Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hidden weekend

Part of the game of geocaching is hiding caches. If no one were to hide any caches, how would anyone find any? As noted in this post from earlier in the month, I had several caches ready and waiting for me to get out and hide them. This weekend became that time.

About 2 miles north of my house is a large plot of land known locally as Johnson's Pasture which was purchased by the city to remain open space for the enjoyment of everyone in the city. It is adjacent to the Claremont Wilderness Park which abuts the pasture to the east. There are a series of fire roads which can be used as walking trails through both parks. Inside the wilderness park is a five mile loop trail that is quite strenuous and used quite frequently. There are side spur fire roads leading from Johnson's Pasture over to the wilderness park. There is not loop within Johnson's Pasture, but when geocaching friends come to visit, we usually end up taking two cars and creating a shuttle. We park over by the wilderness park, then drive everyone over to the Johnson's Pasture area and then hike from there over and down to the parking lot at the wilderness park. It's about a five and half mile trek that way and a nice way to find a bunch of caches.

Most of the caches up in these two parks were hidden by me. I enjoy roaming around the two areas and whenever I feel the need to hide a cache, that's usually where I end up going first. This weekend was not exception. The Tadpole and I loaded up our backpacks with four caches, took our GPSrs and hit the trail. As long as we were up there, we might as well find some of the caches that my son hadn't found yet. He found the first one as we entered into Johnson's Pasture. Then we hiked up to a mystery cache of mine to do a maintenance check on it. After the Tadpole found that one, we tried to find a spot in between these two caches that would work, but they were too close together to hide another one, so we moved on to where I wanted to hide the cache the Cheeseheads sent to me at Christmas.

There is a microwave tower that dominates this area, since it's on one of the high hills in the two parks. It serves as a benchmark for surveyors as well and I thought it would make an excellent spot for a cache hide. We hiked up there and found several spots where a nice sized cache could be hidden. Once we chose the site, we got coordinates for it and then started back down. As we had been hiking up, we'd been taking coordinate readings for a letterbox cache that I wanted to hide up here, but couldn't find a good spot. I may have to look along another trail for a spot to hide that one. But on our way down, we found a perfect spot for a small decon container and hid that one as well.

We'd also been working on a multi-cache. I had already scouted out the final location. That wasn't a problem, but we needed to check out possible sites for the first stage of the multi. Once we agreed on a good spot for the first part it was time to make our way back home. We came back the next day to take some final readings for the multi-cache as well as take some pictures that I could post on the cache pages. At post time for this entry, I'm still waiting for the paint to dry on the first stage. The wet weather we've been having this past week hasn't been helping, so I brought it inside today in the hopes that will quicken the process. I suspect that I will be making one more hike up there tomorrow after school to hide the first stage and complete that cache.

The first two, Melted Cheese and Rusted Gate have already been approved and I would expect the third, Exploring the Technology to be approved sometime this week. That will bring me up to 25 hides. The Tadpole and I also discussed how we should list these. We agreed that we should list them under my geocaching account, but we should come up with some kind of name that would let people know that it was both of us that worked out the hide. We both like what we decided as a moniker for the two of us.

Pictures were taken at or near the following caches:
Melted Cheese - by The Swamp Things
Rusted Gate - by The Swamp Things
Exploring the Technology - by The Swamp Things

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