Archive for December, 2008

A pathetic attempt to cache

So I pull up and am horrified to find that my activity for the last 30 days is now blank. Empty. Nothing. No finds. No DNF’s. No TBs moved. Empty. Hollow. Horrifying.

While there is a pretty reasonable explanation for this called WINTER, it really doesn’t appease my internal geocaching demons. You know, the ones that drag me out of the house at dawn to sit in a car for 2 hours to hike 10 miles for a cache on the top of some mountain. Yes, those demons. They are annoyed.

Mother Nature (no comment) seemed to agreeable this Saturday. The forecast was decent and loyal sidekick was strangely willing to participate. Since it is hunting season of some sort, and since I have a rather large fear of being shot by anything (but mostly an arrow), we knew we’d have to stay out of the WMAs. That left parking lots and rail trails.

Our first targeted cache was Lion in the Roof where sidekick saved the day with his height. (No, sidekick does not have above average height. He does not have stretchy arms. He just happens to be a foot taller than me.) Giddy with success and only partly frozen we headed out to Hacked Again!!! which is where it all went downhill.

I love caching in the snow. I do. Standing knee deep in snow while trying to pry a lock-n-lock out of a old tree stump using only a tiny branch that happened to be nearby. Yep, I’m all over that. Who isn’t? It’s what separates the insane from the sane. And we all know which side I’m on.

None-the-less, after scrambling around the area and being unable to discern what was a rock, a pile of frozen leaves, a clump of snow, a frozen carcas or a cache container I stood back and reviewed the situation.

  • It was cold
  • My fingers were numb (I wore mittens, do you know how hard it is to dig around in mittens?)
  • My hiking pole (aka poking stick) was in the car
  • Everything looked like geoflage.

And for once, I looked up at poor sidekick who was clearly cold, but trying to be a trooper, and said, “All right. I’m done here.” Poor man nearly fell over.

So one smiley, one DNF. But I did get to try out the Ram Mount. My review is as follows:


  1. Mount is too high (that is currently being addressed – thanks Aquacache)
  2. Laptop lid doesn’t close due to the “clips” holding it to the shelf. This means laptop won’t automatically disconnect from bluetooth GPSr which gives me fits.


  1. Hey, my laptop isn’t on my lap
  2. Laptop can be swiveled for driver to see (even though he should be driving, not looking)
  3. No tripping over cords when exiting vehicle.
  4. Did I mention my laptop isn’t on my lap?

After all, a semi-successful day of caching is better than the most awesome day of work. And not tripping over wires exiting the cachemobile (not yet an approved GCC) rocks.

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chris on December 14th 2008 in Geocaching

Ping is Ping

Ping is a world traveler. If I’ve been there, he’s been along for the ride. [DISCLAIMER: Ping missed Scotland. It was tragic. We have to go back, he and I.] And much like me, Ping enjoys a good hike in the woods, pint of brew and taking in the sights. We’ve got a lot in common, this little penguin and me. He’s been following me around almost as long as I’ve been alive.  


For the longest time he was happy to hang out with me and stay out of the lime light. I’m kind of thinking this must have been some arrangement with my family. He could come along for free, but he had to hang back and stay out of the pictures – his elegant formal wear was dingy from constant wear and sometimes his eyes looked a little off.  That’s what happens when you travel with a kid who drools all over you when asleep and refuses to let her mom toss you in the wash.

This tradition of staying in the background continued on for a long while, until Ping and I (accompanied by Chad) went to Rome. At first Ping spent many of his days sitting in our lovely room, looking out the window at the city wall. It was Spring and the City was beautiful. Guilt hit me. So I overcame my fear that Ping would fall victim to a pickpocket or gypsy and took him out to see what all the fuss was about. [Seriously, before we left people were constantly warning me to watch the gypsies and the guys who pinch your butt on the train. What?] 

And thus began Ping’s Grand Tour.  It’s slow going, but we’ve knocked out a few countries along the years, starting with Italy in the spring of 2002. Over the years Ping’s taken in Spain, England (although not Scotland which was a separate trip), Canada, Mexico and The Netherlands.

He’s hiked the Grand Canyon (well, perhaps not the best description as he doesn’t really have feet and I carried him all the way down and all the way back up). He’s sat on the WV Supreme Court and gone to see The Tossers play in Chicago (he was the only penguin there, by the way). In an unusual twist, he showed his computer-geek side by enjoying an adventure to Fry’s Electronics with Chad.

Lately though Ping’s been accompanying us on little weekend jaunts around the state. He’s always happy to go geocaching with me. Although I’m not quite sure how fair it is that he gets to be carried all those miles. Especially when we went after Tater Knob…. Sometimes he just sits in the car and hangs out with me as I spend hours and hours on the road going nowhere very exciting.

Ping’s new mission is to get me to take him back to all those places he’s all ready seen, but has never had his photo taken in. It’s going to be a large, large task. He and I have seen an awful lot of the continental United States.

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chris on December 11th 2008 in Family