Sunday, 18 September 2016

souvenir's and blogging

This month's blog is about Groundspeaks newest souvenir's

NOTE: The highlighted underlined words in my blog can be clicked on as they are links to other cool stuff!! Also if you click on any of the pictures they become bigger!!!

PS: On the right hand side of this webpage is where you can find my YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus links. Please feel free to check them out and follow or subscribe!!!

This past little while, here at home and while I was down in the states I was able to grab several different cache souvenir's within one months time.

The Mission GC caches

These unique puzzles were designed to challenge cachers to figure out the answer to a puzzle to gain access to information on what to do to get the latest of these souvenir's. The First was a puzzle using licence plates with a combination of letters and numbers to figure out a password, that you entered into a webpage to receive info on what to find. The first challenge was to find a cache on a specific weekend that had 10 or more favorite points on it.
July 30th

Then while I was down in the states for the 2 Magic Conventions, I popped over the border from Vegas to grab a cache in Arizona and get another State Souvenir.
  Aug 11th

The second Mission GC souvenir was given after doing a maze puzzle to decode a password so it could be entered into the website and receive info that you needed to get a multi cache on a specific weekend to obtain the following souvenir. Weird that I tried last week for a multi with no luck, but this time it was an easy multi.
 Aug 13th

The day after I got back home from my Magical trip, it was International Geocaching day. Today it was just a simple matter of grabbing any kind of cache to obtain it.
Aug 20th

The last of three Mission GC souvenir's given for finding a puzzle cache after doing an online puzzle with pictures of the Groundspeak staff holding their arms in weird positions. I knew immediately that they were signaling using Semaphore. I was able to claim this souvenir that you see below.

Aug 27th

As a bonus for completing all three Mission GC challenges, I was rewarded an extra souvenir that you see here.
 Aug 27th

Bringing my total souvenir count up to 91. Next month on October 9th it's International Earthcache day and another souvenir is being given for getting an earthcache.  

I was looking at my blog and other blogs that I follow, as well as some that I peek in on from time to time. I noticed that I have been very consistently putting out a new blog every month since I started blogging back in July of 2012, and I had a total of 10 blogs that year, even though I started mid year. In 2013 I published 14 of my blogs, 2014 there were 12 blogs written, 2015 was also 12, and in 2016 so far this blog is number 9 for the year. Also I have seen and read many blogs that are all negative, and whining about caching and other things. I feel a blog should be about fun things and interesting to read as well as make the reader feel good after reading it. I am very proud that I have been able to get a blog a month out on a consistent basis and write about things that hopefully help inspire cachers, other bloggers, or even those who just like to read my blog. I like my blog, and I hope you like it to!!! Please feel free to comment on here or shoot me a PM or an email!! Let me know how you feel, or if there is anything you would like me to change, or write about.

Well that's it for this month
Keep on caching
Chris Yuill

Monday, 22 August 2016

Vegas BABY!!!

Los Angeles to Las Vegas!!!

As you remember from my last blog (for those that do read it. lol) The plan while down in the states for a couple of Magic Conventions, was to travel from Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada and a quick stop into Hoover Dam in Arizona. In my sights were mostly Virtual caches with a few others in between. Also on one day the plan was to get a Virtual, a traditional, a Multi, a whereigo, a Letterbox, an Earthcache, a puzzle, and a challenge cache (a total of 7 icons, and a challenge)

NOTE: The highlighted underlined words in my blog can be clicked on as they are links to other cool stuff!! Also if you click on any of the pictures they become bigger!!!

PS: On the right hand side of this webpage is where you can find my YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus links. Please feel free to check them out and follow or subscribe!!!

Los angeles has a huge number of Virtuals!!

Simi Valley Days 1-4 (Aug 4-7)

The first few days of my trip was in Simi Valley, California, where I managed to get a few caches close to the hotel I was staying at for #pcam2016, early in the mornings before all the events of the day started.  Most magic conventions go from 10am till midnight and into the wee hours of the morning.
Simi Valley sign

After the convention was over, I stayed a couple of days in Thousand Oaks with a magician friend of mine who was one of the organizers of the event.

LA (Aug 9)

Today I rented a car and headed toward Los Angeles to get several virtual's as well as this was the day to grab 7 different icons, like I mentioned above.
In order, I got a Virtual, an Earthcache, a traditional, a Letterbox, a puzzle, and a wherigo.
I headed to a multi, which looked as if it would be a quick super easy multi. I got to the first stage and found the container but no co-ords in it. So I searched for another multi. When I got to this one, I could not find it. Ok, lets move on to some other caches and I will try a multi later. Got several cool virtuals including one that was a tribute to Penn & Teller called "Wanna see a card trick?" in the form of a cenotaph. Being a fellow magician, I just had to get this one.

"Is this your card?"
Definition of a Cenotaph: A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. As you can see by the pic below, Penn is fine. And he assured me that Teller is also. lol #magiclive2016
Penn and I at Magic Live 2016

I also found several other virtuals including seeing the Norman Bates "PSYCHO" House
Later as it was getting a bit dark, I tried to get another multi. Got to the first stage and found the info I needed to find the next stage, but realized it was far out of my way, so I decided to pass on the multi and so only got 6 icons that day. Oh well, I have done a 7 icon day in the past.

Aug. 10:
The next day I awoke, and headed down the highway thru the surrounding area of L.A. grabbing a cool wherigo called "The Fox, The Chicken, and The Grain"

Getting my kicks on Route 66

"Route 66 Museum"

I then headed thru the desert onward to Vegas, grabbing several other caches including 2 on an old stretch of road that was part of "Route 66"

Also stopped at the "Route 66" Museum in Victorville, California.
It was closed, but I was able to get the info for the virtual cache there.

Grabbed several more caches on the way to Vegas, including several in the desert.
 Made a stop at the "Calico Cemetary" for a virtual cache, and in a town called Baker for a couple of caches.

Baker, California which is the gateway to Death Valley, and they boast the "Worlds Tallest Thermometer"

The town's most prominent feature is a 134-foot (41 m) thermometer, dubbed "the world's tallest thermometer". Visible for miles, it was not operational from 2012 to mid-2014 when it was relighted following restoration. Its height commemorates the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth, 134 °F (56.7 °C), in nearby Death Valley on July 10, 1913. Baker is also the location of Alien Fresh Jerky and the UFO Hotel.

One more quick cache and I crossed the border into Nevada.
Stopped at a couple other caches but as they were further off the road and it was getting dark, I decided not to venture to them. I headed into Vegas, checked into Circus Circus and got a good nights sleep.


Vegas Day 1- (Aug 11)

Woke up in Vegas the first day and I see that a new cache has been published, I head off to this cache called "Eazy" not knowing if it will be still there or not (not sure how many FTF chasers there are in town) I arrive at the area and start looking and within a couple of minutes, I have my first Vegas FTF. YAY!!!
Grabbed a nearby virtual and then headed out of town a ways to get another virtual called
"Many Years Ago". While there I noticed a nearby stacking of some painted boulders.
"Seven Mountains"
 Went and checked it out, and as you can see they are out in the middle of nowhere??

I continue on with my day of caching and found a total of 15 caches this day including 12 virtual caches, 2 traditional caches (one being the FTF) and 1 puzzle cache. I also earned a new souvenir as I grabbed one cache at the Hoover Dam in Arizona. It was placed there by officials of the Dam, and was clearly in the open, as you can see.

Hoover Dam
On the way back into Vegas, I spotted this sign and had to take a picture of it. I knew I was heading in the right direction!!!!

I also visited the NEON Graveyard and Fremont Street for a couple more caches.

Vegas Day 2- (Aug 12)
On the second day in Vegas, I only grabbed 3 caches as I had a Magic Luncheon to go to, and one of the caches was in the parking lot of the restaurant where the luncheon was taking place.

Vegas Day 3- (Aug 13)
Today the plan was to grab a multi cache in order to receive a new caching souvenir for Groundspeaks Mission GCHQ47. An exciting series of puzzles that needed to be worked out to find out how to achieve three new souvenir's. This was the second of the series, and entailed working thru a maze to find the chosen word in order to break the code. When I woke up though I noticed another cache had been published the night before. I figure I will head over towards it but I will get a virtual and the multi cache out of the way first. The multi used to be a virtual cache called "Remember 9/11" but was changed to a multi when the new guidelines came into place.
The multi cache was more like a traditional cache as you just had to go to the co-ords on the cache page and look at the plaque and monument which was an actual piece of steel structure from the wreckage of the twin towers.
Commemorative Plaque

Actual piece of one of the Twin Towers

After the multi, I headed towards the newly published cache. I arrived and started looking around for the obvious places and was not coming across anything. Starting to get frustrated, I spotted something that I thought…maybe?? And I was right, YAY another Vegas FTF!!!

I continued on and grabbed a couple more caches to make it a total of 5 this day while also getting an FTF and a souvenir to add to my stats.

Vegas Day 4- (Aug 14)
Today the plan was to check out of Circus Circus, and check into the Magic Live 2016 host hotel, The Orleans. I grabbed a cache close to the hotel, but this was the only one today, as it was time for a Magic overload. Lol. Magic Live had over 1500 magicians attending, and was an awesome 4 days of magic, magic, and more magic, and while in Vegas, I also jumped off the "Stratosphere Sky Jump" (which you can check out the video of it, by clicking the < previous link)
The SkyJump Las Vegas holds the Guinness World Record for highest commercial decelerator descent with an official height of 829 ft (253 m)
But that's a whole different story!!!

All in all on my trip down south I found 23 Traditional caches, 1 Earthcache,  1 Multi, 2 Puzzles,
2 Wherigo's, 1 Letterbox, and 31 Virtuals. Also in the mix was 2 FTF's, and 2 New Souvenirs.
A grand total of 61 caches over 16 days. My plan was to get only interesting caches, not everyone I drove by, Not a record, but lots of fun anyway, and 2 awesome Magic conventions!!!

Well that's it for this month
Keep on caching
Chris Yuill

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Night caching

"Night Caching and Chopsticks"

I recently did a night cache with Matt(Close-Up Matt) and Jess(systematicchaos) and Vincent(CivilianSatellite) the other night called Knockturn Alley. It was a cache themed after the Alley in Harry Potter, that he mistakenly ends up in, before going to Diagon Alley. It was a shorter night cache, but ended with a cool cache container. It was listed as a Multi Cache instead of a puzzle which is cool, as I still need a few more multis to complete a challenge cache I am working on. Before the night cache we stopped by another cache that a group effort was needed...not to find, but to retrieve the cache, called "Chopsticks not included"
Chopsticks not Included

NOTE: The highlighted underlined words in my blog can be clicked on as they are links to other cool stuff!! Also if you click on any of the pictures they become bigger!!!

PS: On the right hand side of this webpage is where you can find my YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus links. Please feel free to check them out and follow or subscribe!!!

Magic Convention to Magic Convention

This is a pic of the caches I have mapped out that I wish to get while down in the states for the 2 magic conventions. I will be flying into Los Angeles, California for a few days and then heading toward Las Vegas, Nevada by rental car for another Magic Convention.
Los Angeles to Las Vegas
As you can see by the map, I am trying to get as many Virtual Caches as I can. I have 56 virtual's locked in that I am hoping to get. I will also be close enough to the Border of Arizona, and will pop across at the Hoover Dam and grab a couple of caches to also give me a new state Souvenir. I already have the Nevada and California souvenir's from previous trips down.

World cache progress

So my "World Cache" progress is going pretty good, my teammates from U.S.A., Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom have been out and about getting their respective stages. We should be getting closer to our final cache coordinates soon. Keep tuned in to find out!!

International Geocaching Day
It’s time to start planning for one of the biggest holidays of the year. Saturday, August 20 is International Geocaching Day! It’s the perfect day to get outside, find a few (dozen) geocaches and spend time with your fellow players. I will be back from my trip and will be sure to get a cache on that day as I have in the past few years, as you can see by my Souvenirs, I have gotten them all since they started International Geocaching Day:

4000th cache find!!

So I had not figured out which cache I was gonna go get for my 4000th cache and was sitting at 3999 for 11 days and then on June 22nd a cache called "Riparian Reptile Rendezvous" got published and I decided to head for it as a "first to find." So it became my 4000th find and my 347th FTF!!!
A couple hours later a cache called "The cabin near the woods" got published near the parking lot I had just been to for the other cache, so back there I go and it became my 348th FTF!!! lol

Well that's it for this month
Keep on caching
Chris Yuill

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Caching the World....well kinda!!!

World Cache

So I started doing a very cool cache this past month that will take me all around the world. Well sort of??
The cache is called "World Cache" and there are caches in 5 countries that are linked together.

How this cache is designed:
One set of coordinates have been sent to each country from each country. So each country has one of the other's coordinates, as in the following table.,
CountryStage 1Stage 2Stage 3Stage 4
AustraliaGermany 2USA 3UK 4Canada Final
CanadaAustralia 2Germany 3USA 4UK Final
GermanyUSA 2UK 3Canada 4Australia Final
United KingdomCanada 2Australia 3Germany 4USA Final
United States of AmericaUK 2Canada 3Australia 4Germany Final
At the posted coordinates you will find a set of coordinates for one of the other countries. You will have to e-mail these coordinates to the team member in that country. They can then go to that waypoint and find the next set of coordinates which will be for another country, then e-mail it to the team member for that country, and so on till the caches are completed.

For example, the team member in Australia finds Stage 1 of World Cache (Australia), and e-mails the coordinates they find to their teammate in Germany, who can then find Stage 2 of World Cache (Germany). At their local Stage 2, the Germany team will find the coordinates for Stage 3 of World Cache (United Kingdom), which they will e-mail to their UK teammate.
Sounds a bit confusing, but I think its gonna be a lot of fun chatting with other cachers from around the world, to help me find cache stages around here, and I have their coordinates
The first step was to post on the cache page here in Canada (Vancouver) and the cache pages in the U.S.A., Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom, to see who would want to join up as a team.

I was able to set up a team of cachers from around the world:
Magicman65 Canada (me)
Mr.Irieman in the United Kingdom
Rubymoon05 in Australia
Kerri Bear from U.S.A.
Phantomias01 from Germany

We have set up an email list to chat with each other and swap information. Its cool getting to know other cachers in different parts of the world. I will continue this story as it progresses.

NOTE: The highlighted underlined words in my blog can be clicked on as they are links to other cool stuff!! Also if you click on any of the pictures they become bigger!!!

PS: On the right hand side of this webpage is where you can find my YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus links. Please feel free to check them out and follow or subscribe!!!

Pirate cache
Went out with my little boy for a few caches and found a cool multi that was pirate themed. I really enjoy the fact that he enjoys caching, and looking for treasure. He must have spotted at least 20 banana slugs along the way.

Return of challenge caches

Usually when I travel for shows out of town, I like to find Challenge Caches. If I have not completed the challenge, its fun to try and complete the requirements before getting the challenge cache. Just went over to the island to do close up Magic at the Victoria Magic Circles 50th Anniversary show at the McPhearson Playhouse. Traveled over there with fellow Magician and cacher "Close Up Matt". And as I said, I searched out and found 2 Challenge Caches while there.

But last Spring, groundspeak paused accepting submissions for new challenge caches to collect data and reevaluate the impact they have on the game. Well they just announced that new challenge caches can now be submitted in accordance with the updated Challenge Cache Guidelines.

P.S. Wondering what a challenge cache is? Challenge caches allow geocache owners to create “challenges” you have to accomplish before you can log a specific geocache, like meeting the challenge of finding a geocache on every day of the year.

On June 11/16 it was "Get Outdoors Day" and Groundspeak had a new souvenir for getting out and grabbing a cache or attending an event. I was able to get 2 caches today, one early in the morning and one later in the evening with my sweetheart and our little boy. The cache we got was probably the closest cache to us where we have lived for the past 2 1/2 years, and we finally went to get it. lol

As of writing this, I am getting ready to head to Mission and the Fraser River Heritage park where the Mission Children's Festival is taking place and the F.V.M.C.(Fraser Valley Magic Circle) is holding its "Children's Entertainer of the Year" competition where I will be the M.C. as I won this prestigious award last year. Also as I type, I am sitting at 3999 cache finds. Will today be the day I find my 4000th cache?? Well, I will save that story for next month!!!

"Children's Magician of the Year"
I got to M.C. this awesome event at the Mission Children's Festival as I had won it last year. There was 6 acts competing for this award, and it was a great afternoon with over 300 kids and
hundreds of adults at the festival. Thanx to all those that competed for this coveted award!!!

Well that's it for this month
Keep on caching
Chris Yuill

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Land of the midnight sun!!!

Caching in Inuvik

This month I went to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, the land of the Midnight Sun, to do a couple of Magic shows for the Inuvik Firefighters Ball.  While there I was able to grab several caches including a virtual cache. I also received a new geocaching souvenir.
Newest souvenir
 On the trip up there we flew across the Great Slave Lake. Several years back when I was touring with Attila the Hypnotist, we actually drove across this lake on the Ice roads on a trip up to perform in Yellowknife and Fort Smith. Very scary heading out onto the lake with a vehicle.

Great Slave Lake

Great Slave Lake

 The cache under the plane is now my most Northern cache. This is the Western Arctic Visitors Centre.
If you have never visited the area before, then a quick stop at the Western Arctic Visitor Centre will provide you with all the information you need.
Located on Mackenzie Road as soon as you enter town, the Visitor Centre contains many interesting exhibits on art, flora and fauna, neighbouring communities and wildlife.
You can also pick up your official Arctic Circle Adventurer Certificate here.
The Centre is open from June to September and hosts weekly events based around Northern culture. It was not open while I was there, but I was still presented with an official Arctic Circle Adventurer Certificate from the Inuvik Fire Chief. I even got picked up from the airport in his command car.

Town of Inuvik

Virtual cache
Made sure to grab this virtual cache called The End of the Road while there. I believe this is the oldest cache in the Inuvik area, placed back in 2002. They actually nailed a Travel Bug Tag to the bottom of the sign and you need to get the number off it.

This was a cool bolt cache placed on the anchor of the GSI Mariner. A ship that is now on ground and out of commission.
The GSI Mariner is a Canadian research/survey ship. It was built and used originally by Geophysical Service Inc. (GSI) to record seismic data on the Mackenzie River delta and Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean. Later it was owned by other companies, including Halliburton Canada. It is currently beached on the banks of the Mackenzie south of Inuvik, near the beginning of the Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road.
It was built in 1971 in Edmonton, and taken up in sections to Great Slave Lake later that year to be launched onto the Mackenzie. GSI ran surveys and did seismic research with it during the summers and beached it over winters, voyages that continued as Halliburton took over GSI and then after the company was reincorporated. Whether it will sail again is not known.

Inukshuk in Downtown Inuvik

I shot a quick video while I was in Inuvik called "Land of the Midnight Sun"

Cool city caches

I have been working in the Downtown area of Vancouver lately and have been grabbing a few caches on the way to the workplace. There are some cool caches around this city. Found one the other day at a monument that I had driven by for several days and thought this was a cool thing. (But I also kept saying to myself, "There must be a cache at that spot!!")

Ring Gear cache
 The ring gear monument was installed on Oct. 16 1987.This monument commemorates the swing span bridge that once crossed False Creek, and the industries that once thrived on its shores. Up until the 1970's False Creek was ringed by major industrial activity including Sawmills, Shipyards, and Rail yards.

NOTE: The highlighted words in my blog can be clicked on as they are links to other cool stuff!!
Also if you click on any of the pictures they become bigger!!!
PS: On the right hand side of this webpage is where you can find my YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus links. Please feel free to check them out and follow or subscribe!!!

Geocaching is Sweet 16

On May 2nd 2000, at approximately midnight, the “big blue switch” was pressed and selective availability on civilian GPS receivers was removed. Twenty-four satellites around the globe processed new orders, and the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold. Prior to this date, only the military had the ability to receive accurate GPS readings. Now, the world and all its wonderful people could pinpoint their precise location.

Sixteen Years Later
Sixteen years and over 2.8 million geocaches later, the game is larger and more diverse than it’s ever been. Happy birthday geocaching! It’s been a pleasure watching you grow.

Well that's it for this month
Keep on caching
Chris Yuill