Flentje.com

Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2011 - Paddling a Frozen Pickerel Lake, Lilydale, MN

Today I set out on adventure with fellow geocachers Doublemoose and Geobex.  We were attempting to be the first to find on a brand new, water accessible only, 4.5/5 rated geocache called River Cache: Pickled Lilies (GC37YDE).  The geocache was hidden on Pickerel Lake, located in Lilydale, MN.  This was no ordinary paddle.

I've paddled lakes. I've paddled rivers. I've paddle into caves.  Paddled the BWCAW.  Paddled the dangerous swells of Lake Superior in May right after ice-out.  I've even paddled through barge traffic on the Mississippi.  But today is the first time I've actually paddled through ice.  Besides the effort of plowing through the ice like a Great Lakes Ice Breaker, it was very precarious trying to keep the boat off the ice and into the water.  We prevailed and came home alive.

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

2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event

Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event was held today, Saturday, August 20th, 2011 and turned out to be a wondrous success.  There were more geocachers than expected, we had spectacular weather, and the food was good and plentiful.

Like the previous three events, it was held in Dakota County's Miesville Ravine Park Preserve, located about four miles south of Miesville and six miles northeast of Cannon Falls.  The majority of geocachers paddled the Cannon River from Cannon Falls to Miesville Ravine, a 6.7 mile stretch of the river that is just gorgeous.  Others biked the Cannon Valley Trail from Cannon Falls to Welch.  And some geocachers just stopped in for the picnic.

Final attendence numbers as of August 23rd, 2011:

  • There were 28 RSVPs.
  • 36 have logged the event Attended.
  • 46 signatures were listed on the written log.
  • Physical headcount during the picnic was in excess of 52 attendees.
  • 5 dozen ears of sweet corn served.

Lessons learned from this event:

  • Bring more sweet corn next year.
  • Perhaps BOTH sides of the grill should be fired up next time?
  • Don't draw conclusions about absent geocachers as you'll more than likely be proven wrong.
  • Doublemoose can paddle with the best of them.

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

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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
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2011 - Minnesota's 4th Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event

2011 - Geo-Opoly: Boardwalk (GC2MDKD)

Geo-Opoly:  Boardwalk (GC2MDKD) by Boreal Walker

SPOILER ALERT Do not proceed unless you do not intend on hunting for this geocache.

Along the Great River Ridge Trail, Boreal Walker has a truly, totally, evil hide.  The cache is hidden on a former railroad trestle and is rated 5/5.  While out caching the trail today with Norvina and bowersm, we managed to score First To Find on this monster of a cache.  Cachers had logged 23 Did Not Find logs prior to our find.

Boreal Walker claims to have hidden this cache during the winter months with no tools, which is a testament to the amount of snow that fell last winter.  Our team needed 12' of my 16' ladder in order to reach the cache.

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

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Geocache - Geo-Opoly: Boardwalk (GC2MDKD)
bflentje, Norvina and bowersm getting ready for the challenge
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Geocache - Geo-Opoly: Boardwalk (GC2MDKD)
Setting up our equipment
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Geocache - Geo-Opoly: Boardwalk (GC2MDKD)
We scored the find
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Geocache - Geo-Opoly: Boardwalk (GC2MDKD)
It's right there.. do you see it?
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Geocache - Geo-Opoly: Boardwalk (GC2MDKD)
Do you see it now?
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Geocache - Geo-Opoly: Boardwalk (GC2MDKD)
Norvina extracting the cache from its hidey hole

2010 - Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event

Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event was held today, Saturday, August 21st, 2010.  It's been such a fun experience the last two years that we just had to plan the third annual.  Like the two previous events, it will be held in Dakota County's Miesville Ravine Park Preserve, located about four miles south of Miesville and six miles northeast of Cannon Falls.

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

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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Bowersm on the river.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Some of our event crew getting outfitted.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Thegilby4 coming out from the channel finding a geocache.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Jam of Zoejam72 showing off his boat.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Headed down the Cannon River.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Troyml in his inflatable kayak.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
The flotilla headed down the river.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Headed down the river.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Headed down the river.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A quick stop on Kid Island.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A quick stop on Kid Island.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A quick stop on Kid Island.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Headed around the bend on the river.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Paddling past the bend.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Geocaching at Cotton Picking Goodness.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Geocaching at a Secret Grotto.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A view up river.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A self portrait on the Cannon River.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Watching our caching team from a distance.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Thegilby4 checking his email.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Paddling through the storm debris.
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Minnesota's 3rd Annual Canoe-in Geocaching Event
The finish line is in sight.
   

2010 - Minnesota State Parks Geocaching Wildlife Safari Completed

With my visit to Gooseberry Falls State Park, I've officially completed the Minnesota State Parks Geocaching Wildlife Safari.  The adventure, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is a three year program to help introduce park visitors to geocaching.  Each of Minnesota's 72 state parks has its own collectible trading card depicting a critter that is significant to the area each park resides.  Trading cards are collected by finding and logging the geocache within each state park.  Collect all 72 cards and you are among a very distinct group that has had the privilege to visit every corner of Minnesota.  The program is scheduled to run from May 2nd, 2009 through May 2nd, 2012.

My adventure started on opening day of the program, May 2nd, 2009 when the state park system held an event at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park to introduce the new three year program.  Since I had completed the 2008 Minnesota State Parks Geocaching History Challenge the year before, I had no interest in visiting all of Minnesota's 72 state parks a second time.  It did not take long for me to get absorbed into the program and within one year's time, I had completed the challenge.

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

2010 - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Click thumbnail for larger viewDuring my visit to Minnesota's north shore over the Memorial Day weekend, I hosted and attended Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event (GC23RM5).  Following the event, all of us event attendees day-tripped into the wilderness for a gruelling but adventurous ride.

The first leg of our adventure was to visit the virtual geocache Mystical Dolmen Rock (GC587F).  We departed Sawbill Landing at 8:05AM. We arrived at the dolmen rock at 10:00AM.  We spent about 30 minutes at the rock exploring, socializing, snacking and taking photographs.  We departed the rock at 10:30AM and arrived back at Sawbill Landing at 12:40PM.  Total distance paddled on this leg was 5 miles each direction for a total of 10 miles. Total time paddling was 4 hours and 10 minutes.  Our average paddling speed was a little over 2 mph.

The second leg of the journey was to visit the virtual geocache Kelly-Jack (GC2878).  We drove from the Sawbill Landing to the Baker Landing and arrived at 1:55PM.  After getting our gear unloaded and prepared, we started paddling about 2:15PM.  We arrived at the portage between Kelly and Jack lakes at 3:40PM, which is where the hike in to Kelly-Jack begins.  In all, we spent 40 minutes hiking to Kelly-Jack, exploring, taking pictures, and returning to our boats.  We departed the portage at 4:20PM.  We arrived back at Baker Landing at 6:15PM. Total distance paddled on this leg was 3.9 miles each direction for a total of 7.8 miles. Total paddling time was 3 hours and 20 minutes.  Paddling to Kelly-Jack our average speed was 3 mph and paddling back was a slower 2 mph as a headwind had picked up from the south.   The total distance paddled today was 17.8 miles.

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

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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Our boats parked at Sawbill Landing awaiting departure.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Group photograph of event attendees.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Norvina smiling not realizing the gruelling paddle ahead.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A view from Bart's boat.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Entering the actual BWCA Wilderness.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Norvina coming down the first portage.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Aix sponsa at the first portage preparing her boat.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A view of Kelso Lake.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A view of the lilies on Kelso Lake.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Another view of Kelso Lake.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
The gorgeous view at Kelso Lake.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
More Kelso Lake beauty.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Approaching the mystical dolmen rock.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
The mystical dolmen rock balancing on all threes.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Another angle of the dolmen rock.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A group picture at the mystical dolmen rock.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Another angle of our group at the mystical dolmen rock.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Our boats parked on shore beside the dolmen rock.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Norvina on the rock.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Bflentje and Norvina on the dolmen rock.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Closeup of Bflentje and Norvina on the rock.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Bflentje imitating but not replacing Doublemoose as the Thinker.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Glacial erratic on Kelso Lake.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A closeup view of glacial erratic on Kelso Lake.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Evidence of the 1999 straight line winds in the BWCA.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Damage from the 1999 blowdown in the wilderness.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Unbelievable damage from the 1999 storm.. that was 11 years ago.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
More damage from the July 4th, 1999 storm.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A sheet of ice inside of the Kelly-Jack mining cave.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A view looking out of the Kelly-Jack cave.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Another view looking out of the Kelly-Jack cave.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
And another view looking out of the Kelly-Jack cave.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A group photograph at the Kelly-Jack cave.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
We made it to our second destination.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Norvina stretching or holding up the cave?
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Bflentje outside of the Kelly-Jack cave.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
The entrance to the Kelly-Jack cave.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A view of Jack Lake from the portage.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A view of the portage from Kelly Lake to Jack Lake.
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Minnesota's BWCA Canoe-in Geocaching Event
The final group photograph after having completed the entire journey.
   

2009 - A Potentially Explosive Situation

While geocaching today in St. Paul Park, MN, fellow geocacher bowersm and I ran into a potentially explosive siutation.  We were searching in the snow for Ouch!! I stubbed my toe  (GC1R1QF) by pswith5 when we stumbled upon this funky looking orange plastic device.  Inside the plastic contraption was a metal cylinder with an orange wire connected to it.

At first I thought I had discovered the elusive geocache and that it was some strange container.  I wasn't the most gentle as while geocaching I usually get down and dirty.  Upon further inspection, we noticed the orange device had written on the side of it in big, bold, raised letters, EXPLOSIVE.  At that point we realized it probably wasn't the geocache.  I took a deep breath and gently placed the device on the ground.  After some debate about what to do, bowersm and I decided it would probably be wise to report it.  We routed the GPS to the city police department and made a report.  We can only assume the issue was dealt with as the officer on duty taking our report didn't seem interested.

After an exhaustive search on the Internet, we determined that this device is undoubtedly a live blasting cap.  During our search, we also found reports and photographs of various hands and fingers allegedly blown apart by blasting cap misuse.  Real or not, one of these devices exploding in your hand, or worse, in your face, cannot be a good thing.  Be careful out there.

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A Potentially Explosive Situation
We found the device tucked next to the giant boulders.
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A Potentially Explosive Situation
The device up close.
 

2009 - Coughin Up A Lung Mentioned On AM 1500 KSTP Radio

This morning during the 8AM segment of AM1500 KSTP's Patrick Reusse radio show, my geocache named Halloween 2008 BONUS: Coughin Up A Lung was mentioned.  Reusse interviewed fellow geocacher Andrew McCracken about geocaching in response to last week's article in the Minneapolis StarTribune.

You can listen to the segment using AM1500 KSTP's On Demand feature by clicking here.  The interview about geocaching starts right at 14:04, fourteen minutes and four seconds, into the segment.  If On Demand does not work for you, you can also find the segment in the iTunes Store by searching on Patrick Reusse, October 27th, 2009, hour 4You can also download the segment in MP3 format directly from here.

You can read about the construction of the geocache by clicking here.  You can read more about incident by clicking here.  You can also read my response to the county contemplating the issuance of a citation by clicking here.  You can read the Sheriff's Department Newsletter here.

2009 - Coughin Up A Lung Does An Encore In Thisweek Newspaper

This is the second article published in Thisweek newspaper and the story is still not correct about the incident involving my geocache named Halloween 2008 BONUS: Coughin Up A Lung.

You can read the article online on the Thisweek Live website  by clicking here.

Since Thisweek is not capable of any investigative work, let me make a couple of comments to help set the record straight.  First, the geocache was not something left over from Halloween.  Guidelines on geocaching.com forbid temporary geocaches.  Coughin Up A Lung was not temporary and it was not just left over.  It was a viable, active, popular, and highly maintained geocache.  The geocache logged over 40 finds in it's short 8 month life, and considering it was a mystery cache, this was a phenominal feet.  The second thing to be pointed out is that the article implies there was something inherently dangerous about this cache.  Nothing could be further from the truth..  it was nothing more than a Halloween prop, not so different than what I see on my neighbor's front porch during the Halloween season.  The actual geocache container was the typical container used in geocaching; a painted .30 caliber ammunition can purchased at Fleet Farm.  The container was stuffed with child friendly Halloween themed trinkets purchased from Target Stores.

One thing is for certain, the article speaks volumes about the REAL reason for the harrassment I received from the Sheriff's Department earlier in the year.  It had NOTHING to do with geocaching and everything to do with saving face.  I would imagine the embarrassment caused by the needless deployment of county assets meant someone should pay.

You can read about the construction of the geocache by clicking here.

You can read more about incident by clicking here.  You can also read my response to the county contemplating the issuance of a citation by clicking here.  You can read the Sheriff's Department Newsletter here.

2009 - Coughin Up A Lung Receives More Press

It seems as if geocache Halloween 2008 BONUS: Coughin Up A Lung just won't die.  It was featured in the Minneapolis StarTribune today as the centerpiece for policy change in Dakota County Parks.  Like all previous articles, this one too lacked historical detail of the geocaching incident.

You can read the article online at Minneapolis Star Tribune website for yourself by clicking here.

You can read about the construction of the geocache by clicking here.

You can read more about incident by clicking here.  You can also read my response to the county contemplating the issuance of a citation by clicking here.  You can read the Sheriff's Department Newsletter here.