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