Sunday, July 12, 2009

July Eleventh Cache Run

The concept started while chatting with The Bad Cop following his interview for the soon-to-be-released Cache-A-Maniacs episode 136. He mentioned that he would be in Toledo, Ohio for a couple weeks with his family visiting with his parents. Being that Toledo was just over an hour south of us and dotted with about a dozen virtual caches we had yet to find, we figured it would be a great opportunity to hit the road for some virtual caches with a West Coast Cacher. We got in touch with xpunkx who was game to join the fun, set-up the meeting time, and proceeded to plan from there.

The day began with a thunderstorm hovering over xpunkx throughout the drive from Indiana. We encountered the storm as well for our drive, but it broke long enough for us to hit a couple of the virtual caches off I-75 we'd wanted to grab for months. Arriving a little early in town, we hit a couple of traditional caches meeting up with xpunkx purely from coincidence at "Wanna Buy a House or Car ? (GCHWR9). We signed the log then called The Bad Cop to see about starting our adventure a little early. No problem. We arrived at his parents' home and piled into the Honda Element (my caching vehicle) and drove the short distance to the first scheduled cache -- "Traffic Jam" (GC9564). The rain was still coming down at this point though the thunder had stopped. The dark, rainy image was hard to see on the iPhone, where we captured the Webcam frames, but we pulled it off grabbing four frames (one of the group, then one of each team). There was a local fast food joint nearby which we had parked at and was said to have WiFi access available. Sadly the WiFi service was discontinued the first of the month so we weren't able to check the images on xpunkx's netbook, but we were able to dry off a bit and grab some beverages to start the morning. As we left I checked the list of caches and routed to the next one on the Nüvi 260T. Unfortunately it was to become obvious a little while later that I had hit the wrong cache throwing off the well planned route by a few miles. July 11th Caching Crew We got all the caches we'd skipped and were back on track quickly though and all we lost was about 20 minutes and a quarter gallon of gas. The sky had started to brighten though and we were seeing parts of the region we didn't know existed. The Bad Cop, who grew-up in the area, commented that he hadn't visit some of the locations before and the first earthcache took us by surprise. By now the rain was gone and the day brighter, getting warmer and more humid. We had fallen into the groove when we stopped at Farnsworth Metropark. Here we planned to hit an earth and a virtual cache. When we arrived at the location for the virtual cache we discovered that there was another virtual cache at that same exact location. This one was a little different though as it was a five stage cache, all points listed on the page. That was the thirteenth virtual cache I had originally found and planned (while looking for the caches in Google Earth) to hit before building the route through Garmin's RoadTrip for Mac. We figure that either one of two things had happened -- either the point did not get imported (it had quotes in the name which has confused many beta products I've used) or simply because the two caches -- "Drive-By #1 'Victory Lap'" (GC9F32) and Roche De Boeuf (GC9D31) -- were on top of each other I couldn't see the multi-stage one to drop it into the route. So we added this cache into the plans on-the-fly. We manually entered the second stage in the Nüvi 260T and made our way there after completing the earthcache keeping our eyes on the other virtuals we'd planned to hit on the route. That second way point was very close to the next virtual cache on the list. So we got both at the one stop and continued on. All the points for the multi-virtual were along that route I'd plan so we didn't loose any more distance, just the time to collect the information. And so continued the adventure as we wrapped up that virtual and made our way through Wauseon Ohio -- home to the Midwest Geobash 2009. The whole time we recorded audio during the longer drives talking about the trip for a special edition of the Geocaching Podcast. The longest of those drives was between "An Old Ohio Bell" (GCB389) and "Official Wood County Park District Cache # 3" (GCHKHD) we took advantage of the drive for some discussions about the trip to that point. It was the first time xpunkx and I have had the chance to record together within a hundred miles of each other. Despite the nearly hour long drive though, the time passed quickly and we'd come to that second-to-last cache of the day. This one was a little puzzling, and depressing, but you'll have to listen to that special edition of the Geocaching Podcast to hear more about it as we had one last cache to hit and the day was getting long. July 11th Caching Crew It had also been since about 10:00AM that any of us ate anything so we were getting hungry. That meant it was time for dinner, and being in Toledo we had to hit Tony Packo's Café. Xpunkx had not heard of this Toledo icon so he was in for a treat. As usual the food was excellent (even Drie who wasn't about to eat beef loved her Chicken Salad Sandwich) and the company terrific. It was the perfect end to a great day of caching in Toledo, but there was one more thing to do. We had to finish up the recording of our audio for the show. The evening had turned much cooler with some very comfortable breezes by this point. So we sat on the porch of The Bad Cop's parents home and wrapped up the recording in a most comfortable manner. We stood around for a few moments follow the recording bidding our farewells and restoring our gear to the appropriate owners then made our ways for home as it was nearing 9:00PM. Xpunkx had a more than two hour drive in front of him and wanted a couple more caches before he called it a day so that he would have a total of twenty for the trip. As for the group though, we ended with thirteen virtuals, two earth, a webcam cache, and some great memories.
  1. Traffic Jam (GC9564) Webcam
  2. Ft. Meigs (GCAC1D) Virtual
  3. Official Wood County Park District Cache # 5 (GCHKHJ) Virtual
  4. 577 (GCB046) Virtual [good photo location]
  5. Official Wood County Park District Cache # 6 (GCHKHN) Virtual
  6. Maumee River Alvar (GC1341F) Earth [good photo location]
  7. Just Ducky (GC9DC1) Virtual
  8. Roche De Boeuf (GC9D31) Virtual [good photo location]
  9. The Bowling Green Fault (GC14VGG) Earth
  10. Official Wood County Park District Cache # 4 (GCHKHG) Earth
  11. How's Your Labino? (GC9EDA) Virtual
  12. Drive-By #1 "Victory Lap" (GC9F32) Virtual
  13. SQ-Red Fox Trail (GC9EDF) Virtual
  14. An Old Ohio Bell (GCB389) Virtual
  15. Official Wood County Park District Cache # 3 (GCHKHD) Virtual [good photo location]
  16. Official Wood County Park District Cache # 2 (GCHKH9) Virtual

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