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Friday, March 23, 2012

Geocaching Glory - Part 2

And so the saga continues.......

We left off with my GPS finally working, or more like me finally figuring out my way too technical for my own good GPS.

Teresa came into town, without taking the long way/wrong way through El Paso, Texas. Needless to say I think her drive was a little bit more enjoyable this time.
As my wonderful husband cooked us hamburgers for dinner, we pulled out our Geocaching packs and started discussing a game plane for Saturday morning. We decided we'll get up really early and start caching as soon as the sun comes out.......
Needless to say, we maybe made it out of the house at like 1000 Saturday morning, my husband did cook us an amazing breakfast... in order of importance, caching comes right after food.

So we finally headed out, ready to seize the day! Ready for geocaching glory!

 To start off our day, I took Teresa to a couple caches that I had already been to and were close by. TB Refuge - an easy puzzle cache and LA LUZ - a quick park and grab (P&G).

Than we headed off down the road for some caches I had been saving for our little caching adventure!

Pennies From Heaven was a lot harder than it should have been for us, and after taking way to long to find a 1.5 difficulty rated cache, I started worrying about the outcome of our caching glory.... Pretty much we looked under all the wrong damn mesquite trees, getting battle scares in the process, before we realized the hint "Look in the middle of 3. It has a purple lid" was right in front of us. At least we prevailed, so there was hope for us yet.

By the end of the day we were cussing armadillogal, who placed a majority of the caches we found, or didn't find over the weekend.

Its about this time, after only the third cache of the day that I started to develop GPS Envy. You see, my GPS isn't a paperless GPS unit, meaning mine doesn't hold info like the cache hints or last logged entries or cache description. Mine only shows the cache name and the Latitude and Longitude. Teresa's is far more user friendly, shows ALL the cache information from GEOCACHING.COM.... AND it's in color.. yeah total envy.

Mine is NOT in color like the picture here, it is more of a grayish screen which holds no information while Teresa's is a plethora of information that I only have dreamed about up until this moment. No wonder I have wanted to throw mine off a mountain so many times.. I bought the damn wrong GPS..

Needless to say I will be purchasing a Magellan Explorist in the VERY near future!

So next down the road came Gnome, which after reading the description, we both got somewhat excited to see a large garden gnome out in the middle of no where..... We were instead extremely disappointed by what we found.

After disappointment at the Gnome, we drove down the road to The Purrfect Cache a pretty easy P&G if you pull on the right piece of metal. The cache had a large container, which isway more fun to find than micros so we loaded it up with goodies. The next cache, I Hear the Train a Comin, was one of those caches which is just a piece of Tupperware in the middle of a desert under a mesquite tree.... And we love it for its simplicity.. There is no aggravation, such as we found at the next cache.

So on we go down the road to the next closest cache, Flashing Allowed Here. Let me just say to the Cache Owner, Necki, "DAMN YOU"! This was such an awesome hide! It took us literally like 20 minutes and us almost giving up before we found it and commenced to beating our heads on the ground! The cache "experience" for this one goes something like this....

Pretty much after reaching Ground Zero (GZ) where the cache was supposedly located, we looked under some sticks picked up a piece of a 2x4 and looked under it, put back the 2x4, looked on the barb wire fence for anything magnetic, looked in the tree, looked on the fence again, looked under the 2x4 again. Decided to give up, wait no lets look just a little bit more. It has to be right here under this 2x4............ I really wish we had brought our camera for this one, but no way in hell was either one of us walking back to the truck to get. The cache was IN the damn 2x4. We had picked up the 2x4 at least 3 times to look under it... but neither one of us noticed it was drilled into the end of the 2x4... yeah great hide Necki. Thanks for making us hate geocaching for 20 minutes!

Thankfully the next few were pretty easy and soon restored our faith in Geocaching and our caching abilities. We found Nuts About You quickly, loved the container, and took a picture with a horse of a different color.

The disheveled look must be from the previous cache...
What-A-Nut! was another easy find and we took a picture next to well..... a Big Nut.



                    Teresa -------->

           One Big Nut

Better Out Than In was cute and gave this pregnant girl a place to relieve her bladder in a dry creek bed in the middle of nowhere.

It was after this cache that tragedy struck. My truck suddenly lost all power and my V-8 Hemi turned into a 4 cylinder... clearly not good. So I called the husband told him what was going on, he said he'd call the dealership since it's still under warranty and see when they could get it in the shop. And because we're not ones to sit around wasting precious caching time, we decided to continue caching until we heard back.

 Little Yellow Spider was a quick P&G although it was located in what seemed to be someones garden/walking path. Neither Teresa and I are real comfortable yet with caching on someones private property... thankfully it was an easy find! After that cache the husband calls back and says they can get it in that day but they closed at noon, it was 1130. So wedrove as fast as our big ass Hemi 4 cylinder would go and headed into town.

I'm not really happy at this point as we were loosing precious caching time and the new truck we just bought was already having major problems... When we got to the dealership, they surprisingly don't argue when we ask for a rental replacement. They handed me the keys to a nice...... car.. Really a Hemi for a car...

We decided to have lunch while we are in town, loaded up in the car and started to back out of the parking lot.... The most horrible noise imaginable came from the breaks. So I stoped. I started to back up, and again... most horrible noise ever. Teresa and I looked at each other and our face both had the WTF expression.... So we looked over at the dealership employee standing next to the car.. and he  didn't even react to the noise coming from the brakes... either he's deaf or just ignored it in hopes we didn't notice........

I looked at Teresa, told her oh hell no, so we went back into the dealership to tell them about the brakes, and they handed us another set of keys. This car however, was not even located on the lot. Third time is a charm though and they handed us the keys to what soon became known as the Clown Car....

The PT Cruiser is obviously smaller than anything I usually drive. See exhibit below:

Therefore, not only did I feel like Teresa and I were extremely close in proximity (which didn't bother me, I love you Teresa, just an observation) but I also felt that if there wasn't a windshield, I could reach out and touch the pavement.... not a comfortable feeling. I basically felt like this for the rest of the weekend....
God bless the Shriners

Stay tuned for Part 3: The Finale

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Geocaching Glory - Part 1

You all have obviously heard my endless complaints concerning my lack of geocaching activity. I have been in a bad, bad drought... I can now say the drought is over!!!!!

Teresa from yousguys came to visit me on February 24th and 25th to attempt geocaching glory, i.e. find as many caches as possible in 2 days. Can you say.....


I mean my husband actually gave me permission to act like I was single without child for a FULL weekend!

So in order to prepare for our Glorious Adventure that was soon to commence, I decided I  had better hurry and update my GPS with the most recent local area Pocket Query... this of course happened on Friday afternoon while Teresa was driving all the way from Arizona just to go geocaching with me... can you say BAD IDEA for the technically challenged.

The following encounter is not to be attempted by an impatient, pregnant, frantic woman while also trying to act normal sitting at her desk at work....

About 0900 on Friday morning, I turned on my computer and much to my dismay realized my computer had been re imaged a few months ago and all my Internet downloaded programs, like my GSAK geocaching application, were gone. I groaned and downloaded the program back to my computer. Then I had to open Geocaching.com and transfer all my pocket queries back onto GSAK. About 45 minutes later I plugged my Garmin GPS into the computer and tried to send data to my GPS.... error no GPS device found.. oh crap.

After thinking about it for a few minutes, I remembered I needed to re download all the Garmin Communicator and Garmin Plug-ins required for you Garmin because of the re image..... So another 15 minutes later I retried sending a data file to the GPS.... error.. no GPS device found... dammit! After trying a few more futile things like unplugging and replugging in my GPS, shutting it down and turning it back on, and finally trying to send a single geocache file to the GPS to no avail... I realized I would have to call the Garmin help desk.

The man who answered the phone at Garmin was, like usual, smarter than God when it came to geocaching applications and all things about a GPS. After a bunch of trouble shooting things that didn't work, he asked me to make sure my GPS was plugged in.. well duh yeah it's plugged it I'm not a complete idiot. After making sure the GPS was plugged in correctly he asked me to try the port with a jump drive or something to make sure the port worked.. which I did. Guess what, the stupid port that I had the GPS plugged into didn't work. Therefore it wasn't connecting to the computer.. and panic set in until I remembered there are some extra ports on the back of the computer.. tried the ports, guess what GSAK recognized my GPS and the data file was successfully sent. Feelings of utter relief set in and I may have told the guy from Garmin I loved him.

So crisis adverted. I had my updated pocket query on my GPS, we were ready for two full days of nothing but pure caching glory, right? Wrong.

As I unplugged my GPS from the computer and attempted to look at a few geocaches to check the data transfer, I realized to my horror.. THERE WAS NOTHING THERE!! What in the hell!! It's probably noon at this point, Teresa is just hours away from arriving, I'm trying to be calm at work and not cause a scene... (didn't happen, I think I still owe a few dollars to the Buck Bucket for cussing)......

I, of course, called back the Garmin help desk. This time however it's not my long lost love who has all the answers to my dumb technologically challenged questions, instead its a sweet way to perky girl who knows NOTHING about geocaching, any geocaching applications, or the particular model of my GPS.... great. Doom is near, I am a failure. I am sorry Teresa I have failed you.

I'm sorry that is mean, she might have been a brunette....

So I quickly recap my day so far and all the trouble shooting that was done with the previous Garmin employee. She has me try to send some data over the GPS while she is on the phone with me and than check my GPS to see if it transferred... Well no it didn't, imagine that. Why do you think I called you?

She says "We may need to reset your GPS". At this point, its like, okay what ever the will fix it. So we run through the steps, which requires a person to hold down 6 buttons (exaggerating again, only 3) on your GPS at the same time until it restarts, well I either cannon physically hold down all these buttons at the same time or something so I can't get it to reset. Then all of a sudden she says, "WAIT, do you have maps loaded on your GPS?" ........ Well yeah... She says,"It might erase the maps off your GPS if we reset it, if they are saved to a disk take the disk out first." So basically I am hoping that my failed attempts at resetting the GPS, were in fact failed attempts. After removing the disk, I try to press all the tiny buttons again, at the same time, for like 20 seconds, and finally it resets. We try to send more files to the GPS, it says download successful, but once again when I try to search for geocaches on my GPS there is nothing there. At this point, I'm pretty sure I'm screwed and won't have a working GPS this weekend.

Then she says to go the Geocaches folder on the GPS and look in there instead of trying the Find Geocaches button... I do.. HOLY SHIT!!! They are there!! Angels start singing, the heavens part!! I have caches on my GPS!!! Then I hurry up and slam my maps disk in the GPS and ta-da the maps are there as well!!

As we both think about it for a minute, I'm pretty sure we both came to the same conclusion at the same time..... I'm inside a building with tons of metal, my GPS isn't picking up satellite signal, so when I tried to "Find Geocaches" on my GPS, nothing would come up.............. yeah....
I was finally ready for my Geocaching adventure to begin, and thank god cause Teresa was just about there by that point. I got completely nothing done at work that day.. well I loaded caches onto my GPS, not really part of my duties as a wildfire dispatcher, but still really important to my mental well being.

.... okay not the best picture for metal well being... I mean, really, HOW IN THE HELL could this be comfortable and relaxing... how is it even humanly possible......

Stay tuned for Goecaching Glory - Part 2 which includes a clown car, a small grass fire, and a police officer

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Welcome Back.....

To start off, I am sorry. I failed. I obviously have not kept up with my blog and have received some vicious feedback from my (one) follower(s). Not to name any names Luis. I will try to be better I promise.. okay take that back I don't promise but I will try.

The only other really big announcement that needs to be made is to publish the winner of the Cult Rivalry.. needless to say it's not this girl..

They beat me. Fair and square. There really was no competition there towards the end of the year, just yousguys number rising while mine were stagnant. Therefore, 


Other news that is really old news at this point. I placed my first cache!!! Karma It is an easy park and grab but hey its fun to see who actually goes out to the middle of nowhere to find a cache. I must blame my mom for my new cache, after taking her to find her first caches, she told me I should place one! So I did.. in Arizona. I forewarned her that she would have to help me maintain the cache and take care of it... so we'll see how that goes. So far there has only been 5 visits logged.. but what do you expect when it's in the middle of NOWHERE!!

Slight exaggeration
 Have a few more ideas for some more caches I need to place.. just haven't gotten around to it yet.. will soon.. hopefully...

So here I will go on to complain about why I was unable to do much of anything, including keeping my blog up to date until now. I volunteered to help out with this thing called the Sierra Blanca Wildfire Academy (SBWFA)... BAD IDEA!! I pretty much got handed most of everything to take care of... or at least that's what it felt like to me.. My first year being part of the Academy and they had me taking all the nominations, issuing all the acceptance letters or "sorry the class is full" letters, handling cancellations and answering dumb questions like "When should I travel for my class?" Really? Do I look like your FREAKIN' travel agent....


The above is clearly not me as there was not a smile on my face as I was asked to help a 40 year old man decide when he should leave for his class so he made it on time..  This year of the academy was also the first year that classes filled up and we weren't able to get everyone that applied into classes. So I also got to deal with a bunch of pissed off people who were clearly upset that they waited till the last minute to apply to the academy and now couldn't attend because classes were full. I'm sorry, tell me how your lack of initiative is my fault.


On a much better and happier note....

My travel bug Wandering Ducky was rescued!!!!

It was a daring and brave mission by Love Cachers who traveled 77.38 miles on a clearly planned and well executed sting operation to guarantee the safety of my beloved Travel Bug. Considering its only 1 of 2 that I have ever placed and the only one still in existence (remember God Bless the USA is still MIA).....

If anyone has seen this Travel Bug, please return him to the world of Geocaching.

I am so happy that after almost 5 months, Wandering Ducky was rescued from Hwy 87 TB Hotel and moved to Love's TB Treehouse. Since his rescue, Ducky has gone an additional 422 miles and is currently residing in The SCARY Halloween cache in Arkansas!

On that I note I now want to express my undying and complete devotion to:

I registered Wandering Ducky on this website in hopes of finding out if he was actually still in the cache after 5 months and to try and get him moving again. I really didn't know how many people participate in this website and if it would help... well it did!!! So far the site claims to have rescued 1,268 travel bugs and still have 367 travel bugs that need rescuing! So come on people let's rescue some TB's!!!! So if anyone has any Travel Bugs that haven't moved for a while go to tb-rescue and register your TB and get them moving again!!

On a more somber note... more gloom and doom..


 This fire season is supposed to be just as bad as last years. Same weather pattern, same lack of rain, same dry fuel.... just need the idiots who go and start them and we'll be off the the races again. So my participation in geocaching and blogging might again be thwarted by this thing called real life that I guess I have to participate in if I want to be able to afford the gas to drive around geocaching...