Wednesday, March 23, 2005

There's a New Cache in town - Part 2

Photo by Roger ErikssonChickadee Hangout is the name of the new Micro cache we've placed along the Edmonton river valley.

The terrain is somewhat challenging at this location, but the scenery is spectacular (especially during a very heavy snowfall!)

You're bound to run into these feathered friends while approaching the cache. I can't take credit for the awesome photo here, that belongs to Roger Eriksson.

Source: Chickadee Hangout,
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Friday, March 18, 2005

Premium v.s. Basic?

MSN Geocaching Group ThumbA question was posed over at the GeoCaching Alberta MSN Group last night. Part of the post caught my attention and prompted a reply ;-)
I woul just like to kown if you have 100 plus find why you are not willing to pay for a premium member ship. After 50 to 100 finds I think you would know if you like it or not. So give me reasons not to support I would like to know..

Well, Testy and I have discussed this in the past, so I was comfortable with our (longer than usual) response. I won't excerpt it all here, but my key point was:
...and I think the premise of the question is flawed. Simply by playing the game, placing caches, participating in discussions like this one, encouraging others at or events, and posting to GeoCaching blogs...participants in GeoCaching *are* supporting adding value to the GeoCaching community. That value is what makes GeoCaching playable - the quantity and quality of it's participants. And I bet the business model that Groundspeak/ is using *depends* on a very high level of community involvement - at the basic level.

This should get some discussion going...

Source: GeoCaching-Alberta MSN Group
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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Everything old is new again...

EarthCaching LogoI'm told that has re-introduced a previously-suspended cache type -- the EarthCache.

So, what's all the fuss? Well, this type of cache aligns with one of the reasons many of us use to help convince non-cachers of the credibility of our's educational:

Earthcaches are developed by geocachers, geologist, paleontologist, or people that have an interesting and unique earth feature near them and would like to share it with the world. All you need to get started is a GPS receiver and a good idea.

To develop your own Earthcache and share it’s educational value with others, follow the simple Earthcache guidelines and submit the GSA Earthcache Submittal Form for review and approval. Once your site had met the guidelines and is approved by GSA, you can view comments by people who have visited your Earthcache and benefited from it.

Curioiusly, EarthCaches are NOT listed on's Cache Type page...though if you do a keyword search you can pull up a listing.

Special criteria are used to evaluate EarthCache submissions:
Because of the nature of Earthcaches, they go through a special approval process in where the language and appropriateness of the cache are tested by the Earthcache team. The Team uses a set of guidelines as well as their own earth science experience to ensure that the quality of Earthcaches is maintained. The Earthcache team is also expanding to make sure that caches in languages other than English are not excluded from the project.'s cache listing page shows fewer caches...but has more detail as to the creation and approval of qualifying caches. After parusing the list, it appears that some of these would be quite challenging...and fun!

Source:, Today's Cacher Article
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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Weekend GeoCaching Blowout!!!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWhat a wunnerful weekend for GeoCaching in the Great White North.

First up, was the afore-pictured GeoCaching get-together. Officially called the Hot Dog Cache (see below) - it was a great gathering of GeoCachers from the Alberta capital region - though some Calgary folk (pictured) managed to make the 300+km trek north to enjoy the festivities (and we enjoyed their company too!).

For this special event, a new birthday-themed cache was placed ~350 metres from ground zero -- and our CowTown guests garnered the FTF! Well done!

Door Prizes, Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate (nice!), Hot Dogs (double-fine!) and Hot Comaradarie were the order of the day - especially when the day was a very blustery +3C.

I know we (Brat&Testy) enjoyed the company, as well as meeting some new (to us) Edmonton area GeoCachers...and it appears that the 20+ attendees had a good time as well. It sure inspired us to go do more caching...we bagged three more today ;-)

As for the Hot Dog Cache...check out the photos below!

Source: Hot Dog Cache, Happy Birthday ..., Photos on Flickr

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Snoring babies and Altoids?

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIn order to truly enjoy the small things in life I believe one must take at least one walk with a snoring baby. Although he didn't snore loud or a lot every so often a little chortle would drift out from behind his dad's ear to give us a chuckle.
NOTE: Did you know that according to the US government's patent office there are hundreds of anti-snoring devices on the market. Some of them startle you awake when they sense you are snoring. Unfortunately, they may only work because they keep you awake!
But I digress, Little Spud of the Time&Space crew, wasn't exactly in a great sleeping position, just happily stuffed into his too small Michelin man snowsuit perched on his dad's back in a backpack while the rest of us and big spud splooshed and slipped our way hunting for three caches downtown.

The N. Sask. river was still frozen over and there were lots of tracks on the snow still covering the ice. You know even in the dead of winter I'm not sure I'd walk on any river its just too creepy. We saw the stupid Edmonton Queen frozen to her perch on the southside of the river and what looked like a hovercraft type vehicle skim down the middle of the river. I had a flash of airboats in the Everglades, until the glare of snow and ice brought me back to reality, although I did see a really big know the 'gator kind waiting to drag you down a tree stump and gnaw on your pinky finger.

The caches were a bit challenging especially one of them, having never seen an Altoids container it was a challenge before we looked up the clue. When I first heard of Altoids I wondered what the heck an Altoid was as it sounded like something you got like a hemroid and certainly not anything I wanted to find out in a forest, at any rate I'm glad cache containers are not all like this!

The walkways were icy when we started out but by the time we got back to the north side of the river around noon we were all doing much more splooshing than slipping. And splooshing in a big puddle is much more enjoyable especially when you're, uh ... older ... yeah your boots are higher :)

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Friday, March 04, 2005

GeoCaching Article in this month's Canadian Geographic

This month's issue has a rather good introductory article on GeoCaching - titled "Geocaching in the Eastern Townships". The article deals with a newbies pursuit of the ubiquitous tupperware container. A pretty good read - Canadian Geographic also has an online site where an excerpt is posted, along with some Geocaching links.

Source: Canadian Geographic
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