Stay strong, geocachers
1 Comment

Deep Darkness — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC1QC0V
by Balla & Silly
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
3
Location:
Islas Baleares, Spain
N 39° 28.425 E 002° 29.127
Mediterranean sea side
Mediterranean sea side
Gorgeous views
Gorgeous views

This geocache is located in Islas Baleares, Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. This idyllic area has everything you could ever dream of: beaches, prehistoric ruins, gorgeous countryside, and of course, awesome geocaching.

Awesome geocaching
Awesome geocaching

This geocache is in a former military zone which is now used by the public as a recreational area. It’s not suitable for little kids, people with claustrophobia, or people with nyctophobia (fear of the dark), but if you’re up for a hair raising adventure next to a beautiful ocean view (and who isn’t besides children, or people with claustrophobia, or people with nyctophobia), then this is your cache.

Former military zone
Former military zone
Are we sure we want to do this?
Are we sure we want to do this?
Got claustrophobia?
Got claustrophobia?

Normally for Geocache of the Week, we highlight several logs written by geocachers to give robust first-hand accounts of what it’s like to actually be there. This cache offered many amazing logs, but one in particular had to be shared in its entirety. And now ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, we present to you a log by Jessex:

We were looking forward to this cache. After hiking to the GZ, and looking down the shift, Mrs J says, “I’m staying up here.” Mr J got down to the first platform and started down the next ladder. With scenes from various catacomb films flashing in my head, I stopped. I swear I heard something evil in the darkness and I climbed as fast as I could back to daylight. Mrs J was kind but I was disappointed in myself, I knew I had get this cache.

Down I went, ignoring the images of zombies, murderers and maniacs in my head. With my light in my pack, I descended into the darkness, the worst part when my body was in the tunnel but my head still in the shaft. As soon as I could I looked both ways down the tunnel, hoping to alleviate my fears of impending death but, alas, I could see nothing but darkness. With feet finally on the ground and light on, I could now see there was no danger, at least for as far as my light shone, 20 feet or so. Trying to remember the way from the cache page, with my back to the ladder and went right.

There was a door to the left very close by, I thought how wonderful. Entering the room it grew in size as the light revealed it, I knew this was not the right place. The only option was a small door with the words “dead end” written above it, emphasising the DEAD. This tunnel was hacked from the rocks and led downward. I thought to myself, “There’s no way in hell am I going down there!” if I had no scruples, I would have high tailed it out of there and logged a find, but damn my morals, I walked into the abyss.

Next I did something I knew I shouldn’t, I looked behind me. There was nothing there, of course, but now I was even more aware of the enveloping darkness and dread. At the T junction I went left as instructed but moved a bit too fast to see the cache, I had to go back and search more slowly. Eureka, I found it. But how to hold the light, cache and find a pen and open the cache without losing control. I managed but just barely. I took a TB, closed up the cache and redid it, without any monsters getting me.

I noticed a light further down the tunnel, I thought I may have an easier way out. Managing to squeeze by the boulder blocking the exit and climb a little only to see I was deeper than I thought. I could not risk climbing the cliffs back to Mrs J, on fear of plummeting to my death. Dread overtook me as I realised I must leave the glorious sunshine and descend once again into the realm of the dead.

Stiff-lipped, I slid into the tunnel and began walking into the darkness. My light was fading and I was sure I saw a being walking toward me, I sped up hoping to get to the turn before it did. I turned right and headed up the incline of jutting rocks, hearing something behind me, I refused to look, focusing on the tunnel ahead. At the door I closed it as far as I could, concentrated on getting to the ladder. Looking right, I saw the big room again, only this time a sinister feeling overtook me. I heard the door I had just shut begin to open. Don’t look, don’t look. Just get to the exit. I put the light into my pack, walking the last few steps in only the light offered by the ladder shaft. Up the ladder, up the ladder.

I am not fit, and am carrying extra weight, but fear and adrenalin are great helpers. Up to the platform, listening to heavy breathing, was it mine or the monster’s? Legs don’t fail me now! The last few rungs almost got me but finally I was bathed in light and arms of Mrs J. We did it, mission accomplished!

Favourite point, thanks.
Jessex (UK)

Stay strong, geocachers
Stay strong, geocachers
You'll be fine
You’ll be fine
Just a little further
Just a little further
Which tunnel is the correct one?
Which tunnel is the correct one?
Is that a dead end?
Is that a dead end?
Jose was here
Jose was here
Is this the cache?
Is this the cache?
Light at the end of the tunnel
Light at the end of the tunnel
And a little turtle friend to comfort you on a job well done
And a little turtle friend to comfort you on a job well done

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.

A Box of Red Herrings — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC6NQC2
by burgo78
Difficulty:
4
Terrain:
1
Location:
Townsville, Australia
S 19° 17.724 E 146° 46.327

“A Box of Red Herrings” (GC6NQC2) delivers exactly what it promises. The cache itself is hidden with permission inside the Aitkenvale Library in Queensland, Australia. It’s not  difficult to spot, but the logbook inside is as well protected as J.K. Rowling’s sorcerer’s stone.

The cache sits in an inconspicuous corner of the library.
The cache sits in an inconspicuous corner of the library.

At ground zero you’ll find a three-foot tall cupboard with each of its drawers padlocked. Tackle the bottom drawer first, using instructions on the cache page and letters from a nearby library sign as your guide.

"A Box of Red Herrings" is easy to find but tricky to open.
“A Box of Red Herrings” is easy to find but tricky to open.

Open that drawer to find over a hundred mostly unmarked keys. You might start to feel like Harry Potter himself as you search through a throng of dud keys to locate one that will unlock the middle drawer.

It'll take a while to sift through the contents of the bottom drawer to find the right tool to open the middle one.
It’ll take a while to sift through the contents of the bottom drawer to find the right tool to open the middle one.

The middle drawer contains several items. Some may be useful in opening the top drawer and gaining access to the log inside. Most are red herrings. The challenge lies in discerning which are which.

unnamed-12
The contents of the middle drawer will take some time to sift through.

The middle drawer contains the following:

  • A magnifying glass and a small clue; on the clue some letters and numbers are in bold or capitalized
  • Two tent pegs which will fit into holes in the drawers
  • A telescoping magnet
  • A mirror and a backwards note
  • Toothpicks and a block of wood – when the toothpicks are pushed into the holes in the wood they spell something in Roman numerals
  • Several plastic eggs, some with letters on them
  • A UV torch
Is it a literal or a figurative red herring?
Is it a literal or a figurative red herring?

Is one of the objects — or are several of them in combination — a clue? Or is there some other trick to getting the top drawer open? We won’t reveal any more than that here, but cachers who make it out to this cache won’t find it an easy one to finish…unless, says the cache owner, they ask for a hint from the local older gentleman who often sits in a chair near the cache.

The UV torch highlights a clue...or another red herring.
The UV torch highlights a clue…or another red herring.

Impressively, the cache owner, burgo78, has only been geocaching since March of 2016, proving that it doesn’t take years of geocaching practice to design a cool hide. He’s been thoroughly enjoying his first year of caching. “I now have 800+ finds and have 60 hides in Townsville (plus one in the USA, and one in England); some are simple containers but most are either a little harder to get to (boat or remote) or are a little more creative as these are the types of hides I enjoy finding myself.”

The bottom and middle drawer successfully unlocked. One to go!
The bottom and middle drawer successfully unlocked. One to go!
unnamed-7
A mysterious jar of sticks can be arranged into a mysterious upright row of sticks.

Although he’s sure his caches will provide a fun challenge for many, burgo78’s motives may lie elsewhere. “I also hope that this cache my inspire new hides in Townsville as I’ve found almost all of the 400 currently in place and the next substantial city is over four hours’ drive away.” The struggle is real.

Trying to discern what the magnifying glass is for.
Trying to discern what the magnifying glass is for.

Until now, only a few folks have found “A Box of Red Herrings”, but the comments have been unanimously positive. Burgo78 hopes that more cachers will rise to the challenge and won’t be too distracted by the red herrings they’ll encounter along the way.

We can see a lot of work and thought has gone in to this really great cache. We tried many options, slowly and methodically working towards success. My comment when I signed the log, “WOW”. Thank you, a favorite for us.

The logbook finally reveals itself.
The logbook and a trove of other objects — mysterious and otherwise — finally reveal themselves.

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.

9 Comments

New tools for your next trip into the great outdoors!

Ready for an adventure in the great outdoors? Good news! Our newest feature, offline maps in the Geocaching® app, completes a suite of tools designed to make your outdoor expeditions better than ever. Let’s take a look:

Offline maps.

Our newest feature for Premium members makes it possible to navigate to geocaches without an internet connection. Here’s how:

Step 1: Select a geocache list or create a new one.*

Step 2: Save the list for offline use.

Step 3: Get outdoors! Offline maps will be there to guide you to the next geocache on your list.

select-listsselect-elipsisselect-download-offline-data

The app will also prompt you to switch to the Trails map type when applicable.

My Lists beta.

We took Bookmark Lists and made them better! With My Lists beta, you can easily edit, share, and organize lists of geocaches. Learn more.

Lists created on Geocaching.com automatically appear in the Geocaching® app, and vice versa. By saving geocache lists in the mobile app for offline use, you also download offline maps.

Trail maps.

We added the Trails map type to help you find hard-to-reach geocaches and to find the caches hidden right in your neighborhood park. This feature uses open-source maps to show trails in cities, parks, and wild spaces.

Pending logs.

No need to worry about losing track of your finds! When you a submit a log from the field, the log will automatically upload the next time you connect to internet.

A feature enabling you to start a log and finish or edit it later is in the works.

Offline geocaching is a Premium member feature. Learn more about Geocaching Premium.

Planning to head off the beaten path soon? Before you do, check out these tips for geocaching outdoors:

* Pro tip: You can create lists in the mobile app or on Geocaching.com.

Tell us about your next outdoor adventure in the comments below.

1 Comment

Hagen med det rare i— Geocache of the week

Letterbox Hybrid
GC51MPR
by thomfre
Difficulty:
1
Terrain:
1
Location:
Buskerud, Norway
N 59° 45.869′ E 009° 57.503

When daydreaming of Norway, one may think of fjord laden landscapes, snow-capped peaks, and the midnight sun. Norway is also home to over 5 million people, 72,080 active geocaches, and a thriving geocaching community. This Geocache of the Week, Hagen med det rare i, is located in the town of Steinberg along the Drammenselva river, one of the largest rivers in Norway.

3

When you arrive in Steinberg, it won’t take you long to spot the remarkable garden filled with wood carvings, metal art and a Signal the Frog® lookalike.

7

All of these distracting installations may increase the difficulty of finding the cache, including the large troll that guards the yard. In Norse folklore, trolls can sometimes be tricky and unhelpful to humans, so don’t let this troll trick you into going the wrong direction!

8

Not only is the cache entertaining for geocachers and muggles alike, it also attracts LetterboxersLike geocaching, letterboxing is another form of treasure hunting that uses clues instead of coordinates. In this case, the cache owner has made their container both a letterbox and a geocache, making it a Letterbox Hybrid. These types of geocaches will contain a stamp that is meant to remain in the box and is used by letterboxers to record their visit.

4

Of my 200-something hides, this is my personal favorite. The cache is located right outside my grandparents’ garden, a place I spent a lot of time when growing up.

Some of my earliest memories are from that place. And even though there’s some things that are as old as me there, there’s always something new to look at whenever I visit. I am thrilled that I get to share this awesome place with other geocachers! And the best part is that so are my grandparents! I might be a bit subjective here, but they are simply awesome!

I’ve received so many great logs, and I really enjoy telling my grandparents about all the nice words people write. Several people have noted that they see where I get my creativity from after visiting this cache. They’re so right! -Thomfre (cache owner)

5

Thomfre, the cache owner is also very involved in the geocaching community with an interesting geocaching blog and a website that helps Norwegian geocachers to plan their next geocaching vacation.

10


While visiting  family in Loesmoen we had to make the trip here. Exciting and fun garden with an ingeniously made geocache. Deserves all its blue bows. Fun that this was our first letterbox. Left our travel friend Reflexus, ready to embark on an adventure.—BråtenStabæk

A round after work to grab some caches in Steinberg and Hokksund with jonnyloe28 today. Today’s fourth discovery and our first letterbox. Parked at the zero point to mirror quickly heading to Hagen med det rare i. Wonderful garden and great installation. Certainly today’s highlight this here. Clear favorite points from me.Thanks so much for the cache. —supertoga1

On drive from Hamar to Vegglifjell and only time for one cache. The choice fell on this, and all your favorite points are well deserved! Great box, crazy garden, and now it has another favorite points. Thanks!—Schrøder


6

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.