Thursday, 29 January 2015

Geocaching.com's New Advanced Search

Geocaching premium members, check your email mailboxs. Yesterday you should have received an email telling you how you as premium members get a sneak peak at the new advanced search that Groundspeak is rolling out. I personally think that it is great except for one thing, and that is filtering caches based on minimum favorite points.

I find that to be rather offensive because it takes away from the element of just getting out and caching. Let's take the video game Little Big Planet 1, 2, and 3 for example.

The credo of this game is "Play, Create, Share", which is not that different than geocaching's credo.
The players of this game can play the main story levels, collect bits and bobs, and then create levels for other players to play that are published to the Little Big Planet servers.
But the players of this game only seek out levels made by the community that have 500+ hearts (favorite points) on them to play. This gets those levels more plays and  more hearts, and in turn buries the levels of other less experienced community creators into obscurity. 

A new creator of levels can put in just as much time and effort into learning the in and out of level creation as a master builder, but will not get the same level of plays or hearts in return. And this can be very disappointing.

It is the same with geocaching,and even more so now. I feel for the new cachers, it's not right. Don't be a cache snob and only find caches with a minimum number of favorite points. The point of geocaching is to get out, have fun, and explore... Not to find perfect caches at the expense of not having an adventure.

As a side note, you as a premium member if you have found 1000 or more geocaches have more favorite points to give out than you can ever do in your caching lifetime. People look at the cache and think "Well it's just a lock & lock under some moss, not worthy of a favorite point.
But think for a moment, step back and look around.. Maybe the location is the reason why the cache is there, maybe it is the point of why the hider brought you to that spot. Maybe something close by is the reason too. Look at the big picture, not just the cache itself when determining the worth of the cache!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Lumbo-Tires' Annual New Year "Strollin on"

I have to start this entry with an apology, I have been very busy as of late and writing has been the furthest thing from my mind.  With a major change in vocation things in my life have changed entirely!  But I think I am finally getting it together enough to start putting my efforts back into my other passions like geocaching and writing this blog.

Our first story comes from way back in January.  In fact it comes from January 10th when Lumbo-Tire hosted his annual new year "Strollin on" event.  This year entitled "Strollin on The Bipedal Celebration in Saanich - GC5HDD1"

As usual Lumbo held his event at the ever impressive Mess in the LT. General Ashton Armoury.  It is such a nice location, with tons of room and seating.  As well, he had the no host bar open for those wishing to imbibe in a drink or two.  This year he had the football game on the big screen TV for those who didn't want to miss the action.

A nice thing to happen is that my father Postie Bear came down this time, and along with his friend CurleyQ42 they had their very first Lumbo-Tire New Year event experience.

One of the things that stand out about this event is the games.  Lumbo-Tire puts on a few games to keep the night interesting.  He usually has his "Guess the Number" game where the attendees have to guess how many of an object is in the large jar.  A new addition was the "You know you're a geocacher when" game, where those who participated wrote on slips of paper a thing that happened or thing that stands out as a truth when you are a geocacher.  The winner of the "Number" game I can't remember, but the winner for the "You know" game was diraduck who wrote "You know you're a geocacher when you pee in the woods way more than you do at home"!!

The game that is played for the majority of the night is Lumbo's famous "Swag Bag" game.  In this game Lumbo looks for the most obscure, yet things you use or see everyday.  He then sews them into numbered pouches, and we have to feel them and blindly guess what they are.
It has been  a few years, but guess who won!?  That's right me!!  I actually dominated the scene this year just knowing what the items were with extra details.  My crowning yet embarrassing moment was knowing that one pouch contained a My Little Pony figure in it, but no not just that... I knew it was a Pegasus and that it was the character "Fluttershy"!  For this I got a bonus 5 points on the item.

As usual everyone had a great time talking and sharing stories and ideas for the new caching year.  The gift exchange went really well, and people walked away with some pretty cool stuff.  Personally we got a nicely stocked cache and a few other cool items that we will definitely use in our future hides!  Our usual photographer wasn't able to do the job, so Mrs. GO! Team got everyone together for a quick shot using her cellphone.  And slowly people trickled away into the night.

Another very successful new year event Lumbo-Tire!  You always do such a great job!!!

Thanks to everyone that came and brought all the amazing potluck foods, gifts, and enthusiasm.  It was really nice seeing old familiar faces, and a few new ones too!

See you all again soon and thanks for reading!



Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Years Day Caching at Piper's Lagoon Park

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you all had a great evening New Years Eve, even if you only just tucked in bed or sitting on a couch by the fire watching a favorite movie.  In our case we were in Nanaimo at our regular haunt, having a great time.  The home we were at was old friends of Mrs. GO! Team, and the very people that introduced geocaching to us who go by the caching name sahara_jeepers.  We enjoy the comradery of their parties, and they never complain about a New Years Day walk involving geocaching.

So there we were at their home standing around the fire pit in their back yard, imbibing in our favorite drinks awaiting the arrival of 2015!

Midnight arrived in due time, and we all shook off 2014 to Taylor Swifts "Shake it off".  Sadly the party didn't last much longer than that, as we all turned in fairly early.  That was a first for us, is it because we are getting older??  Let's hope not!!


The next day I awoke and headed to the living room to check out Facebook on my phone, and Mrs. sahara_jeepers came and joined me.  I mentioned that I had a couple of Letterbox Hybrids that I was interested in doing, and she was very interested in doing those since they would be their first of that cache type.  She also suggested a brunch at the Nanaimo Ricky's and a walk at Piper's Lagoon Park, as there were a few caches there that they had not gotten before.  I was happy to say yes to that, so I used her computer to load up 5 more caches for us to do that day.
And once her family and my wife were up and ready, we all headed out the door to go for brunch and our caching fun!

 Of course I won't bore you all with the details of our breakfast, but it sure was yummy.
When all of us were done eating, we headed out and met at the first of the Letterbox caches that we 
planned.  This one was "claret97's Birthday Cache" by Boris the Spider 7.
Thankfully Mrs. sahara_jeepers was a little better equipped to find this one, as she was the only person to have worn waterproof footwear.  So she crossed the marshy area and made a nice quick find, and signed the log for us all.  For us that didn't we had to contend with several dog bombs (poop), and we all avoided it well except Mrs. sahara_jeepers!  So I guess she will have good luck while geocaching for the rest of the year.

The second one was "North Nanaimo Trail Mix" by Boris the Spider 7 & claret97.  And this time Mr.
sahara_jeepers joined us while the Mrs stayed with the kids in the car.  This cache was a little more of an adventure that took us down a little trail to a side trail.  Up this we walked a hill until we found a rocky plateau.  Once up here we
decided not to use the extra coordinates provided by the cache owner in the hint, and after a small search of the surrounding area Mr. sahara_jeepers made the find!

With the letterbox Hybrids out of the way, it was time to go on to Piper's Lagoon Park.
Here there were 5 caches for us  to find here.  A couple of them sahara_jeepers had found before, so they left it to us to find those.  We had a great time walking around together finding the caches, looking at the sights, and joking around.  It is always fun to go caching with people that have little ones in their family, sure the day goes slow but even the smallest of adventures become the biggest when they are around.  When we got around to our last cache of the day we started down from the hill it was on, and almost immediately I stepped into a big heaping pile of dog doodoo!  Of course this caused me to grumble a bit, but in the end I just wiped it away and considered it a sign that I will have good luck caching for the rest of 2015.

Thanks again for stopping by and reading our blog!  We wish for you a safe and fun year in 2015, and may all your geocaching adventures be full of great finds!!


Happy New Year

Oh my, how could we have forgotten to post a Happy New Year here at the blog.  We did it on Twitter and Facebook, but neglected the place that started it all.  But sometimes it is better late than never right!?

Happy New Year to all our readers.  May 2015 bring happiness and joy, and many geocaching adventures to you all!


This post was back dated to January 1st to keep in context.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Holidays


Wishing all of you a safe and fun filled holiday season!

Happy Holidays From:
~The GO! Team~


Monday, 22 December 2014

Just In Time For The Holidays, 6 New Souveniers From Groundspeak!!

Wow, what a fun month so far.  We The GO! Team have been having some fun adventures, and getting the chance to be with geocaching friends at various events this month.  It is one of the few things in life and this season that makes all the difference in my life.  But something else that happened recently that got me excited too. 

Last week while scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook I saw an announcement from geocaching.com that they would be releasing a new souvenir. Seeing in the accompanying photo that it was for some place with beautiful turquoise blue waters got my hopes up! 
"Is it for Mexico, please let it be for Mexico" was what I was saying out loud as I click on the link that went to a cache page related to the location that was in the picture.  And again like all the other times my hopes got squashed, as it turned out it was for some place in the Mediterranean.
So with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth I replied on Facebook "Ummmm.. Where is one for Mexico!? ", and left it at that.  But not long after someone from geocaching.com replied to my comment and told me "Mexico will be released on the 22nd".

For those of you that don't know, a geocaching souvenir is a piece of  digital artwork that is displayed on our accounts at geocaching.com for meeting certain criteria to unlock them.  One such criteria is caching in a new country, province, state.  And in my case Mexico was one place that just seemed to be getting the shaft for a long time for getting one released.
Well I tell you, I was elated to read those words and was quick to send the responder a big thank you!  What did I do next, well I went straight to this blog Facebook Page and told our loyal fans there the good news!

So then the waiting game started, and to kill the time until the 22nd came I geocached with my dad
Postie Bear in Comox.  Mrs. GO! Team decided to do some shopping with my mother those days, and so she left us to our own devices.  Dad showed me a few caches in the area that he had enjoyed, and we grabbed a few he had not done yet himself!


Finally the day arrived and that morning as I sipped on my coffee I logged into geocaching.com from my tablet to go and see my shiny new souvenir, but to my surprise it wasn't there.  Ok I wasn't really surprised, since they never said what time it would happen at.  So I just went on with my day spending time with my family until it was time to leave for home (sadly I can't spend the holidays with my family this year due to scheduling).  And with one last look at my phone before driving away I saw that my good friend Magicman65 (and author of his blog Magicman65 Adventures around the World!!) had messaged me to tell me that he had got his.  I quickly logged into my account to have a look, and I smiled seeing the one souvenir I was missing from my travels.


So thank you geocaching.com, I am so happy to finally have this souvenir.  For those of you traveling and wondering what souveniers you may get in your travels for finding a cache, you can refer to this list of currently released souveniers.  And if you would like read about the 5 other souvenirs released the same day check out geocaching.com's official blog Latitude 47.


Take care and be sure to watch for another blog 
coming up very soon!


Saturday, 13 December 2014

12-13-14-15-16/2 Tailgate Party!

So the second geocaching event of the month has come and gone, but that means I have to get to work and tell you all about it.  But this past weekend was a busy one, and getting the chance to sit down and write has been difficult.  But now that I have some time, I better get this done right!?  The event was the "12-13-14-15-16/2 Tailgate Party" hosted by Islandfinders. I remember when the listing for this one popped up on my radar via publication notice email.  I opened the link to see the details.  I found that the time and date would work for me, and that the location gave me something even more important.  As many of my friends in and out of geocaching know, I am a coffee fiend!  I love me some java java java!   And because it was being held in the Westshore Mall parking lot, there was a Tim Hortons right there.  So this would work for me no problem at all!!  After logging my intent to attend, it was all down to waiting the day out.

As you my long time readers know that there have been a long standing tradition of events falling on dates with consecutive numbers on Day - Month - Year.  People even planned weddings around them.  And we were only able to do this thanks to the turn of the century.  For example 10-10-10 was October 10, 2010.  And since we started geocaching in 2010 we attended 10-10-10, 11-11-11 & 12-12-12 events.  Technically 12-12-12 was the last time this would work, but people have found ways to continue the tradition.  And this year was no different.  So how does this years event work.  Well its like this; December (12) - 13th (13) - 2014 (14) - 15 minuets (15) - after 8am (16/2 or 16 divided by 2).  I hope that makes sense!  So now that I am sure to have many of you confused, let's move along.

As it was to play out, again Mrs. GO! Team would not be able to attend.  She would have been
getting of her night shift and needing a good sleep to flip back to days, so this attendance was all on me.  Sadly the night before I had a stressful evening at work and was unable to fall asleep when I got home.  So my guess would be that I finally slept by 4:00am, but with this event starting at 8:15am that left me with only a few short hours to sleep and be ready to leave and be on time!
But I can do this right, I can't possibly mess this up??  Well...  Not exactly.  The alarm to get up went off, but did I do my usual swing of the legs over the the side of the bed and start to exist for the day?  No I did not, in fact I did quite the opposite and fell right back to sleep.  The saving grace here is that Mrs. GO! Team did get home before 8am, and finding me asleep did the nice thing of waking me up.  I sat straight up and asked what time it was, and when she told me 7:30am I jumped up and started to get ready.  I asked if this meant she was going to come too, and she replied yes and started to get out of she scrubs into some normal attire.  Within 15min we were ready and out the door!

We arrived at the mall pretty much on time, but as usual the event was already in full swing.  Geocachers are an interesting breed when it comes to time management.  They live just like my personal philosophy when it comes to time "if you are early you are on time, if you are on time you are late".  So in this case Mrs. GO! Team and I were late, but this didn't take away from the fun.  There were some people there that were at the event last week in Cobble Hill, and some that I had not seen for a while.  So it was nice to catch up with everyone we could.  And of course I had to wander over to the Timmies to get me some sweet sweet Java, and a little breakfast too.


Islandfinders had our little area cordoned off with some traffic cones, had an assortment of holiday stuffies lined up in the tailgate of their vehicle, and had a cute little Christmas tree decorated in geocaching related items like bison tubes, lock 'n' locks, preforms and flagging tape.  It was a really nice to see they could incorporate the holidays into this fun event!



As time went on the event came closer and closer to it's end, and time was called for a group photo.  Everyone gathered around the Christmas tree and put on their best smiling faces, and that marked the end of the event. Of course this means nothing as people always hang out way past the end anyway, in fact Mrs. GO! Team and I notorious for being pretty much the last person to leave.  And like usual we hung out talking with Mrs. Islandfinders and cameracowgirl for quite a while after.

Once it was decided we all had to leave for real, Mrs. GO! Team and I spent a little longer in the parking lot getting two caches we had previously not found before!


A big thank you to Islandfinders for the fun event and excuse to get out and see our geofriends! 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and Happy Holidays to everyone, I wish for you a fun and safe time!

Stay tuned for another blog entry to come soon!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Cache-keteers Ugly Cachemas Sweater Event

Hi everyone, sorry for the long delay since the last entry.  Sadly we haven't been doing much in the caching department lately, and that makes us sad.  But what can you do when you are terrible at mystery caches and have cleared your immediate location of traditionals!?  You wait for events, well that is what we do!  So when this one popped up on the radar for the beginning of December we were all over it.
It actually worked out for us further, as my father Postie Bear from Comox would be in town to drop off presents to us for Christmas.  So this was shaping up to be a family thing for us.


When the day arrived I woke up early to the sound of my alarm, but can you guess who didn't??  That's right, Mrs. GO! Team was not having any of it and kept asking for "5 more minuets please"!  As the morning progressed and many more attempts to get her up failed, I eventually ended up having to tell her to stay in bed as there were no more "5 minuets" left.  So off I went to meet up with Postie Bear for the drive up to Cobble Hill.

This event was being held by the Cache-keteers, an amazing collective of ladies from the Southern Island.  They love to cache together, and generally have fun.  And one thing they do so well is host a great event.
I would like to think I hold a decent event, but mine could never hold a flame to the events these awesome ladies hold.  They always take fun into consideration, so they plan out games that everyone plays for great prizes.  Their Cachemas events are always highly anticipated by the local cachers, and the gift exchange is always epic!

We arrived to find the Cache-keteers hard at work setting up, and after some hellos and hugs dad and I chose our table and had a seat.

Slowly yet quickly the other attendees started to trickle in.  First Islandfinders, followed by Totemtabou, Paulboy and princess, Cougar Kid, Juruu, bcrockcrwaler and xstitcher... The pub started to fill up with all my favourite people in the world, my fellow geocachers.  And the festivities had begun!

The Cache-keteers first handed out a fun little game where we looked at a sheet of paper covered in cryptic pictures that had to do with carols.  You would have to study them and get your mind in the right place to figure them out.
Postie Bear and I did a pretty good job considering there were only two in the end that had us stumped.  After a time the Cache-keteers then called time on the game and lead us through the answers.  It is fun to listen to everyone groan when they realize what they got wrong, or what they missed.  There definitely was ones that came from dad and I when we realized what our two missing ones were.  There was no prize for this game as it was more of a warm up and icebreaker for those sitting with others.

As time moved forward and peoples food arrived at their tables, the activities continued along.  Next up the Cache-keteers did the prizes for those who dressed up in a silly or ugly holiday sweater.
For this one they handed out numbered tickets to those wearing those horrible offences to fashion. And when the time came they drew the twin tickets (like a 50/50 draw) for the amount of prizes they had.  Since dad and I didn't dress up in ugly sweaters we didn't get to participate, but I do remember that the manager of the pub had donated a very nice Lucky Beer sweater valued at $70 to be one of the prizes.  I am not sure who won it though, as I wasn't paying attention.  My bad!!

Next up was the Secret Santa gift exchange. The way this one was done was via a story where the throughout the narrator reads a series of commands of Left and Right, while all the people participating stand in a large circle passing the gifts along in the direction said.  It can get very wacky and confusing, but that is the fun of it.  Here is where the Cache-keteers asked me to help since I have a voice that carries well, so I got to read the story for the group.  Even the narrator can screw up the process a bit, but again that just adds to the hilarity of the activity.  Sheesh695 stood in for me so that my gift would be passed around, and so that I would also end up with one at the end.  And when all was said and done and I could open what was to be mine, I got a set of firetacks... This means I could maybe plan a Night Cache sometime!!

And this pretty much marked the end of the festivities.  Slowly people tricked back out into the outdoors to head home or grab a few local caches, while a few of us lingered to talk for a while.
Dad and I however did leave much earlier than Mrs. GO! Team and I would normally, this was because we had some plans to attend to. So with saying our farewells and wishing everyone a happy holidays, dad and I slipped out.

Now that we were out the doors I remembered a cache right across the street from the venue, so I helped dad make a quick find.  Then it was off to the north end of Shawnigan Lake.  The plan was for me to be able to do maintenance checks on my two adopted Island Spirit Legacy Caches, and for dad to make a few finds for himself (including those caches).  Also so that he could visit the Kinsol
Trestle for the first time.

We parked the car at the mid way parking lot and got to work, and it was nice to see that my caches were in good standing order.  Dad had fun with finding the few caches on route to the trestle, and was blown away by the views and such from the trestle when we arrived.
And on they way home we grabbed one more at the top of a hill with a fantastic view!


Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, it is a pleasure to share my stories with you all. And Happy Holidays to everyone, I wish for you a fun and safe time!

Stay tuned for another blog entry to come soon, as there is another event this weekend too!!


Sunday, 12 October 2014

International Earchcache Day & 3IEE Satellite Events

Here is the final entry for the 3IEE Mega Event weekend in Cowichan BC.   Carrying on from the last story, the 3IEE Mega had drawn to a close and Mrs. GO! Team and I headed to bed exhausted from the busy day we had.  While my wife had to sleep to prepare for a night shift, I however awoke the next day to write my logs and go through the discovery process for all of the trackables I discovered.  I should note a handy, free, safe tool to use to log them all at once is a website called "Log Them All".  This tool has come in handy many times since it was introduced to me by SoobaxM of the Cache-keteers.  But doing this was not the sole reason I woke up early.  No the real reason was that today was International Earthcache Day, and that there was two final satellite events from the 3IEE.  What was especially nice was that this was the first year that geocaching.com actually issued a souvenir for our accounts for finding an earthcache, so you know I had to figure out what one I wanted to do.  But lets go in order and tell you about the first event of the day!

After writing my logs I glanced at the clock on my PC's system tray and noticed that it was getting very close to event time down at Esquimalt Lagoon.  AnnieMaroo was hosting an event called " Meet & Greet EarthCache Reviewers - GC58WXN" and  that was a chance for those wanting to meet the Earthcache Reviewers that didn't do so at the mega, and to go complete two earthcaches at either end of the spit.  Despite my leaving the house so late, I arrived in good time!  Heck I even made a coffee stop at Tim Horton's and was in & out in two minutes  When I arrived I headed to the first people I knew that I saw didn't have anyone to chat with and struck up a conversation.  This lead to SoobaxM and Porchlizard coming over too, and we had a great chat.  We discussed the earthcache situation, and they told me that they were going to do the new one that went live at up on the Malahat by the Moon Water Lodge/Malahat Inn.  We just needed to wait for Mrs. Classictwo to get the two at the lagoon done first, which was fine with me because it meant more chatting time.  As soon as they were ready, we hopped in the vehicles and drove on up!

So far the weather was holding up, but the sky was threatening to unleash the rain.  I am not a fan of driving the Malahat in the rain, so it holding off was a good thing.  We all arrived at GZ for "Saanich Inlet - A Coastal Fjord - GC5DJEJ" to find G-Force, A-Team and micaparamedic already on scene.  We all teamed up and got read the material, discussed what we were witnessing and compiled the data to get our answers.  I being super weak at math skills had to take a back seat on the mathematical part, but I did my best to pretend I knew what I was talking about.  After we were done we snapped a few pictures, and in the process SoobaxM took a group selfie that I think rivals Ellen DeGeneres's red carpet selfie.  A quick chat and this is when I learned about the last event of the day up at the Kinsol Trestle, north of Shawnigan Lake.  We all made plans to meet there, except in my case I was heading to SoobaxM's place to hang out and chill until event time.

After hanging out for a bit we headed out to the Kinsol Trestle parking lot where GZ was listed for "Jewel of the Cowichan Valley - GC5C7HG" that was being hosted by diraduck of the Cache-keteers.  SoobaxM was not up for the walk, and I was feeling very run down so I carpooled and left my car at
her house!  We arrived to find that many people were already there and joined in on the various conversations going on.  SoobaxM and I went to diraduck to sign the log early so that we could leave, but then some of the local cachers convinced me that I should come for the walk too.  So arranging a ride back to my car after the event with my pal and former ET Highway team mate JuRuu and his wife, I was set to go for the walk.  By this point the weather decided to not hold out any longer, and the rain began to fall on us.  Due to where we parked we were only a short walk away from the Kinsol Trestle, and we were there in no time.  With this walk I am able to say I have been here during all four seasons, and fall is absolutely stunning.  I hung out on the trestle for a bit talking to more of my geo-friends until JuRuu was ready to to go.  We walked back, and it was fun to see small groups of people circled around my two caches that are hidden long the trail waiting to sign the log!  JuRuu and his wife drove me to my car, and waving and smiling said our farewells.  I jumped into my car and head home to Victoria, marking the end of this long and fun filled weekend!

Thanks to the event hosts for making these extra events happen, they truly added to the fun and excitement of the weekend.  And thanks to my earthcache team, it was fun collecting the data needed to log this find with you all!  SoobaxM I thank you for your hospitality by sharing your home with me while we waited for the event time.
  
And thank you to all my readers, I appreciate that take the time to come over and give my stories a read!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

3IEE Mega Event Day and More!!

If you read my last blog about the 3IEE mega event weekend, you will know that the night before I came up to the exhibition grounds to check in so that when I arrived today I could get right to work.
Mrs. GO! Team and I had woken up pretty early after going to bed equally as early so we could make the drive up here to start our shifts.
While Mrs. GO! Team didn't start to much later, I had to start at 8:30am and help with parking.  Being one of the first to arrive I got to choose where I wanted to be, so I chose the VIP parking area.  This was actually kind of fun, as I got to map out how I wanted the parking to work.  I had designated my own handicap and vendor parking area, and created a nice parking grid for the VIPs (a status purchased when registering online!
It was while doing this that I got to meet Jeremy Irish (see history of Geocaching HERE) and his family.  The best part was that he gifted me a personal trackable which looks like the 11th Doctor from Doctor Who inside his TARDIS that says "GEOCACHING" where it would say "POLICE BOX".  Jeremy, if by chance you are reading this THANK YOU.  It was an
honor and your gift was unexpected and appreciated!


Unlike when we went to Island Spirit in 2012, I had an agenda!
I had been thinking the day before how I could use the fact that there was Mega and a regular event the same day and go try and beat my previous record of 6 cache types in one day.  Looking at the map of the Cowichan area I realised I could beat it by only one because were no Webcam, Wherigo or Virtuals in the area that hadn't already been done by me.  This meant 7 types would have to suffice!  So after I finished my parking lot shift I booted it down to my car to get out and find a Traditional, Multi, Letterbox and Earthcache.  Personally I felt like I wasn't going to make it before I had to be back, but I surprised myself and had it all done and back at the Exhibition Grounds in just over an hour.

So it was a good thing that my running around took as little time as it did, because I was able to get
back in time to start my shift on the Trackables Table.  This was the best part of my volunteering, as
it allowed me to discover tons of trackables when there was none to bag and tag.  I shared this shift with lookernl, and I think we rocked it here.  I allowed myself to work an extra 30 minutes because with me using the shift to my discovery advantage I felt I owed it to the event coordinators that I actually put in the extra time.  But when NavyAviator arrived to relieve me I happily left, because it was time for me to spend my money on some trackables  at the Landsharkz and Worldcaching booths.  I bought myself 2 trackables, a 2014 HQ Logbook Coin and a Achiever Coin from the Seven Souvenirs of August.  And I got Mrs. GO! Team a Gift of Love suncatcher trackable and a trackable tag, both featuring her favourite mascot Signal the Frog.


Some of you may be asking where Mrs. GO! Team was during all this!?  Well the answer is simple, she could be seen walking around talking with friends and spending time with the various dogs that were at the event.  But when she was working, you all saw her as a certain green mascot giving hugs and high-fives to everyone!



The rest of the day progressed naturally as I visited with friends old and
new, swapping caching stories and caching up.  Soon enough came
time for the prize draws, where the lucky winners won great items from the various vendors participating in the event.  Chris & Helen from Landsharkz drew and handed out the rewards, and all the while I snapped a few pictures.  And then to my complete surprise my ticket number got called, and I won a couple of great geocoins from Landsharkz.  There were many other winners of course, but sadly I didn't catch who they all were.  But all the prizes were pretty cool, and I am sure everyone that got something will enjoy it very much.

After all the prizes were given out everybody lent a hand to clean up and setup for dinner.  Mrs. GO! Team and I didn't purchase meal tickets at the event because we had our minds set on the Nachos Grande that is served at our favorite local restaurant called The Dog House. So once the event hall was set for dinner we rushed out so that we could eat and be back in time for clean up.  We got our food very fast and ate at a decent pace and when done we headed back; however, when we returned the clean up was done.  So to make up for missing it we lingered and did a little loading for Landsharkz instead.  And that was it, the Mega was done!  But not the whole day, as there still was the night event "3IEE - Waning Harvest Moon Flash Mob - GC5CC0V", and the two night caches we planned to do with G-Force and A-Team which would give us the seven cache types for the day.

When we arrived at McAdam Park some cachers were already in the area waiting, so we took the
time to team up with MARICKY and Mr. Wilson to grab a couple of quick caches in the area.  When we finished that we meandered over to mill about on the trail near GZ.  Not too long after NavyAviator (the event CO) showed up and set up his table, all the while we the attendees chatted and made plans for that night or for the following day.  It was then that we gained two more people (Neltra & tadrew) to join us for the night cache expedition that we were going to do afterwards with G-Force and A-Team.  That's when the whistle blew and all descended down to the table to sign the log for the event.  We were then instructed set up along the little hill and arrange ourselves for the group photo, a few snaps of the camera and the event was done.  Back in the parking lot our night cache team quickly discussed our plan, and then headed toward Shawnigan Lake.

Our team met up at the Shawnigan Lake Legion Hall to start our night quests.  First on the list was "The Cache-Keteers Night Games- HAGX - GC4X75G", which literally started right there.  This was a fun walk through a wooded area that had BMX obstacles to go under and around, which also led to a power cut and its connecting service roads.  We had lots of fun walking through this area and seeing all the beetles that were crawling about, and the cache was a quick find at the end.  After that cache we zoomed on over to our last one called "Something Wicked This Way Comes -Night Cache - GC49GWP".  This one was a bit shorter than the last one we did, but you really had to pay attention to the instructions and your intuition, as there are quite literally firetacks (reflectors) everywhere. This trail was very rooty and one would have to watch their footing while walking here, it was a fun walk and this too once we got to the end was a quick find for the team.  After a quick attempt to find a nearby traditional (we had to DNF it) we made our way back to the vehicles, said our thanks and good-nights, and headed our way home.

This marks the end of the 3IEE Mega Event part of the weekend!
There were a few more activities the next day, and I will save those for my next blog entry.


Thanks to all the volunteers at 3IEE, without you the event would not have moved as smoothly as it did.  A super huge thanks to the coordinators, your planning skills and ability to put said plans into action are out of this world.  Thanks also needs to be given to the COs of the various satellite events, you helped make this weekend be a little bit more diverse and that much more fun!  And to the attendees you all were so much fun to meet and chat with, thank you for coming out for this fun and educational event.  And lastly to our night cache team, thank you for the great adventure!

Stay tuned for more to come!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Early Registration Event for 3IEE

Hi every one!  As most of you know this last weekend was the 3IEE (3rd International Earthcache Event) Mega in Cowichan BC.  Due to the nature of this kind of event (Click HERE to learn about Mega Events) it sort of takes over an entire weekend, and would make for an overly large blog to write.  So I figure I will write about it as a three parter!  As usual remember all words highlighted in blue are links to other pages, and all pictures can be viewed larger by clicking on the image.


Lets start at the beginning.

On Friday October 10th, 2014 was the Cache-keteers' early registration satellite event "Welcome Earthlings - Registration Event - GC58NFE".  Mrs. GO! Team had to work that day, but I got it off for the simple fact that we both would be volunteering at the Mega the next day.  This meant that it would be prudent to pick up our registration packages and volunteer shirts prior to the big day.  This was also a good time to come and go through the process for those that just want to jump into the fun the next day, or for those just wanting to check in tomorrow and run out to cache in the Cowichan Valley. 

Thankfully my drive up was not impeded by any of the heavy traffic that can form early from Victoria to the Malahat (our only quick route to anywhere north on Vancouver Island) on the Friday of a long weekend.  And because of this I was able to make very good time to the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds where the event was taking place.

When I arrived I happened to be a bit early for those wanting to do what I was there for, but they needed help getting the VIP packages set up!  So SoobaxM of the Cache-keteers set me up to run the gauntlet and get some peoples packages all set up, which I was more than happy to do.  And when it became time for me to do the run for us, I headed back to the beginning to do it all again.

It was a nice little event and I got a chance to meet with many of my local Vancouver Island caching friends, as well as many of the people I got to meet and befriend at the Island Spirit Mega Event in 2012. Of course another favourite part of the event was sitting with Kyle.Ruttan and looking at and discovering a ton of trackable (a little guilty addiction of mine)!  Also got to run around and fill out my geocacher bingo card, what a great icebreaker!!

Soon it was time to head out and get ready for the next day, so I jumped back in my car for the drive back to Victoria!

A big thanks to the Cache-keteers for hosting the event, I think it went very well.  And thanks to everyone that came!  Also thanks to all my readers old and new, without you this blog would be nothing!

Stay tuned for more to come soon!!



Saturday, 20 September 2014

5000th Cache Find At The Original Stash Tribute Plaque

On September 20th 2014, we The GO! Team along side my father Postie Bear awoke early in the morning to head out the door and begin what would be a 7 hour drive to Oregon to visit the birthplace of this amazing outdoor activity we all know and love.  That is right, we drove to the Original Stash Tribute Plaque - GCGV0P.  The reason for the trip was that we were making this our 5000th geocache find, while Postie Bear was getting his 3300th!  What a great reason to make this pilgrimage!!  If you would like to learn a bit about the history of geocaching and the Original Stash, take a look at this article by clicking HERE.

So as I was saying, we got up early and started the trip.  Catching the ferry to the mainland we had a nice breakfast and landed on the other side.  We headed down to the border crossing at White Rock, and thankfully crossed with no incident and barely a wait.  The drive down wasn't anything too spectacular, as the scenery is nothing different than what you would see at home drving on the highway.  But one would have to note the ingenuity that goes into the design of the highways and the massive clover leafs in the states, they are definitely unlike anything back home.

It was a very long drive, but we eventually arrived in Oregon and the Original Stash Tribute Plaque.  We all jumped out of the vehicle and converged on the plaque to have a read, take pictures, and make our place in geocaching history by visiting this historical location.  After that we wandered the few meters to the tribute cache hidden nearby and signed the logbook and leave some trackables!

After all that we headed up the hill and found the cache called "Un-Original Stash", and continued further up the road to find two more called "One in Fifty" and "Take a  Hike".
On the way back down we noticed a vehicle pulled over at the plaque and saw two ladies making the find.  We being the friendly Canadians that we are pulled over a chat, and what we got was a surprise!  Turns out the two ladies were tadrew and Cmisko  from back home in Victoria, BC!  What a coincidence!  We chatted for a bit, took a photo together, and decided to have dinner together at the Cheesecake Factory in Portland.  But before heading to the restaurant we found a few more caches in the area.

The next day we headed home and completed our 1220km round trip.  Instead of telling you about that end of the story (which isn't much except for driving) I have put together a hyperlapse film of the entire trip, so please check it out!

Also there will be some photos below!








  

Monday, 15 September 2014

10 to 4999

The other day (Saturday September 13th) Mrs. GO! Team and I decided to go out and get some caches.  We were only 10 away from being at 4999 cache finds, and since we were getting precariously close to our planned date for our 5000th we knew we had to get going.  So out the door we went.

A quick survey of the available caches we could do nearby had us driving out to North Saanich and Sidney.  We had a great day of caching, and made short work of every cache we went to.   Only one proved to be a problem, but that DNF was made tolerable by a visit from a very friendly cat who weaved in and out of our legs begging for attention (which he got)!
But you know 9 caches is nothing to scoff at, and so when we were done we treated ourselves to a very nice dinner at the Spitfire Bar & Grill near (YYJ) Victoria International Airport.













But since we had that small snag on the last one of the day, it provided us with a need to find one more to get all ready.  So yesterday after I got off work I took a look at the geocaching.com map to see what was available, and one cache near the Gorge Waterway stood out to me.  Reading up on the description what was needed we headed out to get our 4999th cache find.

Well this turned into a gong show of a trip, but you know what... I think I will let our cache log tell the story for you!

GC5BKTZ - Fill Me Up Cache Log:

Yesterday we The GO! Team headed out to get 10 caches to make us have 4999 cache finds. Well that failed to happen as the last one we did ended in a DNF. So it was back to the drawing boards for us.
Today when I got off work I looked online and spied this fellow sitting unfound by us in the Gorge area, and reading the description decided this was the cache for us. So after we had dinner we loaded up and headed out to the cache site.

When we arrived we grabbed our water and headed there. The tube was a QEF (even in the dark), and we set to it. Mrs. GO! Team plugged the hole and I poured the contents of the 2 liter bottle of water we filled prior to coming. We retrieved the cache, opened the container, unrolled the log, and..... we didn't have a pen. CRAP! Mrs. GO! Team thought there might be one in her car, so off she went to look (taking the half empty bottle with her) while I stayed at GZ. 

After a short time I got a text message from her saying she didn't have a pen. So I did the next best thing and took a picture of the tube, a picture of the container and the log, and a picture of me replacing the container in the tube. And then I headed back to the car. 
But along the way Mrs. GO! Team met up with me all excited that she found a pen. So I explained that I had taken proof pics and replaced the cache. But we decided that we would go back to the car again and get the 2 liter bottle and use the remaining water to retrieve the cache. So we went back, got it and headed to GZ a second time. 

Oh no the story is not done here! 
We arrived back at GZ and I twisted the cap, and a very unexpected "HISS" occurred. Turns out Mrs. GO! Team also had a bottle of carbonated water in the car too.. This caused us to laugh and laugh; and so back to the car we went to get the water, since there was no way we were using lemon flavoured carbonated water in this cache.

One more trip back to GZ and we were back in business. Snapped a few more pics to help flesh out our story, poured the water again, and retrieved and signed the log. 

BWT favourite point from us, we like these kind of caches!! 

SL TFTC!!


So there we are, at 4999 cache finds and ready to get out there and make our 5000th milestone a reality.  What is it you ask?  Well I think I may have hinted to it in a previous blog, but if I haven't you will be reading about it very soon.  So stay tuned to The GO! Team Adventures Geocaching Blog to check it out.