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Friday, July 18, 2008

Daughter Geoness Milestone of 100 Finds!

The second half of Team HHB miss Amanda aka Geoness hit the 100 find mark. Not bad for someone who just started a couple of months ago. She has already attended several events and has taken on Difficulty 3 / Terrain 3 caches. Like the one at the FlashMob Flower Hill caches in North Carolina.

Geoness has cache finds in five states including Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Often seen with dad HeadHardHat in the Raleigh and many neighboring cities. Geoness competes with HHH to find the cache first so she can be the first to sign the log. She helps a lot when it comes to micros and small caches but her eyes light up the most when ammo boxes are the target.

Please help congratulate the better half of Team HHB, daughter Geoness on her latest find milestone.

Congrats Geoness!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Milestone: HeadHardHat Reaches 300 Finds

Taking a quick break to note I finally reached my #300 find yesterday. Now granted this is microscopic compared to many of the other cachers in North Carolina, I am extremely determined about my continuing voyage to the four digit mark.

As an important side note, actually, I am more proud of this than my milestone. My daughter Geoness (Amanda) is six shy of her first hundred finds. How fast they grow these days. So kudos to her will be coming out soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

TimMcGrawlookalike is Mess'n With My Old Suede Shoes

Came home last night from another successful evening run in Smithfield, NC and did a quick glance at my email to see if any new caches published; and what to my wondering eyes did appear? Not one but two new caches just a few miles from where I work in Oxford. The posts came rather late and in a secluded part of the country so I was pretty sure they were not going to get found until today. Especially since both of them were from TimMcgrawlookalike and he is the only cacher that I know who has a working pair of night vision goggles. For now...

Anyhow, I get up this morning and drop daughter Geoness off at the bus stop. Yes I did remember this time to completely halt the forward motion of the vehicle so she didn't have to do that death roll thing again. She looses her lunch money every time she does that. We said our farewells as the gleam of the red flashers approached. I could feel my palms grip the steering wheel just a little tighter with the sound of the bus echoing in the distance. "Lets do this", I thought to myself and I stepped on the accelerator. The engine whined from the strain, tires lurching forward and I was pressed hard into my seat as my car lunged ... to a safe and legal posted speed as all good driving citizens should. "Morning officer", I said and waved when I noticed the police car driving just up the road. Have to stop watching all those spy movies.

But I digress, did my 60 mile venture to the cache sites and had a grand time playing follow the bouncy arrow in the tall wet grass. Hey they were First to Finds and what's a little water when it comes to suede? The first cache was a unique tin can hidden in a nice cozy spot. Opened it up to find a brand new log book and best of all clean sheetz! I happily signed the white papers and moved on for number two.

The second was one of those mean little caches that I just hate. You know the ones that are hidden in plain sight. I knew it was there but could I see the darn thing, oh heck no. Coords were just a bit off but that was expected. I could feel the moister of my now soaked shoes seaping through my work socks. A few more minutes passed and then booyah - success. Signed the untouched log and then jogged, well okay skipped to my car so I could get to work.

So that was my morning so far. Sure I now smell like wet dog and it will take me an hour to pull all the burrs out of my pant legs but when it comes to finding First To Finds. I may be a bit obsessed...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mutant Mantis Sighting - Michigan

It would appear that HeadHardHat's travel bug Mutant Mantis is up to more B-Movie antics by terrorizing Chelsea and Detroit, Michigan. Seen photographed here MM had a sweet tooth and took on the Jiffy Mix plant in Chelsea before visiting the Detroit Zoo.

More information as it becomes available.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Very Cool CITO (Cache In Trash Out) Idea

Saw this idea in Michigan last weekend and I thought I would pass the idea on to you.

In quite a few of the caches I noticed 35mm containers with grocery bags inside. On the outside was a label stating Cache In Trash Out. It went on to say that the enclosed grocery bag could be used to pick up trash on the way back to the car. Then you could replace the bag and place the container with a new bag into the next available cache.

What a very cool idea. Can't wait to make some of these myself.

Monday, July 7, 2008

North Carolina Five Day Road Trip To Michigan Summary

Fourth of July weekend.... What Fourth of July weekend?

Well another road trip to Michigan from North Carolina is under my belt. Think that is about a dozen or so now but the important thing is daughter Amanda is back home. The weekend blew by like it was not even there and I currently feel like I was run over by a semi. Below is the complete summary and there are several phone-in articles showing mainly my adventures going from NC to Michigan. Coming back home was for the most part tiring, wet and storm drenched. Add in the multitudes of traffic and beyond belief gas prices and you get the gist. Here are the stats:

Days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday July 4 - 6, 2008

Miles: 1874 - including visits to my family on east side of Michigan

Average Price of Gas: $4.19 with highest in Michigan

Hours Coming and Going: 16 hours going to Michigan (add in caching)
15 hours coming back to NC (holiday traffic)

Caching States:
North Carolina
West Virginia

Number of Caches Found: 18

Number of Travel Bugs/Coins Traded: 26

Number of police cars sighted: 48 - no kidding. Including one near my first cache near RDU airport.

Four cemeteries including are really cool one from early 1800s in Virginia.
Multitudes of rest areas (some even to use the facilities).
Almost went crashing down two steep, wet, muddy, brier filled hills whilst caching.
Was interrupted by a small herd of hill climbing cattle (did not know they can do steep trails)
Found caching partner in the form of a large black snake who decided to be resting in a bush I was looking in. Did not see the business end but the side of it I did see was like a 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe.
Drove through numerous thunderstorms in West Virginia mountains and near home in Raleigh, North Carolina

Mutant Mantis and my micro GPS travel bugs logged 1095 miles on this trip.

All in all a fun but exhausting trip. Glad now to get back into the caching hunts of home.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Michigan at last. Cache Found!

Michigan at last. Cache Found!

Ohio TB hunting much better. Near Dover,

Ohio TB hunting much better. Near Dover, Ohio.

No TB Joy In WV.

No TB Joy In WV. Tried five caches and not a single trading bug. Took one in the leg on the last one. Wet, muddy hills and big honking brambles. You do the math. Killer was no TB, oh well. On to Ohio...

Amazing Virginia Landmark cemetary.

Amazing Virginia Landmark cemetary. Near Fort Chiswell, VA.

Mutant Mantis attacks Pilot Mtn, NC.

Mutant Mantis attacks Pilot Mtn, NC.

Cache Found! TB hotel near King, NC.

Cache Found! TB hotel near King, NC.

Road Trip to Michigan Starts

ROAD TRIP BEGINS! Cache Found! Near RDU airport. Found another mantis TB. Yes, that is a squad car.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thank You Smithfield, NC For A Great Afternoon of Caching

A couple of months ago I wrote a fairly nasty blog entry about my adventures or should I say LACK of adventures while caching in the Smithfield, NC area. Well that area has done quite a change and I had an absolutely fantastic time there yesterday afternoon. What made the difference? For starters I noticed that over the past few weeks a boat load of caches were enabled back into service. When my last attempt happened I had 10 our of 13 caches come up as DNF's. So after I observed all the effort in getting the area up to a decent standard I wanted to give it another go and I am so glad I did.

First I wanted to take another whack at the DNFs I knew had been replaced which was a real joy to do. Then I headed downtown for an effective cache raid with hopes of some nice finds. I am happy to report that my expectations were not only met but exceeded. In those few hours I was able to find fourteen smiley faces with many, many more to try for on another day.

Thank you so much to all the cache owners of Smithfield, NC for making the area a great place to go geocaching.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

George Carlin Said It Best... The Glass is Not Half Full...

Woke up extra early this morning because I really, really - REALLY wanted to get not one but two FTFs today. Greedy, sure but in GeoCaching for me finding a First To Find is better than a cup of coffee. I get pumped just anticipating those clean, untouched sheets waiting for me to start writing on them. Of course it does not always happen that way and another early bird simply found the worm before I did but it is always fun going for them.

Anyways I arrived at my destination which was about half way to work and about 35 minutes out. Read the description, verified the coords on my Etrex and boogied into the woods. What should have been a five minute bushwack quickly turned into thirty minutes of frustration and me late for work. Long story short I had to walk away from a FTF and I was not a happy camper. There could be a million reasons why this 1.5 / 1.5 find eluded me. Not enough coffee, sunspots, wrong coords, aliens playing with my head - again, basically tons of reasons. Ultimately I just couldn't get my act together. It happens so the title to today's blog entry was going to be "Missed it by that much" and it was a long 75 feet walk back to the car.

Then I remembered that there was another FTF out there and hopefully with my name on it. So I scrambled out towards Oxford with hopes of better results. When I arrived I followed the same game plan. Coords - check, Description - check, extra swig of coffee before it gets cold - check. Walked to ground zero, saw the hiding place and BINGO! a cach found. I personally thought the geo-angels harking in the background was a bit too much overkill but it was a nice effect and well appreciated. Soon after I had my prize in hand and opened the container. There in the spectral glow of the the rising sun was the virgin log sheets. Gleefully I signed the logbook and put everything back in place and hustled off to that other hobby I like to call work. Though now the title of today's blog was going to be "One out of Two Ain't Bad". I felt better and the bad aftertaste of my first hunt quickly vanished.

Just as I was pulling into the parking lot of my work place I heard a mention of George Carlin. God bless him he has always been one of my absolute favorite comedians. With that I pondered over all the footage and books I have witnessed and one tributing comment that he had made came to mind. I use it as a defining guideline that describes me on many occasions including when I go geocaching.

It simply states:

"The glass is NOT half full. The glass is NOT half empty. The glass is TOO DAMN BIG!"

Perspective in life was what George showed us so often. We can be optimists, pecimists or sometimes just step back and see things from a totally different angle. I will attempt to follow this next time I go out caching for FTFs. Thanks George for the reminder.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another Michigan Road Trip Coming Up This Weekend!

Just once I would like a holiday where I don't have to travel 800+ miles and can really enjoy a three day weekend. Ahh well, such as life.. Good news is I can add to my out of state scores!!!

Yes I am heading to Michigan this weekend to pick up my caching gal Daughter Geoness. Some school based scheduling difficulties came up and she has to be in town and in school next week or I'm in big doo-doo. Don't you just love year round school systems? NOT!

So I will be heading up to the Great Lake State and back again. The cool thing is daughter can get some out of state claims as well. I don't think there will be many. Trip or so back it turned a 12 hours ride to a 16 hour ride and I don't want to do that again. Though one or two in each state should be enough.

I will also be taking my new Travel Bug "Mutant Mantis" with me. I let my temporary TB go back into the wild and I liked him so much I created one for myself. As seen in the photo he looks quite happy hanging from my rear view mirror.

Stay tuned to all the find, thrills, chills and good time adventures starting this Friday - EARLY!