Sunday, December 14, 2008

Major Milestone

Yesterday, I found my 100th Geocache. For those that live in the states, or even in Canada, that may not seem like many at all. Given the size of Okinawa, 100 represents one third of the total available caches on the island. With another two years left on my tour here, I have to pace myself. What would I do if I ran out of caches to look for?

Here's a few pictures from a couple of my stops yesterday (click them for the full size version):

View from a small park north of Kadena

Looking toward the East China Sea from the park

I think the guy that painted this may have been on acid

Another roller slide at a park near Kadena

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Geocaching in Okinawa

Since I've been asked more than a couple of questions about the differences between Geocaching here in Okinawa, and caching in the states, I thought I would cover them all in one post. Well, I'll cover as many as I can think of. The interesting part is that many of these topics of discussion apply to every day life as well.

Navigating to the cache site: Getting to the cache site here is a little different, in that there are no names for the overwhelming majority of the streets and roads. The major highways and roads are numbered, but that does no good once you get off of the main arteries. My GPS will not tell me to turn "left on Main Street," but simply, "left on road." Which road? Giving someone directions to a certain location can be interesting as well. We've learned to use various landmarks as navigational aids. My GPS would make driving much simpler if it would tell me to turn "left at the big cartoon rabbit store."

Local drivers: The common stereotype about Asian drivers is something that I tried to keep an open mind about when I first got here. I've given up on that. What truly amazes me is how much money, time, and effort the Okinawans put into learning how to drive (or trying to). You would think that they'd be really good at it. You would be mistaken. Okinawan drivers represent a real hazard when trying to get to the next cache (or anywhere, for that matter). They seem to be oblivious to other vehicles on the road. They will often stop in the middle of the road to talk on their cell phones, pull out in front of oncoming vehicles, drive down the middle of a two lane road, and drive at about half the posted speed limit. Don't ever try to get anywhere in a hurry here; it's just not going to happen.

Cache containers: Okinawa is a tropical island, and the climate is quite different than most areas within the United States. The extremely high humidity causes metal containers to corrode very quickly here. Geocachers still use ammo cans, but the cans require more than one coat of high quality paint in order to protect them from the elements. Even with meticulous preparation, ammo cans don't last very long here. Rubbermaid and Lock-n-Lock containers seem to be a big hit, since they don't rust.

Muggles: The public here, or muggles, are very polite. The locals will typically do their best to ignore me, all the while taking careful note of my actions. They're only pretending to ignore me. Like most of Japan, Okinawa is a very densely populated space. There are rural areas, but they are not as large as you would find in the states. It would seem that the northern half of the island has more rural areas than the southern half, but that's relative. You don't have to travel very far at all to run across people here, even in the jungle terrain.

Language: Language differences here are, of course, an obstacle. The written language presents an even greater problem. The sheer number of characters that the Japanese use makes it very difficult to learn a useful amount of it. Many adults live their entire lives without learning all of the characters. If I find myself in need of something while out and about, it's very difficult to find it, unless I see a store logo that I happen to recognize. Convenience stores are numerous, but hardware stores and specialty shops are well beyond my ability to recognize (with a few exceptions). Many of the locals speak a little bit of English, but asking for directions is an exercise in frustration. The locals want to be helpful, but they usually lack the ability to do so.

Transfers: With the majority of American personnel here being military, or civilian contractors in support of military operations, there is a high turnover of personnel. The typical Geocacher is only here for three years (or less). This means that many a cache needs to be removed on a regular basis. Moving to a new part of the world and leaving a Geocache behind is about the same as littering. The obvious solution is to have someone else take care of it, or adopt it. This is always an option, but many caches end up being archived, or made inactive when the owner picks it up and takes it with them. Most cachers here on Okinawa are American, and the very few Okinawan cachers don't interact with us very much.

Trackables: In comparison to the states, caches here seem to have far more coins and other trackables in them. Most of the caches here have coins in them. Most of the cachers here have said that coins tend to disappear less here as well. I've done a few searches by zip code for locations in the states, and was surprised at how few the trackables were. It wasn't just the number of micros, or tiny caches, either; there just weren't very many coins or travel bugs out there. That's a bit disappointing. I guess I'm spoiled in that regard. I like to find them, since most of them are real works of art. Perhaps the sheer number of caches in the states will make up for the sparse trackables.

Equipment: Equipment is the same here, since it's all bought in the U.S. anyway. What is different is the maps for GPS receivers. There only seems to be one reliable Japanese map, but it does enable auto-routing (turn by turn navigation). It just gives strange directions, as mentioned above. Many of the nooks and crannies here have critters living in them. Many of those critters bite or poke, and quite a few are venomous. Gloves are a plus. In addition to the critters, most of the rock formations here are actually coral. That stuff is sharp, so climbing it will do a number on your hands if you don't wear gloves.

Well, that's enough for now. I'm sure I'll think of more differences later, but this post is getting pretty long-winded.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Hides

I've been a little busy this weekend, but I still managed to find two caches and hide two more of my own.

I already had one hidden that I had named "Old McDonald Had a Cache." It was named for the location...In the middle of several acres of farmland. Well, this weekend, I've hidden Old McDonald #2, and #3. Both are much farther north than my previous hides, but they're very close to the base where I work, so I can go check on them at lunch, or after work.

It's a quiet area, and the scenery is nice.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cache Event

Today I was able to attend a caching event here, and it was a good time. There were about thirty people there (not counting little ones), and one gentleman came all the way from Tokyo. Well, he didn't come all this way just to attend our little event, but he made a point to come and meet all of us.

We met at about noon for a meet and greet, and then ate lunch. After that, we had a "caching relay race." That was a pretty neat idea. There were two teams of people. Each team was split up into three relays. The first relay was given a set of coordinates to a cache. They had to find that cache and bring it back to the picnic area. They then handed it off to the second relay, who then opened it up and retrieved the coordinates to the next cache, and so on.

We had a couple of other games and giveaways, and then everyone went their separate ways. It was a nice couple of hours in a very scenic park.

The park is right next to the castle ruin that I was poking around at yesterday. In fact, a few of us walked around with the gentleman from Tokyo as he hunted for that geocache. Here's a few pictures:

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Caching Fun

Today is what the shoppers call "Black Friday." The day after Thanksgiving day sales are legendary for their large, ferocious crowds. My wife was brave enough to head out with a friend to look at what the base exchange has to offer. Better her than me...

The kids and I headed out in search of Geocaches, naturally. I had six on my list, and we ended up stopping to look for eight. We went eight for eight today, so it was a great day of caching.

Our first stop was at yet another castle ruin. This time it was the Yara Castle ruin, and the surrounding park and stream. What a great location! I really wanted to get this one, since it's a multi-cache (two parts, with the first part containing only the coordinates of the second part), and since it's very near to where a caching event will be held tomorrow. I didn't want to be bumbling around trying to find the place tomorrow, so I thought I'd recon the area today. What better excuse for checking out a 14th century castle?

After that, we headed to an old bridge, and a hiking trail that heads off into the jungle from there. The kids stayed on the trail while I did my best monkey impression while going for the cache. After knocking down the now familiar spider webs, I made my way to the top of a coral outcropping and found the ammo can stashed in the roots of a banyan tree. Piece of cake.

Next we headed to Toguchi beach. This is just south of Torii Station (Army base), and has great views of the East China Sea. There's also some great tide pools where the kids can poke around and play with the wide array of poisonous critters. We found four caches in that area, and then headed to an ostrich farm nearby. I started thinking about hot wings while there, and we went for lunch afterward.

Our last stop was at a small shrine that was just off of highway 58. A quick find, and we headed home. No crowds, no money spent (other than a couple of hotdogs for lunch), and much better scenery than the base exchange.
Here's some pictures (click them for the full size versions):

View at Toguchi Beach

Those are some strange looking ostriches

At the castle

Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Cache Container

I came across a cool new cache container, entirely by accident. The container is called a Rod Guard (that's the actual brand name), and it's a watertight container used for storing welding rods.

You can get a good idea of the size from the picture with my Garmin Colorado there for reference. The cylinder is about 14" long, and about three inches in diameter. There is a nice, thick rubber gasket on the opening, and it's constructed of stiff, durable plastic.

Now I just need to find a suitable spot to hide it...

Another Neat Okinawan Park

Last Sunday, I attempted to find a two part multi-cache that is titled, "The Mother of All Rollerslides." Rollerslides are very popular here, and I will often see young kids walking down the sidewalks with flattened boxes, and other pieces of similar materials for sliding.

The instructions for this cache told me to head to the listed coordinates, where I would find a tile shaped like a compass. The North arrow would point to a park bench where the final cache is hidden. Well, I found the tile, sighted along the arrow, and spotted an elderly couple sitting on the bench. Great.

I tried to wait them out, but they didn't budge. Once again, I'm not disappointed, because I found another neat spot here on Okinawa that I would not have found otherwise.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ending the Week

I was able to escape from work pretty early on Friday, and I hit a couple of spots near Naha. One was an art museum, and a couple of others were at small parks. With the number of people swarming around every place I stopped, I wasn't able to really search for the caches. At least I found some nice places to visit.

Today my son and I headed out to the Awase area. I had to stop at a local optometrist's shop to get my son's glasses adjusted, and order some new sunglasses. Naturally, we stopped at some caches "on the way" back.

Our first stop was at the Awase Meadows Golf Course. There was absolutely no parking to be found, as is usually the case on weekends after about 0900. We did some laps in the parking lot, hoping a spot would open up, and ended up leaving. I can't count that one as not finding the cache, since we didn't even search for it.

The next stop was next to what is allegedly the Yakuza headquarters here in Okinawa. For the uninformed, the Yakuza is the Japanese mafia. I could almost reach the hide without getting out of the car, and we spotted a fellow geocacher leaving the area. Zip, zap, we were done and gone.

Next, we headed to the local zoo, and a small park behind it. Climbing the hill in the park, we came upon a small shrine, and the nearby cache. In the logbook, I noticed the name of the cacher we had spotted at the previous cache. We were hot on his heels!

I called a buddy of mine and asked him if he happened to know how to get ahold of the cacher in question...I could hear him ask the suspect cacher, "Hey; Gunny's on the phone and wants to know how to get ahold of you." Small world. I ended up running into them at our next stop, a small park that was difficult to find.

After a brief search at the park, I made the find, and we headed to yet another castle ruin. This one was at the Goeku Castle ruins, and my son found the first leg of the two part multi. The second part would have been easy too, except for the man sitting about 50 feet away and staring at us. He eventually lost interest, and we were able to retrieve the container. That finished up our day of geocaching, and we headed home.

Here's a couple of pictures (click for full size versions):

View from the castle

At the zoo

A colorful character

At the art museum

More of the museum

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Local Caches

Here's a couple of pictures from Tuesday and today. I had to take a friend to the airport Tuesday morning, so I hit a couple of urban hides down in Naha on the way home. It was raining all morning, so it was a bit damp out.

Today, I tried to be the first to find one hidden at our favorite curry restaurant, but there was a familiar name in the logbook when I got there at 0630. Granted, that guy could almost throw rocks at it from his house, but I'm off of work today, and he's not. That's the breaks, I guess.

Here's a few shots:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rainy Day of Caching

It has rained all day today, but that hasn't stopped my son and me from enjoying a great day of Geocaching.

We headed east toward White Beach, and made our first stop at Katsuren Jo, or Katsuren Castle. This castle was the home of Amawari, a feudal warlord who was one of the last to hold out against the unification of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It's a neat castle, with a great view of Uruma, and the surounding areas. We found the cache in a few minutes, and then went to the top and enjoyed the view.

Next, we headed to what the locals call an "opservatory," or a simple lookout point near a bridge. The bridge leads to an uninhabited island, where we explored the Mujin Tou Cave, and headed out onto a rocky point after hiking through some dense jungle.

When we made it to the cave, there was an old homeless person rolling up his tatami from the night before. He gave us a guided tour of the cave, pointing out the rock formations that resembled various animals. He sort of put a damper on searching for the cache.

After the tour, we headed off into the jungle in search of the "rocky point" cache. For some reason, and I'm not making this up, there were two large chickens leading the way through the jungle. If we stopped, they would stop and wait for us. It was eerie. Once again, I felt like Indiana Jones, dodging large spiders, busting through dense jungle growth, and relying on my trusty sidekick, The Boy. After about 20 minutes, we came out of the jungle and followed a cliffside trail to the point. The Boy messed around and threw rocks over the edge, and I found the ammo can stashed in the sawgrass.

We had a great time, and stopped at the White Beach Naval Facility on the way home to grab a bite to eat.

The Castle

View from the castle

Not-So-Uninhabited Island

Rocky point

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Race Update

Well, today started off good enough, with a trip to Hamby Town to find the "Junk's Trunk, Coin and Bug Terminal." I thought it would be a perfect spot to launch my travel bug, and start its journey in the race that I'm a part of. One problem: I couldn't find the cache.

The cache was a two stage multi, and the first part took less than two minutes. It was a clever hide, but easy enough. The second part was a pain in the butt, and I was unsuccessful. The kids helped look, but it was not to be.

We left there and went to grab the cache up at the building with the airplane on it (there's a previous post down there somewhere about that one). This time, I took a more direct route there, instead of winding through miles of tiny little village streets. Zip, zap, we had the cache within minutes.

Upon returning home, I thought about that first cache a little more and, combined with the name, I think I know right where it's at. Should make for a quick find tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: I went back to the "Travel Bug Terminal," and made the find. It was a very creative hide. I then ran into another problem: This cache that is supposedly designed for travel bugs, won't hold my travel bug. My little item is not very large, maybe a little smaller than a golf ball. You'd think that a cache owner that wants to advertise a spot to release bugs would make the cache a regular sized cache.

So, I altered my plans and placed my racer in one of my own caches, titled, "Old McDonald Had a Cache." Off it goes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Zakimi Castle and Other Fun Stuff

Well, the day went well. My daughter and I headed out with four caches in our sights, and we found three of them. The weather did indeed cooperate, and it began raining heavily about 30 minutes after we returned home.

We first headed to the Hija Bridge, which I posted about previously. I couldn't find the cache on my last visit, but we came up with it this time. The surrounding weeds had overgrown the ground-level container so badly that it was easy to miss. It was a very creative container...shocking in its simplicity.

Next, we headed to a local shop that sells nothing but honey. In fact, the sign out front simply says, "Honey Shop." The cache was a magnetic Altoids container on the underside of a vending machine. Pretty easy find, but it was a neat shop to visit.

Our next stop was the Zakimi Castle. Zakimi Castle was built in the early 15th century by Gosamaru, a powerful warlord who played an important role in uniting the Ryukyu Kingdom. I was a bit worried about our ability to find this cache, since the last four visitors had all logged "did not find" on the website. Like them, we found only a great place to visit, and take some pictures. It seems that not only is the cache MIA, but the cache owner has moved back to the states and abandoned the cache as well...Not a good thing.

We moved on to a cache titled, "Big Dog's Boss." The big dogs in question were a couple of shisa dog statues, which are believed to protect against evil spirits. Their "boss" was simply a Boss Coffee vending machine. The cache container, however, was very creative, and I had a heck of a time spotting it. We made the find, and called it a day.

After the last find, we headed to CoCo Ichibanya for a couple of heaping plates of curry and rice.

Here's a few pictures from our day (as usual, you can click on the pictures for the full size versions):

View from atop Zakimi Castle

Inside the castle walls

Outer walls

Picnic in progress

On the way to the first cache

It's Caching Day!

Caching Day? Is that a holiday? No; it's not, not really. I just made that up because I'm (mostly) off of work today. What to do with a Friday, and I'm leaving work at 0830? Go Geocaching!

I've been on the pistol range all week, shot expert this morning, and decided to treat myself to a day of hunting caches in the jungles of lovely Okinawa. Rain is threatening, but my camera is water-resistant, and so am I.

I'm waiting for one of my fellow cachers to head out on a "little" trip, so that I can launch my travel bug. My TB is competing in the Great Hoohaa Travel Bug Challenge. In other words, it is in a race to see which TB can travel the most miles in one year. I've been catching a little flak from the other competitors because I have as yet to launch my bug, but they fail to realize that their defeat will come soon enough.

Enough talk! Time to head out. Since there's only a little over 300 caches here on Okinawa, I don't do enormous caching trips, with efforts to collect as many in one day as I possibly can. I'd rather have a leisurely day of it, and grab two or three. Let the adventures begin!

Will the weather hold out?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Akano Monument

I found this monument today while searching for a Geocache hidden there. It's a monument placed in honor of the local villagers that were killed by Japanese soldiers prior to, and during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

Many people fail to grasp the enormity of the horror that was the Empire of Japan in the early 1940s. There's a reason why most Okinawans don't, and won't, consider themselves Japanese. Many of them were forced to work as slaves, digging the caves, tunnels and bunkers that protected the Japanese soldiers from American bombardment. The Okinawans that refused to work were put to death. Many of the women were rounded up, and made to work in "comfort camps," as slaves to the soldiers.

Prior to the American invasion of Okinawa, the Japanese soldiers told the Okinawans that the Americans were barbarians, who would rape, torture, and eat the Okinawans. All they really had to do was tell the Okinawans that the Americans were, "worse than us." As a result of the misinformation, thousands of Okinawans ended up committing suicide, rather than face the Americans. This was one of the greatest tragedies of the war in the Pacific. Peace Prayer Park is located on the spot where entire families hurled themselves off of cliffs, ending their lives in the harsh surf and rocks below.

The Akano Monument is a small token, dedicated to those local Okinawans that did not survive the Japanse occupation. Local farmers will sit around the monument in the afternoons, enjoying the shade of the large banyan tree.

I'm honored to have come across this piece of history.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wild West and Dog Watcher

Today made for a couple of interesting finds, and a little frustration. I was able to find a cache located at a Japanese police dog training facility, and one at a country western nightclub known as Western World.

The cache at Western World was inside of a fake rock, and I had a little trouble finding it, since the entire area was covered in similar rocks.

My third stop was at the Kurishiki Dam for a seven part multi-cache. I found part one, entered the coordinates for part two, and never found it. I had to be right on top of it, since my GPS zeroed out, and I found the benchmark that was mentioned in the hint. I simply coudn't come up with the cache. It's been a while since it was last found, so perhaps recent maintenance workers muggled it. I still had a good time, and the scenery was great. Here's a few pictures:

At the dam

Big spider at Western World

Doggy boot camp

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Got it!

Well, it's official: I'm the proud owner of a Garmin Colorado 400t. This thing rocks! Talk about head and shoulders above the competition...My old GPS isn't nearly as accurate as this, and doesn't have a tenth of the features. Here's the short list:

-High-sensitivity receiver that keeps an accurate lock on satellite signals, even in dense canopy, deep ravines, and even in my house! This thing doesn't lose a signal when outdoors.

-High-resolution color screen that makes it easy to discern terrain features, routes, points of interest, and, most importantly, Geocaches!

-Roller wheel controller that also toggles like the four way button on the old 60 series units (see my old post on that one). This control makes it a breeze to operate this thing one-handed, and I can scroll through mucho stuff in a hurry.

-"Paperless caching." I can download a "pocket query" of Geocaches in my area (up to 500 at a time), and load the resulting file directly to the Colorado. It will then display the caches on the map, as well as the complete description, size, difficulty, trackables (full inventory), and the last five logs. It will even show the decrypted hint if I choose to click on that. No more printing out the cache descriptions to take with me.

-Built in topographic map of North America. I think the built in map is of US and Canada, with parts of Mexico, but I'm not entirely sure. It won't do me much good here in Okinawa, but I already have the Japan maps (to include auto routing).

-Great autorouting capability. It gives me turn by turn directions to my destination as I drive. I can create custom "shortcuts" for the scroll wheel, so I can switch from autorouting mode to Geocaching mode quickly.

-Dedicated Geocaching mode. This thing is made for cachers! Well; we're included in the target audience anyway. I can even fully customize the attributes of the Geocaching mode, or create a whole new profile for a different "mode" of my choosing. On-road, off-road, show trails, show roads, whatever tickles my fancy.

-Audible alerts. This sucker beeps at me when things happen...Getting close to the cache? It will let me know when I'm within 500 feet. Turn coming up? It lets me know. Car overheating? Well; it won't do that, but you get the idea.

I've been using this sucker for a few weeks now, and I absolutely love it! I've read a couple of reviews about it that were not favorable, but that was prior to the firmware being updated. I've not had a single problem with the operation of this unit. In fact, my old 60 model had more hiccups than this bad boy has had. It has proven to be accurate, reliable, and fun to use. This sucker is definitely a keeper!

I think I'm done for Christmas and birthday gifts for the next decade or so. HUGE thanks go out to my wife...Yes; she puts up with my antics.

Wild Hogs

'Wild Hogs' was the name of the cache. It's located a few miles north of Kadena AFB, just off of Highway 58. We had just dropped the boy off to play paintball with his JROTC unit, and I thought, "Why drive right by a cache and not stop to grab it?"

My wife sat in the car, and it's a good thing. The vegetation was dense, and I have a couple of cuts to prove it. There's also the matter of the small habu that I saw along the way. He was just hangin' out sunning himself (enjoying a lazy Saturday morning).

As I was heading down the trail, using a broken off tree branch to knock down the worst of the spider webs, I learned the hard way that the ruts in the trail had clay mud in them...That stuff is slick!

I had parked less than a quarter of a mile from the cache, so I thought it would only take a couple of minutes to reach "ground zero." Silly me...35 minutes later, I had the prize in hand. I grabbed a geocoin, a travel bug that started its life in Iowa (it has over 19,000 miles on it), and a pin from North Platte, Nebraska. I dropped off a couple of travel bugs and a coin that I had been carrying around for a little over a week.

I wish my wife could have come along, since she enjoys the caches that don't have muggles around. There were a few hobo houses along the way, but no hobos present at the time. It was a good time, and a nice way to start my day. The rest of the day was spent shopping...YUCK!

Sorry for the blurry pic, but this is a cave that was along the way.

Here's the start of the trail

The cache!...and my badass GPS!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Silly and Absurd

I often enjoy browsing through cache listings from parts of the country that I would like to visit. It's like sight-seeing by proxy. There's usually some nice pictures in the logs from various folks' visits.

Whenever I do that, I never fail to come across some log entries that are just plain comical (and sometimes a bit sad).

One individual wrote that they were shocked (shocked I tell you) to find a decaying, dead racoon near a cache in the woods, and that they were "glad we didn't have our kids with us today!" Huh? Imagine that, a dead racoon in the woods! Why on earth were they glad that they didn't have their kids with them? Have they taught their kids that animals never die? Maybe their kids think that the dead animal fairy comes, and replaces the carcass with a shiny new nickel?

Another dainty soul wrote that they came across a man with a pistol in a holster on his belt, and they were so terrified that they almost couldn't move, but managed, somehow, to make it back to their car and call 911. Guess who was the first to respond to their call? Yep; the same guy they originally saw, who happened to be a captain with the local police force (and was hunting for the same cache on his way home from work). Turns out his badge was clearly displayed on his belt, but the cacher was so overwhelmed by the sight of a gun, that they didn't even see the badge. Why does the mere sight of a firearm strike terror in some folks?

I also can't seem to get over the amount of log entries that are so rude and inconsiderate. I'm referring to those where cachers label a cache as "lame," or even, "trache." Don't like micros? Don't go after them (the cache listing really does show the size of the cache...right?). There's plenty of people that DO enjoy hunting for micros, and there is usually a significant point of interest nearby as well. I only have one thing to say to those that would belittle someone's cache: "Get over yourself; this sport doesn't revolve around you."

Am I the only one that scratches their head in wonder over these things?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's In the Bag?

Here's the trackables that I currently have my hands on...Two of these are mine. How many trackables do you usually have with you on a regular basis? (I really like that Japan geocoin in the center top of the pic...wish they still sold them).

Monday, October 13, 2008

My First Nano Hide

I hid my first "nano" cache the other day, and a few people have found it already. These things can be a real pain in the rear to find, if you don't know what to look for. The first one I went after took me three visits, because I just didn't understand how small it really was. The smallest size category listed on the Geocaching website is "micro." The nano is a sub-category of the micro.

These little boogers hold only a tiny, rolled up log for cachers to sign. They are magnetic, and can be painted to match their surroundings. In, on, and under electrical boxes are favorite spots. I hid mine on the bottom side of a bolt, on the back side of a guard rail. The odds of a stranger stumbling upon it are almost zero. With the hints that I gave in the cache description, it's really not that hard to find (once you've already seen what a nano is).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Spiders

My kids and I had a great time today. We beat around in the jungle, dodged deadly animals, scrambled over boulders and up muddy slopes, and found a grand total of two caches.

The first cache was a significant hike for us, since we found every trail except the correct one. Once we got on the right path, it was a short walk to ground zero. My son made the find, and we watched a gecko stalk a cricket. Then it was back through the mud and bugs to the car.

The second cache was a multi, and the cache owner even states in the listing that you'll feel like Indiana Jones when going after this one. The first stage was pretty easy, but a unique container. The second stage was a significant climb through spider country. I stopped counting huge spiders at 20 or so. Every leaf that brushed across my neck or arm felt like one of those big damned spiders scurrying across my skin. Big, big fun. I saw a couple of small snakes (not habus), a few geckos, a frog, and even more spiders.

The final leg of the multi was actually an easy find. I just had to climb up on top of a large coral outcropping.

We had a blast, and the kids will sleep well tonight (so will I).

The trail at the first cache

This van couldn't make it up the trail...or maybe it was just stolen

The stream at the second cache (the multi)