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31 in 31 - a recap

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Joined: 21 Mar 2012

Posts: 169

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: 31 in 31 - a recap Reply with quote

So it is over, the 31 in 31 challenge by groundspeak is ended. PJayCee and I have met every challenge, chased every beacon, walked every trail, to find at least one cache every day in August. Most days we have found more than one, "just in case." But there are a couple of firsts for us. We found GC2VWNP, which claims to be the world's easiest geocache. We found GC44ET5, the most challenging multi-stage puzzle we've seen, not because it is hard, but because our devices would not settle down and the final, the cache itself had a malfunction. Yes, we did the necessary cache maintenace - even purchased a tool of the trade.

There was a cache claiming to be number one and a cache claiming to be a foreigner. We didn't find the cache that asked if we were crazy, but we put in a really strong effort. I guess we weren't crazy enough for that one...yet.

We moved about a half dozen travel bugs and released our own first bug.

We found caches near churches, caches near fire stations, caches near city halls, caches near historic sites, caches in the city and caches in the country, caches in parks and deep in the woods and parking lots and on street corners and under skirts.

We posted DNFs and NMs and Notes and pictures and a whole lot of Found Its.

We completed our first challenge, found our first Wherigo and attended our first event.

We've cached in the morning, at noon time, in the evening, after dark, and all day long.

We've been exposed to poison ivy, bitten by mosquitoes, chased by deer flies, scratched by thorns, stabbed by thistles, detoured by overgrown (I mean really overgrown) terrain, been covered with sticker seeds (at least six different species) endured 102F (39C) temperatures, high humidity, and even had to cross a collapsing bridge by walking on the railing. We took our canoe out to get one cache, but after a very long search, had to DNF. We took our canoe to another cache that we could have walked to - if we wanted to. We have worked together, worked separately, agreed, disagreed, been exhausted, out of time, out of caches, out of daylight, and out of luck. After one long day caching, we helped someone jump-start their truck. Did I mention ticks? Oh, and Pam discovered that she brought a spider home with her.

We were chased by the Lochness monster and went to a place where Sasquatch had been spotted - no, we really did.

There have been large caches, regular caches, small caches, micros, and nanos. There have been puzzles, field puzzles, multi-stages, earth caches, skirt hides, pine tree hides, park & grabs, needle-in-a-haystack hides, magnetic caches, easy caches, hard caches, and really hard caches. There was even a cache in the grass. We saw one cache in a tree that my fat old body could not climb. We found Rubbermaid, Tupperware, lock-n-locks, peanut butter jars, ammo cans, pill bottles, film canisters, bison tubes, cookie tins, a Christmas Tree, one of Santa's reindeer (how's that for Christams in August?), a combination lock that we had to get open, and a tennis ball can. One was even in an emptied Chapstick tube. And if that's not enough, a whole bunch of Drs. Who led us to the Tardis.

Three of us, all former boy scouts (yes, Pam is a former boy scout) followed clues from a boy scout (in uniform, no less) to find a geocache.

We heard loons and woodpeckers, smelled foxes and flowers, saw herons, egrets, squirrels, and a bear cub, and have the photos to prove it.

We've introduced others to geocaching and been caught red handed by muggles. At least once, we were "muggled" by someone who knew instantly we were geocaching. One other time, I waited for a muggle to pass before replacing a magnetic sign hide, quickly snuck it into place, turned to get back in the car, and came face to face with the muggle I thought I'd just avoided.

We've found a lot of swag, most of it intended for children. But one cache had men's deodorant and a new, individually wrapped pantyliner. Uh, OK. At least a couple caches had ants in them. Yes we cleaned them out.

Speaking of cleaning, we've added new and replaced rotting logs, removed other rotten "swag," dumped out rusty water, repaired camo, re-hid better than found, and generally tried to make sure caches were as the CO intended.

There have been people who have claimed that the 31 in 31 challenge was not good because it emphasizes quantity over quality. I'm sorry, but they don't know what they are talking about.

Now I need to go clean up the mud. Did I mention the mud?


PS Yes, we got 31 in August, and no, we are NOT caching today (Sept. 1)
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Joined: 10 Aug 2011

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great overview of the month!
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Joined: 21 Mar 2012

Posts: 169

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot - we also gave out 6 or 7 favorite points.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should add our experience to this thread... We had just finished a 500 day streak earlier this year and had gotten pretty burned out from it, to the point where if we had the option to ignore this month all together, we probably would have just made sure not to get any caches this month. But, we had a caching trip planned out in Colorado and Wyoming right in the middle of August, so there was no avoiding caching this month. And it would drive me insane to only have a couple of the souvenirs - it is all or nothing for me!

SO, we tried something different this time. Rather than it being a "chore" that one of us had to complete (and towards the end led to arguing about who HAD to get the cache vs. who GOT to go get the cache), we decided to try to accomplish this entire month as a family. This is a bit of a challenge as Kayla is only 5 and between work and bedtime, we only have a short amount of time when we are all together each day. But, we did it! And, I have to say, it was a really enjoyable month. Really rekindled what we love about the hobby to begin with. We tried to pick out quality kid friendly caches whenever possible and it led to a lot of fun family time. I think it was a success because Kayla said tonight, in a panic, "We didn't get our cache of the day!!" I said, "We don't need to get a cache of the day anymore." She replied, "That doesn't mean we CAN'T get a cache!" Smart girl! Smile

Anyway, here is our recap:

- 55 caches over 5 types (32 traditionals, 16 virtuals, 5 mysteries, 1 event, 1 earth)
- 16 counties across 4 states
- 41 placed months from July 2001 - Aug 2013
- 15 different D/T combinations (from 1 to 5 difficulty and from 1 to 3 terrain)
- 2,242 miles covered
- Elevations from 717 feet (local) to 10,689 feet (in Wyoming)
- Covered every container size
- Made lots of fun memories!
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Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 193

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have always been of the thought - we will cache when we feel like caching. So the whole concept of the 31 days of caching runs against our approach. Even with that, we hit 19 of the 31 days and tied our longest streak (6 whole days). Had some things that got us out more often than normal ( jury duty, conference at the U, new caches near home, etc).

Our rundown:
- 33 caches over 7 types (16 unknowns, 9 traditionals, 4 earth, 1 virtual, 1 CITO, 1 wherigo, 1 letterbox)
- 16ish different d/t ratings.
- 4 DNFs
- car broken into once
- accidently wandered into one homeless encampment

September is off to an interesting start as we got our first true FTF on a multi cache 200 miles from home.
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Joined: 22 Mar 2009

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AustinMN - I love your travelogue!
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