Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Milestones - 1600

Today we found our 1600th geocache.  We actually had a pretty good month because I think we did about 100 this month alone. 

When we left for work this morning I grabbed my caching bag and told Louie that I wanted to stop and grab 5 caches today so we'd hit 1600 on the last day of August.  In between seeing clients we managed to grab 3 caches by lunchtime.

This one was in a nice park, underneath the bench....

 Can you see it?

We still had 2 more to go, so after dinner (homemade pepper steak and it was good!)  Louie told me to get the bag and we'd try to go get the last 2.  One was in a pine tree in a park - fast and easy.

The 1600th one was a good one.  It's hidden in a cemetery, amongst graves from the 1800's, way up in a huge old tree.  But we were prepared....

Louie had his collapsible ladder in the back of the cachemobile, so he went back to the car and grabbed it.  He set it up against the tree......

I scampered up and made the quick grab, signed the log, he snapped my picture and we were in and out of there in less than 5 minutes!

Woo-hoo!!  1600!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Caching in Wisc. Part 2

After our morning of geocaching and delicious lunch at The Brat Stop, we drove over to Kenosha, Wisc. to The Civil War Museum .  I've been wanting to go there since we spied it on a caching expedition earlier this year.

It's located right on the lake front so first we walked over to the walkway.  It was a beautiful, clear day, and  it was extremely windy.

They have a special exhibit set up inside honoring the soldiers from each of America's various wars.  The statues were life size and very nicely carved.  The only thing I didn't like was that the room was extremely dark (for dramatic effect maybe??) and it was really hard to see the statues.  I tried taking some pictures but they didn't turn out very well.  It's a shame because the statues were fantastic.

I like looking at the mock ups of the old newspaper headlines...

Another room was set up with Civil War artifacts in glass cases.  The items were all in excellent condition.

I liked seeing the different outfits that the women wore and the different styles of the time.

 Isn't this dress pretty?  I would have loved to wear something like this.

It was interesting to see this real cannon...

My favorite part of the museum was the period clothes that we could dress up in and then take pictures.  That was really a lot of fun!

More newspaper headlines.....

The museum had a large, rooftop terrace so when we were finished with the tour, we walked outside to enjoy the view...

Lake Michigan sure was pretty that day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Caching in Wisconsin

Yesterday was such a nice day that we decided to drive up to Wisconsin and do a little caching.  We ended up finding 8 caches and got a DNF on 2 others.  I hate when we DNF (did not find) a cache.   One of them was one we had tried for before too.  I don't know what we are missing and it's so aggravating to not be able to find one.  But we'll be back.  Eventually we will find the little suckers!

We did several that I really liked. 

The first one we did was a TB hotel and I dropped off 5 TB's that I'm moving along for other cachers.  The little yellow chicken one is a TB I picked up a couple of months ago.  The cache owner has little kids who like to see pictures, so I told the owner I'd hold onto it for awhile and take it with me over the summer.  That TB went back and forth to Kentucky several times, to Florida, to Colorado and to Wisconsin at least twice.  I dipped it in and out of caches and posted pictures for them and ended up putting a couple thousand miles on it.   The kids really enjoyed it.  They live in Wisconsin, so I finally dropped the TB off in hopes it will make its way back to them. 

The next one was good too - it was a camoflagued PVC pipe, just large enough to hold swag items, TB's and a log book.

The next one was my favorite of the day.  It was hidden on the CO (cache owners) property.  It was a huge box, built to look like a birdhouse, complete with a bird hole in front with a nest sticking out.  The side of it opened up and there was a combination lock that we had to figure out how to open, based on hints on the geocache page.

Once we figured out the combination, the door swung open and inside was an ammo box with the log book and lots of swag.  A seperate container held all the TB's.  Another container held the stamp for a letterbox if you were also doing a letterbox cache.  It was really nicely done.

We did another cache that was located on a piece of land out in the country.  Orginally there was a house there, but suposedly the property was haunted and now the house is gone and all that remains is bits and pieces of the foundation.  All around this vacant piece of land there are industrial buildings and this sad little spot remains between them.  We saw 2 hawks flying over the cache location and lots of butterflies, but no ghostly sightings for us.  We did have some fun with the huge cement blocks that were scattered across the driveway....

And we took a phooning photo!

Our last stop was at a cemetery where the cache was hidden outside the fence.

By then it was lunch time and when I'm in Wisconsin I will go out of my way to eat at The Brat Stop.

As we left the restaurant I ran smack-dab into one of my cousins.  He was there with his kids eating lunch too!  What are the chances of that?  We had a good laugh, chatted a bit and then we were on our way.  I wish I would have thought to take a picture of me and Billy.  Next time!

We jumped back into the car and headed to Kenosha, where we wanted to see The Civil War Museum.  I'll tell you about that tomorrow.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's Hot Pepper Jelly Time Again

I ran out of my hot pepper jelly about 2 weeks ago and I can no longer lick any out of the bottom of the last jar, so it must be time to whip up another batch. 

I did a post on this a couple months ago, and if you'd like the recipe to give it a try yourself, then go here.

It takes about an hour from start to finish, which really isn't a lot of time.  Here it is just before it gets processed in a rolling water bath...

And here's the finished product....

Ta da!!!!!

Now if you really want to be impressed, go check out Gayle's blog.   Gayle puts me to shame.  First, she goes out and picks  her own fruit and then she makes way more than 6 little jars at one time and she does it with 5 kids at home.  I don't know where she gets her energy, but I want some.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Like Travel Bugs!

One of my favorite things to find in a cache is a travel bug.  No, they are not real bugs.  The object of travel bugs is to move them from cache to cache.  Many of them travel literally thousands of miles all over the world.  If you find a travel bug in a cache you can either leave it there for someone else to move along or you can take it and move it to another cache, hopefully in a timely manner.  The only thing you do NOT do, is keep it.  Although some rotten and unscrupulous people will take them and keep them.  They certainly will not win any brownie points for being a jerk!

There are basically 2 different types of travel bugs.  One type is a dog tag with a GC number on it that you attach to any item you like.  Here are a few examples....

Each TB (travel bug) gets its own web page on the GC site.  You can name your TB and assign a specific mission for it that you hope people will follow.  Things like visit specific states or different countries, maybe go to a special event, or a golf course, or trade shows.  The missions are all different and some are quite creative.  Each time you move a TB, you also have to go to it's web page and register which cache you picked it up in and which cache you dropped it into.  Plus, you can leave a note for the TB owner and even upload a picture if you want.  I usually try to take a picture of the TB near something historic and upload that to its page.  People seem to appreciate the effort and I've gotten notes from people all over the world thanking me for the photos.  It gives them a good opportunity to see a picture from a part of the world they may never get to visit themselves.

Travel bug coins are usually pretty nice.  They cost a little more money (usually between $ 10.00 and
$ 20.00 each) and you definitely take a little more of a risk sending them out, because people do steal them.  How rude is that?  Here are some of the nicer coins that I've found in caches and moved along....

Currently I have moved along 236 different TB's and coins.  I always like to find ones that have come from a foreign country.  It's really interesting to go to their pages and read about where they have been.

Right now I personally own 26 different TB's and coins of my own.  My 11 coins I keep in my possession and are part of my personal collection.  I have 15 TB's.  1 is in my possession because he's my Travelling Snoopy who goes everywhere with me, attached to my backpack.  My 14 other TB's are  travelling around the world.  Out of those 14, 3 are missing - either lost or stolen.  :-(  

Here are some of my TB's.  This was the first one to go missing....

This one travelled over 11,000 miles and was in Australia where the cache it was in got destroyed and the TB was lost.

This TB travelled around for a year and then ended up back in a cache near our house, so we went and got him back, attached him to a snoopy doll and he travels with us....

This one is in Ohio with a cacher and has travelled 1730 miles so far.....

This one has only logged 570 miles so far despite being one of my first TB's.  He is in a cache in Wisconsin.

This is my favorite TB story:  I sent this one out to Hawaii with a cacher friend, who dropped it into a cache out there.  Cacher Kailua Al picked it up and asked me if I'd like him to hold onto it for awhile and dip it in and out of caches and put up pictures.  Of course I said YES!!  Kailua Al has had it for over a year and this TB has logged over 22 THOUSAND miles!  Al puts up beautiful pictures on my TB page for me.  Now of course I want to go to Hawaii.

These are some of my coins....(Hey, my husband is Italian!)

We got this coin at the annual geocachers picnic last year.  The cool thing about this one is that the pig on the spit actually spins!
 The Sanibel Island one was my first coin and a gift from my husband....
May 2010 was the 10 year anniversary of geocaching and we picked this coin up at one of the local events.
And here is Travelling Snoopy.  He was a gift from my good caching friend, Mary.  We attached my Snoopy TB to him and he's on my backpack....

Now you know what a TB is and how they work.  If you find one in a cache, please be sure to send it on it's way.  And take the time to shoot a picture if you can - we sure appreciate it!
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