Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2008 - Yo, Anyone Home? (GC19426)

Yo, Anyone Home? (GC19426) by bflentje 

I have a fondness for the Cannon Falls and the Cannon River Valley area.  On the return home from one of my many trips to the area, I decided to take a shortcut up Michael Road to Miesville.  Everytime I'd been through here in the past, it was in the dead of summer where foliage from the trees was thick, hanging over the road, hiding everything from the casual passerby.  On this trip though, it happened to be in the winter, as the forest was bare, exposing many things that are usually hidden.  I had no idea what geological features were lurking for me to discover only to find that a very cool spot resides a mere 10' from the roadside.

When I happened upon this spot, I could hear voices inside my head that kept whispering "plant cache, plant cache, plant cache". So, out of obligation to whatever geocaching spirits have possessed my brain, I stopped the vehicle and immediately found the best hiding spot I could muster.  The difficulty rating is 3.5 stars and the terrain is 3 stars.  Most cache seekers inadvertently understand the ratings to mean that they have to climb the bluff and locate a small cache stuffed in a hole.  When in fact, the ratings are a fair assessment of the fact that they have to crawl into the small cave and discover a very cleverly hidden Regular Sized container.

It is safe to say that of all of the caches I've hidden, this cache is in my top 5 favorites.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2008 - Alvin's Phone Line (GC9FF)

On January 8th, 2008, I had the privilege to visit Alvin's Phone Line (GC9FF), Minnesota's first and oldest, active geocache.  Daring the brutally cold -2°F morning in northern Minnesota was challenging. But the adventure was much more appealing than braving this swampy, mosquito infested area, during the summer months.  Snowshoes made the trek through the deep snow a pleasant experience.

While the geocache itself is not all that extraordinary, the story behind the geocache, getting to the cache, and the historical aspect of this cache, make it a must visit.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2007 - Taconite Island, Silver Bay, MN

Today we made the trek out to Taconite Island.  I was able to convince my wife Nene, our two oldest children Molly and Anna, and good friend Ryan, that they would enjoy the adventure.  Friends Tom and Sheila agreed to stay back to watch Laura and Matthew.  In spite of Nene wearing her Birkenstock sandals when she should have been wearing laced up sneakers, we experienced no issues and everyone had a great old time.

This small island on Lake Superior is located just south of Silver Bay, out in front of the Silver Bay Marina.  You can actually get to the island on foot but a few obstacles stand in the way.  You first need to clamor across the one third mile long breaker built of automobile sized boulders.  Once you arrive at the island, you must ascend up a 12' high cliff to actually step foot on the island.  I made the daring climb to the top with no issues.  But since I worried about the family, the rest of them climbed up the rope ladder I had brought along.  We were able to enjoy the views and even found the geocache that resides on the other end of the island.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

2007 - Grand Marais, MN

This photograph was taken on Saturday, July 14th, 2007.  I've travelled the world while in the service but nothing compares to the passion I have for Minnesota's north shore.

Click the thumbnail for a larger view

2007 - Caching Challenge: Clear Water Park (GCZDA7)

Caching Challenge:  Clear Water Park (GCZDA7) by bflentje 

I believe in the principle that hiding a geocache on or near, or masquerading as, electrical equipment is generally speaking, a pretty bad idea.  But here's a geocache where I've built the electrical hazard message right into the cache container.  This geocache is part of my Caching Challenge series and has had pretty good feedback.

Enjoy the photographs (click thumbnails for larger view)..

Again, I want to emphasize that there can be danger on and near electrical equipment.  With the exception of this one hide, I do not support the placement of geocaches anywhere on or around electrical equipment.

2006 - Ground Zero, New York City, NY

This photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 13th, 2006.  While on a family vacation to New York City, we had the privilege to stop by the World Trade Center site to pay our respects to those lost on that fateful day back in 2001.

Click the thumbnail for a larger view