Sunday, September 12, 2010

Geocaching Trip Labor Day 2010

We took a quick geocaching trip last Sunday and Monday.  It was Labor Day weekend, so Jacob didn't have school, I have Monday's off and Jeff was on leave.  Perfect timing for a road trip!  We packed up the Prius and took off heading southeast towards Dunlap, Kansas.  Since Jeff is from Dunlap, Iowa, we decided to set a cache in Dunlap, Kansas!  Dunlap, Kansas was a small town that in it's heyday, must have been a bustling farming community.  Today, there are gravel roads instead of paved, there are old buildings that are abandoned and in disrepair.  The school is all boarded up.  There is a church, and it actually seemed to be one of the few buildings that looked as if it was well taken care of. 
Burden, KS

Who-who can find me?  Jacob can!
Big Brutus
We continued southeast towards Chanute and Columbus.  Columbus is in the southeast corner of Kansas, near Oklahoma and Missouri.  Once we reached Columbus, we started heading west, zigzagging north and south, hitting caches in particular counties.  We're trying to attempt the Delorme Kansas Challenge and the Kansas 105 County Challenge so we needed to be specific on where exactly the caches were!
Little House on the Prairie

We had a great time...  2 day, 706 miles (we only had to fill up once!) and we found a total of 69 caches.  We drove down a lot of gravel roads, traveled paved roads that were more like gravel roads, and saw a lot of small-town Kansas...Big Brutus, Little House on the Prairie (which is a replica of their Kansas home) and Bossie dancing the Bosa-Nova

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kansas City's 10th Anual Geocaching Picnic and 1000 finds!

Mr. Diecast64 and Buggywasher

Jeff, Jacob and I jaunted over to the Kansas City area this weekend for the big Kansas City Geocaching Picnic.  We left our house on Friday, cached all the way to Lenexa, cached all day on Saturday, attended the picnic, cached after the picnic and cached on the way home Sunday morning! 

We had a few exciting moments on our caching weekend...  Our GPS was acting goofy, so we stopped at a coffee shop in Tonganoxie.  We were able to reload the geocaches back into our GPS.  For some reason, the geocache coordinates and information didn't transfer to the GPS.  While in Tonganoxie, we stopped at a park that had a couple of caches and we decided to enjoy our picnic lunch in the park.  One of the caches was called "Somebody Get Me a Medic," which was pretty ironic since Jeff is a medic.  While walking to the picnic area, we were surprised by a minivan that drove off the road and crashed through the trees.  Jeff was the first one to the van and helped stabilize the man who fell asleep at the wheel.  The fire trucks, ambulance and police all showed up within 5 minutes, which I thought was fast.  Luckily, the man was OK...just a few cuts on his head and a totaled van.  What a way for Jeff to begin his vacation!

Another exciting moment was at the picnic.  Jacob did some kid's caches all by himself!  He was the FTF on all 3 of them!  :)
Entering the coords into the GPS for Buggy's 1st cache all by himself!

Our other exciting moment was hitting 1000 finds!  Our 1000nd find was the picnic itself.  What an accomplishment!  We've found 1000 different geocaches all over the world since 2008.  We've seen some awesome places and met some wonderful people along the way.
We met some amazing geocachers at the picnic, and we chatted it up with lots of friends.  Jeff, Jacob and I even won some prizes!  We ate some delicious food, discovered lots of Travel Bugs and coins and had a wonderful time.  A big thanks goes to the Byonke's who organized the picnic and to all of those that helped make it a fun day~

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

900th Find!

Buggywasher and I have driven a few hundred miles during the past week seeking our 900th cache.  We finally found No Girls Aloud in Salina, making it our 900th find! Here's to 900+ more caches!

During the past week, we've seen some interesting places in Kansas.  Beautiful place that are off the beaten path.  I feel a little sorry for the people who don't geocache.  They are missing the real Kansas.  Kansas is much more than the big cities and the views you get from traveling the I-70 and I-35 corridors.  There is a lot of history, a lot of wonderful places and a lot of good times to be had. For someone who dreaded moving to Kansas 6 years ago, I'm very glad we've gotten to see the real Kansas.

We've seen great churches in communities that were thriving 100 years ago and tombstones of immigrants that were so far from their homeland.

Jacob has stood on the front steps of a bank that was built in 1900. 
We've seen interesting "art" made out of barbed wire!
We've seen antique modes of transportation, calves along the side of the road and old farmsteads.
Jacob has stood in the doorway of an old jail.

We've seen a lot of old, one-room school houses and the endless straight road ahead.

We've seen how people traveled to Kansas, and have even had a little fun.  
"Wait for me!  Don't leave me behind!"

We've also seen a rather interesting use for bowling balls!

And this is just a fraction of the Kansas we've seen!  These pictures are just from the last week!

Happy Caching!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Yesterday Buggywasher and I spent several hours working on a new cache that we're placing. It's multistage puzzle cache. What this means is a cacher will have to drive to several cemeteries within the area. Then, using grid coordinates and clues will have to figure out the final cache site. We drove about 85 miles checking and double checking our coordinates and clues. And these pictures...well, they are not part of the cache and will not help in figuring out the puzzle! :)

After the 5th cemetery, I asked Jacob if he was creeped out by being in so many cemeteries. He told me he wasn't creeped out...only that one time when we were in a cemetery just after dark grabbing that last cache of the day and there was...well, that's a story for another day. I explained to him that not many kids and families go tromping through cemeteries...only geocachers! He didn't see anything wrong or spooky about visiting so many cemeteries. In fact, he told me that he kind of likes them...

So...our new cache we're setting has to do with certain tombstones. W.O.W tombstones. Woodmen of the World. I had never seen tombstones like this before! Each one is different...some are simple, others are very intricate. Some are small, others are more than 6 feet! I started taking pictures of these W.O.W tombstones while geocaching. They are amazing! Every time we're in a cemetery, we are always on the lookout for tree stumps!

Here is a little history about Woodmen of the World, otherwise known as Modern Woodmen today.

In 1883, a man by the name of Joseph Cullen Root organized a fraternal society in Omaha, Nebraska, called "Modern Woodmen of America". One of the benefits of being a member was that upon death, the other members would pass around a hat and donate money to the widow. Membership was limited to white males older than 18 years of age. Later when passing around the hat became more frequent and costly, Root decided to sell life insurance to members. Modern Woodmen of America became a fraternal benefit society

The Name: In fact, it came from a church sermon founder Joseph Cullen Root heard as he was trying to choose a name for the fraternal benefit society he planned to organize. As he sat listening to the minister talk about "the work of the pioneer woodmen clearing away the forest," it occurred to him that this was a fitting analogy for the task of eliminating a man's financial burdens in the event of his death. Thus, Root chose Modern Woodmen for the name of his new benefit society. The phrase of America was added later to signify the group's patriotism

Later, a women's auxiliary started up called "Royal Neighbors of America. Both the male and female organizations grew steadily and in five years, Modern Woodmen had a total membership of twenty-four thousand.

In 1899, several members had a "falling out" with the leaders of the society, and separated to form a new society under the leadership of Fred A. Falkenburg, and named it "Woodmen of the World". Shortly after, tensions were high in the new organization, and Falkenburg moved to Denver to form, "Woodmen of the World, Pacific Jurisdiction". Today, the three societies remain as insurance companies. Woodmen of the World created women's auxiliaries called "Woodmen Circle" and "Supreme Forest Woodmen", while the Pacific Jurisdiction created an auxiliary called, "Neighbors of Woodcraft", which still exists as an insurance company in Portland, Oregon.

The traditional W.O.W. monument had 4 objects on it. They were the Maul, Axe, Wedge and the Dove. The motto Dum Tacet Clamat is Latin meaning "though silent, he speaks". This insurance company, started in the 1880's, would pay the widow $100 and a free stone if the logo of the insurance company could be put on the stone. Styles were very elaborate to very simple. As time passed, the stones got to be smaller and smaller until they were similar to the conventional styles. The cost of the hand made marble stones became prohibitive and they were finally phased out about 1920. These stones are a real eye catcher to the cemetery visitor or one who registers graves.

Here are some interesting websites about W.O.W.

Jim Davenport's Project

Modern Woodmen
Woodmen Group (great history)
Woodmen Burials

Friday, May 14, 2010

Geocaching is 10 years old...OK, I know I'm a little late to the game...

Geocaching is 10 years old...Ok...I know that I'm a little late to the game. Geocaching celebrated 10 years of caching on May Day (aka May 1st.) Due to school, school, and more school little Buggywasher and I celebrated just a little. We set out a cache to celebrate 10 years of caching!

Click HERE to check out our cache.

Geocaching turns 10 years old!

Geocaching was imagined shortly after the removal of Selective Availability from GPS on May 1, 2000, because the improved accuracy of the system allowed for a small container to be specifically placed and located. The first documented placement of a GPS-located cache took place on May 3, 2000, by Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon.
The location was posted on the Usenet newsgroup sci.geo.satellite-nav. By May 6, 2000, it had been found twice and logged once (by Mike Teague of Vancouver, Washington). According to Dave Ulmer's message, the original stash was a black plastic bucket buried most of the way in the ground and contained software, videos, books, food, money, and a slingshot.

Geocaching was originally referred to as GPS stash hunt or gpsstashing. This was changed after a discussion in the gpsstash discussion group at eGroups (now Yahoo!). On May 30, 2000, Matt Stum suggested that "stash" could have negative connotations, and suggested instead geocaching.

Oh, and by the way...that picture is NOT Diecast64 (we may be old, but not that old!) or Buggywasher (he doesn't shave yet!) It's a picture of Dave Ulmer at the very first geocache!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break and R&R

Jeff's R&R leave and Spring Break for Jen and Jacob overlapped last week. And we've been caching up a storm! We're up to 830 finds and we've set 82 caches!

Jeff got in on Friday night (3/12) and on Saturday (3/13) we found ourselves in Wichita for a bowling tournament. After Jacob surpassed his average by 33 points, we were out geocaching! We got 5 done on Saturday and then we found 33 on Sunday (3/14 Happy birthday, Pinipig!) We traveled here and there and all around Kansas. On gravel roads, on mud roads, on tar and everything in between.

The following Tuesday (3/16), we did not plan on caching. Honest. Really, we didn't plan on caching, but as soon as DA438's Gypsum series popped up, we were heading out the door hoping to grab some FTF's. We claimed 4 FTF's and worked on some of the 1900 series, then headed home. When we started logging in the finds, imagine our surprise when we discovered more newly published caches that had not been found! We quickly found a babysitter (thanks Mandy!) for Jacob and headed back out to try to find more Gypsum FTF's. We didn't claim any more FTF's that day, but did find a few more caches to bring our total for the day to 38 found caches. We traveled along miles of mud roads...our 4 wheel drive works great. I think we have 10 pounds of Gypsum Rd mud in our driveway!

We traveled to Iowa on Thursday (3/18) and stopped to do a few caches along the way. The Homestead National Monument outside of Beatrice, Nebraska has a few caches. It was a neat place to stop and learn some homesteading history. Jacob even became a Junior Park Ranger!

While in Iowa, we set a few caches. MillerTime4 found a few and claimed a few FTF's. And no, they didn't have an advantage since we're related!

That brings us to today...Monday (3/22.) Jacob went back to school while Jeff and Jen drove 182 miles geocaching in central Kansas. One of the coolest caches was an Earth Cache...Chase Artesian Well Site We drank some of the cool water that bubbled out of the well. After claiming the cache and the one nearby, we enjoyed our picnic lunch. Thanks to our spring snowstorm, Jeff was standing in some snow on the side of the road while the thermometer in the truck said 69*! Wow... It was so quiet out there...just the gurgle of the well. I don't know if I've ever been that far in the country, away from everything! What a great day...great company and great caching.

We've seen a lot of places in Kansas that most people haven't...or haven't noticed. Did you know Highway 50 between Strong City and Emporia is known as the Turkey Red Highway that celebrated the Wheat Centennial in 1974?? Well, now you do.