May 26, 2012

Getting To Know My Home State

I always knew my home state of California was big, but until I started working on the various County, Quad and DeLorme Atlas Challenge caches, I had no idea how huge it really is. A couple of caching buddies and I have slowly been picking away at these challenges, and we're finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel for the California DeLorme Challenge (Northern). After a successful 3-day, 1,000-mile trip this past week, we netted seven more NorCal DeLorme pages (and three Golden State DeLorme Challenge pages), leaving us only nine more pages to go.

And the amazing part of it all is that everyplace we visited on this trip was new to me, even though I've lived in the Golden State my entire life. This trip took us deep into the northern coastal ranges in the spectacular Mendocino National Forest, and then due east across the state over the Sierra Nevada Mountains into Susanville.

The view from the top of Black Butte at 7,455 feet up, right near GZ of "I Can See Shasta"

Fire In The Sky! Event Cache

Annular Eclipse of the Sun on May 20

Camp Site at Eagle Lake

One of many views from S & J's Valentine Cache Series outside Susanville

After completing the series

Discovering new places is what I love best about caching, and what I will miss most once we actually complete these challenges.

Cache On!

May 19, 2012

Return of Google Maps

Word on the street is that Google Maps will become available once again to premium members using beginning May 22nd. This is according to a Geocaching Podcast tweet yesterday. If true, this is good news for a lot of people who prefer seeing Google Maps on the site rather than Open Street Maps. The switch to OSM for all users began last February when Google raised the fees for heavy users of their mapping services.

Cache On!

May 13, 2012

The Anti-Forum

It will likely take me some time to warm up to the notion of connecting my facebook and geocaching accounts, which just became possible this week. Only a small portion of the people who follow me on FB are geocachers, and they could care less about our addictive hobby. So for now, I'll continue to keep my geocaching activity and my facebook activity separate.

I do, however, occasionally check out the facebook page, and will continue to do so. But my favorite geocaching facebook page is one that was recently launched by a caching buddy of mine, called the, "San Francisco East Bay Geocacahing" facebook group. It's a great way for local cachers in my region to share caching stories and plan caching events. The 46 members who have joined so far represent a nice mixture of veterans and newbies, which lends itself to some great information sharing. The description of the group is as follows:

"This group is for geocachers in Contra Costa and Alameda County and is (especially) intended to help new cachers trying to understand a bit more about this thing of ours. I've always found the Geocaching forums themselves to be crusty, useless and often dismissive of new cachers. I hope this can be different. Further, I hope this makes it a bit easier for more active cachers to organize hikes and cache runs on short notice."

So for now, this is about as "connected" as my geocaching and facebook accounts will get. 

Cache On!

May 5, 2012

They Grow Up So Fast

Hard to believe that our favorite hobby just celebrated its twelfth birthday this week. Seems like just yesterday  only the nerdiest of nerds, and the most extreme outdoor enthusiasts, carried a GPS receiver around with them. And without too much effort you could have cached-out an entire 10-mile radius around your home. Ahh, those were the days. And who could forget the fun in carrying around reams of paper with the cache information in one hand and a marked-up topo map in the other? Boy, how times have changed!

Most of you have probably seen this nice little trip down memory lane, but if not, it's not the worst way to spend the next one minute and nineteen seconds of your life. Enjoy.

Happy Birthday Geocaching, and Cache On!