November 2017 NoVAGO Spotlight Question: Caching Activities
October NoVAGO Spotlight Question: Can you tell me about an activity that geocaching got you to do that you probably never would have never have done without it?
"I would never have bought my little red kayak except that I really wanted to go to a Pirate geocaching event on an island in the Potomac River. I had to get a small one so I could handle it myself. It’s 8 feet long, weighs 26 pounds and fits easily in the back of my Sienna van, cost less than $200. I’ve had so much fun with it, hand launching at East Port in Annapolis to get the Navy Academy’s webcam shot from the Severn River, crossing to an island in the harbor at Camden, Maine in a dense fog (my iPhone showed me where the beach was clear as day), paddling the internal lagoon at Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys where a 3 inch draft let’s you go everywhere. Last week I visited with friends in Bethany Beach for a few days and picked up the beach cam there and the one in Rehoboth as well. I went to Cape Henlopen State Park and really wanted to go after the White Sandy Beach cache at the lighthouse but even though the waves were calm enough, the offshore wind and the possibility of slipping while trying to make the transfer from the kayak to the iron ladder and back kept me from attempting it solo. "
Cache Clown 76:
"There are too many things to mention when it comes to activities I wouldn't do if it weren't for geocaching. When I really think about it, the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that I'm now a Formicophiliac and a Dendrophiliac. All kidding aside, I would have to say kayaking and rock climbing."
"Picture a mosquito infested swamp populated with alligators and dangerous snakes. Imagine its 90 degrees and the humidity is also 90%. The trail is about 3 miles long and so bad that you have to register with the ranger station before setting off so that they can send help if you do not return in a reasonable amount of time. (They had to do that this year when a cacher got lost, yes it does happen sometimes). Now add a 69 year old woman, born and raised in the city. Would she set out on this treacherous adventure? Of course she would! It's the oldest cache in Florida, and it has 309 favor points. Thanks to Boxcar37, EagleSR132 and Paul who dragged me along and protected me on this adventure"
The Unstealthy Monkey:
"I became a sewer rat. I cannot tell you how much fun I have had going into sewer tunnels looking for a geocache. I am sad that I never got to do The Domino Principal, but there are some quality sewer caches like Subterranean Thunder that are just fun to dive (and crawl) into! One day, I'd love to try mobywv's Tunnel series. "
"Kayaking is an activity that I would have not done if it was not for geocaching. My Kayaking experience is somewhat limited, but I had so much fun kayaking with my son at the Potomac River Hydro last summer and with Nighthawk700 at the Occoquan Water Trail series."
"Crawl into storm drains!"
"This is probably one of the delights of geocaching. I would never have spent this much time out in the woods, climbing up the side of hills and rooting around in old logs. But it has also taken us down deserted roads in foreign countries, where we met local people and saw sights that were not on the usual tourist agenda."
"Kayaking. I took it up to do all those water caches.”
"Does wading through knee-deep muck in the Occoquan count? The serious answer is probably horseback riding. There's a series of caches in FDR State Park in Georgia that can more or less only be done on horseback. It was a cool experience... once!”
"Before geocaching I traveled, hiked, boated, climbed trees, and did everything that I do now while caching. But because of caching, I do them more. I road tripped from PA to CA back in 2003, long before I was caching, though I wish I had known about it then because it probably would have dovetailed nicely. Now when I got for a road trip it includes visiting places with cool caches that tend to be at interesting places. I did a road trip in 2011 to visit the Lillypad... well I really went to a conference in Seattle but opted to road trip instead of fly for the caching adventure.
Now I find the hikes I want to do with the family by where there are caches and it has led us to trails that we wouldn't have known about otherwise. Caching lead me to getting another kayak to expand the options for paddling as our Hobby boats are great in large open water but don't work as well in shallow river areas or with lots of water weeds. I am pretty sure that I climb more trees than most non-caching adults, now if that is a good thing or a bad thing depends on if you are my doctor or not.
Early on caching I know that it was a detriment to some family trips because there is always just one more cache over there and no one else in my family really cares about the 27th cache in a power trail that is a film can on the fence. So over time I have optimized for fun and experiences. There are now caching trips and family trips that have some caching. The first type everyone knows what they are getting into. The family trips will have a little caching. It may be a virtual or high favorite cache in the area we are visiting.
View Carre' would be an example of one that added an experience to the vacation that we wouldn't have otherwise had. The urban micro that was around the corner we didn't hunt for because it didn't add to the experience. Sometimes there will be that one random urban hide that we find, if that is the only cache available and it is a new state or country, but that will be the one find and then back to the vacation. Typically we will even front load finding that cache just so that it is out of the way and the gps can be put away."
"Geocaching gives road trips an extra fun mission. We drove from Virginia to Kansas, looking for the top favorited caches along the way. The cat did not tolerate all of the silliness."
"Geocaching has made me less afraid to venture out on my own. I already did most things I do now, but never by myself. With geocaching, it gets cumbersome always waiting to see if someone can join so I just started to think "screw it" and would take off. I'm not saying it's the smartest move in some cases because I've done some really stupid things on my own with no one to help me out if things go awry. In my mind, I can conquer all with a cellphone stuck in my bra and a hiking pole. I do not advise the use of these theoretical defense methods as your sole means of defense (unless you're me.) (And sometimes judgmentally-challenged.)"
"Honestly, it has gotten us out exploring more. We get to see some cool places and nature."
"Kayaking is one of those I was on the fence about. However it became clear I would need to get on a water craft with some regularity if I wanted to find caches of interest in NoVA. I got away with Green Mana by walking to the cache. I hit a drought condition and low tide. I charted out a path through the local horse trails and peripheral to a road in Belvoir I most likely should hot have been on. During that one I forded a stream in thigh high waders that was about 2 inches from the top of the waders. After that cache I realized I did more work without a boat than with.
When it came time for the Eagle's tour, Bristow Cacher and I rented a canoe for the water leg. We must have looked like two drunks trying to maneuver the thing. Bristow is a bit heavier than I am. Trying to get our power output right was a challenge. After more tacking than following a bearing we go the hang of it. Zorky Rooster was next. By this point I was thinking I needed to get a Kayak. Nothereeither and Hooclass and I took a canoe to that one. It pretty much decided me on getting a kayak of my own. Luckily around the same time my wife decided to take up kayaking and got one for herself. That made it much easier for me to take the leap and get my own. I now have four kayaks and spend more time on the water than ever in my life."
"I'm doubt that I would hike very much, but the one thing I don't think I would have ever done without geocaching is kayaking. I've had bad experiences with canoeing, and was unlikely to try kayaking, but with the growing number of kayak caches, I decided that I should learn to kayak. I know enjoy it so much, that I don't enjoy kayaking even when I don't find a geocache."
"I can think of quite a few things I have done because of geocaching. Kayaking, cryptology, coding, and going to interesting places come to mind.
Kayaking is high up there. Because of this game I now own a kayak that I have taken geocaching in 5 states. I love having geocaching targets to paddle to, and to be honest I don’t know if I would enjoy it if all I did was randomly around paddle around in the water.
Cryptology is another thing that enjoyed learning for this game. Caesar shifts, keyed vigineres, play fairs, rot13, and many others that I had to bang my head against a wall to figure out. Also I learned searching for stuff hidden in photos, sound bites, source code, and videos.
Another thing I learned for this hobby is how to write HTML for cache page and profile page building. It seems simple now, but when I started that was just as hard as climbing a mountain.
I have visited new and interesting places. Some of these places range from very far away to locating hidden gems close to home. One of the things that I love about this hobby is that I have visited all of the counties in four different states. I have visited movie locations like the Quick Stop from Clerks, I have seen long forgotten memorials, I have explored caverns, been on mountain peaks, and visited graves of the famous"
lift skirts. 😆