Tuesday, November 27, 2012

December Upcoming Events

There are more than enough events in the coming month to more than stuff anyone's stocking.  Here is a breakdown of each event:

12/1/2012 (Saturday) - 3rd Annual 10 Mile Hike - GC3Z1E0 - hosted by Rivahcntrygeocachers - location is Beaver Dam Park - 9 AM start - the Rivahcntry cachers are a great bunch of people and they always put on a great event.  We were planning on attending but I think we are going to miss this one.

12/8/2012 (Saturday) - Off the Beaten Path II - Bike & Greet - GC3XGNB hosted by AllstarSS - location is Lone Star Lakes here in Suffolk - 10 AM start - if the weather holds this should be a really great event.

12/9/2012 (Sunday) - Tidewater Meeting - GC3HX24 hosted by Great Scott! - location is in Virginia Beach and the start time is 2PM Sunday at the Golden Corral

12/11/2012 (Tuesday) - 12/12/12 at 12:12am GMT - HC3Y5GD - hosted by steve-n-kim - Guads Restaurante Mexicano @ Hilltop in Virginia Beach  6 - 9 PM

12/12/2012 (Wednesday early morning) - 12-12-12@12:12:12am - GC3Y0JK - hosted by DMB4Life - located at the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on Virginia Beach Blvd - just after midnight

12/12/2012 (Wednesday) - 12-12-12@12:12:12pm - GC3Y0JW - hosted by DMB4Life - in Chesapeake - lunch @ Chicho's Pizza on Volvo Parkway on Chesapeake

12/18/2012 (Tuesday) - Third Tuesday Burgers and Beer - GCHR Dec 2012 - GC41P9P - hosted by Penguincacher - located in Hampton at Vancosta's - 6PM start

12/21/2012 (Friday) - It's the END OF THE WORLD as We Know It - GC41JVN - hosted by Adventure Stones - Chesapeake - Buffalo Wild Wings - start 5:30PM - - note: the Adventure Stones events are much easier to find than most of their hides (IMHO)   :)

And please don't forget the big one!!!  

2/2/2013 (Saturday) - Sixth Annual Milestones Meet and Greet - GC3YCWD - hosted by episcodad - located in Kempsville - 5:30 PM start

As Always - Stay Safe & Keep Caching

SNAP!!! - Suffolk Nana & Papa

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend (Part 3)

This is part 3 of the recap for the last minute trip Nana & I took Thanksgiving weekend.  You can read Part 1 of this recap by clicking here and Part 2 by clicking here.

We stayed Friday night in a nice hotel near Newark and then decided to finish up the northern side of the canal and then proceed to the southern part.  We also decided that with all the problems we had with the hunters we would stay near the canal and not venture anywhere into the woods so as to not tempt our fate.

We finished up the few caches (5) we had left on the northern side then took a very old and high steel bridge over to the northern side.  Saturday was about 10 - 15 degrees colder than the previous days and to top things off there was a steady 15 knot wind that was gusting up to 25 knots.

Now on the north side of the canal we kept finding caches one after another.  One of the cuter caches we found was in a bird watching area.  This is not a Duck (GC3WGPC) earned a favorite point from us as being creative and unusual (compared to the others along the canal).

There is a small portion of the caches along the canal that require you to walk/bike.  We found a place to park the SNAP-mobile and then proceeded to walk the 2.4 mile round trip hike.  We did all the odd number caches on the way to the end and even numbers on the way back.

We were heading towards C&D H/B #11 (the fartherest cache from the parking area) and about 250 feet from GZ when all of the sudden there was a volley of gun fire.  Really really close gun fire.  Yes we were in the No Hunting area but we were really close to this old rusty fence that was the boundary.  Needless to say we did not continue towards GZ but instead turned around immediately and headed back to the SNAP-mobile picking up the even number caches along the way.  It was about this time that I realized (in case there was any doubt) that Nana & I are addicted to geocaching.  Here we are hundreds of miles from home, over a mile from the SNAP-mobile,  temperature in the lower 40s with very gusty wind, gun fire all around us - and we are geocaching!!!  Yes - we are addicted!!!

We finally made it back to the SNAP-mobile, slowly thawed ourselves out and then continued westward picking up caches every three or four telephone poles along the way!

When we got to the end of the southern side we were rewarded with a puzzle cache (C&D #55).  We made the puzzle cache much harder than it should be but eventually made the find.

The last cache we attempted on the day was Mason Dixon Stone at C&D Canal (GC2TRQ5) - this was Pam's favorite cache of the day as it not only was a puzzle cache but also gave us a Benchmark and a Waymark.  The only problem was that the final to claim the geocache was back along the canal in a hunting area.  We claimed the find for the Benchmark and Waymark but left the actual cache for another day.

Cold exhausted and tired we then decided to make the 4 hour drive home and use Sunday as a rest day before the work week starts again.

We loved the C&D canal but wish we knew ahead of time how close to the hunting areas we would be.  Guess we will just have to make another trip to the area to pick up the caches we skipped.

Recap of the weekend:
174 - total caches found
surpassed  4000 finds and 4100 finds
added 5 different months on our Jasmer chart (in 2001 and 2000)

Just s a side note - we were thinking of all the local geocachers down in the Hampton Roads area while we were doing these caches - so much so we decided to take a special pic just for a particular group in our home area.  Now before you judge me too harshly - please remember - I (Papa) am no longer any where as nimble as I used to be - also - this was my fist time trying this.  Dean - the below pic is just for you!!!!

Favorite Caches on the day were:
C&D 55 End of std Delaware Caches - GC2T6KG
This is not a Duck -    GC3WGCP

Winner of the "Coveted" Nana & Papa Cache of the Day Award - The entire C&D series published by The Delaware Commission

As Always - Stay Safe & Keep Caching!!!

SNAP!!! - Suffolk Nana & Papa

Thanksgiving Weekend (Part 2)

This is part 2 of the recap for the last minute trip Nana & I took Thanksgiving weekend.  You can read part 1 of this recap by clicking here.

We stayed near Woodbridge Va the first night and got up early on Friday morning to get a good start on the day.  During the evening we had discussed our plans for the next day and decided to start the day with Virginia's oldest active cache and then proceed over to the C&D canal in Maryland and Delaware.

Burke Lake Park (GC175) is currently the oldest active geocache in the state of Virginia.  We made our way up to the park and only had to walk a very short distance to make the find.  I looked to be a beautiful day although it was crisp and cool when we made the find.

From Woodbridge Va we slowly made our way over to the C&D canal and started our trek along the canal just after 12 noon.

Nana & I had picked a beautiful day to do the canal but we did learn a valuable lesson.  Don't get us wrong when you read this, we highly recommend the series but plan out your trip better than we did.  There are well over 150 caches along this canal - most of them are named C&D ###.  There are numerous other caches here but they are further inland from the canal and require going into the woods - sometimes for quite a distance.  Our problem was this was a major hunting weekend and on more than one occasion we were scared to go any further inland because of all the hunters and gun shoots we heard.  Bring some blaze orange if you decide to do this series in the fall.

We started on the north side of the canal at the western end and proceeded east and at the beginning of the day we even grabbed a few caches that were inland from the canal.

If you have never done a power trail they are an interesting way of increasing your numbers.  Make sure you read the page for the first cache in the series as there are usually notes and other information included on that particular page.  For instance:  the page for C&D #01 contains the following note:

NOTE: there should NOT be any DNF's. Take a few spare micro containers and logs with you. If you find a cache is missing, just replace it (claiming a find) and move on--better for you and much less work for the Commission

We moved along the canal heading east and didn't really have an problems until about the half-way point of the canal and that was when we first started noticing all the hunters.  A little further on we started hearing the gun shots and shortly thereafter we decided that unless the cache was right on the canal we would leave it for another time.

If you go to do this series also check out the waypoint information available on C&D #01.  These will tell you how to get to certain parts of the trail.

The good news is that they are the process of paving hte northern side of the canal.  This did cause us to detour around several caches to get around all the vehicles but on our way back we were able to pick up the ones we had skipped.  It looks like they are making a bunch of improvements on the trail but be prepared.  There are absolutely no rest room facilities any where along the trail!!!

Out of the 80 caches we did on day two of this trip, 79 of them were along the north side of the canal.  We replaced one container, added baggies to a few more whose logs were soaking wet and replaced a few logs with new ones.

We did run into (not literally) another cacher, (Ovaron) who was biking the entire canal - WHEW!!!  If you have the time - please read his log (click here and scroll down to November 23, 2012) it was an amazing feat.

Although we did not have a winner of the "Coveted" Nana & Papa Cache of the Day we decided while talking later that night that the entire series will receive the award.

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.

As Always - Stay Safe & Keep Caching.

SNAP!!! - Suffolk Nana & Papa

Thanksgiving Weekend (Part 1)

For those of you that know us - you know we always cache on the weekends.  One weekend we usually team up with jtmlam59, the next with alara.  As it turned out, this weekend was alara's turn but it was also Thanksgiving weekend and alara had family plans.  So what to do?  We could have stayed in town and attended one of two different family events, or even stayed home by ourselves and celebrated quietly.  Late Wednesday I came home from work and told Nana - "Let's go caching!"  I pulled one of the trip lists out of dusty files in the computer and refreshed the caches.  The purpose, destination, and length of the trip would depend entirely on how we felt. We packed up the bags Tuesday night, slept in Thanksgiving morning and eventually got on the road headed towards Richmond.

The first part of this list was some of the older caches in Virginia.  The first cache was Richmond's oldest cache - Richmond's Original (GC491) - this cache is located in Pocahontas State Park and we were delighted to learn the park was open Thanksgiving Day.  The 2.5 - 3 miiles (round trip) hike to and from the cache was beautiful.  It was a cool fall day but the hike made it seem almost like summer.  The find was quick once we got to GZ and it added another block (March 2001) on our stats.

The next series of caches were all older ones and most added blocks in our stats.

Guinea Station (GCBD9) - placed June 2001 - The plantation house where Stonewall Jackson passed away.

Famous Last Words (GC123C) - placed July 2001 - a monument at the Spotsylvania Courthouse Battlefield.

Lee's Hill (GCBD8) - placed June 2001 - located atop a hill with a fantastic view - Lee's command post.

Beanpoles and Cornstalks (GCB1C) - placed June 2001 - the site of a Union Army train tressle

Pit, Pawpaw, Pawnee and Patowomeck (GCB44) - the site of a naval battle near Aquia Landing

Goat Skywalkers (GCF49) - placed July 2001 - an amusing site with fantastic scenery.

So the first day of our trip and we gathered 7 total caches - not really a great day as far as numbers are concerned but we filled in several months on our Jasmer chart.  We also learned some things at these great virtuals.  Special thanks goes out to Ted (the CO) who is keeping these older caches active.  We also named this series of virtuals as the winner of the "Coveted" Nana & Papa cache of the Day award.

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming your way very soon...

As always - Stay Safe & Keep Caching.

SNAP!!! - Suffolk Nana & Papa

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Night Caching!!!

Jim from jtmlam59 and I (Suffolk Papa from SNAP!!!) formed a new team last weekend - Team JS!  We departed the Hampton Roads area of Virginia about 9:30 AM and headed off on what was to be a fabulous weekend of caching.  Chip n Lori, famous cachers from the Rivah Country area, had created two events around a new series up in the Fredericksburg area.  The night caches were the main focus of this weekend's trip but the secondary purpose (as always) was to see how much fun we could have and how many caches we could find.

Jim & I made our way through Gloucester and then headed on up Route 17 towards Fredericksburg grabbing 6 caches along the way.  Once in Fredericksburg we oriented ourselves with where the two events would be held and then started grabbing caches throughout the afternoon.  We managed to pick up 18 caches that afternoon.  One of the more interesting caches was a very easy Park n Grab entitled Don't Step on a Duck (GC3NBWN).  We were wondering what we would find at this location and then realized the name DID actually mean something!  As we approached ground zero, the path we were on wound between two ponds.  As we neared we were immediately the center of attraction - at least to the residents of the area.  About 50 ducks and geese immediately swarmed around our ankles waiting to see what goodies we were going to offer.  It only took them about 20 - 30 seconds to realize that we had not come prepared.  They then all turned their backs on us and announced to the world "These guys didn't bring any food!" in their loud shrill calls.

Late afternoon, just before heading to the first event, we stopped and pulled out the laptop and accessed a local hotel site and made our reservations and then went and checked in at a nearby hotel that was in between the two events. 

We then proceeded to the first event, Dark Matters—3rd Sat. (not) in Rivah Country—Nov.  Jim and I had a great time meeting and talking with both local cachers and ones who had made the trip up from the Hampton Roads area.   The main attraction of the weekend was about to begin.  A Fredericksburg cacher named CQB-M4 had recently published a new series night caches - 25 individual caches make up the series. These caches were fantastic.  I'm not giving anything away here that is not readily available on the cache page, but each of these caches are bison tubes marked with reflective tape.  Let me tell you first hand - the reflective tape works really well.  You will easily be able to tell where the cache is from a distance - the problem is it is dark and you still have to get to it.  If you haven't tried night caching before - try this series - just remember to take plenty of flashlights and back up batteries!!!  Each group of cachers was assigned a particular cache to start at so we wouldn't all be following each other from one cache to the next in a big line.  This worked out great even though about 8 of us ended up doing the last 3 or 4 of the series together.  A very well done series by CQB-M4 and to top it off, I named this series as the winner of the "Coveted" Nana & Papa Cache of the Day for Saturday!!!  We ended Saturday with a total of 60 finds and ZERO DNFs!!!

We finally made it to the motel late Saturday night where Jim and I got to listen in to the teenagers next door and the party they were throwing till it finally broke up around midnight.

Sunday morning we got up early with the plan being to grab some early caches before heading to the next event - The Morning After - GC3Z17Q.  This turned out to be a mistake!!!  We don't know if it was the lack of sleep, the early start, the good numbers we had on Saturday or just bad eyesight but we could only find every other cache!!!!  By the time we made it to the event we had only found 4 of the 9 caches we attempted.

The event turned out to be a big hit and we got to talk more with some of the local cachers.  Really enjoyed several conversations with the locals - these are really good people up here in Fredericksburg!  Thanks for the hospitality!!!!

Jim and I grabbed some more caches around the Fredericksburg area before finally starting on our way back down route 17 towards home.  Just before we left the big city I did find another Fredericksburg series of caches that I have marked down to go back and finish.  The IGO series also hidden by CQB-M4.  We will be back to tackle the rest of the series.

On the way back south we grabbed caches along the way and I really love it when geocaching takes me to a place and I learn something in History I didn't know.   On the way we stopped in a little town called Port Royal.  There were 4 caches in this town and 2 of the 4 caches in this town dealt with John Wilkes Booth and this towns history with his escape from Washington DC.  Love learning new things!

We ended up the day with a total of 26 finds (and 6 DNFs).  Not to bad a day overall but things sure improved after the breakfast event.

The winner of the "Coveted" Nana & Papa Cache of the Day for Sunday ended up being Gnome, at the lean and rest (GC3W6YG) hidden by Son of  CQB-M4.

Thanks again goes out to Chip n Lori (from Gloucester) for putting the events together for the weekend - we both had a great time and we plan on going back to the Fredericksburg area to clean out some more caches.

As Always - Stay Safe & Keep Caching!!!

SNAP!!! - Suffolk Nana & Papa

Monday, November 12, 2012

Upcoming events

Yes - it has been quite a long time since our last update.  Between work and caching I seem to have run out of time to blog - well at least it seems that way!  The good news is I did get a new laptop out of the deal.  I had been having problems with my old laptop and it took me forever to make that final decision on what to replace it with and that was only after I finally gave up on the old one.

Anyway - what has been going on in the caching world???

Before I get into (hopefully) several blogs about the caching we have been doing - let me first tell you about a fantastic caching weekend that is coming up fast.

It all starts with a afternoon event in Gloucester (GC3X316 - Dark Matters—3rd Sat. (not) in Rivah Country—Nov. ). This is a meeting place to gather cachers, split up into groups and carpool.  We then will take off for Fredericksburg for dinner.  Once it is dark - there are 25 night caches spread out along Highway 1 (and the surrounding area).  Of course there are always the standard caches around the area that may also be found.  Once you have decided to call it a night you are free to either return home or grab a nearby hotel room.  Then, the next morning, what a better way to wrap up the caching trip than a hardy breakfast - at IHOP at about 8:30 Sunday morning (GC3Z17Q).

I plan on attending so I hope to see all of you there.

As always - Stay Safe & Keep Caching!!!

SNAP!!! - Suffolk Nana & Papa