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Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2015 - John A. Latsch State Park, Minnesota City, MN

There is no camping or Hiking Club trail at John A. Latsch State Park, so the next best thing to do is to climb the stairs to the top of Mount Charity. The 800 step climb to the top is brutal, especially in the heart of the summer, but the view 500' above the river is breathtaking.
  

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

2015 - Lake Louise State Park, Leroy, MN

I went on a solo camping outing to Lake Louise State Park this weekend to enjoy some hiking and geocaching. The park is located near Le Roy, MN, just north of the border with Iowa. I was concerned that camping here would be a bad experience as the park is one of the smallest parks in the system and most people I speak with have never even heard of it. But I was pleasantly surprised that with only 20 campsites, the quaint little park it was cute and very well maintained. Along with the Hiking Club trail I completed, I also spent part of my weekend biking on the Shooting Star Bike Trail. I would definitely return to Lake Louise at some point in the future.
  

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

2015 - Paddling Loon Lake, Waseca, MN

The family was in Waseca, MN for the weekend camping. Molly, Teddy the Schnoodle, and I peeled away from camp with the kayaks to paddle Loon Lake. We navigated the boats around an unnamed island for exploration.
  

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

2015 - Lac Qui Parle State Park, Montevideo, MN

I went on a solo camping outing to Lac Qui Parle State Park this weekend to enjoy some hiking and geocaching within Minnesota's state park system. Located near Montevideo, MN, the park doesn't have much to offer unless you're into fishing or hunting, but the campground was grassy and well groomed. In all of my state park travels, Lac Qui Parle consistently earns the Most Mosquitoes in a State Park award. If you want to camp here, I strongly suggest you do it early spring or late fall. Any other time of the year will put you in the running for Blood Donor of the Year.

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

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)..