Tuesday, November 26, 2013

More to come soon!

My sincerest apologies to all my readers for the lack of stories lately.  I promise that there are a few on the way, I just have been very busy and oh so very tired.  This has made it so that I was unable to write, but now that things are getting back to normal I will attempt to tell you some more geocaching stories.  So hang tight, they are on the way!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Southern California Honeymoon and Caching (Part Four: San Diego Zoo, Sea World and Home)

So here it is, finally the final chapter of our honeymoon and geocaching adventure in Southern California.  I am sorry it took so long to get these written and published.  You all waited so diligently and I appreciate that.

Well we left off getting back to our hotel after a long cold and wet day of caching in San Diego.  Of our trip that was the only horrible weather day we had.  But it left us cold to bone, and before turning in for the night we had to get warmed up.  So an order of pizza, hot drinks and hot hot showers did the trick.  So we turned in and got ready for another long day on our feet.

The next morning we got up and had our breakfast at the hotel, got ready for a warm yet exhausting day at the San Diego Zoo.  We had the hotel call us another Taxi (if you read the last post you will know how displeased we were with this), and we got there just before opening.  When the ticket booths opened we headed to the one that seemed to be taking vouchers, and presented ours.
Of our entire trip this was the first place to seem to not understand the vouchers we had.  Eventually they let the issue go, and we got our tickets and started walking in the direction of the Virtual Cache that I wanted to do in the park.  This was the first of two that I wanted while here at the zoo, but the other one was located outside the gates.. So that one would have to wait until later when we left.

On the way to the Virtual Cache we wandered through a section
showcasing beautiful birds of Australia and Africa.  We even got to spy us some Kookaburras, and heard their famous call that sounds like laughter.
Rounding a corner we made a slight detour and walked through a section that had African and Australian mammals.  Just Leafy Sqee'ed in delight to see Rhinoceroses, Giraffes, and Koala Bears up close.
after that we rounded another corner and we were right where the Virtual was located.  Here we had to identify an animal that is depicted in stone in a open square, and I think the name of the donor that founded the new enclosure for that animal.  Well we collected that data very quickly, snapped a no-spoiler picture in front of a nearby sign and were on our way, and that was one of two caches done for the day.

We had a fantastic time wandering the park!  It was amazing to have seen so many interesting animals, some of which we never knew existed.  It was especially cool to have seen the Gorillas and the Giant Galapagos Turtles.  I word from us to you all if you go, walking around all day really does a number on your feet.  There are these foot massage chairs located around the park and only cost a quarter... USE THEM!!  They really make a difference, trust us!
Soon the day came to an end and we had to leave, so we exited out the front and made our way to the Traditional Cache that was located nearby.  But as we arrived there were muggles sitting on the bench where it was.  We sat on a nearby bench and tried waiting them out, but they were just not leaving.  30 minutes later and when the guy working the taxi lineup called that all taxis would
be departing, we had to give up.  But we logged it anyway, because we could see it.  So we took picture proof with Just Leafy sitting on the bench next to the muggles pointing to the hide.  Contacted the CO later via email, and they were fine with that as proof.

That night we had a fantastic dinner at the Ricky's that was in our hotel parking lot, and turned in to rest up for Sea World in the morning.

It was another bright and sunny morning when Just Leafy and I hopped in the taxi to take us to Sea World.  Our one and only cache of the day would be another Virtual Cache, and this one didn't require us to even be inside.  It could be nailed right from the parking lot, since that was where GZ (Ground Zero) was posted.  All we had to do was post a picture of us with the observation tower in the background.  So that was easy enough for sure.


With that out of the way it was time for the park.  Sea world has a ton of attractions, from shows with the sea mammals to observation tanks, and even some rides.  Sadly here I couldn't ride any of the rides except for one... Turns out I am too fat, and so I had to do the fatman's walk of shame from every attempt I made.  But an upside is that there were a few munzees in the park, and I was able to scan them for a few points.  If you want to learn about munzees check out their website at www.munzee.com.

Besides that, we had a great time.  We wandered around all day going in and out of the exhibits and
checking out all the sea life that we could.  It was an amazing experience for Leafy, she loved it.  She would get all excited and would be pointing out things to me like the size of a giant sea turtle, to how pink the flamingos were, or even how colourful the fish were, and oh those rays look like they are smiling.  In the end it was a fantastic day, and we enjoyed every minute of it.


We returned back to the hotel that night to another dinner at Ricky's and to pack up our stuff.  For this would be our last night in Southern California.  But the nice thing is we would not be leaving until the evening, so we finally had another sleep-in and relaxing day before heading to the airport.  And then it was done, and in a short few hours we were back at home talking about our memories of the trip and reliving our favorite moments.


Thank you to all my readers for waiting so long to learn about our trip.  Again I am so sorry it took me this long to bring you the details.  Also thank you for being you, and for reading my stories.  It really means a lot to me, and I am honored to share them with you!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Southern California Honeymoon and Caching (Part Three: The Trip Continues)

So here it is, another late installment of our blog about our Honeymoon and Geocaching adventure.  I apologize for the delay again, but life moves forward so quickly and I keep loosing time.  But without delay lets move forward.

So our days in the magical kingdom soon came to an end, and Just Leafy and I began looking forward to the other attractions that were in our schedule.  First up was Knott's Berry Farm.

In Knott's there was only one Virual Cache for us to do, but because it had over 13 stages attached to it I decided ignore it.  So this day was just for rides.
We loaded onto our bus and headed there, which is only a 15min drive away from Anaheim.  While waiting for the park to open, a man walked up to me and asked if my tattoo was a real trackable.  I responded "Yes!" and this made my day!!  This was the first time I was at a place where I was truly discovered by chance.  After a quick conversation He headed back to join his family, and I was left feeling pretty good about myself and my trackable tattoo!

Knott's Berry Farm was something I had been to in my youth as well, but it had been a long time ago.  And what happens when time goes forward?  Things change!  This was no longer the park I remembered.  The moment we walked in all I was greeted with  was tall and insane extreme rides.  The family friendly rides had disappeared (or so I thought).  We got in line for one ride called "The Ghost Rider", and I chickened out before getting on.  But Just Leafy was brave enough, and she did it while I waited.  Well I tell you when I met her at the bottom and she was white as a ghost, I knew that I had made the right choice.  She even said so too, in fact she said "You would have been so upset after that, I am glad you didn't go on it"
We walked a little deeper into the park and found the rides I was looking for, and really enjoyed the whole day.


The following day we went to Universal Studios, and for this one there we just no feasible caches nearby.  But we really enjoyed this day.  Universal has a ton of great rides, and the famous Back Lot tour.  That is what we did first, and Just Leafy loved it.  She got to see some recognizable sets from films and shows that she has watched, and she also got to see some cool special effects.  In fact at one part of the day she got to be in the special effects show that they put on.  We even got to see the guy that does stunt performances from Dexter at the Water World show.  In the end, it was a fun but long day and looked forward to turning in once we got back to the hotel.

We finally had a day of rest after Universal Studios, and that was something we needed.  Our feet were
really starting to feel the strain of long days of walking and standing on pavement, so we took advantage of the break.  Soaking in the hot tub, napping, relaxing in the sun, and finally getting out for a dinner for two at a restaurant called "Fire & Ice" which is located at Garden Walk Shopping Center.  That is an amazing restaurant, and we recommend it to anyone who is staying in the Anaheim area.

The next day we checked out of our hotel, and headed for the train station.  This was how we were going to get to San Diego.  I haven't had a train ride since I was a kid, so this was going to be really cool.  Just Leafy had ridden one more recently than I had, but yet she was excited too.  The ride would only take us 2 hours to get there, and we were really happy to discover that there was free wifi on the train.  This allowed us to connect to Facebook, post some info and pics, and communicate with friends.

We arrived in San Diego and took a taxi to our hotel.  This is when we learned that their taxi system was the worst in the world.  Why we say that is how they will not let you use your credit card. There are several reasons, but not valid enough to force me to use my cash intended for other things.

1) Because they want all the profits (their bosses charge 15% extra if someone uses a Credit Card).

2) If someone pays by Credit Card they won't see that money until they are cut a cheque (which could be a couple of weeks).

3) Because cash is harder for the bosses to track, so they can steal from their bosses and skim of the top.

Anyway we were not too happy about that for sure, and sadly this leg of the trip required quite a bit of taxi involvement.

We arrived at our hotel we checked in, and got ready for our geocache adventure.
Once ready we headed out and walked 15min to our starting point of a paved trail similar to the Galloping Goose trail here in Victoria BC.  This was the the San Diego River Trail, and it is a nice walk. Sadly for us this is when the sky opened up and it literally poured.  It did this for an hour, but we cached on and eventually it stopped.  Soaked to the bone we found many of the caches we were looking for, but had to give up on a few.
We met many of the local homeless along the way, and were shocked to find they not like any of the homeless back home where they constantly ask you for money.  Here in San Diego they all cheerfully said hello to us as we passed by under the overpasses, and the only time we were asked for anything it was for the time!


As our light began to fade the wind picked up and we started to get chilled, but we pressed on until we reached Ocean Beach.  Here we needed the involvement of my dad back at home to capture a image of us on a webcam for a Webcam Cache, so we gave him a call on my US based cellphone.  What is a "Webcam Cache?" you may be asking.  Well it is a rare cache type that does not exist anymore, except for a few grandfathered ones.  The best way to describe a webcam cache is:

"These are caches that use existing web cameras placed by individuals or agencies that monitor various areas like parks or road conditions. The idea is to get yourself in front of the camera to log your visit. The challenging part, however, it that you need to call a friend to look up the web site that displays the camera shot. You will need to have them to save the picture to log the cache."

 But sadly the light had faded so bad that my father could not see us on the screen back home.  But I was desperate.. So on a whim I told Just Leafy to turn on her cellphone flashlight, and my dad exclaimed "Hey I saw that, there you are!".  So I did the same with my phone while I had him on speaker phone, and may dad snapped the screenshot and emailed it to me.
We said our thanks to my dad and hung up, and then made a short visit to the pier and took a (sigh) taxi home.  Needless to say we were frozen to the core by now, and we had to take hot hot showers to get our core temperatures back up.  Soon we headed to bed to rest up for our full day at the San Diego Zoo.



Stay tuned for the last and final chapter, Part Four where the adventure continues!!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Southern California Honeymoon and Caching (Part Two: The Trip)

Well it feels good to be back in the writers chair.  I feel a bit rusty, but it is nice to get these memories written down to share with you all.

In the last blog I shared with you I told you about the preparation for the trip geocaching wise.  How I was disappointed with the lack of caches around Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Universal Studios.  How the I was even more disappointed in the couple of virtual caches that were there due to them being virtual-multistages with 13 stages to them.  And how ecstatic I was to find a virtual and earthcache that I could do, along with the mother load of caches in San Diego.

So lets move along and talk about the actual trip and the geocaching.  I may have to do a part three due to content size, so you are forewarned.

The days before leaving were horrible. Rain, wind, and more rain were all we were seeing.  My father Postie Bear came down to take us to the airport in the morning, and to do us a favor and house sit for us while we were away.  It was early in the morning that we had to leave, and could I sleep that night... The answer would be no.  Stupidly I had a caffeinated coffee too late in the evening, and that screwed me up something good.  So when the time came to get up and go, my father was shocked to find me on the couch watching Family Guy.

We did our final rushing around and quick check of belongings and passports, and soon we were on our way.  Surprisingly the weather had calmed down a bit this morning, which was good because we didn't need any crazy wind delaying our departing flight.  Just Leafy and I checked in for the flight, said our farewells to my dad, and headed in to airport security.  And after a brief wait we boarded our flight to San Francisco where we had to go through customs and meet our connecting flight.

The flight to San Francisco was uneventful.  Just Leafy was able to get a bit more shut eye, but I was wide awake.  But with headphones on and some good music I whiled away the time, and soon the first leg of the journey was over.  We got through customs met with our connecting flight and were on the final leg of the trip.

 Just Leafy was so excited, this time there was no sleep for her. And as we started our decent, she was nearly bouncing for joy.

After getting out of the airport we took a cab to our hotel "The Staybridge Suites", but since we were so early (before 3pm) they did not have a room ready for us.  This was when we met Pam, the Front Desk agent for our hotel.  She was so awesome and answered all our questions and put our luggage in storage for us so that we could head straight to the park.

One of the nice things about Anaheim is they have the ART (Anaheim Resort Transit) system.  It is just like The Duce in Las Vegas, where you pay a small fee and have transit that runs every 15min that takes you from the hotels to Disneyland.  Only difference is that it does not run 24/7 like The Duce does.
We hopped onto one of these buses to the park, and when we arrived Just Leafy almost ran away from me in joy.

When we got to Disneyland ticket booths we used our vouchers to check in and get our passes, and the nice lady gave us our badges.  If you ever go there for a reason, be it Honeymoon, First Time, Anniversary, Birthday, they have a badge for that.  The nice part about badges is the cast members see them, and will congratulate you, or do random nice things like take you to the front of the line.  Don't expect it, just go about your stay and let the magic happen when it does.

Once we were inside we headed straight to the rides and had a blast.  The park was only open to 6pm that day due to a special function, so we only had maybe 4 hours.  But we were able to get 7 rides in, which by the way is amazing.  We only had 5-25 minute waits at any ride we went to.  We had such a good time, that the 4 hours passed super fast and it was time to go.



Thankfully I was able to get a good nights sleep that
night, because the next day would be the first full day in the park.  And not to forget a Earthcache and Virtual to get too.

We headed to the park nice and early so that we could be through the gates when they opened.  Just Leafy
and I rode the rides with amazingly short wait times yet again.  We were having such a great time that I almost forgot about the caches that I wanted to do.  But when we took a break that is when I remembered, and Just Leafy suggested that we do them now.  So off we went towards the edge of Fantasy Land and New Orleans where they were located.

First up was the Virtual Cache called "Disney's Horseshoe Review - GCG926".  This was fun to do since it required that we stop in at the Golden Horseshoe (a mock up of an old western saloon) and have our picture taken while the "Horseshoe Review" (a comedic show) was going on.  And we lucked out and walked in while the show was in full swing..  So ding, one cache down!  We took the required photos of us at the saloon while the show was on, and slipped out to take a few outside too.


With that one out of the way we headed over to do the Earthcache.  This didn't require us to go too far since the petrified tree was only a few steps away by the Rivers of America.  This cache was called "Happiest Earthcache on Earth - GC3FQY7" and this required checking out the petrified tree that is here and answer basic earth-science questions about it.  After collecting the info we felt was correct we took a few pictures of us here too.  And then headed back to the rides.


We had a fantastic rest of the day riding 15 rides total and had dinner at Ariel's Grotto in California Adventures, followed by the World of Color water and light show. And when the park closed we had to literally drag ourselves home to the hotel.  And on the third day was able to ride 26 rides total in California Adventures.




To bring this blog post to a close, the rest of our stay at Disneyland and California Adventures was amazing.  We met some wonderful people that we become friends with, and still keep in touch with today.

Stay tuned for Part Three where the adventure continues!!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Southern California Honeymoon and Caching (Part One: The Prep)

So sorry for the long hiatus.  Busyness, tiredness and lack of motivation held be back from writing, but I think I can start again now, so here we GO!

In October (the 1st to be exact) my wife and I left the cold rainy weather of British Columbia for the warm and wonderful land of Southern California for our Honeymoon.
The past few days in Victoria had been like a monsoon.  Rain and wind were all we were seeing, so we were very looking forward to skipping town.

My wife had never been to California before , and on top of that had never been to Disneyland unlike myself who had been when I was 12. So this trip was all about that.  But as a avid geocacher I of course had to look to see what was in the area, and what I could grab while I was there.

I was shocked to not find too many in the Anaheim area, none of which I could easily just take off to.  After all I am here to be on my honeymoon and ride the rides, so dismissing myself from my wife to go grab a cache not to close by would be treading on dangerous territory.

There was however a couple of Virtual Caches inside Disneyland.
For my non-geocaching readers a virtual cache is this:
Virtual Caches are coordinates for a location, which has some other described object. Validation for finding a virtual cache generally requires one to email the cache hider with information such as a date or a name on a plaque, or to post a picture of oneself at the site with GPS receiver in hand.
So I took a look at these, and started with the two closest to the gate.  Well to my surprise, this was not really a nice easy virtual.  No in fact it was a Virtual-Multistage Cache, and had 13 stages! Needless to say this one did not make it onto my GPS!! Like I said above I am on my Honeymoon and paid to ride the rides, not collect info from 13 different locations around the park.  So I looked at the next one over near Frontier Land and thankfully it was a regular one.  Also near that one was an Earthcache, and the requirements for that seemed nice and easy.  So it was loaded up too.

Since we were going to be at Knott's Berry Farm, I looked up that area too.  One virtual, and it was like the first ones in Disneyland (13 stages), so I skipped it.  Looked up Hollywood, and there was nothing feasible for me to do there too.  So I didn't load up any of those either.
That left one more place to look at, and that was San Diego.  And what did I find there????  I hit the the jackpot!!  There was a virtual inside the Zoo and another at Sea World, a small power trail next to the San Diego River that would lead right to Ocean Beach where I could also nab a Webcam Cache (a rare cache type).

So there I had it, a nice list of caches to do that should not take away from the experience of being on my Honeymoon.  I discussed the details with my wife and she was fine with it. In fact she was better than fine, she was excited. And so the adventure was soon to begin.

Check out Part Two (coming soon) to read about the trip and the caching!

Pictures Of Caching Areas 
(click on images to enlarge)

Disneyland

Knott's Berry Farm

Universal Studios


San Diego 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Geocaching and the Police

Today was a day to purge the email account of any and all old messages hanging out in the Inbox.  There was one that had been sitting there for a little bit from geocaching.com about DIY caches and quality hides.
It made a very interesting read, but what caught my eye was a link to their blog "Latitude 47" about tips from law enforcement officers so that caches don't mistaken for something more insidious.  

We geocachers hear about it all too often, about that cache out there in some place that some muggle (non-geocacher) stumbled upon and thought it was a bomb, or some other device.  This resulting in a call to the police; who in turn contact the bomb squad, which then gives geocaching a bad name in the community.  We then think that is okay, as it was not here in your home town.  But then horror of all horrors, right there in your local paper you read about it happening where you live.  You lower your head and groan, and wonder why!

It is a problem that happens all over the world, but there are things you can do to help the activity of geocaching keep a good name.  This is where I refer you to the blog entry at "Latitude 47".  It was a very interesting and educational article, and you can find it HERE.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vancouver Island's New Mega!

Well it is official, Vancouver Island will be hosting another Mega Event in 2014.  The venue is the same as 2012's Island Spirit event, which is the world class Cowichan Valley Exhibition Grounds!  This is exciting news for B.C. and Vancouver Island geocachers, as travelling to the states to the many Mega's that at hosted there is huge drain on the pocket books.  Island Spirit 2012 was all about the magnificent bio-diversity and tourist friendly attractions that make Vancouver Island a world leader in year round tourism; so really what is this Mega about?  Well the answer is really in the name, and this one is called "3IEE (3rd International EarthCache Mega Event)".  So this event is Earthcache related, which is an interesting cache type of it's own.

Some may be asking what is an Earthcache??? Well let's look to geocaching.com for information on this fun and informational cache type:

             "EarthCache

An EarthCache is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature of our Earth. EarthCache pages include a set of educational notes along with cache coordinates. Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage its resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth. For more information about EarthCaches, visit http://www.earthcache.org/."

Going to another level, let's also see what the Mega Event's cache page has to say about the event:


"We are excited to announce that the 3rd International EarthCache Event (3IEE) will be happening in Duncan, British Columbia, Canada on October 11, 2014! Following on the footsteps of the EarthCache Events in Maine and Utah, and building on the highly successful Island Spirit Mega Event, the EarthCache Team, Geocaching.com and Landsharkz invite you to join us for 3IEE! The venue will be the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds which are world class facilities.



This is an exciting one-day event full of EarthCache seminars, activities, vendors and more! There will be a selection of EarthCache related satellite events in the days leading up to the Mega to make this a destination of fun for all geocachers."

In the cache description you can see that Landsharkz are the ones hosting the event along side geocaching.com and the Earthcache Team.  Landsharkz was the driving force that helped get Island Spirit off the ground in 2012 alongside a team of amazing volunteers from all over Vancouver Island and British Columbia geocaching communities, which made Island Spirit a smashing success!  Knowing that they will get the same support for this event, I know this will also be an amazing Mega to look forward to.

So what are you waiting for log your intent to attend at the event page HERE and like the facebook page HERE for future updates.

We The GO! Team are super excited to see you all there!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

31 Days of Caching in August 2013

Back in July of 2013 Groundspeak announced that they were challenging geocachers worldwide to achieve a find on every day of the month in August.  They also announce that those that participated would receive a souvenir on the days that a find was made, this meaning that there was 31 total souvenirs to be collected.  To my non-cacher readers please note that geocaching souvenirs are pieces of digital art that are collected and available to be displayed on a geocachers personal profile.  This was met with mixed reviews on the Groundspeak forums, but personally I was all for it.  I though it was a great idea to get people out and doing something every day, so I went about planning my strategy.

My biggest hurdle was that there was not much in the way of traditional park and grabs left in the Victoria area, heck there were not that many left even in the surrounding communities.  So this meant if I was going to do this I would have to go to places up to an hour away every single day, and this would be a drain financially due to fuel costs.  My plan was already falling apart before August even started... But then I was struck with an idea, and it was back to the drawing board.

With my new plan of action in place I was ready to begin this month long challenge.  What I had decided to do was instead of going after traditional caches was to go solely after multistage caches and events.  But there really wasn't too much in the way of events in August, so then I figured that I should host one every weekend on Saturday for just 1 hour.  And so the "31 Days of Geocaching Booster Event" series born.
I scoped out the map trying to find where I would like to host these events and selected the locations.  Quickly I drew up the caches pages and submitted them, and in a few short days the events were published.  Next I fleshed out what multistage caches I would do, and the month was planned.  All that was left to do now was wait until August and get to work.

Well August arrived, and away I went.  But really I should stop here...  Seriously there was a ton of things that happened during the month, the caches, a wasp sting, a couple of FTFs (First to Finds), and all the events; including my own.  So how does one tell about everything that happened in a month and not have to go into some huge story?  I will tell you how... By showing you!

So please enjoy my photo montage of The GO! Team's 31 days of caching in August:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

366 Days(Cumulative) Done... Challenge Complete

Today I finally was able to get out and get the final for a challenge cache that I was working on called "The Wealthy Barber - 366 Days of Megalomania! - GC28YQW".  Today was the first day of the "31 Days of Geocaching" and this allowed me to get the first of the souvenirs that at are available for grabs this month.

Because I wrote a lengthy log on the cache page I figured I would share that log here instead of typing out a story here.  So here it is:

"Wow, it has been a long road to this one. Over the course of 3 years we have cached and cached, but never really gave any thoughts to finishing this particular challenge. I remember in October of 2011 I had decided to go for Giant Pickles challenge for 50 straight days of caching, and went for 107 days total... I kick myself in the arse for stopping there, cause I totally could have gone the 366 straight days with ease.. But sadly that is impossible now. 

But it was in September of 2012 that I decided to look into this particular challenge to fill in the 366 cumulative calendar grid on geocaching.com... That looked easy enough, and when I looked at the calendar grid I was disappointed to still have so many empty days to do even with the previous 107 days done. 
The biggest obstacle for me was the fact that I am a fair weather cacher. My wife is cool with caching in any weather, but I hate hate hate rain. But I braved it up and worked away at it. And that was when I hit the biggest snag of all.

Looking at the grid again I realized I was missing a day on the very day I was to get married... July 13, 2013! There was no way I was going to find a cache on that day right? WRONG! 
Not only did I hold a photo flash mob event for the local and not so local cachers, I also attended a CITO in the morning of it and got a FTF on a tribute cache placed for me and my wife... Now how is that for dedication lol!

Anyway, by this point I only had a few more cache days to get done, and on 07/26/2013 my wife and I headed out the door to get "GCG56G - Shortstop" by Roswell. This was the last day we needed to have the grid complete and have cache finds on every possible day.
With that done I decided to save the find of this challenge cache for the first day of the "31 Days of Geocaching" on August 1, 2013. 

So today arrived, I awoke early to get a head start on the day. Tried to wake the wife up, but she wanted to sleep a bit more and told me to go by myself. Did my homework and decided to park at a little known shoulder and trailhead a mere 470+ meters away. Walked my way to GZ, but the GPSr lied to me and had me walking in circles in the wrong area. Decided to look at the map: zooming all the way in, and realized that the GPSr had me a good 70 meters too far. As a hint, use my picture of what I found nearby to find it easier. 
Once I did that, it was a super easy find and the cache was soon in hand. Signed the log, snapped a few pics and was on my way.
Thanks for the challenge, it was worth it."




Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ice Cream Social in the Cowichan Valley

On the 21st of July, Just Leafy and I loaded the car with geocoins and folding chairs and headed up north to the Cowichan Valley.  On this particular hot and sunny day we were going to an Ice Cream Social event hosted by our good friends the Cache-keteers.  

We made the drive over the Malahat in a decent amount of time despite being late out the door and arrived to find a large number of cachers from all over the Island already there.

This was a really fun event, full of interesting things to do to keep everyone engaged in some way.
Upon arrival and signing in we were given a Geo-BINGO sheet to fill in.  This is a fun game and a way to put names and faces with certain achievements.  On the sheet in a grid is a bunch of different things to ask cachers if they have completed.  Veteran cachers can sign most of the blocks, while novice to new cachers can only sign a few.  It is great way to meet new people, and have those people help you talk to others that you may have otherwise neglected to.  After completing your card you hand it in with your name on it and receive a ticket for the draw later.

After that came the ice cream!  The Cache-keteers had a nice selection of frozen confectioneries.  I had a rainbow ice cream, which was a very interesting blast of different flavors.  This was a type I had not tried before!




The day progressed and more games were played.  There was this very interesting game where a  person had to roll a log sheet, stuff it in a nano cache, stuff the nano into a bison tube, stuff the bison tube in a small cache with swag a logbook a pen and a info sheet, stuffing that cache into a ammo-can with logbook pen info sheet and swag.  
The first to finish the task was the winner.
When I did it, I got my finger caught in the latch of the ammo-can and got pinched really bad.  But nothing that could not be ignored... But that was my first geo-injury at an event!

Next came the ammo-can toss.  This was set up by age and gender!
The kids had a nice small ammo-can to try and wing across the field, while the adults had larger heavier ammo-cans... But the men having the largest!

I watched for a while, and then decided to give it a try after seeing my wife get in line.
Soon it was my turn and I got in my best under-arm tossing stance, gave the box a some power up swings, and then let it loose.  And it flew, and when it came to the ground it landed a whopping 67 feet away!


The location was marked, and when all was said and done I was the undefeated champion in the Men`s category!  I should be an Olympian lol!

On came the draw, and there were a bunch of winners of all the cool donated prizes from LandsharkzWorld Caching and GeoKnots.  I personally won a GeoKnots friendship bracelet.
There was also a guess how many Jelly Beans there are in the jar contest too, and that was won by one of the Lemon-T clan!

Even my dad Postie Bear made a appearance on his way home from Saturna Island, I know he was happy to see everyone and glad to get a chance to talk to friends from our trip to the ET Highway.  
And after all was said and done, Just Leafy and I headed down the trail to find a Challenge Cache that we had the requirements for and a few of the CVPT caches on the way back.

Thank you so much Cache-keteers for the amazing event!!! And a thank you to everyone who was in attendance!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Event Announcement!

Hello everyone.

As you already know August is being named as the “31 Days of Caching” month. By finding a cache and logging “Found it” or going to an event and logging a “Attended” you receive a souvenir for each of the days in August. This means there is 31 souvenirs to be had!

With this in mind I figured it would be nice to help you all out and get you a nice easy smiley and souvenir by hosting an event every Saturday in August.

All of these 5 events are held in a different public park around Victoria so that there is a bit of variety.
Each of these parks have benches and picnic tables at them, but if you would like to bring your own chairs feel free to do so. Bring trackables to share, or bring your unsolved puzzles to chat with others about. The theme here is to just get together and have a bit of geo-fun.

The events will be 1 hour long from 10:00am to 11:00am so that you can get home or get on with anything else you plan to do that day. And this also allows you to save an actual physical cache for another day.

Be sure to log your intent to attend at the official event pages (links provided in the schedule below).
I hope this helps you all out and boosts your 31 day streak along in August.

See you all there.

Schedule and Links:

Saturday August 3rd - Mill Hill Regional Park

Saturday August 10th - Mount Douglas Park (Lower)

Saturday August 17th - Gyro Park  International Geocaching Day

Saturday August 24th - Willows Beach Park

Saturday August 31st - Queens Park


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wedding Day!!!

Today started like any other day... Except earlier than I would have liked.  For some reason my body decided that it was time to wake up at 6:00am rather than my alarm time of 8:00am.  Lying in bed I contemplated about what was about to happen today hoping it would all run nice and smooth.  For today we The GO! Team are to be married.

Last night after rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner Just Leafy and I parted ways like tradition dictates.  I truly wish we didn't have to keep to that silly routine, but it's what has to be done.
She stayed the night at one of her Bridesmaids' house, while my Best Man and one other Groomsmen stayed at my home.  Finally when exhaustion hit we turned in to rest before the big day, only to find that it would take way longer to fall asleep when so much anticipation was in the air.
But sleep did finally come, but this is where we come to part of me waking too early like I mentioned above.

But this crazy cacher had a plan today!  What plan was that you ask?  Well I'll tell you...  Not only was I to get married today and host my own event, but there also happened to be a CITO (Cache In Trash Out) event at 9:30am at Hyacinth Park.  And I, that CRAZY cacher that I am intended to be there... And I was!

I showed up at Hyacinth Park looking all dapper in my Tuxedo Print T-Shirt to the dismay of all who were there.  But I could not just sign in and leave, this would make me feel bad.  So I picked up a couple pieces of trash, had a couple of quick photos and was on my way.
I am sure this created quite the stir, and was the talk of event.

Moving forward I dropped my car off at the B & B we were going to stay at tonight.  Got picked up by another of my Groomsmen and headed home to sit through a couple more small panic attacks, and to get ready for the big event.  My boys did a fantastic job of seeing me through the anxiety (which was minor), and for ensuring I got to the church with time to spare.

With the time now at hand my wedding party and I stepped out into the church, and away we went.  It was like a whirlwind.  Everyone staring at me as I waited what seemed like an eternity for the ceremony to begin, waiting, waiting, waiting.  I never knew a few minutes could feel so long.  And then the music announcing that the bridal party was ready started.  I remember seeing all the girls come up and take their places, I also remember seeing Just Leafy being escorted up the isle by her dad and brother.  But that was when it all became a blur, and before I knew it the wedding ceremony was done.  

After the receiving line and a few quick photos we were on our way to my event "The GO! Team's Wedding Photo Flash Mob - GC4B4K9".  A smile played across the faces of both Just Leafy and I when we arrived to see everyone there.  So many had dressed up like the suggested theme, and that was awesome to see.  We positioned for the group photo, and had a few shots taken, and then Just Leafy tossed a special trackable bouquet that was prepared by the Cache-keteers which was caught by sophiavogt.  We moved to the logbook signed and then handed out a special gift to everyone in attendance, which was a special wedding Pathtag designed by me.

With that done we moved on to do our photos, and then the reception.  It was probably the busiest and longest day of my life... But it was completely worth it in every way!

A huge thanks to the Cache-keteers for helping run this event while we got married!  You ladies made this event way more special and magical than I ever could have. 

And thank you to everyone who were in attendance, it meant the world to us that we got a chance to share this amazing day with you!


Friday, July 5, 2013

leifa+brett: love and ducks

Well now, the days are counting down until Just Leafy and I tie the knot.  As well this means that our event "GC4B4K9 - The GO! Team's Wedding Photo Flash Mob" is just around the corner!
If you haven't logged your intent to addent yet, we suggest you do.  SoobaxM and her mighty team The Cache-keteers are hosting this event by proxy for us (because we will be pretty busy ourselves), and they have taken this simple gather together and turned it into something you don't want to miss.

Recently Just Leafy had won a free engagment video package, and we claimed it and had the video made.  We had a blast out there on that cloudy day at Beacon Hill Park.  There was a ton of ducks and squirrels about, as well as the omnipresent Peacocks.  Feeding the ducks is an important part of Just Leafy's life, as you will soon learn.

Well the finished product is in, and we really wanted to share it with you because geocaching is featured in it.

So without further ado, we present "Leifa + Brett: Love & Ducks" by Paper Heart Films:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Buoys & Views

Over the past couple of days Just Leafy and I did a couple of caches that deserve a bit of recognition. 
You see, we have been working to fill in the cumulative 366 day calendar in our geocacher stats so that we can complete the requirements for a specific challenge cache.  Sadly I do not remember the challenge cache's name.  But I am sure one of my readers will contact me and refresh my memory.

Anyway, the first cache we did was one that had been on our radar for some time now.  This cache is "GC11W1K - High Wire Act".  We have talked about getting this cache every time we drove past it going up island, but its placement on the Malahat is not convenient.  I know many say they go for it when they are stuck in traffic when the crawl is at a stand still, others just go for it whenever.  But I never liked the idea of either, as you are at the mercy of the traffic actually letting you back in.  So my plan was to just get up super early in the summer so that it is daylight at 5am, head up and park on the shoulder and go for it.  Since there is no traffic at that time, getting back on the road would be a breeze.

Well up we went on 06/26/2013.  For some reason both of us were awake at 4:30am that day, so we went and got coffee and watched a sunrise.  Once that was done we decided this was what we would do next.  As predicted there was no traffic, and we made the 5min walk up to the cache.  We got pretty scratched up and had soaking feet by the time we got to GZ, but the view was worth it.  We took a few pictures and headed on our way.

The next one of mention was a multistage cache called "GCPX82 - Buoys will be Buoys" that we did on 07/03/2013.  We figured this one looked like it could be a nice short easy one to do.  When you are only a week away from your own wedding you need to have the time to get all you need to do done in a day, so short and easy is best.



Before heading out I was able to do the projection from stage one from home, but we stopped there away to take a photo.  Then we drove to the second stage to collect the 4 digit number that was required.  While there snapped another photo (no spoilers included), and headed back to the car to do the basic math to move on to the final.  Once that was done we were on our way.

We arrived as close as we could to the final for parking, and looked at the GPS.  Well it took us to a wall with a big drop, so there was no way we were going to hop that.  So down and around we went, and now the GPS wanted us to wade through a private pond for 60 meters.... Well that wasn't going to happen either.  Standing there stumped as to what we did wrong I happened to spy a friendly face in the distance.  It was Mr. Moss Trooper carrying some wood up some stairs.  I called out to him, and he turned and smiled calling out asking "What brings you to this neck of the woods".  We told him, and we asked if he had done this one before.  It turns out he had, and he pointed it out for us.  Just Leafy went to investigate and there it was.  After signing and returning as found we went over to where their boat was moored and said our hellos to the youngest of the Moss Troopers.  We had to decline his offer for tea, as we had to get out to Esquimalt for me to get my hair cut and a beard trim. 


The last one of mention was one we did today on 07/04/2013.  This was "GC4FBZ6 - Development gone mad...".  We decided to take the drive to this just last night.  Because we had business in Langford that day it would work to drive up and find this cache (You have to head to Shawnigan Lake Rd. to get here), and hit Langford on the way back in after.


There was not much to say about the drive up, except that we got stuck in the annoying summer construction traffic.  But the roadway up to the cache was stunning.  There were some great views and a ton of wildlife to see.  Once we arrived at GZ, the find was quick and easy.. But the view was worth the trip.
We took a couple of quick photos here and headed back down.

Now we only have 10 more caching days to fill in on the cumulative 366 day calendar.  We are very much looking forward to getting this statistical challenge completed.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kellett Point Cove - Roche Cove Regional Park CITO - GC4E5VR

On June 30, 2013 sophiavogt hosted a CITO out near Sooke at Kellett Point Cove part of Roche Cove Regional Park.  This was a small part of the park I had not seen before, and I was looking forward to seeing it.

The event was to be an hour long starting at 10:00am.  I was a wee bit late due to being stuck behind someone from Washington State who was clearly having issues with converting to our speed limits, but thankfully when I arrived everyone was still in the parking lot.
Upon arrival sophiavogt had us fill out a few forms, I assume were waivers so that the park takes no responsibility if anything were to happen to us.  Once that was done it was gloves on, garbage bag in hand and off to the site we go.

It was a small beach that was not easily accessible.  When you arrive you are pretty high up on a cliff edge, with a small steep way down on the right and what seemed to be no way down on the left.  But by backtracking a little I was able to find a overgrown path that lead to a cute little grotto in the trees where someone built a simple bench.  From here you could get down to the beach a bit easier, so I called out to the others and down we went.

There was a ton of trash down on this beach, most of it I assume was from the nearby marina.  There was a a lot of rope, boat bumpers, fishnet floats, and Styrofoam.  Sadly the beach was covered in little pebble sized and shaped bits of Styrofoam that could not be picked up, and because it is not biodegradable it will be there forever or just get washed away to another beach.  Even worse it will be eaten by sea life and sea birds, and because their stomachs can't digest the stuff it will sit in their stomachs until they die.

We did a good deed here today, and we removed a lot of trash.  Actually our hero of the day was solo888 who actually went into the water and swam out to retrieve a piece of trash that was floating into the cove.

Returning to the parking lot we ran into Mr. Islandfinders and Paintgirl with her clan, they had arrived late and assumed we went down the Galloping Goose in the other direction.  But they went and picked up a few pieces of trash to say they did their part.

And after all was said and done I headed out with sophiavogt, solo888, neltra, tooniegar and Mr. Islandfinders to find two caches we had previously not found before.

Thank you sophiavogt for arranging everything and hosting the event.  And thank you to everyone who turned out to clean this little beach up.