Montana Earth Science is a site with great information about the Ringing Rocks formation which sits within the Boulder Batholith region in Montana (about 20 miles East of Butte.) There are only 5 known sites like this in the world. 2 of these are in the United States. Pennsylvania has the other U.S. site.
We had a great weekend caching our way through the trip. Because we did not follow a set route and were often in areas without cell service I found it challenging to do paperless caching on the fly. Probably could have bagged more geocaches if I had covered a big radius and downloaded several pocket queries, but we bagged a half dozen caches and had only one DNF at Death Cave Cache (GC17Y5D).
In regards to the DNF. Here is one gem of a tip that will save iphone geocachers from the pain of a DNF in remote and tough terrain. When you are looking up cache information, ALWAYS, ALWAYS save for offline use as soon as the information downloads. It was very frustrating to lose both cell service, thus access to the hint, (which we later needed) and gps coords (satellites got knocked out because of the canyon walls.)
This was an amazing area and we had a great adventure in spite of not finding the cache. Considering our kids have NO experience with either free climbing or hiking on scree, they did well with their “by fire” intro to both.
We’ll go back and pick that cache up next time we are in the area!
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A fellow geocacher, teammcw, is currently deployed in Iraq. He is helping his fellow soldiers to relieve stress and boredom by building the geocaching community at his base.
Please consider sending this soldier some stuff. I am sending swag, trackables, cache making supplies, stash notes/log books, writing sticks and batteries. I am also sending books I have registered with www.bookcrossing.com For those of you not familiar- it is like geocaching, only with books. Lots of cachers use bookcrossing books as swag.
If you know anyone who may be interested in contributing to these efforts, OR if you know someone who is deployed and may be interested geocaching, let me know. I will help!
LTC. McWilliams specifically asked for dvd’s/ music cd’s (gently used is great!) and anything funny. Small items, games, books, anything to help these men and women pass quality time with a smile on their faces. He says “Funny is like gold”.
Mailboxes etc. provides special boxes for mailing to military bases all over the world at GREATLY reduced shipping costs. Thank you for helping!!
I included the following correspondence so that you can get an idea of what LTC. McWilliams is looking for.
THE FOLLOWING IS A COPY OF EMAILS FROM LTC. McWILLIAMS-
On Wed. April 29, 2009
Hey, thanks for the note. Anything you can send would be awesome…swag, trackables activated or not, container material, logs. Thanks for your support! We appreciate it very, very much.
dad of teammcw
— On Thu, 4/30/09,
Subject: RE: [GEO] drgnflyz contacting teammcw from
Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009, 1:37
Oh my goodness! Wow…. I’m not even sure where to start. I think natural cammo materials (even if artificial) might not be needed. We pretty much have brown rocks (hey, there’s something), date palms, sand, and trash. Lots of opportunity for magnetic caches – but I’m trying to think creatively. We have some switch plate caches here, but not enough and they aren’t hidden in a way that would fool most cachers with more than 10 caches under their belt. We’d love to get more.
Sign ideas —YES!!!! There are signs for everything and with a little creativity we can make some really cool ones. Magnetic strips would be great- I’ve only encountered one here and it really has new cachers are going nuts! I’m looking to span the spectrum – hard, tricky, and funny. I really like the snake, spider, gnome idea, too!!!! We’ll be able to get glue for containers, but off the wall stuff for building containers like PVC pipe, metal stuff might be tougher. So if you have any of that send it along. Nanos and bison tubes – for sure.
There are over 100 caches here on our big base — but having spent two tours here I know we could easily double it. I have gotten interest from cachers that live/work in other parts of Iraq that are trying to get down to us for the event.
Regular mail works fine. Did I send you my address already? I am truly overwhelmed by your enthusiasm and generosity. Thank you so much!
Geocaching. I don’t remember specifically how I discovered geocaching, but it has taken our family by storm. The sport allows us to keep physically and mentally active on so many levels. We have incorporated geocaching into many elements of our lives. We are more physically fit for our involvement in geocaching. On any given day we could spend less than an hour in our urban environment; discovering exciting places we, otherwise, might never have known about.
OR, we can and have, planned an entire vacation around geocaching.
We recently returned from a cruise through parts of Pacific Mexico, where we spent time exploring beaches, jungles mountains and cities. One day we had a particularly grand adventure- all because someone hid a Tupperware container in some rocks on an uninhabited island in Mazatlan, Mexico. The only reason I found out about this non-tourist treasure is because I entered the location of our destination on geocaching.com, a free web site.
We use computer skills to research caches we want to find, then log our efforts. I like to make my own log and stash notes for the caches that we hide- so I am joining the ranks of the computer literate. The on line community of geocachers is very social. I have met fellow cachers from near and far, and renewed relationships with people I have know since I was a kid when we discovered our mutual interest in this multifaceted sport. In our technology obsessed world, when it is so easy to sit for hours on the computer- geocaching helps me find balance between being physically active and the ‘virtual world’.
Another aspect of geocaching that we did not expect to encounter, is helping our family reduce our footprint on the earth. One of the hallmarks of geocaching is it’s ‘tread lightly‘ approach when out in the field. They also advocate ‘Cache In-Trash Out’ as one solution to cleaning up the environment as we interact with it. We never go on a cache hunt without a garbage bag. We leave each place we visit cleaner than we found it.
Since we have branched out from ‘seeking’ to ‘hiding’ caches, our family now looks at everyday objects and even the daily trash with a new and creative eye. When we put together a box of materials for our geocaching trips, the kids had a great time going through gently used toys and picking out the best “trinkets” for our geocaching trades. They are learning to reuse and recycle not only their toys, but other household items as well.
We save pill bottles, coffee cans, and other objects that might otherwise go in the trash and transform them into camouflaged containers for caches we hide. Stickers and samples that come in the mail now help stock our trade box.
Who would have thought that one family activity could touch so many facets of our lives. From math skills to community pride, my kids are learning positive lessons through geocaching. They can find their way through back streets of unfamiliar cities, and in remote wilderness. Geocaching has brought out the artist, environmentalist, and athlete in all of us.
So how did geocaching start? Here’s a great link that explains the history of the sport. The History of Geocaching
Here is a quick look at how another person incorporated geocaching into his life-
Hope you’ve enjoyed these thoughts- and that you may be inspired to create an adventure for yourself. Hope your journey is as full of laughter and love as mine has been thus far. Peace