The Geocaching Blog


That’s one way to get ahead. — Heads of State (GCE041) — Geocache of the Week

These fashionable gentlemen were always a'head' of the curve. Photo by geocacher TresHntrs

These fashionable gentlemen were always a’head’ of the curve. Photo by geocacher TresHntrs

Geocache Name:

Heads of State (GCE041)

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

1/1

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

There are some places that deserve to be seen. These rarely visited gems can be anything from a hidden pocket park to a piece of beautiful graffiti—or even a place full of giant presidential heads. However, you can’t always place a geocache there to bring people in. That’s where Virtual Caches come in. While a few rule changes made new Virtual Caches into Waymarks, some of the older Virtual Caches have been grandfathered in since they existed before the rule change. This spot, located in Houston, Texas, is where an artist sculpted and cast these presidential busts for use in a park near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. You’ll also find sculptures of the Beatles here.

 

What geocachers are saying:

“I came down to Houston for the weekend to grab a bunch of challenge caches and virtuals…this one was on my list…..very cool place….added a few pictures to my log….thanks for bringing me here……TFTC!” – mightymouse21

“Wow, this was a hoot! Detouring through Texas on our way to GeoWoodstock and had to stop at this one. Glad we did. Took pictures so we will post after we get back to Florida next week. Thanks for the adventure.” – Wilemon

“Wow this is great…the things you get to see while geocaching, never would have come here or new about this had it not been for caching, thanks for placing!!” – Holn1b4IDie

 

Photos and Video:

Busted! Photo by geocacher MXTrekker

Busted! Photo by geocacher MXTrekker

Watch out for the giant Beatles! Photo by geocacher Drew136

Watch out for the giant Beatles! Photo by geocacher Drew136

Just "head" over to this cache to meet these folks. Photo by geocacher ArdentEnthusiast

Just “head” over to this cache to meet these folks. Photo by geocacher ArdentEnthusiast

Not even Abe 'nose' what you're looking for. Photo by geocacher Scorpios2931

Not even Abe ‘nose’ what you’re looking for. Photo by geocacher Scorpios2931

What little-known spots have you discovered by geocaching? Tell us in the comments.

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.

If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!

Walk the (Geocaching) Line

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Keeping one’s environmental footprint to a minimum is a good rule to abide by while geocaching. Today, we mean that literally.

Unless you live on the moon, you’ve probably gone geocaching in some sort of natural area—food garden, arboretum, state park, nature reserve, etc. Most areas have designated walking or hiking paths, but it can be sorely tempting to march straight off into the bush looking like Kipling’s Mowgli.

Here are three reasons not to release your inner Tarzan unless you’re in your own jungle oasis (potted plant patio).

1) You are a big, strong human, and you will crush the plants.1606366_10202242626841636_814244427_o

Are you in the new King Kong remake? If not, then there’s no reason to blunder around crushing things. Your wanderings off the path are likely to leave a trail, one that another geocacher might follow thinking it leads to a cache. By the time the next person finds out your trail doesn’t lead anywhere, they’ve made it look even more like a trail that leads somewhere. You see where this is going. Big strong human, please keep all arms and feet inside the designated trails…

2) Stingy, bite-y, slimy things.

What’s red and green and stings all over? Poison oak, poison ivy, and stinging nettles. And they can really ruin a geocaching party. Keeping to the designated paths (and wearing your cargo pants) is key to avoiding these antagonists of the plant world. Nettles, like human children, are best seen and not heard disturbed.

3) Every step you take…the land manager is watching you.

Alright, so that may be unnecessarily creepy. But it’s the land manager’s job to make sure activities like geocaching are done in harmony with the environmental goals of the area. It’s the geocacher’s job to know what that means for geocaching. It’s true that geocaching in public natural areas is a privilege, not a right. Is this patch of hillside closed-off to protect sensitive species? Don’t go there human! No find is worth being kicked out of a park.

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Tell us (and share some pics)…what’s your favorite natural area to geocache in?

 

14 Km Geocaching Hike Starting after 10pm – That’s Portugal

14 Years Geocaching – Sintra | Portugal

Mega-Event in Portugal

Mega-Event in Portugal

Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are  attending dozens of Mega-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching. Each person at Geocaching HQ brings their own unique talent to advancing the adventure. Some write code for the website, others design images for the apps, and some shoot videos explaining it all. Annie or Love works as the Partners Program Manager, supporting all international distributors. This is her Mega-Event experience.

In early June, I had the pleasure to travel back to Portugal to attend 14 Years Geocaching – Sintra | Portugal. After the very warm welcome I received at Geocoinfest in Portugal two years ago, I was excited to spend some more time with the geocachers from one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  Even better, this Mega-Event would be taking place in the one of the most magical places. Sintra, a community hidden in the Sintra Mountains of the Lisbon region, is filled with unreal sites including a Moorish castle, architecturally stunning palaces and endless tiled sidewalks.

Mega-Event Attendees

The festivities spanned over five days in the Sintra region, and included a variety of geocaching walks, CITO events, a geocache lab adventure and lots of smiling faces. We walked, we cached and we blew bubbles. If you’ve ever wanted to use geocaching as your form of tourism, this Mega-Event would have been for you.

Bubble-blowing event

Bubble-Blowing Event

Some might think it’s weird to start a 14km hike at 10:30pm. Not geocachers. We thrive on adventures like that. If you can find about 35 caches on that 14km hike, even better. On the second night of the event, that’s just what we did.  When I finally returned to my hotel around 3am, I was able to reflect on a fun adventure through the mountains of Sintra with nearly 100 geocaching friends. Those are the memories that will stick with me forever.

Night Hike

Geocaching Night Hike

 

bruning portugal

“Bruning” in Portugal

Pride is one word I would use to describe Portuguese geocachers. Several times throughout the five days, I had conversations with individuals or geocaching teams about the incredible efforts they’ve put into their own geocaches. In a couple of cases, the teams had spent over a year perfecting one geocache. These are the types of geocaches that would inspire me to plan a return trip to Portugal.

New Friends

Love (center) and Geocaching Friends

If you are in search of a place where the people are friendly, the views are amazing, the culture is rich and the geocaching is pretty ‘darn’ good, Portugal has got you covered.

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Love and Geo-pup

Picnic Geocaching

Picnic Geocaching

 

The Secret Double Lives of Geocaching Containers

Not all of these containers we specifically developed as geocaches.

Not all of these containers we specifically developed as geocaches.

Even though some geocache containers seem like they were handcrafted specifically for geocaching, most of them have been repurposed from something else. With things like Ammo cans, it’s pretty obvious what they used to be. For others, it requires a little bit of a deeper look into history:

A preform tube

A preform tube

 

Those Small, Clear Geocache Tubes aka Preform PET Tubes

These small, waterproof, durable containers are perfect for micro-sized geocaches. They can be attached to different camouflage and will last a long time. Plus, the larger tubes can hold both a logbook and a pencil. But their story isn’t just geocaching. In fact, you’ve probably used these hundreds of times and not even know it. Hint: There’s a key word in the heading to this section, “preform”. These small tubes are manufactured to be heated and expanded to form plastic bottles. Check out this video to see an animation of the process:

 

Nano Caches

An example of a similar LED light.

An example of a similar LED light.

Nano geocaches in Shop Geocaching

Nano geocaches in Shop Geocaching

Oft-maligned in the geocaching community, these smaller-than-small, magnetic geocaches are popular for high-muggle areas and urban geocaches. With so little room inside, it’s hard to believe that these geocaches were actually created for a reason other than geocaching. Mark Yvanovich, one of the early makers of these containers told us a little bit about the history, “These containers were originally LED blinking jewelry. The space where the log sheet is stored was where the button cell batteries went. They came with a separate rare earth magnet that could be used to attach it to clothing, etc…” Once these lights obtained new lives as geocaches, Mark and his wife made thousands of these, hand rolling all of the logbooks!

 

Bison Tubes

What did the buffalo say when he dropped his kid off at school? Bison. #dadjokes

What did the buffalo say when he dropped his kid off at school? Bison. #dadjokes

It’s no secret that these tubes look nothing like real bison. Not even close. So what’s the reason behind the name? These containers were originally created by a company named Bison Designs. The company originally made aluminum carabiners in multiple shapes, including dog bones, mouse ears and more. Seeking out new things to create out of aluminum, the need for a small, waterproof container to carry medicine in arose—and thus, the Bison Tube was born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you repurposed a container originally made for something else as a geocache? Tell us in the comments.

 

The Theory of Caching is Found in Canada

COG Fling 10 – The COG Cache Theory

COG 1

Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are  attending dozens of Mega-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching. Each person at Geocaching HQ brings their own unique talent to advancing the adventure. Some write code for the website, others design images for the apps, and some shoot videos explaining it all. Cathy or Prying Pandora works supporting geocaching community volunteers .  This is her Mega-Event experience.

 

Canada Day with reviewers CacheViewer, GeoawareCA, and CacheShadow

Cathy (center) – Canada Day with reviewers CacheViewer, GeoawareCA, and CacheShadow

When I found out I had been selected to attend COG Fling 10 – The COG Cache Theory in Ontario, Canada, I was very excited.  I knew that the Central Ontario geocaching community was super creative and fun, and they would turn this year’s science theme into a weekend full of laughter and crazy surprises.  The chosen location for the 10th Fling was Tottenham Conservation Area, a beautiful 41-acre park about 40 minutes away from Toronto.

The kickoff event on Friday evening was COG Spring Fling, a nod to the COG Fling’s traditional springtime date.  This year the event took place during the long hot days of summer, so how do you make a Spring Fling out of that?  By flinging springs, of course! That was just one of a crazy hodge podge of activities, including racing to fill pipes by squeezing water into them with sponges, and performing an interpretive dance with shock absorbers before tossing them at a target.  The prize?  A fine trophy made of springs!

Elf and Fababoo doing their shock absorber interpretive dance. She has a bubble on her finger.

Elf and Fababoo doing their shock absorber interpretive dance. She has a bubble on her finger.

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Swifteroo’s shock absorber interpretive dance

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Filling pipes with sponges

I had a blast at the Mega-Event on Saturday, meeting and chatting with 800 geocachers. Some of them came all the way from Australia and Germany! Keeping with the science theme, the event log was a lab coat, there were 8 super creative science lab caches, and a mad scientist too! Games, workshops and a bunch of new caches in the area kept people busy all day.

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Fababoo the Mad Scientist

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Potato Experiment Lab Cache

Light Bending Prism Lab Cache

Light Bending Prism Lab Cache

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Two of the COG volunteers helping with the event, Juicepig and Elf

Me with one of the cachers I met, luvvinbird

Me with one of the cachers I met, luvvinbird

 

The weekend wrapped up on Sunday with the COG’s Anti Trash Theory CITO event.  Lots of trash was collected from the area surrounding the park, and a few unusual items too.

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Tromelin heaves in an old satellite dish

I completed my Canadian adventure after the event weekend by visiting the nation’s capital in Ottawa with some of Ontario’s volunteer reviewers to celebrate Canada Day. It was the perfect end to a wonderful trip!

 


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