Friday, December 26, 2008


Last March I had some time off work and had just gotten back from MOGA. You'd think I had my fill of the wood's and hiking for at least a week, but nope. Two day's after getting back home I made a call to Hunt & Peck about this cache up just above the Iowa border in Minnesota called Lair. (GC5D2D)

I had spotted this once while looking around for a neat cache to go and do and this one caught my eye. Why?? I'm not sure but there was over 100 picture's on the cache page at the time. So after coming threw some of those and reading the cache description I knew I had to check this one out. So it went on my watchlist.

After getting back from Moga and having the rest of the week off I called up a buddy and we met in Cascade and got into one car and headed off north. The car ride was fun up there. As we got further north and more towards the river these are area's I've never been too or have been since I was a kid. So the road trip was a lot of fun and a lot of neat stuff to see.

Once we hit the border though it was like we where two kid's planning a snowball attack or something. We had parking cord's and there was specified instructions of where to go to park. When we where a mile or so away we looked up and I think H&P said to me I think there is where we are going.

Now there is talk on the cache page about a possible cougar being seen in the area. We had chuckled about we both wouldn't have to out run the cougar just the slowest person in the group. We found the parking but couldn't get the car to it due to the wet and muddy road's so we parked it roadside and hiked in from there. At first we felt like we where trespassing as there was no trespassing sign's all over on the side's of the road. This was just the farmer trying to keep people off his land and on the road. But once we reached the top of the road and looked down into the valley where the "enchanted forest" was we saw that State DNR sign. One think less to worry about.

We where headed down the trail and cut off and bushwhacked our way to the river that looked, like it could over flow at anytime. LOL. If you go you'll get that. But after crossing that stone by stone and a leap of faith we came to the "enchanted forest". A small pine forest. Making our way threw on some game trails we came to the base of "the mountain" (if one would call it that). This is where we kind of split up a bit, trying to make the climb easier on both of us.

A few hundred feet later we could hold the excitement in anymore and the climbing went a lot faster heading towards the Lair. Once up top you could turn back and see this amazing view that you just don't see anywhere. But the neat part was the Lair was waiting right there to explore. Out come the flashlight's and we where hoping we had the right cave and didn't have to climb to the very top. Well, I won't give what you have to do away, but we pulled out this nice and rusty box that looked like some sort of miner had left behind 50 year's ago. Cracked that baby open to find us a log book and some SWAG and a few trackable's.

Well, we had come prepared and brought sack lunches. What better way to spend a day of vacation than sitting up top this large "hill" at the mouth of a cave, eating a sandwich chatting away with a buddy and just enjoying this very unique place with a heck of a view, this cache owner had found. This place is something to see and I highly recommend taking a camera.

It was kind of sad when we started to head back. I had been wanting to do that cache for a least 6 month's and our adventure was over. We made way back to the car and headed out but first a stop by an additonal waypoint the cache owner had marked. A trip to Miami. You'll have to figure that one out for yourself.

On the way home I had spotted a special groundspeak volunteer geo-coin in a cache near Decorah. Well, I wanted to see it. So some how or another we took a very long way home and picked that coin up to discover and move along. We did a couple of Geo's and Terra's while near Decorah along the way. Not very many but they where in some neat spot's that are worth taking extra 70 mile on our roadtrip.

I would highly recommend any one to do this cache. It's a very unique place to see and really the picture's don't do it any justice. If anyone want's a "tour guide" contact me. I'd love to tag along to this one again.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hunting season from a caching prospective

Hunting season. Those are two words that make any geocacher a bit nervous. I've really paid attention this year to the hunting season's and have personally tried to stay out of the hunting area's while shotgun season is going on. I've made sure to blaze it by wearing bright orange stocking cap or a brightly colored shirt. If I see a car in the parking lot of a hunting area I'll skip it and come back at a later date.

Well this year going with this thinking, I'd figure I wouldn't have any scary hunting incidents. Nope. Today I was looking for a couple of roadside caches which aren't really my favorite kind of cache to do but better that and still get out then sit at home or have a slug go threw your leg or worse. I was down in the ditch looking threw this pine tree and spied that ammo can. I grabbed it and got it down in front of me and opened it up and went for the log book. All of a sudden I hear a KABOOM. I signed it real quick and put it back and headed for the car. when I got back up onto the road I looked into the corn field across the road and spied 5 or 6 hunter's in orange vest's. I was able to see what they where shooting at. There was two deer in the field.

Now I'm not a hunter by any means but you would think these people would pay attention to what's on the other side of what they are shooting at. Yeah there where a couple of deer there but beyond those deer was the interstate. And I sure didn't see those deer dropping to the ground. In fact I saw and heard at least a dozen gunshot's and yes they where aimed right at the interstate.
Then I went along a bit further down the road and stopped for another cache. I saw one of the most disgusting site's I've ever seen while out caching. There was a poor dog that had gotten loss or just dropped off and it had looked like he died from exposure. I was so glad my son wasn't with me to see that. He was laying with his belly up and at first I thought it was a deer carcass someone had dumped over the bridge. Poor dog.
I found this cache pretty quickly and was going to sign it and again KABOOM. I tossed it back in it's hiding place and made way back up to the road to the car. That was enough for me. I have no idea anymore other than sticking to nothing but urban placed caches till shotgun season is over. The weather is really nice so it would be prime to head out into a wooded area looking for a cache but with the hunter's it's just not worth it.
I have no idea why I'm writing this other than maybe someone will run across it before heading out looking for a cache and maybe this will make them think about grabbing a orange vest or something so they are spotted easily.

Be safe cacher's. The last thing I want to see is a article in a newspaper that a fellow cacher was involved in a hunting accident. You can visit for a pdf file for this year's hunting season's. I've uploaded some photo's I took of the hunter's, sorry about the bad photo's but that wasn't as important as getting out of there without any more hole's in me. There is one to three hunter's in every photo too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nine Inch Nails: Light's in the Sky

Well I waited a week before talking about this show that was in Cedar Rapid's at the U.S. Cellular Center. Right after I had paid a small fortune to see NIN in Detroit they announced they would be right there in Cedar Rapids. Once again the only disappointing thing is they didn't destroy their instruments at the end of the show. For a person that's seen them live and seen them do this, well they are about the only one's that would understand why.

I had gotten my ticket threw the presale's via their fanclub and got a nice surprise when I got my ticket. Instead of the normal printed out ticket this one is in Color and is quite fancy. Plus it's got my name on it. Quite the keepsake item. I got to enter the front door and didn't have to wait in the long line outside like normal when going to a show there. Another little perk of buying from their fanclub as well as a reduced priced ticket.

The opening band was BORIS. I had never heard of them but had found out they where a Japanese band that had flown over to go on this leg of the tour with NIN. They played loud and their drummer was decent. But for the most part this wasn't a good opener for NIN. Just lack the energy of band that would open for Trent Reznor. I know he loves to get the lesser known just starting out bands the chance to open for a large audience and get the word out about them but they well, should be opening for more of the likes of a pop metal band.

But in the waiting for them to start I was looking for the best spot I could on the floor to hold out for NIN, and spotted one of my youngin's that used to work with me. It was great to visit with him and his girl friend. And to finally find out he got up enough nerve to FINALLY get that tattoo he's wanted for a very long time.

I also was able to run into my little cousin and her boyfriend in this crowd that was so to be a large mosh pit. She had just ran a marathon a few week's before and really wasn't up for what was about to become one heck of a mosh pit and wild crowd. I think at one point when I had ran out to get a drink of water then when back for more, I ran into them again and she was pretty much squished in place. I wiggled my way around her and the guy in front of her had been pushing back on her pretty bad. So I planted both feet, squatted down and pushed as hard as I could and cleared her out a nice sized spot even if it only lasted a few minutes.

When NIN took the stage it's an amazing sight to see and hear. The thing's that go on behind the scene's and the technology that make up the whole show are amazing to read about and you really can't image they do all this on the fly.

When I saw them in Detroit and then compare this to this show the big difference is the crowd. I don't know if I'm just used to the Iowa crowd's and grew up with them or what. They are full of energy and I have yet to see a show out of state that has such "crazy, who care's about what we are going to feel like in the morning" folk's. It's awesome. I've heard lot's of bands say that Iowa has the most energetic crowd's and some of the baddest mosh pit's around. Well, so far I'll have to agree with that.

And the funny thing is I had to sign a wavier when I was in Detroit to enter the mosh pit there.

These three led screen are just amazing. One in the back ground, one in the middle and one up near the front of the stage. The one in the middle and the one up front are hung up high but are lowered down for part's of the show. They are fully interactive with the band member's and they are able to control them while playing using some laser's and some motion based technology.

Some of the thing's shown on the screen in the background are on feeds from camera's placed around the venue. And yes the police where on camera live arresting someone that didn't look like they were cooperating and had a bit too much to drink. But this was show in one of the "security type screen's" in a ground of eight screen from the live feeds. This was done while they where playing "Survivalism".

Once again Trent is a man of few word's but makes the most out of what he says. They come play, play, play, say thanks, play, play, play, a little chat but very short, play, play, end. But at one point in the middle of "March of the pig's" he brought his hands up to his brow trying to block out the light to see something in the crowd. Then just stopped singing and said what does that sign say?? Then a few remarks about "the plate girl" (you had to be there) and they just right back into the song like he hadn't missed a beat. It's on you-tube if you care to see it as it will be a famous moment in NIN history. I can't repeat it in this blog cause it's not the cleanest thing in the world but it was funny.

This is the third time I've seen NIN live. And once again I almost got an item they tossed out into the crowd. A tambernine. But a fellow about 5 people away from me was the lucky person to get this. Still the drumstick that hit my arm was the closed thing I almost had from them.

Josh Freeze was still on tour with them. I've personally seen Josh play with three different band's and that man is talented. I've seen him play 5 different times. He's the second best drummer that I know of. Sorry Josh, but I have to give my fav out to Danny Carney.

I still have to wonder what the show was like I missed when they played in Iowa City year's ago when I was 16, that I might add my mom wouldn't let me go to. Sorry mom but I haven't forgotten that one. Yes it was on a school night but I should have been there. That was the prime of The Downward Spiral and they had Manson opening for them. That was when Manson was just getting going and the circus was going strong.

Two hour's after the show had started it was over. I headed off to the car, my ear's ringing, my feet hurting, and this totally satisfied feeling in my gut. I so hope Trent keeps his sobriety that has been helping him put out new material faster. It's not quite the same as the older NIN song's but it still has all the passion in it. He is a very talented man and his story about how he got where he is today is just amazing.

I still remember when I was in High School and had some NIN sticker's on some thing's and most people had never heard of NIN. This was way before they became mainstream. And the other amazing part is he's made his band what it is without the press or MTV. Something only a handful of band's have accomplished. In fact a majority of NIN's video's cannot be played on MTV. I still find it funny two year's ago they wanted Trent to play one song for the video awards and he said yes but I want to show my video that I show in my concert's. This had a scene of Bush and his wife ball room dancing in between shot's of some of the news footage from some of the victim's and their injury's that have been caused from this war on terror. MTV said no, so Trent said that I don't preform, and MTV tried to bring him down by saying well you just won't be willing to show you video where he may see it. The rest of the tour NIN was on, Bush had ticket's waiting for him at the will-call desk paid for by Trent and this was announced in Trent's response to MTV.