GeoJewett Random Thoughts
WOW! What a day! The weather was perfect and the geocaches where be found at just about every ground-zero (GZ) location that we wandered and searched in.
I am so excited to write about my adventures in Seattle, Washington in August 2015, were I traveled to attend the Geocaching Headquarters Block Party 2015. I attended the previous years party virtually in 2013 and 2014, but this year I was able to attend in person - my first block party, and the last. Geocaching HQ declared this to be the last block party at Geocaching HQ. They did however hint that it will not be the last block party every, there might be a break of a year, but there will definitely be more block parties -- just in different locations!
I spent all day socializing, running around grabbing Geocaches from the Seattle GCHQ GeoTour and lab caches in the area. Completed one lab cache challenge and earned a car window flag that I can have waving around when I am on a cache hunt! ;-) Some of the caches were really cool, from a rigged payphone that had a message when you picked up the receiver, had to solve a puzzle and enter the right code on the keypad to have the change drawer open to present you with the cache. Another cache was found near the water front where you had to find a drawer that was embedded in the staircase. Caches all around the area were tons of fun. We had to work as a team to form a barricade to trap a chest full of little plastic balls to find ONE out of thousands.
I was honored to have the pleasure of meeting people I have heard about, read about, and listened too in Podcasts in person for the first time:
The following day I was up before the sun and driving out to my first Mega-event, Going Ape 2015 (GC5F58Q)! I arrived really early to venture into the tunnel before the crowds. I had met up with another couple from Hawaii (Louis and Clark, that was the humor they presented, his name is actually Richard). My friend was running late, so we ventured toward the tunnel. We grabbed the cache before entering, and then walked into the Tunnel. We thought the real tunnel was a bit further away, so we did not know we were already in the Tunnel of light. So we went about two-thirds into the tunnel, found the cache "Bloody Fingers, Dirty Diapers" (GCJMDK). We thought we were heading toward a light at the middle of the tunnel, but after getting closer, we realized that it was the end of the tunnel, not a lamp attached to the wall. Had us going. We turned around - because my friend was arriving soon. After I met up with my friend John, we found out that we had already entered and almost finished the tunnel and the Ape cache was on the other side. Arrgghh.. We met up with more people and were able to venture into the tunnel, make it to the other end. So John, my new friends, and his wife, all ventured back into the tunnel and emerged on the other side. We found the caches there and walked to the Ape Cache — "Mission 9: Tunnel of Light Reclaimed" (GC300N0) — signed the logbook and took pictures. We finished just in time, as the tunnel was becoming very crowded with hundreds of people on bikes and walking through the tunnel.
We soon departed and went our separate ways, and I began my journey to the Original Stash Tribute Plaque (GCGV0P) just outside Oregon City in Oregon. On May 3, 2000, a five-gallon bucket was placed right at this very spot by Dave Ulmer containing a Delorme Topo USA, 2 CD Roms, a cassette recorder, a "George of the Jungle" VHS tape, a Ross Perot book, 4 $1 bills, a slingshot handle and a pretty notorious can of beans (now the O.C.B. trackable). The coordinates were then listed on the internet and modern-day geocaching was born.
This trip would allow me to complete the Geocaching Triad (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwPHWb6az-Y), an adventure and accomplishment that is sought after by many serious Geocachers! I took the 3 hour tour of 220 miles from Snoqualmie Pass (location of the Ape Event) to Redland, Oregon. I met up with fellow geocachers paying their respects and taking pictures. Of course I put my batteries and GPS on the plaque -- from the cache page: "While visiting, remember to place your GPS unit on top of the plaque for a moment or two in order to receive extended battery life and super-accurate satellite reception! "
What a great sense of accomplishment!
This Geocache was placed in a tribute to my mother-in-law Nona Ruth Michaelsen! Nona is the mother of my beautiful wife! Nona was initially confused
by Geocaching when I tried to explain it. However after taking her out
Geocaching and she watched myself and my nephews happily went bounding
off and coming back smiling as we found the cache. We have a cache at
there house (GC2RY0Z), where they met several Geocachers that came to visit and rang their doorbell! :)
Nona Ruth Muennink Michaelsen, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, was gathered into the arms of Christ on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at home in Schulenburg after a struggle with cancer.
Nona was born in Freer, Texas on January 10, 1942, to Marvin and Pearl Muennink. She graduated from Devine High School and went to Southwest Texas State University. In 1962, she met the love of her life, Dorman Carl Michaelsen. They were married June 13, 1964, thirteen days after they both graduated from Southwest Texas State University.
She felt her
greatest achievements were her three children. While raising her
family, she received her Master’s Degree from the University of Houston
at Victoria and taught mathematics. Her teaching career lasted 36½
years at several different schools. She loved teaching and kept in
touch with many of her former students through the years.
is survived by Dorman, her husband of 49 years and 10 months; sons Veric
and wife Jerri Michaelsen of San Antonio and Vincent Michaelsen of La
Grange; daughter Venae and husband Greg Jewett of Pflugerville;
grandchildren Zayne and Zack Michaelsen, Samantha and Seth Michaelsen,
and Evan and Eron Jewett; sisters Nelda Smith of Victoria and Neva and
husband Myron Saathoff of Hondo; and many loving nieces and nephews.
So GroundSpeak (geocaching.com) has offered up a challenge for all Geocachers to go out and find a geocache on every day of August 2013. For each day that you find a cache, you get a souvenir for that day. So far the streak is on, and I have completed over half the month. We shall see how it goes.Thank you Semper Questio (SQ) for the Calendar design!
It's done! It is finally done! I have completed my 366 grid challenge, finally finding a cache on every calendar day including the hard to obtain leap-day of February 29th!
I almost completed this grid last year, but the odds were stacked against me, as I went on a cruise with my wife and came down with a nasty C-DIFF intestinal bug that kept me off my feet. So, I had 4 holes in my grid that had to wait until the following year.
Well, 2013 arrived, I had reminders in my calendar, reminders posted everywhere so I would not forget. I was sitting in a restaurant received an FTF notice and thought - what a really cool cherry on top - finish my grid with an FTF! Alas, I reached the cache minutes to late and snagged second-to-find, and completed my 366-grid!
This cache series was archived. With sadness in my heart, this series has to be archived. It was a collaboration effort with my chess loving boys. The final cache came under attack by evil ground-leveling bulldozers not just once, but a second time, leveling the area for development.
The other caches had been muggled more times than should be allowed, and had to be taken offline many times.
IF YOU had collected all the pieces, solved the final but could not get to the final in time before its demise and want a smiley, please contact me directly, we can work together to determine if you solved the puzzle and award you that well-deserved smiley.
Thanks for all the fun!
My son and I just created and published a new series that we have been working on a while that has a puzzle final.
You should have fun with this one. My son has really become a chess fanatic, and what better way to mix his new obsession with Dad's favorite sport, but create a series of caches with a puzzle to solve for a final bonus cache! Remember to write down the information on the puzzle piece. You must collect the information from all 10 puzzle pieces to solve for the coordinates for the final bonus cache!
Assemble the puzzle pieces and then play a game of chess. Compare the resulting board with the board below to solve the final coordinates.
N (wK)° (wB)(wP).(wQ)(bN)(bQ)' W (bR)° (wN).(bB)(bK)
I had my son and my father all test out the puzzle, and boy was I glad they did - as they helped debug the puzzle and find many errors that have been corrected before it was published!
If you go out to find these caches, PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN REMOVING THE CACHE LOG FROM THIS CACHE! There is a very important puzzle piece in each tube along with the cache log sheet. PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THIS PUZZLE PIECE!
Please make sure that you make note of the information on each puzzle piece if you intend on trying to find the final bonus cache!
The caches that you must find first are:
You can verify your answer here:
You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.
This article is late in coming. It has been a very busy several months, with a new job, family vacations, keeping up with kid's summer activities -- but I still had time to do some Geocaching and put some hides out! This cache was one of a set of geocaches hidden round the first part of July by myself and my friend and geobuddy PvilleSteve. He wanted to put out his first hide, so we all went out with GPSr units in hand and walked around some parks with children in tow. We found some great hiding places and settled on two.
Shipwrecked: The drought got this one! (GC3Q1E2)
From the description: We were hunting around our stomping grounds to hide a cache as we needed to get our find/hide ratio more in balance. We thought we would hide this funny one! Only one way in, and the road that the cache is located on is an access road. There is absolutely no reason to trespass or go beyond the fence. You will get the title of the cache (and chuckle a little) when you get to GZ. Should be an easy park and grab cache (but I promise it is not a LPC). Please be warned that the cache is near a really nasty tree with thorns - not a hawthe-thorn or mesquite - but still looks mean. You can easily avoid the thorns to snag the cache!
Not So Great Divide (GC3Q27T)
by PvilleSteve & GeoJewett
From the description: You're looking for a camo peanut butter jar. Our subdivision decided we needed a fence to separate us from the neighboring subdivision. It's a bit silly since there's easy access via sidewalks and streets as well, but, SHRUG... Anyway along this divide you'll find our first cache. My daughter and I enjoyed meeting up with the GeoJewett family and placing this one together. The coords should be pretty much dead on since we got the same numbers with two separate GPSs.
It started out as a really great afternoon, the weather had warmed up enough to be comfortable and my son and I decided to go and knock out the rest of the caches in NE Metro park. We came prepared with the basics and found the one cache that had evaded us for a while. We looked at the last cache to grab -- and it was this cache - a tough multi-cache. Reading through the logs, we unsure if it was wise to go after this with only a couple of hours of sunlight left, but we said - "What the heck.."!
We venture off, following the GPS to the starting coordinates. The initial climb was really tough, and I was surprised after joining a gym and working out, I was huffing and puffing at the top. I am glad my son and I were tall - as we could not imagine climbing that PI infested tree to get the cache, but with my son on my shoulders he was able to reach up and take a picture of the card with the next set of coordinates.
Then it happened, we found the final, and my son was sooo happy that he went running down a hill and tripped in a large rut in the path and impaled himself with a branch. Luckily it was not to deep was able to pull it out and patch him up.
Thanks for the war wounds, adventure and worn out feet! BGTx! :)
In case you have not figured it out - this story is a log from a "liar's cache".
So I must have just been lucky, because I picked a day after lots of rain the night before and the ground was wet and muddy. The weather was cooperating as the rain had subsided but the temperature was pretty chilly. The cache was not too far from the road and parking lots, and off a trail, so I thought it might be easy enough to get!
So I ventured to park, stashed the car and headed down the trail avoiding the mud when possible, and when slipping and stepping in some -- conjured up mini images in my head of falling and getting muddy or slipping into the creek and having to quickly get back to my car before getting to cold.
After making it to GZ, I looked over the bluff and thought there must be an easier way down, so I sneaked a peak at the clue and confirmed that I must try to find another way. So I ventured over to a area that I could reach the creek and ponder for a moment -- creek is shallow - is it cold -- could I reach the cache from the water side?
I went down and felt the water - not freezing and not steam water from a sauna - so I sat down, stashed my wallet, phone and keys - just in case. Took my socks and shoes off and pulled my pant legs up.. stepped in the water and walked through the creek over to where my phone said GZ was. I looked up -- where is the cache? I could not see it from where I was standing. I climbed up on the rocks just above the creek - and realized just how cold my feet where - they had gone numb because the creek bed rocks where not hurting my feet and the tactile feeling I was hoping for so I could get steady footing was not present. However, when turned around I saw the one and only spot the cache could be and decided that I was not going to reach it from this vantage point and headed back to my socks and shoes.
Clambered up to my bag, grabbed my phone, climbed back down to the cache and snapped some pix, traded some travel bugs and closed up the cache and restored its camouflage.
I managed to get minimally dirty and kept my derriere dry and clean. Loved the cache! Great work, lots of fun and adventure!