Friday, August 13, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - Where has it been?

Greetings all in blog-land! (And happy birthday to me! :p)

Things have been hectic around here this summer. We have been on caching road trips, and I have been in and out of Everett in preparation for an upcoming trip. In other words, time hasn't been my friend. Tuesday will roll around and I'll remember in the morning, but by the time it comes to post I have forgotten and fall asleep. :p

Such is life...

Anyway, I haven't abandoned the idea of TTT, but for right now I'll be MIA for a few weeks. When we get back from vacation I'll try to make a summary of what I have failed to share! (It's a lot btw!!!)

So until then, happy reading!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 7/13

Well, I missed last week and I'm a day late this week. What a terrible week to miss too because it was GeoWoodstock week and there is a ton of stuff to talk about! I'll attempt to get it all from 6/30 til yesterday, but I can't make any promises. :p Here we go!

On Wednesday 6/30 I took the boys with me and TheMcMorrows (Sean and his two boys) to GCD - Geocache. This is the oldest active geocache in the world listed on We figured what better time to grab this cache than when the biggest geocaching event in the world is right around the corner, and it's the ten year anniversary of geocaching? So we began our journey at the Enumclaw ranger station at 9 AM to get me a day parking pass. After that we began our drive to the Hyak/Gold Creek exit on I-90 which then led us up a winding, dirt road up part of the mountains. We got to the Mt. Margaret Trailhead around 10:30. Then the hike began. According to the GPS we were 1.1 miles away from the cache as the crow flies. Well, we don't get to get off that easy as this journey will consist of a 2500 ft elevation change from start to finish! The first part of the trail is a moderately steep gravel trail with lots of loose rocks and potholes to lose your footing on. Then there is a dirt trail that leads the rest of the way up the mountain that has several switchbacks and....snow! That's right at the end of June at about 3500-4000 ft there is still snow here this year! With about 0.16 miles of distance to cover between us and the cache the trail disappears and we have to basically climb up the snow bank for the next 800 ft...that's in a straight line again so it was quite a bit more substantial distance on the hill. The good news is that at about 12 Logan made the grab...he was 150 ft ahead of me and 200 ft ahead of the rest of the group. With 0.1 miles left he had asked me where it was so I pointed in the general direction and he just took off! What a little mountain goat. :p After the rest of us made it to the top we took some pictures, signed the log, took a brief rest, and then made our way back down the hill. This actually proved a little more difficult than coming up as there was no footing since the snowpack was fairly solid and slick! We made a couple other cache grabs while on the trail, but one was in the parking area and one was a convenient water break on the way up. :)

Thursday was uneventful because I knew Friday was going to be action packed, and we still had the big festivities on Saturday followed by another big event in Seattle on Sunday. I'll get to those in a few minutes.

Friday! The big Going APE! Event! This event was put on by the Washington State Geocaching Association in an effort to help minimize the number of cars that pack into the Annette Lake Trailhead since this parking lot is small. Instead everyone met at the Hyak Trailhead parking area as it can support, by far, a larger number of vehicles. Once people arrived they were checked in and bused from Hyak to the Annette Lake Trailhead. This event for me started as a parking attendant and bringer of power and shelter! Not only did I pay my registration fee to attend the hike, but I also volunteered the first shift and brought 2 10x10 tents and our generator. This hike was no where near as intense as the one two days prior! I basically could have run up the trail after that ordeal. :p But I took my time and chatted with other APE goers from all over. My first conversation buddies were an older couple from Pennsylvania, we didn't chat long as my pace was a little too brisk for them. A little ways up the hill I ran into another local cacher who I see around at FTF runs on her way back down. We chatted for a little bit, but she had other caches she wanted to hit and I hadn't even really started yet! After that it was pretty much no non-sense to the Project Ape cache. I did chat with some people as I went by and I ended up walking a good portion of the way with some ladies from San Diego. I could tell I was close because there was a huge cluster of cachers just congregated in one spot, with a man in a gorilla constume! There were news crews and photographers and reporters along for the ride too, I even made it into the Seattle Times slideshow on the event with voiceover interviews. You can check that out here! You won't see my face, but look for the guy in a desert camo jacket and a red hat at around 1:25... After that I grabbed a few more caches along the trail then took the bus back to Hyak. Including the event, I was able to make that a 14 cache because immediately following the APE event was a Tiki Luau for GeoWoodstock pre-registration pickup. That was in Issaquah. It was after 8 PM when I got home...I left the house around 6:15. That's a long day, and that wasn't even the big event!

Saturday 7/3 has arrived and so have over 5000 cachers worldwide, and they have descended upon Remlinger Farms in Carnation, WA! Lynette and I volunteered for the setup crew from 7-10 and to work the WSGA booth from 9-11 so our day started early. We also had to pick up Sean (Mr. McMorrow) on the way because they got a hotel room for the week to minimize travel distance between the plethora of activities during the week and so his kids didn't have to get up at 6:30 and be out until 7-8 at :) I can't even begin to explain all the cool stuff that was going on at this event because we didn't even get to half of it! There was live music, news crews, vendors from all over the world, and people...lots and lots of people! We met up with many people we know from around the area and met some new people from all over. I even met a guy from Germany who gave me this awesome geocoin that is the geocache reviewer only edition of the coin. I'll have to get pictures to show you (or Lynette will) because words don't do it justice. We also did a team building exercise where teams go out and try to find caches hidden around the grounds for point values. FTFs are worth more than non-FTFs and the rest of the values are based on difficulty and distance from home base. You had an hour to find as many of the 24 caches as you could. It wasn't all that exciting, but I did get a new idea for a couple caches. :D The event wound down and the after event cleanup event took about 15 minutes because cachers don't's against everything we do! There was a geocoin event later that night in Renton, but Lynette and I opted to get off our feet and go watch a movie!

Sunday 7/4: Lost & Found Celebration at Groundspeak HQ in Fremont. This was a blast...mostly because Lynette and I did volunteer for anything so we could just enjoy it! We bought some swag, we went on a scavenger hunt around Fremont (which included both of us visiting the Troll for the very first time,) and then Sean and I left Lynette and Sean's family near the festivities to go looking for some fake caches placed around the area. That actually ended up being lame because there was no prizes or anything involved, but it was movement. We got to talk with some of the Groundspeak Lackeys (those are what the employees are called) about various things. One of them was one of the girls in the lobby when we went there on the 18th...I gave her grief about not tweeting my coined phrase of "cacheblocking." That is basically for people who use their smartphones to cache then someone texts them...and texts them some more...and some get the picture. It's irritating! Another of the Lackey's is the one who maintains the APE cache, and the day before the big event some jackstain decided to steal the lid from the cache which had a rare coin riveted to the inside. We talked to him about the future of the rare cache (It was one of 14, but is only one of 2 remaining in the world) come to find out a couple days ago that he has a new lid and there is going to be another event! We left that event and went to the fireworks display celebration the church puts on every year. Lynette and I didn't actually stay for the fireworks, but the boys did and they thought it was super-awesome.

So back to the regular grind...I hadn't had any FTF's since the last one I mentioned in the last post so I was getting sort of down. Then like clockwork, one posted on Tuesday...Just in time for me to (not) post about it here! Then the rest of the week was pretty normal...a cache here, a cache there to keep the streak going. Then Friday night our local night cacher crew got together for our second run! We did a cache in Puyallup at Clark's Creek Park. It was a blast and I was able to test out our new 13 LED, 6 volt flashlight. It was awesome...I was pretty much in the back the whole time and my flashlight had enough power to overtake the leader's and I could see the reflectors from 50-70 feet away! It was awesome! And I eventually was able to make the cache grab too because no one saw the final reflector combo with their piddly flashlights! :p

On the FTF front I was able to grab a couple more the week after GeoWoodstock, Jackson was even present to get his first one! Logan is now pretty old hat at the FTF thing...he's got 4 or 5 now. :p I missed out on an FTF in Orting since it posted after I fell asleep, but a hound from Renton swooped down and made the grab. I might rethink my retirement if Renton folks are gonna be grabbing my local caches! :p I even grabbed one yesterday that was off of Hwy 18 in Hobart that was placed on Saturday and published on Sunday. Caches can't sit for two days that close and not be found! I even got a moving truck travel bug coin for being FTF. That brought the total up to 63...I actually went after two in the middle of writing this, but that's technically part of next week's post so I'll save the details there!

I'll bug Lynette about getting some pictures up...we put on some miles on our TB while trying to work on a couple challenges and try to stay ahead in our race and we got some nice pictures. Not to mention the pictures of the events we were at. I'm also thinking of starting my own blog for this segment so it makes Lynette get back to posting stuff here! I'll let you know how that pans out, but until then...See you next week!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 6/29

It's Tuesday night...time for the weekly recap!

Well, there really isn't much to recap this week. Most of the exciting stuff happened today! The only notable caching feat before today was Keira getting her 100th find! She's a little behind the boys (who are both knocking on 200,) but she has to go to work with Lynette so she misses out on the daily activities during the week.

As for today's exciting news; I hit our 800th find! I needed something to write about this week since there seems to be a cache posting drought in our area! So I went out pretty much every day this last week and did an average of 10 caches a day approx. (I don't have solid data on this, but it's probably close. ;)) We went out caching with WellJointed and his grand-daughter, Princess Frostine, into the Black Diamond area. The goal was 12 in a couple hours, but we ended up with 9 in a little over three hours. Not terrible considering most of the caches were older and placed in a time when terrain ratings were less than accurate. :)

This was just one trip out this week. Others included Fife/Milton (had to fix Tiki...again,) Auburn, Lakewood, U.P, and Point Defiance. I tried to spread out the locales so I could make up some of the miles TheMcMorrows got over us on our travel racer competition by going to Yakima for the day! The ImLuckiest clan also made a trip down to Oregon this week so they have been closing in rapidly. California needs to get here soon so we can log hundreds of miles in a day. :D

There is one more piece of excitement that came today...FTF #60!!! The drought was in full effect, and a cache posted at Frontier Park in Graham (Pierce County Fairgrounds for all you old-schoolers) at about 10 AM. The boys and I were well into our Black Diamond caching tour so there was no way we were going to get down there before any of the other local hounds would snatch this one up. Or so we thought...

We got home around 2 and fozroc (Jay) was asking me if we were out FTFing. I had no idea what he was talking about because went down for maintenance at about the time I logged our final find in Black Diamond (ironically Jay's cache.) He told me that there had been only one log by a rookie (63 finds or something like that) and it was a DNF. I thought a new cache in the middle of all these hounds would never stand for 5 hours! Someone must not have logged it yet!

Well, after telling the boys we were done for the day, and Jackson still in the middle of his cheese puffs, I told them to pack up. It was FTF hunting time! Logan was up like a rocket (and people think I am obsessed :p) while Jackson grumbled a little, but loaded the puffs in a baggie and off we went. We got to Frontier Park and realized we had a little hike ahead of us, but nothing to difficult as most of it is loaded with horse trails and it's been dry lately.

We finally get to GZ...or so the GPS says. The search was on. After a good 15 minute search for something that was supposed to be very obvious I was getting a little perturbed. This would make the third FTF run in 7 days that could result in a DNF because the cache was already muggled. That is not acceptable! So I gave it one more go and realized a hint had been added to the cache that wasn't there before we left the house. It was useless because it described the area we were already looking in anyway, but I wasn't leaving with another DNF! Finally, 30ft SE of the given coordinates by my GPS I finally spotted the ammo can tucked behind a tree/bush. The cache was loaded with red, white, and blue swag as this was a 4th of July cache due to the upcoming holiday. The FTF prize was a giant bison tube with a log and pencil already loaded and a Uncle Sam(Signal the Frog) bobblehead pin. (Lynette has already claimed the bison and attempted to steal the pin... ;p) After signing the log and placing all the contents back in the cache, hiding it as we found it, and noting in our online log how off the coords were, we headed home to share our excitement with the ladies of the house!

So we ended this week with about 65 caches and 1 FTF. Not too shabby!

Next week I'll have tales from the Project A.P.E cache on Friday, Geowoodstock 8 on Saturday, and the Lost & Found Event at Groundspeak HQ commemorating 10 years of geocaching on Sunday. I have also made plans with TheMcMorrows to go to the oldest geocache left in WA tomorrow morning followed by an event in Issaquah at 6. So I guess I better get some sleep because this week is getting hectic!

See you next week!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 6/22

Welcome back! Let's get to the recap of the week.

Well, there really isn't much to recap. I managed to get 1 co-FTF this week with WindingPath. It was a Spiderman hanging in a tree along Fennel Creek. Nothing really spectacular, but FTF's are FTF's. Another cache posted that morning in Enumclaw, but I got beat there by a pedestrian with two dogs. :p

Nothing much to tell about this week. No milestones to brag about this week, there will probably be one next week though. :)

The Legion of Mediocrity puzzle I drew up posted yesterday morning. Someone had solved it and found it within 2 hours. This just proves geocachers are smarter than me. :p That puzzle would have taken me a few more hours if I hadn't thought of it.

We also went to hide Logan's first cache today...well, that turned out to be Jackson's first cache. It should be published later this week. Logan also picked out his spot so that will be placed and published later this week too. Now to come up with my next hide. :p

That's it for this week's geocaching update. Hopefully I'll have something more exciting next week! See you then.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 6/15

It's Tuesday! No, really, I'm not late this week... Ok, enough with the shocked faces. :p Let's get to it!

In the FTF realm I scrounged up 3 this week. So in the month I said I would be slowing down on FTF's I already have 10. :p To my defense though, a lot of caches are posting now that summer, well, is supposed to be here. :D

The first FTF this week came on Sunday when I got home from Everett. It was a multi-cache by WindingPath, the psykokiwi clan was with me as well as John and Ryan to mock and snicker. This was a good one that I hadn't seen before, but I had read about it before. Knots in simple, yet so devious! Good one Ryan (even if you borrowed the idea!)

FTF number two came last night and it was Logan's first FTF that he didn't have to share with anyone (except the guy that drove him there!) He was super's his third, but we usually have company. He has come to grips with his caching name of CacheMonkey03 so now he gets excited to sign his name to the log instead of a huge fight at GZ because "I hate my cacher name!!!" :p

FTF number three came today. Right before Lynette got off work one posted at the retirement and assisted living facility right off of 410. I must have gotten the posting the minute it posted because I beat everyone there by 10 minutes easy, and one person ended up being physically closer, but got turned around thanks to his GPS navigation! (How ironic. :p) Of course it was Sean McMorrow and kids so we shared FTF as he showed up before I was leaving. Go Legion of Mediocrity!!!

Not much else exciting happened this week. I learned how to use a new geocaching tool that routes 24 caches in an area so I went out yesterday and today to see how it works. Yesterday I ended up not using it right in my new GPS, and ended up with 14 caches in about 5 hours. Today I used it right and ended up with 13 caches in about the same time. I don't know if that is poor routing or further distance between caches. Either way it seemed to work out ok.

I also went over 700 caches today! That's not all that exciting, but if I really wanted to (which I don't because it would become like work!) I could probably make 900 by GeoWoodstock 8 in Carnation on the 3rd. No pressure though...I just do this for fun and to kill time while Lynette is at work. :)

That covers this week's adventure (I think.) See you next week with more tales of geocaching!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 6/8

Welcome back! I'm late as usual, but this time I didn't forget, I was out late yesterday and didn't have the energy to put together comprehendable thoughts. :) Now on to this weeks wrap-up!

In my quest to slow down on the FTFs I have already gotten 7 this month. :p Granted I mentioned the 3 from last Tuesday, but I said I wouldn't go chasing after ones too far away from home. I tried to stay pretty true to that with in South Hill that the boys got their first official FTFs on! Other than that, there was one on the way home from Enumclaw at the Marshall's loading dock in Bonney Lake, a cache dedicated to my 55th FTF (except it was my 53rd because someone is impatient, :p) and another one that was up Shaw Rd.

Other than those little gems, I was at an event last night at the Pyramid Ale House. It was a gigantic cluster-f, but I got 9 caches along the waterfront and 2 in Seattle Center afterwards. I also got two new coins; one for the event and a pink ribbon coin for Lynette (who couldn't go. :( ) One of the 9 along the waterfront should have been another FTF, but two other guys at the event bailed to go get it...including not paying their bill first... Like I said, this event was not something to write home about, or on your blog. So this is the end of that story. :)

I also got our 650th find this weekend when we went up to Deception Pass and drove down Whidbey Island. That was a fun trip which not only included that milestone, but we also got Jackson's 100th find! The next day we went out and got Logan's 100th find as well...he got to pick which one he wanted so he picked one close to the house. Then for Logan's 101st he wanted to find one of our caches which was even closer to the house. Not good enough to be 100, but 101, heck yeah. :p

That's about it for this week. Cached with friends, ran into other friends, found friends' caches on FTF runs. It's all good! Another successful TTT in the books, and we'll see you next week.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 6/1

Here we are again on another glorious Tuesday! Let's not waste time and get to this last week's festivities!

This week was looking pretty slim in the FTF realm until last night. Since last Tuesday I had only amassed one FTF. Well, as of today the last 4 finds were all FTF's! One FTF yesterday was a 3-way with WindingPath and another local FTFer. When I arrived they had already been to the first part and were on to the final part of the find. I immediately joined in the hunt, and Ryan was the one to pull it out. Then there were 3 FTF's today...

FTF #1: In Frontier Park in Graham, which is open from 7:30 AM-dusk. Jay (fozroc) and I made the trek to the cache at *cough* 11:30 PM, pulling out the cache at 12:05 AM. FTF #49, woohoo! Cache for the day done until...

FTF #2: Two caches posted 8+ and 11+ miles from our house at about 7:30 AM. I woke up around 8:30 AM and no one had claimed the finds yet...looks like I'm heading out! The first one was in Federal Way along a gravel road in heavy stickers. I walked past it at first, but went back to the most logical point of entry, and there it was for me to grab! FTF #50 and official pseudo FTF-hound retirement! Except there is the case of this other posted cache...

FTF #3: This one had been DNF'd moments before I started headed down to it. Awesome, still there for me to claim! I get to GZ and have the same initial reaction as the DNFer, it must be behind these trees and it can't possibly be on the potentially movable object! Why is the GPS telling me to go closer to the road? Then I see it! Right where I know it isn't, but plain as day right in front of me. FTF #51 and find #600! Now the FTFs will be a little less frequent and way closer to home.

So now that the FTF highlights for the week are done I can talk about the real fun this last week!

Friday marked the beginning of could potentially be an annual summer vacation event. We bought 3 travel tags and 3 cars to attach them to. Then we handed two of the cars over to local caching families for a little contest. From the beginning of Memorial Day weekend to the end of Labor Day weekend we will see who can log the most miles on their family's racer going from cache to cache all summer. The losing family will host the other families for dinner. The Irish family (ImLuckiest) and the McMorrow family (TheMcMorrows) are our competition this year! The McMorrows got a jump start on the event Friday by going down to Oregon where the Original Stash Tribute Plaque is located. Our weekend plans got changed around a little though which allowed us to make the same trip on Saturday. More on that in a little bit. The Irishes stayed in the area, but still managed to log over 130 miles during the weekend! After the first weekend this is shaping up to be quite the competition, I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer holds!

Now about Saturday! Lynette, as usual, will be in charge of loading the pictures for this, but it was a great day!

We piled into the car around 7 AM with Kelly, Mason, and Eli (psykokiwi, macemakiao, and EagerSeeker) heading for Oregon! We had mapped out 28 caches for the day in the hopes that we might get to about 15. We also made a couple stops in WA to work on a couple challenges we have been working on since last August. After 15 caches, (including two freebies we didn't plan on getting) we made it to the Original Stash Tribute Plaque and the Un-Original Stash. This was about 1 PM and the hunger bug had struck many hours earlier, but we persevered until we got a little closer to civilization!

After the OSTP, we found 5 more caches on our way back to Oregon City. Then it was BurgerVille time! (We highly recommend it, the closest one is in Centralia.) After BurgerVille we went to Washington Park in Portland to finish up our planned caches in OR. Then off we went to get the last couple caches in WA to end the day. When we got to the last cache we realized we had found 29 caches for the day! We couldn't end on the odd number so we found another one in town to make a clean 30! Then we headed to Farrelli's in DuPont for dinner (this is at about 8 PM btw. :p) After dinner we fueled up and headed home to finish our day, and what a day it had turned out to be!

That about covers this week. It had a little more content than normal, but Lynette yelled at me last week for leaving out our day trip last week to complete a couple counties and DeLorme pages for our challenges!

So there you have it. Another successful TTT! See you next week! (at a little slower pace probably. :D)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 5/25

Welcome to Tom's Takeover Tuesday...on Tuesday!!!

This week I have three FTF's. One in the north radius that took 2 hours to find! The other two were part of a series of 4 that posted along Commencement Bay. This brings the FTF total to 46.

So the first FTF this week was a micro (mini M&Ms tube) with camo tape hidden in a rock bed along the river trail. When I got to GZ there were three guys "looking." I passed one on his way out, one was leaving with his dogs when I started searching, and one guy left because he is a tow truck driver and had a delivery in Renton. This left me and one other guy to continue searching. When I got there, he had already been in the hunt for 30-45 minutes. Literally an hour and a half later I pulled up just about the only rock we hadn't turned over...and this was after the cache owner called to taunt my hunting partner. When I pulled it out another cacher arrived. After signing the log we walked down the trail and got the other 3 caches along that side of the river while swapping stories (my favorite!)

That concluded my Everett stay since that was Thursday and I came home Friday evening. The other two FTFs are uneventful stories except I could have gotten the other two in the series the night before if the LOST season finale event hadn't been in full swing!

I did manage to get my new puzzle out last night. We hid it, did the write up, and it posted all in about 4 hours. Then my phone never stopped blowing up with texts! From 10:30 PM to about midnight I got texts requesting more info on how to solve the puzzle. I was reluctant to give out too much information so I was my typical evasive self. :)

The texts then recommenced with another participant at about 4 this morning...those continued until about 2 this afternoon when the solution had finally been ascertained and the hunt was on! Two cachers had the solution because they "worked" together (if you consider prodding me for continual confirmation on their search efforts work. :p) I finally got a text at about 10 minutes to 3 PM that the cache had been found and the fact there was no pen or FTF prize was disappointing. :p So picky!!!

I had high hopes for this puzzle lasting a couple days, but our locals always surprise me with their persistence in getting the FTF. I guess when I am not eligible it's even more competitive. :p I guess I just have to think up a new, even harder puzzle! Although, I do know all three kids were eating mini M&Ms last night...a new multi maybe? ;)

That's pretty much it for this week. It is getting harder and harder to think up interesting material for this segment so I think Lynette may want to start contributing again! See you next week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 5/18

Welcome back to what has become more of a late week post than a Tuesday event. Either way, I'll try to keep it between the Tuesdays as far as an update.

There really isn't a whole lot to say about this installment. I spent another week in Everett/Marysville so the main focus was just keeping the streak alive. Mission accomplished!

So other than getting a cache everyday while away from home and visiting the Scuttlebutt brewery just about everyday after work, there was nothing exciting to report...

Except my first two FTF's north of King County!!! That's right, I managed to get FTF's away from home! I have a 10 mile notification radius set-up around my hotel and my unit's building just in case I can beat out the locals. One night after work we went to Scuttlebutt (like I said earlier, this was a fairly daily event.) Once we were done "eating," I noticed 2 caches had posted just inside the 10 mile radius of my hotel. That put them about 14 miles away from where I was, and they had posted 30 minutes to an hour and a half before I left. They were on the same trail so I thought I would give it a shot. With one posting an hour after the other I might still have a shot at one.

I drove to the parking coordinates and found a nice established place where the locals go quading and dirt bike riding. So I began my half mile, mostly up hill hike to the "closest" of the two. Made it to ground zero and pulled out the smiley and FTF #42. I couldn't remember which one posted first, but there were no cars at the parking when I arrived so I went for the second one.

This one was almost exactly 528 ft away from my current location, but the direct route was not feasible (I did give it a good attempt though.) So I backtracked up the trail and found the appropriate fork to follow. This one wasn't just off the trail like the first one so some bushwhacking was warranted. I, of course, did far more bushwhacking than necessary, but I managed to find the container anyway. To my surprise and joy this log was unsigned as well for FTF #43 and a nice two-fer!

That was the only real excitement for the week. Other than that and the Scuttlebutt, I sat in my hotel room and ate pizza. :p

I'm home this weekend so next week's update should be on time. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll post my new puzzle to celebrate our 500th find (a little late, but I've had the stuff ready since before I left.) This one is a real doozy! I found what I needed to make it while solving some puzzles up in Marysville. This should rank right up there amongst the great brain busters in the Kent/Tukwila area.

Thanks for joining me again, and I'll see you next week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Event Pictures

As promised, here are pictures from the geocaching 10! Year event that we hosted:

The signing in, travel bug trading, door prize winning, name tag making, table

Let's see how many I can identify...
utox2rox, krnklnmn, ImLuckiest (family), NWCrew, & theBadCop

BloomingIdiot, swissnavy, Rianthe

Most of the revelers!!

When you find a cache you sign a "log." Here's the official log for the event:)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 5/11(ish)

So here another addition of my caching adventure update...late as per normal lately. :)

So from Tuesday to Tuesday I found a couple FTFs. That was pretty much it...except I went on a trip to get our 500th find!!!A couple fellow cachers as I mentioned last week invited me on their 2000th find milestone trek. We all stopped 5 caches shy of our milestones. Thursday morning we met at our house, and off we went to Raymond. We stopped in Olympia to pick up 4 caches along the way that sounded interesting, it also cleared up a DNF (did not find) for one of the guys that was on the trip. Once we had those 4 it was on to Raymond.This cache was a multi that started in "downtown," went to a grave memorial sign, a town water tower, and then some trails in the woods. Once we got to waypoint 5 (parking) it was a mile hike to the final waypoint. (This is where Lynette posts a couple pictures of my trip. :p) Once you see the pictures you'll be almost as amazed as I was when we got there. What a place for a cache...and what a great place to celebrate a milestone!

At the end of the hike, this is what we found! It is the trunk of a HUGE tree that somebody hollowed out to make a little cabin:) SO COOL!

The men of the caching teams:
Tom (FugeFinders:P), Eric (WellJointed), Jim (TerribleT's)

The throne...and fire pit.

Franki and Jim (TerribleT's)

To follow up that great day, on Saturday I went out with a caching friend from Enumclaw to Olympia. We found a few caches down there before an event to celebrate someone's 3000th find. Then we went to Tacoma to try for an FTF that we didn't find because it was stolen before anyone found it ( it's not in a good neighborhood...) From there we got a call for help on a cache 5 minutes from there we found a couple days earlier. We laughed at them for a bit before they found it then we went off to find more caches! By the time the day was done, I had logged 20 caches, and the boys logged 21. That of course cost me an FTF 2.6 miles from our house....but it was a good day either way!

That's about it for the Tuesday report...I'll have more on Tuesday (or some day near Tuesday. :p)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 5/4

I might actually get this post in before Tuesday is over!

Our 10 Years! Celebration Event at Aversano's on Sunday was a smashing success. Pictures to come later, but we filled the back room. We got lots of compliments on the food and the interaction with the attendees. We raffled off ready made cache containers with swag, some trackable items, and a couple other little things that people donated to the event. We also played a couple rounds of "Guess the Coordinates" to the two caches I placed in honor of our event.

Once the picture was taken and the coordinates were passed out the place cleared out like it was on fire, but Lynette and I stuck around a little while longer with a few of the stragglers. I soon got a text from Jay (fozroc) that there was a 4 way FTF on one of the caches with him, Mike (GPSWonderer,) Ray (theDarknyght,) and John & Ryan (WindingPath.) Of course I figured Ryan would find a way to get another FTF on one of our caches... :) The bad news about that one was the fishermen who had set up shop near the cache stole the FTF prize which was a fully stocked ammo can. :(

The other cache was FTF'd by someone who had never gotten one before so "Yay!" for first time FTFers! That ammo can was right where I left it so I expect to see a new ammo can cache soon from them. Of course with all the containers we raffled off we're looking at about 8 more caches. :)

Sean (The McMorrows) hid a multi-cache to be published while everyone was at the event, but it didn't publish until just before 7 PM. I left Lynette with the last couple guests and went on my own FTF hunt. WindingPath didn't show up, but Kelly, Mason, and Eli (psykokiwi, macemakaio, and EagerSeeker) followed me to Enumclaw. Jay, Mike, and Ray were coming from one of our new caches, and Sean and fam met us there. Long story short, it was basically a 7 way FTF. :)

I raced out tonight and got another one in Enumclaw which brings my FTF total to 38. I have to show some restraint tomorrow night though. I have been invited by some of the other local cachers for a trip to have a joint milestone find on Thursday. It will be our 500th, and the other two cachers will be out for their 2000th finds!

That's it for's super late (as indicated by someone snoring next to me. :D) See you all again next week!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Happened to Takeover Tuesday?!

Ok, so I forgot about Tuesday the last couple weeks. Last week I was working 14 hour days in preparation for my unit's inspection (which my department killed btw!) And this week I just up and forgot since I missed it the week before. So here is a quick down and dirty for the last couple weeks since I still plan on posting this coming Tuesday.

I managed to keep the streak alive while up in Everett for almost three weeks! And I managed to sneak in a FTF while I was on my way to Ft. Lewis to shoot guns...they can't completely shut me out for three weeks! I had a couple FTF opportunities up in Everett except I was either driving home to sign my taxes, driving home to sleep in my own bed before going to Ft. Lewis, or working one of the above mentioned 14 hour days. Lynette even got an FTF on JT's birthday because it posted at Allen Yorke Park...she can't drag the kids out 5 miles and expect a FTF, but 0.7 miles is a whole other animal. :)

Once I was home from Everett, I got a FTF Monday morning! A cache placed by our friends WindingPath (it's about time you have one publish when I'm home!) I proceeded to get a couple more FTF's yesterday.

This weekend marks the 10 year anniversary of geocaching as President Clinton stopped Selective Availability and 24 satellites around the globe became accessible to the average Joe via GPS units. We are hosting an event in Sumner at Aversano's. In honor of the anniversary and the fact we are going to have all the FTF hounds in one place, I placed a couple caches today. They are not supposed to publish until Sunday so we may feel generous and give the party goers a heads up on where they might be located! (Stop salivating Ryan!)

That covers it. Like I said, I'll be back on Tuesday at my normal time slot. I'll give updates on the party and hopefully some pics too! See you then!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Hey everyone! My friend Mel...aka Tall Mom on the having a giveaway on her running blog. Click the link on the right side of my blog/your screen, and check it out. Even if you don't run, maybe someone you know does, or a loved one works out in a different way. Any way it's a great deal!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 4/13

Welcome back to another installment of my escapades! Not a whole lot new to report this week. I've been in Everett every day since the last post except for Saturday. I have managed to find at least one cache a day to maintain a streak. Today was day 79! There were some more issues with Tiki's Revenge, but I managed to get them fixed and the cache up and running within 24 hours!

No FTF's to report this week, although, I went home today to sign our taxes so Lynette could mail them tomorrow and a cache posted 1 mile from my hotel...while I was on I-405 South...

Oh well, maybe next time. I'll be here for another week and a half so hopefully I'll get more chances in my new 10 mile radius!

That's all for this week. Hopefully next week will be more exciting! See you then.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 4/6

Welcome to the latest episode of my caching escapades! Today's episode is coming to you from *cough* beautiful Everett, WA.

There really isn't a whole lot to say this week. After last week's post I took the boys up to Mill Creek to finish our 65 day streak challenge. The reward for finding this cache is a hand made chainmail man! Here is a picture of the boys, Logan is holding it.

Lynette's Looney, Obscurely Referenced Trickery was published on 4/2. I had to move it after the reviewer said I couldn't place it on the 410 overpass as it might be a potential terrorist target and police might mistake cachers for terrorists! So I moved it to the adjacent tree. I'll show you tricky reviewer! Although the man who lives across the street informed me that the overpass was formerly a known drug drop point. Now there is a reason to not get caught up there! The bad news is our caching friends in Sumner got their fourth straight FTF on our caches. :p

Yesterday marked the unveiling to the caching community of Tiki's Revenge! That's right, I finally unleashed my weeks worth of wood working on the world for all to find! Ok, so it turns out not all could find it...hee hee. Within a couple hours of posting the race was on. The first two cachers to attempt our tikis were sent away without even finding the first waypoint after almost an hour and a half of searching. The people who did find it first (sorry Ryan) sent Lynette multiple emails/texts along the way for help. I think it took about 2 and a half total hours of search time for the first three cachers to share the FTF. Lynette made me up the initial difficulty rating after all the messages she got. :) Another caching friend (fozroc, Jay) who had to go home before finishing was out with his son (hotwheelskid,) found the first waypoint with much help, and his son pulled the tiki free of it's bark camouflage! (Oh no!) But he did go back out today and fix it which held the test of more finders. He will be meeting Lynette and I at the trail on Saturday for help finding the cache while we check to make sure all things are going smoothly.

So, now that I have said my "not much" for the week, I must sign off. Thanks for tuning in, and I'll be back next week...again from Everett as I'll be on my Active Duty time. :(

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 3/30

Ok, so it's not Tuesday the 30th right now, but yesterday was Lynette's birthday so that took precedent over blog posts! :p Without further adieu, on to this week's update.

The wood carving project got a snag in it called Spring Break! I had almost finished it on Thursday, but Friday was Jackson's field trip to the Seattle Aquarium. Guess who was asked to chaperon. :) So here is a couple pictures from that active, one not so active. :D

I also will be out of town for three weeks starting on Monday so hopefully I can make it down to finish up the carving part tonight or tomorrow and then get the container, camouflage, and hide done before I leave Monday morning. Friday also marked the beginning of the church's annual Easter production which the whole family is involved in. So late nights during the weekend!

Amidst all that craziness I did manage to get out and do some caching...

On Saturday we went out with our caching friends WindingPath to Grand Mound and finish off one of our challenges. There was a bird dog hunting group at the park shooting live ammo and training dogs. This made our search a bit more complicated which included a 400 ft stretch of almost all severe down hill in the brush. After that we headed back toward Olympia and found a puzzle I had solved a couple weeks ago. Then we had to get back for the performance.

There were a couple FTF's this week. One was hidden in a tree in the woods in Fife Heights. It took a group of 4 of us to pull this one out! (WindingPath missed out on co-FTF by about 10 minutes even though they were in the park.) :( Then while the boys and I were out yesterday one popped up 1.4 miles away from where we were. We co-FTF'd that one with a couple local FTF cachers. :) I also was co-FTF on a couple in Tacoma that were real bears. One took almost a week and a half for anyone to find (it also involved translating Japanese, Lynette contacted the high school Japanese teacher,) and a multi-cache by the golf course on 19th that had some crazy good camouflage!

One more notable cache this week was the Victor Falls - Revisited cache. Lynette's birthday noted our 65th day of our 65 day streak challenge. So at naptime Lynette and I headed to the falls to grab this one. We had been putting it off because it isn't quite kid friendly due to the proximity to the falls and steep slopes. Now the only "local" caches we have left require wading or boating. :) We also snuck in a puzzle hide for Lynette's's evil! (GC25WY4) Lynette's Looney, Obscurely Referenced Trickery (Good luck, Ryan) ;)

That's it for this week. Next's week update will be coming from

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 3/23

Has another week gone by already?! How time flies by when 3 days are spent in Everett for drill weekend. That didn't prevent me from getting some caching in though! Here's this week's news:

Starting with the wood carving project, 75% of the carving is completed. Now I'm just working on some finish work. This week's pictures will be by far the most exciting to me. There was some epoxy, some tear dropped beads, and some clear coating. One of the portions is not turning out so hot, but I should be able to get it fixed by the end of the week. After all the carving and finish work is done then it's just a matter of getting the camouflage done. There will be no photos of that part...(Nice try Ryan!) So here are this week's pics!


So on to this week's worth of milestones. We made our 400th find! We like to make major milestones hides by local cachers...eventually that won't be possible, but we got one at the old Sumner Cemetery. We also managed to make that find on our "Geocaching birthday." A year ago yesterday Lynette was out with a couple Coast Guard wives and found her first cache. (I allowed her to come on this find for sentimental value at least. :p) I also was able to find a couple FTF's. 5 caches posted in South Hill last week and I kept one guy from getting FTF on all 5...1 out of 5 I guess is better than none. :) A few caches posted while we were in Everett as well, but it's hard to get the ones 5 miles from our house when I'm 60 miles away. :p

That's about it for this week. Hopefully next week I'll be able to tell you all about my newest hide in the woods!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 3/16

Well, this week was pretty uneventful on the geocaching front. I managed to only squeak out one FTF last week, and there were no major milestones to speak of. We did attend our first geocaching event on Saturday though. It was the "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" event in Kirkland. Apparently the host has been doing these events for 5 years in NY, but has recently moved to the area so decided to carry on the tradition in our area. We got a really cool coin from the event with Celtic designs. I didn't take any pictures of it though so you'll just have to believe me that it looks really cool!

I have been making progress on my woodworking project this week though. It would be hard to explain all the work I've been doing, but there has been some cutting, sanding, and dremeling involved! Oh yeah and some woodburning. Today's work was a little impeded after I slammed my pinky in the car door this morning, but I pushed forward anyway!

That's it for this week so here come the pictures, and I'll be back next week!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday - 3/9

It's that time again for the week that was in Tom's geocaching-land. Not a whole lot to report this week. We made our 350th find, we got a couple more FTF's (we're now winning the race against our caching friends WindingPath,) and last night I placed another cache that came in the mail.

Our newest hide comes from eBay. I'm not overly fond of the product I bought, and Lynette and I both thought it be a little...more. Regardless, when we got home last night, and it was in the mail Logan and I ran out and placed it. This one is just at the end of our road at the intersection of 190th and S. Tapps. Of course WindingPath was up and found it first about an hour after it posted (and two trips as the teenager portion of their team had to go to bed for school,) but at the same time I was up in Maple Valley getting an FTF on a cache that posted at the same time as our cache getting a really cool coin!
In hindsight the coin wasn't worth walking along dark unknown trails in Maple Valley, but it is pretty neat. The photos are a little blurry, but the front is a compass face with a "working" compass in the center. The back is an underwater scene in the middle with shipwreck and sunken treasure, and around the edges it says "Fifth Anniversary" and "The Compass Rose Geocoin."

Today, however, did mark the official start of the wood working project with my uncle for our multi-cache to be place in Milton. I printed off some of the sketches, he cut a couple pieces of the wood flooring material we are going to use, he sanded them down to mostly square smooth pieces, and I transferred two of the sketches to the wood. I have a couple pictures of today's process, but mostly it was just talking and prepping the work area. More on this (with photos) to come next week!

I have another (supposedly evil) cache coming in the mail later this week. The original version of it was hidden in Tennessee and took 15 months for the first person to find! So with those two, I still have containers for at least 8 more hides.

So I close this week's geocaching recap. Hope you enjoyed it, and I'll post again next week!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tom's Takeover Tuesday

After last week, Lynette decided I need to just make this a weekly segment. That of course brought me to wonder who is really reading this and if anyone is interested in what I have going on here. Lynette informed me that some of you have expressed at least a little enjoyment from my here we go!

So I have started the wheels in motion to get our next cache made and planted. We were waiting for a disabled cache to get archived so we can use the spot, and that should be later this week! More on this project to come! I also ordered some caching supplies which will allow me to hide at least 6 or 7 more after that one. Now the hard part...where am I going to put them all?

Last week marked another FTF-hunt extravaganza as we pulled in another 5! This week is off to a pretty good start too, as I have 2 FTF's already. This ties us with a fellow caching family/blogger that lives in downtown Sumner with 15. The competition is now truely on! (The teenager threw down the gauntlet last night when I drove all the way to the Federal Way Home Depot during dinner to grab one with the boys. :p)

Another milestone for me today was finding our 300th traditional cache. This just means that I get the coordinates, the cache is located at the coordinates, and I sign the log. Other types of caches include multiple stages (like the upcoming project,) and mystery caches with dummy coordinates and the need to solve for the actual ones. There are a few other types, but these are the basic type that we come across the most.

That's pretty much it for this week...I'm going to try and throw in some pics of the upcoming project as it progresses, but I'm horrible about visual documentation so I won't promise anything. :) Tune in next week!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tom's at it again...

This won't be as long as last time, but I did some exciting things while geocaching this week. I found a couple FTF's (first to finds for you non-caching types.) This brings our total FTF count to 10. This is a pretty highly contested part of this activity around our area. We live in a black hole and are surrounded by FTF-hounds, but a couple daytime postings have helped me out.

I also finished our second hide this week. After about 16 hours of boaring a hole in a piece of granite from the backyard of Lynette's parent's, I was ready to place our first Puzzle Cache. I scoped out Seibenthaler Park in Sumner...I played little league soccer there when I was about Jackson's age. Once I submitted the cache for review it took about 45 minutes to publish. We all piled in the car to meet anyone who might come find it.

Afterwards we had to take the kids to get milkshakes since we drug them out of the house...they aren't spoiled or anything.

That's it for now...maybe I'll start taking this thing over more often. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tom's hi-jacking the blog!

So since Lynette has been slacking off on the blog for almost two months, I thought I would toss something out there.

Some of you might have noticed the new little banner on the right. This reflects our geocaching career. If you don't know what that means, it is basically a high tech treasure hunt with GPS units. It's an excuse to go traipsing through the woods like we used to when we were kids.

After a December with no finds, we have more than made up for it. We found 60+ in January, and we are currently sitting at 70+ so far this month. That almost doubles our find count for all of last year (which didn't really start until March.) Most of this has to do with a challenge I have been working on that involves finding at least one cache everyday for 65 days. Prior to starting the challenge our longest streak was 20 days. We're now at 24 days! Lynette basically tells me which ones I can't find without her and to take her on any major milestones. (We have hit finds 200, 250, and 300 in the last couple weeks.)

We also hid our first cache this year. The kids were super excited to finally place one (they are bugging me about the next one now. :p) Of course I'm not real sure what they were more excited about, the hide or the hide location. We got permission from Indulge Cupcakes to place it on their property. So basically every couple weeks the kids get cupcakes. :D

Well, that's about all for now...I just thought this thing needed some new life. And what better time to hi-jack the blog then while Lynette is sleeping?! Later!