Here it took me only 9 days since the MidWest GeoBash ended for me to finally update the site…and of course it’s also been almost a month. What can I say…it’s been a rather busy month for us. What with all the planning for the Bash, Cyndi’s business trip to San Diego, and the girls’ resident camps, I’ve had my mind on other things than updating this blog. Besides, I wanted to make sure I had everything gathered for this epic post. So, without further adieu…
WE HIT 400 FINDS!!!!
That’s right. After many promising, but failed attempts to hit this milestone, we finally broke the 400th find mark. And our 400th? The Bash itself. Yes, if you go to the site and look at our milestones it’ll say it’s a different cache, but that’s because the app I used for whatever reason put the caches in a different order than the way they were entered. Grrr. But whatever, we know which one was 400, and that’s all that matters. We had a blast. Granted I would have liked to find a few more caches than we did (ended up with 27 for the weekend), it was a fantastic time. We met so many great people and picked up quite a few ideas for next year’s Bash. In the end, the only thing I would have changed would be purchasing bikes so we wouldn’t have had to walk around everywhere…next year!!!
This post is going to be a bit of a photoblog entry. Instead of just using a bunch of words to paint the picture, I’ll just post some pictures and narrate a little. So here it goes…our trip the 2011 MidWest GeoBash.
Since Cyndi didn’t get back from her trip to San Diego (which netted us 2 California finds and 2 TBs to be moved) until Thursday evening, we didn’t leave for the Bash until Friday. We stopped off in Ft. Wayne to drop the girls off at grandma’s for the weekend before heading to Wauseon, OH, right off of the Ohio Turnpike.
We spent about 20 minutes on the Turnpike before we got off at the Wauseon exit. After paying the $2.25 toll we turned north and there was the fairgrounds.
After we checked in and got our lanyards and event schedule/brochure, we made our way back to the campgrounds, taking in all the festivities that were unfolding around us. The campsite was far enough away from the Turnpike to not disturb us at night, but close enough to the bathroom/showers that it wouldn’t be a major hassle to get up at night if you have to go. I had purchased a brand new tent several weeks prior that turned out to be flipping massive. Usually when a tent boasts a sleeping capacity, you can usually deduct 2-3 from that estimate to get your real world capacity. This tent boasts 12…if everyone slept on the ground in sleeping bags, I would definitely agree with that assessment.
We only had about 30 minutes to setup the tent as we were running short on time before the Event Store closed at 5. So we quickly put up the tent and then headed to grab our swag, which included Event T-Shirts, a MWGB geocoin, and a silk-screened day bag with the logo on it. We then walked across the way into the Spangler Arena, which plays host to the vendors/flea market. We purchased a couple trinkets, as well as some Geocaching window decals for the Caravan, including a Travel Bug to make it trackable. After that we were both hungry so we headed out into town for a quick bite of dinner and grab a couple caches, because this town is crawling with an extra 2,000 people who all happen to be doing the exact same thing.
After spending about 90 minutes caching, it started to get dark so we made our way back to the GeoBash and decided to walk around the campgrounds. They have a campsite decorating contest every year where the theme is based on that year’s Bash theme. This year’s theme was “Pelican Beach Party.” As you’ll see, some people got very creative.
When we got back to our tent to relax, I noticed something very familiar playing in the air just behind our campsite. Sure the music was recognizable…but there was something else. Something I am very familiar with…….the sound of someone missing notes on guitar while playing Rock Band. I stuck my head out of my tent and saw something I never thought I’d see.
These cats brought their entire Rock Band setup to the Bash. And they were performing a concert for attendees. I walked over to see what was up and noticed they had 3 mics not being used. Naturally I couldn’t resist!! I sang a 2 songs with the band, introduced myself, and told them that if they were going to play again the following evening I’d definitely be there.
The following morning we woke up and got an early start on the day. We stopped at a place just down the street called Smith’s for breakfast. This place came highly recommended but we were underwhelmed by the service and the quality of our breakfast….but they are very Geocaching-friendly and even have one on their premises so that’s puts them up there in my book….just stay away from the biscuits and gravy.
We then had to run into town to Walmart to grab some poison ivy relief for Cyndi as she caught a bit of it the night before on the trail in a failed attempt to find a cache. We then headed back to the fairgrounds to try to partake in some of the activities going on there. This included a treasure hunt using metal detectors where everyone wins at least a trackable tag and 3 people could win GPSr devices from Garmin.
Unfortunately we did not find the winning hides, but we got two trackables to call our own so that accounts for something. After this we headed back out into town to look for some more caches before we had to be back by 6pm for the closing ceremonies and group photo. During this time we stopped for lunch at a horrible Mexican restaurant that I won’t even give the satisfaction of naming…I’ll just say it’s directly south of the movie theater near Walmart. It actually made Cyndi sick it was so bad. But we didn’t let this get in the way of our hunt. It was also during this time that I met quite a few cachers from other states, and even a couple from Australia.
After a few more caches we headed back to the Bash to do a little more shopping in the vendor area before the closing ceremonies. It was also at this time that we changed into our official GeoBash shirts.
After the closing ceremonies, prize announcements, and group photo, we headed back out to grab dinner and a few more caches around the fairgrounds before calling it a night.
Once we made it back to our campsite, we grabbed our chairs and headed to the Rock Band campsite, where the “band” TimeBomb were setting things up. To get things going, I sang the first 3 songs…and I mean SANG. I tore through Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, and Foo Fighter’s “Everlong” before I destroyed my voice from being a little too exuberant. Cyndi recorded a couple videos…….yeah, I may not have much shame when it comes to doing it in front of live people….but I totally have shame when it comes to posting it on YouTube for the whole world to see. So, no, that won’t be on here.
With that we called it an evening. We helped pack clear things out and then went to bed, hoping to get enough sleep before having to tear down camp and head home. The following morning I talked with the guys in TimeBomb about their plans for next year and I guess during some point the previous evening they decided to extend an invite to join their band, both for the Bash and online when at home. What an honor!!! So I already have something to look forward to for next year. We also helped our neighbor, Lisa from Cache Advance, tear down her site and talked a great deal about her company (where the decals and iron on trackables came from) as well as other Mega Events she’s attended. She is an awesome woman and her company makes some real quality gear. I highly recommend Cache Advance to anyone looking for some swag. Afterwards we packed up our van and headed to Ft. Wayne to get the girls and then home.
For all those reading this on the fence about going to a Mega event like GeoBash, I strongly suggest giving it a shot. We had so much fun and are already planning next year’s trip. We had a blast…we know the girls will have a blast…and I know that you would have a blast too. Thanks for reading this extremely long post.