GC70MTZ Demank, July 5. The event that started it all.
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Are you crazy?!? No, I’m Radu! Geo-cycling through 16 countries in 5 months.

 

GC70MTZ Denmank, July 5. The event that started it all.
GC70MTZ Denmank, July 5. The event that started it all.

Radu Clapa (Radu C) is Romanian-born and now resides in Denmark. He does not own much in the way of special gear, equipment, or clothing, and insists many people could do what he’s done if they just have the willpower. He swears he’s a normal guy.

Except this “normal guy” is doing the exceptional: geocaching on a bicycle through 16 countries, focusing on T5s, Virtual Caches, Webcams, and oh, about 1,400 other “regular” geocaches. He calls the journey, “Geocaching Bicycle Touring Europe 2017”, or GBTE2017.

His 7,800 km (4900 mi) adventure started in Denmark on July 5th and will end on Wednesday, November 15th in Romania. Here’s his story.

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Ojamon Helmi / The Pearl Of Ojamo — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC4Q81K
by famsten
Difficulty:
5
Terrain:
5
Location:
Finland
N 60° 14.222′ E 024° 02.194′

Any abandoned mine sounds like an interesting place for a geocache, but the Ojamo mine in southern Finland is more than just that. The mine is completely submerged in water and still contains tracks, elevators, tools, test samples, and drilling equipment systems from when it was fully operational.

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T5 Klettersteig caching in Austria and of course the Seattle Sounders
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T5 Klettersteig caching in Austria

T5 Klettersteig caching in Austria and of course the Seattle Sounders
T5 Klettersteig caching in Austria and of course the Seattle Sounders

This blog post was written by geocaching superwoman and
Geocaching HQ employee, Annie Love.

Geocaching can vary around the world. It also varies for individual cachers. Sure, the concept is the same. Use coordinates to find a location, search until you make the find, open the container, sign the log, make trades, then replace the container. Repeat as often as the heart desires, or as often as the obsession requires.

I recently posted about finding a T5 geocache in my flip flops on my personal Facebook wall. Many of my geocaching friends around the world think I’m incredibly silly (or just plain stupid) for geocaching in my flip-flops, but I do it anyway. The T5 geocaches I’ve searched out this year in my flip flops were only accessible via boat/kayak, so my choice in caching footwear made perfect sense up to that point. But that recently changed.

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From inside one of the passenger cars
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Ring of Fire — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GCJYHZ
by ironman114
Difficulty:
3.5
Terrain:
5
Location:
Washington State, USA
N 47° 19.785 W 123° 38.595

MINUTE by MINUTE… MILE by MILE… The RING OF FIRE closed… on INNOCENT and GUILTY alike!

Ring of Fire movie poster
Ring of Fire movie poster

That’s the tagline for the 1961 Hollywood film titled Ring of Fire. The movie follows a small-town sheriff in Oregon who arrests a trio of robbers (two men and one woman). The tables turn, the robbers take the sheriff hostage, a forest fire rages out of control, and calamity ensues.

In the final scene, a burning railroad trestle collapses during an attempted crossing (forward to 14:00 for the “good part”). Although most of the movie takes place and was filmed in Oregon, this key scene was filmed along the Wynoochee River, in Washington State. The bridge and trestle were blown up, sending two passenger cars and a 60-ton steam engine to crash and burn in the river below.

The gorge was deemed too deep and the train too heavy to remove, so the passenger cars were cut in two and moved to the river’s edge. Almost 60 years later the wreckage remains, making this already beautiful hike even more epic. The movie may be a trainwreck, but this epic T5 geocache is definitely worth the effort! 

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Via des Echelles de la Mort (GC32NMB):—Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC32NMB
by Sansecousse
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
5
Location:
Franche-Comté, France
N 47° 11.165′ E 006° 52.276

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What is Geocaching without adventure, risk-taking, thrill, and a challenge to overcome? GC32NMB encompasses every one of those elements, and has its own movie trailer. Be prepared to cross narrow monkey bridges that sway over 100 meters of open air, scale rugged rock faces, and climb what the locals refer to as des Echelles de la Mort: the ladders of death. After signing the log-book, zip line your way through the Doub Gorges in the Franch-Comté region of France to cap off this epic journey.

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The howling winds that sweep through the gorges have led the locals to refer to the area as “Death Valley.” Contrary to the name, the region is robust with flowers, colorful meadows, sparkling lakes, and the foothills of the Jura Mountains. The beauty of the Franch-Comté draws a lot of attention and becomes an oasis in the summer time, when other parts of France become dry.

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The T5 thrill seekers come to this area to feel alive and experience the adrenaline. The first stage of obstacles include ladders, originally made of wood and used by smugglers in the 18th century to pass over the Swiss border. Today, in place are safer ladders that are reinforced, and hooks in the side of the rock face to help you traverse en cours to the geocache.

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Just when you thought you were on solid ground, the wobbly monkey bridge and shaky nerves approach. Harness your inner grit to pass the daunting bridge and grab the cache that lies just ahead. The real challenge is simply getting to ground zero and overcoming that ‘stomach in your throat’ feeling along the route.

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“After a good vertical climb and adrenaline to the max . . .  I agree our first T5 was a hand trembling experience, and a lot of effort,” say CEPITIFLI, creators of the video linked above.

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Can you imagine crossing this in the winter time? There are a few brave souls who went after this T5 in the snow!

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From here you can choose between hiking back, head over another bridge, or going a bit further and taking a zip line across the valley. Don’t forget to BYOP (bring your own pulley), or rent a pulley nearby to add to the adventure. The area is regularly maintained by the land offices of la via ferrata des échelles de la mort

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Thank you for all the great pictures for those who have visited, and thank you Sansecousse et Gountard for recognizing this brilliant area and maintaining the geocache. 

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