Flentje.com

Random thoughts, rants, raves and photo opportunities

2009 - Coughin Up A Lung Named Cache Of The Month

My geocache Halloween 2008: Coughin Up A Lung (GC1H32A) has won the vote for Cache of the Month for February 2009 by the Minnesota Geocaching Association.  An astounding 40 votes were cast overall with my cache taking 42% of them. 

While the average geocache is nothing more than junk in the woods, the experience I gave my fellow geocachers with my annual Halloween series is something they've enjoyed more than I ever imagined possible.

Click here to read more about the history and making of this geocache

2009 - The Fun Side Of Pfalstad (GC1J555)

The Fun Side of Pfalstad (GC1J555) by Meralgia

The New Year was opened for me today with a geocache outing that involved an adventure underneath the city.  Along with fellow geocacher Norvina, I completed this geocache which is a traditional cache located, probably illegally, inside a storm drain underneath the University of Minnesota's east bank campus.  The cache is rated 1 star difficulty and 4 stars terrain.  The experience of entering the drain isn't all that challenging once you get past fears such as vagrants, rain storms, darkness, and odd smells.  And I hate to admit it, but this was not the first time I've been inside this location.  There used to be a different geocache inside this very location about a year or so ago.  But that was before the city refurbished the tubing, and it was much more smelly the first time in. 

We approached from the top as we parked along East River Road.  We descended down the stairs and got halfway to the entrance when one of us said.. "did you bring a light?".  Nope.  How bad could it be?  We entered the area and got nearly to the end when we decided there's no way this can be done without a light.  I raced out of the drain, back down the trail, up the icy stairs, to the car, grabbed a light, and made my way back down. Attempt #2 went perfect.  We had a light with fresh batteries, a couple of cameras, and a fresh writing utensil.  We quickly nabbed the cache, signed the log, and put it back into place only to emerge from the hole about as soaking wet as was physically possible.

UPDATE  It turns out it is in fact illegal to enter storm drains.  We do not recommend going into drains (especially when precipitation is forecast) and we pledge to never do it again.

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

2008 - Halloween 2008 BONUS: Coughin Up A Lung (GC1H32A)

Halloween 2008 BONUS: Coughin Up A Lung (GC1H32A) by bflentje

This cache is the grand finale to my 2008 Halloween series.  In order to find and log this geocache, you must find the other 12 geocaches in the series.  Each of the others contains a secret code that is required to have in order to calculate the coordinates to this bonus.  The calculation requires all 12 of the codes from the other caches and there are no feasible ways to cheat (unless your name is Pfalstad).

I normally start planning my Halloween series about the first week of September.  This year, I had started planning around July 1st and spent the majority of the summer designing and constructing cache containers.  The toe pincher coffin required the majority of the planning.  I wasn't exactly certain how to build a toe pincher coffin but I know I've seen them on the Internet.  After downloading some partial plans, that incidentally didn't have dimensions, and after various trials and errors in my design, my toe pincher coffin started to materialize.  There were two different instances where I realized I had made mistakes and ended up completely dismantling everything, making the fix, and putting it back together.  It did not have to be mortuary showroom floor perfect.  But it had to be good.  After a month of working on the coffin each night after work, the completed container was perfect.  It was so nice in fact, I was having second thoughts about placing it in the woods.  In the end though I did need a grand finale for my Halloween 2008 series.

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

2008 - Halloween 2008: Phalangeal Food (GC1GXGM)

Halloween 2008:  Phalangeal Food (GC1GXGM) by bflentje 

This geocache is part of my 2008 Halloween series and is probably the toughest one of the series to find.  You must find and log this cache in order to find the final in the series, Halloween 2008 BONUS:  Coughin Up A Lung.  When finding the cache, you must grab the secret code which is required in order to calculate the coordinates to the bonus.

The idea for this cache came to me as I was visiting the seasonal Halloween store in Apple Valley.  I took a trip to the Halloween store and was browsing around at some of the slower selling items.  The severed finger was on a shelf in a pile of severed fingers.. looked kind of nasty.  Upon closer inspection, I knew I could easily create a cache container out of the finger with a Bison capsule.  The severed finger is actually hidden inside a piece of wood placed under a park bench.  You'd think this was an easy find but it is the most difficult hide in the series.

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

2008 - Halloween 2008: Look Ma, No Hands (GC1GYHW)

Halloween 2008:  Look Ma, No Hands (GC1GYHW) by bflentje 

This geocache is part of my 2008 Halloween series.  You must find and log this cache in order to find the final in the series, Halloween 2008 BONUS:  Coughin Up A Lung.  When finding the cache, you must grab the secret code which is required in order to calculate the coordinates to the bonus.

The idea and materials for this cache were provided by my geocaching friend KBayNPapaBear.  He had been helping me throughout the Halloween 2008 construction process and provided many cool ideas.  He also kindly shared in the expense and the hiding of the series.  Thank you PapaBear.

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

2008 - Halloween 2008: Senusret Symbolism (GC1GXGT)

Halloween 2008: Senusret Symbolism (GC1GXGT) by bflentje

This geocache is part of my 2008 Halloween series.  You must find and log this cache in order to find the final in the series, Halloween 2008 BONUS:  Coughin Up A Lung.  When finding the cache, you must grab the secret code which is required in order to calculate the coordinates to the bonus.

I normally start planning my Halloween series about the first week of September.  This year, I had started planning around July 1st and spent the majority of the summer designing and constructing cache containers.  The obelisk required a significant amount of planning and work.  I had gotten the idea while scouting hiding spots down in a little cemetery near Randolph, MN.  There are many beautiful old monuments I used as my model.  I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to actually build one.  After a bit of research using The Google, I figured it would be most economical and easiest to work with if I used extruded polystyrene.  After various trial runs attempting to cut the hard foam using various cutting techniques, I was able to finalize my design and things started to materialize.  Several days was spent carving out the epitaph and building a base.

The biggest lesson I learned is that it was a VERY unwise idea to fill the inside of the structure with canned expanding foam.  Little did I realize that this kind of foams keeps on expanding for days.  In no time at all, my newly constructed obelisk had to be repaired because the expanding foam caused everything to bust at the seams.

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

2008 - Halloween 2008: Polycephaly, Not a Muse (GC1GXGD)

Halloween 2008:  Polycephaly, Not a Muse (GC1GXGD) by bflentje

This geocache is part of my 2008 Halloween series.  You must find and log this cache in order to find the final in the series, Halloween 2008 BONUS:  Coughin Up A Lung.  When finding the cache, you must grab the secret code which is required in order to calculate the coordinates to the bonus.

The idea for this cache came to me as I was visiting the seasonal Halloween store in Apple Valley.  Between myself and KBayNPapaBear, we'd built quite the collection of Halloween caches.  But we were short two containers in order to make the count of thirteen.  I took a trip to the Halloween store and was browsing around at some of the slower selling items.  The two headed monster baby was sitting by itself on the bottom shelf and I knew that somehow, I had to turn this thing into a container.

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

2008 - Halloween 2008: Palu Bufo Marinus (GC1GXF9)

Halloween 2008:  Palu Bufo Marinus (GC1GXF9) by bflentje 

This multicache is part of my 2008 Halloween series.  You must find and log this cache in order to find the final in the series, Halloween 2008 BONUS:  Coughin Up A Lung.  When finding the cache, you must grab the secret code which is required in order to calculate the coordinates to the bonus.

The idea for this cache came to me as I was visiting the seasonal Halloween store in Apple Valley.  Between myself and KBayNPapaBear, we'd built quite the collection of Halloween caches.  But we were short two containers in order to make the count of thirteen.  I took a trip to the Halloween store and was browsing around at some of the slower selling items.  The giant toad was sitting in a corner by itself, looking pretty lonely.  I knew that I could turn this thing into a geocache container.

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

2008 - Halloween 2008: Bubba Sawyer's Hideaway (GC1GXEQ)

Halloween 2008: Bubba Sawyer's Hideaway (GC1GXEQ) by bflentje

This geocache is part of my 2008 Halloween series.  You must find and log this cache in order to find the final in the series, Halloween 2008 BONUS:  Coughin Up A Lung.  When finding the cache, you must grab the secret code which is required in order to calculate the coordinates to the bonus.

The idea for the chainsaw cache container came to me very late in the planning of the 2008 Halloween series.  I thought it'd be a great idea but had no idea where I'd get a cheap chainsaw or worse, how I'd turn it into a cache container.

Acquiring a chainsaw was MUCH easier than I had ever anticipated.  I placed a wanted ad on Craigs List for a cheap chainsaw.  I clearly stated that it didn't need to be working but needed to be fully in tact.  Within hours of posting that ad, I got a call from someone trying get rid of their chainsaw CHEAP; they only wanted five dollars for it.  And better yet, the chainsaw was yellow in color which was perfect to help bring out the color of blood patterns.

Before I could figure out how to turn the saw into a container, I figured it'd be wise to remove any hazardous parts or anything that could be construed as polluting the environment.  That process involved removing the electrical system and coil, the oil reservoir, fuel tank, gluing in the recoil pulley, and grinding down the teeth on the saw blade.  While I had the chainsaw apart, it was clear that the front cover of the unit could be easily modified to make it a door, or accessibility for a container inside of the chainsaw.  After some drilling, the addition of bolts and a pair of wing nuts, the latest edition to my Halloween collection was born.  All that was needed now was a fresh coat of blood and Bubba's toy now lives.

For those of you who are not movie buffs, Bubba Sawyer is the character better known as Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  That his name in the original movie.  I believe in the remake of the movie, the name of the character was changed.

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

2008 - Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event

Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event was held on Saturday, September 27th, 2008 on the Cannon River.  Although there were many unknowns, the event worked out well and those of us that participated had a grand old time.  The service provided by Cannon Falls Canoe Rental was excellent and helped eliminate the uncertainty I had considering it was so late in the paddling season.

We ended up with eight boats on the river being paddled by Knowschad, Withoutapaddle, Birdin' (of Trekkin' and Birdin'), Sparkyfry, Twood80, XZQ&Dad, Mutsley & Crew, and myself.  My beautiful daughter Molly was my paddling companion and she did a great job.  Norvina was back at basecamp setting up the shelter for social hour.  We also had visits from Silent Bob (of Marsha and Silent Bob), Good-boy along with Good-girl, and T&J.  There were a total of two incidents on the water.  Dad from XZQ&Dad thought the waist deep water was only up to his knees... he went for an early swim.  And Mutsley decided to go for a surprise swim as Crew watched on with his normal calm and cool composure.

This stretch of the Cannon River provided a perfect venue for our event.  There are 9 geocaches on this 6.5 mile stretch of the Cannon River.  There is a geocache at each of the landings, top and bottom.  There are five geocaches in the primary end of Miesville Ravine Regional Park.  And there are two PREMIUM geocaches located about two miles (by road) northwest in the upper end of the park, off of Michael Avenue.

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

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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Some of us gathering before the paddle.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Bflentje on the Cannon River.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Only Birdin' of Trekkin' and birdin'.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Twood80 showing us how to paddle.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Knowschad is a natural.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Molly taking a rest at the second cache stop.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Sparkyfry conquering his new kayak.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Another cache stop.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
A view from the bflentje boat.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Our good friends Mutsley & Crew.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
NEWS ALERT: Withoutapaddle shows up to the event WITH paddles.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Molly taking a breather with Norvina.
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Minnesota's First Ever Canoe-in Geocaching Event
Three fifths of the XZQ&Dad clan.