Sunday, May 20, 2012


Didn't realize until just now that it's been so long since I posted anything in this blog.  Time for an update!

We've continued to geocache every day.  Our streak is now 84 days and Laura's is 39.  We are still discovering many new things about the world around us...and we're still having fun!

Geo-attire for the cold!
We attended our second geo-event (first for DizzyL) in Tolono, Illinois in April.  Got to meet lots of fellow cachers and won some neat prizes.  But, damn!  It was c-c-cold!  Grandma Bear, DizzyL cached with us there and back, finding about 50 caches, so I guess it wasn't too cold!

These days we tend to combine geocaching with about every event we do.  For instance, we needed to do some furniture shopping in Springfield...and of course we geocached there and back.  To the left is a pic of DizzyL's 250th find, in a ballpark in Springfield.
Mona improvising to get a tree cache

Earlier this month we took a trip through the south, starting with a visit to the Kentucky Derby.  We cached in each state we visited and have now cached in all of the southern U.S. states.  Early next month we hope to start on the northern states.

Getting an "FTF" (First to Find) is a big deal to many cachers.  That means that you are the first person ever to find that particular cache.  There are many cachers who stay up late into the night in the hopes of being online when a cache is first published and then they head into the night with flashlight in hand to attempt to get the FTF.  DizzyL decided we needed an FTF or two so we got into the chase. 

Our first FTF attempt was at night.  We had inside information that some caches were to be published for the Friend's Creek area.  We loaded up Red with flashlights and geo-gear to wait for the publishes.  While waiting, we decided to night cache.  This type of caching takes a special kind of nut geocacher who is willing to meet the critters of the night and stroll through lonely cemeteries, hoping to NOT meet any of those creatures of the night.  We found about 5 caches and it was exciting and spooky to say the least!  My favorite "find" of the night was when Laura shined a flashlight into an eye-level knot hole and she found two eyes in there looking back at her!

Alas, our inside information was worthless.  No nearby caches were published that night...but at least I got to see Laura get startled twice.  The second time was another cache that we picked up on the way home.  She found the cache fairly quickly...a container about 2 inches in diameter and about 4 inches long.  I had the flashlight on her as she opened it....and as the snake came shooting out!  It was a spring/coil joke snake and it certainly did its job!

We kept trying to get an FTF, but were always late.  One cache we got to had only been published for fifteen minutes, but we were the third ones there.....and while we were there two other caching teams pulled up!

Finally, late one night several new caches were published for our area.  We were tired and didn't even try to go out that night and figured someone would beat us there anyway.  Next morning, much to our surprise, two of the caches had not yet been found!  DizzyL called me about 6:00 AM and off we went, back to Friend's Creek.  Our first target cache was only about 750 feet away from us.  Unfortunately, there was a dense woods between us and it had rained last night.  No we went!  We bushwhacked (crashing, tripping, falling through dense undergrowth).  It took us almost 45 minutes to go those 750 feet.  We finally burst into a clearing near the cache...only to find that a 10 foot wide, mowed trail led right to the cache.  Cheese and crackers! 

No matter, the hunt was on, one of us was sure to get an FTF!  In about 5 minutes I heard Laura yell, "I've got it!!!"  At last, she had her FTF!  We logged our find and off we went to try to get the second FTF...using the trail this time.
Two FTFs in One Morning.
As we neared the GZ (Ground Zero for the cache location), Laura lagged back a bit...trying to be gracious and let me get this FTF.   Ten minutes passed and I still hadn't made the find.  Finally, Laura waded in and quickly found it.  Two FTFs for her in one morning!  Amazing! 

We trudged back to the car.  Muddy, wet, tired, and scratched, but two FTFs were in hand!  Okay, one of us might have been a bit happier than the other, but still...WE had found them!
Mona on cache named "XTreme Rock '
Another big caching find in May was The Garmin Park Cache.  The 3 Trolls (grandsons Blake, Austin and Owen) and I have been trying to find this cache for over two years.  Last week, we decided, "This is our day to find it!"  We loaded up the car with geo-tools, geo-drinks and a geo-first-aide kit and off we went into the woods.  Lots of meadering trails in this woods and lots of interferance with our GPSr. 

Finally, we came to our great obstackcle.  Stevens Creek.  This time we were prepared.  We all had "disposable" shoes and had spare geo-socks in the car.  We found a place to ford the creek and we hopped from wet stone to wet stone...helping each other cross.  All four made it across and not one, nay, nary a one, fell in!  It was a Christmas Miracle!  (Okay...maybe not about It was a Mother's Day Miracle!)

The Great Crossing of 2012!
Having crossed the mighty Stevens, it was only another few hundred feet to the cache.  There were hundreds of likely hiding spots, but Austin figured it out and made the find.  FINALLY, we had conquered Garmin Park!  We came, we saw and we found the cache!

Now it was time for the return trip.  There was some initial confusion as to which way was north.  Luckily, we had packed a simple compass and it quickly pointed the way.  As we came back to the shores of the Stevens, I was certain at least one of our compatriots would fall into the raging torrent. 
Owen Leads the Way Back
One by one, we balanced and lept our way across.  One slip could cost us dearly....but wait, one was across, two, now three and finally four!  All made it across safely and relatively dry!  Unbelievable! 

When we got back to the car The Trolls realized that perhaps shorts weren't the best option for bushwacking.  They broke out the geo-first-aid Benadryl lotion and lathered up their scratched up legs.  Tired, dirty and was worth it.  We had finally found the Garmin Park Cache!

Top Guns on The Big Gun
Yesterday, we attended another geo-event near Clinton Power Station.  Lots of cachers from around the area and one from Alaska.  Lots of fun sharing stories, bragging about impossible finds and sharing a hint or two.  Speaking of hints, DizzyL got one for "The Big Gun" in Weldon, Illinois.  We had been to this cache twice before with no luck.  After the event we headed to Weldon.  Even with the hint it took three of us fifteen minutes to make the find.  This was one of those perfect hides.  It was in plain sight, yet impossible to find.  After DizzyL made the find we couldn't understand how we had overlooked it so many times before!

5-Bears and WES37
As we started to leave, we got a call from 5-Bears and WES37.  They were on their way to The Big Gun, so we decided to stay and watch them.  This was sooooo much fun....knowing the secret and watching them look at it and virtually touch it without making the find!  We let them suffer for about ten minutes before we gave them a clue.  (This was their third time looking here, too.)  Even with the clue it still took them some more minutes before they made the find!

Today, Mona and Laura head for Vegas.  We'll cache along the way to the airport and they plan to cache there.  Can't wait to hear their stories when they get back!

In the meantime, I'll be here...waiting for their return...

Happy caching!


  1. It is good to read that you seasoned hunters have trouble finding them sometimes. Jim and I looked for 2 micro caches and found neither. I suggested we look for giant caches next time.

  2. After awhile you get an "eye" for caches and you can easily find most hides within ten or fifteen minutes. However, about ten to twenty percent of the caches are so cleverly hidden that it takes real work to find them. My favorite ones are those hidden in plain sight, but invisible because your mind's eye ignores them. One of my favorites like this is Muggleflage here in Central Illinois. It is three foot tall, marked clearly with the word "Geocache" in one inch glow-in-dark letters and in the open. In fact, we just drove by it on the interstate and could see it clearly from the car. And yet, DizzyL and I could not find it...even though we were with two feet of it! Luckily, Mona saw it from the car and saved us from the shame of a three-foot DNF!

  3. Keep up the stories...enjoy reading them.