Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hearts and Prayers

My heart and prayers go out to ALL the people who have been affected by the devastating tornadoes that ripped thru the southern and eastern states yesterday.   I have been glued to the coverage on television and could cry for all those affected by this catastrophic event.

In Kentucky, the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers have overflowed their banks.  The Dam at Kentucky Lake is holding back water levels at near record highs.  See this link to check out the flood wall in downtown Paducah.   Normally that is a walkway on the left side of that cement wall.

Normal summer pool levels for Kentucky Lake are 359 ft. (above sea level).  Today it is at 364.6 ft. and they are currrently predicting 373.5 ft. by next wednesday. 

According to the Kentucky Lake website  the record high level to date was 369.99 ft. on 5-11-1984. 

If you go to this website you can see how the water is creeping up into the parking lot at Moors Resort.    Look at the Moors Harbor Lake Cam.  If you click on it, it will open in a larger window.

For the moment our Snug Harbor is safe.  Our lake house is high enough that the flood waters shouldn't reach it.  However, the lake has already crept past our sea wall and washed away our dock steps.  Everyone in our bay has already secured their docks with nylon ropes to trees and sea walls to keep them from floating away once the water forces them to float higher than their pilings.  We are hoping for the best.

Again, my prayers go out to those affected by the tornado's.  They have lost so much.

Monday, April 25, 2011

So That's What a Cache Container Looks Like!

Some of my readers have been asking me what cache containers look like.  Well, there are many different kinds, shapes and sizes.

These are basic ammo cans...

A large, cammo'd tube...  These are often hung from a tree branch or a fence.

Yes, a plastic pickle jar.  This was hidden in a tree stump.

A film container.....

A plastic, cammo'd tupperware container.  This is why we say we are searching for "Tupperware in the woods!"
A little wooden treasure chest.....

A preform container.  This looks like a test tube with electrical tape wrapped around it.

I loved this next one - it was a custom made container, out of plastic PVC pipe and wrapped in cammo tape.  This was hidden in a fallen tree in the forest.

This next one was a little container that looked like a cat....  It was hidden outside a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.

One cache owner had several of these containers custom made with these logo's on them....

This was another good one - it was a custom made plastic light bulb, attached with a magnet (with permission) to the rear of an office building, about 6 ft. high.  Really clever!

And this one is a cammo'd lock and lock container - which is just like a fancy tupperware container.

So there you have it - a nice selection of different cache containers, but they are certainly not limited to what you see here.  The more you cache, the more different kinds you will find.

Please visit the official geocaching site and read thru this page:

It gives you lots of great information on getting started.   I suggest you start with something close to home, with a terrain and dificulty rating of 1/1.  Maybe something in a park or near a restaurant.  These are easier to do at first and can be done without a GPS unit.  Just remember to use stealth, and come back and let me know what you found!  Happy caching!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ninja Monkey

I had the best time with my daughter today.  The rain stopped, the sun FINALLY came out, and the temperature actually got up to 65 degrees.  We grabbed our caching bag and headed out the door for some quick fun.

I just received my new geocaching hat, so I decided to break it in.

We did 7 caches this morning, but 3 of them were pretty clever ones.  I'm not giving the GC number's out because if anyone ends up hunting these caches they should have the same fun finding them as we did.  Here's the first one....

The 2nd one was hard to find because there were SO many options....

Did you guess where it was?

This last one was my favorite for the day.  If you look closely, you will see my head almost at the top of the tree, near the trunk.  I am a sucker for tree caches - they are my absolute favorite ones to do.  The cache itself was hidden in a plastic squirrel that was tethered to a branch.  (the tree was not harmed or damaged in the placement of this cache)

Geocachers who climb things to reach caches are called "Ninja Monkeys" - hence the name of my post.  I have been a Ninja Monkey my entire life, even before geocaching was created!

Afterwards we went out to lunch.  All in all, a fun morning!  Now I have to get cracking (ha, ha) on dyeing Easter eggs and preparing dinner for tomorrow.  Have a safe and wonderful Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Caching in on BMPs

One of the best things about being self-employed is that I can pretty much schedule my own hours.  Plus, I work with my husband, so if I want to take a day off and play hookey, it's usually pretty easy to do unless the snow is flying.  Today is the last day of my sisters visit, so we took off to do a couple more caches since it was such a nice day.  The first one we did was called "Caching in on BMPs" and it was a 4 stage cache.  That mean we had to go to 4 different locations and find a cache container and figure out clues to the next stage.  This is part of the cache description from the cache page:

This geocache is sponsored by the Lake County, Illinois Stormwater Management Commission (SMC). The objective of this multi-cache is to find 4 different caches and learn about Best Management Practices (BMPs) along the way. Stormwater BMPs are acceptable practices designed to improve water quality by preventing or reducing stormwater runoff pollution, conserving water and recharging the aquifer.

We head out to stage one, which is at:
On our hike to the cache, we passed a few silo's and a cistern....

When we reached the cache site, this is what we found.  Can you guess where the cache was hidden?

If you guessed that it was hidden inside this birdhouse you were correct and you have what is known as "good geosense."

Inside the cache box was a clue and some co-ordinates for where we were to go next....

Stage 2 was at this little bridge over a creek and we had to locate the 2nd box with another set of clues...

Stage 3 was a hike thru the forest, a little over a mile round trip, where we had to go to this bridge and get some information off of the bridge tag...

Here is the cache at the final stage....
After that we went to the Lake County Office and we each received this coin as a keepsake.

It was a really nice morning, the sun was shining and temperatures climbed up to about 50 degrees, so it was a great way to spend some time with my family.  The whole 4 stage cache only  took us about an hour and a half to do, we learned all about BMP's and we got a collectible coin on top of it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Civil War

My sister is in visiting from Denver, so yesterday we took a ride out to Lake County and went to The Lake County Discovery Museum.

One of the things I like about this museum is that they have some very interesting exhibits.  Right now they have one on The Civil War.  I am fascinated by The Civil War.  I have ancestors who fought on both sides (again with that recurring north/south theme of my life...)  and I enjoy visiting battlefields such at Gettysburg and Ft. Donelson.  My favorite book of all time is "Gone With the Wind."  If you have never read it, I urge you to do so.  It is delicious  - it's a love story, a fight for survival and American history centered around the war and is all rolled up into one epic book.  The movie is also really good with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.  Clark Gable as Rhett will forever be the man of my dreams - That debounair, devil may care, dashing and mysterious, charming and handsome, elegant man of the south .  Ok, enough about Clark Gable.  "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"  Don't even get me started - just go read the book.

There was a brief history...

A genuine cast taken of President Lincoln's face and his hand....  I was amazed at how large his hands were.

A drummers drum.  It was just beautiful actually and very well preserved.

The telegraph and Morse Code played an important part in the Civil War.  The dots and dashes of Morse Code are a mystery to me.  Imagine using that instead of e-mail today?

This was my favorite piece - it was a pipe that belonged to a Rebel spy.

A Commodore's Naval Uniform.....

A Union Soldier's uniform....
Several different kinds of firearms....

A Gatlin gun....

Some period rooms......

Hot Air Balloons were used during the Civil War to gain a unique perspective on the battle fields.  Commanders would go up in the balloons to survey the action taking place far below.  Here's my mom standing in a replica of one of the hot air balloons.

And here's me, being a nut and pretending I am dangling from the rope...

All in all, it was an interesting exhibit and a nice way to spend a cold and rainy morning.  If you've ever visited a Civil War battlefield and enjoyed it, please let me know where you went.  In the meantime, excuse me while I go pop "Gone With the Wind" into my DVD player. 

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