GeocachingRoadtrip

GeoTour Spotlight: Heritage Hide’n’Seek in Ontario

GeoTour Name:

Heritage Hide’n’Seek

Location:

Northern Ontario, Canada

Number of Favorite Points:

143

2013-10-13_KidsGeocaching_SHansen
Photos by S. Hansen.

You remember the first time you took your kids geocaching like it was yesterday. Their excitement at finding the cache and rifling through the goodies it contained was likely what kept your family looking for more geocaches. But now your babies are off to college or university. As they spread their wings and take flight, they will be putting to use the skills and lessons you taught them over the years.

Geocaching may have taught your family some things to, such as persistence. If at first you don’t find the cache… take a deep breath, review the description and the hint, and keep looking. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, either. Geocache owners and geocachers who have previously found the cache are happy to help. Most importantly geocaching creates a sense of belonging, whether it be simple family bonding or feeling part of the world-wide community of geocachers.

So, as you pack your car to take your big kid to college or university, why not re-live those joyous memories and go geocaching together one last time by making a road trip out of it. There may even be a GeoTour along the route, which will let you earn a prize for your efforts.

For example, if you are heading to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, participate in the Heritage Hide’n’Seek GeoTour. Here are some geocaches which may appeal to students going into various programs:

We’d love to hear about your geocaching experiences as you head off to college or university this fall. Why not share them with us?!

What geocachers have said:

Jakehound mentioned he was “In Thunder Bay to drop my son off for school & had a few hours on a beautiful Saturday morning to get some caching in…enjoyed the adventure. TFTH

Clodhoppers found HHS-What’s in a Name and wrote: “Went to Thunder Bay to pick up our son and take him home for the summer. He is attending Lakehead University. He took us to some sites while we were there. When he was younger he used to enjoy caching. TFTC.

Additional Information:

Logo_GeoTours_Main_vFINAL_060116_1200x950_150dpiFind more about the Heritage Hide’n’Seek GeoTour here.

Note: All the above information was provided by the GeoTour host. Copy has been edited by Geocaching HQ.

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The Secret Whitelist — Geocache of the Week

Mystery Cache
GC69Q0D
by El abnorgollums724
Difficulty:
4.5
Terrain:
2.5
Location:
Switzerland
N 47° 22.913 E 008° 51.881

“The Secret Whitelist” is a well-crafted, highly entertaining dramatic comedy short film and mystery cache.

The clues that will lead you to its final location are hidden within the film, created by and starring the cache owners: El Tornado, abnorMali, sven724 & die-gollums.

When the film opens, geocachers have been disappearing under mysterious circumstances left and right, and the frantic and frightened Thomas Upper finds himself next in line. He suspects the criminal organization, the Muggles, who target geocachers and geocaches, are behind it all. The police are no help.

Upper knows he must be added to the Whitelist, a list of geocachers who’ve paid protection money to the Muggles in exchange for being left alone. He appeals to David Öseler—a disheveled, rookie detective who loves his drink—who agrees to take the case. “My first case!” he says. “And maybe my last.

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Detective Öseler listens intently as Upper describes the situation.

The detective calls an associate of his, and a meeting is set up. After an exchange of the secret code (“A crocodile is like this: the greener it is, the more swim…” and “In the winter, it’s colder than outside…”) they get down to business.

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Öseler meets a strange stranger in an underground parking lot (even stranger!)

The detective’s associate shows him which tools he’ll need to locate the secret Whitelist. He warns the detective, “The Muggles are more hostile than ever.”

The secret contact shows Oseler what he'll need to find the Whitelist.
The secret contact shows Oseler what he’ll need to find the Whitelist.

And after that, the viewer is told to slip into the role of the Detective, and begin the hunt for the Whitelist! The viewer has all the same tools and clues at their disposal as the detective…that is, if they paid attention!

In the seven months since being published, the cache has earned 94 favorite points (a 90% favorite rating).

The team that created this cache were elated by the response from the community. “Wir wollten etwas ganz spezielles auf die Beine stellen. Wir waren überzeugt, dass dieser MultiMystery bei der Community gut ankommen wird. Dass dieser so einen Hype auslösen würde, hat uns doch überrascht.” [We set out to create something truly unique. We were shocked at the incredibly positive response from the community. The fact that it generated such a hype really surprised us.]

The cache owners had this to say to the geocaching community: “Als erstes möchten wir uns bei der Community bedanken, für die positiven Feedbacks und die tollen langen Logs, die geschrieben wurden. Danke auch an alle Cacheowner für die unzähligen tollen Caches die wir besuchten und die wir noch besuchen dürfen. Passt auf die Muggels auf!” [First of all, we want to thank the Community for the positive feedback we’ve received and all the great logs that have been written. Thanks also to all the cache owners out there for countless amazing geocaches that we visited, and that we may still visit. Watch out for the Muggles!]

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Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Photo by nafah.
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Triglav 2864 — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC14N3H
by TeMpL Team
Difficulty:
1.5
Terrain:
4.5
Location:
Slovenia
N 46° 22.692 E 013° 50.175

At 2,864m (9,396ft), Mount Triglav may not be breaking any peak height records (though it is the highest peak in Slovenia), but it could be the only mountain in the world with a rocket on top.

Triglav "spaceship". Photo by Očko.
Triglav rocket. Photo by Očko.

Okay, okay, so it isn’t really a rocket. But the comically small, perfectly cylindrical hut does look more aerodynamic than quite necessary for something entirely earthbound.

Mount Triglav rises well into the clouds above Slovenia, towering over a national park of the same name. Since its first recorded summit on August 26, 1778, droves of climbers have made it to the top. According to the cache page, “It is now said that you are not a complete Slovenian until you have climbed Triglav.” Although the climb is strenuous and requires special equipment, it can be done by most people in reasonably fit condition.

Triglav from below. Photo by Soilworker.
Triglav from below. Photo by Soilworker.

It’s customary to pose for a group photo with the rocket.

Photo by jaja a paja.
Photo by jaja a paja.
Photo by Jpety
Photo by Jpety.
Photo by Ke4up
Photo by Ke4up

For many geocachers, finding the Mount Triglav cache is an even better reward than the photo opportunity or the sense of superiority you have over your friends who haven’t climbed a mountain.

Photo by  jakteam.
Photo by jakteam.

The cache may have one of the best views in the world…at least, when it’s not buried underneath the snow.

 

GC14N3H. Photo by aqua55.
GC14N3H. Photo by aqua55.

Although the cache faces the same hazards of weather and climate that many mountain caches face and sometimes goes missing, we hope that it remains active for many years to come.

Photo by Whoever_CZ .
Photo by Whoever_CZ .

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

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Journey to the belly of the A.P.E.

Back in 2001, long before I knew anything about geocaching, a promotions staffer at 20th Century Fox emailed Geocaching.com. The studio was interested in pairing geocaching with promotional efforts for its upcoming science fiction film, Planet of the Apes. Fifteen years later, the results of that promotion led me to visit South America for the first time. (More on that in a minute.)

Jeremy Irish, Geocaching HQ’s co-founder and CEO, worked closely with Fox to develop what came to be known as Project A.P.E. (Short for Alternative Primate Evolution, a storyline that Fox created for the promotion.)

Jeremy assisted in hiding the now-archived Mission 9: Tunnel of Light. (Photo from the Aug/Sept 2001 issue of Business 2.0)

At the time, geocaching was a relatively unknown game. The first cache was placed less than a year earlier, and only around 450 caches were listed on Geocaching.com. “It was a very exciting project,” Jeremy says today. “The website was still in its infancy, so it was pretty cool that a major movie studio wanted to partner with us. Project A.P.E. did a lot to inform the general public about geocaching.”

An unused A.P.E. cache logbook (left) and the original logbook from Mission 9: Tunnel of Light (GC1169)

Jeremy and Fox staffers worked with local cachers to place containers in the USA (New York, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, California, Georgia), the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil and Japan. Each week, clues were released to give hints to each A.P.E. cache location. The clues became more detailed until the complete coordinates were finally revealed. Once the location was known, it was a race to be FTF and get dibs on whatever movie props might be inside the cache.

Vanity Fair article from 2001

The first A.P.E. cache was published May 24, 2001. It was followed by 13 more listings, with the final cache location revealed August 10, 2001.

Some of the A.P.E. caches were archived within weeks of publication. Others lived on for many years. Today, only one remains: Mission 4: Southern Bowl.

This cache likely owes its longevity to a remote location. Brazil’s Intervales State Park is a 3-4 hour drive from São Paulo, the nearest metropolitan area. The park is renowned for fantastic birding, caves, waterfalls and other natural wonders. Suffice it to say, the A.P.E. cache is only one of many interesting things to see!

My long-planned pilgrimage was helped by a caching friend who lives in Brazil and also happens to be a Community Volunteer Moderator. Rui graciously agreed to meet me in São Paulo and join the voyage to Intervales, even though he had already been there twice! Not only does he know the area well, but he also speaks the language (Portuguese).

Rui and I at Intervales State Park

Upon arriving, we visited with park manager Junior (aka JRintervales). Junior maintained the A.P.E. cache for many years on behalf of its original owner, the legendary JoGPS, who sadly passed away last year. Junior recently adopted the cache listing and is a wealth of information for those planning to visit Intervales.

We chose to stay at one of the park’s lodges. There is also a dining hall / restaurant on the grounds which serves three meals each day. Add those amenities to dozens of caches around the park, and you have a recipe for a fun caching weekend.

 

Hiking inside Intervales State Park

And so after 18 hours of air and car travel, we found ourselves on the trail to one of the biggest items on my geocaching bucket list. Only one problem: I had loaded the cache into my GPS, but the GPS didn’t recognize the A.P.E. cache icon. So, the cache wouldn’t show up on my GPS map! Thankfully, Rui knew the trails well enough to lead us to the general area of the cache. And, as you can see from the photo, the cache is big enough to be pretty easy to spot once you’re close. After inking the log, we snapped the requisite celebratory photos before continuing on to a full day of caching around the park.

Me and the last remaining A.P.E. cache

We were back in São Paulo the next day, and I returned to Seattle the following night. Quite a whirlwind tour!

I think we’d all agree that geocaching takes us to places we might never have visited if not for the game. Isn’t it amazing to think that a 15-year-old promotion would lead me and so many others to a beautifully remote area of Brazil that we may not have experienced otherwise?

Have you found an A.P.E. cache? If not, is Brazil beckoning you?