Groundhog Day

groundhog-day-usaIt’s been 6 months since my last post.  OK, I guess that means I’m a bad blogger.

I could say that I got really busy at work, the very wet spring in Colorado has kept me indoors, I lost my GPS and became depressed, or I developed an acute phobia of working on my blog page.

All could be true or none could be true.  Actually three out of four ARE true, but I’m not going to say which ones.  It doesn’t matter because they’re all excuses.  Lame excuses.

Instead…I’m going to blame it on a rodent.  Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow, thus forecasting terrible caching weather and making me want to hide under my bedcovers until June.

Baaaad Rodent!

Now that the matter is settled, I can truly say that I am looking forward to my belated caching season, and to creating some great caches and letting you know about them.  I’ll also hit on some general caching topics and highlight some cool caches I’ve stumbled upon.

I’ll start with a really unique, one-in-a-million cache I’ve created here in Colorado.  Even if you’re not local, you will want to read about it.  If you like the concept, you can make one like it in your backyard.

whistle pigSo please bear with me…I’m really going to try and be a better blogger this year.

Unless a marmot puts a hex on me.

Caching Through the Snow…A Winter Cache Primer

How do geocachers fill the hundred and forty-odd days between Halloween and Spring Break?  The dreary season when the sun is shining on the southern hemisphere, and the government no longer requires daylight be saved?

In Colorado, where I live, winter creates new challenges.  Roads become impassable and daylight hours are short to nonexistent in the steep, narrow canyons where we spend so much time in the summer.  In this post I discuss a number of strategies that can get you through the lean winter caching season.

Southern Comfort:  Go south! Not only is it warmer and usually snow-free, but its really the best season for geocaching down in Dixie.

Take, for instance, a series of caches named “The Road to Insanity,” on the wild, watery edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.  This particular series is strung out on a narrow, swampy isthmus between the Trinity River and a reservoir, with no unobstructed land or river routes.  Hazards include gators, water moccasins, poison ivy, thorns, stinging nettles, snapping turtles and wild pigs.  Most of these threats are greatly diminished over the winter months.  This series is generally completed between the months of November and March.

In Virginia, where I visit on a frequent basis, I can attest that “off the beaten path” caches are much easier – and safer – in the winter, because it eliminates the need to strip search yourself for tiny deer ticks minutes after leaving the woods.  Not to mention the poison ivy is dead and underbrush thins out, making anything near the forest floor much easier to find.  So, if you’ve been thinking about a caching swing through the southern states, winter is the time to do it!

The Wulff Pack (and friends) at Wolf Creek after a Successful Search

The Wulff Pack (and friends) at Wolf Creek after a Successful Hunt

Find Your Powder Cache:  Winter in Colorado has its charms, most notably the 21 downhill ski areas currently operating in the state.  Just don’t forget your GPS when you visit your favorite mountain.   Ski-O-Caches combine the technical skill of all-mountain skiing with the sleuthing skills needed for geocaching.  Most are “danglers,” bison tubes hanging from evergreen branches, which I think are tough to find under any conditions.  Throw in the complication of variable snow depth and you must conjure up your geosenses, stamina and possibly even your survival skills, to prevail.

Most ski areas have at least one cache, and many have dozens.  If you are a beginner, the Steamboat Springs caches (most placed by prolific cacher Egroeg) will whet your appetite.  If you crave pain, try some of Chefstern’s caches at The Jane.  You might have to come back several times over the season to clear all the caches at your favorite resort (ones that are buried in February might emerge in April), but you’ll have a blast trying!

Urban Caches:  Winter is a great time to tackle urban caches.  Yes, it does take a different set of skills.  Bouncing GPS signals and downtown crowds can be a bit intimidating.  But I’ll let you in on a little secret:  the bigger the crowd, the more invisible you are.   You can be as obvious as you want, searching for magnetic nanos on Denver’s busy 16th Street Mall at 8AM.  People on their way to work will rush right past, vendi lattes in one hand and computer bags in the other, and will never see you.  Come back at noon and even your most flagrant search tactics will blend right in with the strange behaviors of the daytime Mall denizens.

Of course, you still must be careful around government buildings and points of interest, such as the State Capitol.  But hey, we have a cache for that!  Multi-caches, puzzles and earthcaches abound in the Civic Center.  All of these types are well-adapted to “sensitive” areas and lend themselves to unique travel and sight-seeing experiences.  See my earlier post on caching in Denver’s Civic Center, that chronicles the Wulff Pack’s caching exploits on December 31 of last year.

Planning by the Fire:  So throw a log on the fire and let it snow!  When all else fails, you can huddle in a cozy room and plan out the coming year’s caching adventures, dream up a brand-new cache series or create a killer camo-cache containers, the likes of which have never been seen before.  The adventure never ends.

Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead Broke

Just killing time downtown?  A few minutes on the Internet can fill your day with free fun!

Imagine you find yourself downtown in a major city, with time on your hands, a family to entertain, but no money in the budget for expensive activities.  How can you fill this time with an adventure?    Have you tried geocaching?

Geocaching is commonly described as a “high-tech treasure hunt.”  You find a description of a geocache and the geographic coordinates of where it is located, from a webpage (www.geocaching.com).  Navigate to the location and hunt for the cache, often a container with a logbook to sign, and trinkets to trade.  Then log back on to the website, go to the cache’s page and click “found,” adding to your growing list of successful geocaching adventures.

You no longer need specialized GPS receivers to geocache.  Apps allow your smartphone to double as a GPS.  If you are new to geocaching, please see my quick start guide to geocaching.  It will explain how to bring up a geocache on your phone and begin seeking your first cache.

I’ll use my hometown of Denver as an example.  Let’s say you have the app on your handheld device with a map interface showing your position at Broadway and Colfax, the very center of Denver.  The map interface shows several icons – each a geocache.  Click on one and go.

But look where you are standing – Civic Center Park.  Pillars, gardens and Greek theaters abound, but would someone actually hide a geocache here?

Urban Geocaching

The unique aspect of urban geocaching is the difficulty in finding a secure spot to hide a container.  The Civic Center hosts numerous events that attract tens of thousands of people to the park.  A container that is easy to spot will quickly be “muggled.”  The nooks and crannies where one could hide a cache might be trimmed, pruned or removed by park maintenance or landscape workers.  So the chances of a cache disappearing are high.

More importantly, public spaces – particularly near government buildings – have heightened security.  It is not always a good idea to hide and seek small containers in areas where police are on alert for suspicious activities.

There are a couple of strategies available to the cache “owner” to create challenging and interesting geocaches in busy, public spaces.  One option is a container-less cache.  This is a geocache that will lead the cache hunter to various places to gather clues or answer questions (from the cache description) to earn the cache find.  You “find” the cache by sending the answers to the cache owner via email.

A cache can also be a “puzzle” or “multi-stage” cache.  In both cases, the cache hunter may visit a series of crowded places without having to scrounge about suspiciously, searching for a container.  A common practice is to require the cache hunter to decode the final coordinates one step at a time, by answering a “number” question at each stage of the cache.  Once all the numbers are in place, you punch them into your handheld, then use compass or map interfaces to navigate to the coordinates.  The cache container may be located in a quiet spot some distance from major attractions.

I spent one afternoon with my family (the Wulff pack) doing just that.  The only cost was parking downtown, which can be avoided if you bike or walk to the Civic Center, or visit on Sunday when metered spaces are free.

Map of Denver showing cache locations (smiley faces indicate "finds"

Map of Denver showing cache locations (smiley faces indicate locations of my “finds”)

We searched for three geocaches:

  • A container-less earthcache (Denver Stones)
  • A multi-stage cache (Allen True’s Murals)
  • And a multi-stage puzzle cache (Hassle at the Castle)

Each is discussed below, with their corresponding GC code in brackets.

Denver Stones Capitol Earthcache (GCPK40)

An earthcache is a special type of cache that can be submitted by any member of the geocaching public, but is reviewed and approved by the U.S. Geological Survey.  Earthcaches are always container-less and highlight some unique aspect of geology that can be observed at that location. To claim this type of cache, you must visit the site(s) and answer questions, or take photographs, to prove you were there.

The center of a major city is an unusual place to find an earthcache, but let me explain.  The Denver Stones Capitol Earthcache features the rock exteriors and marbled interiors of many historic buildings in Denver.  In essence, it is a tour of rock formations from all over Colorado and the world, compressed into a few city blocks.

Buelah Marble in the State Capitol

One of the highlights of the Denver Stones Capitol Earthcache is the State Capitol building, specifically the Buelah Marble which clads the capitol’s interior walls.   The rock, actually an iron-stained limestone, is interesting for many reasons.  For one, the capitol used the entire known supply of Buelah Marble, so this is the only place on earth to get a glimpse of this stunningly beautiful stone.  What really makes this stop interesting, however, is the texture of the rock itself.  Within the kaleidoscopic swirls of the mineral fabric are the faces and profiles of famous historical figures, including George Washington, W.C. Fields and the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown.

We were wandering around the capitol halls, gazing wide-eyed at the slabs of polished stone.  This naturally caught the attention of a capitol worker who asked if we were in need of help or directions.  When we mentioned we were looking for the “faces,” her expression changed from one of polite concern to enthusiastic pride.  “Do you want me to show you George Washington?  I show him to the school tours all the time!”  We had a personal guide to four or five faces on the first floor, with an offer to see the second, before her cell phone rang to alert her to a previous appointment.

Allen True’s Murals (GC2K60X)

Multi-caches provide a unique opportunity to create your own “mini-tour” of the art, architecture or history of a person or place.  This geocache highlighted the varied works of Colorado’s most-celebrated muralist:  Allen True.

The State Capitol contains a number of Allen True’s murals, so this is where we began our tour of this artist’s works.  Allen True painted a series of murals in the capitol building from 1934 to 1940, as well as other prominent public buildings in Denver.

This cache is a multi-stage cache with 7 stages.  At each stage, you must answer questions about the works in order to obtain the coordinates for the final cache.  Very much an intellectual scavenger hunt.

BrownPal-Airplane copy

Above the Elevator in a Famous Building

Part of the fun is seeing the wide range in these works of art – not just the span of history they recreate (from the days when Indians had free reign of the plains, to the era of air travel), but also in size and in location.  The murals in the capitol are sweeping and prominent, while others are tucked away in outdoor porticos or perched above elevators and your discovery of them seems private and surreptitious.

DPL Series:  Hassle at the Castle (GC3J1E3)

scoobyCan anything be more fun than doing overlapping earthcache and multi-stage caches in one frantic afternoon?  Yes.  Throw in a multi-stage puzzle cache at the same time.  “Hassle at the Castle” is an entertaining puzzle cache that takes you to outdoor art installations and through the Denver Public Library on the south side of Civic Center Park. Hassle in the Castle is presented as a mystery to be solved, by gathering a clue at every stop.  Its target audience is children in the Scooby-Doo demographic (about 8 to 12 years of age), but its engaging storytelling style in the cache write-up makes it entertaining for adult Scooby alumni too.  You’ll meet a variety of characters as you try and find the ghost that has been scaring library patrons.  Unusual props and devices make it memorable for anyone who enjoys creativity in caches.

Three caches in the center of a city, each offering unique challenges and rewards.  The overlapping tours make for a fun logistical challenge in trying to do all in an efficient manner.  Not only do you get a free tour of at least 10 major Denver landmarks but you will walk about 2 to 3 miles before it is all done.  Allow 3 to 4 hours to do all simultaneously.   Then retreat to your home, or hotel, and order in.  You’ve earned it!

What are the Top Ten Geocaching Countries?

The recent popularity of the World Cup – yes, even here in the United States – has many of us thinking globally.

cachedude

What if there were a World Cup of Geocaching?  Who would be in the “Group of Death”?

Phrased that way, I admit it is a silly question.  But anyone who has ever launched a trackable and seen it go global has wondered about the people and places it has encountered on its travels.  Events like the recent World Wide Flash Mob pique our interest in how the game is played on other continents.

In this post I will answer the important question of our time:  who are the top ten countries in terms of their passion, their fervor, their love of geocaching?

And the answer is…

…It depends.

Yes, it depends.  If you look at the raw numbers, large countries dominate.  But if you adjust the data to account for differences in population and land mass, you get a somewhat different result.  I’m no statistician, because all that time sampling populations and whatnot would cut into my geocaching time.  But I did spend a few hours collecting information from geocaching.com and related websites to get a rough idea where geocaching is most popular.

I was surprised at what I found.

First let me give you an idea of my methodology.

Method

I measured geocaching’s popularity in each country by counting:  1) the number of caches placed in each country, 2) the number of serious geocachers in each country (those with 200 or more finds), and 3) the number of geocaching events held per country during one month (April 2014).

Next, I adjusted the data to put all countries on an equal footing.  I looked up the 2013 population and the total land mass of each country.  I divided the geocaches in a country by its land mass (in square kilometers) to get the number of geocaches in the country, per square kilometer.  Similarly, I divided the number of serious geocachers and the number of April events by the population of each country, to get geocachers and events per capita.  Then I ranked the results of the three categories 1 through 30 and added the rankings to get a total score.  The lower the score, the greater the popularity of geocaching.

Results

The summary tables for the raw and normalized rankings are presented below.

Rankings Based on Raw Numbers
Rank Country Category Rankings
Total
Score
Caches Geocachers Events
1 USA 1 2 1 4
2 Germany 2 1 2 5
3 Canada 3 5 4 12
4 UK 4 4 5 13
5 Czech Rep. 8 3 3 14
6 Austria 9 8 10 27
7 France 6 14 7 27
8 Australia 7 12 11 30
9 Portugal 15 10 6 31
10 Finland 13 9 12 34
Rankings Based on Normalized Numbers
Rank Country Category Rankings
Total
Score
Caches Geocachers Events
1 Germany 2 3 3 8
2 Czech Rep. 8 1 1 10
3 Denmark 4 8 8 20
4 Austria 9 6 7 22
5 Portugal 11 12 2 25
6 Netherlands 3 7 16 26
7 Finland 19 4 4 27
8 Switzerland 7 9 12 28
9 Norway 16 10 5 31
10 Luxembourg 1 2 33 36

Five countries show up on both lists:  Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Portugal and Finland.  One of the surprising results is to see how certain small countries like Czech Republic and Portugal, seem to be hotbeds of geocaching.  Does the sport have a viral appeal that allows for quick penetration in small countries?  Or are there unique cultural quirks that lead to it being more popular in Portugal than, say, its’ larger neighbor, Spain?

As a result, the United States again finds itself in the “Group of Death” with Germany and Portugal.  Glad it’s not a competitive sport!

I do know that if I ever make it back to Europe, Portugal is definitely on my itinerary (I’ve been to Germany, Czech Republic and Denmark, but that was a decade before geocaching existed).

The international appeal of geocaching got me thinking how wonderful it would be if we could arrange geocacher exchanges between traditionally-hostile countries:  US-Cuba, Britain-Argentina, Israel-Iran.

Peace through caching.

Could we get a Russia-Ukraine exchange going…right away, please?

Sources

Geocache count by country:  http://blog.geocaching.com/2013/02/celebrating-two-million-geocaches-list-by-country/

Geocacher count by country:  http://www.cacherstats.com/LocationIndex.html

Event caches:  http://www.geocaching.com/calendar/

Population (2013) and Land Area:  Wikapedia

Event Caches: The Social Side of Geocaching

One of the true pleasures of geocaching is an event cache.  Because geocaching is usually done alone, or in a small group, it is both fascinating and reassuring to suddenly find yourself in the midst others who share your passion.

It’s also interesting to see the different types of people who turn out for an event.  Young couples who geocache as a way to explore a new city or region they’ve settled in.  Families who geocache to get their kids interested in hiking.  Retired folks who’ve found that geocaching is a cheaper pastime than golf and more rewarding than fishing.  (This is from the perspective of one who is crappy at fishing.)

I geocached for years before attending my first event last summer.  It was a Cache In Trash Out (CITO) event in a nearby river canyon.  It was great to finally put faces to the caching names we saw on the caches or in log books:  a sudden instance of discovery and recognition.  Like meeting a long-lost friend who you’ve never met before.

So what is an event cache like?  Well, the one they have in common is that you’ll feel welcomed.  Whether you have one find to your credit, or one thousand, any shred of social anxiety will dissipate with the first person you meet.  Geocachers who are drawn to these events are invariably friendly.

Also, you will sign a log at some point.  Just like a physical cache.  Other than that, events are just as varied as caches themselves.  Two of the most popular types are “Meet and Greet” and CITO events.

A Meet and Greet in Denver

Back in February I attended an event called “Munich Meets Denver.”  I was looking for a cache close to the office building where I worked.  Event caches are identified by a map icon just like any other type of cache on the geocaching.com website.  It showed up as the closest cache.  So I decided to attend.

Our Host: Tasdevil13

Our Host:
Tasdevil13

This event was held at a nearby brewpub on 20th Street in downtown Denver, called Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery.  I walked in, a little late, and was greeted by the hosts, Roland (a.k.a Tasdevil13) and Sabine (a.k.a. Taswombat13) from Munich, Germany.  Surprise!  I was the “first-to-find” (FTF) the cache, by the rules Roland had posted on the web site, “the first to arrive after we arrive will be the FTF.”  As it happened, they were late themselves, but since they were in a strange city, we cut them some slack.  The FTF prize was unique: a ceramic shot “glass” from Bavaria, with an intricate and colorful coat-of-arms on it.  Who said it doesn’t pay to be late?

There were about 25 people gathered, savoring craft beer, swapping stories and giving local travel and caching advice to the hosts.  Needless to say, it was a fun, relaxing way to meet folks from around the world and around the corner.  Obviously, Roland and Sabine traveled the furthest to get to the event, but we also had Coloradans from as far away as Greeley and Cañon City.

Besides being thoroughly enjoyable for the locals, think about it from the visitors’ perspective.  You travel half-way around the world to engage in your passion and get all sorts of tips and ideas from the very people who hid the geocaches, or spend much of their time finding them.

More importantly, what an efficient way to spice up your travels by meeting the locals, wherever you go!  It’s hard to think of another international network as easy to tap into and enhance your travel experience.  Through the geocaching.com website you can invite yourself to a party (or throw your own) in almost any country you are likely to travel to.

at Jagged Mtn

A Flood Recovery CITO

If the “Meet and Greet” type event I just described helps form bonds between geocachers, a different type of event, the CITO, puts those bonds to good use.  I attended a CITO recently in Lyons, Colorado, a community hard-hit by the epic floods of September 2013.

The event was titled “10th Annual Memorial CITO Breach 1 Day.”  (The memorial is in honor of Billzjeep, a pioneering Colorado geocacher who passed away while caching in 2004.)  This event is held annually by Team Laxson, in partnership with Boulder County Open Space, but had added importance this year because of the wreckage left by the floods.  Breach 1 refers to the place where the St. Vrain River jumped its channel and plowed through houses, pastures, an aggregate plant and a park.

It was a well-organized two-day event with plenty of tools, wheelbarrows, a shade tent, vehicle support and lunch catered by Chick-Fil-A.  It was two days of digging and untangling the flotsam and jetsam left behind by the historic flood.IMG_0263

This was hard work on sunny, warm days but it gave me an opportunity to meet geocachers from other parts of the state.  It was fulfilling to donate some time and effort to making a small difference in the flood zone, and meet some of the brave and resilient people who are rebuilding after the flood.

The elderly lady who lived in the closest house came out to talk with us at the shade tent and told us how blessed she was to have received enough advance warning to get herself and her pets out before the floodwaters hit.  What an inspiration!  She also gave us some history of the area – how the flood momentarily reclaimed the channel that the US Army Corps of Engineers abandoned back in 1964.  Once again we are reminded the river is mightier than the Corps.

IMG_0265
There were other surprises, such as this young man finding an ammo box that he thought was a geocache washed downstream by the flood.  Until he opened it only to find…ammo, and a manual for caring for your semi-automatic weapon.

As it turned out, a lost geocache was recovered.  A small (film canister) cache called “Two Cs – Ralph Price Reservoir” was recovered in the debris.  Talk about a needle in a haystack!  The cache traveled approximately 12 river miles, including all the way through Longmont Reservoir, to its location at the breach.  

Hopefully this geocache will be repatriated to its’ original location soon.

World Wide Flash Mob

I would be remiss if I did not mention the World Wide Flash Mob simultaneously held at approximately 800 locations around the world.  It is yet another example of the creativity of the world wide geocaching community.  I have a post that discusses the WWFM event I hosted at a dog park here: http://www.cacheology.net/about/world-wide-flash-mob-xi/

I hope this post inspires you to check out an event cache, especially if you never have attended one.  Just go to the Community>Events page at geocaching.com to find one close to home.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

A-Basin Ski-O-Cache GeoBash

You can’t find a beach scene at an altitude of 10,780 feet above sea level just anywhere. Try starting at the Continental Divide, then go about 5 miles west. There you will find snow bunnies, beach bums, beer on tap, burgers on a grill, sun tan lotion, dogs, Frisbees, skiing, and…caching.
Yup. Some of the best high-altitude geocaching Colorado has to offer. All at the most elevated beach in North America – The Beach at Arapahoe Basin.

A-Basin:  World's Highest Beach Party

A-Basin: World’s Highest Beach Party

Ski-O-Caching
Do you Ski-O-Cache? If you downhill ski and geocache, but have never visited a ski-o-cache, you are truly missing out! Ski-o-caches are simply a geocache placed at a ski resort. Most people ride the lift up and search for the cache on the way down. You can also access them without buying a lift ticket, either by backcountry skiing (requires skill, equipment and strenuous physical activity), or by waiting for summer and hiking in. For this reason, ski-o-caches usually have high terrain/difficulty ratings. Ski-o-caches require a unique mix of skiing and caching skills, so they are a challenge and a blast!

The Beach Party
The Beach Party celebrates the perfect combination of summer sunshine and winter sports. In other words, Spring time in the Rockies. Brats sizzling on the grill, reggae tunes pouring out of car speakers, skiers in costume, the occasional wedding…all part of the beach scene. The only thing missing is…geocaching?

Not this year. I’ve been coming up here during the beach season for years, but this year I’m adding a geocaching twist. There are currently 5 caches on the mountain. Three are on black slopes and require expert skiing skills to reach. One is on a blue slope and another on a green. I will also place a new cache on the mountain, on the day of the event. If you have any trackables that need a home, high on the Continental Divide, now’s your chance!

So come on up, try your skills at ski-o-caching. Then return to the Beach for burgers, brats and beer (or pop). Event will be held, sun or snow, so get ready for a unique caching/skiing experience!

Event will be held in the Early Riser parking lot at Arapahoe Basin on Sunday, May 4. Event is all-day. Parking lot opens at 7AM. Look for a silver Mitsubishi Montero with a green & white “Evergreen” flag across the windshield, facing the lot.

Hope to see you there. Cache on!

Why Blog about Geocaching?

Hello Caching Community!  This is the Cacheology.com inaugural blog post.

As the world becomes more virtual and digital, it becomes more important than ever to connect to the physical.  Geocaching provides a link between the two.

Geocaching is typically described as a “high-tech treasure hunt.”  It’s more than that.   It is:

  • A crowd-sourced exploration of the world around us
  • An educational tool to tell a story…about a place or a time or an event
  • An fun and inexpensive activity while relaxing or vacationing with family and friends
  • A platform for location-based games and puzzles
  • A virtual tour guide to most any place in the world
  • An opportunity to connect with a community and share your knowledge and creativity with them

As an activity, geocaching is still in its infancy.  The world is truly our oyster, and the GPS is our tool to pry the sucker open and find the good stuff.

Geocaching is being reimagined and redefined every day.  There are no limits on the games we can play or the adventures we can undertake.

At this page, I’ll share the more interesting aspects of geocaching I have discovered, and try and enrich your experience with my own caches, games, challenges and ideas.

Over the course of the next 3 months, I will launch, from this page :

  • A historic, ski-themed tour of Colorado’s Front Range, with all new caches
  • A new game — a mash-up of geocaching with another outdoor sport that I love
  • A transportation-themed event cache in Denver

And that’s just the beginning.

I hope to get feedback from you on these caches and events.  You can reach me through social media or email with comments, or with any cache-related questions, particularly if you are new to caching.

I also hope this blog provides an endless source of ideas and inspiration to me, and to you, to take geocaching to the next level.

The Geocacher’s Psyche

Ice-age heat wave, can’t complain. When the world’s at large why should I remain?

Modest Mouse “World at Large”

Cachers are restless.  A geocacher’s instinct for movement simmers just below the surface of day-to-day life. Never quite satisfied, we move on to another spot, another challenge.  There is always something new to see and experience around the next corner.

In some respects, the actual cache is just a proxy for a fleeting moment:  a time, a place, the persons with you on the quest. Hardy souls who will hike up any slope, weather any weather, and drive 200 miles out of their way to see the World’s Second Largest Ball of Twine.

If there’s a cache located there.

Sign the log.  A greeting, a shout-out, an inverse message-in-the-bottle where the message stays put but the audience comes and goes.

Take something…leave something.  Just try not to leave footprints, or any other mark that you have been there (except the signed log).  After all, can’t tip the location to the next one on the way.

All threads of the geocaching experience.

This blog is a journey for me.  But I don’t want to go it alone.  I want to create unique experiences for the world at large.  To acknowledge and give back to those in the caching community who’ve been stashing caches for the last 14 years.

In the next blog post I will introduce a new series of caches commemorating the “Lost Ski Areas of Colorado’s Front Range.”  As with many enterprises in the West, they were founded on absurd expectations and some have faded almost out of memory.  But they left a mark that can be seen to this day.  If you get out and look for these caches.

Cache on!