Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wild life and geocashing

In the last  blog I promised to take you geocaching, so here we go.  For those of you who don't know what that is, geocachiing is using a handheld GPS unit or your smart phone to find something someone has hidden using GPS coordinates.  The coordinates, a general description of the location and some cryptic clues can be found online at www.geocaching.com.  The caches can be very tiny, just big enough to hold a thin strip of paper to sign to large ammo cans filled with trinkets, writing utensils, action figures, jewelry or anything else anyone wants to swap.  Some caches have trackable items to see how far things travel.  Some have specific instructions for a particular.item.  Once we picked up a Canadian beaver Mountie stuffed animal and took its picture in front of several police stations before depositing it a couple of states away for someone else to further its travels  These caches all have logs to sign with your caching name which you also use to register your finds online.  Some caches are visual such as a sign, a certain landmark, a particular man made structure.  These don't have a log to sign, but usually require a picture to register.  Some of the caches are easy to find, while others are so diabolically clever that to find them it takes a seasoned cacher or a newbie with a lot of luck.  Sometimes the caches have been found by muggles (non cachers) and destroyed, stolen or otherwise messed with so that they can't be found.  We have a few DNF's (did not find) but we have managed to find 289 caches.  The whole point of this relatively cheap hobby is to get you and your family/friends outside to visit places you ordinarily wouldn't go.  The caches are never in National parks or sites.  They are often in state or city parks or privately owned businesses or property, but the hider asks permission of the owners before hiding the cache.  Below are some we have found around Oyster Creek.

Yes, you are looking at the caches.

No caches here at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, about five miles from Jesse's house.  Established in 1966, this 44,000 acre expance of marshes, sloughs, ponds, prairies and forests protects critical castal wetlands for migratory birds and other wildlife and offers exceptional wildlife watching.  

Another day's caches

Push on the button where the bird would go into the house and it pops out. The back screws off to revel a strip of paper to sign.

 The cache was in the whole in the tree. It was a locked box with combination lock. There was a key with it. You had to figure out how the key opened the box.  There were numbers all around the box. After messing with different combination, we discovered that the key stuck to some of the numbers. AH HA we used the magnetic numbers and the box opened.

 The pier has a bunch of pvc pipe fishing pole holders attached to it. One of the holders had a plug on the bottom of it. We unscrewed the plug and a bottle with the cap glued to plug was inside holding the sign up sheet.
This was the hard one. The clue mentioned a bolt. We looked and looked at all the poles,the bench and the lights in the area, no luck. I was walking around this pole and noticed the bolt and nut but no bolt head on the other side. The nut was a magnet with the bolt screwed into it. When you unscrewed it, the bolt was hollow with the signup sheet in it. Finds like this makes it challenging and fun.

Stay tuned for more fun in south Texas!

Louise and Duane


Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

Tell Louise the park we visited and want to go back to is Brazos Bend State Park. It is not far from you two up 288.

I do want to visit Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge one day. You two really had a great day acting as two secret agents. Glad you were able to find a few caches.

The Bright's said...

It looks like you've been finding plenty of fun and interesting things to occupy your time. But isn't that wheel house ready to roll yet??

Ken and Bonnie said...

Good for you. We tried geo-caching and have had limited success. We bought a GPS unit , and have not been very successful. Do you have an ungraded link to geo-caching? Any special secrets? Sounds like you are about ready to hit the road again. All the best ( I must say, Florida has been great)