Turkish Geocaches

Either I've been spectacularly lucky in choosing which geocaches to hunt for here in Turkey, or the overall quality of Turkish caches is far above average. Of the five I've found, one maybe two, have been average or below (compared to maybe 50/50 or worse in the States.)

Just to share a couple of the best ones, outside Selcuk I found my way to the top of a hill looking over the ruins of Ephesus (pictured at left). Here in Olympos, I was led far into the jungle to hunt among overgrown ruins.

But possible my favorite cache of all times led me to a grotto/sea cave that was a good long hike off the beaten path. To get down into the cave/grotto, you had to either shimmy down an often narrow opening or wade through chest deep Mediterranean water. On the first attempt, we looked around for over an hour (both searching for the cache and generally marveling at the awesomeness of the spot) until giving up. Then, with additional hints from the cache owner, I went back solo the next day and found it right away.

All of these caches, even the not-so-stellar ones, have served a very important purpose in my travels, a purpose that I place high on the list of what geocaching is good for, namely to explore places that you might not have otherwise explored, esp. really great, lesser-known places. As a solo traveler who sometimes finds it hard to get out and see another set of ruins or museum that the Book says I simply must not miss, geocaching is a welcome diversion.
Wednesday April 13 2011File under: Turkey, geocaching

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300th Geocache!

It was a long time in the coming with a few clerical errors along the way, but I finally reached a geocaching milestone that I just had to share. I've found 300 geocaches! Okay, I've actually found prolly like 305 or something, but there are a few I haven't logged because I didn't happen to have a pencil with me when I found them. Here is cache number 300. Can you spot it? I was thwarted on my first attempt and had to go back. (And here is a shot I took looking for #299. Midwestern winter/post-winter "forests"* are pretty in the sunshine.)

Since I know the nerdiness of this accomplishment outshines other nerdiness contained on this blog, I'll try to make this short. I've been caching for just over 5 years. I've cached in 12 states* and 13 countries/territories*. While I'm not the 3 day hound that I used to be back in the early days of the "sport", I still find time to get out in the woods every now and again, esp. when traveling.

So I don't imagine #400 will happen any time soon (unless I happen to meet up with a voracious geocacher that impels me to tag along), but I don't doubt that it will eventually happen. And when it does, I'm sure you'll hear about it.
Thursday March 27 2008File under: geocaching

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Remote Geocache Finally Found

You all know about geocaching, right? (If you don't, short version: it's a treasure hunt using global position system; long version: read this.) You all know about the time I was on that mostly deserted island in the middle of the Pacific, right? (If you don't, short version: I spent 3 months with the Nature Conservancy on Palmyra Atoll, a tiny island 1000 miles south of Hawaii; long version: ask me about it sometime, but make sure you've got at least an hour to spare.)

Good, now that we're all on the same page, I can begin. While on Palmyra, I placed a geocache. Part of the draw of geocaching, for me, is going to places you might not otherwise go. I say, the more isolated, the better (most of the time). With that thought in mind, I figured my geocache on Palmyra would be much appreciated for any nerdos like myself who happened to be passing through. What I didn't anticipate, however, is how long it would be before it was first found.

Two and half years after posting the coordinates on the internet, someone finally found Palmyra: No worries atoll. (There were two pseudo-finds before that, but none that actually involved finding the thing.) I was overjoyed to get the notification that it had been found. I was starting to think maybe the sharks had grown legs and plundered it. The finder's comments take me back to those shirtless days of swimming with sharks, obliviousness to the outside world, and total immersion in the natural world around me.

Anyway, in a shameless ploy to make this post interesting for those who don't care about geocaching*, here are some pictures from near the geocache on Palmyra: me on the rope swing at the swimming hole, solar shower* constructed by yours truly in an old dilapidated relic of a building.
Saturday September 8 2007File under: geocaching, pics

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What a Weekend

As a non-member of the working world, the concept of a weekend is almost lost on me. Tuesday is Friday is Sunday. About the only differences between a Wednesday and a Saturday are the hours the stores are open and who is around to hang out with (oh, and Jeopardy is alway a rerun on Saturdays.) This weekend, however, felt different. Activities abounded. I'm aware of the fact that tomorrow in Monday. I almost even have a schedule to fall back into. But I digress.

Saturday was the Great Rubber Ducky Escapade, a geocaching event with an elaborate premise, treasure hunt, and pot luck. While the event required more driving and less hiking than I like in my geocaching adventures, it was neat to see so many other geocachers. Oh, and the free cookies didn't hurt either.

Sunday morning presented the opportunity to visit the Summit Park Grange for a fund raising pancake breakfast. The food was pretty alright, but the experience was top notch. Nothing makes you feel more appreciative of being young than spending a couple hours surrounded by people 40 years your elder.

To wind up the weekend, I ended up at a place I've driven by a hundred times and always wanted to visit, but never have; the Old Edison Inn. Talk of the epic table shuffle boards have almost made me pull off the road on many passes. Tonight, those shuffle board tables were conquered! Along with shuffling, there was live music, great friends, and good pub food.

I think I could really get used to this weekend thing.
Sunday March 4 2007File under: geocaching

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Geocaching in Port Townsend

In the interest of revelling in the beauty of the place in which I live, further explore public transportation of the area, and to catch up with an old friend, I headed down to Pt. Townsend on Friday for a day of geocaching. The trip down was a relatively unnoteworthy consisting of a 4 mile bike ride, 2 bus rides, an hour and a half layover, and a ferry ride. Door to door time, 3.75 hours. (This is, as I said, unnoteworthy, but make note because it comes into play later.)

Because I was taking a relatively new cacher out on the hunt, I tried to pick some fun caches. It turns out, I failed pretty miserably on that one. The first cache escaped our searching eyes, the second one was buried beneath a pile of beauty bark, and the third was in a park that was closed for some mysterious reason. Luckily, we bucked that trend with the 4th and 5th attempts of the day. We were quite pleased with ourselves. The last of the day was at Fort Warden State Park and offered this lovely view of the light house (left) as well as this one. Also at the park, I attempted to scare some explorers in the Kinzie Battery, but instead of being rewarded with screams of fright, I was met with a completely disinterested glare. Where are people's sense of fun these days?

To soothe the ache of a mediocre day of caching (and scaring), we sought solace in one of the many fine eateries PT has to offer. After a spectacular lunch earlier at the Thai place (Thai food is good. Maybe I should go to Thailand.), we upped the ante with pizza. It served as the perfect solace for me while some found solace elsewhere.

Because of thwarted caches, good food, and low tides, I missed the ferry I was shooting for coming back. By the time I got to Keystone, it was dark and public transportation had long since ceased. With a little ingenuity, I fashioned a sign and stuck out my thumb. Two rides later, I was back at my bike for the quick jaunt home. Total travel time on the return trip: just under 2 hours. Hmmmm....
Sunday February 18 2007File under: geocaching, pics

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