happen to have a gps and can take the coordinates of your own home, you can see how many geocaches are closest to your own house.  For example, there are fourteen geocaches within 5 miles of my own house!  You might be surprised and inspired to try to find some of them! :-)  Can anyone beat 14 geocaches within 5 miles?

See you in the log books!

A Fun Froggy Multi Geocache

Here was a fun "multi" (a geocache that requires that you find one or more "stages" before getting to the actual geocache with log book) we came across on our way home from our vacation in Chincoteague, VA.  Notice that frog, trying to look ever so nonchalant...

Ah, but you had good cause to look suspiciously at him, look at what he reveals!
I blurred them out a bit, but when you pulled Mr. Frog's tongue, that white strip came out and contained the coordinates to what turned out to the the "final" (last stage of a "multi" geocache which will contain the log book).  On the geocache page we had printed from I happened to notice it said something like, "An easy geocache anyone can find".  After seeing this very clever first stage - which I thought was definitely NOT necessarily easy - especially if it doesn't occur to you to look for coordinates on a frog's tongue (the only reason we did is that after finding over 900 geocaches, we know to look at pretty much anything and everything by now - I even found a geocache once in a container that looked like doggie doo!), I was pretty dubious that this "final" was going to be as easy as the owner said on the geocache page.
Well, I gotta give credit where credit is due.  Yes, I would say just about anyone could find this one...
There it was, hidden under the low branches of a big pine tree, just laying there - no cover, no nothing.  It was "so easy even a caveman could do it." :-P  An easy "smiley" to add to our ever rising total.
See you in the log books...

This is What You Serve for Dessert at a Geocaching Event

It's the logo in case you didn't know! How cool is that??
It tasted good too.  It was chocolate inside! :-)
The picture was taken at the "Event Cache" we went to today:
See you in the log books! :-)

Trickiest Geocache in Chincoteague, VA

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted! If you read my other blog (Carole's Thoughtful Spot) you may have seen my post about how I've been really busy and have struggled to post this summer...  But have no fear - we've still been geocaching as much as ever!  We recently went on vacation to Chincoteague, Virginia and here was the trickiest geocache of all the ones we found:


That round container with the fake "plug" on it was removable and the geocache was inside.  Now personally, I don't like geocaches that are near electric boxes and stuff because I don't like pawing around near electricity and utilities, but, I have to admit, this was very clever!
See you in the logbooks...

Why Sometimes it's Good to Geocache in the Off Season

Here's what this beach looked like when we found a geocache here in early May:

Here's what it looked like in early July!

Geocaching in touristy areas in the off season makes things a lot easier as there aren't so many muggles around!  Another good tip is that some parks (esp state parks) only charge admission during the summer months, so planning to geocache there in the spring or the fall can save you a few bucks.  
This is also another great example of one of the best things about geocaching - it brings you to places you would probably never find on your own.  We were brought to this little, out of the way beach on Lake George to find a geocache back in May - then when we were in that area just recently and were looking for a place to eat our picnic lunch, we knew of this great little spot!
See you in the log books...

Back From Geo Jamboree Part 2

So at the picnic we got to see a lot of friends we knew and got to meet some new people as well.  Someone who was sitting nearby had brought with them their geocoin collection in a big book (I erased the tracking numbers 'cause of course it wouldn't be fair to "discover" them on the internet, heh).  DH took a picture of each page so he could "discover" them all.  Normally you would find and take a travel bug or geocoin from a geocache and log that you have it online, however, if you don't want to or can't take a travel bug or geocoin that you've seen, you can copy down the tracking number and "discover" it.  (Now I just want to point out that the gentleman who had this geocoin collection shown above purchased all these coins and they all belong to him.  Instead of "releasing" them in a geocache, he preferred to save them and have a collection.  He did not gain all these geocoins by finding them in geocaches and keeping them, which would be totally wrong.)
Here were some other travel bugs that were at Geo Jamboree that couldn't be taken, but could be discovered:
This one was on a car.  We actually "discovered" quite a few car travel bugs at this event - they are becoming quite popular.
Someone had this hat travel bug on.  There was even a baby wearing a t-shirt that had a travel bug with a tracking number on it - that I think is the most unique idea I've seen so far!  Here's the biggest geocoin I think I've seen so far:
After the picnic DH and our friend did some more geocaching and I took DD to swim in the lake.  The weather was very overcast and it did rain and drizzle on and off, but nothing too bad.  Until about 9:30 that night.  From about 9:30 that night until about 8:00 the following morning it rained cats and dogs.  Oy.  All I can say is thank goodness we've camped enough to know how to stay dry because it is no fun at all sleeping on wet sleeping bags and/or having all your stuff get wet.  We've already done that and learned those lessons, so fortunately, we were fine, but I know a lot of other fellow geocacher-campers were not so lucky.  The only thing that was really a pain was that instead of being able to put the tent and the tarps away when we got home, we had to set the up again in the backyard and lay the tarps out and let them dry.  Luckily it was nice and sunny that afternoon so DH actually took the hose first to everything and gave everything a good wash, which everything needed anyway, so it was sort of just as well.
Well since I last posted the "attended" logs for Geo Jamboree 7 are up to 124 so far and CT A-Team posted that plans are already being made for next year's Geo Jamboree 8, so if this sounds like fun and you live within traveling distance to Kettletown State Park in CT, keep your eyes out!
See you in the log books.... :-)

Back From Geo Jamboree 7 Part 1

Well, we are back from a very fun weekend of camping and geocaching at Kettletown State Park in CT for Geo Jamboree 7!  This is the biggest geocaching event we've ever been to.  Over 103 people have logged as "attended" so far - I'm sure there are more yet.  We actually made our campsite reservations back in January, and the entire campground ended up being almost all geocachers.  When we arrived, we "signed in" at CT-A-Team's site (they organized the whole shindig) and we were given a flyer with the schedule and a list of all the geocaches in the park.  There were night geocaches, water geocaches, and of course lots of regular geocaches.  We went back to our campsite and got set up - here's a shot of our gigantor tent (it's a really awesome tent though, btw):
It was great bringing the Tundra - we never even had to unload half our stuff:
We had extra room, so we invited a friend of ours who is also a geocacher to join us.  Our campsite had plenty of room for another tent or two even:
(Our friend claims he didn't mind the slantiness of where he pitched his tent.  I'm not sure I could have slept all slanty, but to each his own.)
That evening DH and his friend met up with another geocacher to do the night caches.  They only managed to find one of three, I believe, but apparently with all the rain we've had, the going was rather treacherous at times and slippery.  They had some funny stories to tell when they got back though.
Next morning DH had reserved a spot on a boat to do the water geocaches.  A water geocache is basically defined as a geocache that can only be found by boat.  Since a lot of people don't have boats, many who did kindy offered their services as tour boat operators and scheduled slots throughout the weekend to take geocachers out to find the water geocaches.  So DH snagged our very first water geocaches.
At noon there was a huge potluck picnic.  This shot really does not give a good idea of how many people were there - there were a lot more people than what you can see in this photo:
And would you believe they even had wireless internet set up for Saturday??  I read all the info about the solar powered wireless internet and it was really interesting and has many uses, including during times of disaster.  Very cool.
Part 2 of Geo Jamboree 7 coming soon!
See you in the log books...

Geo Jamboree 7

I've already talked about a type of geocache called an "Event Cache" (you can read about that here) and one of the events we went to last year called Tri State Treasures.  Well, this weekend we are attending the biggest event geocache we've ever been to yet - Geo Jamboree 7! Geocachers have literally taken over the campground at Kettletown State Park in CT and there are a ton of fun activities planned - everything from a huge picnic, to volunteer boat rides so non-boat owners can retrieve the water geocaches (I don't think we've ever even found a water geocache before! We have a boat spot reserved, though!), to free wi-fi set up for Saturday so you can log your finds, to night caches, contests and a great big campfire (and lots of geocaches to find too, of course)!  Even if you don't have a account, you can see the geocache page here to see what a great "event cache" is like - Geo Jamboree 7.  We are really looking forward to it.
Geocachers in general seem to be really friendly and fun people and it will be great to put faces to the names we see in the geocaching logs all the time.  If you ever have a chance to attend an event geocache, whether big or small, whether you have 10 finds or 1,000, I highly recommend it!!
See you in the log books...! :-)

Gotta Love Geocaching in Vacationland!

  There's DH over to the left looking for the geocache
Can't beat geocaching in beautiful places like this, huh?  That lake is Lake George.  We were up in the Lake George area over the weekend (if you read my other blog (Carole's Thoughtful Spot) you know we recently bought some property in the Adirondacks) and we were sure to fit some geocaching in along with our other activities.  This geocache brought us to a little beach down a non-descript little side road.  This is the kind of place you would never even discover if not for a geocache hiding down there.  Which is one of the very best things about geocaching when you're travelling or on vacation - you are taken to wonderful, off the beaten path sort of places you would never have found on your own!
We're going to Chincouteague, VA for our summer vacation and DH has already scoped it out and told me there's a geocache just a few blocks away from where we'll be staying.  As you're planning your own summer vacation this year be sure to plug in the town you're visiting into and see what geocaches are around!
See you in the log books! :-D

Which of These Geocaches Would You Rather Find?

This one?
Or this one??

Well at least the spider one is really unlikely to get muggled!!  (People who are not geocachers are called "muggles" (taken from the Harry Potter books where they refer to non-wizards as muggles) - so when a geocache is "muggled" it means a non-geocacher found and disturbed, destroyed or stole the geocache.  Actually, I have seen instances where a geocache has been muggled and the muggle actually signed the log book and put everything back.  Usually their log reads something like, "I don't exactly know what this is I found but I'll put it all back where I found it."  Or sometimes I suspect teenagers find them and they just write silly things.  Anyway, "muggle logs" are usually pretty funny but at least they didn't ruin the geocache.)
See you on the trails...

Geocaching by the Hudson River Part 2

(If you missed part one, it's here)
So, when I left off, we had just located a benchmark down by the Hudson River.  We climbed a small hill to get back on the trail and pressed on toward the next geocache. 

I had a comment on the previous post from Sharkbytes asking where this preserve is along the Hudson, so I googled the name of the preserve and in the search results I found some very interesting info, namely the reason there are bricks literally strewn all over this preserve.  The name of this place is Denning Point Park in Beacon, and the history of this place is actually very fascinating - thank you Sharkbytes for prompting me to look it up.  If you're interested, check it out here.
The next geocache we found rather easily and it contained a huge amount of travel bugs.
There are 5 travel bugs in this picture and two geocoins
It's pretty unusual to find that many "travelling items" (travel bugs and geocoins) in one geocache, unless it's a "travel bug hotel".  A "travel bug hotel" is generally a geocache that is a quick and easy find, usually off a major road, whose purpose is to provide a quick an easy way to exchange and move along travelling items like travel bugs and geocoins.  This wasn't a travel bug hotel, so it was surprising to find all these items inside.  There was also the usual logbook and "swag" as well.
After this geocache we walked along for a bit until our GPS pointed us toward these ruins.  Pretty neat, huh?
As we were searching we came across this - it's tough to see in the picture, but it's a big pile of rusty paperclips!!  Which to me is a very odd thing to find in the woods, however, if you click that link I shared above that tells about the history of Denning Point Park, it explains why (briefly, the "Noesting (no sting) Pin Ticket Company" which made a number of interesting items including paper clips had a plant there at one time).
That is something that I just love about geocaching - it takes you to such interesting places.  We have seen the most interesting things - everything from "glacial potholes" to giant ant hills to a pile of rusty paper clips, and we've learned so many things about local history and nature.  Anyway, the geocache near the ruins was the last geocache for the day that we found and so we headed back to our car (the trail was a loop, which is always nice, so no backtracking) and home to log our finds and check for ticks.  :-P  A very enjoyable day. 
Until next time, see ya on the trails! :-)

Geocaching by the Hudson River

We decided to go geocaching in a preserve near the Hudson River last weekend.  It was quite an interesting trail.  There weren't any signs or information that we saw that explained the history of this preserve, so quite a few of the things we saw were a mystery.  Like this pile of bricks.  And the other innumerable piles of bricks all throughout the whole preserve.
One of the geocaches we found, which was nicely stocked:
Another thing we came across was a benchmark, in this rock by the river
Here is a close up:
Benchmarks are all over - I'm sure you've seen them without even realizing it.  I realize there may be many of you who don't know what they are, so from's page:

What is a benchmark?

A benchmark is a point whose position is known to a high degree of accuracy and is normally marked in some way. The marker is often a metal disk made for this purpose, but it can also be a church spire, a radio tower, a mark chiseled into stone, or a metal rod driven into the ground. Over two centuries or so, many other objects of greater or lesser permanence have been used. Benchmarks can be found at various locations all over the United States. They are used by land surveyors, builders and engineers, map makers, and other professionals who need an accurate answer to the question, "Where?" Many of these markers are part of the geodetic control network (technically known as the National Spatial Reference System, or NSRS) created and maintained by NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS).
I'm not going to go into much more - I could easily do a whole post about benchmarks (which I might), but you can hunt them too, and we look for them as a sort of side hobby.  DH knew there was one down here by the shore, so we specifically did go looking for this one.  (If you're interested, you can find out more here.)
There were lots of people fishing down at the shore for striper.  We passed a gentleman on the way in who had caught a really big one.
This post is getting rather long, so I will leave it to be continued....

How's This for a Sign?

Yes, there are even rules out on the trails...
Also, I posted it on my other blog because it ended up being more about the hike than the geocaching, but if you're interested, you can read about our family friendly geocaching walk in the woods at my other blog here, and part 2 is here.  The post title is, "Geocaching in Whitlock Presever and, Wanna See A Deer Tick?".
See ya on the trails... :-)

Why Placing a Geocache at a Playground May Not Be a Good Idea

Inevitably new geocaches pop up that are in parks with playgrounds.  We always approach these with trepidation - especially DH.  While it seems like a good spot for a geocache, think about how suspicious it looks for a guy with a backpack to be lurking around, looking under this and that.  As a mom with a child, I know how alert *I* am to anyone that looks out of place or suspicious when I'm out with DD at a park.  We moms can give a real mean "evil eye" ya know.  Not to mention that if you get a paranoid mom, you may suddenly be having to explain geocaching to the police.  
Now luckily for us, we ARE a family with a young-ish child, so if we all go to the playground, it's not quite as suspicious - I hang out with DD and let her play while DH hunts for the geocache.  But DH will rarely attempt a geocache at a park like this alone and I don't blame him.  
So, if you ever are thinking of placing a geocache at a park with a playground, at least try to place it away from the playground equipment.  In the case of the photo above, we ended up DNFing (DNF - Did Not Find) the geocache.  We believe it was under the gazebo.  You can only try for so long to poke around reaching under a gazebo that is smack dab in the middle of a playground when there are people around.  It was impossible to look without anyone seeing you.  DH tried for a short while, but it wasn't worth the evil stares of the other families, and when one of them pulled out their cell phone, we decided to bag it.
It's ok to place a geocache where "stealth" is required, but try to make sure it's even POSSIBLE to BE stealthy!  And let's be sensible and not put it in an area where parents are going to view you as a threat.  Like a mama bear with her cubs, you do not want to make a mom suspicious.  Trust me on that one.
See ya on the trails....

Do You Geocache Vicariously Through Others?


Do you always say to yourself, "I've got to try geocaching one of these days...."?  Are you unsure of how to get started?  Well, you have got to listen to this podcast (a podcast is like an audiobook/talk radio - it's a talk show you can listen to right on your computer or your iPod/mp3 player)!  This is a podcast by Cliff Ravenscraft of - he is a producer of many fine podcasts that I really enjoy listening to on everything from popular TV shows like Lost & Desperate Housewives to topics like technology and daily bible devotions.  Anyway, my favorite podcast is called "My Crazy Life" and that one is basically an audio diary.  Well the other day, much to my surprise, he and his family decided to go geocaching for the first time - and he took his microphone along and you get to go along with him, his wife and kids on their very first time geocaching!  It's a load of fun to listen to (I'll give you a hint - they didn't find the first one!), and it shows you how quickly he was able to find and understand the basic instructions, and how easy it was to give it a try!
Whether you are already a geocacher, or have always WANTED to be a geocacher, give it a listen, it's a hoot!  (You can listen to it right on your computer or you can download it to your portable media player if you wish.)

See ya on the trails!

Some Clever Geocaches and a Milestone

Not the most high-tech geocache here, but Mr. Frog was still a clever and fun find.  (That's a 35mm film canister used for the cache - those film canisters generally make pretty good geocache containers, but these days with less and less people using film cameras, these are becoming rarer and rarer.)    
I had to look closely at this container to see what it really was - turns out it is a tin that held "Wii Chewing Gum" of all things.  Did not know they sold Wii Chewing Gum.  That was a fun and unexpected container!  Not terribly watertight though, however we wiped it out the best we could with a napkin and the logbook was in a ziplock bag anyway, so it was fine.  I should have taken a pic of the inside, but glued to the inside of the tin were four small magnets that enabled this container to cling to it's hiding spot.
Here in upstate NY it was a rather warmish day for March on Saturday (around 60 degrees) and so we were thrilled to get out and do some geocaching.  We did a lot of cache-n-dashes mostly because it was pretty muddy.  The good thing about that was it helped our "yearly total".  You see, DH has it in his mind he wants to try to find at least 365 caches this year - which obviously equals one per day.  So he's been keeping track all along this year of our total and if we're keeping up or not.  With Saturday's finds (15 I think?), that put us a little ahead of where we need to be for the year so far.  It also put us over another milestone - we now have found over 700 geocaches.  In fact DH insisted that I change my little blurb in the sidebar from "over 500" to "over 700".
Geocachers have a "famous" saying - "It's not about the numbers".  But we all know that sometimes it kinda IS about the numbers! :-D
See ya on the trails!

All the Swag You'd Ever Need

(By the way, "swag" is what geocachers call the "goodies" in a geocache.  Sometimes you need to buy "swag" so that you'll have something to trade when you find a geocache.  You probably carry your own "swag" with you in a backpack - your travel bugs, geocoins, trade items, etc.)
I went to to browse the merchandise in their store (they carry official stuff including travel bug tags) and was surprised to discover they now had a link to their "distributors" - so I clicked on it and wow, they have a nice long list of places to buy "swag" as well as t-shirts, geocache containers, etc.  Rather than searching all over the internet when you need something geocaching related, it sure is nice to have a list of (presumably) reputable companies.  The list is here.  They have a lot of international online stores too.
I was browsing around and found some cool stuff.  Check this out from the - it's what they call the "Expert Stocked Backpack":

Not only does it come with all that cool stuff, but you get your "team name" embroidered on the backpack!  What a great thing for a newbie, or as a gift idea!
And how evil is this, from, their Pine Cone Cache:
So while we wait for the weather to warm up, we can still shop and plot our next hide....mwa ha ha ha!
Cache ya later!

One of My Most Favorite Geocaches

You may notice that this is one of the photos I chose for the header of this blog
This geocache has unfortunately been archived, but this was a geocache we found while we were on vacation one summer on Cape Cod.  The reason it is attached to a brick is because most of the time this geocache is underwater (the geocache itself is the pill bottle).  This geocache could only be found at just about exactly low tide.  It was placed far out on what is called the "Brewster Flats" - an area of a bay in Cape Cod where the tide recedes almost a mile at low tide.  You really had to plan to try to get to it at just about exactly low tide, because once the tide starts coming in, it comes in fast.  In fact, we did get to it at low tide and by the time we walked the 3/4 mile back to the beach we were up to our chests in water just before we reached the shore.  Here's a pic where you can see where the geocache is in relation to where the ocean receded:
When we were looking for geoaches to do that year on vacation and we clicked on the map to see where this one was located in relation to where we were staying, it was really funny because it showed it as out in the middle of the bay - and DH and I were wondering how in the world one could get to it?!?  Just took some good planning, that's all! :-)  My next post will be about one of my most favorite TYPES of geocaches - and it just so happens that type of geocache requires good planning too...
Cache on!

You Say You Don't Want to Walk 5 Miles in the Woods to Find a Geocache? No Problem!

Here's a great example of what would be referred to as a "Cache-N-Dash".  A cache-n-dash is a geocache, as the name implies, that can be found very quickly with very little hiking or walking. Some people "pooh pooh" these sort of geocaches, but we enjoy them - they're quick and easy and fun - and a GREAT way to break up a long trip.  They're also good when the weather is rainy, too hot or too cold for a hike.

Cache-n-dashes are not the only type of geocache that you can find somewhat quickly.  There is another term - "lunchtime cache" which basically means it's a quick enough find that you could possibly find it on your lunch break.  A "lunchtime" geocache would generally be a geocache that you could find and be back to your car within 30 minutes or so.  There is also a "clock" attribute icon used at geocache pages that indicates the geocache can be found in an hour or less.  (There are no icons for "lunchtime cache" or "cache-n-dash" but you often might see that term in the geocache description or in the comments.)

Anyway, here's our Adirondack Cache-N-Dash!

We drove right up to it! Do you know where it is?

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
We happened to be in the Adirondacks yesterday (checking out our Adirondack property - more on that if you're interested here) and we didn't have the time for anything more than a couple of cache-n-dashes.  However we did take a minute to enjoy the view from this geocache location of some ice fishermen on Lake George.
We were happy to be getting back in the nice, warm truck though!  It was verrrrry cccccold up there yesterday!
Cache on!

Virtual Geocaching - or - How to Combine Twitter and Geocaching

My tweets from earlier today:
DH is on his way to walk across a frozen pond to get a geocache that you would normally need a boat to retrieve.
DH is on the phone with me now as he's walking on a frozen pond hunting a geocache. He's 300 ft away from it right now
DH turning back, ice doesn't seem safe there, trying a different route.
DH is 50 ft away from the geocache but needs to get on the frozen lake again
14ft away, DH says ice here seems solid
He found the cache!!
DH back on land. Lives to geocache another day!
(Incidentally, I asked DH to call me when he was going to do that geocache because I thought it was unsafe to walk across the ice alone - at least if he was on the phone with me and he fell through, I could call 911.  I happened to be on the computer when he called, so I just decided to "tweet" the adventure.)
If you'd like to be around in the event I ever have reason to tweet other exciting geocaching adventures, click on the Twitter "Follow Me" in the right sidebar and come along for some virtual geocaching! :-D

A Clever Style of Geocache We Hadn't Seen Before

It was just hanging right on a tree branch!  Nice!