Photo by DSVaughn
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Long lost APE cache is found!

A group of Seattle-area geocachers has claimed a historic victory against muggle forces by rescuing an APE cache more than five years after it went missing!

The History

In 2001, fourteen geocaches were placed in conjunction with 20th Century Fox to support the movie Planet of the Apes. Each geocache represented a fictional story in which scientists revealed an Alternative Primate Evolution (A.P.E.). These geocaches were made using specially marked ammo containers and contained an original prop from the movie. Mission 9: Tunnel of Light was one of those caches.

Located about 60 miles east of Seattle, the container was placed by Geocaching HQ co-founder Jeremy and the father of the geocoin, Moun10Bike. The cache was found more than 3,000 times, surviving minor disturbances over nearly 10 years. There is even a Mega-Event (Going Ape) created by the Washington State Geocaching Association to honor this famous cache.

Sadly, Mission 9 was muggled and then archived in June 2011. Moun10Bike wrote at the time, “The decision to archive was not taken lightly, and was not easy for either me or for Groundspeak. However, the rule with Project APE caches has always been that once the container goes missing (which is part of the identity of the original series of caches), then it is no longer an APE cache, and thus must be archived (or at least have its APE status removed).”

While the community mourned the loss, a tribute cache was placed and the Going Ape event continued each year. But thanks to the incredible efforts of dedicated cachers, there is a new chapter in this APE cache’s story.

The Search and Rescue

In April of this year, cachers Winos_Seattle and rambudo met up with Geocaching HQ co-founder Bryan Roth. As they chatted, the subject of the lost APE cache came up. Winos_Seattle wondered if the container could possibly be found. Over the years, some have speculated that it’s unlikely that whoever muggled the heavy container would have carried it nearly two miles back to the nearest parking area. Perhaps they simply removed it from its location and discarded it nearby?

But even if that were the case, the area is hilly and densely forested. A rescue effort would require detailed planning and keen eyes. Sounds like a job for geocachers!

With encouragement from Bryan and Moun10Bike, and after months of planning, the search commenced on October 1. The group of 10 included Winos_Seattle and rambudo, as well as other Seattle-area cachers Sproutter, Lamoracke, _Shaddow_, DSVaughn, Curious Joe, gsbarnes, KnightWolf74 and Princess Trouble.

After hiking to the tribute cache, they split into three teams and spread out into the surrounding forest. Equipped with two-way radios, each team was assigned to one of three zones. Within minutes, one team had located what turned out to be muggled tribute cache containers. The other teams found a variety of swag and logbooks, including ones with signatures from 2011 and 2014 (likely from the tribute cache).

Following an extensive and courageous effort, a joyous call eventually came over the radio, “We think we found the original container!” Down in the woods below the original cache location, behind a tree with the open end of the container facing down, was the Mission 9: Tunnel of Light cache. Distinguished by stickers affixed to the inside, as well as some Planet of the Apes trading cards, the cache had fared remarkably well over the years.

100116-gsbarnes-ape-cache-validation-gz-01
Photo by gsbarnes

After a lot of celebratory high-fives, the group phoned Moun10Bike, who was shocked and delighted by the discovery. A couple days later, Moun10Bike, Bryan, and others at Geocaching HQ welcomed the triumphant searchers and the long-lost APE cache. And now that the container is recovered, we’re left with an important question.

Photo by DSVaughn
The triumphant search party hiking out with the APE cache. Photo by DSVaughn.

What’s Next?

The Planet of the Apes caches enjoy a special place in geocaching lore. Today, only one active APE cache remains: Brazil’s Mission 4: Southern Bowl. Given how the global geocaching community treasures the APE cache series, we feel it’s very important to hear what you think should happen next.

Photo by Love
Bryan and Moun10Bike examine the APE cache container. Photo by Love.

Should Mission 9: Tunnel of Light be returned to its original location and reactivated? Should it be kept safe from muggles and instead be displayed at Geocaching HQ as an artifact of the game’s history? Are there other ideas that should be considered?

We encourage you to make your voice heard by completing this survey by November 27, 2016. We’ll gather the ideas and later give you a chance to vote for your favorite before the end of the year.

In the meantime, please join us in reveling in the knowledge that what once was lost has now been found. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who made it happen!

Several members of the search party at Geocaching HQ. Photo by Love.
Several members of the search party at Geocaching HQ. Photo by Love.
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‘Tis Only a Flesh Wound — On a Dark Night (GC1JHWA) — Geocache of the Week

Geocache_of_the_Week_vFINAL_122314

 

Are you brave enough to earn this smiley?
Are you brave enough to earn this smiley?

Geocache Name:

On a Dark Night (GC1JHWA)

 

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

1.5/2

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

As nearly any geocacher knows, scrapes, scratches and other flesh wounds are inevitable when you’re searching for a geocache in the woods. But just like the black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, mere flesh wounds can’t stop a geocacher. This geocache also reminds everyone to keep their sense of humor around while out searching. If you’re up for the challenge of finding this geocache, grab your coconuts (from an African Swallow, of course) and embark on your journey!

If you need a reference for the joke, here’s a YouTube clip. Warning: Some violence and mild language.

 

What geocachers are saying:

“I couldn’t help but think this was supposed to be a night cache! Anyway as I spotted GZ a huge grin appeared on my face – loved this one! :)” – slieschke

“Having found the tribute cache to the Co a couple of weeks ago I took the opportunity today to find a couple and this was number one… worth the effort… and deserving of the fave points… left my own fave point, some Phillipino coin and Hamster Tag tb that I found in the tribute cache to continue on… tftc…” – Peppa

“Wow, wow, wow… This trail is really upping the game for the caches that I have found thus far. I also think that I am going to be out of Fav’ Points as I keep giving them to every cache of ‘wingaap’ that I visit including this one! The idea and just finding the cache gave me a giggle and the wow factor. Awesome!” – MinkosDes

 Photos:

A brave warrior facing almost nearly certain ankle biting.
A brave warrior facing almost nearly certain ankle biting.
The black knight and his creator, Wingaap.
The black knight and his creator, Wingaap.

What’s the funniest geocache you’ve ever found? Tell us and post photos in the comments.

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

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Join Michelin’s Quest for Adventure

 

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You Could Win a Set of MICHELIN® Tires and a Grand Prize Trip!

Michelin—the world’s top tire manufacturer— is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a nationwide adventure quest to find the tire maker’s beloved mascot– the Michelin Man.

Here’s how it works:

1. Request & Hide a Trackable
Request a free Michelin Man tire pressure trackable (while supplies last) and hit the open road to stash your Michelin Man inside a geocache in the U.S.  Activate the trackable and share a photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the campaign #MichelinQuest tag.

UPDATE:  The Michelin trackables sold out quickly and are all spoken for — but you can still participate, see the next step!

MIchelin Man
Michelin Man

2. Find a Michelin Man Trackable
Didn’t receive a free Michelin Man Geocaching trackable?  You can still participate! Check out the latest whereabouts of the Michelin Man, fire up your Geocaching app and set out!

Find a Michelin Man trackable and record your discovery with a picture that really stands out. Next, log your geocache and share your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the #MichelinQuest tag!

Be sure your social media account is unprotected or your photo is shared publically, or we won’t be able to see your photo.

3. New Tires and a Grand Prize Vacation

The 10 best photos will win a set of MICHELIN® tires.  Those photos will be shared on @MichelinUSA official Facebook page where the photo that earns the most likes will win a grand prize vacation!

The grand prize winner will choose between two incredible experiences. The first is a fine dining experience at an exclusive gala to celebrate the release of the 2015 MICHELIN Red Guide in New York City, San Francisco or Chicago. The MICHELIN Red Guide has been the gold standard in fine dining since 1900. The second option is to attend one of the inaugural Formula E races in Miami or Los Angeles. The Formula E series is the world’s first fully-electric racing series.

Contest Dates

Contest will run from Sept. 8, 2014, until Dec. 31, 2014, 11:59:59pm (ET).

The “Michelin Quest for Adventure” anniversary geocaching contest is solely sponsored by Michelin North America, Inc., NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States who are 18 years and older at time of entry. Contest runs from Sept. 8 to Dec. 31, 2014. Void where prohibited. For details and restrictions, see the Official Contest Rules on the website: http://michelin.geocaching.com.

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How to Speak Geocaching – A Mega-Event Journey to Germany

Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are  attending dozens of Mega-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching. Each person at Geocaching HQ brings their own unique talent to advancing the adventure. Some write code for the website, others design images for the apps, and some shoot videos explaining it all. Justin Dover or  dova dov is part of the IT team at Geocaching HQ. This is his Mega-Event experience.

Mega-Event and Soccer
Mega-Event and Soccer

By Justin:

As someone with very little world traveling experience, I was somewhat intimidated when I discovered that I had been selected to attend GC4MEGA Big Äppel.  My foreign language is limited to rusty high school spanish and innumerable programming languages that I’ve supported over the years.  However, any discomfort I had was quickly put at ease when I started communicating with Robert Fitzsch, my contact and one of the passionate members of the Big Äppel Orga-Team.  He reminded me that we all share the common language of geocaching.

Justin and Hailey
Justin and Hailee

Traveling with my wife Hailee, we arrived in Frankfurt on Thursday and had an opportunity to see the old town area known as Alt-Sachsenhausen.  It’s a quaint outdoor setting with lots of bars and restaraunts. This would be the first of many times that we were asked if we had tried der Apfelwein (the apple wine).  Consumed during all seasons, applewine is an acquired taste not appreciated by all.  I found it palatable, but much prefered the local pilsners.

The event was scheduled over two days at Commerze Bank Arena with a conclusion event Sunday aboard The Applewine Express.  The main venue was most notably remodeled to support the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Friday night hosted the GC4MEET Meet&Greet.  As attendees got a lay of the land and greeted one another, they also had the opportunity to observe two influential geocachers share their craft. Enno Seifried, producer of a film roughly translated as “Stories Behind Forgotten Walls – The Lost Places”, hosted a viewing which detailed the abandoned locations in eastern Germany that host a treasure of extreme caches.  Bernhard Hoeker, a comedian, actor and geocaching author, performed a book reading and signing.

Berhard, Justin and Enno participating in book signing/picture/autograph session
Bernhard, Justin and Enno participating in book signing/picture/autograph session

The band Dangerous Comfort was scheduled to perform indoors in the VIP area during the event, however, a popular German hard rock band Böhse Onkelz (Evil Uncles) stole the attention with televised public viewing of their reunion concert in the center of the arena.  The concert was taking place an hour south at a racetrack in Hockenheimring, but they sold so many tickets that some of the fans were diverted to Commerze Bank Arena for safety reasons. As a result, cachers were treated to a free suite-level show.

justin 10
Fans starting to arrive for the Böhse Onkelz

Saturday brought lots of activities, with the central geocaching goal of completing the event’s Lab Cache adventure.  This incorporated the use of augmented reality, a code emitting wireless access point and deciphering a passphrase on a telephone booth nearby.  The Labs series also incorporated published traditional and multi-cache hides to complete the Adventure.  This experience was a wonderful example of how Labs provide the geocaching experience in a small area bending traditional rules and only available for a limited time.

Lab Cache
Lab Cache

When Hailee and I weren’t helping English speaking visitors at the welcome booth, we had an opportunity to walk around to visit with the vendors and presenters.  We discovered some unique and clever geocache containers, but we were most impressed with the folks using laser technology to create duplicate low-cost trackables to share. There were also panel discussions and workshops on using GSAK, OpenStreetMaps and Wherigo–as well as a Q&A hosted by yours truly.

Once the event started nearing the end of the day, the excitement for geocaching began to shift toward pride of country.  As fans began filing into the area wearing black, red and gold, it became quite clear that Germany was about to play Ghana in the World Cup and the venue was host to another public viewing.  Over 30,000 fans came together to watch Germany on what was advertised as the largest canvas.

The event officially culminated on Sunday at the Frankfurt Main Train Station with GC4M3ET Big Äppel Bye Bye.  It was a trolley tour around Frankfurt aboard the Applewine Express.  We had an opportunity to take in the notable sites around the city while enjoying der Apfelwein one last time.

For our final experience of the visit, Robert and Annika of the Orga-Team arranged a tour of Castle Eppstein and dinner in the surrounding town.

Castle Eppstein
Castle Eppstein

 This was a small event for 20 or so cachers entitled GC4M3GA Meet a Lackey.  We had an incredible time touring the ruins, learning of the lineage and counting the steps all the way to the top of the tower.  Dinner provided the best meal of our visit and a relaxed atmosphere to discuss common interests inside and outside of geocaching.  It was a great chance to make new friends and we even learned a new game.

donkey
It’s a little like Jenga, a lot more difficult, and I have no idea what it’s called
Nicolas, Laporca, takes a break from checking in on exhibitors and vendors to have a beer with Hailee and Justin.
Nicolas, Laporca, takes a break from checking in on exhibitors and vendors to have a beer with Hailee and Justin.
pier
Touring Alt-Sachscenhausen with our gracious guide Pier, Napoleone1972, and his wonderful family
Robert Fitzsch, reality666, considered the rock of the orga-team and responsible for finance
Robert Fitzsch, reality666, considered the rock of the orga-team and responsible for finance

 

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Get ready for GIFF 2014!

GIFF 2014 is on August 15 at Gas Works park in Seattle.

Get ready for the 2014 Geocaching International Film Festival!

This year at the Geocaching International Film Festival we received 60 entries from over 15 different countries. After the team of Geocaching HQ judges carefully reviewed each entry, we are excited to announce the 16 finalists that will be screened at the second annual GIFF on August 15 in Seattle!

Congratulations to:

Geocaching in Canada
TheBarnSwallows
Toronto, Canada

First to Find – The Woodland Hunt
CarboKnightLuke
United Kingdom

La Búsqueda (The Search)
nitesco
Ciales, Puerto Rico

C9 H13 NO3 (Adrenaline)
Peter!
Portugal

Love Geocaching
Chiliconsushi
Lille, France

Geocaching Therapy
L’Avanguardia Team
Milan, Italy

Cacheheart
MudMen_GER
Luenen, Germany

GeoDouble
Owen15
Toronto, Canada

The Two Mountains
HurricaneJuan
Miami, Florida, USA

The Deadliest Cache
TheHunting Yoshi
Akershus, Norway

The Lonely Cacher
eldiablo11811
Bronx, New York, USA

The Ubercache
Duck Muscle
New York, New York, USA

How to Geocache in Thailand
RazMcCaz
Bangkok, Thailand

Geocaching with Sasquatch
Frisky Biscuits
Seattle, Washington, USA

Remember the Fallen
mrbrimm
Folsom, California, USA

Spend a Little Time With You
HurricaneBrain
Albany, Oregon, USA

These films will screen at Gas Works Park in Seattle, WA from 8-10pm (psst… this is the night before the Geocaching Block Party). Log your Will Attend here!

After the screening we will announce the winners for the following awards:

  • Most Creative
  • Funniest Film
  • Most Adventurous
  • Most Inspirational
  • Best Cinematography
  • Audience Award (to be determined via text vote at the event!)

And, hey look! Here is one of our graphic designers, Roxxy, working on the awards now!

Geocaching HQ Designer Roxxy working on the awards.
Geocaching HQ Designer Roxxy working on the awards.

So grab that picnic blanket and meet us at Gas Works Park on August 15th where you’ll find new friends, ice cream, and incredible geocaching films!

Check out these stills from some of the finalists:

Geocaching in Thailand
How to Geocache in Thailand by RazMcCaz
Adrenaline
C9 H13 NO3 (Adrenaline) by Peter!
Spend a little time with you
Spend a Little Time with You by HurricaneBrain
Geocaching with Sasquatch
Geocaching with Sasquatch by Frisky Biscuits

 

And one last thing:

We wanted to give a shoutout to everyone who submitted films this year! The judging was incredibly hard and we were impressed with the amount of amazing work we saw. Thanks again for submitting your films and we hope to see more from you next year.