Monday, December 29, 2014

Yard Sale Find

   A variety of micro caches here, all for ten bucks at a yard sale.  The black one is a nano, and the screw is hollow; the top comes off and has room for a very small logbook.  Insane!  Gotta do some stuff with these.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Supplemental Entry: Pioneer Day Passageway

     Supplemental Entries are more personal than the main entries.  There are no overlays or maps or voice-overs.  Sometimes I will seek out a specific cache because of the amount of favorite points it has, or I have heard or seen something that leads me to believe it would look good in the Main Entries, and then I try and hit the surrounding caches while I am there.

     There is only one geocache in this video, at 7:00 minutes or so.  Everything before is vibe, and the stuff after is just me going on about whether I like to be alone or have company.  Vloggy stuff, really.  When I look back on this entry, I want to feel the mood I felt while I was there, which was kind of spooked because of that PERSISTENT YET SPORADIC HAMMERING SOUND DEVOID OF RHYTHM and general location and setting.  I'm not far from humanity at all, but I had traveled from the parking lot through the woods to this little tunnel, and I hadn't seen a soul.  Plus, Fall is SPOOOOKY, right?

Only about a mile from the parking (left) to the cache (right)

Long, lonely abandoned railroad tracks.  Oh wait, someone took all the tracks.

Cache Stats

Name: Pioneer Day Passageway
Hidden: April 24, 2013
Last Found: October 17, 2014
Difficulty: 3.5
Terrain: 3.5
Size: Small
Type: Standard
Favorite Points: 2
Clue: "Stoned"

     It turns out Pioneer Day is a holiday, and it is on the day the cache was released.  Meh.  The wind was blowing my tripod all over the place and I was testing out a hands-free thingie I made for my GPS, so I couldn't be too bothered by some Utah-based holiday for Mormons.

     Oh yeah, in case you are wondering, when I am at the entrance, after I say, "There are a lot of spots," I hear some quads (or All Terrain Vehicles - ATVs) and that is what I shout before I go and hide from the cool kids.

"ATV!" Run!
     I really do think they could have had more fun placing that, but to each their own.  I am happy to have been brought back to this tranquil area.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Main Journal Entry #005

     Why wouldn't I want to start off this entry with an image of Han Solo in a dubious position over someone's trackable coin while Chewbacca stands behind him in an attempt to dislodge something from one of Han's orifices?  It's absolutely relevant if you watch the video entry.

     I had to combine two attempts at Mercer County Park.  The first time I went in the spring, I was in the process of recording at their war memorial while finding Purple Heart, and some gnarly old veteran came in and started having an emotional moment, so I let him be, but my spirit was sapped so I went home to have a good think.  The lure of the park's 50 caches brought me back in the fall, which turned out to be a really windy day, but dry enough for me to quest for 10 caches.

A gorgeous ride on easy terrain.
     I may have a dash of Phil Filming Himself Riding A Bicycle Syndrome, because it is the only way I know how to indicate travel on video.  This entry also hammers home, and suffers from, the fact that regular caches hidden in the woods are not that interesting.  Fun to find, but shit on film unless the container or puzzle is wicked, or the location has some pizzazz.

The caches in this video are:

     I'm not bothering too much with notes here because everything was pretty standard and vanilla.  I'm not putting down the caches or anything, but maybe I am rushing myself here to get caught up on my timeline so I can publish the blog.  There isn't too much to add when you have already filmed yourself finding a box in the woods.

     I can't stress enough how delightful it was to ride the twisty-but-level trails in this park, and I hope that comes through in the video.  As far as geocaching goes, you can't beat the amount of caches you can find in one day in this one area.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

SPACE 2081: A Geocaching Odyssey

     In the first main journal entry, I mentioned that the cache SPACE2081 [4.5/2.5] Broken Arrow was part of a larger series, and that I would explain later.  Now, it is later.

     The SPACE 2081 series is apparently run by several or more people in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area.  In fact SPACE stands for "Southeastern Pennsylvania Association of Caching Enthusiasts," and they have placed 81 space-related (fact or fiction) caches around the way, one for every Difficulty and Terrain Rating combination available from the main geocaching site.  They generally write the combination in the cache title, as seen above.  Take a look at my sidebar and you will see the "star charts."

     Each cache has a code in it, and when all 81 of these codes are in hand, then they can be used to find out the location of the 82nd and final cache.  So far, I have found 4, and I totally forget what the codes were in two of them.  There are no shortcuts here; you need to have the logs signed and you need to have all the clues to get to the final.

     It has just occurred to me that two things have occurred to me.  The first is that they have not released all 81 caches yet.  This endeavor of theirs appears to have only started in the past year or so, but they seem good on keeping things well-maintained, and the caches and hides themselves are creative and somewhat more thoughtful than other caches around the area.  The second thing I realized is that the last one I found, called SPACE2081 [3.5/5.0] GeoForce Be With You, actually had you stretching out in an iconic pose.  I could see if you were shorter how you might wish you could do a Force Pull here, but I did not have that problem.

     So, as far as getting some nice and creative caches on camera for the journal, SPACE caches seem the way to go.  I'm going to try my best to not include the actual codes required in the video, because Screw You!  While there are obviously location spoilers in this journal, you are still going to have to go out there and get the codes yourself!

I realize I already screwed this up with the Broken Arrow one in the first entry by not blurring out the code, but what can you do?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Main Journal Entry #004

    If Entry #003 had just the dash of playfulness that I wanted, then Entry #004 had it just a tad too much.  Of note here is my revisit to Where's The Fiddler (from Entry #002) to make amends for my unmanly behavior last time I was there.  Also, another SPACE2081 cache or two, so I will definitely have to make the next entry about them, because no one will know what the hell I am talking about unless you live nearby.

     It's killing me not being able to find even the work files for the video.  I hope I find them for the pictures.  I was mostly along the Delaware Canal, so it's not like I was missing out on too many new shots, and the video has long been finished and uploaded to YouTube.  Still...where the hell are those files?

     I started with Where's The Fiddler, which is one of those caches where you end up second guessing your interest in this hobby.  Assuming you watched the entry, you'll be happy to know someone posted a comment on the video identifying those little bastards in the sewer.
     Rhaphidophoridae, or cave crickets, are horrendous little shits with long legs that seek to jump in to your open and exposed mouth and skitter down your throat to lay eggs right above your stomach.  In case you couldn't tell from the video, I can't wait to come back here!

     After about 4 or 5 minutes of not actually seeing a cache, we reach SPACE2081 [3.5/5.0] GeoForce Be With You.  This one had a terrain rating of 5 stars (which is the maximum, as per the charts on the sidebar) and while I don't think it deserved it (stretching over water is maybe a 3.5 in my book) it certainly deserves the 30 favorite points it has.  I don't want to keep going off about this series of caches until the next entry, but these are something to look forward to.  I'm glad I found this one.

     I ditched my bike and started walking uphill to Vulture View, which did have a nice view for me, and all I can remember about the cache itself was that it had a blue serving dish shaped like a fish in it.  What the hell?  I went back on the ski lift side of the hill (they like to slap the term "mountain" around a lot up here) to get another Space cache called SPACE2081 [1.5/3.0] DeLorean Wheels.  Another clever one, and if I never find those missing files, I know I will get more photo opportunities, because I forgot to sign the log and grab the special code from this hide.

Main Journal Entry #003

     Entry #003 is what I would like most of the Main Entries to be like.  It's a dash more playful, and it has basic map effects to help give you a sense of location.  A major chunk of the video is in Trenton, which was more photogenic than I thought.  Plus, it wasn't windy, which it always seems to be when I am out.

     Part of me wishes that I included more geocaches that I actually found, but what is the point of a journal if I omit the bad stuff? I'd also just like to point out that New Jersey does not have the official nickname of Ol' Stinky, that is just something I made up.  Affectionately, I'm sure.  Everything else in the video is legit.

Caches In This Video

Lady Victory: While this cache ended up being disabled (always update your info!) it was still an interesting place to visit.  Like I say in the video, war memorials are background noise to me here, but just because I am not reading every engraving and plaque doesn't mean I can't appreciate how things look.  Lady Victory herself is an impressive statue in front of the State House, and the running water on the walls was a nice touch.  Hmm, in looking at the listing for this cache again to get the link for this blog, I noticed that it has been reactivated.  Good!  I'll have to try to pick it off.

Sam's Place.  Ok, if you have watched the entry, you have to let me know if I am the only one that thinks the statue is kind of off-putting.  Or maybe it is just because I am suggesting it here.  No!  It's creepy, dammit!  I stand by my original feelings on the matter.  Don't get me started again on the creepy ring of children on the way to the next cache.  Anyway, I like virtual caches.  No fuss, no muss.

Trenton Marina:  Couldn't find this one after two attempts.  I feel like I really scoured that
fothermucker, too.  Interesting machinery, most likely to load steel and other heavy material on to ships.  Oh!  Looking at the listing now, I see there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that no one else has found it either, so it is probably missing, which makes me feel better about my searching skills.  The bad news is I saw this picture posted by uminski, which shows one of the reasons why you shouldn't go for these Trenton ones late at night.

Questionable stains?

Defunct Factory:  We leave the Trenton area and blast over to Bensalem, Pennsylvania to the remnants of several buildings in a little patch of woods near where the Byberry Mental Hospital used to be.  HBO's True Detective was fresh in my head when I got there, so maybe that affected my ability to find the cache.  Unfortunately, most of the "exploration" video (all 7 minutes of it) was jittery and potato-like, but I was able to put some in the entry.

Hanging At The Inn: I never would have found it if I was not exasperated.  I mean, it's not like it was showing.  I just randomly grabbed a branch that came out in when I gripped it.  You should have seen my face.  This sucker is a devious one and is ranked highly in my book.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Main Journal Entry #002

40.292799, -74.695549
I'm rather proud of this untouched photo.
Swing, swing, swing.
     I don't know why I find this photo bad-ass, but I do.  It activates my fantasy nodes somehow.  All the other trees worship The One.  There is the view from an observation perch on a trail in a place called the Dyson Tract, which these days is a lovely bit of public park area.
     Entry #002 is comprised of video from summer, winter and fall.  The Dyson Tract outing was from the winter, and looks to be a good training ground that sits right on a crossover between two major bike paths.  I picked up several caches on the way to one that had many favorite points called "12/25" a lot of people were saying how neat and simple this hide is, with clever use of a simple and common tool.  I agree with them, and the name of the cache makes sense after finding it.
     The cache "White Square" was about the only noteworthy or outstanding cache located on Baldpate Mountain (near the Abandoned Farm)  when I was there in the summer.  I wish I could find that damn folder or drive that has these old photos.  Alas, I think they are lost.  This is also one of the driving reasons to make this blog, because Google will remember the pictures for me.  FOREVER.

     Finally, in Washington Crossing Historic Park, we have Over The Rainbow, a "field puzzle" in that you don't know what you have to do to get to the next stage until you get to the first one.  Fortunately I am familiar with Roy G. Biv, so the puzzle didn't cause me any distress.  It was a wonderful Fall day.  Halloween of last year, actually.  I found a few caches that day but for the most part I just wandered around like I had never seen colors before.  I didn't see anyone else that day, which is fine by me.  Felt like I had the whole place to myself.

And it smelled good, too!
Perhaps I should actually embed the video in the blogger entry, and not just make references to it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Main Journal Entry #001

     The first official video journal entry (that is, made with the intent to share with more people) contains some of the coolest elements of geocaching I have seen out of all the finds, which admittedly is only 104 caches at the time of this writing.  In fact the first cache is a multiple-stage affair that someone put a bit of time and effort in to and really draws you in to the hobby.  Kicking away at the ice and snow on a hill in a nature preserve to find a weird metal box with a button and a speaker will certainly stand out in my memories for some time.

     There are still some recording snafus but all-in-all things turned out OK.  I lucked out with my $12 paper-thin tripod and managed to turn out a picture or two.  The opening shot of the frozen lake covered in snow and more ice turned out pretty good.

The caches in this video are:

    I know, only two caches, but you have to admit Broken Arrow is pretty cool, and held my attention on multiple trips.  Not that the tree one isn't without merit, but unscrewing the fins from a missile felt slightly cooler.  I'll get in to the Space2081 cache series after entry #004.

     I don't have any supplemental pictures or videos for my maiden "main journal" entry.  I feel like there is a folder hiding somewhere that has a bunch of stuff I need.  When I find it, I will bust it in here.

Broken Arrow, Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3 is around here somewhere...near one of the farms.
     I just recently read that someone visiting Stage 2 (the one near the railroad tracks close to the private homes) had the police called on them.  Nothing happened to them, but there is contention about public vs. private land, so who knows how that will turn out.  Glad I got there when I did!

Along The Delaware Canal (Part Two - Geocaching)

     The Delaware Canal Path is a man-made canal dug out many years ago to have mule-drawn barges deliver coal and other goods.  I don't want to get in to a history lesson here because the video for this is a probably-too-long 44 minutes as I barrel through the scenery going from location to location.  Also, I am mostly ignorant on the history, and since I am sure I will be visiting this place often to rack up the cache finds, I can always delve in to it later.
     I would love to get in to each cache individually here, with Google Map shots showing where I was, and maybe I will in the future, but for now I want to get this blog caught up with my "current timeline" and save this mundane task for some rainy day in the future.  I will list the caches visited (found or not) on this day, however.  That is one thing I would like to have listed in my journal.  

     Yeah, 44 minutes is too long for that crap rendering, but hopefully you can look past that.  Now, a listing of the caches and links, plus some quick notes on them for my personal reference.  Bold equals a big, fat "not found":
Note 1 - I didn't know what the Space2081 cache series was at the time.
Note 2 - Perils of Pauline is one of my first "unique" caches and is really quite devious.  It is my first introduction to stretchwell, a cacher who appears to have some well-earned renown among the community as someone who sets out some good hides.
Note 3 - This note is simply to point out that I really did fart in a jar and try to contain it.  Do I think this really worked?  No.  I am pleased to say that someone found it and had a chuckle from it.
Note 4 - This one is listed as "not found," despite the video, because stretchwell took it upon himself to contact me and tell me what I found was not the actual cache.  Damnit!
Note 5 - Hopefully this cache will not be a major thorn in my side, what with the new-found fear of having weird bugs jump in my mouth in the dark and enclosed place.  I have already failed again in the Main Journal Entry #004.

Frame grab; I like that desolate feel involved.

Someone found my fart!  "Gross lol,"
I'm a chemical miscreant!

Damn you, stretchwell! I like how he takes a dig at my alternate-canine persona.
     And finally, because I have no other place to really put it, is a recording from my handle-bar cam (which is there for safety issues, not vlogging ones) in which I follow a man on a recumbent bicycle down the canal path because I found his overall locomotion fascinating.  I accidentally blasted him with mud at the end, but hey, don't ride so close to the ground?  He said that is why he had goggles on, but apparently the goggles do nothing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Along The Delaware Canal (Part One - Photos)

     If you live near the New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ area and you like riding bikes and/or geocaching, then you need to get on down there and spend the day riding the Delaware Canal Path, an easy and level public trail that is also a maintained State park.  It can offer both a bit of solitude as you travel north and a bit of town life by the bridges.  The New Hope area, while small, can get pretty jumping with its clubs, bars and shops.  If you can time it to ride in the day and walk around the main street at night, then you are golden.  It is worth a drive of up to (and including!) 3 hours.  I have about 30 pictures to give you the feel of the area as far as riding and geocaching goes.  The caches around this way are varied enough to keep you interested, and there are enough that you will be able to make many trips out of it.

40.364567, -74.950537 - Early in the morning.
Looking at the Lambertville Station Inn
Freud would have had a field day with this imagery.
Near the "Perils of Pauline" Cache, at the New Hopy and Ivyland station.

Parts of the Canal Path go through privately maintained areas.

I suppose I could Google this...

Inside abandoned train cars are some interesting pieces.

Why you gotta Poo on their work?

     The Delaware Canal itself runs 60 miles along the Delaware river on the PA side.  On the New Jersey side it is called the Delaware and Raritan Canal Path and has several offshoots.  More on that in another entry.  The Canal is an excellent place to branch off in to various parks and bike paths to satisfy your exploratory tangents.

If you don't feel like riding or walking, just swim?

This picture and the next one are "enhanced" to match my memory.

The Canal itself is popular with rowers and kayaks.

I can see wasting the day lazily floating down the canal.

On the Jersey side the canal paths run through quaint parts of Lambertville.

Sometimes you find yourself alone with the scenery.

Ok, maybe one too many shots of the path here.

I wonder how many people have fallen off to the right.

     Ok.  I feel better just plastering those pictures here instead of trying to piece together what specifically I did along with the video I am about to put in the next post.  Now, I can come back to this page remember the journey, and not the sweat.