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.500 for geocaching

Yesterday, I spent the day with eagle243 and Mrs. Eagle. We got together to do geocaching in the rain. It was the first time out geocaching for the Eagle family and I was excited to do some searching in a new area. I was hoping to find a cache where I could drop off the Geocaching Poem Travel Bug, but we didn't end up finding a cache large enough to accept it.

Our first hunt was for a virtual cache, Independence Day Reflection. We successfully found it. It was pretty neat to find a grave site right on the side of the road. This was the first time I found a virtual cache. It was loads of fun.

Our second hunt was for a micro cache, Waverly Micro Micro. This was the first time I'd tried for a micro and it was lots of fun, too. We got to the cache location, which was an outdoor shopping center, and searched for a long time. We deciphered the clue and it didn't help up (we couldn't make the connection that the clue was trying to tell us). We got some external help in decoding the clue and were able to find it after about 15 minutes of searching. To be more accurate, eagle243 was able to find it. Looking for a microcache in an urban environment is definitely different than the other caches I've searched for. It was loads of fun. I'm going to keep an eye out for more microcaches -- I know that there are several not too far from my home.

Our third hunt was for another micro cache Someone drank THAT?. Unfortunately, we just couldn't find it. I think I'd have been more patient if it wasn't raining. I'll be going back there sometime to try again.

Our final hunt was for a traditional cache Ball & Chain, where I hoped to drop off the Geocaching Poem Travel Bug. We didn't find this one, either. But we gave it a good, honest try. We were bushwhacking like crazy. If it weren't for the trackback feature in my GPSr, I think I might still be in those woods.

All in all, it was a great day, even in the rain. I learned a lot, though:

  • A terrain difficulty of "1" (easy) for a cache that was placed in February (when there is little foliage growth) probably isn't a "1" in June, especially after a solid week of rain.
  • Take a plastic bag when you go geocaching, so that you can put your muddy shoes in it when travelling, so that the interior of your vehicle doesn't get too messy.
  • Decoding ROT-13 clues gets tedious in the rain. It might actually be worth it to learn how to easily do the translation in your head. Or maybe get (or write) a program for the PalmPilot that could do it.
  • A laptop with wireless internet access would be a great help to have while caching.
  • It is possible to successfully hide a cache in a high-traffic urban area.

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