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A Geocacher’s Adventure into the Darkness

Chris Brown’s (1Delta10Tango) geocaching accomplishments can be measured by the mile. There’s a 20 mile swath of land around his rural Oregon home where, he says, he’s found nearly every geocache. A geocache is published, Chris finds it. It’s a system. But a recent search turned up an extreme cache that he hadn’t found. The cache was hidden in an old gold mine and only one geocacher had logged the find since the difficulty four, terrain five geocache was published in 2009.

1Delta10Tango cave caching

Chris and a group of local geocachers were about to set off on a geocaching adventure that would twist them through cave openings little larger then rabbit holes. The adventure would leave them rain soaked, mud covered and in awe. In typical geocacher fashion Chris calls the experience, “truly one of the most fun and exciting caches that we had ever done.”

The search for “In the MIDDLE of nowhere” (GC1XK83) began with a phone call. Chris says, “I called my geocaching buddies Team Mazda and Ladybug97470 and said we have to go for this one there has only been one finder and it has sat for almost a year.”

On the way to the cache the rain started. Chris says, “After about a 30 minute drive we arrived at our destination, the rain was falling at a steady pace and was enough to soak through our coats.” He says they did a quick safety check and, “We found a spot to park and after gearing up with flashlights, extra batteries, a few items of SWAG and our GPS we set off down the side of the mountain.”

The coordinates took them deep in the brush to a steep hillside. Chris says, “We arrived at the spot where we had to crawl into the opening of an abandoned gold mine. We all looked at each other water dripping from our faces. Chris asked, “Who is going to be Alice first?”

Crawling through the rough dirt hole, Chris says the geocachers entered another world lit only by their flashlights. Chris says,“There was no White Rabbit, Mad Hatter or Cheshire Cat in this Wonderland but there was years of preserved history just waiting for people to find it.” The mine looked very much like it did more than a hundred years before.

Inside the “rabbit hole”

“We looked around amazed at what we had found. We could still see the marks in the rock from pick axes that had chiseled their way through so many years ago. It was one of the neatest places I have ever been. After looking around for a minute we decide to begin our search without any info on what we were looking for or where we would find it.”

The cache wasn’t far. “With a little searching around we managed to come up with the cache. After a few minutes of looking through the SWAG and deciding what each of us would get, we divided it up and left our own SWAG for the next seeker.”

But the team left with more than SWAG. They had an experience for a lifetime: “With a smile on all our faces we walked back down the dark corridors, back to where we started this fun and exciting venture.”

Chris hopes his story will inspire others to try more challenging caches (while taking necessary safety precautions). Chris says he is “hopeful that one day others will try this quest and get the self satisfaction of a job well done.”

 

 

 

Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – June 14, 2011

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“The Rock” GC1EJ43 THE GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – June 13, 2011

"The Rock"

“The Rock” (GC1EJ43) rises brick by imposing brick out of the banks of the Rhine river. The five-stage mystery cache earns a difficulty five, terrain five rating.

Final stage of "The Rock"

Geocachers step up to the challenge by stepping on the overgrown deck of an abandoned and crumbling bridge. The Geocaching.com video team thanks Bazzanowitz, nicita and Christian from Geocaching Magazin for inviting the team along as they solved the cache.

The Rock earned 160 Favorite points, and cachers uploaded more than 1200 pictures of the sweat-dripping trek to earn a smiley. Die2Amigos placed the cache in 2008.

"The Rock"

A video showing cachers the cliff hanging, rock scrambling and rappelling adventure is now being produced to launch on the Geocaching.com video page.

Cachers must uses specialize climbing equipment to find five waypoints before attempting the final. Each waypoint requires dangling from the edge of the bridge or into the dark belly of the super structure. Cachers uncover codes to unlock the final cache. It’s located on a massive lone tower known by locals as “The Rock.” The attempt on the final demands a complex climb and decent.  Geocachers are cautioned to attempt the cache only if they’re experienced climbers.

"The Rock"

Continue your exploration of some of the most engaging geocaches from around the world. Explore all the Geocaches of the Week on our blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.

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“Stadt im Wald” GC17K3A GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – June 6, 2011

"Stadt im Wald"

“Stadt im Wald” (GC17K3A) is a “Lost Place Cache.” The Multi-Cache takes geocachers through a rotting relic of the Cold War. The nine stages of the cache lead adventurers into an abandoned and decayed Soviet military base. This “lost place” in Eastern Germany is the size of a small city. The military installation has been largely forgotten since the fall of communism. The geocache was placed with landowner permission.

"Stadt im Wald"
"Stadt im Wald"

Geocachers are warned to take extreme safety precautions. They’re warned to be especially careful of broken glass and hidden holes in the ground. Geocachers are also reminded to respect the site and cause no further damage.

“Stadt im Walk” is a difficulty 3.5, terrain 3.5 cache. Hornesia placed the cache in 2007. It has accumulated more than 230 Geocaching.com Favorite Points.

This Geocache of the Week comes straight from two Lackeys traveling in Europe. They recorded local German geocachers as they completed the cache on June 2. The Geocaching.com video team is on location exploring some of the most exciting geocaching Germany and the Czech Republic have to offer. The videos will eventually be shown on Geocaching.com and YouTube.

Oh the places Groundspeak hamsters will go - Groundspeak videographer Reid shooting video in a secret location at "Stadt im Wald"

Continue your exploration of some of the most engaging geocaches from around the world. Explore all the Geocaches of the Week on our blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.

Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – June 1, 2011

The New GPS Adventures Canada Maze

Groundspeak and Minotaur Mazes have launched a new GPS Adventures in Canada! GPS Adventures Canada is a smaller version of the GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit currently touring North America. GPS Adventures Canada prominently features Alberta’s Canadian Badlands and showcases some of the best geocaches in the country. Geocachers who log their attendance at the GPS Adventures Canada Maze will earn a unique icon for the GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit Cache type.

The Centennial Place Recreation Complex in Three Hills, Alberta will host the exhibit from June 4, 2011 through July 31, 2011. On July 15, Groundspeak’s Jeremy Irish will visit Three Hills for a meet and greet event celebrating the launch of the Canadian Maze. Log your “will attends” today!

Introduce a New Geocacher, $1 Goes to Classrooms in Need

Introduce your friends to geocaching from now through June 30 and we will donate $1 to DonorsChoose.org, up to a total of $10,000! Make sure to let your friends know that they need to sign up for an account, enter your username in the referral field and log a cache all within the month of June in order to be eligible. The best way to introduce someone new is to take them geocaching, but if that’s not possible, log in to Geocaching.com and send them the tell a friend email. For complete details on the promotion, visit the Geocaching.com blog. See how many people you can refer as a community – follow your progress on the referral thermometer in the sidebar of the blog.