Geocaching Idaho and Beyond

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Geocaching In Pacific Mexico: An Amazing Adventure (and how to make the most of your time!)

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First the adventure!!

Cruising with Princess for spring break.  Made port in Mazatlan, Mexico for 9 hours.  Had a stack of potential geocaches.  The following is my log entry for our first cache-

Lambchop 4 (GC1761J)  Log entry March 25, 2009

Had such a great day BECAUSE of this cache!  Made port for a few hours from a cruise. Took a cab to the drop off area for bird island and deer island. (Shared cab fare with another couple headed the same general direction for about $10 bucks.)

(City bus goes to this area if you want to keep a few extra pesos in your pocket.)  Found a super nice guy on the beach that rents kayaks and has a catamaran.  Paid $15 each for him to sail us over to bird island.  Emigdio Vasquez Tovar (Milton) His business card says Kayaks, Diving, Sailing.  His phone numbers are (669)988-9751 and (669) 101-5263.  Milton noticed that we did not have water and packed us a big bottle!

We stayed on Bird island for 3 hours. Had a blast!  Took tons of pictures of frigate birds, vultures, pipers, pelicans…Not to mention the tide pool activity.  Hermit crabs, sea urchins, fish…  There are also rabbits on the island.

Previous geocachers raised the question of  the ‘ethics’ of visiting this bird sanctuary. I have some experience in wildlife rehabilitation and animal behavior; with a special interest in ornithology, so I am familiar with birds and bird behavior.  Here are a few thoughts for protecting them. Keep a respectful distance from the birds and an eye out for nesting activity.  Take a zoom lens camera for close up shots.  My experience was that the birds were not be threatened by our presence.  We hiked to the top of the island and explored both ends that were accessible by walking on the rocky shore.

Wish we had planned to stay longer, but Milton took care of us. While still on the island he showed us how he nets lobster, and he had fresh oysters and sea roaches waiting for us on our return to the mainland.  We were so hungry that we probably would have paid any price for freshly harvested oysters-but he charged us a fair price.  I am so glad we decide to make this trip.  It will always stand out as a grand adventure!

We were able to bag several more caches while making our way back to the ship.  This is an awesome city for geocaching!

Thanks for the cache-would not have known about this excursion had it not been for you!

This cache needs a larger heavy duty ziplock bag.  The container will need to be replaced at some point.  It is not water tight. Removed 2 small stuffed bears and a   from the cache as they were moldy.  Everything was pretty damp. Dried stuff out as much as possible and replaced plastic baggie. Left geopin and bottle opener.  Took stone.  Left tb’s and coins.

Making The Most of Your Time

We have geocached in Mexico before, and always find these caches  far more exciting than caching in our hometown.  For one thing it’s all new.  It can be challenging to find your way around a city, especially if you do not speak the language.  We try and pick up a few new key phrases each time we visit.  (Usually just enough to get us into trouble!  LOL)

Every city we have visited in Mexico has fantastic public transportation.  Very affordable and easy to navigate.  If we have limited time we sometimes opt to hire a cab for the day.  It is easy to find a driver who speaks english- and this is a good opportunity to pick up more Spanish!!  We have hired a driver for between $50 and $80 dollars.  They always know where good local food is, and are always amused when we explain geocaching.  Even though we speak a bit of spanish, we always travel with printed translations explaining geocaching.  I also take bilingual stash notes/logs for caching abroad.

Here’s one thing I have learned about caching in unknown territory.  Build in extra time.  We have cut it close to missing the ship a couple of times.   The last thing I want is that kind of stress when I am on vacation.  Plan on things taking half again as long as you think they should.

When caching in tourist-y towns we learned to take a backpack with loads of “maintenance supplies.”  Baggies, logs, bilingual stash notes, magnets, duct tape, super glue, micro containers…  Most of the caches placed in tourist areas are left by tourists.  To maintain the integrity of these caches we have to be willing to pitch in help with upkeep.

Planning a Vacation Geocaching Excursion

View all potential caches in the area online well ahead of your trip and look at recent log entries.  This gives you an idea of what particular supplies you might need, and often, saves  you the disappointment of trying to find a cache that has been muggled.  Nothing sucks worse than hiking for a few hours on a time crunch and not being able to find a cache.  I also learned the hard way to take ALL information on the cache with me.  I may not read all the logs ahead of time, but when you are in the field in some far off land- trust me.  Do not go without the clues and logs available in case you need them.

Choose one general direction and plan a ‘route’ to follow.  Two words here.  Google Earth.  The geocaching overlay is fantastic! We always start with the cache that is the farthest away and work our way back (taking into account the timey-wimey bit above.)  In tourist areas most caches will be in tourist-y areas so the ‘route’ business is fairly easy to establish.  We have never had enough time to finish even half of the caches we plan.  That time factor always comes into play.

Will finish this post in a few days with links and pictures.  Hate to leave it unfinished… peace


Deployed Geocacher Plans Event Cache In Iraq For Fellow Soldiers

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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.

He has planned an event cache (GC1QMWT) for May 30, 2009.  Here is the topic thread on groundspeak (the online geocaching forum)

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 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.


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!


Written by drgnflyz

April 30, 2009 at 8:31 pm