Category Archives: Geocaching

Urban Geocaching

FSCN7197

I dropped the kid off at his Improv Comedy Class on Saturday and went in search of a few geocaches. First up was Evergreen Palace by TJFirey at Tulsa’s Heller Park. One of those you know easy park and grabs that everybody finds. I didn’t find it but walked around and took a few pics.  There have been a bunch of caches at Heller Park over the years and I don’t know if I have found any of them!!

IMAG1567

The area around “Up Joe Creek” Cache.

Not very far away was Bridge of Sorrows, by Thurstonhowell1. Another one with a great hint and everybody else is having a great time finding it but not for me!! A homeless guy came by with an old carpet sweeper that he found somewhere close by. He was pretty proud of it mainly because of the handle. He said, “Look, it still works.” and he ran it on the sidewalk and then he says “Damn, I’m picking up the pebbles.” I said, “Yep, its working great. My mom used to have one.” And he said, “I’ll have to figure a way to get those rocks out, but later, I have places to be now.” I said take care and he said nice to visit, “Same here, see you later!” I answered. I kind of like non mentally ill, non drug using homeless people.

Oops, sorry, this is a geocaching post and I didn’t find it. Next was Up Joe Creek by BlueStar99. This one took a little figuring out to get close to the cache. I had to use a business parking lot. I park far away from the building and was mindful of No Trespassing Signs, there were none. It took me a little bit to find this clever little cache but I did. First find of the day. I am big into the concept of Geocaching is all about the hunt but I do like to find them every now and then.

IMAG1569

It was getting close to pick the kid up so I headed north and stopped at “Keep Speeding” by mindfulmomma right near Insterstate 44. I parked nearby and crossed the frontage road and found it. No homeless people, or anything. I found it. I’m on a roll!! Yeah Me!!

I head over and pick Logan up and we get something to eat and then I take him to his volunteer gig working for the Animal Rescue Foundation. Logan has a soft spot for dogs and cats and hates geocaching with a passion. Where did I go wrong that I have a kid that would rather clean out cat boxes than look for ammo boxes? Oh well, one of us needs counseling.

IMAG1571

So I headed up through north Tulsa on my to Oxley Nature Center. I stopped short of Oxley to look for a cache named Heat Wave by The Sooners. It took me a little bit and then, Oh yeah, I’ve seen this before.  I drove a little further to another one of those, easy to find, fun caches that everybody else can find but me, named TICO #2 by glenjonz. And yep, I didn’t find it. I have a complex about easy caches.

DSCN7213

Next up was a full size cache in Oxley Nature Center that was had some good reviews called Nature of Mohawk by Skitzo666. I live for full size caches in the woods. So I parked nearby and looked around and walked here and there and looked high and then looked low and then got down on my hands and knees and went looking in the tough spots and easy spots and started looking farther and farther away and then repeated the whole process

I decided to log and DNF and go do something else. Just then a car drove up and parked and a guy popped out and asked if I was looking for the cache. He said he was the cache owner and somebody reported the cache was missing. He went to one of the spots where I looked and reported yep it was missing. He said he was going to replace it at a different spot so I wandered off far enough to where I could hear him but not see him and then he left. He told me the general area where it was so I found it easily enough. What a great cache owner Skitzo666 is. Salud to you guy. You are doing it right.

So I turned off the GPSr, retrieved my “good”camera from the car and headed up a water pipeline into Oxley’s Northwoods Loop Trail that I posted about on Sunday.

 

In Search of the Rid(dle)diculous Geocache

DSCN7108

I have been after a geocache named “That’s Just Rid(dle)iculous!!!” by a geocacher named M5. (Geocachers have names, I’m known as YogiABB.) Its  puzzle cache which means one has to solve a puzzle to find the cache.

DSCN7110

This puzzle involves arithmetic and some baffling wordage about the three kids and the sum of their ages, and the product of the their ages, and one’s a muggle and oh my. I don’t know what is going on.

DSCN7111

Ithought I had it so I went out the area and bushwhacked to what i thought was ground zero and looked here and there and up there and down here and around and around. so I didn’t find it.

DSCN7112

aa

DSCN7114

I didn’t find the cache but I had a pleasant hour in the woods, Plus One for ME! And found a new secret trail!! Score One More for Me.!! It is not very long but it is sweet.

DSCN7115

So I’ll take that.

Twenty Four Hours in Osage County

_DSC0147

Those of you who know me, know that I’m a Geocacher. The Tulsa Area Geocachers have an annual event in the Fall that they have at various State Parks in Oklahoma and this year they went to one of my favorite spots in Oklahoma, Osage Hills State Park up in Osage County. It is a beautiful wooded, hilly location with lots of camping spots and a friendly accommodating staff.

Heather and Logan stayed home. They hate geocaching. Hate might be too mild a word for their feelings about it. So I went by myself.

_DSC0154

So it was fun finding the various temporary caches placed by the participants. Some of the people are diabolically clever.

_DSC0140

Osage Hills is known for having the remnants of a Civilian Conservation Commission camp built back in the 1930’s to house young men who helped build the facilities still used at the park.

_DSC0137

Here is a link to an interesting short blog post about the history of the CCC at Osage Hills. I learned that the camp was active from 1935 to 1941. Its amazing that so much remains 75 years after the camp ceased operation.

_DSC0170

Mainly I wandered the trails. I didn’t encounter many other geocachers as I started with the furthest removed caches and worked back and was more interested in taking pictures anyway.

_DSC0175

I found the camp dynamite hut. It looks solid enough still, except for the roof.

_DSC0188

I loved Lookout Lake. No geocachers here, just fishermen.

_DSC0197

Found me a little critter. He told me he wasn’t a geocache.

_DSC0205

The next day I got up early and went out to Sand Creek to take some photos. One of the prettist places in the state as far as I am concerned.

_DSC0220

And then I drove out to the nearby Nature Conservancy’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. I always love the wide open spaces with rolling hills and the bison.

_DSC0221

I’ve never been able to photograph the feeling of exapanse of this place. It is almost 40,000 acres.

_DSC0222

It is huge and goes on forever.

_DSC0240

And then I drove down to Woolaroc, Frank Phillips’ (of Phillips Petroleum) country place. Woolaroc is an acronym for “Woods, Lakes,and Rocks”. He has a first class western art museum, a buffalo herd, and all sorts of other stuff that an oil gazillionaire needs.

_DSC0244

And a barn for the the critters.  I love the barn.

_DSC0257

And the landscaping (rockscaping).

_DSC0262

And the Native American design motif. I know its cultural misappropriation but I still like it.

And then I went home.  But I had a great time.

Multitasking – Geocaching with some Hill Training

DSCN5307

Son Logan rocking the hat and Star Wars shirt.

Part of geocaching is that if you place a cache then you are responsible for it and if it goes missing you have to replace it. I have such a cache called “Little Haikey Creek” located in south Tulsa right in the middle of a giant freeway exchange. I’ve had it for years and hardly anybody ever looks for it because it is a long walk from the nearest parking areas. 

DSCN5310

So off we went on the Mingo trail that winds through the freeway interchange.

DSCN5311

The highest part of the freeway exchange goes right by the Mingo Trail and the resulting hill is popular with runners who want to do hill repeats. Hill repeats are where you keep going up and down hills, repeatedly. It is kind of like hitting your head with a hammer repeatedly, except hill repeats are good for you. Supposedly, anyway Logan and I decided to run up and down the hill just for the fun of it. Really we just walked. But I’m calling it a run. What do you know? You weren’t there.

DSCN5317

So anyway we got to ground zero (that is geocacher lingo, for the place where the cache is supposed to be) and placed a new one. Somewhere in the woods above. Then we headed back.

DSCN5318

We passed a homeless guys place. This kind of puzzled me. Most homeless guys camp near where they can get food and water. This place is a long hike for either. Oh well.

DSCN5319

On the way back, we ran up the hill again!! Just for the heck of it.

DSCN5321

There he goes down the hill. I like how he is holding his hat like a cowboy holds his cowboy hat. Logan is a native Okie you know.

DSCN5322

And then a cyclist came by and went up the hill by diagonal. No way that Alan Bates could do that.

Anyways a good time was had by all. The cache was replaced, we got some fresh air and exercise and a lot of fun. Logan still hates geocaching but he is starting to run/walk with me a little bit and I’m loving that.

What have you been up to lately?

Lunchtime Geocaching – Walking in the Woods looking for Tupperware

DSCN4824

A bare hint of a trail at West Highlands Park

Fall has definitely come to Tulsa and we are in a period of gorgeous days with sunshine and blue skies. And with the brush, bugs, and snakes gone I am back in the woods finding the larger geocaches. Once or twice a week I take off at lunch to go find one or two. Early in the week I went to west Tulsa’s West Highlands Park to find one hidden deep in the woods in an undeveloped area of the park. Previous finders had reported a lot of difficult bushwhacking. I’m lazy and I had my work clothes on and wasn’t interested in getting all tangled up in the brush, thorns, and mud so I spent a considerable amount of time looking for a trail headed to the cache. It wasn’t a regular park maintained trail. It is what land managers call a “social trail” and you are liable to find anything on such a thing. It is best to keep an eye on what is going on because it is possible to walk into something you don’t really want to walk into. Check out geocaching.com to learn more about geocaching or my link at the end of this post. DSCN4825

Sure enough about 100 feet into the woods I find a collection and porno mags and some whiskey bottles. Sometimes I wish I had a trash bag with me (and a really really good pair of gloves!). I’ve brought along trash bags and it works out well. You pick this crap up and and drop it into a trash bin at the park parking lot. I hate it when people leave trash in public areas.

IMAG0632

A few hundred feet further and I came upon an old squatter’s camp that was no longer active. They had left a bright green Dollar store shopping cart. That puzzled me because you would basically have to carry that thing through the woods to their camp. I mean if you have that much energy why don’t you get a job, earn some money, and get an apartment? Busy #beavers felling trees in west #Tulsa #SightsofGeocaching #inthewoodssomewhere #nature

Soon after, I left all signs of squatters and came upon signs of nature. Some busy little beaver got after this tree.

I found the cache, as a courtesy to the Cache Owner and the people looking for it I am not showing where I found it. If you want to go look for it, it is named “TAG CITO 2014 Commemorative Cache – West Highlands.”  It was a fun one to find.

Untitled

At lunch on Friday I drove out west to Keystone Dam to look for a couple of caches. Untitled

I wasn’t really familiar with the area and ended up on this old road on the south side of the Arkansas River downriver from the dam. A road like this demands to be driven to the very end and I did. So then I looped back and got to business at hand.

Untitled

Untitled

I saw an eagle take off from the top of these trees near the “Ground Zero” of the Bomb Squad Cache.

The first one I went after was close to the dam and was named Blue Blazes after the trail that goes by it. This is on Army Corps of Engineers managed land and there was no signs of squatters or porn parties. Just me, the trail, and the woods. 

Then I went to the other side of the dam and took a short hike along the north bank of the river and found the Bomb Squad Cache so named because the cache owner originally placed the cache too close to a post office and the police bomb squad came in and looked at it. They didn’t go stupid though. They left a note asking him to move it somewhere else and he did deep in the woods, and I’m glad he did.

Anyways I love walking in the woods this time of year on a bright sunshiny days. What about you, have you ever been geocaching?

Geocaching 101

(Bad) Judgement Day on Turkey Mountain

DSCN3575

Last Tuesday night I went over to Turkey Mountain and did a little (darned little) trail running and geocaching. I started out on the Red Trail to go find some caches. I passed a couple that was walking along really slowly looking at their GPSr and I asked if they were geocaching. The guy put the GPSr behind his back and said, “What’s that.” Newbies, why are they so embarrassed? Cuz they should be is the answer.

DSCN3579

It took a while for my GPSr to lock on so I kind of wibble wobbled as you might see from the Garmin Connect map at the end of this post but it finally synched with the satellites (thank you my fellow American taxpayers for those satellites I’ll add here.) My first cache was difficult. It required a double backward flip off this fallen tree and a clean landing. Believe it or not I did it and so claimed the cache. Proof, you say? Well I told you that I did it didn’t I?

DSCN3586

Then the next one not too far away. All I had to do was stick my hand somewhere I didn’t want to. Nothing bit me, this time.

DSCN3581

And I climbed out of the Red Tail area via the Fro Flo trail. I love going the wrong way is all I can say. I went uphill on the Fro Flo guys. Gasps from the Turkey Mountain free riders.

There are several videos on Youtube of the Fro Flo by riders using their Go Pro cameras. This one had some good views of the jumps.

DSCN3580

I’m trying to figure out what this is for.

DSCN3588

This one looks fun. Would you ride your bike up this ramp and then down the length of the log. Yeah, well me neither.

So anyway I got back to the parking lot and started up the blue trail to the top of Lipbuster and looked for a cache (and didn’t find it) near the water tanks and then I noticed another cache on my GPSr about a quarter mile away. I thought, maybe I could bushwhack it over there.

DSCN3592

Not a good idea. One thing led to another. Thorns, tall grass, thickets, scratches, blood, insects. No snakes though. That I could see anyway. Fortunately I had used deet before my run so no ticks or chiggers.

DSCN3594

I finally found a clearing. Where I could make some headway.

DSCN3593

And then out in the middle of nowhere I found Little Miss Blue Eyes. Kind of cute don’t you think. Kind of spooky is what I think. Eventually I found a trail and made it to the cache site and found it and then I kind of took a wrong turn.

DSCN3596

You see there were some new trails up there and I didn’t know how they ran so I just went with it and took quite a tour of the southwestern side of the mountain before I made it back to the Snake Trail. By then it was pitch dark and I didn’t do a whole lot of running.

DSCN3597

I passed a cop car with its lights on. I think they were looking for the old fat guy going up the wrong way on Fro Flo.

Here is my route. Slow and sloppy was the mode.

Continue reading

Running and Geocaching along the Turnpike

DSCN3552

Yesterday evening I didn’t make it out to Turkey Mountain after work to run with the TATUR group. I was on the wrong side of town you see because it is almost tax time and I had to go pick up the return and see how much extra damage I was having to pay over and above what we’ve already paid.

DSCN3554

You see I just get totally confused on who to vote for because well you know Obama likes to give my money to his friends, the poor people and almost all Republicans like to give my money to their friends, the rick people. Now Hillary, she’s different, she doesn’t have any friends so she’ll just keep my money. Stuff like that makes life a lot simpler is what I say. Besides if she gets elected she’ll have to buy a new email server. I think a President who can set up their own server is pretty cool. What do you think.

DSCN3553

Well, I’m sorry I hadn’t even begun my post and I’m already off topic, way off topic. So since I couldn’t make it in time to run Turkey Mountain I went to Tulsa’s Hunter Park and started off trying to find a few caches there and then since it is connected to the Creek Turnpike trail I took off on that trying to find a few. I think I looked for about a half dozen or so and found about two.

IMG_20150414_194933

I am not very good about finding micro caches and some of these hides are pretty darn clever. I have come to terms with myself about not finding many of the clever hides. The point is getting out and about and trying.

So I had a pretty good run. If you click on the thingy above and get it going you can see how I was searching in places and then moving on. At the end I forgot tot turn off my watch so that is what the last mile or so is fast.

fitbit screenshot

Do you have fitbit? One of those little devices that tracks your steps. This is my fitbit reading for yesterday. I got in about 15,000 steps which is over seven miles. You can see that I have a pretty sedentary job and then I go walking at lunch and then how I got moving once I got out caching and then how slow I was when I got home and plopped myself down in front of the television.

What about you? What was your big adventure yesterday (or whenever?)

Friday Lunchtime Geocaching

It was Friday so at lunch I headed out to east Tulsa to replace a geocache that somebody said they couldn’t find. No wonder they couldn’t find it. The tree that it was hidden in has disappeared. All that’s left is a pile of saw dust. So, scratch that. So what the hey I’ll go find one. So off I went. I miscalculated where to park and had to take a long walk around to find a bridge across a creek.

I got across the bridge and some young lady comes jogging and passes me and keeps looking behind her and I could tell that I was bothering her but there was nothing I could do about it. So I finally got close to the cache and tucked into the woods to find it. I was wearing my cowboy boots. They have never been dirty. Well they got plenty dirty. I ended up in a creek and when I tried to pull myself out of the creek I grabbed what turned out to be thorns and I let go and my boots slid into the creek and the thorns grabbed onto my nice shirt. Well I got the thorns loose from my shirt but my trousers and boots were all muddy.

IMG_20150410_125340

So anyway I got out and found the cache and all. And of course I had to take pictures of the blessed event and all that. You know because us geocachers are all very manly, well except for the women, who are all kind of womanly, but we all like our boo boos to be noticed, right? So here is the picture of my manly boo boos.

Are we all having fun yet? #geocaching #sufferingformyart #Tulsa #Oklahoma

So I made it out of the woods and back on the trail and just as I pop out of the woods guess who comes jogging by. You got it, the young woman who was worried about me. Now, she is really worried about me and speeds on ahead, turning around and looking at me more and more. So I start doing my old man shuffle. You know because I am now 60 years and four days old and I’m entitled to shuffle a little now and then. Somehow the shuffle doesn’t reassure her. I kept thinking, how does somebody so young and skinny run so danged slow. Maybe I should be the one who should be nervous, right?

And to make it worse, she stops at the bridge and pulls out her cell phone and is talking on it and then heads across the bridge. The same bridge that I need to go across. Keep in mind, this is in east Tulsa, which is not the best neighborhood in this fair city. So I do my old man shuffle across the bridge following her, thinking, just run girl and get away from me. Fortunately, she heads one way on the other side of the bridge, the opposite way that I needed to go to get back to my car so I can get back to work.

So feeling totally bummed that I made her feel nervous I make it back to the car and decided to not to go home to change my boots and slacks. Fridays are pretty slow due to our work schedule. So I went back to work with muddy boots and pants and nobody seemed to even notice.

So tell me, have you had any boo boos lately? Have you made anybody nervous lately? We want to know

Geocache Maintenance on Turkey Mountain

IMG_1006

My Kia Soul parked on Turkey Mountain where the new Outlet Mall is going.

My friend Trail Zombie told me the other day that he thought my Rock City geocache on Turkey Mountain had gone missing. About the same time I got an email from a pesky out of state Geocaching Dot Com Administrator basically telling me to go check the cache.

IMG_1004

Okay, Okay I get it, I will!! Having a teenager in the house I knew hot to act. So off I went last Saturday. I dropped the kid off at his Improv class and sped to the nearest Dollar General Store and got me some new containers and notebooks. I got several because, well, you know, well it turns out that several of my caches were gone missing. But hey, I’ve been busy.

I took along my new SJCAM SJ4000. It is a Go Pro clone for cheapskates like me. The video is pretty darn boring but it gives you and idea of the trails on Turkey Mountain.

And this video shows me getting closer to Rock City. Named for the big rocks there. We Okies re pretty darned creative with our place names don’t you think?

IMG_20150124_121719

Anyway I took a little different route back with smoother flatter trails.

IMG_1005

And I love this big old tree. I think that it is outside the boundaries of the proposed outlet mall. At least I hope it is.

I was fully nerded out with cell phone, camera, video camera, and a GPS enabled watch. Why you ask? Well you wouldn’t take a Ferrari out with instrumentation would you? Anyway the above shows you the route.

After I left Turkey Mountain I motored downtown, checked on one cache, replaced another, and then went over close to Saint Francis Hospital, replaced one near there (not on hospital property), and then over to a big freeway exchange in south Tulsa where I had yet another one that had gone missing.

And I still picked the kid up on time.

A busy fun time.

Running and Geocaching

DSCN2716

I’ve been kind of quiet on the geocaching scene for a long time. Saturday I joined the monthly confab of the Tulsa Area Geocachers for the first time in years. It was nice seeing some familiar faces and meeting new people. It got me kind of revved up for geocaching again.

DSCN2714

A few hours later I dropped Logan off at Clark Youth Theater for rehearsal. Let me diverge a little bit for some bragging. Logan auditioned for and got a small part in Clark’s Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Heather and I are thrilled. OK, back to business. Oh yes, so dropped the kid off and then drove over to Riverside Drive. There were several relatively new geocaches that I hadn’t found yet, plus I wanted to get a run in so I combined them.

DSCN2717

So I headed south, running with my GPSr and then stopping to look. They were very challenging and I found them. I’m not showing the any of the caches or the locations where they were hid because it would kind of spoil the fun for others.

DSCN2718

My favorite was one called Jingle. It is by M5. He is notorious for very sneaky, very challenging, and creative hides. At first I was a little disappointed as “This is too lame, too easy.” Yeah, well shame on me. I had the container in my hands but the problem was that I had to solve a puzzle to get to the log to sign it. The geocacher’s credo is that if you don’t sign the log then you don’t get credit for the cache. I sat down on a nearby bench and messed it for a long time. I had two basic methods. Figeting with it, and fooling with it. I alternatively fidgeted and fooled with it until it just kind of came apart in my hands. I signed the log and then I had to put it together again which was almost as hard. Tell you what though. Anytime you find an M5 cache is a good day.

If you clink on the link above and hit the little arrow down at the bottom you can see that my northbound return trip to the car went a lot faster than my southbound trip.

Anyways it was  combination running and geocaching trip