So how do three longtime geocaching friends from the US end up in the Azores for the holidays? It began as a sort of loose daydream of interesting places to travel this year between us. We spun the globe looking for somewhere different from our previous travels. We talked about going to Iceland to see the northern lights, maybe taking that long flight to Thailand for some scuba caching, but when we read about the Azores, we knew it would be the perfect getaway.
Our first order of business was finding out how to get there. Luckily, there was a new direct flight from Boston to the Azores on SATA. Since Koneko lives near Boston and there were inexpensive flights from our home in Nashville, Tennessee, it made travel easy and also helped us choose our ultimate destination of Terceira. With tickets and lodging booked we got into the real fun of planning a trip. We did a lot of research, looking at geocaches online, reaching out to friends who had visited before and finally making connection with some local geocachers for advice. Continue reading
That’s pretty good advice. I know I have heard it enough and it is pretty much what I do. I write about the stuff I know; things I like, things I care about, making things, seeking out adventures, good things to eat, you know basic monkey stuff. Sometimes, I end up writing stuff for newspapers, articles and magazines. Every once in a while someone sends me a check for doing that and people refer to me as an “author”. That never feels genuine to me, because it’s just an article or some stuff I wrote that someone liked or needed, but it is nice. I have always held out that to be a real author, you would have to write a book. Well, to paraphrase Miss O’Hara, “I guess I’ve done authoring now.”
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Geocaching, Third Edition
As many of you know, I have a real passion for the game of geocaching, and in my world passion=obsession, which leads to over-achievement and eventual burnout. But I will have to say, my passion for this game has far outlasted most other things in my life, so who knows, maybe I will stick with it. Whether it lasts or not I have had a great time exploring all over the U.S. tracking down these hidden treasures and getting to see some really great locations that I would have otherwise missed and I have met a metric bunch of really great people. As it turns out, if you do something hard enough for long enough, people begin to think that you have some knowledge or wisdom to impart. I am happy to say that my tendency toward bombastic showmanship is occasionally tempered by my true desire to share and teach, and I have been been asked on several occasions to share the “secrets” to my geocaching success. So I am sharing here, a little piece that I wrote to answer some questions for a “soon to be released” guide to geocaching, and if you make it through that to the end, I promise to share the real secret to successful geocaching.
I had heard lots of stories about how beautiful the Walls of Jericho is, but I had never been there. Well let me just tell you, words cannot do justice to this incredible natural area, you just have to see it for yourself, so I placed a cache here to give you an added incentive.
In the late 1700s, Davy Crockett first explored the area since his family owned this land. In the lates 1800’s a traveling minister came upon the Walls of Jericho and was so captivated by the cathedral-like beauty that he declared it needed a biblical name and the name stuck. You can travel to the bottom of its 50-yard-wide limestone bowl and look up at 200-foot-tall cliffs on each side. In a heavy rain, water shoots out of holes and cracks in the rock, but I sure would not want to be here during heavy rain.
I am always up for an adventure, I guess that is what keeps me young, or at least that is what keeps me sore and complaining about not being young anymore. When Scoot (my wife) and I discovered Geocaching in 2003, we knew that the gang in Seattle had created a hobby that was nearly perfectly designed for our lifestyle. Rather than getting bogged down in the details of caching, here is a quick description of the game from the Groundspeak website:
“Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache. This high-tech treasure hunting game is played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices.”
For much more information or to get into playing the game yourself, check out Geocaching.com.
Last December I had the honor of being chosen as the final interview of the year for the Cache-a-Maniacs podcast. We set things up and one night last November we talked for about an hour about my experiences geocaching. It was interesting to get to tell some of the stories first hand, but what was really great was the incredible response I got from it. I was truly amazed at how many people listened to the podcast and contacted me directly to comment on it. I have also been surprised to find that as we travel the country attending Geo-events, just how many people introduce themselves and compliment the interview. I have to give all the credit to DarrylW4 and Firefly03 who host the podcast, they did a great job of making me sound like I knew what I was talking about. So many thanks to them for the interview and for hosting this great podcast. Rather than having me type on and on about how much I enjoyed this, and how great it was, why not check it out yourself, and after you listen to me ramble, check out some of the other interviews, there is some great stuff in there.
I am a big fan of abandoned places and I love to explore them. If you sit quietly in an old building you can almost feel the echoes of the events that happened there. I often wonder what happened to make people leave, how were they able to abandon an often beautiful structure and leave it to the mercy of the elements. Weekend before last we had the great pleasure to visit the geocache, Korn Grain Co. about 20 miles west of Erin, Tennessee. As we approach the season of the witch, I thought I would share some of my photographs. I desaturated them and blew out the highlights to give them an artsy, pretentious feel. This will hopefully convince you that I am a deeply sensitive, tortured artist.
For several years, Laura and I hosted a “Haunted Hayride and Caching Cookout” on our farm, the first Saturday after Halloween. Themes have ranged from Pirates to the Wizard of Oz and most everything in between. For our fourth annual event we created an interactive Civil War themed mystery. Our guests mounted the haywagons on the way to meet characters and collect clues in hopes of finally deciphering the cryptic carvings of McGuffin’s Bluff to reveal the location of the Pentia.