Monday, April 27, 2009

Scott County Park

Yesterday, it was a little cloudy but I had some puzzle caches figured out, and knowing me, I'll lose the info before I get to look for them. So I took a round about trip and made a side stop at the Herbert Hoover Site in West Branch. I had to visit the tomb of Herbert and his wife and get a picture of me there to get credit for the virtual cache. As many time's as I've been to the museum there, and caches there, I never knew about the tomb's. It was kind of neat to see.

I show how missed my exit's and crossed over into Illinois, and snag one in the parking lot where I turned around at. Then I was headed back in the general direction. A little side road's here and there looking for a few on the way. I finally made it to the park about 2 in the afternoon.

I've been to this park once before, but never really realized it's size. It's huge. I can see where if you know the layout of the park, the parking area's, and the trail's it would help out alot. I parked on the south east side and started off on a trail. As soon as I hit the wood's it started raining on me. As I kept going the trail's seemed to become shallow stream's. But I pressed on. I got near one cache but could see it was on the other side of the real stream. So I crossed on a log. I'll bet it was like the movie "The Goonies". Trying to cross a wet log, with muddy and wet shoes. But I made it, found the cache, and realized I had to cross it again.

Then I picked off another geo-cache, and then headed off trail and up a hill out into a kind of open field for a terra-cache. The whole time I was out in the open it just poured on me. Then after that I headed towards another geo-cache. As soon as I got back into the wood's, the rain stopped. In fact in less than a half an hour the sky's where clear. This is the area I wasn't sure what was smarter, turning around, and heading back to the car. Or keep going on the path I was on. Well, I was soaked from head to toe, so might as well just go with it. I pressed on. Just to find a parking lot. Go figure. I headed back to the car to move it.

I worked in another terra, and on my way to that one, well I was walking along in some ankle high grass, and just as I put my foot down, a three foot long snake goes, flying across the ground right between my leg's headed towards the lake. I'll bet I was a .10 in 3.2 second's. I still am not sure what kind of snake it was. It was a solid dark color, almost black, but not quite. It was a good three inches around, but I never saw it's head. I was thinking a bull snake, but I think those are more of a brown or tan. UGH!!!

I moved on and worked on a geo that was listed as a traditional but really was a two stage cache. It was an easy first stage as just get some number's from a sign and put them in for the final cord's. But I spent a good while looking for it, finally I looked up at previous log's, and saw a string of DNF's. So I bailed on that one.

Then I found another parking area. There was a terra and a geo way back from here and I though I could slip by and work another geo in if I went this way. Looking back at it now, that was a dumb idea. I took the deer trail, heavy bushwhacking (yup even this time of year), fought off some man eating plant's. But I finally made it. In fact I was so intrigued by the area, I walked right by the terra cache and had to turn around. I looked for that one for a long time but couldn't find it. I know the owner and I'm sure it's well hid. My GPSr was bouncing all over the place while I was there. So much I just put it down and starting thinking ok, where would I put it. That didn't work eather. So I figured I head down to this last geo then head back and take a fresh look for it.

I made it to the last planned geo in the area, but then realized if I took this other trail, I could start looking for the first stage of a 5 stage muli cache. So I went that route. After locating that I got the info needed, but got a phone call from home sawing some bad weather was coming in. So I kept going on that trail, and figured out just where I should have parked. Oh well, if one always stuck to the main trail's they would miss all the neat thing's out on the side trail's. Which I almost forgot I stirred up a turkey out of it's nest. Three egg's in there. I didn't bother them, just neat I was about 10 feet away when it took off, and if you've ever heard a turkey taking off from a few feet away, they sure can startle you.

I made my way back to the car. I didn't get to the puzzle in the park I had figured out. But there was some puzzle on the way home, I had figured out. Can't you tell it's been raining out a lot? I've been working on puzzle caches. I was about half way home and two caches left to go, and go another phone call from the wife saying about the tornado near Central City. So I figured I'll be driving right into it. I picked off the last couple and got three TB's to move along through the day.

As I drove home, I got a little rain but not much. But very shortly after I got home, oh yeah the rain broke lose. But all in all I'd have to say I had a great time and got to see a lot of Scott County Park, but I've still yet to scratch the surface of it. I can't wait to go back. I only picked up two tick's, and there was a few sketter's out. Gonna have to dig out the bug spray.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wow spring must be here

I've noticed within 50 mile of me new caches popping up right and left. A sign that spring is here and people are getting out. So far I haven't been able to get out much, but hopefully that will change soon.

I have to tease Iowa Admin a little. I every time I run a new PQ, with in a half an hour, a bunch of new caches pop up. Can we time that a little better? lol

I see that a new bike trail has opened and that is the main source of the new cache's. I'll looking forward to getting my bike out, and PJ has been bugging me about getting his out. Look's like some bike ride's are in our future.

I hope to have some new cache adventure story's soon to post. I realized I'm going to need to mow my yard already.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm in a blah mood.

Reason's for it. Maybe. Don't know. Just in a blah mood tonight and was searching some video and thought I would just share some of this "noise" with you. You may not want to click play with kid's in the room as some of these are unedited and do contain explicit lyric's. Some may just want to ignore this whole post all together. Just my mood tonight.


KoRn - Thoughtless from KornBrasil on Vimeo.

Korn-Everything I've known

KoRn - Everything I've Known from KornBrasil on Vimeo.

Korn-Freak on a Leash (unplugged)

KoRn - Freak On A Leash (MTV Unplugged) from KornBrasil on Vimeo.

Yes the "freak's" will be in Iowa very soon. I hope to see them again even though they are down to three original member's. I think I've seen then live, 5 time's so far, and wow. If your in the Des Moines area, in two week's go to the fest and check out Korn.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Amana Nature Trail

Yesterday, I really needed to check on a terra-cache I had that was missing. I had been trying to get there for about a month but been busy and finally got time to fix it up. While I was in the area, there was one geo-cache that I had looked for a couple of year's ago.

Well, at that time I couldn't find it. So I thought what the heck, I'm in the area, it's raining, but why not, the tick's aren't too bad yet, and the vegetation hasn't taken off just yet. So off I wondered around, checking thing's out and I ended up taking a different trail so I could see the scenic outlook again. There's an Indian dam that is visible from that out look, when the water is low. So far I've never been able to see it. According to the information sign it's the only known one in Iowa. I would really like to see it.

After checking that out again the rain had picked up, slowed down, picked up, then kind of stopped. Once I was in the wood's it wasn't too bad as the tree's blocked most of it, but I did have some fun on some muddy trail's. I headed along the trail getting closer to this cache that I couldn't find. I was so engrossed in the area and listen to some frog's, I went right past the cache area.

After turning back around I started to bushwack the last bit there, then I ran into a pretty deep ravine. That's when I remembered yeah that was the way I took last time. Since it was kind of muddy out, I took a different way around. I got to the cache area, and kind of slapping myself in the forehead, thinking how did I ever miss that.

Regardless, it was great to get out and even though it was raining, the temp out was perfect. And this area near Amana, called the Amana Nature Trail, is a nice place to take a walk in. And someday I hope to see that Indian dam. I was trying to figure out how to make it a virtual terra, but I was able to find all the sign's in the area on the web, so I haven't figured out what I could use for a cc code, that makes sure someone makes the long trip out. But that long trip is worth it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Have a happy Easter everyone

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy Easter. Mine's kind of turned into a bust and I have to apologize to my wife. I'm on a new med and it's not going to well, and having a lot of the side effect's. I'm so sorry. Thank you for understanding.

On the plus side is the Bunny hopped threw our home and left some pretty cool little thing's for PJ.

Again Happy Easter everybody!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No more ALR's

It's no secret I haven't been to happy about this no more and you must get rid of all ALR's on all caches on I've got one that I just don't want to get rid of the ALR. In fact I need to get clarification to even see if it was an ALR. A six stage multi cache with a total of three log book's. You have to sign all three to claim a find. It's not going out of your way to do anything extra. If you are doing the cache as intended you will see all the log book's. You don't have to do the chicken dance or stand on your head while signing.

So to remain in compliance with the guideline's, I made it a "request" instead of required. But after some serious though and thinking how I could change it so what I wanted to do with the extra log book's, I have decided it's time to archive it. I'm leaving it open for the time being to let a few that have express interest some time to finish it.

From what I've gathered it was reviewer's that got the ban in place. Not sure why. But it sound's like they became more of a problem on the coast's and not in our area at all. I don't think there where too many caches with ALR's on them in Iowa anyway's.

I'm starting to feel this is a step in the wrong direction and a kind of limiting what a person can do to make a creative hide. Something extra involved that doesn't have anything to do with geocaching is the given reason for the ban. So how far is that going to trickle down in other cache types. Puzzle's that the puzzle doesn't relate to geocaching?

I'm still surprised the existing one's were not grandfathered over.

Also one had to wonder is this the start of a cache owner losing the ability to police the log's on their caches. If an armchair logger, log's a find will we still be able to delete the bogus log or are they going to take that away from us. I've seen temp ban's and some permanent ban's now for some cache owner's that have deleted log's for no reason other than they didn't like the log. But you have to wonder if they are going to take that ability away here soon.

I wasn't around when virtual's where taken away but they still let the existing one's go or "grandfathered in". As long as the owner was still logging in and policing the log's, then they are left alone. But I can imagine it was a mess for a while with complaint's. I've delt with some of the lackey's and mod's on mine, just cause I didn't' think our volunteer reviewer needed to deal with it. I'm sure he's busy switching cache type for people that are removing the ALR's, and that and taking care of new caches coming out. And I didn't want to add extra work for him.

Just some food for thought, I guess. But as the forum thread's keep growing here, and more thread's are opened. Well, the debate's are no longer debate's, they are getting ugly. I've heard from a few folk's that had a code word hidden in their final cache that was to be e-mail to them by a finder, and they had to drop that as that was an ALR. I guess this should be interesting how it play's out. I would have rather groundspeak leave it into the hand's of the local review's to decide to approve a ALR or not. But I suppose that would lead to lack of consistency due to different opinion's of reviewer's.

On the plus side of thing's we went out today and redid some neat cache's and PJ had a lot of fun with those today.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gunslinger Wherigo - MOGA 2009

While at Moga, I had already ran a pocket query and didn't realize it, till talking with some cacher's at the BYO--Bodacious Bash Before the Bash is Back (2009) GC1MGG0 and I heard that a wherigo cache was published. I got pretty excited about that. I have had the stuff to do a wherigo and had been waiting for one that was near I could get to. I was over in Des Moines and there is one there but I ran out of time and wasn't able to go after it.

It was called Gunslinger Wherigo - Moga 2009 (GC1P343) by Fried Okra. I didn't quite know what to expect. So when I got back to my hotel room, I fired up the laptop and quickly found it and downloaded the cartridge to put in my GPSr. That was when I realized I left my USB cable at home. Now you'd think I would of had that of all thing's. It was a mad rush to leave the house in the morning and I had forgotten I was playing around with my mapping software and had left out the detail map of Missouri. I already had my laptop packed up, so had just grabbed the cable form my bag and loaded the map's using the desktop. In my hurry to get out of the house, I left the cable plugged into the desktop.

So here I was in the middle of nothing much but bait shop's looking for a cable so I could load up the cartridge to do the cache. Thinking about it now I should have made a couple of phone call's to see if I could barrow one from someone, but I ran out and found a gamestop of all places that was still open. Mind you this is about 40 miles from where I was staying. But I got one.

I loaded up the cartridge and had held off on it till the most of the MOGA crowd was gone. I really didn't want to "just follow the herd of people", I wanted to do it without basically following people. I did offer to any of the IGO member's if they needed the equipment to let me know and I'd be happy to help them out with it.

Well getting on to the "game". It started off as you would go to the cord's and activate the cartridge. Well, I was a little over a tenth of a mile away at the posted cord's from the starting position of the game. So off I went and following the arrow. Which while I was on route to that starting point, I kind of wander in the wood's a bit and spotted a ammo can. Turn's out it was one of the kid's caches, that MOGA put's out for the little one's. But I finally got to the starting point. Then a picture of an old western type of Bank popped up on my screen and a story line begin. A group of outlaw's where robbing the safe from the bank. And the mission was to locate and shoot the outlaw's. But you had to do some quick shooting or they would run off to a hideout. I never did have to go and hunt down any of the out law's in a hide out. But at that point you where directed to go to check out a noise in the salon. That took you down a cement path and land you out side of one of the bunk house's at the park. Then all of a sudden a photo of an outlaw, or an innocent bystander would pop up with a selection of Shoot or don't shoot. And the order of the selection was always changing, so you had to be quick but still pay attention to what you where selecting.

Then after taking out the outlaw you would get a description of that outlaw and kind of ranked how bad of a person they where. The bystander's picture's would show up and all of the bystander's where photo's of fellow cacher's. You always' got a thanks for not shooting my friend or me, or even the CO's girlfriend. He said he really want to keep her around. lol But as this went on it too you to the stable's, and other western type building's. All of which where right out side the bunk houses and even in front of MOGA HQ. I think there was about 7 outlaw's to take out, if I remember right.

After this went on for about 20 minutes or so. You got a congratulation's, but still needed to recover the safe that was taken from the bank. Which took you off down a trail into the woods a bit. The safe was an ammo can. One you got there, There was a bell inside to ring to signal an all clear. They had a really neat paint job of a western gunslinger painted on the side of the can and the cache name painted on the top. All hand painted.

I thought the cacher that made the game did a great job on it. It was a lot of fun. And now I've got more idea's of what can be done with this, in hope's to make one. I was thinking of a ghost theme, since Anamosa is known for having a few ghost story's. I've been trying to dig up the info for all the old tail's. But this really showed me what can be done with it. Sure I'll have to get some help with the programing for it, but I think a fellow cacher is willing to help out with that.

All in all, I think this was one of the big highlight's for me at MOGA 2009. It was a unique cache hunt and I think the owner did a lot of work to make it happen. It was very cool. I'm looking forward to seeing some more put out and be made to this sort of level. It wasn't hard at all but just the story line and the action's that took place was really fun. It really makes me what to just take a day and drive over to Des Moines to play the one there. I did notice in the log's of it, someone took a two hour detour on their way home to hit the one in Des Moines cause they had so much fun with it. Again, I'm really looking forward and hoping to see some more of these come out near me. I really enjoyed it. Plus I got the new icon. Sorry but I'm an icon junkie. Too bad there's one there's no way I can ever get, and another one is a long shot, but I'm hoping that cache will stay around for a while, and if I ever get to that side of the country.

If anyone in my area, need's a GPSr, and we get one or two of these locally, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to meet you there sometime.