Monday, March 21, 2011

Sarah's Fallen Washout Treasure

WARNING: The following blog entry contains spoilers to the caches listed within. If you feel you may be caching in Tucson anytime soon and don't want to ruin your hunt, please proceed with caution.

We did a bit of walking and found some more treasure. Check it out!

We took the car to this one, and quickly found that the cache was behind a chained-off road. I checked the cache description and saw that it said, in all caps no less, "THIS IS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. IT IS OK'D BY SIENNA HOME OWNERS. I AM V.P. OF THE ASSOC." Well, allrighty then! Once we were able to find our way over there, past another fence and a gulley, and then a large fallen tree in our path, we found the cache in short order. This was a very small container, with only a tiny monkey face eraser inside. Since we have at least a few of those, we took nothing, and left only a 20-sided die.

I parked behind a row of apartment buildings, and we headed out on foot for the next three caches. We found the first very quickly. I saw the green sticking out from a tee-pee of sticks under a bush. We took a doll and a slinky, and left a 20-sider and something called a "popper." It's this piece of rubber that you turn inside out, and then it flips back to it's original shape, making it fly into the air. Well, look:

Anyway, here's us with our find. Nice container!

We walked to this one from Kids' Treasure. Along the way, we found this swing, suspended from what looked to a very old, and very dead, tree. Sarah found that the dessicated branch above would most probably not support her weight...

So she decided to try climbing it instead!

We soon continued our trek through the woods. It was quite a walk, and put us near a small park. I always find it amazing to walk in a wood or forest, and then all of a sudden, you come upon some patch of civilization, or to find that there was a road not far from where you were walking, that had been running parallel to you for quite awhile.

This cache, and the memorial near it, is dedicated to Tucson police officer Eric Hite, who died on June 2, 2008. We found it inside a small fence running around a tree. It's a bison tube attached to a long piece of wire. We TNLNSL (Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log). Unfortunately, we didn't have time to explore the park, as it was getting late, and we had to walk to our next cache, then trek back to the car and make it home in time for dinner!

You may have to look closely to see the cache. I have the wire in my left hand, and the bison tube is suspended by the wire in front of Sarah.

Sarah was rather thrilled, since it almost seemed like this cache was named after her. The family who placed the cache, chose this because of it's location. Their daughter had wandered off into this area when she was younger, and she thought the place was magical. She tried to show them what she had found, but she couldn't locate it again. The directions don't say if they found the "magical place" at a later date, and hid the cache there, or if they just chose this as the closest likely spot. It's another bison tube, cleverly hidden in the "V" of a tree.

I'm not sure what's up with Savannah in this picture! Are you okay, honey?

Four for four! We've been doing well lately. Now we're up to 40 caches found. Sweet! Thanks for reading!

                                                               Caches Found: 40                                                               

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pirate's Candy

WARNING: The following blog entry contains spoilers to the caches listed within. If you feel you may be caching in Tucson anytime soon and don't want to ruin your hunt, please proceed with caution.

We got a new GPS receiver! It's the Garmin GPSmap 60CS! It normally runs for $199, but I managed to win it "like new" off an auction on eBay for $142. Here's a couple pics:

This made caching a lot easier! I may post a review of sorts at some point. Anyway, as for caching itself, we hunted down a "candy" can, and then found three treasure chests yesterday afternoon. Here's the skinny:

This was a pretty standard hunt. Fun, as always. It was a container hidden under a tree, under a pile o' sticks. We took a mini barbie figure, a golf ball, a silly band, and a quarter. We left a 20-sided die, a strawberry shortcake figure, a rubber spider, and a ballerina figure.

From left to right: Savannah, Nikki, Skylar, and me with the cache container. Our new GPS is clipped to my shorts!

We walked from Clara's Candy Can to this one, since it was so close. The next three were a series of pirate-themed caches. Here's the text from the cache's page on

Arrr! Mateys here be a story for ye.

Once upon a time Some where on the open sea. There lived 3 Brother Pirate lords. Lord Bly, Lord Drogg, and Lord Slack. Well, one day the 3 lords decided to retire. They chose to split their riches 3 ways. Each crafted a treasure chest and piled their riches inside. The 3 brothers set off in their own direction to hide the loot.

Now what the 3 brothers did not know is that Crazy cousin Willy had the Pirate lords followed. As each of the spy's returned they had the location of the Pirate Lords Loot. These are the coords to Brother Bly's Loot. Please you must move fast so that you may make your mark on the Pirates Booty before Crazy Willy does. And remember there are only 3 rules to the Treasure chest:

Take piece of Eight!

Leave piece of Eight!

Sign Captains log, In blood if ye must.

Take no less leave no more! Or the curse be on ya. Ye be for warned... And just remember, Never trust a Pirate!

I thought this was (is) a pretty interesting story, and idea. We set out for Lord Bly's treasure first, and found it in short order.

This is me retrieving the cache (having no idea this photo was being taken), while Sarah looks on, Savannah holds up a fake coin (from another cache), and a fruit from a Pineapple Cactus, and Skylar apparently tries to do her best Howard Cosell impersonation.

Oh, actually she's about to sneeze. Ha ha ha, too funny! But maybe I should look at the camera...

That's better. Gesundheit, Skylar.

We took a little plastic horse, a fish and a bell. We left a Ratatouille figure, a keychain, and a high bouncing ball. (We were all out of pieces of eight.) We walked to the next "pirate chest" since it was nearby.

This was another easy find. Actually, they all were today, yay! Unfortunately, the chest (and the only one in the series that looked like a chest), was all broken up. See?


We had to hightail it out of there because one of the kids had to go number two. We quickly took a plastic necklace, a monkey figure, and a tiny bowling pin. We left a 20-sider, a high bouncing ball (no, not the same one as the one we took from the previous cache), and a Megatron car. We went home, and since Sarah was the only one who wanted to continue with me, we sought out the last one as a duo.

We would've had to have driven to this one anyway, since it was about a mile from the other two pirate stashes. We stopped for a minute to pose behind this interesting wall. It was only a decorative structure for an apartment complex there, but it looked pretty cool.

"Lemme outta here!!!"

Not sure what distracted me there, but okay...

This came out blurry for some unknown reason. Check out the droopy cactus-type thing behind us. Sarah is holding the cache, which is some sort of water bottle. I'm holding the GPS. I know, you can barely make them out.

We took a rubber alien toy, and left a 20-sider.

Th-th-that's all, folks!

                                                               Caches Found: 36                                                               

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hidden Beneath the Pentagon Toybox

WARNING: The following blog entry contains spoilers to the caches listed within. If you feel you may be caching in Tucson anytime soon and don't want to ruin your hunt, please proceed with caution.

After a couple weeks off, we headed a few miles east to hit a few caches. The last two were near a small neighborhood playground. Read on...

This cache was right by a Sonic restaurant, of all places. An employee spotted us as he was headed to his car. He asked us if we were looking for the "treasure." I responded to the affirmative, to which he stated that he doesn't think anyone's ever found it. Little did he know, they have, but it isn't easy. It took us quite a few minutes to find this thing, but find it we did. That is, Sarah found it. Here she is with her catch.

This one was located in what looked to be a mini-rock quarry. Near ground zero, I scraped my leg a bit, failing to notice a gap in the rocks. My leg fell into the gap, up to the knee! It's a good thing I didn't fall, or I may have broken it. Savannah (our middle Terror) spotted the cache. She needed this since she hasn't made any finds for awhile. We took a bag of erasers, a microcar (?), a goldfish, and some rainbow shoelaces. Nikki quickly claimed the shoelaces as being all hers. We left a 20-sided die, a Chuck E. Cheese token, a duck hockey toy, and the "they fired me at gettysburg" civil war cannon TB (we found that here).

 Savannah and I.

Nikki with Sarah (oldest Terror) and Skylar (tiniest Terror).

The next two caches brought us to Case Park. This is a rather small park, compared to the one we visited last time. There weren't many places to park, but we parked by the curb and headed out. Nikki was feeling a bit under the weather, so she elected to remain in the car. She was glad she did, for this quite a long walk. There was a sizable path heading towards the general direction of the cache, but alas, we were not aware of it. We blundered through quite a lot of cacti and thorny bushes. Luckily, the kids didn't get any needles stuck in them. I did get a few sticking out of the back of my leg, but they were easily withdrawn. We took a Dora Boots figure, a pair of tiny earrings, and some sort of plastic clip. We left a 20-sided die, a penguin toy, and a stamper. It's a good thing I had coordinates for another cache after this one, since I had no idea how to get back to the car from here!

"Bridge Across Troubled... Sand?"

We got it!

Neat rock-lined trail, eh?

I found a Skylar on the trail!

We stopped for a break and a photo-op.

This was a stone's throw from the nearby playground. We found it rather easily. We took a plastic whistle and a little disc toy. We left a 20-sided die and a Fisher Price baby figure. I tried to get a photo with the kids, but they were way too impatient at this point, and just ran off for the playground. I did manage to get a photo of me with the cache though (with the camera hanging from a tree branch by it's strap). The sun was about to set behind me. It was a very good day of hunting.

                                                               Caches Found: 32                                                               

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Walk in the Park

Unfortunately, all the finds here were made when the kids weren't with me, and I logged two DNF's (Did Not Find) when they were. After an hour or two at Chuck E. Cheese, we went down to Morris K. Udall Park to stroll around and do some geocaching. I took a few tokens with me to place in the caches.

WARNING: The following blog entry contains spoilers to the caches listed within. If you feel you may be caching in Tucson anytime soon and don't want to ruin your hunt, please proceed with caution.

Well, we looked and looked for this one, but we couldn't find it. At first, we thought it was this plastic egg, which had been vandalized by muggles (non-cachers). Nikki found it cracked open. After looking at the logs of the previous cachers, I see that it's a nano (very tiny), and it's magnetic... and it's not a plastic egg. There was a cool labyrinth with the statue of a Native American woman standing guard.

Lady of the labyrinth.

 This is not the cache. I put it back together, thinking that it might be.

Nikki and the kids got bored and tired, so Nikki sat, while the kids played on what looked like more of an exercise area for adults, than a kids' playground. I quickly set off to try for one more cache.

I was in a rush and couldn't find this one as well.  :(  Looking back at the visitor logs, I see that the cache coordinates are off by 20 feet or so. I actually just got an email from the cache owner, stating that someone moved the cache because the trees were being trimmed near where the cache was. While this is a very considerate thing to do, it's nowhere near the newly-posted coordinates. I fully intend to revisit this one once it's moved back.

At this point, Nikki wanted to go home because she was tired. We left, and I was somewhat despondent. After only finding two caches during the weekend prior, I didn't want to leave with only DNFs to report back. I decided to drop off Nikki and the kids (who were interested in playing with their friends anyway), and go back to seek the rest of the caches in Udall Park. Ironically enough, all the finds from this point on were quite easy.

This was located in a dirt and cacti area between the park itself, and a nearby neighborhood street. I found it really easy. It was a welcome relief after my problems with the other caches today. What I found really neat was the flat stone with a "handle" attached. The cache was directly underneath it.

I took some items for the girls: A notepad with "peace" and "love" logos on it, a Santa Claus maze toy (you know the kind with the little metal ball inside?), and a pin with a crowned heart on it. I left a 20-sided die, a Chuck E. Cheese token, and an action figure of a monkey.

Nothing to do with baseball, but I did find the cache rather easily. The container isn't the best (with the neck being slightly smaller than the rest of the container), and it was missing a lid. I took a toy lizard, and left a die.

I found this strange-looking plant (a cactus?) on the way to the cache site, and took one of it's fruits as a souvenir.

 Yes, I'm wearing a skort.

I don't know about roundabouts 1 through 5, but this one is pretty interesting. Strangely enough, I didn't take a picture of it. Here's a photo taken from one of the previous finders of this cache. The javelina isn't real, of course, but neither is the cactus!

After looking at the artwork for awhile, I looked for the cache, and found it straight away. It was getting late (and dark) by this point, so I called it a day after this one. I took a dolphin pin, and left another die and another token.

Caches Found: 28

Saturday, February 12, 2011


WARNING: The following blog entry contains spoilers to the caches listed within. If you feel you may be caching in Tucson anytime soon and don't want to ruin your hunt, please proceed with caution.

Some geocachers have a "signature item" that they like to leave in the caches. For example, there is someone who lives around here who goes by the handle of "Dominoes." He tends to leave a domino in the caches he visits. This sounded really neat to me, and I racked my brain for a few weeks, trying to come up with a signature item for myself. It had to be small enough to fit into most caches, and of course, non-perishable. Being a Dungeons and Dragons fan since at least the late `80's, I thought, "Hey! Dice!" And there is no more iconic die out there but a twenty-sider. I was able to find a lot of 100 on eBay for $15, including shipping. And they're purple. Take a look...

Purple nails, purple dice!

We found two for two last weekend. In other words, we got only 50% of the caches we sought out to find. Bogus, dude. Interestingly enough, they were all hid by the same person. No car this time, we just walked from one cache to another. My two older daughters and I had a nice walk around the neighborhood.

I'm not sure why this is called, "BAZOOKA!" I thought it would have something to do with the gum. But then again, the cache instructions did say that this was in a temporary container. We started looking in the wrong place at first. My GPS seemed to be a bit confused.  Once we were in the right area though, the find came quickly. It was under a bunch of rocks! We took a foreign coin, and left a domestic penny and a 20-sided die.

Right after we found the cache, a woman and her dogs came over to say hello. We stealthily hid the thing until they left.

Savannah (L) and Sarah (R) with the cache. My trusty GPSr is in the bottom right-hand corner.

This is one of a series of caches in which the cache owner talks about various cats he's known over the years. As far as I can tell, the caches themselves don't resemble anything catlike. But then again, we only found one of them. You can click on the links to read the stories. This one was in a Ziploc bag. One of the previous cachers found it without a lid, so he or she bagged it to protect it from rain and such. We found this behind a rock. We took nothing and left a twenty sided die.

I'm holding the teeny tiny cache in my right hand, and the rolled-up logsheet in my left hand. I was using that brick to lean on while writing.

This was our first DNF (Did Not Find). The clue is, "rope is your friend" We did find a length of cable, but couldn't figure out how to use it. To climb, I suppose? The cache might have been up a tree (which may have trouble supporting most people's weight), or in a hole on top of a high concrete wall. Then again, maybe there's another way to it. I don't know. It does have 4 out of 5 stars for difficulty. I'll try this again one day, with a ladder or something.  ;)

Our second DNF. This was in a very prickly area. Cacti all over, and two nasty trees. One cut down and strewn on the ground, and the other one standing tall, waiting to prick someone. Sarah and I got quite a few cactus needles stuck in our skin, with nothing to show for it. After some kids asked us if we wanted to play in their clubhouse (I told them I'm a bit old for that, ha ha!), we gave up on this one. I see notes from others now, indicating that it may be easier to attack this one from the south. We didn't come from that way, so I'll give this another try at some point.

And that's the sum of our adventure for the weekend. I'm used to finding more, so this was a bit of a bummer. Luckily, we aren't graded on geocaching. I would definitely have come home with a bad report card on this one.

Caches Found: 25

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Eleven Happy School Books

WARNING: The following blog entry contains spoilers to the caches listed within. If you feel you may be caching in Tucson anytime soon and don't want to ruin your hunt, please proceed with caution.

NOTE: Following the advice of my new friend, Erika Jean, I've removed the cache coordinates from under the titles, and instead made a link to the cache entry on Without a membership (which is free, by the way), one will merely see a series of question marks for the coordinates on that site. I originally chose to insert the coordinates here for style, but it's not worth the fact that a non-cacher can easily get to the site without even being a member of Thanks, Erika!

This entry was delayed for almost two weeks, mostly due to the fact that we were without internet service for awhile.

We set out on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for another bunch of caches. The whole family came this time, which is always a plus for me.

First up was a cache that was reported as vandalized and almost completely destroyed. I checked it again and saw that some kind soul had re-hid the cache and added a new logbook to it. We set out to find it, and did so quite easily. We found half of a dollar bill inside, and maybe one or two more small items. We added a bunch of things to the cache (some kiddie bingo boards, a Sylvester toy, and a Disney hockey duck toy), and took nothing. The cache needed help. I did also notice that the container needs to be replaced, since there's a large crack in the lid.

Two of the Terrors striking poses.

Here is a cache that we attempted to find a few weeks ago and failed in the attempt. (Click here for more info... it's the second to last entry.) I had found previous logs which better illuminated the sketchy hint of "Pull up." That hint means "pull up your car... and stand on it." We made sure to bring the car.

The last time we had been there, I noticed a rock on top of the carport. We figured it would be under the rock. Sarah and I stood on the car. I could see the rock, but couldn't reach it. The point was moot, for I could see there was nothing under it. (I did worry that the cache might BE the rock. Some clever caches are hollowed-out rocks with a log sheet inside.) I started to wonder if it might be stuffed in the little crenellations on the structure's roof.


Once down from the car, Sarah spotted it.

This was fun, and I'm glad we finally found it, but the height really isn't fair. What if the cacher was on a bike, or on foot?

I was floored. We PASSED this cache on the way to the Electric Substation cache the day before, and I had no idea! I hadn't loaded it in as a waypoint on my GPS yet, so it didn't show on the map screen. Here's the map from the previous entry, now with the 123 Book Exchange cache circled (gotta love my work with Microsoft Paint, huh?).

This is a large-sized cache, and the first of it's size that we've found. As I walked up to it, I knew exactly what it was. There were reports that the lock and key that the owner had installed were both missing, and had been for over a year. These reports are accurate. The top was heavy, but I was able to lift it up without too much effort. Voila!

This is me next to the cache, as Skylar walks up to check it out.

I knew this thing was full of books already (a "book exchange"), so I brought a few with us. The kids had fun picking out books. Just look at Skylar!

I found a book entitled, "Iguanodon." It's aimed for the child that loves dinosaurs, but Nikki plans on reading it to our green iguana, Fizban!

 And she really did. She's nuts! Unfortunately, Fizban wouldn't sit still for the whole story.

Here's a priceless picture. Kids reading... quietly. Ahhh....

We took What a Girl Wants (novel), The Early Bird (children's book), Bears in the Night (ditto), Dinosaurs Everywhere (ditto), and Iguanodon (ditto). We left Brain by Robin Cook, The Devil That Danced On the Water, a Robin Cook omnibus, and some toys: A Disney duck hockey player, and a Planet of the Apes toy. Reading and caching, combined into one great treasure hunt. We loved it!

We just walked to this one from the 123 Book Exchange Cache. It was a pretty long walk, and once we got there, we saw this. Is this the cache?

The hint on the cache's page at is: "Remember this cache goes to eleven." (This is inspired by the mock documentary, "This is Spinal Tap.") You can see in the picture that there's a combination lock on this thing. We tried all different combinations. I was trying to select all the numbers that would add up to 11. As you can imagine, with three numbers, there would be quite a lot of combinations! Starting from 119, to 191, 182, 128, well it goes on and on. Sarah got it right by choosing "211." It goes TWO eleven! Smart kid!

Here's Sarah with the padded panel that was in front of the cache, and the Marvel cards she found inside.

I'm holding the log book, which brings me back to high school, since it's covered in heavy metal band logos! (Click the picture to make it bigger.) Sarah is holding the "Swag Log" and the cover to the cache container. Savannah has the dinosaur book that she got from the 123 Book Exhange cache. Skylar is holding the mini-skateboard that she got from this cache, and a rock.

We took Marvel cards, a mini-skateboard, a piglet figure, and a flashlight keychain. We left an elephant trunk mask, a girl figure, a pumpkin man, and a wind-up toy. We also found a travel bug in this cache, attached to a replica of a Gettysburg cannon. Nikki wanted this for herself, but I had to explain to her that both the travel bug and the item it's attached to is not to be kept, but rather to be passed on to another cache.

This turned out to be a really good hunt. Not only did we find four caches, our record in one day so far, (hey, the kids can only go for so long without getting tired or bored), but we found all the caches we set out to find.

Caches Found: 23