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Great Adventures | The Joy of Geocaching Book

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Great Adventures

We once spent a sweltering August day crawling our way up a thickly wooded hill.  The air was thick with mosquitoes,the terrain was playing havoc with our GPS and it was two hours until we found the cache.  We’ve never been more uncomfortable in our lives!

What stories do you have of Geocache hunts that were particularly challenging?  Tell us about your long hikes,difficult terrain,raging thunderstorms and impassable trails. The more heroic the outcome the better.  Just post your story as a comment below and don’t forget to tell us your name and e-mail address! If you have accompanying photos,please e-mail them to us (sorry,this website doesn’t support uploads).

Paul &Dana

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6 comments to Great Adventures

  • Cathie Ensel (rubberpaws)

    a challenging puzzle was published that required you to visit a certain cachers hides in 16 different counties. Having it almost completed decided to try to be first to find on the puzzle . To get the 3 remainding counties needed,we drove 13 hours and over 350 miles in one day to log those caches. We left the sierra foothills drove to the central valley then the back roads of the agriculture areas and then to the mountains and then home. The next morning we left in the dark to another city and were on the levees at 6:30 in the morning with a 20 ft pole and took a long walk to a huge tree to try to get the cache down. That also proved to be quite a challenge and yes we were first to find by only a few hours. It was a toughie but so rewarding to finish the challenge of a 5/4.5 puzzle.
    (this could go in the puzzle category too)

  • Cathie Ensel (rubberpaws)

    “wade right in”proved to be a fun and a great adventure. first we had to descend down a steep hill to a little stream below. you had to then walk through a water tunnel that was really dark. The water was ankle deep in some spots and to the hips in others as you navaigated the holes and pits in rocks going through the tunnel. of course if you remember to take off your sunglasses its a little easier to see with your flashlight which I discovered on the return trip through the tunnel. after coming out of the tunnel you still walked through the stream for quite a long walk before finally veering off to dry land,still another walk up towards the rocks on the side of the mountain slope for the reward. we had to retrace our steps back and it seemed we found more deep holes on the return trip. the gpsr in our pockets got wet as we made the journey back but they still work and then we couldn’t find the trail back out of the canyon to the top. My friend scaled a very steep wall trying to find the path to the top and the road were the car was parked. after she was at the top she could see a little easier path up which I took. we were so glad we had our water shoes on which made walking on all those little pebbles and rocks in the stream bed a lot easier but still managed to get the sand in which we had to keep stopping to empty. We are still talking this cache,and how much we laughed at each turn of events. Depending on the time of the year each persons story will be different as the flow of water through the tunnel changes all the time.

  • Jef Spencer (SNSpencer)

    Actual Log for the Caches that I found on this adventure. Since you don’t have a section for “Memorable or life changing” stories I posted this one under “Great Adventures” as it was a “Great” day.

    3/9/2008 – My International Adventure.
    Beautiful weekend so I decided to go for a bike ride and caching. Figured that I could use the training for my Folsom to Sacramento 30 mile bike ride scheduled for the end of the month with family and some “Geo Friends”. I peddled in a direction that I have not gone before and I am so glad that I did!! I ended up traveling the world in the short span of 11.32 miles.

    I started the ride from home,near McClellan on Watt and headed north to Elkhorn Blvd. Then I turned West down Elkhorn toward Rio Linda. I passed some tents being set up along Elkhorn and kinda wondered what was going on but continued along my way down to my ultimate destination area,Roy E Hayer Park.

    Off to the Mediterranean…
    Upon arrival I quickly snatched up Roy Hayer Par #1 (GCQYZ1) and moved on to the next one. As I rode through the park I passed by a large group of people playing,and watching,soccer on the field. I approached ground zero for Roy Hayer Park #2 (GC19E7E),dropped my bike and started to look around for the cache. It took me a few minutes and drew the attention of a few pre teen kids near the ball field. A few of them came over and asked me what I was doing so I went into the whole “Geocaching” explanation. The kids had very heavy accents so there was a little communication barrier to overcome but I got the caching idea across. By then two of the adults walked over too and the kids brought them up to speed. Everyone was interested in my GPSr and what I was doing with it and with a few extra eyes we all looked together and found the cache. (One of the adults found it) Boy did their eyes brighten up with the container in hand. They had never heard about this “treasure hunting” game and were all excited to be introduced to it. After signing the log I returned the cache in hiding and was then ushered over to the game by my new found friends. Turns out that they were visiting from Spain. The soccer game was really a family reunion of sorts and before I knew it I was showing off my GPSr and explaining Geocaching to a few more people while the kids did some translation. Eventually I ended up with some grape leaf wrapped food in my hand and hung out and watched the game while talking with the folks about their trip here to visit with family and friends. I hung out and talked,ate and drank with the friendly Mediterranean folks for twenty minutes or so then headed out to make my next find.

    Quick trip to an island…
    I headed back up to Elkhorn Blvd and found my way to a bike trail that I did not know existed. I followed my GPSr pointer to Needle in a Haystack (GC19GRP) Hopped off my bike and started my search. Found the cache pretty quickly but it took some finagling to get the container out of it’s hidey hole. Once free from it’s protective shell I signed the log and returned it for the next traveler. Got back on my bike and headed off to tackle “Burnt” “Schist” (GC1871X). Arrived at ground zero and dropped my bike and started the search. Found an empty Tupperware container near something “burnt” at ground zero. Damn! Muggled! Or was it? The container that I found was too small to be a “regular” so I expanded my search just to be sure. Just as I spotted something else that was “burnt” I heard a voice from the trail. Looking up I saw that a couple had stopped. They asked if I had a flat tire or something or if I needed any help. I guess that my bike on the side of the trail looked weird or something. Why would someone just stop here on the trail? “Nope,just looking for something”,I replied and continued into my usual Geocaching explanation. The couple was visiting from England and was mildly intrigued by my explanation. They were on “holiday” visiting their daughter who lives in the area. I lived in England for a few years in my youth so I searched while we talked about this and that. I found the “real” container and brought it up to the trail for the couple to check out. (The container was about 50 feet off the coordinates but definitely near something “burnt”) They were amazed when I produced the container and I think that they may be purchasing a GPSr upon their return to England and may get into the game. I let them know about “travel bugs” and told them about the Geocoin of mine that is currently on their island. SNSpencer’s 2007 CITO Coin #1. I showed them the bugs that I was carrying at the time too. Signed the log and replaced the cache. Chatted some more and then parted ways. I started my trip back towards home along Elkhorn. Wow! Bounced around Europe so far…

    Somewhere in Asia/Middle East….
    As I peddled my way towards home I was stopped by a parade in progress on Elkhorn Blvd. There were a number of 18 wheel flatbed trucks packed with colorfully dressed people playing music,dancing and chanting. Easily a few hundred people,men in turbans,women in very colorful eastern dress and children,celebrating something. The police were there blocking and directing traffic for the event. I stopped to watch from the sidewalk and was approached by a few of the participants handing out snacks and drinks to everyone watching the parade. Beautiful woman in full traditional dress and makeup (the red dot on the forehead). I asked her what the parade was for but she did not speak English. I could not understand any of the banners as they were written in a language that I can not read. I crossed the street and continued my journey past the parade down Elkhorn to where the tents that I saw earlier were set up. It was now obvious that this was the destination area for the parade. I stopped by an old man in a turban and asked again what the parade was for. He proceeded to start digging in an ice filled pickup truck bed and pulled out a bottle of water. I said no thanks and he returned to the truck and produced a can of soda. As I took the soda I asked again and he only smiled and yelled something in his language to a few women over near the tables that were set up under the tents. They came over and ushered me back to the tents and started to dish up some food from the trays set up banquet style along the tables. One of the women took my bike and propped it up against the side of the tent. I tried to say “no thanks” but before I knew it I was enjoying some very spicy rice and meat dishes while trying to find someone who spoke English to tell me what was going on. All the meanwhile the music from the parade was getting closer and closer. Within minutes I found myself in the middle of a celebration!! Music,dancing,food and drink!!! Everyone was so friendly and kept shoving food into my hands but for the life of me I could not find anyone with whom I could communicate with. I gave up and just enjoyed the food and festivities for about 15-20 minutes. Amazing and colorful traditional clothing &kids everywhere. I left the party still not knowing what ethnic group I was just welcomed in to. Pakistani? Indian?

    Now to head South….
    I continued down Elkhorn to Watt and stopped at Green Wall (GC19CBN). Made the quick grab and sign before hopping on to Watt to head South towards home. My mouth was still on fire from the spicy food and no amount of water from my hydration pack seemed to do the trick. And there he was,Manuel,my friendly neighborhood roving Mexican street vendor. I quickly ordered my usual “Mango on a stick,lime por favor,no chile”. That did the trick,I could feel my tongue again. Riding one handed and eating my Mango I cut through the neighborhood and returned home.

    Small world today that I will likely never forget. Welcome to the melting pot of these United States!! Another adventure provided by the game of Geocaching and looking forward to the next one.

  • Laura Goodwin (thrifty-chick)


    Your ride “around the world”sounds as though it was REALLY EXCITING! Thanks for sharing!

    - L@ur@

  • Ventura Kid

    We have another passion besides geocaching. We belong to a 4 wheel drive club. We love to combine the 2 hobbies together.
    A hundred years ago,the Indians were hired as scouts to bring people across the Mojave desert. The dirt trail zig zagged across the desert,and many settlers got lost. There was very little water available out there.
    Our favorite route across the Mojave desert is between highway 15 and 40,and parallels the highways. It is called the Mojave Road. This road is more like a bumpy trail now,and requires a permit to drive there. We took 2 days and travelled the road from Laughlin to Barstow with a group of geocachers.
    Many adventures were had during this journey,but the methods we used to stay together were my favorite.
    As we zoom across the dirt roads and trails,many other trails criss cross the road we wanted. It was the responsibility of the vehicle ahead,to keep the vehicle behind on the correct trail. At each intersection,the vehicle ahead was required to stop just past the intersection. This vehicle must wait until the following vehicle appeared near the intersection. Once the following vehicle spotted the correct trail to follow,then the vehicle ahead could drive away.
    This process should have worked. But somehow we lost many vehicles along the way.
    I think at a few points we were spread out for miles across the desert.
    I can’t imagine how a group of slow moving settlers could have figured out the correct route. We couldn’t do it with cellphones,walky talky’s,and gpsr’s.

  • PJ Romano

    So one day,I was walking down the street when I had found something. I thought it was a piece of garabage but I found out it was a geocaches! That’s when I started geocaching with my family. This story is about one of the Leathermans Caches in the Bedford,NY. I had driven up Dwight Lane when I found Leathermans ridge park. I had been searching for the cave since the start,but now I have found it. I went inside. It was really dark,almost like the night. I had my headlight on and searched the cave. I realized that it would be obvious to be in the cave. The cache wasn’t in there! Then,I followed the clue which was ”Six paces due west from stump”. Then I realized there is a million tree stumps in the park. I thought I would never find it. Then,I found a stump close to the cave. Like the clue,it was steep to go west but I made it and found the cache. This was with a friend so it was sort of a milestone for him. We found the cache,placed geocoins in and went down. Problem was,there was a million thorn bushes. It was hard but we made it safely down and went home. That’s my Geocaching Adventure.

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