Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snow slowing down my caching - how about you?

Well, I was going to try to pick up several more of those DeLorme counties tomorrow but of course now I'd need a snow plow on my jeep to do that, and a snow shovel to dig the stuff out.

Caching and Presidential Candidates

OK, I'm going to start a mess here.  I'm going to ask if anyone who reads this - does anyone read it - has an opinion about how any one of the candidates for president may affect our hobby or sport or whatever we feel like calling it.  I know some of the history of what makes geocaching possible. And, I not referring to any of that.  I mean does anyone feel like a particular candidate who is running for president now will have any effect on either geocaching, benchmarking, or even letterboxing either positively or negatively?   Please don't get into a name calling match or on a soapbox for either candidate because of the economy or defense or anything not necessarily related to our hobby.  There are plenty of places for that elsewhere.  I just want to know if anyone has an opinion on their possible effect on our hobby.  

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Well, went out and got two new caches toward the Illinois DeLorme since central Illinois is no longer a deep freeze. (Ones I picked up were (GCNJJJ, and GCYY4F )And, went to the CIGA meet and greet tonight and met the owners of one of the caches.  The owner of the other was a couple of tables over.  I sure am getting tired of the micros and nanos that are not just well hid but darn near impossible  to find. I mean a micro in a pile of brush or rocks.  Geez.  I've heard of some people who don't even look for micros any more.  Anybody out there feel that way?   

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I have a new cache out just Friday afternoon, GC18N52, and I noticed the FTF, who is from Wisconsin, found it and about 20 or 30 others yesterday in almost single digit weather.  Does anyone else actually LIKE caching in cold weather?  The only benefit I can see for it is that there is less brush to have to bushwack.   That's especially true for benchmarks. Makes them much easier to find a lot of the time.  Other than that,  it's too darn cold to cache right now.   Anyone disagree? 

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Too blinkin cold to cache today by bike or car.  Will get back into it when I get a little use to the cold.  Want to do the Illinois DeLorme this year so need to get started on it a little more seriously soon.  Looked at the caches I have so far and have 14 pages from caches I've already done.   So, only 66 or so to go.   Piece of cake.   Anyone have any hints  on any of the pages?  

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Placing a new geocache - this is fun, huh?

Just spent over an hour placing a new geocache in a very nice park near Le Roy, Illinois, today.  Didn't take too long to find a place to put it in this very nice little park with virgin trees all over the place.  What took so long was getting the GPSr to pick up a good signal for where it was even in this winter forest with no leaves.   Don't know if it's my prehistoric, GPS V, receiver or the trees or what. There was hardly a cloud in the sky so it couldn't be that.   

Actually, found another use for one of those metal cans you get for Christmas with some sort of alcoholic drink in it.  Sprayed it a dark green and put a geocaching sign on the outside so if someone found it they would know what it was and maybe not take it or mess it up.   

This one was in a half-gallon sized container.  I get a little tired of looking for ones in the forest that are the size of your little finger.   Though, I'm guilt of putting that size caches in town.  

Anyone have a favorite container or hide?   I really like one that's around central Illinois and in a nice big birdhouse.   Neatest one I've ever seen.   

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Caches and Greeted New Cachers

Was driving by one of my caches today and noticed a couple of young women wandering around looking for it.  So, naturally, I stopped and introduced myself. They only started last summer and, while I'd seen their name some, I hadn't seen it online very much.   They eventually found the cache and I said goodbye and left them to take a look at it.

Just yesterday I picked up two caches I'd tried to find in the past with no success and picked up a a nice new one with a nice pink duck TB in it.   Grabbed the TB of course.

Going to put it in a new cache I hope to put near Le Roy this coming week.   

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My first two encounters with the police and benchmark hunting

I had encounters with the police and hunting for benchmarks last winter.   Once, on a country road I could never find again - have no idea where it was - I was pulled all the way off the road and had my blinkers on and had just gotten back in the car from finding a benchmark and was taking notes and lining up the next one on the GPSr.  A cruiser pulled up behind me and told me I was blocking the road and should move on.    Not a lot of cars around to block, but, heck, he's the one with the sidearm and the badge.  

Anther time in the state capitol of Illinois, Springfield, I was "surrounded" by two Secretary of State police cruisers after I "scared" the parking lot attendant across the street from the state capitol by asking if he knew where a building was.  He didn't know. Said he wasn't from in town. After the officers ask me what I was doing, checked out my license, my story and even looked up the place I was trying to find on the page, they said my story checked out and let me go.  I knew that.  Could have told them 15 minutes earlier that my story would check out.   Oh, they weren't from in town either and had also never heard of the building.  I wonder if anyone who works in Springfield lives there.  Maybe they commute from Chicago with the governor.   He doesn't live there either....

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

My second encounter with the police while geocaching

I had my second encounter with the police today.  The first time was in the state capitol and I was actually benchmark hunting.  This time, I had just found a micro geocache placed way out in the boonies along the side of the road and the state police followed me out and said the lady who I saw walking her dog down the road had called the police on me and was concerned that I had been on her private property. Well, I think I was in the road right-of-way but didn't want to quibble about the details with the officer who didn't seem to have any concern about our hobby.  He just asked me if I were aware that I was on this lady's private property and told me that I got on her property when I left the pavement.   That's a problem with caching in central Illinois. There is very little property that isn't clearly private property and many people around here are very concerned to the point of paranoia about their property being touched by another human being.  I'm not saying that there aren't events in their past justifying a little concern.  It is just difficult finding places to leave caches. 

Private property owners have this paranoia and the property managers of public lands are so paranoid about liability and even possible terrorism threats that it seems to be getting more difficult to get permissions.  Maybe that's just my opinion.  I'd love to hear different experiences from other people in the country.  

Does anyone have any suggestions about improving the quality of places we can find to leave caches?  You can only stand finding so many at the base of lamp posts or inside the railings of bridges. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Well, I have never done this before. In bagging another cache Riverside Memorial Bridge (GCKFC7) and picking up a TB there I grabbed the log. Geez, and it's about 40 miles away from my place.  That's a first time.   Hope it doesn't cause anyone else any inconvenience.     

One cache during winter reprieve

Found one today in Mahomet, IL, Riverside Memorial Cache (GCKFG7) I went to this one by car but it could have just as easily been done by bicycle while doing the ones in nearby Lake of the Woods park area.  Have to come back some day and do them all.  Since the water was so high, had to dig this one out of a few inches of mud and pry it open. What a muddy mess. But, signed log and grabbed a TB and a geocoin.  I think there are several in this area that would be easy by bike.  When it gets a bit warmer I'll take my GPS and bike and park the car in nearby Mahomet and do a bike route of them all and list it on my webpage,  I'm just getting started on this page but check it out.  I'd love to hear about bike trails and bike friendly areas with good geocaches and even benchmarks.  

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Lincoln, Illinois January 6, 2008

Picked up a couple of geocaches in Lincoln, Illinois, today that wouldn't be very good for bicycling but then it wasn't all that good of bicycling weather anyway.  Also picked up a really neat travel bug, Route 66 travel bug.  It started in Ohio and has been at least to Kingman, AZ. It's apparently been going since 2004 and has a log in it. This is the first travel bug I've seen with its own log. That is really neat.   I actually found it at the place where A Handy Walk, in Lincoln, was supposed to be but never did find the cache. The travel bug was just lying on the ground.  Actually, Handy Walk which has been there for several years, would be accessible by bicycle.  It is somewhere behind a dugout at the baseball field at the Lincoln recreation center just off of Primm Road.  I camped at the other end of the park several years ago during a 3-day bicycle ride I took out of Bloomington, Illinois, about 35 miles away.  

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Forgot to mention earlier that I was interviewed last night to be on the podcasts of Guess it'll show up in a month or so.  Anyone else ever heard of that site? 

More about the future of this blog

Being as it's winter here, my early posts may be more about bike caching and benchmarking trips I've made in warmer weather and caching I'm doing mostly via Jeep over the winter. I'll also maybe tell you about trips I'm planning as well. And, I want to hear about trips you've made combining biking, caching, camping, etc.  

Subjects of this blog and how you can add to it

I want to talk here about geocaching, benchmark hunting, and bicycling in their many forms.  I'll mostly be talking about geocaching and bicycling in the Midwest, which is where I'm located, but I really want to learn and hear about your experiences combining geocaching and biking and many other outdoor activities such as photography, camping, and many more things.