Monday, February 17, 2014

Getting to 1000 Finds

I realized that the only way to end my time of serious Geocaching would be to make one final epic run of finds. So, I've decided to make it to 999 before my 40th birthday, and on my birthday, I plan to log my 1000th find.

Many a man worries about going over the hill. I race to the top, behold the view and look forward to what is on the other side.

While I will no longer be Geocaching on a rampant basis, the occasional one that might cross my path will not go unnoticed. However, the pace I was keeping for several years will go almost stagnant.

Geocaching helped bridge a season of my life that I had to pass through. Some refer to it as a mid-life crisis, but since I experienced it before my mid-life, I call it facing all of my fears and challenging myself beyond.

Be it snake, a daunting cliff, an embarrassing situation where I just don't belong, the growl of a challenging boar, or a spider the size of my hand staring me in the face, Geocaching has helped me come to the realization of who I am, what I am capable of, and what my limitations truly are.

I thank God I survived this chapter.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The end of a winding road

As my season of Geocaching enters into winter, I have produced my last puzzle, Larzanth's Labyrinth.

I am also in the midst of creating my last set of events. The 2nd one in the series was held on 11 November. Modeled off of the Hunger Games series of books, the final event will be held next year in November.

If you've read the books, then you may have an idea of what I have in store for next year. I have hinted at it quite a bit at events, so perhaps you'll be better prepared for this. If you've solved my puzzles, found any of my caches, or attended any of my events, then you know I never settle for mediocre.

The Caching Games is my penultimate series of events. They will be the last that I host.

As twilight begins to fade on this chapter in my life, I look towards the horizon. With archives on the way, I face new challenges as I move into the next level of my journey. What, did you think I would stay on level 14 forever? Game on!

Monday, October 29, 2012

We had a real typhoon finally come through a few weeks ago. Jelawat flipped over cars, knocked out power to almost everyone, and was really nasty. Several of my caches did not survive. As I check on my caches, if they survived this crazy storm, then they will receive an official badge of approval.

To my fellow Oki cache owners, you are most welcome to use this badge as well on your caches that survived Jelawat.

Cache on!




Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Puzzle Solving Techniques

Solving Geocache puzzles sometimes seems daunting, but there is always a few things to keep in mind.

You will ulitmately be deriving a set of coordinates to the cache. The cache cannot physically be placed more than 2 miles from the posted fake coordinates. Rules forbid this, and reviewers don't allow it.

Everything on a cache page is suspect when it comes to a puzzle cache. Think about it. The HTML, text in different colors, using elements on the cache page itself. Perhaps the name of the cache, the GC identification code. There's more than one way to hide something, believe me as I've solved some very interesting ones and created some of my own.

Is there a hint? Use it.

The cardinal rule to most crypto puzzles. There must be three elements to solve. The encrypted text, the method, and a key. How and when these are presented is entirely up to the puzzle creator.

And finally it's a puzzle cache. Nobody said they would be easy. Puzzle caches usually take time to solve and will not be found quickly. Don't worry, the container is most likely there if the cache owner did their homework on the location where it is hidden and closely followed the rules on cache placement.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Puzzles, Phantoms, and the State of Caching

It's been awhile since I posted on this blog, and thought now would be an appropriate moment.

--STATE OF CACHING--

Lately I've been bored by the general state of caching. You download a set of coords, you go to a location, you find a container, wala. But where's the adventure, where's the excitement? Rarely I find myself going down a trail or into an area that I know has been approved for a cache. Either public land, or permission has been given, or the location doesn't make me look very suspicious in a place where tensions with the natives are at times a bit tense. This immediately takes it out for me, but occasionally I find a time when I am whisked back to the adventure when I first started caching.

It happened quite by accident. I left my GPSr at home, got to work and saw a brand new geocache in what appeared to be a fairly decent area close to my work. After work, I studied the location on Google Maps then headed out. A nice public area with a welll marked path. Moments later a find. That was fun! What would have been an otherwise boring P&G suddenly turned into an adventure through the mistake of leaving my GPSr behind. I may have to try this more often.

--PHANTOMS--

Phantoms lately have been plaguing me. One in particular. You see, to say you logged a cache but not to actually log the log book is called a phantom log. The honest mistake is made. "I left my pen at home"; "I saw the container but there was no way to get to it"; "I was blocked by a snake"; "I found the coordinates to the final stage". Logs that are posted as finds when they should have been posted as notes. Honest mistakes. But then there is the very rare log of someone who made no attempt and logged a find anyway. I went, I checked, I deleted the log posting a note of my own with a picture of the log and a fair warning to the phantom. Yeah, you better believe if I spend as much in time, effort, and money on these caches I will spend an equal amount of time checking up on anything suspicious. Duh.

Let's see the average I've spent on one of my caches is about $30. The average time I've spent in prep work (developing the puzzle, making the container, scouting the location) is usually about a month.

--Puzzles--

I'm almost completely puzzled out. Too bad, right? Well, I have one more (yeah yeah, always one more) that I'm in the works of developing. It's themed around Star Trek, and I plan to have some fun with it. There are only a handful of people who have encountered all of the techniques in this cache that are still here on island, so this should be a lot of fun for all the new cachers I've seen logging caches recently. I hope everyone will give it an honest try. It will be fun. It will have a checksum in it that will be required to log the cache to ensure that the puzzle is solved and someone doesn't just "accidentally" come across the container on a hike into the deep jungles of this beautiful island.

So with that, I bid everyone who may view this log a hearty farewell and wish you a happy day of caching....and....


GAME ON!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Canada Caching

If you ever get the chance, ever, go to Canada and find a cache. The caching experience here is filled with adventure, breathtaking scenery, and quality caches that will make you appreciate the quality of this game.

Most who know me will attest to how I really don't like hiking into the woods to find just a micro, but here I haven't cared as the locations where these micros are hidden have been so fun to go to.

Also, I can tell at each location that I've visited so far that attention was given to following the cachers' creed, and that the COs have put a lot of time and effort into their caches. While I'm not ruling out that the poorly placed cache or evil micro doesn't exist, so far these caches have been very rewarding and well maintained.

Thank you for your caches Canada!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Villains Series Complete

The villains series is now complete. Well, that is when the latest one publishes. Just waiting to give everyone I know a fighting chance.

Good luck and enjoy the location.