Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Danger of Queens

Back on November 20, I wrote that happiness is not a set of queens. Doyle Brunson, in Super System, wrote that he never plays AQ offsuit, because it's the kind of hand that can get you in a lot of trouble. I mentioned this at the 25¢ no-limit poker game at Trestin's last night.

Naturally, I get dealt QQ in the small blind a few hands later. Jon's to my left, in for a quarter. Phil's in for a quarter. Kevin and Trestin fold. I raise to $1, Jon folds. Phil calls.

The flop is A x K. Two overcards to my pair -- this is not good at all. However, I'd decided before I sat down last night to play loose aggressive, so I go in for another $1. Phil calls.

Fourth street is J. At this point, I think to myself, Phil has a pair of Aces or Kings, probably with a high kicker, or maybe the J gave him two pair. Just as likely, he might be bluffing (he does that a lot more than he probably should). Regardless, the only way I'm winning this pot is to force him out. I go all in for $2.70.

Phil thinks about it for a good two minutes. With my play, I know he's thinking I've got a high pocket pair to give me a set, or else I've got a blackjack. With the river still to come... he calls. We turn the cards over.

Phil has AQ, giving him a pair of Aces with a Queen kicker. I've got a pair of Queens with an Ace kicker. The only card that'll help me is the last Queen. A ten will split the pot.

The river's a King. Phil wins, AAKKQ to my KKQQA.

Happiness is not pocket queens, either.

(Oh, and I came out ahead 50¢ yesterday evening at the $0.50/$1 table online. I tend to do a lot better at a full table, but the one I was at was fluctuating between six and ten people for the whole 90 minutes I was there.)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Slowly, slowly

I only played poker a couple of hours over Christmas weekend, but ended up ahead another $15, plus I met the required rake hands, so I got my $35 new customer bonus.

It's slow going at the $0.50/$1.00 level, but I want to take it slowly until I get up to 150% of my latest buy-in. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I'd been playing some real crappy poker, and been getting burned on it, and consequently doubting myself. I need to do well for a while before I jump up a table.

Kim got me a Dealer button (and blind buttons) for Christmas. My parents got me an octagonal poker table top. Kim's parents got me a seven-foot long felt table cover. Krys got me cards. I'm sensing a theme :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Ammo cans out the wazoo

A local geocacher just won an auction for 403 ammo cans -- 15 pallets -- from Ft. Lewis. He's selling them to other local cachers at cost: $1.50 each. This means that in the next few months, it's very likely that we'll see a lot more regular size caches instead of all those horrid micros.

And there was much rejoicing.

Humility wins

I dropped down another $65 on Monday night, mostly in hands where, at the river, I looked at my situation and said to myself "Self, that guy's been playing like he's hit his set/straight/flush since the flop/turn. Your measley two pair isn't gonna do it. He's got you beat, Self." And then I say to myself, "Nah. Two pair's good," and call. There's not a lot of bluffing at the $2/$4 or $5/$10 tables.

At one point on the $2/$4, my JJ won $32. The very next hand, I got JJ again and lost $30. Sigh.

Tuesday night, however, I dropped myself back down to the $0.50/$1.00 table, and played while catching up on the last week of Fark.com. For the most part, I only played premium hands, even folding QT offsuit pre-flop on the button facing a single raise from middle position. After about two hours of play, I ended up ahead $25. My first positive real money night in weeks.

It'll be a long road back to those glory days of November when I was having $150 and $200 nights. Somewhere along the line, I think I began to expect, nay, deserve(!) to win a lot -- two pair's good, right? -- and that was my downfall.

Smart, conservative play is what I did last night, and what I need to continue doing. Things like consulting the pot odds chart from Gary Carson's Complete Book of Hold 'Em Poker in marginal situations. Things like making notes like "whirlyjim raised pre-flop with AK off. whirlyjim raised pre-flop with QQ." Things like deciding, more often than I have been, that if a player is betting like he's got the six to make the inside straight, he probably does.

On another note, some folks (hi, Bill and Kevin!) have recommended Doyle Brunson's Super System to me. I need to pick it up from the library on the way home tonight.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Draft 2 of Gig Harbor posted

I posted the second draft of the Gig Harbor Cache Machine route last night. I've added another night cache to the route; I hope it's not raining and cold and miserable. (In early January? Nahhh...)

Back in, down $30

I bought in again last night at Empire Poker (on the Party Poker network), and did OK at a $0.50/$1.00 table, then mediocrely at a $2/$4 table, for the first two hours. I was up about $20. Then I hit a hand. I was dealt As 7h, limped in, and hit Ah 7s 9s on the flop. I bet and raised, and one other player stayed in. 7d came on the river, giving me a full boat, sevens over aces. I jammed the pot, as did my opponent. The river came 9c. We max bet, and he shows his 9h 3c. His full boat nines-over-sevens wins. I ended my night a few hands later, down about $30. I think I played it right, though. I'd have done better if the other monster hands I was dealt actually had people staying in to see the flop.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thanks, fairy godmother!

About a week-and-a-half ago, Robbbbbb described his night of poker as getting "hit over the head with the deck like a fairy godmother gifting me with her wand." Too bad I was playing in a play-money tournament last night, because the same thing happened to me.

I haven't played for real money in a few weeks. I'm still trying to build my confidence back after my rabid tilt-a-thon. So in lieu of that, I like to be in play money tournaments, because the people there -- for the most part -- are still actually trying to win. Sure, once in a while you'll have someone who gets bored and decides to give all their money to the winner of the next hand by jamming the pot with 2-2 offsuit, but usually when half of the 10 original players are left, they're in it to win it. Granted, they still play a bit looser than real money tables, but it's still the tightest free game I've found.

The game is a ten player table, everyone starts with 800.

Early on, at the 15/30 level, I was dealt pocket 8's. The flop came T48 rainbow. A set of 8's? I'll bet that aggressively. I did, had a couple of raisers, a lot more callers, and got the pot up in the 400s somewhere. The turn was the fourth 8. I jam the pot, still have a few raisers, and it's up in the 800s. The river is a low rag, I've got the nuts, and leave that hand up about 1300.

I'm the big stack at this point, and I watch as four players drop out over the next ten hands.

The guy to my right is a pretty aggressive player; over the next 20 hands, I gave him a bunch of blinds and two-bets. Then, I get pocket jacks under the gun, and raise him all the way to the end, and he lost with his 4-9 suited. Ahhh. A bluff-bully revealed.

The next hand, with five players left, I'm in the big blind and got dealt crap, but everyone calls and I see the flop for free. A84 rainbow. All I've got is a pair of 4's. It checks around to BluffBully, who bets the minimum. I raise him, thinking he's got nothing again. Everyone else gets out, and we're in a raising war. We raise each other all the way to the end, and the dog wins with his AQ. I picked the wrong time to try to push him around.

The game continues. Three players are left, the blinds are at 100/200. I'm on the button and get dealt 5-5. I raise to 400. Small blind drops out, and BluffBully raises, of course. I call, and I hit another set on the flop, T57. BluffBully bets, I raise, he raises, I call. The turn is another 7; I've got full house 5's over 7's. I jam the pot, he slowly jams the pot, the river's a 9. We both quickly raise raise raise, and he's all-in. He's holding 6-8 for the straight. Buh bye.

A few hands later against a very short stack, and for the first time in weeks, I've won a play money tournament.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Candid camera notes

Well, I went to Best Buy at lunch today and picked up a JVC GR-D72 camcorder in preparation for Krys' concert on Thursday. My other options were the Panasonic PV-GS9, or the Canon ZR-80.

All three use the Mini DV digital tapes.

The Panasonic was a very close second, but it lacks a SD media slot (nice to have in the future, I'd think), lacks a pass-through analog port (for converting analog to digital, such as a VHS tape to MPEG), and its image stabilization seemed far superior. I focused both the Panasonic and the JVC on a range hood carton ¾ of the way across the store at full optical zoom, and the JVC was much easier to keep on the same area.

The Canon's LCD view screen looked really washed out, which may be because it was had been running 18 hours a day for the last year in the display case, but if that's the case, that's a good reason not to get it.

The first small camcorder I ever used was my grandfather's JVC, and I think it's still functional today. Hopefully, this one will last as long.

Monday, December 06, 2004

An okay weekend; time for a camcorder

I played poker on Friday and Saturday night with my new chips. On Friday, in a seven player game, I did fairly well. The cards weren't coming too well, but I ended up with $16 for my $5 buy in. A lot of that came at Phil's expense, because for some reason I just kept beating him by a card (for example, AJ making a pair of aces with jack kicker versus his AT making a pair of aces with ten kicker).

On Saturday, we played a ten-player game at Nub's place, and Robbbbbb kicked major butt. I think he bought in for $15 and left with $38, but he was easily up over $50 at one point. I left with $5 of my $10 buy in, so I'm up $11 for the weekend. Kevin did well both days, which should help him pay for his beer while he's waiting for work.

My first big purchase with my poker winnings was t-shirts for my daughter's soccer team. Then the poker chips. Now I'm in the market for a camcorder before Krys' concert on Thursday. I thought tape was dead, but apparently DVD and mini-DVD camcorders aren't quite good enough yet, and the mini-DV tape is still the way to go for low-end decent-quality camcorders. I'm looking at the Panasonic PV-GS9, or the Canon ZR-80.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Blue star for you, Mr. Lauricella

As a result of my poker chip purchase (they arrived yesterday, and they are sweet), I got my 50th positive feedback on Ebay, giving me a blue star. Woot.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Dumb casino moves

Yesterday, I'd mentioned that the online casino that I (used to) play at had e-mailed me about their new software, and had given out $13 in free money to test it out.

Part of the reason I'd played at Phoenician was because of their elegant, slick, crisp, smooth-running interface. They used software they'd licensed from Real Time Gaming, which is also used by many other online casinos.

Their new software is, as best as I can tell, the January 2003 release of the Viper engine from Microgaming. One aggrivating feature is that after you download the 5 MB software package and install it, you get three games (a blackjack version, a slot machine, and something else I don't recall. Other games have to be downloaded as needed, and you can't download them to test them without a balance in your online account.

The graphics are pretty blocky and appear to have been designed for a 640 x 480 screen. Ick.

But the worst part: I couldn't find multiplayer poker, so I e-mailed the casino. Their response:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for contacting Customer Support.

Unfortunately multiplayer poker is no longer available at the casino. however if you would like to partake in this game, we suggest Aztec Riches poker at [some hyperlink I see no need to advertise]

Please do not hesitate in contacting us if you have any further questions or comments.

I don't know what decision-making process they went through to make this change, but at least from the poker standpoint, if you're making a 5% vig off of every pot, you're essentially just printing yourself money every time a game's played. Maybe RTG's cut was too big or something, but this just seems like a dumb move to me.

Time to go elsewhere.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Free money?

I just got an e-mail that the online casino I play at just got new software, and to test it out they're giving some players free money to test it. I got $13. Wonder if I can build it into anything?

Chips

My new poker chips are on their way up from southern California. UPS says they should arrive on Thursday. Sweet.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Port Orchard is off my list

It turns out that Port Orchard and Gig Harbor had a lot more caches than I expected. The 61 caches I have on the route will only get us through Gig Harbor and will still have us going to after sunset. Port Orchard had another 40 some. That's a lot.

The first draft route is here.

Royal clubs

Last night, at an eight player game at the absent-and-hoping-to-be-lucky (not get lucky; be lucky) Robbbbbb's house, my cousin Jeremy (who we've taken to calling "Riverman" for all the obscure lucky draws he gets on the river) and another player (my brother Trestin, I think) were in the game and the flop comes JQK of clubs.

Jeremy, his hands shaking (think that's a tell?) goes all in. Trestin calls him, and they turn their cards up. Trestin has pocket aces. Riverman has TA of clubs.

Royal. Straight. Flush. On the flop.

Seems like there's always something new in this game.

Myself, I had a down night. After four $5 buy ins, I found myself down only $1.80, but then went heads up against Trestin and came out on the short end of a $25 pot. In the end, I was down about $9. Good price for a nights worth of entertainment.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Know when to walk away

Well, my grand experience in online poker has come to an end. I told myself that once my online account reached zero, it'd be time to quit. That time has come.

I think my losing streak is due, more than anything else, to my overanalysis of the game. Poker, as many have said, is not so much a game about cards played with other people, but rather is a game about people played with cards. I've been reading poker books voraciously the last few weeks, and in the last week or so, I think I've been playing the cards instead of the people. Six times in the last three days I held AA or KK or AK or AQ, the flop turned up nothing helpful, and I still bet strong, losing to other players with sets of 8's or two pair (or in one case, a pair of 3's against my AK high). In retrospect, I knew they had it, too, but was trying to bully them out of the pot because I had the best hand before the flop. Instead of thinking to myself "that player is acting like they have me beat, and my AK is weak", I thought to myself "they player probably has me beat, but I've got AK, dammit, and that's supposed to be a good hand." You can see why this thought process burned me so quickly.

It's been a good run, though. At my best, I was up almost $3000, and I'm still walking away with almost $2000. Not bad for an initial $20 buy-in.

It's time to head back to the dining room and tournament tables and play against people I can actually see and read.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

So that's what going on tilt is

Ouch.

I knew that chasing after lost money by increasing wagers is a bad idea, but I went on major tilt yesterday against a table full of really tough opponents -- folks I knew were good -- and as my hands got worse and worse, I played more and more, going in with crap like 6-7 offsuit, hoping I'd get 3-4-5 on the flop.

I lost like an entire weeks worth of winnings in about an hour on the $5/$10 tables, then tossed the rest of it away on the roulette wheel, and then beat myself up over it overnight.

Time to re-focus and force myself to play super, super tight. Phil Helmuth defines super-tight as only getting into hands with AQ, AK, and pairs of 77 or higher. It seems to be working, as I've doubled my bankroll with this strategy.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Gig Harbor/Port Orchard Cache Machine

The chatter about the upcoming Gig Harbor/Port Orchard Cache Machine event has begun. I'll need to get a draft route together in the next week or so.

Happiness is not a set of Queens

Last night didn't go so well. Part of it might have been because I was out of my normal environment -- I was in bed with my wife reading next to me, and the laptop on the really cool over-the-bed Ikea rolling table. At the $5/$10 table, I lost my $100 buy in, twice, including what I think were some bad beats.

Two hands in a row I was dealt pocket aces. Two hands in a row I lost to a straight draw on the river.

One hand, on the small blind, I was dealt Qc Qd. I raise before the flop, and seven other players call. The flop comes Ac Kd 8h. I bet, late position raises, I call. There's still four of us in.

The turn is Qs. I've got a set of queens with an A/K. I'm thinking that the late position raiser probably has two pair. I bet like a madman, as does he, chasing one of the other two players out.

The river is a 2c. The only hands he has that could beat me would be pocket aces, pocket kings, or JT. If he had JT, he wouldn't have raised on the flop, right?

Right. He doesn't have JT. He does, however, have the pocket kings. He wins the $223 pot.

Ah well. Some lucky pontoon afterwards nets me $135, and roulette gets me another $96, so I still finished ahead $31 for the session.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Another good poker night

I played at a surprisingly chatter-free $3/$6 table tonight, growing my $70 buy in into $331. A big part of that was a $120 win where I held AJ offsuit, and the flop came J A 9, with another J on the turn.

Patience. I'm convinced that patience is the key to winning big pots against loose tables. Wait for the monster hands, then play them hard. Many of the other players aren't paying attention; they don't know I'm the guy that folds most of the time.

Play on other casino games -- Pontoon (which hurt me a lot more than it helped), Roulette (hit my number twice on 25 spins), and Baccarat (mostly even) gained me another $79.

Up $341 for the night. Not too shabby.

Happiness is a set of aces

I wasn't doing so well at the poker table last night. I'd burned through my first $100 buy in at the $5/$10 table, and had gotten more than halfway through my second $100. I was playing looser than I should have, staying in with hands like T9 offsuit. Realizing this, I tightened up my play, and about half an hour later, sitting on the button, I was dealt As Kd. Four others had called before me for $5, plus the big and small blinds. I raised to $10.

I've mentioned to some of you that the RealTimeGaming tables seem to have a lot of loose agressive players, so my bet here was meant to scare out those who might be trying to limp in with T3 suited or something ("but it's sooooooted!") and to raise the value of the pot. Only the small blind is scared out, the rest of the players call, and the pot is at $63.

The flop is Qs Ad Ah.

Big blind checks. "Cake", a good strong player, bets $5. The next two players (who I've seen winning and losing pots with crappy hands they hold to the end) bet $5, as does the player to my right, who talks like a pro but whose small stack doesn't show it. I raise to $10. The pot is at $93. Big blind folds. Cake folds. The other three call, bringing the pot to $108.

The turn is 9c.

The three other players check. I hesitate for almost my full 30 second limit to imply that I'm thinking hard. I bet $10. The two weak players call, the "pro" folds. The pot is at $138.

The river is 2h.

Check, check. I bet $10. One of the weak players folds. The other calls. I win the $158 pot with As Ad Ah Kd Qs.

"I could have played that in my sleep," says the player to my left. I yawn.

The very next hand, I'm dealt AK suited, with which I win another big pot with a pair of kings. This makes my net winnings for the night $130, which I then parlay into $179 at the Pontoon table (a 0.17% house edge!). It was a good night.

The rumor in the poker game chat was that Phil Ivey was playing at the $200/$400 table and had just taken a 21-year-old for $31,000. too bad I didn't get a chance to watch that.

Found it log for Way To Go (Traditional Micro)

Way to Go! by NLS

November 5
By road, this is the closest cache to my (temporary) house (LOTR is closer as the crow flies), and I've taken far too long to come down to find it. But today, I had the opportunity. While Dragonfli attended a meeting at Pierce, Geogrrrl and I decided to hunt for this one. I'd plotted it on the maps last week, so knew pretty much the area it would be in. In other words, I knew it would be close to the cheapest delivery pizza (in cents per square inch) in Lakewood. Pacific Pizza makes huge, cheap, tolerable pizzas. Order one of their giants, and you'll have enough to feed yourself for a couple of days.

I parked there, and gave Geogrrrl the GPS. As soon as she started following the arrow, I knew where the cache was going to be. I've hidden a cache in a very similar location.

No muggles today, although we did have to dismissively wave on one vehicle that slowed down to gawk at us. Found the cache (good thinking on the attachment!) and signed the log. Thanks for the hunt!

We had a bit more time left, so I scoped out another little-known park for a possible future hide. Thanks for giving me something to do other than sit in the car and sing Duran Duran songs at the top of my lungs for an hour.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Log by travisl for Piety Flats Micro Cache (Traditional Cache)

No-Find Log by travisl for Piety Flats Micro Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl couldn't find Piety Flats Micro Cache (Traditional Cache)

Searched for a few minutes, but there were enough bees around to keep me from searching too thoroughly. After talking to someone about this at the Tri-Cities Cache Machine event, it turns out it was exactly where I figured the bees' nest was, and that there was no bees' nest. Oh well. Maybe next time through.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Log by travisl for Above the Clouds (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Above the Clouds (Traditional Cache):

travisl couldn't find Above the Clouds (Traditional Cache)

Just another sunny day to climb Mount Doom. Me, my brother Trestin Baggins, my daughter's gaffer, and Kevin Gamgee left the shire ''Bivouac'' (where Trestin got soaked in his hammock, Kevin got drenched in his tent, and the gaffer and I stayed mostly warm in the Jimmy Inn) at around 7:30, and began our ascent.

It started innocently enough, a light uphill stroll through the woods. Just after the junction with the road to the legendary hamlet of Loowit, however, I think one of those dementor thingies must've swooped up behind me and started sucking the air out of me.

(Wait, that's a Harry Potter critter. I'm mix master massacring my metaphors. Feh.)

I felt a little dizzy, and a little nauseous, but it went away quickly. By this point, Frodo and Gamgee were already ascending the rocks, I'm sure, but the gaffer and I were taking it slow.

(I should mention that other cachers, like Nolenator the Gray and Hermione Forest Monkey were already way ahead of us; Shunra, son of Mountain Goats, passed us soon thereafter.)

At crossing 1, Baggins and Gamgee were sitting their waiting for us, and we made cell calls home to our loved ones to let them know that we'd started the climb, and that the top of Mount Doom was just a few posts and about 3000 vertical feet to go.

The two of them then vaulted ahead of the gaffer and I, while the two of us slowly, painstakingly, gruelingly made it from post to post to post. Finally, at the spot on the map written in ancient times by the ancient wizard Moun10HorseCart where we clearly should have seen a giant ''C'' on the ground (in the middle of the word ''VOLCANIC''), I called up to the hobbits ahead to go on without me. ''Go for it, Frodo, I'm stayin here. I'm no Samwise.'' My legs were rubber, my head was hurting, and each step I took felt like I was going to collapse.

The gaffer convinced me to climb up two more posts, to about 6075 feet, where I rested behind a wind-breaking large rock for two hours while he made it to cache elevation. I cowered like a mountain troll, frightening climbers who stumbled across me as I stared out over the valley, watching clouds be birthed, swirl in the updrafts, and dissipate. Still hazy from the climb, I did double takes across the valley at rocks that looked like a space alien kid and his mother, a bush that looked like a midget indian medicine man doing jumping jacks on his back, and at two baseball caps that flew off the heads of hikers passing by. I kept expecting to see a nazgul or something rise beside the aptly-named 5994 Peak, but no, just more swirling clouds and illusionary rocks.

Towards the end of my rest, two other travelers stopped for a bit of a chat. They asked if I was a christian, and to keep things simple and avoid being preached to, I said yes. As they left, they asked if I had any extra water, because they'd only packed one quart between the two of them. I gave them the third of my four flasks, and wished them on their way. Soon thereafter, the gaffer returned, and I began my descent down the mountain, my legs shaking with every step down.

We took a few breaks on the way to the forest, and another in the meadow, where Baggins caught up with us. He and the gaffer continued on, and I strolled out on a mental auto-pilot, quaffing down the last of my final flask of water on the way. I made it back to the shire at about 4:00, and Gamgee emerged from the woods soon thereafter.

This was easily the toughest hike I've ever attempted -- and that includes a 50+ mile hike across the north Olympics back when I was eleventy-six years old. This also gave me the greatest feeling of accomplishment of any cache I've hunted, even though I didn't get that far. Thanks for hiding this one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

No find log by travisl for I Believe in Angles (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

Log by travisl for I Believe in Angles (Unknown (Mystery) Cache):

travisl couldn't find I Believe in Angles (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

I had to pick Dragonfli and Geogrrrl up at the airport today, and with lots of time to spare, decided to hit this cache. As I got close, the hiding spot was obvious: obviously somewhere my allergic self didn't want to go. I chalked it up as a DBL, decided I'd take another frownie, and headed back to the car.

I drove to the airport, scoped out the area I'd need to pick them up, and wondered what I'd do with the next 45 minutes. Soon, I found myself back at the cache area, on my hands and knees, searching. 60 seconds, no luck. I went back to the car to get a flashlight, and as I approached the cache location again, I was surprised that I'd managed to not step in, kneel in, or set my geopack on the dozens of dog logs scattered around the area. I set my pack down carefully, searched for another two minutes or so, itched and scratched, looked a few seconds more, picked up my left contact lens that had popped out and fallen on the ground, then gave up, went to a nearby water source to wash up, and went back to the car and itched for the next 40 minutes while I listened to some right wing wacko radio talk show host talk about the president's leadership skills. I hate that stuff. The foliage stuff, that is.

The cache is probably still there. I just didn't spend a lot of time looking for it.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Found log by TravisL for Project Amnesia / Forgotten Quarry by The Gold-Diggers

TravisL found Project Amnesia / Forgotten Quarry Yabba dabba dooooo!

Cachers
Meet the cachers
They're the modern geek camraderie

Near the
Town of Adna
We continued down to the quarry

Someday
Maybe Fred is back on site
Then he
Can blast rocks with dynamite

When you're
With the cachers
You'll have a yabba dabba doo time
A Scooby Dooish time
You'll have a gay, old, tiiime.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that.) ;)

Log by travisl for Geocahe Potluck (Event cache)

Log by travisl for Geocahe Potluck (Event Cache):

travisl found Geocahe Potluck

A slightly smaller crowd than I expected, but all nice folks. I had a good time commisserating about baggies in floating logs, hanging on cliff faces on frayed ropes, and the uncanny ability of spouses to point out the cache after we've searched for 90 minutes.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

New cache page by TravisL: Tri-Cities Cache Machine

I've just written up the cache page for the Tri-Cities Cache Machine (in south central Washington), which should be approved and posted this weekend. The discussion thread is started, and I've posted the first draft of the route (a 1.2M .pdf). The event is on September 25, starting in Kennewick.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Found log by travisl for Dipping in the Wynoochee (Traditional Cache)

Found log for Dipping in the Wynoochee

I'd read in the forums that this was a nice cache, so when I asked Geocaching.com ''well, froggy girl, what caches are closest to our annual summer campout site this year?'', I was very happy to see this one come up as number 2. I met with Ironman on Thursday, and he gave me some tips on getting this one, so on Friday afternoon (August 20), after a very l-o-n-g drawn out game of Battlemist, five of us (Dragonfli, Smokey55, myself, and two neo-cachers) decided to go for it.

Finding the parking spot was a piece o' cake, what with the photo and everything. I let neo-cacher Phil drive little yellow to the pool, and he correctly directed us to the top of the falls. Dragonfli read the hint and spotted the item mentioned. Neo-cacher Roy was the first across the log. I followed, then Phil, Smokey55, and Dragonfli. We all balanced; none of us fell in, yet.

I found the ''trail'' up, Phil found a good direct path once we were up there, and I found the cache container. So much moss and greenery, I joked to Phil, in my absolute worst Irish accent, ''Please be careful, laddy, notta step on the little people.''

I signed the log for the five of us, and we retraced our steps back. Phil, Smokey55, and I took a side trail to look at the falls and held ourselves against a good sized alder for balance, so that we wouldn't plummet into the pool. Soon, we all walked across the log, and none of us fell in, although I had a nervous moment on the large step down next to the MGD can.

We explored the top of the falls, and realized that we were fortunate that Wyle E. Coyote wasn't a member of our search team. You know how in the Road Runner cartoon, the coyote will stand at the edge of a deeply undercut cliff, and the entire end of the cliff will fall out underneath him? When we were looking down at the pool resting against the tree, we were in a similar spot. So that's why the ground was so soft!

The other four decided to go down the falls billy-goat style, while I, being older (not really) and wiser (not really) went down the way we'd come. We all reached the bottom at the same time, no injuries.

It's a very cool spot. Thanks for taking us here.

Found log by travisl for Ring of Fire (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Ring of Fire:

travisl found Ring of Fire

Eep... it's a two-logger... I'd had plans to camp at Coho Campground for about six months now, and when I saw this cache go disabled, I fired off an e-mail to Ironman to see if I could get special permission to hunt this one. The geocaching gods were smiling on me, as it turned out that he was working and temporarily living less than half a mile from my campsite. I like it when that happens.

We agreed to meet at 5:30 on the 12th. At 6:08 on the 12th, with my brain already on island time, my brother showed up at the site and asked ''So, how'd your 5:30 meeting go?'' I was out of there like a shot, but at 6:15, with Ironman nowhere to be found, I knew I'd stood him up. I hate it when that happens.

About an hour later, though, a strange guy shows up at the campsite, and my ears perk up when I hear him mention my name to one of my 21 camping buddies. We talked for a good 45 minutes about caches, he explained why it was temporarily disabled, and gave me the option of trying to find it anyway. Ironman, you rock. I like it when that happens.

I hit ''Dipping in the Wynoochee'' on the 13th, and decided to go after this one on the 14th. My dad (who's found a few caches with me before), and the two neo-cachers who went with me to ''Dipping'' (Roy and Phil) came along. It took us three wrong turns before we found the right road, and after navigating past an obstacle that was easily bypassed, we parked less than 300 horizontal feet from the cache. Thanks, CCC, for the parking coordinates. I like it when that happens.

A few minutes later, we find the rope, and begin our decent. My dad decides to stay up top, I guess in case he needed to go get rescue helicopters or something, if we were to decide to let go of the rope and land on our heads in the river 140 feet below. I hate it when that happens.

The decent is mildly challenging, although pretty much uneventful, except for the point where I almost swing too far over the edge, where I'd be swaying gently in the breeze like a big flailing piƱata. I hate it when that happens.

Fortunately, I found my footing and continued my decent to the train car. Roy arrived shortly after I did, and Phil perched himself just above us, looking out for who-knows-what. Rabid flying wombats, perhaps. Roy and I searched for about 15 minutes, I stood on the very back of the train car and experienced a sense of vertigo like I haven't had in months (I love it when that happens), and after a bit more searching, Roy found it. His first find! There's a bunch of really neat themed items in the cache, but I TNLN and signed the log for the three of us. I like it when that happens.

We then explored the riverbank for a few minutes, and my thoughts turned back to a true story that my late grandfather told me about this very trestle… back in the 40's, he and his buddies were out drinking and hunting and drinking and drinking some more. The sun was beginning to get low in the sky, and it was time to start thinking about heading home.

This canyon is pretty long, and pretty deep, and there's not a lot of ways across. Their car was on one side, and the trip home was a good couple hours drive or more. If they could just get the car to across, it'd save them a bunch of time.

''We could drive across the trestle,'' joked his buddy. They all laughed, and decided that it was a stupid idea. It'd only work if they drank a bit more. So they did, and the sun got lower, and a train went by, and they drank some more, and suddenly the idea didn't seem so stupid. So two guys got behind the car, two got along side, and slowly, they pushed the car bit by bit across the trestle, stopping every now and then to take another drink, listen for the train, or take another drink. They finally made it across, got it to the road, and heard the train go by again shortly thereafter. It's a wonder my dad was ever born :-)

For my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, my parents gave them a beautiful drawing of a lumber train barreling across the trestle. It was very cool.

And so was this cache. Thanks for bringing me to this neat spot, to my first 5-star terrain cache, and to a piece of family history I'd never seen.

I love it when that happens.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Archived My Cache log by travisl for Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache)

Archive log by travisl for Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache):

travisl archived Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache)

Gone it is. Missing it is. Muggled, it has been. Replaced, it will not be.

Five cache containers have lived in this park. Only one remains. Go find ''Acorn for Kids'' GCJ11F instead. It's in the same park, other side.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

No-find log by travisl for CWB (Traditional Cache)

No-find log by travisl for CWB (Traditional Cache):

travisl couldn't find CWB (Traditional Cache)

My company's envelope vendor takes us on a lake or harbor cruise every SeaFair, and this year's was today, leaving from a dock just east of this cache. I had about half an hour to look before the boat left, so decided to hunt this one.

The boats are really neat, including some of them undergoing some extensive work. I had trouble finding the Sharpie, but talked to the cute girl behind the counter, who showed me where it had moved to.

Neat area. Thanks a bunch for getting me out here.

Finding the cache, on the other hand, was something I decided not to put a lot of effort into. I glanced around for a few minutes, checked a couple obvious spots, but really Didn't Bother Looking (DBL), because the area was strewn with trash and spider webs, smelled strongly of creosote, and I wasn't really dressed for a dirty hunt.

Thanks for the hunt!

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Note by travisl for Phatboyz Not Vine Time but Close (Traditional Cache)

Note by travisl for Phatboyz Not Vine Time but Close (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for Phatboyz Not Vine Time but Close (Traditional Cache)

The park was wall-to-wall people on this sunny Sunday afternoon. Dragonfli, Geogrrrl, and I stopped here to have a picnic, and afterwards I decided to see if I could find the cache again, without actually touching it, since I didn't want to draw attention to it. I found where the letterbox used to be, but I didn't find the cache container itself. It might still be there, though, 'cause I didn't look really hard.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Found Log by Bellevue Bomb Squad for Bird Cage (Multi-cache)

(Not my log, but thought I'd share)

Log by MarcusArelius for Bird Cage (Multi-cache):

MarcusArelius posted the bomb squad's log for his Bird Cage Multi-cache

7-2-04

Sorry about the damage to the box. Citizen reported it as suspicious and we'd needed to get inside.

Bellevue bomb squad!
Case # 048-7379

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Find log by travisl for Because there *is* a CITO in "procrastination!" (Traditional Cache)

Find log by travisl for Because there *is* a CITO in "procrastination!" (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Because there *is* a CITO in 'procrastination!' (Traditional Cache)

My little yellow Etrex was giving me fits, with about 50 foot accuracy (''Bird 11, come in bird 11. Bird 11, where are you?''), so I thank you for the useful hints. I still had a bit of trouble figuring which side of the trail to investigate, and how to get the last 25 feet or so, but managed fairly quickly.

The cache was very obvious to anyone who looked, which also made it an easy find. I normally TNLN, but the poster of the geocats was so cute -- I knew GeoGrrrl would love it -- so I left a package of bicycle spoke beads in exchange for it.

As I hopped back onto the main trail, I scared the bejeebees out of a pink-clad female bicyclist who was zipping downhill. I know I don't understand the physics involved, but somehow a 5'6'' woman was able to jump 10 feet out of her seat while doubling her pedaling rate. I think she might have had mutant stretchy legs or something.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Found it log by travisl for Cache at Pooh Corner - the Rehide (Multi-cache)

Log by travisl for Cache at Pooh Corner - the Rehide (Multi-cache)

travisl found Cache at Pooh Corner - the Rehide (Multi-cache)

Much like a role playing game (I'm thinking of Neverwinter Nights, but any RPG will do), this cache hunt seemed like the person running the game wanted me to meet fascinating people and either get information from them, have them send me on a quest, or kill them. Fortunately, I suck at RPGs and don't like playing them, and I didn't actually communicate with any of the people along the way. But if I did, it would go something like this:

GM: You are on a road on the outskirts of a grassy park in a residential suburb of anywhere, USA. Although it's hot and sunny, a cool breeze makes it bearable. The sign you are looking for is here. So is your car.

Me: I follow the instructions on the cache page. I approach from the south.

GM: What's your intelligence? OK, no need to roll for this one. You have the next set of coordinates.

Me: I walk through the park to get to the coordinates.

GM: About halfway through the park you see two 12-year-old black kids. They're facing away from you and don't see you. Every few seconds, a cloud of smoke rises from them.

Me: Can I see what they're smoking?

GM: It looks like a fat cigarette.

Me: I warn them of the hazards of smoking. ''Hey, you two! I'm not a cop or anything, but that stuff isn't good for you.''

GM: They're startled to see you. They run into the woods. What do you do?

Me: I continue to the next coordinates.

GM: OK, you continue through the park without incident. You reach another road, turn north, and reach your next waypoint.

Me: I do the math.

GM: No need to roll for this one. You did it and have the final coordinates.

Me: I go to the next waypoint.

GM: The tree cover is making your GPS unreliable, but after overshooting it by a few feet, you find the right spur trail. It's overgrown, but usable.

Me: I go down the trail and try to find the cache.

GM: Roll for initiative.

Me: I rolled a 10.

GM: You go down the trail, but when you're about 20 feet from the cache, you're confronted by a large white guy. Shaved head, gold chain, white T-shirt. He doesn't seem to be doing anything other than standing in the middle of the overgrown trail.

Me: Do I recognize him as a geocacher?

GM: No. He doesn't have paperwork or a GPS visible. He attacks you.

Me: I cast magic missle.

GM: At the darkness?

Me: No, at the guy attacking me.

GM (rolling dice): You've wounded him, and he runs away, the way you came in.

Me: I continue to the cache.

GM: What's your search skill?

Me: It's low. It's at one.

GM (rolls dice): You search for a few minutes, but don't find the cache.

Me: I decode the hint.

GM (rolls dice): OK, you've found the cache.

Me: I sign the log, take nothing and leave nothing, and replace it. I then head back to the car.

GM: OK. As you approach the road again, you encounter the big white guy again. Roll for initiative.

Me: I rolled a 9.

GM: He has the initiative. He swings and misses.

Me: I cast ''hold person''.

GM: It works. He's not moving.

Me: I go back to my car.

GM: As you re-enter the park, you see an old asian woman is sitting on the sidewalk. She has two white plastic grocery bags in front of her. She's rummaging through one of them.

Me: I ask her if she needs any help.

GM: As you approach her, a wide grin spreads across her furrowed face. ''Yes, you may,'' she says in a croaking voice. ''A few months ago, as I was hobbling through this park, a hawk swooped down upon me and took a stuffed duck I was carrying home to my grandaughter. Every day since, I've come here hoping to see the hawk so I could ask him to return it. Could you find him and get my duck back?''

Me: ''Nah, I need to go get lunch.''

GM: The woman reaches into her pocket, pulls out a wand, and points it at you. Make a saving throw against curses.

Me (rolling dice): I roll a 12.

GM: Not good enough. A bolt of crimson light flies out of the tip of her wand. You feel your vision become hazy, then clear up again. Let me see your character sheet. (I hand him my sheet. He erases a number.)

Me: Hey, I've lost my search skill entirely.

GM: Sorry. When you look up, the old woman is gone.

Me: OK, I head back to my car.

GM: When you're almost there, you hear singing through the woods. It sounds like a ten-year-old boy, trying to sing an opera.

Me: Do I recognize the song?

GM: What's your arcane knowledge skill?

Me (grinning): It's at 8.

GM: It's the theme song from Disney's ''Teacher's Pet'' cartoon.

Me (the grin replaced by a look of terror): I run to the car.

GM: OK, you make it. You get 200 XP for this mission. Unfortunately, you also have that song running through your head for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

No-find log by travisl for Where is George after all? (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Where is George after all? (Traditional Cache):

travisl couldn't find Where is George after all? (Traditional Cache)

No luck here today; add me to the stack of purple frownies. After looking for about 20 minutes, I decided that it probably used to be in the first hidey-hole I looked in, and, having brought a 3-inch-long IKEA pencil to leave in the cache as per Geo Pirate's request, left it in the hiding spot intead. There was also a snail shell in the spot with the pencil.

Interestingly, the coordinates at the top of the page are what my GPS read when I was at the (speculative) cache site for a while; The Jester's coordinates were the ones my GPS pointed to as I approached the cache area. I think there may be some signal reflection going on in there. I'll watch this one to see if anyone else (including the cache owner) is able to find it.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Maintenance report by travisl for Pot o' Gold (Traditional Cache)

Maintenance report for Pot o' Gold (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for Pot o' Gold (Traditional Cache)

Stopped by at lunch time to meet The Leprechauns and do a maintenance run. Daddy Leprechaun and I chatted about his recent adventure in Nashville (240 caches in one 24 hour period? Wow!), our dislike for lame micros, and our gratitude to Criminal for coming up with the legendary Frisbee analogy. Little Lep weaseled a hint out of me, Wander Lost had a bit of trouble re-finding it, and Little Lost One let me hold his gorp.

No cache maintenance was needed; it was well hidden, well stocked, and just where I left it. Cachers around here rock -- the cache was placed in April '03, and I've gone to maintain it three times (August '03, January '04, and today). All three times, no maintenance was needed. No trash. Not out in the open. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Somebody remind me again why we need to maintain these things? ;-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Travel Bug note by travisl for #1 (Traditional Cache)

Travel Bug note by travisl for #1 (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for #1 (Traditional Cache)

That's so very cool that my most successful TB ever (Little Bad Blue Hat Duck), whose final goal is to make it back up to his home cache south of Tacoma, is now in a cache that I visited two weeks ago. He's so close!

Replacement cache log by travisl for The Day I Went to the Sound and the Water Was Gone (Traditional Cache)

Replacement cache by travisl for The Day I Went to the Sound and the Water Was Gone (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for The Day I Went to the Sound and the Water Was Gone (Traditional Cache)

It's back. I replaced the old Lock-N-Lock with a largish ammo can, and stuffed it full of goodies, like a keychain barrel o' monkeys, a ceramic jewelry box, stuffed critters, a whistling keychain finder thing, a baseball cap, and a Where's George dollar.

It's hidden pretty well; please rehide it better than you found it, and check both angles when you leave to be sure it's not visible.

Today was a nice warm blue sky Tuesday lunch hour, although the tide was in fairly far but on its way out. Nobody else in the park today. They missed a gorgeous view of the sound.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Note by travisl for Seventeen Pedestals (Traditional Cache)

Note by travisl for Seventeen Pedestals (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for Seventeen Pedestals (Traditional Cache)

There shouldn't be a bag around the cache container. Thanks, folks, but CUT THAT OUT! Bags -- as is obvious from this one -- get holes in them, and just serve to hold water near the cache container. Could the next person out there trash out the bag? Thanks.

Missing cache log by travisl for The Day I Went to the Sound and the Water Was Gone (Traditional Cache)

Missing cache log by travisl for The Day I Went to the Sound and the Water Was Gone (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for The Day I Went to the Sound and the Water Was Gone (Traditional Cache)

Sounds like it's missing, since it should be fairly easy to find. I'll replace it later this week.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Note by travisl for Born on the 4th... (Traditional Cache)

Note by travisl for Born on the 4th... (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for Born on the 4th... (Traditional Cache) I've been known to DNF caches that I've found before, but the area that the cache was in is now pretty cleared out (by cachers, I suspect), and there isn't a trace of the cache anywhere near where I'd found it before.

It was hidden pretty well in a spot I wouldn't figure any muggle would be, so it surprises me that it's gone. Then again, there's a fresh looking MGD can a few feet away, so maybe someone came a-drinkin' and T: Cache L: Beer can.

Note by travisl for Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache)

Note by travisl for Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache)

Just checked it; it's still there. It is further back along a geo-trail than it used to be; I'm changing the westing from W 122° 17.528 to W 122° 17.522 to account for that, although I'm not sure it's that far back.

I'll up the terrain from 1½ stars to 2 stars, because it's gotten pokeyer in the last month.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Find log by travisl for A Dicey Hunt (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

Log by travisl for A Dicey Hunt (Unknown (Mystery) Cache):

travisl found A Dicey Hunt (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

I think I can see the cache location from Montana!

Easy find with the new coordinates. Remember last week I said that I was 45 feet away from a spot that warranted further examination. Yes, it was there, of course. My GPS today said I was 10 feet away (well within tolerance), so add that to the 45 feet, and you get awfully close to the 57 foot difference ( http://www.airways.com/java/coordcalc.html is cool, but won't help with this puzzle) between the old and new coordinates. Yay!

Stickered the log, TNLN, and had enough time for lunch.

A word of advice: if you don't drive away at a traffic light, be really careful and be ready to punch the accelerator -- cars show up way too fast for a safe left turn here. The geoSaturn was just a few feet away from having its plastic panels becoming really big travel bugs. Whew.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Log by travisl for PDX Airport Travel Bug Lounge (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for PDX Airport Travel Bug Lounge (Traditional Cache):

travisl found PDX Airport Travel Bug Lounge (Traditional Cache)

One of the reasons I enjoy geocaching, and why I do Cache Machine events, is to see a lot of neat places.

This is definitely a neat place.

Thanks for bringing me out here. Our small group of five was surprised there was nobody living in here. Before entering, we declared ourselves to be the fire department, just in case we were about to spook anyone.

I wonder if there's a spot like this near O'Hare? I'll have to check in a couple weeks.

Log by travisl for Cascades Pkwy (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Cascades Pkwy (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Cascades Pkwy (Traditional Cache)

Only five of us left McMenamins Edgefield at 4:30 a.m., and got here at about 4:45. A muggle, who turned out to be the non-muggle Grandpa Rocks, was sitting at the cache site waiting for us.

The five of us searched for a few minutes, and I greatly amused Grandpa Rocks by stepping on the cache but not realizing it, and searching some more. He know knows why I'm the self-declared king of DNFs.

Log by travisl for Kane Cache II (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Kane Cache II (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Kane Cache II (Traditional Cache)

My GPS was all over the place in here, and I'd actually kicked the stump ten minutes before someone else found it. A good end to a great caching day.

Log by travisl for Woodland Pond (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Woodland Pond (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Woodland Pond (Traditional Cache)

We drove as close as we could to the cache, then gave up and asked some locals in their driveway where the park was. Found the park, and walked towards the cache.

But... the bridge is over there...

But... the bridge is over there...

But... the bridge is over there...

Oh.

Found it.

Log by travisl for Bartfam's Barton (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Bartfam's Barton (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Bartfam's Barton (Traditional Cache)

There's many ways to come up with the approximate number of people who participated in a cache machine. One way could be to ask the construction people on the west side of the bridge how many people did a U-turn in the construction zone, and then multiply that number by 3, the average number of cachers per car.

We never saw a parking kiosk, and were never asked to pay. Strange.

Quick find, and by the time we got there, the three girls must've been used to strange folks heading into the woods.

Log by travisl for The Deputy's Loot (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for The Deputy's Loot (Traditional Cache):

travisl found The Deputy's Loot (Traditional Cache)

Wow -- easy to find parking, nice stroll, quick find, we'd lost the rest of our group... and still plenty of daylight left.

I thought that this would be, like, the busiest park on the planet on a hot summer weekend like this, but there was nobody here. That's before I visited the next cache at Barton Park, which is much, much more popular.

Log by travisl for Un-Original Stash (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Un-Original Stash (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Un-Original Stash (Traditional Cache)

Not a 1/1, but my smaller group found it nonetheless. I was looking about 50 feet away fro where it was eventually found.

Log by travisl for ORIGINAL STASH TRIBUTE PLAQUE (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

Log by travisl for ORIGINAL STASH TRIBUTE PLAQUE (Unknown (Mystery) Cache):

travisl found ORIGINAL STASH TRIBUTE PLAQUE (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

My 744th find.

Hope I don't offend anyone with this (if I do, let me know and I'll delete this log and replace it with something much more boring), but as this is the geocaching mecca...

''In the name of Ulmer, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Ulmer. Oh Jeremy, forgive me my DNFs and open to me the caches of your site. I seek refuge in Jeremy the Almighty and in the Eminent GPS signals, and in His Eternal Dominion from the accursed heavy tree coverage.''

That's it. One bus ticket to hell, please.

Log by travisl for Clackamas River Side (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Clackamas River Side (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Clackamas River Side (Traditional Cache)

OK, I'm on my way to the cache, and I have the option of taking a well-trodden dirt trail along the edge of the woods, or walking along the riverbank on those round shingle-stones. The deciding factor?

I swing around the end of the fence, and survey the teeming mass of park patrons (ok, there was about 20 of them). All of the babes are either too young or too porcine -- I take the dirt trail.

Nice stroll, nice river, nice quick find.

Log by travisl for I hate the Railroad: Chandler Pond Troll (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for I hate the Railroad: Chandler Pond Troll (Traditional Cache):

travisl found I hate the Railroad: Chandler Pond Troll (Traditional Cache)

We parked at the best parking spot available, although we didn't know it at the time. I asked a guy working there if we could park there, and he said it was OK. He also told us that the telephone poles that used to be here, and that were now loaded onto the back of a trailer, had been taken down and the lines buried as part of a railroad beautification project.

I asked him if there was a park nearby, and he said that it was best accessed from the transfer station up the road.

I drove up there, thought better of parking at the dump, and did a circuitous roundabout U-turn through the Home Depot parking lot. Exiting, I illegally went straight through the intersection to go to the dump, and whoever was behind me nearly got T-boned.

Sorry 'bout that.

At the dump, it looked like I could either pay or bail out, so I did another U-turn in the dump entry road, and threw Right Wing Wacko out of the car, while I drove back to the starting point.

The guy who had been there earlier was gone, revealing a trailhead. Doh!

A quick stroll to the cache, which RWW had already found for us, stickered the log, and back to the car. That pond sure looks... um... like a pond next to a dump would be expected to look. Don't drink the water.

Log by travisl for Singer Creek Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Singer Creek Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Singer Creek Cache (Traditional Cache)

(I posted the following to the forums, too, edited slightly to make sense here.)

It's disappointing that this one is disabled, but as a member of one of the groups that did trespass briefly on the driveway, it's tough not to do just that if you end up on the wrong side of the creek. We parked in the correct spot, mistakenly walked down to the lower field, and were looking for a way uphill to get to the cache location. From the lower field, the driveway looks no different than the paved path -- although it's not connected to the path -- and there were no signs visible from that approach indicating that it's private property. The house isn't visible from there either. We assumed that it was part of the park, and that the driveway mentioned in the forums and on the page was further away.

As soon as we realized we were on the driveway (within 15 seconds of stepping onto it, which was when the beagle started barking and the beagle's owner pointed out our mistake), we backtracked and approached from the upper field (which, from where we parked, wasn't the intuitive approach, and we were surprised that it even existed once we found it). As we got to within 50 feet of the cache area, we could see the driveway and ''private property'' signs, and the beagle began to bark again. We didn't approach the property boundary this time, and found the cache.

I'm sure if I was hunting this one myself, I'd have made the exact same mistake.

Disabling the cache may be a good idea. A better idea may be if the property owner places signage or other markings indicating the property boundary.

I suspect this isn't much different of a case than when a nearby homeowner was upset with the cars coming and going in their cul de sac, in spite of the fact that the public trail access to a public park was located next to their house. (I think this was the ''Elbow Room'' cache, but I'm not certain of it). Some folks don't like when we use public property next to their private property, especially if our presence sets their dogs into barking fits.

Log by travisl for We Mean Business (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for We Mean Business (Traditional Cache):

travisl found We Mean Business (Traditional Cache)

Good thing I parked when I did. If I'd continued on through the tunnel like I was about to, I've got no idea how I'd get back here. I was going to leave cards for other folks, but when I saw the envelope marked ''Portland Cache Machine'', I knew we could each take one. Classy; thanks.

Neat area. Too bad we didn't have time to sit and vegetate on sturgeon, nor perform surgery on vegetables.

Log by travisl for I Hate Jocks (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for I Hate Jocks (Traditional Cache):

travisl found I Hate Jocks (Traditional Cache)

This is the kind of cache that's perfect for cache machine events. A quick stroll through a little-known park with varying terrain and a cache at the end.

Even better, on the way back from the cache, my group of six took a wrong turn, and went about 100 feet down the wrong trail, before we all said ''I don't remember that blue building,'' backtracked, and chose the right path back to the car. This was the only cache of the two-day event where I switched over to my track log to make sure we were going the right way.

Thanks for this cool hunt. It was one of my favorites of the weekend.

Log by travisl for The Wilds of West Linn (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for The Wilds of West Linn (Traditional Cache):

travisl found The Wilds of West Linn (Traditional Cache)

Nice stroll, nice cache, nice shade.

Log by travisl for Last Minute Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Last Minute Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Last Minute Cache (Traditional Cache)

Wow -- right on schedule, so it's a good time to hit the supplemental route to the PCM. This was the first one, and the southernmost point of the PCM. Good stuff.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Log by travisl for TONY'S SUPERHERO CACHE (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for TONY'S SUPERHERO CACHE (Traditional Cache):

travisl found TONY'S SUPERHERO CACHE (Traditional Cache)

I pulled into the parking lot, saw the fee notice, and was ready to drive out and skip this one, but other cachers pointed out that it should be a quick find among creek dwelling hotties, so I figured I'd take my chances that Oregon, like Washington, has a 15 minute bathroom break rule.

Started out looking too high, then too close to the creek. As with most caches this weekend, someone else found it, and I sticked the book. FWIW, I don't remember this book being full.

Log by travisl for Cee Dee's (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Cee Dee's (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Cee Dee's (Traditional Cache)

This one took a little while to find. I kept looking at the wagon, because it kinda sorta matched the hint.

Someone else found it; I stickered the log.

Log by travisl for ON THE WAY TO THE MALL#4 (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for ON THE WAY TO THE MALL#4 (Traditional Cache):

travisl found ON THE WAY TO THE MALL#4 (Traditional Cache)

To get the cache hidden on this level, do the following:

L, U, L, U, R, L, U, D, L, jump, R, L, U, U, U.

See? Easy find.

Log by travisl for ON THE WAY TO THE MALL #3 (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for ON THE WAY TO THE MALL #3 (Traditional Cache):

travisl found ON THE WAY TO THE MALL #3 (Traditional Cache)

This cache was neat for a couple of reasons. First, from about a half mile away, I could almost drive in a straight line to the cache, just following the arrow.

Secondly, we got to freak a mundane. I don't know her name, so I'll call her Eugenia.

Eugenia's had a rough day working retail. She's making minimum wage, she had to get up early, and she's forced to work eight hours a day at the Clackamas Town Center. Besides, she lives in Portland, which is enough to drive anyone to drink.

Her one joy during the day is her 30 minute lunch break, where on a sunny day, she can walk out to the far corner of the parking lot, sit in a sunny spot undisturbed, and read a cheezy novel with a buxom babe and Jeremy Irish on the cover.

Today is her unlucky day.

Five minutes after she began her decompression, she looks over her left shoulder to see a blue Saturn with a geocaching sticker in the rear window parking nearby. Looking forward, two people from another vehicle are approaching her authoritatively, moving quickly as if they're on a mission.

''Excuse me, ma'am,'' says one of them. ''Do you mind if...''

Something inside of her has snapped. She cuts him off with a shrill scream, and runs back to the safety of the food court.

I think Eugenia was back in the mall before we found the cache. Neat hide.

Log by travisl for ON THE WAY TO THE MALL (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for ON THE WAY TO THE MALL (Traditional Cache):

travisl found ON THE WAY TO THE MALL (Traditional Cache)

Right Wing Wacko, YeOldeImposter, his three kids, and I got to the cache area, and we all knew instantly where it was. There was a muggle getting into his truck nearby, and keeping the kids from accessing the cache before the muggle left was like trying to carry water in a seive. You stop one kid, and the other one tries to get it out.

We managed, somehow, and just as we got the cache, another truck pulled up. Fortunately, it was Kfam, who had made this his first stop of the day.

Stickered the log, said Hi and Bye to Kfam, and headed off to another way to the mall.

Log by travisl for Frogs and Fun (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Frogs and Fun (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Frogs and Fun (Traditional Cache)

My wife, Dragonfli, is a preschool teacher. In her classroom (well, in our house during the summer), is a tank containing moss, dirt, a water dish, a ceramic mushroom, and Mr. Toad. Mr. Toad eats crickets, and he apparently is none too bright, because we've been warned repeatedly that his crickets shouldn't be too big, because he'll choke and die on them.

Stupid toad.

He's the second toad, because the first one decided to stay on his heating stone for too long, and fried himself into a Toad Krispie.

Stupid toad.

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I found a toad in our front yard, hanging around the handle to a sprinkler. She caught him, stuffed him in a small cage, and stuck this cage into Mr. Toad's aquarium. I bet he won't last the month.

Stupid toads.

This cache was cool, though. Nice frog.

Log by travisl for An Oak Grove RV Park II (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for An Oak Grove RV Park II (Traditional Cache):

travisl found An Oak Grove RV Park II (Traditional Cache)

Wow. I'd been downplaying this stop, because I figured this might be a couple of carrot sticks, maybe a cooler of water, and some dry bread.

Wow. PB&J sandwiches (my favorite, although I don't have it nearly enough), cookies, veggies, candy, napkins, and a CapriSun. I haven't had a CapriSun in ages, and made a fool of myself by jabbing the straw all the way through the bag, instead of down into the bag. Of course, the four kids sitting around me knew exactly how to extract the liquid refreshment.

One advantage to this mangling of the pouch -- the bag doesn't turn into a bellows.

Oh, and the cache was right there, too, so I tossed my sticker in the log book.

Thanks SO much, for this way-greater-than-expected lunch stop.

Log by travisl for Tiger Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Tiger Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Tiger Cache (Traditional Cache)

I was tempted to drive all the way to the cache, but I'm not to confident in my backing-up skills, so I parked at the Y and walked in. Other cachers were already there, so I handed in my sticker and jogged back to the car. I tried to back into another cacher on the way out, but YeOldeImposter in his Insurance Cruiser stopped me in time.

How do you expect to sell insurance if you prevent accidents? And if I buy your insurance, do you accept million dollar bills?

Log by travisl for Return to Elk Rock Island (BONUS) (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Return to Elk Rock Island (BONUS) (Traditional Cache):

travisl couldn't find Return to Elk Rock Island (BONUS) (Traditional Cache)

Muahh hah hahhh... the evil DNF curse of TravisL strikes again.

Searched and searched and searched. Thank goodness this wasn't hidden in the desert out there, or we'd be dealing with cases of heat stroke.

Log by travisl for Return to Elk Rock Island (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Return to Elk Rock Island (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Return to Elk Rock Island (Traditional Cache)

''Welcome to Milwaukie's beautiful Spring Park. Hope you walked, or we'll tow your butt.''

Yeah, once we found the trailhead, parking was, well, non-existent, but that's never slowed down the great moving violation that is a cache machine before. I parked in a questionable spot, walked past a bunch of vehicles parked between ''no parking'' arrows, and followed the hordes down the trail. We found this one, then the Red Sea parted and we followed Moses across the desert to the first waypoint for the bonus cache.

When I got back to the car, two police cars were blocking both lanes of Sparrow Street. I hopped in my car, ready to make a quick getaway in case the tow truck showed up. It never did, and I followed one of the cops out of there to go the wrong way to the next cache.

Are U-turns at intersections legal in Portland?

Log by travisl for J.C. Pennies (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for J.C. Pennies (Traditional Cache):

travisl found J.C. Pennies (Traditional Cache)

Well, I picked the right side of the fence, after scaring the bejeebees out of some ducklings, and threatened to force the other dozen cachers to come around the fence as well, but in the end, we handed it back and forth.

Surprisingly, nobody fell into the creek. Too bad -- that would have been amusing.

Log by travisl for Ardy (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Ardy (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Ardy (Traditional Cache)

Kids are good to have around. They scare away pigeons. They make entertaining faces when they try to eat lutefisk. And they're low to the ground, so they can find caches like this easily.

One of the PCM kids found this one. Thank.

Log by travisl for W.T. Stickers (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for W.T. Stickers (Traditional Cache):

travisl found W.T. Stickers (Traditional Cache)

That's one herking huge w.t. I'm surprised that it's not blocked off by a fence to prevent some Osama wannabe from duct taping a rabid cat to one of the legs.

Log by travisl for Whole Grain Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Whole Grain Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Whole Grain Cache (Traditional Cache)

Whole Grain... hmmm... Right Wing Wacko and I, neither of whom have read the cache page, are debating what the cache will be like as we motor our way to the area. Shaped like a loaf of bread? In the middle of a wheat field?

Pretty close. I climbed down to get the cache, but someone else grabbed it before I got there. Handed them a sticker and went back to the car. It's getting warm out now.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Log by travisl for M.P. Coin Exchange (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for M.P. Coin Exchange (Traditional Cache):

travisl found M.P. Coin Exchange (Traditional Cache)

The group I was with found the cache, and having read the cache page, we attempted to swap out a coin for the one that was in there.

Suddenly, a piece of the cache container popped off and went flying a good ten feet away. The cache didn't have a log, so I just made a mental note of what the container was, and headed back to the car, while the others attempted to reassemble it.

Log by travisl for Lapel Pin Exchange (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Lapel Pin Exchange (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Lapel Pin Exchange (Traditional Cache)

Ran from the car to the cache.

Stickered it, and ran back.

Why do I have so much energy this morning? Must've been the Snapple.

Log by travisl for The Nikita Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for The Nikita Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl found The Nikita Cache (Traditional Cache)

Gee, this hiding spot seems familiar. Didn't I see one like this earlier this morning?

Log by travisl for Sparky (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Sparky (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Sparky (Traditional Cache)

Strange place for a cache, although the container's created. Not the kind of place I'd say ''thanks for showing me this neat spot,'' but I will say ''thanks for the neat cache.''

Log by travisl for Liquid Sunshine (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

Log by travisl for Liquid Sunshine (Unknown (Mystery) Cache):

travisl couldn't find Liquid Sunshine (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

Water from the San Francisco Bay area.

Cacher-as-plug from eastern Washington.

Me, from Tacoma.

Cache, broken.

DNF, from geocaching.com.

Log by travisl for P.M.G. Token Exchange (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for P.M.G. Token Exchange (Traditional Cache):

travisl found P.M.G. Token Exchange (Traditional Cache)

We were a few minutes behind the main part of the group, but apparently far enough behind them that the park gate was opened by the time we got there. A quick and easy find.

Log by travisl for Holly Ridge (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Holly Ridge (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Holly Ridge (Traditional Cache)

The gate was open, so I was able to drive all the way up to the top, where some guy had his trailer set up and an antenna spread all the way across the field, about 50 feet up, in a misguided attempt to contact the alien from Alpha Centauri who endorsed George Bush in the 2000 elections. At least, I think that's who he was talking to.

I grabbed a sheet of aluminum foil out of the trunk and built myself an impromptu hat, so that neither the alien nor the guy in the trailer would read my thoughts. This probably also interfered with my GPS signal, or my brain's processing of the signal, because I took a trek into the woods, back out of the woods, and back into the woods, before someone else found it.

Stickered the log, zig zagged back to the car (in case the aliens were trying to track me visually), and shot out of there like a bat out of Russ Davis' hands.

Log by travisl for Phaedra (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Phaedra (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Phaedra (Traditional Cache)

Climb up a slick ivy covered hill, or hike up a huge set of stairs and another half mile round trip? Blanked if I do, and blanked if I don't. So I took the long way, because I figured I was less likely to end up at Portland General Hospital if I went that way.

Went that way. Looked for quite a while. Finally, someone else found it a good 60 feet from where I'd been looking. Never saw the rock pile until the way out.

Log by travisl for Berry Dale Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Berry Dale Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Berry Dale Cache (Traditional Cache)

It's geocachers posing as muggles posing as geocachers posing as muggles! While the rest of my group distracted the mugglecachers, I, covertly disguised in my ''Muggle'' t-shirt, grabbed the cache, but was quickly caught, and suffered the wrath of The Wizard, who convinced me to sign the logbook and re-hide it.

Log by travisl for The Micro Park (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for The Micro Park (Traditional Cache):

travisl found The Micro Park (Traditional Cache)

I drove up.

I parked.

I turned off the ignition.

I grabbed my GPS and a sticker.

I got out of the car.

By now, my passenger had already gotten out of the car, found the cache, and was waiting for me to hand him my sticker so we could move on to the next one.

What a day.

Log by travisl for Larry's Lincoln Log Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Larry's Lincoln Log Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Larry's Lincoln Log Cache (Traditional Cache)

With the young Imposters running around, there was no chance for me to find it before they did. Thanks for the hunt.

Log by travisl for A Dicey Hunt (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

Log by travisl for A Dicey Hunt (Unknown (Mystery) Cache):

travisl couldn't find A Dicey Hunt (Unknown (Mystery) Cache)

I think I've got the coordinates (obscure, but simple), and they're in a good spot for a cache (a spot I've thought to myself ''there should be a cache back there''), but after 35 minutes of searching, it was time to give up and go back to work.

I built a little rock pile, both to show the next seeker where I was searching, or to aggravate the next seeker who thinks ''that's an unusual pile of rocks -- the cache must be there.''

I wasn't sure if this was a micro or a regular (I didn't print out the cache page), but now that I see it's a micro, there's one more spot I want to give further examination, although my GPS said I was 45 feet away at the time.

(There's another parking space that's a lot closer, if you don't mind increasing the terrain rating by half a star.)

Monday, June 28, 2004

Log by travisl for Paul Bunyan's Tylenol (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Paul Bunyan's Tylenol (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Paul Bunyan's Tylenol (Traditional Cache)

Sometimes, after a cache machine, when I'm logging finds, it's hard to remember specific caches. This cache, however, is definitely memorable. The perfect tie-in of unique container and great cache name.

I didn't need a Tylenol until Sunday morning, when the margarita from Saturday night had left it's traces in my head.

Log by travisl for GOD BLESS AMERICA (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for GOD BLESS AMERICA (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for GOD BLESS AMERICA (Traditional Cache)

Ahh.. now I remember. Big park. Really tall grass. I think one of YeOldImposter's kids found this one.

Log by travisl for GOD BLESS AMERICA (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for GOD BLESS AMERICA (Traditional Cache):

travisl found GOD BLESS AMERICA (Traditional Cache)

Hit this one on the PCM, but even though I'm looking at some of the photos, I'm not remembering it. Sorry :(

Log by travisl for the ONLY spot.... (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for the ONLY spot.... (Traditional Cache):

travisl found the ONLY spot.... (Traditional Cache)

Just when I think I've seen every way to hide a cache, one like this comes along. Very creative -- good jorb.

Log by travisl for Shambling Mound (GeoHack Encounter) (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Shambling Mound (GeoHack Encounter) (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Shambling Mound (GeoHack Encounter) (Traditional Cache)

GeoHack? Munchkin.

I attacked the Shambling Mound, but did so with the assistance of four other adventurers. I used my pointy hat of power to cast ''your shoe's untied,'' while my comrades attacked it with a Gentlemen's Club, a Swiss Army Polearm, a Hammer of Kneecapping, and a Limburger and Anchovy Sandwich.

The Shambling Mound was still winning, but then we bribed the cache owner with food, and it died instantly. Sadly, we had to split the treasure 30 ways, which gave me a logbook to sign, and that's it. Oh well.

Log by travisl for It's a Jungle Out There (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for It's a Jungle Out There (Traditional Cache):

travisl found It's a Jungle Out There (Traditional Cache)

It is a jungle in there! I followed a herd of monkeys to the cache.

Log by travisl for Rock Solid (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Rock Solid (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Rock Solid (Traditional Cache)

Once we got near the cache location, there was really only one spot it could be. In spite of that, someone else found it after I looked there. The curse of TravisL strikes again!

Log by travisl for Fairviews Wooden Wildlife (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Fairviews Wooden Wildlife (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Fairviews Wooden Wildlife (Traditional Cache)

Had to avoid the sprinklers, but made it across the cool bridge and down the trail and to the spot where the other cachers had already gathered. Stickered the logbook and speedwalked back to the car.

Log by travisl for Where there is a will, there is a (Airport) Way (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Where there is a will, there is a (Airport) Way (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Where there is a will, there is a (Airport) Way (Traditional Cache)

Saturn of Olympia
6/25/04 9:36 AM
Customer states he hears a clunk noise when accel around corners and over bumps. Road tested and confirmed noise. Found noise coming from hood support. Insolated and test drove again. No more noise heard. All operating as designed. Repair 1, Road and/or clip, hood support - replace.

----
Glad I did this yesterday, because today I took the geo-Saturn off-roading to get to this cache. The difference between road and grass out here is so fine as to be non-existent. Eventually, I and the others parked our cars and strolled to the cache.

On the way back, I tossed a rock into the pond. That's a lot of scum out there!

Log by travisl for #1 (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for #1 (Traditional Cache):

travisl found #1 (Traditional Cache)

Of all the caches on the PCM this weekend, this is the find that I feel the least proud of. Ripcord, if you think this shouldn't count as a real find, please delete my log, and I'll repost it as a no-find.

I arrived here at about 5:30 a.m., and the park wasn't due to be open until 8:00. No problem. He-who-shall-not-be-named jumped the fence, got the logbook from the cache, handed it through the fence, and I stickered it from there.

If Seth gets wind of this, I'll never live this one down. I'm so ashamed.

Log by travisl for Mental Floss (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Mental Floss (Traditional Cache): "

travisl found Mental Floss (Traditional Cache)

If this was an evil telephone pole cache, hidden discreetly yet obviously so that muggles would overlook it but cachers could spot it, then my GPS would have led me right to it, and I would have found it.

It wasn't, though, so somebody else got the find for our PCM sub-group. Bummer. Stickered the log then jaunted back to the car.

Log by travisl for G Dog1 (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for G Dog1 (Traditional Cache):

travisl found G Dog1 (Traditional Cache)

Gee, do you think the cache might be somewhere around where all those geocachers are parked? Maybe? It's an easy find when you drive up and RomulusNR is holding it.

Log by travisl for Althaus Forest (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Althaus Forest (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Althaus Forest (Traditional Cache)

Sadly, I know I did this one, and my navigator RightWingWacko logged it, but I don't remember anything about it. That's one of the hazards of doing a hundred caches in a weekend. Sorry :(

Log by travisl for Hidden Pond 1727 (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Hidden Pond 1727 (Traditional Cache):

travisl couldn't find Hidden Pond 1727 (Traditional Cache)

RightWingWacko and I drove all over the place looking for the park entrance, but eventually gave up so that we wouldn't be too far behind everyone else on the PCM. We talked about hitting it at the end of the route, but by then I was tired and wanted to take a shower instead. Maybe I'll get this next time I'm in Portland, whenever that is.

Log by travisl for Beaver Creek Canyon (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Beaver Creek Canyon (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Beaver Creek Canyon (Traditional Cache)

The sun was just coming up when we headed down to get this one on the PCM. After looking for about 10 minutes in the wrong spot, Pepper, who I knew was going to kill me when she saw the switchbacks in the trail, found it. I stickered the logbook and high tailed it out of there before she had the chance to take me out.

As I drove off, I waved to the lady in her fluffy white bathrobe who was standing in the driveway opposite the trailhead. She didn't look amused, but if I remember right, the park hours were dawn to dusk, and although the backlight on the Etrex was a necessity, it was clearly dawn.

Log by travisl for Star and Bird Bane (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Star and Bird Bane (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Star and Bird Bane (Traditional Cache)

4:34 a.m. What in the world am I doing here with 20 people at this ungodly hour?

Getting my 700th find, that's what.

The nearby cash machine made it a perfect start to the two day marathon that was the Portland Cache Machine.

Looks like the sun's just about up.

Log by travisl for Jared's Lacamas Park Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Jared's Lacamas Park Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl couldn't find Jared's Lacamas Park Cache (Traditional Cache)

This would have been my 700th find, but as it was, I'd driven down from Tacoma, checked into the hotel in Troutdale, hit two other caches on the way here, was quite exhausted on the hike back to the car from ''Watch Out For the Steeps'', and was hoping for an easy one. I saw the instructions about parking at the church, but mistakenly figured I'd be better off parking near the cemetery and walking in.

Nope. The cache was downhill, about 400 feet away. I wasn't willing to scramble down there, so I headed back into the cemetery, sat on a memorial bench surrounded by dozens of gravestones (why would someone's stone say 1948-1848?), and pondered my next plan of attack. There's five more caches in this park. Dinner's in three hours. I'm tired, and I'm gonna be doing two long days of caching on Saturday and Sunday. OK then; it's decided. Back to the hotel to take a nap.

Log by travisl for Don't Kiss & Cache (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Don't Kiss & Cache (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Don't Kiss & Cache (Traditional Cache)

The cache was only 45 feet away. Should I go for it? I take a step forward. It feels as if it could be my last. I head back to the car, and try to find another way in.

This one? No.

This one? No.

This one? No.

This one? Yep. Easy stroll. Found it, logged it, left it.

Log by travisl for Short and Sweet #4, Watch out for the "Steeps" (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Short and Sweet #4, Watch out for the "Steeps" (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Short and Sweet #4, Watch out for the 'Steeps' (Traditional Cache)

This cache would be amazingly cool to do on roller skates. And then, when woke up in the hospital, someone might bring you the logbook to sign.

Easy find; tough hike back to the car. Oy. Glad I had water. Wish I would have parked across the street from the trailhead.

Log by travisl for Gee Creek (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Gee Creek (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Gee Creek (Traditional Cache)

The third cache I ever found was at this rest area, which was also the first intact cache that Geogrrrl and Dragonfli ever found. This was way back on December 30, 2001. (visit link)

This cache is in a different area of the rest area, with a lot more nettles and a lot less underwear. I attempted to approach the cache from three different directions before finding a relatively painless way in.

Those spiders sure like building their webs in my way. Bleaugh.

Log by travisl for Road Rage #1 (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Road Rage #1 (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Road Rage #1 (Traditional Cache) With as many Portland Cache Machiners as found the cache at the Maytown southbound rest area about 40 miles north of here, I figured this logbook would be just as full.

Nope. I was the first one here today. It was a pretty easy find, after I ate a few spider webs and weaved through a bit of salal. Yum.

Log by travisl for I Hate I-5 (Stumped Again) (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for I Hate I-5 (Stumped Again) (Traditional Cache):

travisl found I Hate I-5 (Stumped Again) (Traditional Cache)

My first find on a very, very, very long weekend. I found the cache site, and as soon as I touched the baggie, I heard muggles approaching.

Quick. What would you do?

I grabbed it, jumped out of the bushes, and headed to a nearby table. The muggles spotted me, and said ''Hey, Travis!''

They weren't muggles. It was Pepper, Lucy, and Rickie. We signed the log and re-stashed the cache. Plenty of Portland Cache Machiners had already been by, and it was only about 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Log by travisl for Portland Cache Machine (Event Cache)

Log by travisl for Portland Cache Machine (Event Cache):

travisl posted a note for Portland Cache Machine (Event Cache)

FYI: See this forum thread for information about seven supplemental caches that may be an add-on to Saturday's day 1 route.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Log by travisl for Born on the 4th... (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Born on the 4th... (Traditional Cache):

travisl found Born on the 4th... (Traditional Cache)

Daughter: ''Mom, when do we eat?''

Mom: ''Soon, dear. We just need to wait for the food to arrive.''

D: ''But we haven't eaten since yesterday. And it tasted like GORP.''

M: ''I know, dear, but we're mosquitos, and we can't be picky about what we eat. We take what we're given.''

D: ''I wish I was a fly. They can eat whatver they want.''

M: ''Hush your mouth. Filthy creatures, flies.''

D: ''But Julie says she talked to a fly who said he carried a whole baked bean from a picnic a few weeks ago.''

M: ''And does Julie believe everything a fly says?''

D: ''No, mom, I guess not.''

(Rustling noises are heard in the bushes.)

M: ''Stay close, dear. We might have ourselves some squirrel today.''

(The daughter makes an icky face. Then she sees it. A geocacher.)

D: ''Mom! Another one! Hopefully he'll taste better.''

M: ''Wait here. I'll try it first.''

D: ''No mom! I wanna try! I wanna I wanna I wanna!''

M: ''No. Wait here and ...''

(The daughter lands on the geocacher's hand and begins to eat. Her mother flies nearby, very worried. Other family members gather around.)

D: ''Mmm... tastes like salt and vinegar potato chips...''

(Suddenly, the daughter is attacked by something white with blue stripes.)

D: ''Ow.''

-----
It took me six times looking at the same spot before I saw the cache. The hint, coordinates, and description are fine; it's just well hidden. Took nothing, but left a marble puzzle. There wasn't a pencil in the cache, so I left a squished mosquito in the logbook and took a photo (attached). As I gathered up my pack, I found a black sharpie, so used it to sign the logbook.

As busy as things have been at work, and with recent business trips and vacations and all, this is my first Federal Way lunchtime hunt in more than a month. Wow.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Log by travisl for Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for Ol' Doc Lilly (Traditional Cache)

Yup. This cache got muggled. I've just replaced it with a Lock-N-Lock container, and placed it on the ground, about 3 feet away from its original location. Kept the coordinates the same, though. Go for it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Log by travisl for Tacoma Travel Bug Mania Vault (Traditional Cache)

Log by travisl for Tacoma Travel Bug Mania Vault (Traditional Cache):

travisl posted a note for Tacoma Travel Bug Mania Vault (Traditional Cache) Well, at the end of May, with Team Noltex's permission, I took three TBs out of here and promised to drop off three or more TBs that I picked up on my trip to Reno. Unfortunately, except for Tuke the Moose, every TB I found in Reno had movement restrictions or goals that would be hampered by moving to Tacoma. So, I'm dropping off Tuke, and a new TB I've activated -- an old used golf ball. Next time I get a TB, I'll drop it off here to atone for my geo-sins. Sorry.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Photos posted

I just posted a bunch of Disneyland photos to my photo-blog.

Log by travisl for Disney's Horseshoe Review (Virtual Cache)

Log by travisl for Disney's Horseshoe Review (Virtual Cache):

travisl found Disney's Horseshoe Review (Virtual Cache)

Didn't have the cache page pulled up, so I didn't bother taking a photo of the 11:30 show outside. I thought I had to get Billy Hill, so I poked my head in for the 11:45 show, snapped the attached photo, then skedaddled over to DCA to catch the Aladdin show to wrap up the final day of my five-day 10-year-wedding-anniversary trip to Disneyland. Didn't try for any of the other caches this time.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Log by travisl for Portland Cache Machine (Event Cache)

Log by travisl for Portland Cache Machine (Event Cache):

travisl posted a note for Portland Cache Machine (Event Cache)

The second draft is posted. The files are considerably larger, but I'm hoping they'll be more readable by folks who were having trouble with the first draft.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

My Disneyland Trip

My Disneyland Trip, or, Back There Again: Randomly Organized Thoughts on How I Spent The Last Five Days

Thursday afternoon: At about 1:45, dad pulls up to our house with Tres and Kevin in the truck. Kim and I pile in, we swing by Krys' school and pick her up at 2:00, and head to the airport. Security check was quick, the plane was a bit late, and the five of us fly to LAX.

Trestin will be leaving a day early, heading back home on Monday. Because of this, I had to purchase a package deal for four of us, and a separate airfare / shuttle / park ticket for Trestin. The plan is for Tres to take the shuttle bus out of LAX to the hotel, and for the rest of us to fly in a puddle-hopper from LAX to John Wayne (SNA), then take a shuttle bus to the hotel. The LAX-SNA hop is silly, but that's the package, so we gotta do it. We arrived late into LAX, parted ways with Tres, and the four of us jogged to our next gate. We heard the "final boarding call" announcement as we approached the gate, and Trestin says he heard a call for the Lauricella party to contact that gate, but they held the plane for us. Up, down, uneventful flight.

We arrived at the Park Vue Inn at around 9:00 and check in. Trestin arrived about five minutes later. I was a bit trepidatious about the hotel, because it was one of the cheapest I could find and the on-line reviews either gave faint praise (e.g., "decent place to sleep, but you can't get a closer non-Disney hotel") or complained about rude staff, roaches, or the noise of all the remodeling work being done last winter. We were pleasantly surprised to find a clean room, decent staff, and remodeling finished three months ago. We staked out our space in the room, got settled in, then headed to Downtown Disney.

We went to ESPNZone for dinner, which was pretty cool, because we had a flat touch-screen (HD?) TV at our table, and were constantly channel flipping between 12 different sports feeds, including baseball highlights, ESPNNews, women's rugby, and the World Series of Poker. Food was fairly good, and not outrageously expensive. Then back to the hotel and off to sleep.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, are now pretty much a blur: I, irritatingly to the other four, was the first one up and eager to go each day, especially on Friday when I woke everyone up too early to have breakfast at the most expensive IHOP on the planet.

It pays to do your research. Those of you who've been to Disneyland in the last five years probably know about FastPasses, which allow you to virtually stand in line -- for free, you get a ticket for a ride which says "come back at X:YY p.m.", and when you do, you go to the front of the line. Generally speaking, X:YY is the theoretical time you'd get to the front of the line if everyone was in line without FastPasses. There are 15 rides which have FastPasses, and in theory, each person can hold one FastPass at a time. You can't get a new FastPass for any ride until X:YY p.m. or for two hours, whichever is less.

However, what most visitors and several cast members don't know is that not all of the FastPass rides are hooked up to the same network:

Network A: Indiana Jones / Splash Mountain / Big Thunder Railroad / Autopia / Pooh

Network B: California Screamin' / Tower of Terror / Mulholland Madness / Millionaire / Maliboomer

Stand-Alone nodes: Roger Rabbit, Star Tours, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, and Grizzly River Run

So, theoretically, you could get a FastPass from Network A, a FastPass from Network B, and FastPasses for each of the stand-alone nodes, for seven total, per person, at a time.

In addition, although FastPasses have a printed expiration time (X+1:YY), they're never enforced. We used FastPasses that had "expired" six hours before, and at one point Kevin and Trestin used a fast pass that had expired 26 hours before, and got into the Grizzly River Run. It was at this point where I, not willing to use yesterday's FastPass, discovered the beauty of the single-rider line. The ride has 8-person rafts, and when a party of 7 boards, or a 4 and 3 boards, the ride operator picks the next person out of the single rider line to go on. The single-rider line is almost always 5 people or shorter, even when there was a 50 minute wait in the regular line. So it was a simple matter of getting a single-rider pass, get in the single-rider line, get on the ride, meet 7 new people, ride, get wet, disembark, and repeat. I think I ended up riding Grizzly River about 12 times over the course of the trip, getting geysered four times.

Also on Friday, the five of us rode It's A Small World, and made crank calls to some of the CPFers, giving them horrible nightmares and generating obscenity-laced tirades and death threats. Good times.

I don't remember standing in any line, anywhere during the trip, for more than 15 minutes. And the park, to me at least, seemed crowded.

Innoventions had a Segway that I got to drive, slowly. It's more intuitive than I expected.

Kevin, Tres, and I played the 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' stage show game, and I was five spots (out of about 200) away from the hot seat. Dang!

California Screamin' is a fun, smooth roller coaster, which we rode so many times that we broke it. Unlike most roller coasters which get their acceleration from the potential energy built up as the chain pulls the cars to the top of a hill, this coaster launches the cars along a straight flat track (0 to 55 in 4 seconds using a magnetic launch system. It's got one upside down loop, but the worst part of the ride is the brakes at the end, where it drops you from high speed down to a near stop in the space of about 50 feet. Just before it broke down, we really slammed to a hard stop in the braking area, and as we were moaning from the strain, the prerecorded voice came on the speakers indicating that we just experienced, and I quote, "a slight delay". Ouch. Insult to injury.

The Maliboomer, which is like the Extreme Scream at the Puyallup Fair, taught me that I'm glad I didn't waste my money on the ride at the fair. It was surprisingly lame.

Krys was really opposed to going on any of the intense rides for the first few days. We took her on Grizzly River Run fairly early, and after her first trip on it, she liked it. We then took her on Mulholland Madness, explaining that it was like the Mad Mouse ride at the Puyallup fair that she had ridden before. Then, the next day, we talked her into going on the Matterhorn (I finally got to ride it!!), although she objected all the way down the line. Afterwards, she laughed, and said "that was a total waste of time," which I think referred to her panic instead of the ride, because she later declared it her favorite. We then convinced her to go on the Big Thunder Mountain. Finally, on Tuesday, we forced her to go on Splash Mountain (which she still doesn't like), but *she* decided she wanted to ride Indiana Jones.

On Monday, Tres convinced us to go to Newport Beach (a 60-minute bus ride each way), which must be absolutely packed on hot summer weekends. He and Kevin had lunch at Hooters, while I headed back to the park and Kim and Krys took a nap at the hotel. We met back up with Kevin and Tres at 3:00, sent him off on the shuttle, and the remaining four of us went to the park.

The Haunted Mansion is still my favorite ride. I seem to see something new every time I ride it. I went on it five or six times this trip, but never did get to use the right side stretching room.

In addition to getting to ride the Matterhorn for the first time (finally), other firsts included riding on the sailing ship Columbia (did you know you could go below deck on that one?), seeing "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln", watching the fairly lame "Honey I Shrunk the Audience", and rowed the Davy Crocket canoes.

Unlike the 2 three-day trips I've come down here on before, I didn't leave this one thinking, "darn, I wish I'd have had time to…". Five days is just about right.

By Tuesday, we'd accumulated enough extra FastPasses for 13 of the rides that we were close to being able to build a Great Dalmuti deck out of them. Our goal for the day became getting enough FastPasses to complete the deck, while still going on some cool rides and getting out of the park to do some shopping by 2:00 to catch the 5:00 shuttle. We also caught the Aladdin show at the DCA Hyperion theater, which is just amazing. It was during this stretch that we rode Splash, Indy, and the Haunted Mansion, watched the most raucous Tiki Room show I've ever seen, then split up and while Kim and I rode Grizzly twice (have I mentioned the single-rider line rocks?), Kevin and Krys rode the Orange Stinger and Jumping Jellyfish.

At about 3:30, after completing our shopping, we took an hour to burn through the $50 in free ESPNZone vouchers, then headed for the shuttle. Halfway there, Krys realized she'd forgotten her backpack, so Kevin and I went back for it while Kim continued ahead to delay the shuttle.

We got to the airport and waited, and waited, and waited. Winds aloft at San Francisco (where we were to change flights) were 80 knots, with surface winds of 40 knots, so they weren't letting anyone fly in or out. Finally, at about 9:00 p.m., we took off. The 140 seat plane had about 25 people on it -- it sure seemed empty. We had no trouble making our connection, because it was delayed as well. We finally arrived at SeaTac at about 1:15 this morning, and finally got to bed at about 2:30. Oy. What a fun trip. We rode almost every ride in Disneyland (except Space Mountain and Alice, which were closed, and Dumbo, which is just weak.)