Category Archives: Geocaching

Running and Geocaching

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Muggles!!

Many of my readers know that I’m into geocaching  and I’ve found over 1300 of them and have hid about 27 or so. The bane of geocachers are muggles. These are not non-Wizards. These are non-geocachers who stumble upon a cache and then take it. I don’t think they mean anything by it, they just don’t know about it. Some muggles instinctually know what it is and go ahead and sign the paper log and put the cache back like they found it.

So anyway if you hide a cache you also assume the responsibility for maintaining it which includes replacing or repairing it when it gets muggled or perhaps deleting the cache if it is a constant problem.

Strike a pose logs

I have two caches within walking distance of my home. I have been derelict in my duty maintaining one of them. “Strike a Pose” has had three “Did Not Find” logs (“DNF’s”) in the last several months and I should have known that something was up. The cache is hard to get to, but once in the general area a person should find it pretty quickly.

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So I had a container from a previous cache and I stopped at Walgreen’s and got a small notebook for people to log their finds.

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And I drove to the vacant lot close to the cache. It is in the middle of south Tulsa and is surrounded by apartment buildings, an Alzheimer’s care center (Where Heather says I’m headed to in the near future), gas stations, two strip malls, a car lube joint, and a McDonald’s and a country club. In other words a patch of woods that only geocachers and homeless people would be interested in.

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I tried to get into the way I did two years ago when I placed it but it was pretty much impenetrable because of thorns. Lots of thorns.

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So I backtracked and found another way in. As you can see the woods have been badly damaged by ice storms and such.

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My original hiding spot was gone also so I had to find another nearby and get new coordinates. You can see my new hidey  hole. I put a big ole rock (ole is a word in Oklahoma) and so it should be hid pretty well from muggles.

#geocaching #tulsa #vacantlot #sightsofgeocaching

And of course I had to stop and take an instagram shot. Are you on Instagram, are we following each other? If not check the sidebar. You follow me, I’ll follow you.  Deal? I’ll tell what I have found out on Instagram, there are lots and lots of talented photographers out there is what I have found out.

Strike a pose logs 2

 

So anyway, I got on Geocaching dot com and logged my maintenance and updated the coordinates.

What are you waiting for, got off your duff and go find it. Don’t live in Tulsa. Well we have an airport and roads headed here from all directions, and bus service if you know. You are on the do not fly list for some reason.

So that is the lesson in Muggles for today.

Geocaching on a Sunday Afternoon

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The weather was warm and sunny on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys are not playing until Monday night, Logan had a friend over, the lawn didn’t need mowing so I loaded up and ventured to Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center to hike their North Loop trail and see if I could find a geocache or two.

Oxley Nature Center North Woods Trail

I’ve hiked the trail several times over the years. I have never ever met anybody else. So I guess that it makes it my trail. Sunday was perfect, if a bit warm. What I loved was the that the wind was blowing quite hard but in the woods, on the ground, noting was stirring but the you could see and hear the tree tops going back and forth. I don’t know about you but that is about the sweetest music I could ever hear.

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I was in heaven out in the woods. It is how I recharge my batteries.

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The October light was awesome. The trees haven’t changed color but they are thinking about it. Everything is getting a little more pale.

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I found only one cache but you know, looking for caches is all the fun. I love geocachers, “OkieBeans”, “Barrel O’Monkeys” only bloggers get more creative with their handles. I looked for three caches. I found two actually but could only log one. The other one I could see it but I certainly wasn’t going to try and get it when I’m out their by myself.

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I rested a little bit, wondering why I didn’t bring any water on such a hot day. I didn’t figure that out but I did enjoy sitting on my personal bench on my personal trail. Oh, by the way, feel free to come out and hike my trails, nobody else seems to be.

You can see my various wanderings on my hike above. I parked my car and gathered up my stuff and headed down the trail and then realized that I didn’t spray myself with DEET. I thought all heck with it and then I remembered how miserable I am both with the chiggers and other creepy crawlers so then I went back. You can also see where I stop and try and find the geocaches and other times when I lose the trail and have to go figure out which way to go. Plus I stop for photography breaks and have been known just to stop and look around at what is going on around me.

Anyway, a great Sunday afternoon that the Cowboys didn’t get a chance to ruin.

Linking with Our World Tuesday

Turkey Mountain Geocache Madness

You know how Harry Potter has a messenger owl? You thought that was make believe? Shows what you know. I have a Messenger Mutt. Messenger Mutts are for people like me who are too cheap to buy an owl. My Messenger Mutt was given to us. Her name is Abby. Isn’t she a cutie? She is not as cool as an owl and she barks a lot but like I say I got her cheap.

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Well the Messenger Mutt had news for me, bad news, about a combination Geocache and Letterbox that son and I have on Turkey Mountain here in Tulsa. A cache called “Boys Night Out – Firefly Swamp.” This is a geocache that has been on Turkey Mountain since Logan and I put it there in 2007. Apparently somebody took the cache container and left the cache contents in the hiding place. This is very strange since usually thieves (aka “Muggles”) take the whole thing. Well dang it I said to myself, “Why would somebody do something like that.” I had a few other choice thoughts but some of my readers are on the genteel side and might take offense at my choice of words. So i told the Messenger Mutt to disable the cache and I’d fix it.

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So Wednesday night after work I headed out to Turkey Mountain to replace the cache. First I went to Target to get a new container. Turkey Mountain is an urban wilderness and part of that is that there is a Target handy. The only thing handier than Target for geocachers is Walmart. Neither one of them is a discount store though. They sell cheap stuff cheap. Why is that a discount store? Hey just saying.

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And speaking of cheap I found me a plastic box for $3.97!!! WTG Target!

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So, I paid for my new cache container and headed out to Turkey Mountain. I changed into my running duds in the parking lot. Nuff said about that.

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And then opened up the back hatch and built me a cache. Everybody has camo duct tape in their car for building geocache containers right?

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The finished product. I’m thinking of getting into fine handcrafted Amish furniture. Whaddya think? You want to buy a sideboard from me? You see my Swiss Army Knife, no geocacher is ever without one. See the corkscrew? No Gas Supply person with a gas company is ever out one of those either. But that is another story.

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So with my running duds on and a geocache container tucked under my arm like a true trail runner nerd  down the Yellow Trail I went.

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Remember, if you get lost just go the direction that the yellow arrow points.

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To ground zero, the cache site. Sure enough the ammo box is gone and all the contents are in a plastic bag.

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And looking at the log book the turkey who took it was nice enough to write a note. Thanks yourself dude or dudette. Don’t let the screen door hit ya where good Lord split ya is my response. It is kind of hard for me to get mad at this. And they did leave the contents undisturbed which is important for the letterboxers among us.

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So I packed up everything nice and tidy. Everything that I couldn’t fit in the new box or was just miscellaneous trash I put in the plastic bag and hid it underneath the cache so I could pick it up later and dispose on my way out. People put weird stuff in caches. One guy put a used brillo pad in a cache I owned in town. When I asked how stupid that was he took offense. He said he thought it would be funny.

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Still a nice hide, so off I went on the rest of my run.

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Along the rocks and through the rocks.

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Through the woods.

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Underneath the beautiful Oklahoma Sky. I looped back to the cache and picked up the trash I stowed their earlier and headed back to the parking lot.

I hope that it lasts another seven years.

The (Hot) People of Geocaching

I have a geocache hid near downtown called “Boys Night Out – Downtown” last September I put a recyclable camera in it and asked finders to take a picture of themselves and put it back in the cache and let me know when it is full. So I got the word finally that it was full, so I  retrieved it and got the camera developed. So here are the highlights. 

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As you can see geoachers are very attractive, look at this group above. So who says geocachers are nerds?

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Geocachers are fun also. These guys look they are headed out on a beer run.

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The girls smile better than the guys is what I say.

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Well some guys smile pretty well.

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As you can see finding geocaches is fun.

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Are you still doubting me, geocachers are hot is what I say.

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My advice to the lovelorn is to forget hanging around Sunday School Singles groups and museums and such. Go get yourself a GPS receiver and go walking around the woods. Who knows who might run into?

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This couple met at the cache, maybe. They seem to be getting along great. This could be you.

Turkey Mountain in the Rain – Our World

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Saturday I went to Tulsa’s popular Turkey Mountain park and did a little hiking. It is never very crowded once you get a quarter mile from the parking lot but what few people there were seemed to vanish when it started raining. The temperature was in the sixties and I didn’t care about getting wet. I did care about lightning so I took the above shot and got away from those powerlines.

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The park has a surprising number of ponds (for some reason ponds are lakes on the mountain). Last summer they dried up. It is nice to see water in them.

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I spent about two hours and found three of the seven new geocaches in the park and then left. Two hours well spent in my book.

Our World Tuesday

Our World – Cold, Wet, Rainy and Skunked – More Geocaching at Tulsa’s Mohawk Park

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(Selfie at the end of my geocaching jaunt)

Saturday it was about 36F and rainy. I had some time after dropping the kid off at his Improv class so I went back to Mohawk Park to do some more geocaching. The forecast was cold and rainy but I thought they were just kidding about the wet part. They weren’t kidding. The joke was on me but I didn’t mind. I got to for a long walk in the woods and that was the whole point. I was warm enough even though I was wearing too much cotton. I have all sorts of high tech clothing to keep me dry and warm in the rain. I don’t wear any of it when going into the woods. The thorns tear that expensive stuff right up. Let them tear up old cheap cotton is what I say.

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I met Pepe LePew. He didn’t stop to chat and that was okay with me. He looked injured to me. You don’t generally see these critters moving out in open country in the middle of the day.

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A creek was up. I love the sight of rain drops hitting water. Reminds me of when I was just a little kid in central Utah fishing for trout in the rivers and streams. It seemed like the trout were easier to catch under such conditions. Plus the rain seems to amplify the solitude and dampen out outside noise there was. I’m all about the solitude when I’m in the woods.

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I found  the cache I was looking for. The one at the farthest reach of the park. I’m wanting to find caches like these before the weather warms up too much bringing with it ticks, chiggers, poison ivy, and snakes. Late Fall and Winter is really the golden time for woods geocaching. The reduced leaf cover makes for better Global Positioning System Receiver (“GPSR”) readings necessary to find the caches.

If the weather had been better I had enough time to find a few more caches but I was getting cold and I’ll be back another day. There are over two million geocaches in the world. I don’t have to find them all. That reminds of a joke but since I’m really trying to keep this humble blog G rated I’ll pass on telling it for now. Just take it from me, it is a good joke.

Geocaching 101

Our World Tuesday

Our World – Geocaching at Tulsa’s Mohawk Park

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(Only geocachers were out in the park on Saturday. And other people who have no sense.)

With all that we have had going on this winter plus the cold miserable weather I haven’t been geocaching in months. Today after dropping Logan off at his improv comedy class I had a couple hours to myself so I went to Mohawk Park to find a few caches.

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(Old lighted parking lot fallen into disuse. I don’t know why people would park there, especially at night.)

You see I like to find the bigger caches out in the woods. I like the sense of aloneness and it gives me a chance to get my head back on straight. My hair may be all messed up but I like my head on straight.

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(Believe it or not I followed a faint trail through the woods.)

Mohawk Park is immense. At 2800 acres it is one of the biggest city parks in the country. Some of it is pretty developed. The Tulsa Zoo is there along with picnic grounds and playgrounds along with a police shooting range. There is plenty of woods left to hide geocaches.

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(For some reason coming upon these little buildings creeps me out.)

In my travels I found a long forgotten barn out in the middle of nowhere.

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It wasn’t too forgotten. Somebody was storing hay there. For what, I don’t know. There were no livestock nearby.)

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(Are you kidding me? It is not even that good. Maybe they were practicing, or they were ashamed of themselves.)
And some taggers had found it.

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(Something else that creeps me out, getting followed at long distance.)

A guy was walking his dog along an abandoned road.

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(Thank you to my fellow taxpayers for spending billions of dollars putting the GPS satellites in space so I can find trinkets in the woods! I salute you.)

I found four caches while I was out there. My fancy schmancy fitbit tells me that I walked about 6000 steps doing that or about three miles. That includes the walking around in circles muttering to myself while looking for these things.

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(I bet you were completely fooled)

This is what geocachers call “parallel stick camo.”

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Somebody else found this structure. What it is doing out here besides being a cache hiding spot? I have no idea.

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I saw this cache from across a creek. It has been out here eleven years. It takes a lot of work to keep a cache going that long. People accidentally find them and take them or vandalize them. Water gets inside them and spoils the paper log.

Time was up and I headed back into town to pick up the kid.

Have you ever been geocaching? Or do you have a life?

Geocaching 101

What is Geocaching

Our World Tuesday

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New Years Eve Geocaching – Finding Tom’s Turkey Mountain Homestead – Finally!!

#turkeymountain #moonshinershack #geocaching didn't find it #tulsa #oklahoma #igersok

There is a geocache named Tom’s Turkey Mountain Homestead located at an old Moonshiner’s Camp on Turkey Mountain. I have been looking for this cache a long time. The owner of the cache, kimbotjr, finally took mercy on me, or got tired my whining, and gave me a clue. I didn’t know when I was going to be able to get back up there because our weekends are pretty full and it is dark after work. Luckily though we got let our early at work on New Year’s Eve. So off I went in my work clothes.

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I did change my shoes though. But otherwise I was the sharpest guy on the mountain on New Year’s Eve. Especially the hat.

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The shadows were getting long so I didn’t have time to waste to use my precious clue.

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Every time I’m up there I see things that I can’t explain. Don’t ask me what is going on here cuz I don’t know.

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I had the clue but providence provided me with another aid to find the cache. Meet my new friend Soshie. Believe me or not but Soshie is no regular basset hound, he is a gold sniffing dog. That’s right, he can sniff out gold. Plus he likes me. So what the heck I took him along. I don’t know if that is cheating or not. My friend Trail Zombie used a metal detector to find this very same cache. If that is legal then using a gold sniffing dog is legal also. And probably not any help if there is no gold in the cache. Plus the cache is supposed to be a microcache, so it is pretty small.

Well guess what, we got there at the cache site and Soshie found the cache. Yes, he did and it was not a micro. Look at what we found.

Walking in #downtowntulsa #tunnels today I found where all the money is kept #bank #vault

The cache was as big as a bank vault! And loaded with gold. The site was not a moonshiner’s cabin. It was a gold mine. I found the lost treasure of Turkey Mountain! I don’t know how I missed it! Now, the cache is a mystery cache and posting pics of the cache is a nono but I hope that kimbotjr is understanding. If he is not he can delete my find. A find is worth a lot more than gold to a geocacher.

Our World – Geocaching on Turkey Mountain

I have geocache named Rock City  hidden deep on Turkey Mountain. The last person who looked for it reported that they couldn’t find it although they looked twice.  I knew that somebody had probably “muggled” it. Geocacher lingo for stealing or vandalizing a cache.

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So I made me another cache out of a Bismati rice jar and some camo duct tape.

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Son and I packed it up and headed up to Turkey Mountain. You can see the finished cache container sitting on the sign to the left.

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A mountain unicycler came on by. Ultra cool. I have seen unicyclers on the mountain before but they had poles. This guy just had pure balance.

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We passed this thing. I told Logan that it is the skeleton of a the TurkeyMountasaurous dinosaur. He quit believing in his Dad’s stories a long time ago. Shows you how smart he is. Compared to me at least.

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This is Rock City. It is quite the meeting place. Stay here long enough you will see runners, hikers, bicyclists, geoachers, and micro car enthusiasts all converge here. One of whom stole my cache. I hope they quit. Anyway I replaced it. Here is the story of when we planted the cache two years ago. I put recyclable cameras in the caches I plant nowadays and ask finders to take pictures of themselves. Here are some pictures of people who have found the cache.

#turkeymountain #moonshinershack #geocaching didn't find it #tulsa #oklahoma #igersok

Then for grins and giggles we went over to another cache to Tom’s Turkey Mountain Homestead to look for it, again. I have been here at least a half dozen times the last year looking for it. I spent about a half hour rooting around looking for it. It is a micro so it is very small. I didn’t find it this time either.

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As we left I noticed that a nearby tree was laughing at me. I don’t blame him. Next time I might bring my axe and see how he laughs then. (Just kidding folks!)

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On the way out we passed Pepsi lake. Oddly enough it has a bunch of old Pepsi truck bodies sitting on the dam. I have no idea why. It is also the site of another evil little microcache, What are These Doing Here. I found it finally last year kind of by accident.

We finished our little adventure tired and a little muddy but we had a great walk in the woods.

When was the last time you had a nice walk in the woods?

Our World Tuesday