FF2017: Warp Pipe — Geocache of the Week

by Fundy Fog
New Brunswick, Canada
N 45° 50.015 W 066° 29.523

The best geocachers know the best ways to level up their GC game: collect all golden coins per level, risk it all running after 1-Up mushrooms, and harness the fireball power of Fire Flowers.

Wait, what? This is advice for a different game? Two games collide for a SUPER-crossover that will have you saying ‘Mamma mia, that’s-a one cool container’ for this Geocache of the Week!

Rough-sketched blueprints and the pixelated Mario and the relevant sections cut out as patterns for the different layers.

FF2017: Warp Pipe brings the original Nintendo side-scroller, Super Mario Bros., into the third dimension. The cache owner, Fundy Fog, used the nostalgia of the video game to fuel the creation of the container. “I’ve played Super Mario Bros. since the first Nintendo system was released way back in the 80s and still play the games today with my kids. To have a piece of pop-culture from the game become something tangible seemed like a neat experience.”

The initial coat of paint determined whether the PVC was warp pipe worthy.

After stumbling across a 6 ft (1.8 m) section of 10 in (25.4 cm) PVC culvert in the spring of 2016, the idea for a warp pipe cache came to Fundy Fog instantly. Partially filled with dirt and haphazardly discarded in the woods along an overgrown construction road, with a little creative thinking the discarded container started to take shape.

Looking down the warp pipe at the internal framing that will hold the black PVC pipe and raising rod assembly.

“I liked the idea of using simple mechanics to power the cache. The counter weights reset the cache whenever the cover is put in place—similar to pulling the winding chain on a grandfather clock.” Besides the external color, this cache is completely green: all the components, except the central 2 in (5 cm) PVC guide pipe and paint, are recycled materials.

“Everything was in my garage. I had a rough-sketched plan but worked largely by imagination with a bit of trial and error.”

Multiple layers glued together with the slot cut for the raising rod.

“All assembled, I estimate it weighs over 60 pounds (27 kg). The location also fits the theme nicely. Most players of the game know that in certain levels there are hidden warp pipes. To find them, they need to take their time to explore. For those players who race through to reach the end, they never notice them there…just like the drivers never suspect what lies in the trees just beyond the ditch.”

The raising rod installed. The drill holes are extra area for the glue to take a firm hold.

“My inspiration is to entertain, starting with the story in the description—it hints at what is to come. People will tell me they had an idea of what they would find, but the size of the pipe and Mario pop up with the log container in his hands surprises them. When they share their enjoyment it makes me smile knowing  that I have achieved my goal.”

Are you a true Super Mario Bros. fan? Head to the cache page and see if you can answer the trivia question required to open the geocache’s lock!

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Delanie is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. In her free time, she is most likely to be knitting, pining after Mt. Rainier, or trying to revive her over-watered succulents.