Poor Poor Pitiful Me

02-07-25 GC5892

GC5892
39.232217 -74.644633

I have been looking forward to doing this one for a while now. I hadn’t planned on going out today, but my day cleared out and I headed down. I knocked out a couple others and saved this one for last.

Frankly, it went pretty much as I thought it would.

I got to the first cache just fine. There were three guys fishing nearby. Several power boats zipped by as well as many jetski-type vehicles. I do not think I took anything . . . I probably left postcards . . . I do not recall. I wrote down the coordinates and went back to the car.

Today was an absolutely perfect shore day. It was nice and cool with no bugs. I was surprised to see how close the second one was. I looked at the obvious path. I wonder how deep it is.

Knowing I was not going that way, I checked the clock and took off. I wish I had been more observant on the correct road. I knew I had passed it, but kept going. I logged a waypoint where the path crossed another road (I don’t want to give anymore away). Then I came back and found the right approach.

It should be noted that those without four-wheel drive need to consider where to park. I did just kind of pull off and away from the trail head, but was a bit concerned that that might not be appreciated. It turned out to be fine.

In I went. Obviously vehicles can get back here as I saw a pickup. It looked like there was a fishing hole near that other road.

I pushed on. I saw a red insect that I had never seen b4. It looked like an ant of sorts, but much larger and fury-like. I tried to get a photograph, but the camera would not focus that close for me and the little guy kept a pretty good pace up.

Out I pushed. There were lots of spikes along the way. It was gorgeous out there. I saw a variety of sand crab that was a greenish-yellow. There were two of them poking around some rocks. Again, these buggers did not want to pose for me.  🙁

I knew I was getting close when I saw the fishermen across the way. Finding the cache was simple enough. Surprisingly, there was a log entry that was not posted here. Someone who happened upon it logged the find. I must say that is a little off the beaten path to happen upon this cache.

I made this in 55 minutes as well. As I put in the log, I’ll leave the honors to Bob Hogan for the quickest. I may have been a minute after that. I wasn’t keeping exact time for this.

On the way back, I saw the folks who owned the pickup. They had been crabbing and were cleaning their catch. They had gotten quite a few. One in particular was large. Good eating for them this evening.

I very much enjoyed this hunt. I appreciate the effort you put into this.

Geocaching

This was my fourth speech in the Competent Toastmaster series. It was originally given in 2002.

Stand at lectern with right hand raised as though it is clutching a GPS. Stare at this hand. Remain like that for three seconds.

Ask: Do you know what I am doing?

Remove GPS receiver from pocket, place it in clutched hand and ask again.

No? Well, you have seen the stance of a geocacher.

History
Geocaching is a relatively new game. In May of 2000, then-President Clinton actually did something that did not embarrass his country . . . he removed the GPS signal degradation from satellites. Until then, commercial-grade GPS receivers were highly inaccurate. Afterwards, anyone could spot his position to within feet. To celebrate this, a guy near Portland, OR hid a container with some goodies in it. He posted the coordinates to a newsgroup on the Internet. A few days later, a couple people reported finding the container. This is geocaching.

A cache is defined as a hiding place especially for concealing and preserving provisions or implements. Geo is added as the prefix for earth. Combining them we have geocaching: a hiding place on Earth. (show definition with the term highlighted)

It has not changed much since then, but it has become more organized.

Materials
Now a player logs onto a web site (geocaching.com), puts in his zip code, and searches for caches in his area. For each cache there are the coordinates, a description, a link to a mapping site—this will help you drive to the correct area, and a virtual log�where one posts his experience seeking this cache and posts photographs too.

To geocache all one needs is a GPS receiver and a connection to the Internet. GPS receivers begin at about $100. The local library provides Internet access for free (excepting the taxes you pay).

Unlike many games and hobbies, there is not much add-on spending. I recommend a compass (display compass) and spare batteries (show batteries), for if the batteries to your GPS die in the middle of the woods, it would be good to be able to get out again.

Model
So, to go geocaching one would log on, enter his zip code, print out (or write down) the coordinates to nearby caches, grab his GPS and compass, and head out. He would find the cache, come back home, and log his experience online for others to see.

It is that easy . . .

Real Life Experiences . . . or not.
The fun of the game is in the adventure. One would think that if you had the coordinates to a specific place and you went to that place, finding a container would be easy. It can be exhilarating!

The first cache I sought found me on the wrong side of a lake. Another that was recently featured in the Atlantic City Press had me on the wrong side of the AC Expressway contemplating dodging across (I did not).

There was another one at Parvin State Park for which I hunted an hour for and did not find. I was disappointed and arrived home in shame. As I studied the description again, I realized that it was probably dangling from a tree. I went back later to the exact spot I had searched and looked up (look up) and there it was.

I have searched in a downpour in Bridgeton. (shiver)

I have tried to outrun mosquitoes at Jake’s Landing. (swat imaginary mosquito).

I found the supposed home of the Jersey Devil.

My wife and I rode our bikes for miles on our honeymoon in search of these little containers.

I have found caches in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Florida!

I have traversed almost every inch of Wharton State Forest for these little containers (display container). It is not what is inside of them—junk mainly. The idea is that if you take something, you leave something. Many folks do not participate in that, but rather sign the logbook that is in the cache.

Review
Log on, enter your zip code, write down the coordinates, seek the cache, write in the logbook at the cache (that documents that you have been there), log your find online for others to read.

Extending the Experience
There are other ways to extend the game. Someone needs to hide these things. That can be as exciting as seeking them. I have hidden just one of these thus far. But it is less than a mile from where we are right now.

Instead of hiding and seeking caches, some folks like to seek benchmarks. The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has survey discs, marks, etc. all around to hunt. There over 50 of these within Vineland itself.

Some folks like the virtual experience. For this, coordinates will be posted for some interesting view (one I found was a house that looked like a cookie jar).

It is all about having a good time. Be forewarned, it is addicting. Pretty soon you will be participating on the discussion boards, figuring out how to link your video to your computer to share a humorous experience, making suggestions on where to hide these little boxes of goodies, etc.

Wrap-Up
I had always been enamored with GPS technology. In fact, my entire family had been. We used to speak about how wonderful it is to able to determine where you are on the planet. But really, what can you do with that knowledge? Now we know.

Remember: geocaching: it is hiking with a purpose.

Aircraft Nav/Aids of the world

02-07-19 GC5AAB

GC5AAB
39.36765 -75.079167

PAPI

The coordinates for this cache are for the PAPI in the touch down area of the Millville (New Jersey) airport.

I know next to nothing about airplanes/airports. But the town I live in has an airport, and I figured I would be able to complete this cache there.

I e-mailed the airport explaining I would like to see a NAV/AID and asked for their help. Some guy got in touch and we discussed this request. Security is up these days and he wanted to verify who I was. I had no problem with that.

We made a date and I drove out to the airport. He explained that Millville airport does not have a manned tower, like I was thinking there would be. Instead, this airport is a flight service center. Pilots dial into a certain frequency and receive weather and path information that is automated. There are folks to converse with during normal hours, but apparently they are located in a building and take their information from the automated system.

After our discussion, I was escorted to the runway by security. There I was able to snap all the shots I wanted/needed. I was on the runway when a National Guard helicopter landed. This was very exciting!

I learned a lot from this cache. Thank you.

Fro.

SWAN WATCH

02-07-19 GC5F62

GC5F62
39.2873 -74.729267

I logged this one about noon today. It is a beautiful area. Someone was already parked in the parking lot. He came up when he heard me. He was fishing with his daughter and son. All was well.

The cache was easy to find. I took nothing and left a few postcards.

I saw a few swans in the lake.

Thanks for the hunt,
Fro.

Really Small Things

02-07-18 GC2FEA

GC2FEA
39.771567 -74.639133

I came to this one from Hampton Furnace.

***WARNING***
Small cars (like mine) may have trouble reaching this one. There is a stretch of soft sand that mounds quite high. I spun my tires at one point. I almost did not continue. I did, however, and was able to park close to the cache.

I walked right up to this one. I took a wooden ball and left a USA flag pin.

I took a different way out of there. It may have been Tuckerton Road, but how does one really know? That avoided the sand problem.

Fro.

Carranza’s Hideaway

02-07-18 GC3C24

GC3C24
39.777183 -74.634067

I tried continuing on the road I was on for Really Small Things. I got within .25 miles of this cache. As I didn’t see a parking lot as the description described and there seemed to be no trail right there, I decided to go back and around.

Not wanting to go through the deep sand again, I took a different route out. I really had no idea where I was, but was quite happy to find pavement eventually. It beats going the way I had come.

I found the cache readily. The inside seemed to have a lot of debris in it. I cleaned it up and put everything back in.

I left some postcards and took the lucky penny from Scotland. Afterwards, I stopped by the memorial. I’ll have to read up on this thing. It seems like an odd heritage to be memorialized in the Pine Barrens.

Thanks for the hunt,
Fro.

my verse

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