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Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Dozen Geocaches In The Area

Always interesting, only about a dozen geocaches in the area and we just finished talking to our third set of geocachers.
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Great TB Hotel

Filming in Frankenmuth, MI and found this very nice large TB Hotel.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Large Geocache Turns Out To Be A Big Disappointment

Second geocache in series. Big pickle bucket sized yet empty of anything except logbook and a few hundred ants. I would think an OP of a large sized geocache would maintain them better. Oh got the smiley.
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Yes There is Greenery in Urban Geocaching

Found this in a swampy part if Roseville, MI.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Todays Geocaching Festivities

Well now that it is official and I am making GeoSnippits video segments for Michigan Magazine it was time to hit the road. That is exactly what I did and have been stomping around Michigan all week. I wish that I had more time to do solid geocaching as I go but in truth by the time I add a few finds between video stops we have to move on to the next.

Today for example we travelled to the east coast of Michigan and visited my home town of New Baltimore and then moved north to Algonac. It was cool to see the old homestead and then watch the freighters going up and down the St. Clair River. Now we have just enough time for some dinner and get back to our home base. Then up early tomorrow to do some urban geocaching around the Detroit area. Should be adventurous to say the least.

Stay tuned and I promise to have more photograps of our finds and tricky geocache hides.

So much coming down the pipe and I am so geeked to do it. Thanks for being right there with me.

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Monday, July 27, 2009

Find Equals Bliss

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This is the Trail?

At a rest stop geocache run. Walked thru 300 feet of this to get to geocache. Yeehaa!
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First Geocache of th Day

That would make this one my most northerly geocache so far but the day is young.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Another Favorite Hide

This little guy was waiting for me whilest geocaching. Really well thought out and I managed to find him before the mosquitos dragged me deeper into the woods.
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Starting To Get Dark

Yes the sun is starting to set an Michigan's other state bird is getting to be a real pest. Ouchie!
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Very Impressive Geocache

Okay this is definitely one of my Michigan favorites so far. Huge old pine tree loaded with cones. All of these shown here are decoys which look like all the others.

One of these is hollow with the log book hidden inside. The only reason I found it was I noticed the white thread holding them to branch.

Very well done.

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Finally in the Great Lake State and Ready To Geocache

Well it's noon the day after the big road trip to Michigan. Yes I had a late start but after driving for 17 hours Miss Geoness and I were pretty worn out. You know how it goes when you think you are going to be completely exhausted but are so wired up from driving you simply cannot sleep. I didn't konk out until around 12:30 or so. Anywho, I am currently enjoying myself at one of my old hang outs for breakfast, the Uptown Coney Island near Ann Arbor, MI. Absolute favorite dish, the Greek Skillet - complete yumminess; but I digress.

I hope you enjoyed following Miss Geoness and I as we travelled across North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and finally in Michigan. The meter read 954 miles when we finally reached our home base of Chelsea, MI. We ended up with a dozen geocache finds and wanted more but the overall trip just was too draining. The great news though is that we were able to pick up several geocaches in each state and added Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana to our geocache stats - W00t!

Next on the agenda is to drive up to Michigan Magazine Museum for tomorrows interview with Michigan Magazine TV Host Barry to discuss the new geocaching project that will be featured on their show. I am hoping the weather will cooperate enough to take Barry out to a few nearby finds and to discuss all the details. Then it is more road travel as I go to every Michigan town I can doing the video needed. Very exciting.

Also on the agenda will be going around with my brothers and their kids to do some geocaching. If I am lucky I might be able to make a GeoSnippits video with them in it. I heard that my nephews especially are big fans and I want to make them geocaching stars.. Will report the details as we go.

Well that's it for now. I will be updating the blog as I go so keep coming back from time to time and see what I am up to. It's going to be a whole lot of fun. Now that I am full of skillet and coffee it's time to get some geocaching in... Woo-hoo...

See ya out on the Michigan trails...

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our First Indiana Geocache

That makes three new states to our list.
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Love Historic Geocaches

Homeland of Daniel Boone and his family. How cool! Lexington, KY.
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1st Kentucky Find

Here's a picture of our first Kentucky based geocache just beyond the border.
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Favorite Hide in TN

Okay this one was my favorite so far in Tennessee.
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Our First Tennessee Geocache

Adding our first of three new states to our list!
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First Geocache of the Trip

Still in NC near Readland for the first cache of the trip.
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Road Trip To Michigan

Road trip to Michigan- On the road at 4:30am. Should be in knoxville,TN by 10 or so.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Geocaching Road Trip to Michigan Almost Here

Can't wait... Can't wait... Can't wait...

Sure leaving at 4:30 am on Saturday is going to suck but the road trip to Michigan is going to be a blast. Miss Geoness and I will be adding three more states to our geocaching stats and hopefully the extra four or five hours will be worth it. I usually take the NC, VA, WV, OH then MI route. Been there, done that too many times. This time we are going NC, TN, KY, IN, OH, MI route. Hey when it comes to geocaching there is never a direct path.

I completely expect some pretty sites and some fun time geocaching. That is just getting there. I will be stomping all over Michigan for Michigan Magazine TV and out GeoSnippits segments for them. Can't wait.

More to come and check often because I will be updating this blog, my twitter account and Loopt accounts showing my last known gps coords. that will be going on all next week. Stay tuned.

You can find my latest tweets and loopt statuses on the lower right side of my blog. See you there.

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Monday, July 20, 2009

What a Splendid Sunday Geocaching

It's mid July in North Carolina and this summer has been quite a warm one. For the past six or seven weeks we have been in the 90s with some pretty air chewing thick humidity. Not the greatest weather for geocaching. Sure I went out a few times but when it is hot like this it drains you fast. It is the price we pay here in Raleigh for no snow shovelling during the winter.

So when a day like yesterday comes along you power up the GPSs and go geocaching. The sun was out and the temps in the mid 80s. A slight breeze made it even more desirable so off we went. There was Miss Geoness, GeoPuppy Emily and myself on an afternoon trip to Rocky Mount, NC. I was excited about this because we never cached there before. I expected to get about 30 or so finds if everything went well. Now the one unknown factor was the pooch. She never went on a long trip before let alone geocaching for an extended period of time. I really didn't know how she would react.

We left about eightish and after the two hour trip we were at the first geocache. It was a regular in a wooded area. I was amazed how she (Geopuppy not Miss Geoness) just plowed in front of us into the pine needles and seedling trees. After a short trip we found the cameoed lock-N-lock box and back into the car for the next. The more we found the better she seemed to like it. Couldn't tell if it was because she was outside or that we were looking for "stuff".

All in all we found 35 geocaches and DNFd on four. The majority this time were micros with a combination of bison tubes, key holders and a couple of unique magnetic patches with the logbook on the magnet side. It was a day full of geocaching goodness. Good Times.

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Why Do I Let These Things Get To Me?

This scenario has happened to me twice now and I wonder to myself why I let the situation itself get to me? The first time was up in Oxford, NC a few months back. I was at a local fast food parking lot heading for my car when I was approached by a guy in his upper 50s or so. He was driving a beat up old truck and asked if I had any money so he could get home to Virginia because he was almost out of gas. I didn't have any money and said I couldn't help. He drove off with out a word and for a moment it dawned on me that I could have offered to fill up his gas tank at the gas station across the street. I actually felt terrible that I could have helped someone and failed to think fast enough for a solution. I really felt bad and the situation haunted me for some reason.

Then yesterday while geocaching a couple of guys in their young 40s drove up to me in another beat up truck. The one guy gave a similar story that they ran out of cash and needed some money to make it about an hour or so from where we were in Rocky Mount, NC. I again did not have any cash but offered to do the fill up at the gas station about 500 feet behind us. They did not say a word and drove up the road. I was surprised that they did not turn around to go to the station but just kept up driving. What the heck? I actually went to the station for about 10 minutes thinking they would just turn around and come back- nothing?

So long story short am I fool hardy enough to believe that people needed help and I failed to do the right thing or are there just a host of drive by begging going on and that is the latest ploy?

I don't want to give up on people because there ARE people out there that get into situations they need help but then again there are those who wish to make a quick buck. I will continue to wait for those in need but also keep an eye out for the others as well. Lessons learned.

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Sunday, July 19, 2009

They Likem Thin In Rocky Mount

Hit a whole bunch of magnetic flat patches used as geocaches. This one was shiny metallic silver inside a gaurdrail.
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Miss Geoness and Geopuppy Emily

In the woods and Geocaching fine.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Busy, Busy Busy....

At first it didn't seem like it was going to be much more than a happy go lucky road trip to Michigan. I initially was going to be dropping my daughter and GeoSnippits film crew Miss Geoness off at her grandparents and then do some geocaching there and on the way home. Wrongo!

I am very pleased to say that I will be spending a week in the Great Lake State to be doing a host of things. For example I am planning to meet up with Barry Stutesman host of Michigan Magazine TV where they will be doing an interview with me about our upcoming geocaching project with the show. We may even be looking and hiding some geocaches while I am up there.

I will also be filming all around Michigan which will be turned into segments for the show and future GeoSnippits videos.

If my luck holds out I also will be hooking up with Darryl Wattenberg from the Cache-A-Maniacs podcast fame. Who knows what craziness that may ensue. Best case we both end up interviewing each other, worse case we go out for beer and pizza. Stay tuned.

All that and so much more. Will be keeping the blog posted as I go so keep checking in hokay?

Anyone else wanna join the party? Email me.

All for now... -HHH

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Monday, July 13, 2009

GeoSnippits Electronic Bread Crumbs and GPS Tracking

I love making GeoSnippits videos and this one highlights all the reasons I enjoy them so much.
First of all I get to walk around in all sorts of nature. Granted in my neck of the woods it is just that forests and woodlands. Swamps, fields and hills are my norm yet the Oceans and Mountains call to me as well. I consider myself very blessed.

Then top it off by taking hikes with my daughter Miss Geoness who is also our lead photographer and film crew. She loves geocaching as much as I do and even though that usually entails carrying the bulk of the equipment I usually do not get much of a gripe, again blessed.

This adventure we went into the back trails of a nearby park at Benson Lake in Garner, North Carolina. The idea was simple, one of out GeoSnippits viewers had sent in a suggestion to discuss tracking on a couple of GPS units. I decided to use a Garmin 60CSx and a Delorme PN-40. I always used Tracback and other electronic bread crumbs so no problemo. So we packed everything up and headed off into the woods. Though I should note that GeoPuppy Emily was quite upset because she stomps those trails on a weekly basis. Sorry puppy thems the breaks.

Filming went quite smoothly and then a very fortunate bit of luck happened. A biker happened to hear and spot a pair of large barn owls calling to each other. He saw us and showed where they were. I still have not looked up the specifics of this particular owl but I do know they were BIG and only a few feet off of the trails. Just beautiful to watch.

So oh yeah, lets talk video. It goes into detail about how GPS units have what is known as tracking or electronic bread crumbs that do what they sound like. Allow you to walk all over the place and when it is time to go back. Just follow the route on the GPS screen back to where you started. Believe you me it will save you a lot of headache the next time you decide to venture too far fro the parking lot. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it.

See you out on the trails,


If the video does not show above you can see it by clicking the link below:

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Friday, July 10, 2009

Solutions For On-The-Go Paperless Geocaching

I have written several posts, articles and videos about paperless geocaching solutions and they are to this day functionally sound. The solution of that time was to utilize an application on your home computer like EasyGPS or GSAK among others and to load the waypoints onto your GPS and gather the geocache information on your PDA device. That way you did not need so much paper and all the information was still at your fingertips. As they say, that was then - this is now.

If you want to REALLY go portable and paperless you are going to have to upgrade a few things and when you do you will never want to look back to the ways of the past again.

I'm talking real portability on the fly which is going to be great if you are on vacation, on the road or you simply need the latest and greatest geocaching information hot and fresh.

Here is what I came up with:

Bye - Bye PDA, Hello Netbook
PDAs are great little helpers but it is time to turn in that old Palm or Handspring for a nice netbook. I just purchased a real nice one that has bluetooth and WiFi with a 160 gig hard drive for a smidgen over $300.00. PDAs still can cost that much today. The one that I am currently typing this on is a Dell Inspiron Mini with 1 gig memory and the aforementioned 160 gig hard drive. It has the power and the memory to run any application that I have at home on my PC but now it's portable with the bluetooth / WiFi connectivity.

Smart Phones Rock
I am sure there are dozens of smart phones out there that have bluetooth functionality. My BlackBerry Curve 8310 works great. It not only has the bluetooth but a built in GPS as well. So even if you still have your trusty GPS unit out there you can use applications like GeocacheNavigator or CacheBerry as backups or companions while geocaching. The main thing is that you are able to connect from your smartphone to your netbook via bluetooth.

Connectivity is the Key
Having WiFi on the netbook is a very nice thing. You are able to work pretty seamlessly with a WiFi hook-in and yet you are immediately limited to places that actually host WiFi. If you have it for your netbook then you have an advantage but what about when you are out and about with no hotspots are available? Read on.

Using your SmartPhone as a Modem
You are really going to have to do some research on this but there are a lot of success stories of people (including myself) who have been able to do this WAP connection. Meaning using your smartphone as a modem so your computer can hook into the Internet. I am going to give you the link I used to get mine working. Your success is going to depend on your phone carrier and the model phone you have. If this does not give you what you need check out the Internet for more details. It is out there you just have to look for it.

Here is the link I used:

Before you start using the Internet Access of your smart phone you should make sure that you have Unlimited Internet Access otherwise this could cost you more than just a pretty penny. Internet media is charged by the meg and can add up quickly. This is not the same as texting charges which are separate. When all is said and done you should be able to connect to WiFi networks and Bluetooth WAP connections from your netbook to the internet.

GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife)
GSAK is a very nice application used by geocachers that you should be able to run on your netbook without a hitch. It is basically a series of databases which holds information from .gpx or .loc based files and stores them for you to query specifics about geocaches. Many people are premium members of Geocaching.com and as members you can be sent a whole series of Pocket Queries which are configured by you and contain geocaches from any area or type you choose. They are then loaded into GSAK and visually displayed in the application itself.

There is a section of GSAK where you can type public logging information about a geocache when you find it. There is another part of that section where you can keep personal notes as well. Then when you are ready you can upload the public logging information to geocaching.com when ready.

How It All Comes Together
The netbook computer will have complete portability because it will have access to both WiFi hotspots and WAP connections through your smartphone. This will allow access to the internet for places like geocaching.com, google earth, etc. You will utilize pocket queries or standard queries through geocaching.com and store them into a geocaching application like GSAK. Once loaded into GSAK you can log your geocaching and personal notes per geocache then load them into geocaching.com any time you would like. So in a sence you have a mobile version of GSAK at your fingertips. If for some reason you do not have access to the Internet because of interference like high foliage, buildings, mountains, etc. You still have access to the GSAK database and can still pull geocache information.

After figuring out where you want to geocache you can download from your notebook into your different GPS devices both handheld and road. You will have access to a host of macros, filters and other criteria to choose exactly what and where you want to geocache.

All this and more can be achieved and you didn't have to use a single scrap of paper. In fact your notebook will be the center of your geocachemobile's headquarters.

See you out on the trails and BTW I typed all of this in a nice shaded park, miles from any WiFi hotspot. Ahh the joys of technology when it works.

Have fun and see you out on the trails,


Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

HooHaa Travel Bug Racer Just A Nut Back On The Road

Well I had pretty much written off my TB Racer "Just A Nut" in the HooHaa Travel Bug Race.

You see "Nut" was taken overseas and at the time I thought, "fantastic", then it could really chalk up some miles. How wrong I was. Sure currently has about 3500 miles under it's belt but it was dropped on the western shore of a western island from the western side of Scotland. Lets just say that this was the only geocache on this particular island and it was well, isolated. So there it sat, perfecting it's Scottish accent and learning about haggis. For seven months it waited to be liberated from it's geocaching tomb.

Then, a couple of days ago the lid opened and a geocacher by the name of Skihog found it and now is taking Nut to other places. Hopefully far away from this Isle.

More details to come once I find out where Just a Nut will land. The great thing is now at least it is on the move again. Stay Tuned...

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

When Hard Drives Attack

Howdy Folks,

Well if you have been wondering where my posts have been in the past week the answer is Boof. Yes boof, that wonderful noise humans make when their computer hard drives die on them. Sure there is a lot of colorful language before the actual boof but when all the tantrums and curses are silenced and you realize there is nothing you can do but fix the situation. You finally sit down, look at the blank computer screen and go "Boof".

Needless to say the trip to the mountains was replaced by figuring out how to install and 'get running' a new 1 Terabyte SATA internal hard drive, loading all the necessary drivers, loading the operating system (after 2.5 hour format), loading the rest of the needed drivers and finally delving into the long and winding road of loading all my very much needed applications. Phew.

I lost count on how many 3 am evenings I had getting everything back in running order. Thank goodness Gmail never deletes emails because all my registry product keys were in there.

Yeah, yeah I know that if I had a backup of the entire hard drive it would have taken a bunch of pain out of the process but and you knew there was a but. I was happy that I had a backup of the important files like pictures, my GeoSnippits vids and pieces that make the vids, important documents, etc. were all in place. It should be interesting because I have a 500 Gig external drive to save all my important stuff but now I have a Terabyte internal hard drive. That's a lot of stuff to be saving for the next time. What comes after Tera? Will have to look that one up.

Long story short - Too Late. I should be back in the groove by the weekend and out on the trails geocaching. Hope to see you there.

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com