Caching in The Dalles

Bruce and I spent 2 days in the Dalles, Oregon and had a wonderful time. We cached on the way there and found 2. One had a really nice hike to get it. While in the Dalles we did a walking tour of the old Historic homes. Wow they are really nice. We also went through a museum. Really wanted to go through the old Fort but it was closed for the winter. Of course Geodog Ellen was with us. She posed for some great pictures. If you are ever in the area it is well worth staying a day or two.



Spice up the drive with Geocaching!

By Wina Sturgeon ,
Sunday, November 25, 2007

Geocaching is catching on everywhere. It is even allowing a family’s deceased mother to travel around the world.
“It’s huge, absolutely huge,” says Tom Kelly, who teaches classes in the exploding hobby, adding, “To give you an idea, I would say that in a typical week, worldwide, there are over 300,000 hidden geocaches, and 40,000 people every week who log in (that they have found them).”
Geocaching is a high tech sport/hobby/activity where participants go online to learn about a hidden item, and are supplied with the precise longitude and latitude of where it is hidden. They then use a GPS (global positioning system) to find the coordinates. It takes creativity in both the hiding and the finding of each item. Once the item has been discovered, the finder logs in to to register the find. The item can be kept, changed for another item, or left as is.
Kelly, who geocaches with his wife Carole, explains, “The U. S. government put up a system of 24 satellites in 1974 that were designed for military use. The signals were encrypted. President Clinton took off the encryption in 2000 and allowed the public to use the system.”
Within hours, the first geocache item was hidden and its coordinates announced on the Internet. A new recreational activity was invented. It’s basically a form of physical Sudoku. But it takes much more cleverness. It’s also a free activity that everyone in the family can enjoy. The only thing needed is a computer and GPS system. Registering on the site is free.
Kelly describes one of his and Carole’s finds: “The title of this cache was “High Five.’ So I used the GPS to go to the location, which took me to the base of a five story parking lot. I used my intuition and went to the fifth floor.” They found the cache.
A GPS unit only tells the place on earth where something is, but not how far up or down it is. The unit will give coordinates to within 15-30 feet of the spot, but the geocacher must use the hints and clues to figure out where the item could be hidden.
A typical container is a military ammo box or Tupperware container. But Kelly describes the newest variation, micro caches.
“They can be pill boxes or 35 millimeter film containers. We like them because they are smaller and harder to find. that’s what’s interesting about them. You look for something that’s just a little bit out of place,” he explained.
He and Carole have half a dozen geocaches near their home in Park City, Utah. “We now combine it with our travel and outdoor exploration. It used to be that we would go out driving and looking at the scenery. Now, when we go out, we always take geocache locations, and it always adds a whole new dimension to all of our travel. We do it when we travel overseas, out of the state, or when we just go out for the afternoon,” Kelly says.
Another variation is the “travel bug” geocache, where someone finds a hidden treasure and takes it to another place. The “travel” of the item is tracked online, sometimes all around the world. And that is one of Kelly’s most charming stories.

The couple went to Slovenia and Croatia on a business vacation, and of course, looked up various geocaches.
“When we were in Croatia, we stopped at a geocache that had a travel bug in an old castle. As we looked at it, we found that was a little memorial to someone’s mother. It was a little keychain with her picture on it, with a note that said, “Our mother just died, and she always liked to travel.’ So what we did … was take her with us as we traveled. Every time we stopped, we would take a picture (and post it online).

“We took a picture of her in Slovenia, we took a picture of her in Montenegro, and then we took her to London. We cached her in London. Within an hour, someone picked her up, and took her to Germany. She stayed in Germany for about two months, then someone took her to China. We thought she would be there for months before someone found her. But two weeks later, someone took her to Australia. She has now traveled almost 17,000 miles in five months. She became a part of our trip,” Kelly says.

To the geocaching couple, the most amazing thing of all is that the deceased woman, who is now part of their memories, lived about 30 miles from the Wisconson town where Kelly grew up.For the latest in adventure sports and physical conditioning, visit Adventure Sports Weekly.


Geocaching, Tunnels, Family and the Army

Geocaching, Tunnels, Family and the Army

 Yesterday started out very rainy. I puttered around the house for a while. Had my coffee, showered and got dressed. Checked E-mail and did a little work for my clients. I have an online office that provides personnel and professional services to many people.

The office name is Vicky’s Virtual Office. If you need assistance, check it out.

After work, I waited for our son to get up. He was sleeping in late because he had worked OT the night before then drove over and hour and a half to our place. He came to visit, do his laundry and wait for his Army recruiter. They were leaving for Mepps at 5 PM to drive to the motel so he could do the physical today before signing the papers. He is going to be an Operating Room Specialist. That is what he already does so it was a smart decision to transfer it to the service.

He got up at 11 AM, did his laundry and took me out to lunch. We got home and still had a few hours so decided to go on a cache hunt. We had missed this one cache a few weeks ago. It is Fiddlers Gorge. It is an interesting hike by MC Nary dam, along the Columbia River, through two tunnels, finishing with a hike up about 300 feet on a very sandy trail. When you get to the top, the view is spectacular. My son and I both love to do these kinds of caches so we had a blast. We spent about 2 hours walking and talking. The pictures really do not do the view justice but I was using my cell phone in the rain so it was the best I could do.

One more memory created while Geocaching!



Geocaching: Getting Back To The Great Outdoors

Geocaching is a GPS (Global Positioning System) hide and seek
game, where hiders hide containers (called ‘caches’ or
‘geocaches’) anywhere in the world, record the coordinates, and
post a listing on a website for hunters to seek. Hunters can use
a handheld GPS unit to get close, but then must use their wits
to find the cache and log the find. A typical cache can be any
size and may be camouflaged, in order to make the hunt more
challenging, and usually contains a logbook for the hunter to
sign and usually some small trading items of little monetary
value.In May 2000 the government announced their decision to stop the
intentional degradation of GPS signal accuracy. In effect, this
made civilian use of GPS systems much more accurate and many
times more useful than it had been previously.
On the day following this announcement the first geocache was
placed by David Ulmer in Oregon. Ulmer’s idea was simple:
The hider would hide a container, note the coordinates with his
GPS unit.The seeker would locate the container using the given
coordinates, make a note in the logbook, then trade items.

It only took a few days for the cache to be found and reported
online, and a new outdoor sport was formed.
The sport has grown considerably since its humble beginnings. At
this writing there are well over ¼ million caches hidden around
the world. Odds are that there is a cache close to you. I found
my first cache after discovering that one was hidden less than a
mile from my home. I guess you could say that I got hooked
immediately, since I have found many since then.
Our family likes to go geocaching as a family activity. The
weekends will usually find us in one of our local parks
wandering the woods looking for caches.
Here’s how we normally do it:
1. We go to or to find a good
cache close to the area we want to hunt.
2. You can print out the cache pages (or alternatively load it into
our PDA).
3. We load the coordinates into our GPS unit and set our GPS
unit to navigate.
4. We load up our cold drinks and our trade items.
5. We drive to the coordinates and start looking. The cache
listing and log entries usually have some hints and can tell us
what kind of container we’re looking for.
6. Once we find the cache, we log our find in the cache logbook.
7. We trade a few trade items (usually inexpensive trinkets and
8. Once we get back home, we log our find on the listing website.
It’s not unusual  to find 3 to 5 caches in one
outing. Other more aggressive cachers will do 10 or 20 or more.

An enjoyable cache might be in an unknown park, an urban
wilderness area, or a mind-bending puzzle. We have enjoyed
getting our sedentary, internet-connected, couch potato bodies
out into the great outdoors breathing some fresh air.

Finally! A good reason to go outdoors again!

All Day Cache

Wednesday Bruce and I went caching in Washington. WE ended up with 12 total. Wow we had fun. Started out with a huge travel bug hotel. There were some neat items in it. We took 3 TB’s to send on their journey. Stopped at the next exit where there were 4 caches. Nice views and a great hike to a dam. I never knew the dam was there.



From there we continued on to Kennewick to find a nice park, a painted rock and some neat hides by the river. All in all I think we hiked about 15 miles. We got home just in time to go to bed so we could get up and do it again. This time we headed out for a 3 part multi Terracache. What we ended up finding, was some awesome scenery, 8 deer and one huge coyote. The hike was about 10 miles total up a mountain and along a ridge line then back down to the Park. 

tube.jpgcrowbutte1.jpg crowbutte.jpggeodogellen.jpgbutte.jpgbridge.jpgpaintedrock.jpgtree.jpg


Under 240!

Yeah, that’s right. I now weigh 238!! I love Ediets and geocaching. Ediets is so easy to stick to and the price is right. Geocaching is so much fun and so good for you too. The fresh air, the hiking and good company. The thinking is good for your brain. Just like the game Brain Age. Bruce and I are going to spend the day caching tomorrow. Lots of exercise when you get 15 or 20 caches in a day. Are you exercising today?

Geo dog Ellenellenontrail.jpgNew Garmin

Caches, Waymarks and new Gps

Bruce and I spent the day yesterday with our daughter Casey and her friend caching in Pendleton,Oregon. We found some cool caches and also logged some waymarks. Met another cacher and his baby. Traded some discoveries and had a nice chat. Got one dnf which I hate, but we had a new Garmin Etex Legend gps unit that we’d gotten in the morning and it wasn’t working right. It kept shutting off and you had to take out the brand new batteries to reset it. After that cache we took it back and exchanged it. No trouble with the second unit so far.

Got about three or four waymarks also. If you want more info on them you can go to the website. There was a benchmark close by but it was getting too late. We’ll get it next time. Casey had to go to work so we dropped her off and headed home. You can find out about benchmarks here.

road_warriorBenchmarkUmatilla WaymarkPendleton Airport