Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2015 - Spiny Soft Shell Turtle, Lake Byllesby, Cannon Falls, MN

On a recent paddle across Lake Byllesby, I spotted a little critter swimming furiously across the bay out in front of the sea caves. Upon closer inspection, the critter turned out to be a hatchling spiny soft shell turtle. I managed to grab the critter and held it long enough to take its picture. No turtles were harmed during the making of this post.

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

2015 - Paddling Lake Calhoun, MInneapolis, MN

I can't think of a better way to enjoy life than to merge my passion for geocaching with my love for paddling. I was joined today by a few dozen paddling geocachers for Minnesota's first ever flotilla style geocaching event. We all gathered flash-mob style in the middle of Lake Calhoun. The early morning weather started out a bit rainy but by event time, it had dried up enough to allow us to get out on the water. Following the event, we managed to locate the local sea serpent skulking around Lake Calhoun's western shore.

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

2015 - Paddling Jensen Lake, Eagan, MN

I paddled Jensen Lake today to perform maintenance on my geocache Foul Water (GC3F7F1). The colors on the lake were spectacular tonight so I thought I would share a few pictures that I took along the way.

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

2015 - Father Hennepin State Park, Isle, MN

Our first family outing in the new travel trailer was at Father Hennepin State Park on the beautiful Mille Lacs Lake. We joined with friends and managed to have a pretty full weekend which included geocaching, hiking, biking, hanging out at the beach, and bowling. This was one of the more enjoyable camping outings in quite some time.

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

2015 - Jay Cooke State Park, Carlton, MN

Laura and Bart planned a camping trip to Jay Cooke State Park to take the new camping rig on its maiden voyage. While there, we managed to attend two geocaching events, grab the passport club stamp, hiked the four mile trek to the Hiking Club password, and biked a 10 mile geocache power trail. The campsite we had chosen was a little on the cramped side, but the park itself is a wonderful place to visit and is on the short list of places to return.

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

2015 - Anatomy of a Ravaged Geocache

Back in October 2013 in preparation for the MNGCA Fall Event, I hid an Arduino driven gadget geocache named Thanks Alfred (GC3F7F6), The gadget was an audible puzzle and required you to listen to a message in Morse Code. The decoded message led the seeker to the final stage of the geocache.

Apparently someone felt threatened by the cache or had a problem with it as within 5 days, the well hidden gadget had went missing. I suspected foul play by one of our own in the game but with most incidents like this, it was pure speculation and couldn't be proven. I more or less wrote off the $55 gadget as being gone forever. That was until April 11th, 2015, almost a year and a half later, when geocacher Bubbles&Bonkers emailed me to let me know she found the gadget floating in the nearby lake. It's still not proof. But the fact that the gadget ended up in the lake rather than being taken from the woods leads me to believe it truly was another disgruntled geocacher. If true, how sad.

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

2015 - Fire and Ice Named Geocaching.com Geocache of the Week

My geocache Fire and Ice (GC4TXB2) has been named by Geocaching.com's BLOG as the first Geocache of the Week for 2015. It only has 51 finds since publication on July 27th, 2014 but it has 36 favorites with a favorite rating of 92%. It's always nice to get a bit of recognition for a fun geocache, particularly since I wasn't expecting anything. But for me, the best part of the game is watching others enjoy the geocache and reading the logs of their experience.

Click here to read more about the construction of this geocache.


2015 - God Loves Everyone, Topeka, KS

On a recent pass through Topeka, KS, we felt an obligation to stop in and briefly protest the evil and hate-spewing Westboro Baptist Church. Anna made the beautiful signs to point out that God loves everyone and the kids used the event as an excuse to "flip the bird" to those peaking out the windows of the cult-like compound. Dan, Jane and I were discussing on the way out that we could actually feel the evil emanating from the place.

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