Sunday, October 05, 2014

Geocaching 2014 - Trying to Reboot

It has been a long time since I've gone geocaching.  I've hit a cache or two over the last two years, but the accident pretty much put a stop to caching.  Not because I can't do it, but it was what I was doing the day of the accident and during the days leading up to it, and it's sort of like a big foot came down on the whole thing.  Doesn't seem to be PTSD, it's just that my geocaching sprint was interrupted and I never got back to it.  It didn't have the same effect on bicycling. In some respects, picking up trash for Litterati, over 5000 pieces this year, is similar enough that it scratched the geocaching itch.  At least until I realized my neighborhood is absolutely no cleaner at the end of summer than it was when I started, and I'm depressed.  Geocaching is a happier hobby than collecting garbage.  So today, after talking to Boss during the week, I got back out and found a few that were close to home.

This one was in the woods behind Target.  A nice easy find.  But I left my bike about 400 feet from the cache without locking it, so I was paranoid the whole time.

I took the blue dinosaur and left the little squishy girl in her bubble.  I did not take the creepy head.  It's a kids' cache.  I worry about the kid who wants that head.

This one was near the park and ride.  Not too far from where I found a porn DVD and underpants and drug paraphernalia (two different locations, same park and ride).  See...much more rewarding.  There's no porn in the cache.  Instead I swapped some little white crystals that will work with our Compounded board game for the rubber duck on the lid.

Off the Highline bicycling trail.  I searched for this one a year ago or so without any luck and it took quite a while to find it as it wasn't spot on the coordinates.  It's up there on that stick.  The only cache I couldn't find today was winter findable and I'm pretty sure it's on a stick too, but I couldn't find an obvious candidate.  I've searched for that one before as well with DNF (do not find), over behind the Regal Theater where I pick up so much Taco Bell trash.  I'll be trying again, although I might wait for winter so there are fewer leaves in the way.

Here's the stick cache up close.  That gingerbread dude I'm putting in there isn't edible.

Boss asked me if I thought fewer people were caching.  Based on the maintenance of some of the caches and how few names there were from this summer, I'd say anecdotal evidence points to yes.  But I'm also going after some pretty old caches, not newer ones.  But to flip it, when I was at Code Camp on Saturday at the U of MN looking for a cache where too many muggles lurked, there were two other cachers trying to appear innocuous while searching around a giant metal man in a courtyard.  Then again, they were coding geeks, so perhaps not a representative sample.  I don't think they had any better luck than I did.  There were just too many people touring campus to get quiet searching time, and I bailed for coffee after 20 minutes of waiting.

Here's a rather wet cache.  It had a little rubber stopper in the bottom to keep the logs out of the water, but it wasn't working so someone had jammed it upside down into a rotten log to make sure it drained.  And the log is almost full to boot.  I left a zombie.  One of three that I believe Eryn used for an "about me" collage she did when she was a kindergartner.

I always forget how much I get to see while I'm caching.  This swamp looks ugly from the road.  But down in the reeds and cattails, it's pretty quiet for being so close to the interstate.  I also forgot how scratched up my legs get.  Later I rode my indoor bicycle trainer for 30 minutes and the sweat made my legs feel like they were covered in fiberglass insulation.

This is from the one I couldn't find.  I was sure I'd find it in this chunk of concrete, but no luck.  I reviewed the logs to see what I was missing, but they were no help other than to tell me to approach from the right direction.  As near as I can figure, none of the directions of the compass is the "right" direction.

Eryn went with me to find the fifth cache off the day over by Juniors in Eagan.  We were eating dinner at Ghengis Grill with my folks and my wife and mom waited for us while we walked a quarter mile to a pine tree between Walmart and Juniors.  It wasn't a bad pine tree hide as far as pine tree hides go.  A bit of camo, but it was generally open under the tree and the placement wasn't designed to drive us nuts.

This is not from today but from earlier in the week. I spend a lot of time in our in-house coffee shop and cafe because I can get a good cup of coffee over there at Caribou and because my team sits over a tenth of a mile (and two floors) from my office, so this is a good place 2/3 of the way toward them to work remote so I can get to meetings or have them come to me.  On Thursday and Friday this little container was sitting by the plant and it was so much like a cache it amused me.  I was tempted to open it up and put a list of names and dates in it in case the owner came back.

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