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.