Yeah yeah, I know I know. I have been slacking off once again. Not updating in almost a month. So sorry about that. I have been rather preoccupied with things and every time I get a chance that could be used to send out an update, I use it for other things. Hey, I’m only human!
So as the title suggests, I am getting myself pumped up for the Midwest GeoBash that takes place on the 28th of this month. Granted we’re technically not going to arrive until the 29th, but that’s not the point. This will be our first Mega Event and I have heard wonderful things about it since our first event back on 10/10/10 when we were told stories of 100+ and midnight cache runs, tons of swag swapping, prizes, and a bunch of drunken silliness in a place they call Area 51. I had been interested since that day and when they opened registration for it back in March I had to get us registered. So, let me give you a brief rundown of this thing:
The GeoBash in and of itself is a free event held over 4 days during the summer. It used to be a traveling event that would move to different locations in the midwest but it appears they have found a permanent home at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Wauseon, OH. It is located just north of the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/90) about 30 miles west of Toledo, OH. They offer camping on-site for both tents and RVs. Obviously there’s showers and restrooms provided. There’s several motels/hotels within a short distance from the location that people can also stay at if they’re not fans of camping (but if you’re a Geocacher, how can you NOT like camping??) and they also offer the option of day tripping for those who just want to come for a day and leave. The camping costs $35 for the entire event and with that price you receive a coupon for a free bundle of wood for a campfire. More is $3.50/bundle so you got yourself at least one night’s worth of s’mores right there. During the course of the event, you are free to leave and explore the surrounding area and attempt any one of the over 400 caches that have been hidden within a 15-mile radius of the fairgrounds. According to chatter on the forums at the Bash’s web site, a bunch of caches are usually activated just before and sometimes during the event to ensure some FTFs. A lot of the businesses around the area have become quite Geocacher-friendly from what I understand so it’s exciting to know we can walk into a restaurant covered in dirt/dust with a GPSr hanging from our neck and be greeted warmly instead of regarded as trouble. They also have a number of different events during the Bash to keep you there, ranging from a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, several seminars, a treasure hunt with GPSr’s as some of the top prizes, a campsite decorating contest, and travel bug/pathtag/geocoin trading. And that Area 51 I mentioned? While most is kept kinda hush hush, from what I can gather it is an adult-focused area where alcohol is welcome and children really aren’t. They have some weird traditions they talk about, such as Thursday Night is Tinfoil Hat Night. Interesting….very interesting.
Needless to say, the GeoBash sounds like it will be some serious fun and I’ll make sure to get a ton of pictures and post them on here.
Now, for what I’m sure 3 of you reading this actually cares about…did we hit our goal of 400 caches by our 1-year anniversary of caching?
I was pretty torn up about it, too. In the end, we just didn’t get out enough this summer to make a fair go at it. Sure we had a few runs here and there that would net us a decent number for a couple hours worth of caching, but we were facing an uphill battle, needing to find 62 caches in 20 days. I THOUGHT I had a good, solid planning for achieving that, going so far as to map out cache runs during our family trip to Holiday World, locating 64 caches that I felt were attainable within the 3 days we’d be gone. Well, let’s see how well that went:
6/17 – 10 finds
6/18 – 1 find
6/19 – 9 finds
Now, 20 finds in 3 days isn’t bad. That is actually a fairly good outing. But considering I had mapped everything out and mapped the caches out in the direction we were traveling and planned it to take us 4 hours go get there, it ended up taking us about 6 hours with the pitiful amount we did grab. Part of that was because we stopped for lunch and made several other stops along the way that weren’t scheduled because someone either forgot something or they really needed to go to the restroom. When we ended up doing some, it took us forever with the Friday rush hour traffic beginning to build. I didn’t expect us to do any caching the following day as we were supposed to be at the park all day, but I ended up not feeling good with the lack of sleep I got the night before due to some seriously wicked storms rolling through and the cool, rainy weather we endured for a good portion of our day. After we left I needed to get out of the RV for a while so Hoosier Hooligan and I went and tried to find a couple caches. One of them was missing, but the other one, after throwing us for a bit of a loop because of the lack of a strong data connection resulting in no satellite mapping, was finally found to grab HH a find in the county. The following day we made a quick detour to Kentucky to grab a Mystery Cache and an EarthCache (our first) and to claim a find in another state, and then we had a Father’s Day lunch at Outback in Jeffersonville before grabbing a few more caches in the area. All in all it wasn’t a bad day, but with the rain storms we kept hitting on our way home, there was just NO WAY we could get any more caching done. And that is how it continued to happen as the days drew closer.
We ended up not caching at all until July 3rd. We were up in Ft. Wayne visiting Cyndi’s family and Hoosier Hooligan and I ended up going out on a cache run. Together we found 12 (he had found several of them previously) and had a run-in with the police that wasn’t nearly as fun as the last time. Basically we were told we were on private property and told to leave. A second police officer was pulling in as we left. Something tells me they were expecting us to be doing something unsavory to one another. Anyway, I was hoping to have grabbed more than 12 so after our barbecue dinner, I went on a solo run to try to boost our numbers. I ended up grabbing 7 by myself in the 90 minutes I was out before it got too dark. On the 4th, the actual day of our anniversary, we went out and found 6 more, to bring our total to 383 finds for the year. We’ve since added 5 more to that number. We’ve decided we shouldn’t focus so much on the number of finds within a year and instead just keep trying our best to find all that we attempt. I guess I can live with that…..not having our anniversary cache hidden….now that I am upset about. But that isn’t entirely our fault. I am having quite the difficult time with finding a good place to hide a cache that I can get permission to hide it at. There is one in particular that I want to use but I have no idea who owns the land, can’t find it on any of the land deeds for the area, and my searches have so all hit brick walls. But diligence is the key and I WILL find this out.