Monday, December 26, 2011

Egg Harbor City

Monday, the day after Christmas, the OWLs met up in Egg Harbor City again to try and clean out the area of new caches...again.  Egg Harbor City is getting about 2 caches a day published lately and many of them are creative and fun!  We met at the train station, it's a great parking area where we feel that our cars are safe.

It was a chilly windy day but really beautiful out, as nice as you can expect this time of year.  As the day went on, it got windier and colder, though.  I had my new phone (Samsung Galaxy Nexus, that I love, by the way!) which didn't have a full charge on it and I left my camera at home.  The pictures I have here are thanks to Cheryl.

 First we went back to Geese Everywhere.  It's a fun cache with geese everywhere!  The CO (Cache Owner) has a field camera attached to a tree.  The first time we were there, we put on a show for the camera only to find out later that it wasn't operating the day we were there.  Today, we went back to "reenact" our antics.  Maybe I'll be able get a copy of the video and share it.

While we were there, we got notification that 2 new caches published and we were off to try to grab them first!  We got an FTF on the first one but by the time we got to the second one, 3K9amigos had just beaten us by a minute or two!  It was fun to run into someone while we were out! I haven't seen Tina in a few months!  It would have been more fun had we beaten her!
Next we were off to the area that these pictures were taken.  They are areas that you find all over South Jersey where sand was removed for construction.  They call them blue holes because the water is so blue.  Generally it is more of the turquoise color than these are.   I believe that it's because there is a lot of copper in the water giving it that copper oxide color (think the Statue of Liberty).  Most of the water in South Jersey is what they call "cedar water".  It has a lot of tannin in it causing it to be a very clear and clean root beer color, so when you come across these blue holes, they are quite a treat! Before I started geocaching I never realized there were any of these holes much less so many of them. This link is a google map of an area where there are a few in the same area.  I need to find out more about them.  All I've been told is that sand has been removed and this is what's left

I wish I had some pictures of the clever hides that we were finding!  The Mudwhores must spend a lot of time in the shop make clever  hids. The make containers attached to pine bark.  Sometimes that are reattached to the tree or are just laying on the ground.  The have containers made of all flashlight and other various containers.  We found a fake bird in a tree with a pencil inserted in his behind (that was a bit distrubing).  Below, Juan Pablo, Lost Amigo is one the to fun ones! When we got there, we found this closed outhouse.  When we opened the door, we found Juan Pablo complete with a container of goodies from the business at the location!

Terry and I had hoped to be out kayaking on Tuesday because the temps were going to be in the mid 50's but the weather turned bad and it poured all afternoon and night!  We went to lunch and a movie instead.  It was great spending the day with her but I really wanted to go paddling!  It will probably be a couple of months before I can get out again.  :-(

I have plans for caching on New Year's Eve, stay tuned!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I've been caching since October of 2007.  Very early on, Pooh, Blaze and I came across a cache that looked extremely interesting.  It had been awarded the coveted Recommended Cache Award. It was a night cache and  it had at least 4 stages and the second one had a black light in it that you need to read the clues at the subsequent stages!  We went to check it out in January or February of 2008.  We searched all over the place for the first stage and come up empty!  We went back several times of the years to try and find that first stage.  We tried in the light of day, the dark of night, winter in the snow, summer with tick and fall with leaves everywhere.   I've been following the cache page all this time and a couple of weeks before the annual Camp Sacy Christmas party, a group found the cache!  We had to try again. Blaze tells the story in her log on the cache page. 

Blaze's log account: 

Wow, where do I even start with this one? No story will ever do this cache adventure any justice. Maybe about 3 years ago, back when Keebs, Pooh, and I started caching, we set out from camp one weekend to hunt down this cache. It hadn't been found in a while, plus we were still relatively new, so we weren't completely shocked that we didn't find it. Some time later, we attempted this cache a second time. Feeling more prepared for the challenge, we were beyond a little annoyed when we once again came up empty handed. Was stage 1 missing or were we just blind and stupid? I think about a year passed and we tried again...I've lost track. Needless to say, we never succeeded. And then it was December 17, 2011...

We were at camp for the holiday party when Keebs, Bear, Pooh, and I decided we needed to sneak out for a cache. Now that there were 4 of us with thousands of finds under our belts, we were determined to find this cache! Well, things looked a little different now. The sign (which we had previously scoured every inch of)is gone and the coords were putting us in an area different from our past visits. Were we looking in the wrong place years ago? Had stage 1 been moved? We can so do this! We searched, and searched, and searched. We found a promising looking acorn, but after pounding it to death with a stick (it's the Girl Scout way) and grinding it to bits with a screwdriver (yes, we cache with a screwdriver), we determined said acorn could not have been stage 1. Tired, cranky, cold (yep, it snowed slightly), and frustrated, I don't think any of us wanted to give up, but we didn't know where else to look. "Maybe if we just walk the trail, we'll see reflectors or something." Pooh had already started walking down the trail in search of the lake, so we followed, sans cache.

Yep, we were just going to the lake, but our flashlights were all over the woods in case, perhaps, we should happen to stumble upon something relating to this cache. "Hey guys, check here. There could be something here." Something caught my eye, and upon investigation we determined that, though we could not find stage one, had no clue what the coords were to stage two, we somehow managed to stumble upon (yes, somewhere in the woods) stage three of this cache. "Oh no, we need a blacklight!" Pooh actually had one on her keychain, but it was back at camp. We tried all sorts of tricks with our flashlights, but nope, nothing worked. Keebs tried to see if there was a blacklight app (no, there is not, by the way) and even tried casting different shades of light onto the coords, but nothing worked. We needed an entirely different wavelength of light. Somewhere (SOMEWHERE!) in the woods around us was that blacklight that we needed, but it's the woods and who knows where it could possible be.

So we went and found a nearby cache so we could at least log some find for the evening.

On the way back, Bear came up with a theory. all we need to do is search the woods and maybe we'll find stage 2. Yeah, fat chance. We missed stage 1, accidentally found stage 3, and we actually thought we could come up with a plan to find stage 2?! Yep, we're Girl Scouts and that's how we roll. Well, we split up (in a buddy system, of course!). Two people searched this way, two people searched that way. Folks, we're looking for a needle in a haystack here. After a short while of searching, Keebler announced, "OH...MY...GOSH!" Can you believe it? We actually found stage 2!

We grabbed the light, bolted off to stage 3, finally were able to see the coords, then headed off to find the final. Could we have done it anymore backwards? We first found stage 3, hunted for stage 2, then got the final. And we still don't know where stage 1 is!!! The whole thing was completely wild! Who actually does that?! lol! It was awesome. I felt so accomplished at the end. It was a teamwork adventure and an absolute blast. TFTC, and thanks to my caching buddies for their determination! :)

Back to me.....

We also need the black light to sign the log.  The pen in the cache can only be seen with a black light.  When you look at the log book, you can't see anything on it, it appears empty.  When you put the black light up to it, it all becomes visible. You can see our log at the bottom.  12/17  Sacy's Holiday Party.

I still can't believe that we found Stage 2!


I am also so fortune to have friends who are as obsessed and determined as I am!  We may all be crazy but at least we're crazy together!  

This is definitely one of the most memorable geocaches that I've had the pleasure of searching for.   

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Time to Party!

As you probably know, I've been sick for the last 2 weeks with shingles.  Today was my first day out of the house; Lauren and I were going to the SJG Christmas Party in Vineland.  I really didn't think I was going to make it but as the week went along my rashes started clearing up so I thought I'd see how I felt with clothes on and around people.  I really thought I was going to be fine but as the day wore on, I started getting very itchy and the pins and needles started poking me in my various areas where the shingles have been attacking me!  Anyway, let's talk about caching!

Geocaches have been popping up all over the place,  places that Lauren and I had cleared out.  So, we left a little early to pick up a few on our way to Vineland.

This is a map of the Hamilton Mall after our attack.  The smilies are the caches that we've found, the geen boxes are the ones we haven't.

There were 3 new caches at Hamilton Mall.  The biggest problem was trying not to draw attention when you at the Mall doing odd this!  That's Lauren behind the trees.

I had no idea how busy the bus stop was this time of year!  People every where!  We had to wait them out and again TRY not to look too suspicious!  Doesn't every climb walls and check out bus stations on a beautiful but cold day??  Especially when they are dressed so cute?  (I'm her mom, remember, I always think she looks cute)

 Before we left, Lauren called to see what she should wear and assured her that she didn't need to dress all.  She asked if we would be caching in places that she could wear her new UGGs and I told her that I only had plans for Park and Grabs.   As we were driving through Mays Landing, Lauren let's me know that there is a cache coming up on the left.  I told her, by looking at the navigator in my car that the road only goes to the right.  When we got to the spot, we saw that there was a dirt road to the we took it.

 Lauren took this picture of herself.  The car is back by me (see me in the background?) We left the car and headed straight into a path that was   blocked by thrones.  I've been enough pain lately that I turned around to see if I could find a better way in.  She continued onward.  I found a better way in (and out!) and she managed to not ruin her new UGGs!  The following picture is the cache container, not sure what it is, but it's looks military.

 From the woods, we headed down to 40 and East to Vineland, on the way we passed this toy store which you may have seen, and yes, there is a cache there.

 We met up with the Aufbau's and Kayaking Janet in Vineland and picked up a few more caches before we went to the dinner.

The food was typical banquet food, it was good but it was banquet food.

This is Lauren's plate, notice how the meat and gravy are on the mashed potatoes?  She always turns her food into a casserole!  She was never a picky eater!

Cheryl brought an owl centerpiece to the dinner/party.  It really made the rounds; every time Cheryl left the table, it would show up somewhere else in the room.  It is her daughter's owl and she was concerned that it would go missing.  Things have a habit of going missing!  
Embly, preparing for the party.

Kathy has a sock puppet named Embly Gernumbly so is constantly being kid/socknapped. Embly is a geocacher who has her own account and published geocaches occasionally.  She LOVES to go to events!  At last years christmas party, she disappeared for quite a few weeks.  Pictures would appear on on FB every few days.  The OWLs  eventually "ducked" Mel's house.  Another very long story....

I haven't heard the details yet, but apparently Embly tried to call home last night.

The cold air really felt good on the damaged nerves on my face.  But as time went on, the excitement of being out of the house wore off and the pain and itching settle back in.  I was pretty miserable by the time I got home.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Caching with the Aufbau's

I spent today in Beverly, NJ and the Bristol, Pa area with the Aufbau's geocaching and looking for Munzees.  The Aufbau's are quickly approaching 4000 caches.  The goal is to make it before the end of the year.  We went out today to get approximately 10 so that next weekend, she'll be able to reach the milestone.

We came across some interesting places today.
This is Cat Shanty, it's across the parking lot from an apartment complex.  Apparently, when residents move from the apartments, many abandon their cats.  Some residents provide them with food and shelter.  This is the newest and nicest of the shelters.  Many of them are old and falling apart.  

We met the first people looking for Munzees today.  M and W, who had their dog with them. They just recently learned about Munzees and were finding their first today when we ran into them along a creek in PA.  Considering that Munzees are very new, it was strange running into people looking for them at the same time we are and especially people that we know. We found 1 but not the other.  It hasn't been found yet by anyone.  It's probably already gone.

Garysaurus was another fun cache that we went after.  We had to convince John to move the car so that Kathy could position herself so that she could reach the cache.  It's in front of a vet clinic on a very busy street.  People were coming and going.  They were staring at us but no one asked what we were up to.

The weather today was nearly perfect!  Look at how beautiful the sky is and it was about 65 degrees!  Not bad for the end of November!

This is our only DNF (Did not find) of the day.  We made a PAF (phone a friend) because we were pretty sure that we knew where it was but couldn't find it so we called a couple of people who had found it and were told that we were right.  Apparently, it's either missing or the rain has made the wood swell. Notice how John is out of the car?   He usually waits until Kathy and I can't find it and comes out to "show" us where it is, but he almost never finds it!

One of the Munzees we found was along the Delaware River.  It was a beautiful view but I bet it's prettier when it's green or fall colors. 

From Pa, we went back to Aufbau country and took the Aufbau dogs for a walk in a few parks where there were caches that we didn't have.  At one point, Ginger (she's the one near the top, Golden Lab) smelled something in a rotting tree.  Notice how her nose is buried in the tree?  She was literally tearing it apart with her teeth and then checking on whatever it was she was after.  The other 2 dogs, Sampson and Jack were watching and encouraging her.  We never did see what she was after but it was amusing to watch her tear that log apart! Kathy finally had to leash her and drag her away from it.

This is cache was put out by Kayaking Jane for the Boy Scouts.  It's name is Be Prepared.  I don't know if you can tell but it's right out in the open  and it's a pear.  Took me a few seconds to "get it" but I finally did.  O_o

This was the final cache of the day, I'm Thankful for.....,  it was starting to get dark.  It was a really nice day; you don't often get so many nice days this late in November and on weekends no less! We've been lucky but as long as we don't have a snow cover, weather doesn't stop us!  We actually love the cold: no bugs, no sweat!

Next weekend we'll be hunting in Egg Harbor City and Galloway, again!


There were 2 caches near Kathy's house that are in trees.  We had plans to take her 24 ft. ladder to the park to get them but with darkness coming earlier all the time, we ran out of light and had to drop the idea.  I don't know the story but today,  Kathy some how ended up at the park with a ladder and some other people and has the cache in hand!  Bummed that I missed it but glad she got them!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mother Daughter Geocaching

My oldest daughter, Dimples, is very goal driven. She sets goals at the beginning of each month and tries to met them. At the end of last month she asked me if I had any suggestions for a goal for the month of November. I told her she should geocache with me at least once.

Geocaching in Utah

Good thing she was there, I never would have gotten this one on my own.

Dimples hasn't geocached in a couple of years. About 2 years ago her  life got busy with 2 jobs and caching  fell to the side.

On vacation this summer, one day was set aside for geocaching. She came up with a few excuses why she shouldn't have to go and I didn't buy them. She whined in the car until we got to the first cache. While everyone sat in the car waiting for me, I searched and couldn't find it. I called to her to come and help me because I thought it might be up on the top of a rock that I couldn't reach.  She hopped out of the car to help and it was immediately obvious that she had fallen back in love with the activity! Here's the story from her blog.

Her goal this month is for 3 geocaching days with her mom, she's scheduled them and of course they're on the calendar! I'm really enjoying the company, we used to do this one day most weekends.

 We've been out twice now. The first trip was to Brigantine. Dimples tells that story in her blog here. Today, she ran a 5K early and then came home for a shower and off we went. We ate at Red Robin first and then started cleaning "My Circle". I have a radius of about 5 miles around my house that I don't like to have unfound caches in and lately it's been filling up!

This is what geocaching with a migraine looks like!

Things were good for about an hour.  We found a handful of caches when she felt a migraine coming one.  I found a few more with you in the above position and then we headed off for home so that she could take care of the migraine. I'm not sure when out next date is but next weekend is Sofiecat's annual Scavenger Hunt!  It's a favorite of mine!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

And So It Begins

We've talked about a blog for years.  We've said that we should really write down our adventures but I was hoping someone else would take up the duty!

Thursday, I met up with C.C.Cacher, Kayaking Janet and Mrs. Aufbau in Egg Harbor City to do some cache clean up! There is a new team of cachers who are putting out what seems like a cache a day out and around EHC. We met at the train station and left 2 cars there and climbed into C.C's car and headed off.

If you are reading this blog, chances are you know that we call ourselves the OWLs. We had some other choice names for each other Thursday. I won't go into that because they weren't too complimentary! Because we were mainly looking for Mudwhore caches, we considered signing as the Sand Skanks, but thought better.

The new team, Mudwhore, has some really fun and interesting caches! We had a great time and found some sights along the way.

This is a random doll hung from a tree near a cache in the woods. There doesn't seem to be any connection.

I don't want to give away the name of the cache, not that it really matters but it was quite a surprise and a lot of fun. There is time lapse camera at the location; wish I could see the pictures that it captures! I know ours are interesting (we made sure that we entertained the COs) and I know other cachers wouldn't leave without a show, as well!

At one point we were searching and searching.  The coords seemed to lead us straight to this post.  As I  peaked in every nook and cranny, I realized someone was peaking back!  There was a little mouse hiding in the post!

Of course Mrs. Aufbau, who has a relationship with all things living (and some dead ones, too!)  decided the mouse must be starving, so she feed him some sun chips. He's in the woods for Pete's Sake!  There's food everywhere!

As for the cache, we realized that the area we were searching was private property so we moved across the street, searched some more and then did a PAF.  C.C. spent so much time on the phone with the help that she didn't even realized that we found the cache, signed the log and put it back before she got off!  

We found an area in the woods north of EHC that was like a killing area for deer.  There were so many bones and just around the corner, we found a skull hanging on a tree. The bones were all ages of decay.  Some were fresh; we found a small hoof still attached to a leg with the knee tendons still attached to the upper leg while other  bones had moss growing on them.  Very odd!

We had linner, as in part lunch part dinner, at the Venice Grill in Egg Harbor City. I've  been there twice now and recommended it.  The food was fantastic and reasonably priced. 

After linner, C.C. left for home.  KJ,  Aufbau and I continued on, picking up a few more caches and then headed home shortly after dark.