Park and Grab a Go Go

I love park and grabs – I really do.  I make no secret of that, and this past Sunday was a park and grab cachapalooza.  JaJaSt had a goal for Sunday, he was going to break 700 – who am I to stand in the way of a goal?  So we crafted a plan and then pretty much ignored it – cause that’s how we cache!

We started off by finding a cache that was placed very close to my house.  I was online when it was published, and I just sat there and stared at the computer screen thinking “Oh, I should go get this,”  but I didn’t and Mrs. BritPitt and her youngest were FTF.

From there, JaJaSt and I headed into the wilds of Nashua and began our day.  We were looking for one that had been archived (why that showed up in my list I’ll never know, when I filter in gsak, I take them all out) anyhow, we’re searching and searching and I put my GPS down on a rock to just take a look around when what did I spot?  MY FIRST EVER BENCHMARK!  woot woot!

A funny thing happened on our caching adventure.  I found 3 – count em 3 caches that were apparently archived, but the cache owners hadn’t come out to remove the caches yet.  I figured since I found ‘em,  I could log ‘em.   I also found a tick – ewwww.  We were in the car getting ready to head out after logging a find when I felt the creepy crawly on the back of my neck.  I reached up and around and grabbed and it was a tick…he’s now a dead tick.  Unfortunately when I did the girly scream and jump, my GPS, which HAD been sitting on my lap, landed out on the pavement.  That almost put an end to our caching day, but luckily for me, Mogumbo the GPS is made of sterner stuff and turned right back on!

We finished up our day shortly thereafter and headed for home.  JaJaSt reached another milestone and I added a few more caches to my slowly increasing list of finds – and we found our first benchmark.  All in all, it was a very good day!  Except for the tick!

I’m Gonna Put on My My My My My Caching Shoes

It was NOT a bad winter.  We were not inundated with snow or ice, or bone chilling cold. In fact, if you’re a geocacher, this was probably the Best. Winter. EVER!  Unless your me.  I didn’t get to do any caching this winter, and it makes me sad.  Life has a habit, a rather nasty habit if you ask me, of spinning wildly out of control.

However, April vacation is coming up, and as a part of our fun filled April vacation, we are embarking upon “The Great American College Tour, part 2!”  The plan is to head down to UMass Amherst and from there to Elmira NY where we will visit Elmira college.  We also plan on taking a swing by Cornell and Ithaca before heading home.  There is a rest day, then we visit Holy Cross, Franklin Pierce and UNH.  I am determined to find SOME geocaches on our great adventure!

I feel better for- I have a goal!

You Never Know Where You’ll Find a Cacher

Not much caching going on during the busy holiday season, and that’s okay.  The other day, I was driving up to Dartmouth College to watch my ninja son compete in a track meet.  In Ripper the Jeep were my Ninja daughter and two of her friends.  I scoped out the area on geocaching.com and found a couple of caches on our way to the meet and a couple more right on the college campus.

Once I had Ripper loaded up with all the girls, I announced that we would be making a couple of quick stops on our way up to geocache.  My ninja daughter moaned and hid her head in shame, one of her besties looked confused and the other bestie squealed “Oh I LOVE geocaching!”

It was my turn to look confused, I had no idea any of her friends knew anything at all about geocaching, but she quickly explained that she’d gone quite a few times with some mutual friends of ours.

We proceeded the 50+ miles to Dartmouth, with the girls laughing and talking and ignoring me until I pulled into the parking area for the first cache.  The ninja daughter got out and stood sullenly, along with her other friend, but the caching familiar friend quickly scrambled up the hill right along with me and actually made the find.

Who knows, maybe finding out that her bestie likes it will get my daughter to cache a bit more.  Okay probably not, but a mum can dream.

I was on a Caching ROLL!

I had this nice little streak going.  In my quest to reach 500 before the end of the year, I decided to start by finding a cache a day.  From November 25th to December 15th, I did just that.  I found a cache either on my way into work, or my way home.  This brought me to within 19 of my goal.  Jajast and I decided to head up to the Bow Town Forest on December 10th.  With the plethora of caches in that area we figured we be able to knock out that 19 caches easy.  HA!  Fate as always conspired against us, and we just couldn’t get into a good caching groove.  We found 13.  Let’s talk about 13.  I do NOT suffer from triskaidekaphobia, but I really HATE ending the day on 13.  So much so that Jajast and I were scrambling around in the dark for one last park and grab to make me feel better.

I was bummed that we didn’t find the 19 that we needed because I wasn’t going to be able to cache on Sunday — family day you know.  However, my kids made other plans, so I called Jajast that night and said “Five more on Sunday.  No more, no less!”  Then a horrible terrible thing happened.  Mrs. BritPitt called to see if we wanted to cache on Sunday.  Why is that horrible?  Because she wanted a cache-a-polooza to get to her 4000 cache and I knew I couldn’t commit to that.  I felt horrible because I really wanted to cache with Mrs. BritPitt too, but I also needed to be home in the afternoon, and she couldn’t go with us in the morning because of church commitments.

I had a plan, I knew the caches were there, the logs were active and I planned our rout well.  While I don’t suffer from triskaidekaphobia, I do have a dep and abiding HATE for bridges over water, especially if I’m driving in a car.  Walking isn’t much better, but driving is bad bad bad bad bad.  I tell you this because I planned our caching route so that my 500th cache was on the middle of the walking bridge over the Merrimack River.

We made our four finds and approached the bridge with trepidation.  While I am not a fan of bridges, Jajast is not a fan of heights.  But we persevered over the bridge and made the find!  GO us.  I would have done a happy dance right then and there, but hey, I was in the middle of a freaking bridge over a raging river.  Well maybe it was a swiftly flowing river, but from where I stood, that sucker was raging.

I managed to continue my cache a day streak until last Thursday, but then it came to a grinding halt.  The Christmas season is upon us and I have a LOT to get done.  Added to that, my car got broken into over the weekend and they stole my driving GPS.  They also went through my geocaching back pack which I leave in the car. I’m kind of feeling violated to be honest.  I am just so lucky that my etrex was in the house that night.

There will be pictures to follow of Jajast and I on the bridge a bazillion feet in the air over those raging rapids.  They’re on my home computer and I’m not, lol.  I guess I’m not going to hit 600 by the end of the year, but that’s okay.  My goal was 500 and I met it.  GO me!

Caching Challenges

I did my first challenge last night – got a picture of me in front of EMS at the mall.  I’d been thinking about doing a series of caches visiting the various churches in Londonderry, but instead I turned it into a challenge.  Less maintenance and upkeep for me that way lol.  The premise of the challenge is this.  There are at least 10 different churches in Londonderry that have their own dedicated church building.  The challenge is for people to list the various churches in down and get a picture of themselves in front of 3 churches of different denominations.  It’s called Cacher’s Prayer.  I hope people will like it.  I think it’s a good one because right at the center of town there are two churches across from the town common.  On the common is 1 traditional cache and info for at least 1 mystery cache, and there is another church half a mile a way to the south and 2 more a mile a way to the north.  It should be pretty easy for people to do the challenge and a couple of caches.

This Time it WAS a Cache-tastrophe

Jajast aka Bill aka Steve and I had a plan.  It was an awesome plan.  It was the plan to end all plans.  And like all plans, and in the words of the immortal Robert Burns,those plans gang aft agley.  I will be honest, the fault is all mine – well mine and gsak lol.

We had decided to head up to Portland Maine for our own personal cach-a-polooza.  We have a mutual friend who found like 140 caches in one day up there *cough* Mrs. BritPitt *cough*  so we figured we could easily get the 50 caches I needed to get me to 500.  Boy were we wrong.

We had a center point of an earth cache in Portland (which was very cool btw) and I created a filter in GSAK with that as a center point.  I refined the filter a bit for milage and types of caches and loaded up mo’gumbo the gps with 500 caches.  This is nothing that I haven’t done before.  Why it went so wrong will forever remain a mystery to me.  We did do a virtual cache which was pretty cool too.  I never realized that director John Ford was from Portland.

For some reason, hardly ANY of the caches in the area made it over to my gps.  There were 500 caches, but they didn’t seem to exist once we got to Portland.  I’d have one, but not the next one half a mile away.  I have no clue what I did, but I did something.  It was bizarre.

Added to that, we just couldn’t seem to get a rhythm going.  There was no flow.  We also found as we looked on Steve’s super duper gps that a lot of the caches had a lot of DNF’s.  The last and biggest insult was us going to find a cache in Lincoln Park.  We were, however, unable to search because the cache area and the whole park was occupied by the occupy Portland movement.

I had fun, because I was out and about caching with a wonderful friend, but I am really sad that I didn’t find 50 caches.  I KNOW it’s not supposed to be about the numbers, and usually for me, it isn’t.  But this one time, I really, really wanted it to be about the numbers.  I wanted to hit 500 this weekend.

It didn’t happen, obviously, and while I’m not losing any sleep over it, I am a bit bummed.  On a more positive and humorous side though, I have  streak of 10 days of caching which for me is epic.  However, today, I grabbed  a cache on my way into work, and it was almost the biggest epic fail ever.

I found it quickly – it being INKY, and I took the container to my car to sign.  I opened it and put it on my center console and watched as one half of it rolled down off the console and under the passenger side seat.  I FREAKED.  I was ready to rip the car apart to find the missing piece.  I knew i had an exact duplicate of the container at home, and if worse came to worse, I could notify the cache owner and have him disable it for the day and replace it on my way in to work tomorrow.   But luck was with me and I did manage to find the missing piece, sign the log and replace the cache and STILL get to work on time!

The Bittersweetness of Caching

First the bitter.  My ninja daughter had to go to a political rally as part of her AP Gov. class.  Living in NH, political events are NOT hard to find, so I dropped her at one in Manchester this morning.  From there I went caching (of course).  I found two caches one with a difficulty rating of 3.5 and another with a difficulty rating of 4.  I was so disappointed when I found them so quickly.  Now I realize that had I not been able to find them, I would have been whining like a baby, but that is beside the point.  I was just going for a third cache when ms. ninja asked me to pick her up.  No problem, I grabbed her and home we went and I embarked upon my day of chores.

Now on to the sweet.  After chores were done (okay i got the grocery shopping finished) I realized that I had 447 finds.  I only needed 3 more to get 450.  I checked with both ninjas and while my ninja son did show SOME interest in caching, he quickly changed his mind again – proof positive that changing the caching name from Two Ninjas and Mom to majiklmoon was a good thing.  So off I went in Ripper the Jeep.  I made two quick finds in Derry at the head of the rail trail and then headed over to Hero of Bennington for my last find.  So I have 450 finds now, and hopefully more to come tomorrow.  I know 450 isn’t a huge milestone when compared to others, but i’m very proud of myself.

My Name is Tracie, and I’m a cache-a-holic

When I was in college, the school had all these signs posted in the dorm warning students about a developing a “green bean” problem.  Green beans, were of course, a euphemism for alcohol.  It never stopped me from drinking in college, but obviously the message did stick because this morning, when I didn’t get to find a cache on my way into work, I started feeling a bit jiggy.  It was then that I decided I had a green bean problem, or a caching addiction lol.

I had a plan, I knew exactly what cache I was going for.  It’s called Friday the 13th part 1.  It’s located in and around the parking area at our very own Crystal Lake, lol.  However, when I pulled up to the lake entrance but the park was closed and gated.  Now I’m willing to do a lot for a cache, but hiking through the cold, damp, frosty woods in my dress clothes is NOT one of them. I called it a day and headed into work.

This afternoon, I had a plan to find a few quick p&g’s on my way home.  I went to the first one and wouldn’t you know it, there was the sweetest little old man walking his dog near the freaking cache for 15 unbelievable minutes.  I gave up and headed toward the next cache on my list and I couldn’t believe it, it wasn’t in my gps.  I have no idea how that happened.  Caches around it were in it my gps, but not that one.  I was beginning to think that I was destined to NOT find any caches today.  Not to be undone by technology that HATES me, I pulled over, got the coordinates on my phone and put them in the gps and made the find quickly.  I could feel my jitters subside almost at once.  From there it was a quick park and grab up the street, and then another one at the entrance of our town soccer fields.  I feel so much better now.

 

Concachulations to ME!!!!!

Why am I congratulating myself?  I’ll tell you.  I had this one cache .7 of a mile from my house named King Marchand.  It’s just a park and grab, but for some reason, I couldn’t find it.  Since 2009, I haven’t been able to find this cache.  In a guardrail.  Seven tenths of a freaking mile from my house.  How mortifying is that?  Pretty darn mortifying, I’ll tell you.  I searched and I searched.  I made my kids search.  I emailed the cache owner.  I utilized the phone a friend option.  I brought Jajast with me and still couldn’t find it.  I was feeling like a caching failure.

Today when got home from work, I got a message from Jajast telling me he found 10 caches today.  So I told him I hated him because I only found 1 this morning. We started discussing our finds and he asked me where/what I found and I told him that I found Micro Moo in Manchester and he told me he found some in Ltown where I live.

Now my buddy Steve is not normally so reticent about things like this, so I logged on to geocaching.com and checked out his finds and sure enough, the son of a gun found King Marchand today.  So of course I texted him right away demanding details.  After a brief phone conversation, I was out the door.  Conveniently enough, I needed milk so it’s not like I was going out of my way to find the cache.

I followed Steve’s detailed description and located the cache, kicking myself the whole time.  I mean seriously, who needs detailed instructions to locate a park and grab?  Well, who besides me that is. Steve’s detailed instructions were so good, I didn’t even need even need to take Mo’gumbo out of the car.  But I found it, along with micro moo today.  I would like to find 9 more before our caching adventure on Sunday, but if I don’t, it’s okay because I found KING MARCHAND!

 

Drive by Caching

I’m not trying to have a streak of x number of days cached, but I really want to reach 500 caches before the end of the year.  So I’m trying to find at least one cache on my way to work or my way home.  I’ve managed to get at least one done every day this week which is cool, and Jajast and I have a caching adventure planned for Sunday.  Sadly, we’re leaving at the @$$ crack of dawn on Sunday.  I’ve mentioned before how much I HATE mornings.  Actually, I hate mornings with a passion equal to the heat of a ginormous explosion, but we’re going further afield then ever before, so we have to leave early.  In fact, the early part was even my idea.  Somebody needs to remind me of that when I’m whining on Sunday.

I’m also looking at  wishing for a new GPS for myself.  I don’t need one of the super duper ones that Mrs. BritPitt and the King have, or even the super super de duper one like Jajast has.  What I would like is  the garmin etrex 20 .  However due to budget constraints, it’s not going to be happening – unless I win powerball.  Concidentally, winning powerball IS on my list of things to do this weekend, so we shall see.

My cache count is up to 439, and I have a quick P&G scoped out for tomorrow morning on my way to work, and possibly another one when I run to the grocery store tomorrow night.  I don’t know what I’ll need at the grocery store, but I ALWAYS need something, lol.

Okay i’ve procrastinated enough…I need to go map out our caching adventure for Sunday!

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