From flying planes to finding caches — Interview with cache owner Cliptwings

For cache owner ‘Cliptwings’ geocaching isn’t just a hobby, it’s a new opportunity to realize that even if he can’t fly anymore, the wings of passion prevent him from being cooped up. A former Airforce and commercial airline pilot turned creative gadget cache engineer. Travelling the world on planes Cliptwings says there wasn’t a place that didn’t have a cache nearby. 

First introduced to the game by his wife, Princess Pooh Pooh, who thought of him when a geocacher explained the game to her. They went out to find a cache in a park and got hooked. To him, it felt powerful to have GPS technology in his hand because airlines still used ground-based navigation at the time. 

Since then Cliptwings has hidden a number of amazing caches that take some time and creative juice to create. 

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GBC 2 – Name that Tune — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC4VKVR
by WVTim
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
1.5
Location:
West Virginia, United States
N 39° 30.146 W 077° 57.916

Along a Berkeley County trail in West Virginia are thirteen unique geocaches. Each is a unique gadget cache which, combined, have earned over 5000 Favorite points. Along this trail lies our Geocache of the Week. Lovingly constructed, Name that Tune certainly won’t fall flat, and is sure to test both your musical and geocaching skills.

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Intersect 2.0 — Geocache of the Week

Multi-Cache
GC548HP
by family Behrens
Difficulty:
2.5
Terrain:
1.5
Location:
Western Cape, South Africa
S 34° 11.630 E 018° 26.196
the perfect cache?

A multi-cache that leads you to a semi-secret spot in an old library rife with history, at which the first stage is an adorably disguised puzzle and the final is a hand-crafted tech-themed gadget cache with storage for as many trackable as one could ever need and a low chance of being muggled. Sound unreal?

It’s very real. In fact, it’s Geocache of the Week!

Near to Stage 1
Near stage 1 of Intersect 2.0

Located inside a library in a city outside of Cape Town, South Africa, “Intersect 2.0” is the epitome of a fun gadget multi-cache. The geocache was crafted by family Behrens and blends history with technology. Just as the Cache Owner was inspired to design this cache by another he’d previously found, finders of GC548HP are likely to come away with the itch to build their own super-cool gadget cache.

Stage 1

Visitors to the brick-walled reading garden of the Simon’s Town Library will find a quiet and picturesque place to read in solitude—or so they think.

Tucked discretely in a corner of the garden is a gnome pulling a cart full of pebbles…also known as stage one. The geocacher who spots the gnome will discover within a few seconds that his cart bears a load much more exciting than stones.

Stage 1 - Gnome
A gnome wearily bears the burden of stage 1

Contained within the cart are all the tools the geocacher will need to discover the code for stage two of the cache…but it won’t be easy. Inside the lock-n-lock is a block containing a series of wires. Touching the correct two wires together turns on a light on the block, indicating the correct code for stage two. Geocachers beware! Touching the wrong two wires together more than six times will lead to significant frustration.

The contents of Gnome's cart.
The contents of the gnome’s cart
Stage 2 (Final)

The final is inside of the Simon’s Town Library with permission from the library. The top drawer of the cupboard (which, by the way, was built by the cache owner by hand) can be unlocked using the code from Stage 1.

Inside is a working laptop with a set of detailed instructions explaining what the geocacher needs to do in order to unlock the code for the next drawer.

PicMonkey Collage
The final puzzle of Intersect 2.0

Finally, the second drawer can be opened and its contents revealed. In addition to a shelf dedicated to swag and special hangers for trackables, there’s a second laptop. But, mysteriously, no logbook yet. The cacher will need to do a bit of exploring to find the logbook itself.

The final - completely open!
The final – completely open

As far as maintaining this cache goes, the Cache Owner says that’s the easy part: “The only maintenance I have done is to replace the batteries in the cache. […] The fact that the cache is placed in a secure location and well locked up helps. I think as far as maintenance goes this one has been my easiest cache to maintain.”

At 43 favorite points, this cache has a 100% favorite point ratio—in other words, every Premium member who has visited this cache has awarded it a favorite point!

Words from the Cache Owner:

I would like to say a big thank you to the geocaching community for making our life full of smiles. Since we started geocaching life has become fun and as a family we love caching and getting out there finding caches and new experiences, that without geocaching we would not have 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.

The Director’s Travel Bug Hotel (GC3MFAD) — Geocache of the Week

Geocache_of_the_Week_vFINAL_122314-1

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The birdhouse – 9 bedrooms available!

Geocache Name:

The Director’s Travel Bug Hotel (GC3MFAD) by Woodnutt

Location:

Alabama, United States

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D1.5 / T1.5

Why this is Geocache of the Week:

GC3MFAD is disguised as a multi-level birdhouse, which, on its own, isn’t that unusual for a geocache. The casual observer might notice the birdhouse is a little high up…seven or eight feet off the ground, at least. A muggle probably wouldn’t think twice about that fact, but the geocacher—who realizes this must be the geocache, is presented with the problem of reaching it.

Geocachers realize the genius of this cache the moment they figure out how to lower it to the ground. At the base of the pole in a second wooden box is a small crank. When turned in the right direction, a box descends from inside the birdhouse ‘shell’. This is the Director’s Travel Bug Hotel. According to the cache page, this geocache is “by far the best Hotel in Pintlala, Alabama” and “the staff might be someone you recognize but they are not travelers and do not want to go for a ride. They are here to help the guest enjoy their time while staying here.”

It’s the perfect blend of a gadget cache and a roomy and well-crafted Travel Bug Hotel. Should you be lucky enough to be passing nearby, it’s worth the visit. Take care when lowering the unit—it is full of sleeping guests, after all.

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The cache fully revealed.

What geocachers have to say:

“Out on a cache run with CaverScott. This was the start of our day. This was a great find. I love how this has been put together and how it works. Worth at least one favorite point. Thanks for the fun and the smiley!” –autigerman

“Wow. There was definitely a lot of work put into making this cache. I love that people drive by every day and don’t even know it’s there. Kudos for your awesome workmanship and for maintaining this. There were no travel bugs inside, but we signed the log and enjoyed the characters visiting the hotel. Great shape. Well crafted. TFTH!” –hoosiersunshine

“It is always a joy to find a Woodnutt cache, and with 99 favorite points we knew this one was not to be missed. I saved the two travelers I had for a nice stay at this quality hotel. Such fun! I am honored to add favorite point #100. CITO tftc” –tleu

What the Cache Owner, Woodnutt, has to say:

How did you first come up with the idea for this type of hide?
“A lot of my ideas come when I am traveling, which I do a lot for work.  My mind wanders trying to come up with new and different ways to do things.  I like birdhouses and have a number of them as caches and this is just another type of birdhouse.”

Was building the cache a difficult process?
“Building it was not a difficult process, I have a nice workshop with a lot of tools and I enjoy woodworking very much.”

Do you ever see birds landing on the cache?
“I have seen some birds on top of the cache but not a lot.”

What’s been your reaction to all of the nice logs and Favorite Points?
“I have always read all logs on my caches. It is one of my favorite parts of owning caches. It is always nice and rewarding when someone appreciates the work and enjoys the cache. The favorite points are nice.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to the geocaching community?
“Lately I have been very frustrated by some caches that have destroyed a cache with an ax when they could not figure out the on site puzzle cache but this is a game, not everyone enjoys the same thing but one can make geocaching what they want. You can go for numbers, you can go for puzzles, you can do FTF or whatever it is you like; most important is to enjoy what you are doing and respect others as well.”

Photos:

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The cache, looking pretty birdhouse-y in it’s normal state.
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The hand crank elevator mechanism.
25332d18-3cc5-4abe-b798-1018469675a2
The TB hotel descending from the bowels of the birdhouse.
IMG_3675
All the way down.
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The TB hotel is open for business!
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Time to put a “No Vacancy” sign up?
IMG_3677
The front desk staff are happy to see you.

Continue to explore some of the coolest gadget caches 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.