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New stuff on the horizon!

 

RedwingGreg is hosting a new meeting this month at Mutt’s BBQ in Taylors/Greer:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=018e775d-70e9-4bc9-a92f-6914b52ab767

Saturday, February 27th 6:00 pm
**FOOD** **FUN** **RAFFLES** **PRIZES**
The USCGA welcomes anyone and everyone to come out and enjoy some great food, fun and talk about Geocaching!
If you are not familiar with the USCGA, we are a group of geocachers who get together for group caching, hiking, kayaking, camping, rappelling, events, Citos and most importantly FOOD and FUN. We are open to anything, anyone throws out there for us to do
If you think you are familiar with the USCGA, you might be surprised with the many new faces but we still enjoy what is important, FOOD and FUN!
The meeting is at Mutts BBQ in Greer, SC
101 West Road Greer, SC 29650-2421 (864) 848-3999
Everyone is responsible for the cost of their own meal (if you decide to eat dinner) and prices vary depending on your choice

Please bring your Travel Bugs, Coins, and your stories and enjoy a great time with the USCGA!

 

 

Traveling shoes…

This past weekend, our family, along with over a dozen other soccer Moms and Dads, left Spartanburg headed to Huntsville, Alabama for an AYSO (youth soccer) tournament. Avery was a part of the U14 boys team scheduled to play, along with over 250 other kids, eager to put the ball into the goal! Of course, us being the geocachers that we are, we just HAD to take advantage of this mini-vacation so we filled the GPSr’s with PQ’s galore!

The only negatives about the trip was the heat, (but the breeze helped!) and the fact that the boy’s didn’t bring home the shiny medals that they worked so hard for, but that didn’t stop us from having fun! They played hard and represented the Upstate very well! To give them a little reward, we checked out the awesome nearby Space and Rocket Museum, (where we saw a Saturn V Rocket, Sky-Lab, a Space Shuttle, and other WAY-cool stuff!) took in an I-Max 3-D movie, ate wonderful “Alabama White” Bar-B-Q, stayed up late outside after dark, and, of course, played a little  “bounty-hunter” on a few hidden pieces of plastic, as well!

The ride home was long, (only made longer due to the downpour during rush-hour in Atlanta) but this is definatly a great place to visit, and an supurb place to cache!

Our trip, by the numbers…

14 sweaty teenage boys, playing their hearts out.

13 pounds of fruit for the boys to snack on between and after their games.

12 bottles of water and/or Gatoraid per kid

11 wildly happy kids playing trash-can soccer so the girls in the hotel could watch.

10 jokes about one of the ref’s uncanny resemblance to Greg Allman

9 times the GPSr mistakingly tried to send us through the woods to our hotel

8 people crowded under each canopy for shade. (We did mention that it was hot, right?)

7 hours of driving….one way.

6 hours walking through the Space and Rocket Museum.

5 days of heat in Huntsville.

4 great recomendations for resteraunts.

3 awesomly cool Earthcaches within a few minutes from the hotel.

2 very tired parents trying to squeeze out an extra vacation day out of the trip.

1 year til we do it all again…this time in WEST PALM BEACH!!!!

One small step for Man...

One small step for Man...

...One giant leap for Mankind.

...One giant leap for Mankind.

Here we GO!

Here we GO!

"Fly me to the Moon...."

"Fly me to the Moon...."

Inspiration.

Inspiration.

Megan and her little friend walking on the Moon!

Megan and her little friend walking on the Moon!

Doctor Megan...

Doctor Megan...

Space Shuttle

The Blackbird

The Blackbird

The caches are a’plenty in the Huntsville area, as we expected, but what we weren’t prepared for was the number of Earthcaches!There are a couple of days worth of those, alone!

And who knew that there was a huge cave ( Shelta Cave ) with an underground navigational lake right under the city streets?

Shelta Cave info sign

Shelta Cave info sign

Cathedral Caverns info sign

Cathedral Caverns info sign

Cathedral Caverns

Cathedral Caverns

It has been way too long since this blog has been updated.

Everyone seems to splinter in different directions at times, but in the little town of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, it was a wonderful weekend to get together, share fellowship, rekindle old relationships, and create new ones.

After coming home after a long Memorial Day weekend full of caches, laughter, and sore muscles, a few of us headed back out to tackle Athena’s Revenge the following weekend. After having been involved with all three of the Athena series, as well as being  Tube Torcher Two survivor, I find myself now in limbo. Those are all monumental adventures, and if you ever want to feel a little Indiana Jones-ish, by all means, go find one of them!

Maybe my creative muse will take over. There are a few cache ideas that have been rattling in the recesses of my head lately.

Hmmmm. What to do?

Thanks to Hawaiian Ninja for hosting the March feasting…and what a feasting it was!

Ron’s BBQ in Boiling Springs, SC was the place to be if you wanted good ol’ pulled pork, beef hash, ribs, and all the fixin’s!

 We packed the room and had to spread out in two directions to fit the gang all inside.

 

The standard pleasantries were exchanged, lies told and everything that you would expect to see at one of our meetings was there to be seen! We had a great gathering of new and old friends. After Frank went through the formalities, we had both an adult raffle (complete with a cool handmade hiking stick by Team L&L), and also a huge box of toys just for the kids to win. Everyone of those smiles made the whole windy day worthwhile!

 

It looks like the next gathering will be in May and with that will bring in new Chair and Co-chairs, with the voting to begin soon on the forums.

Thanks to all that could come, and also many thanks for all of the support that our membership has given our group.

2007 Smiley Award Winners!

The voting was close, and the caches placed by the Upstate cachers are getting better and better!

 Go get ’em!

Categories

Winners

Best Series Bushy Tail Series
Regular – Most Difficult Ward, I’m worried about the Beaver-(NW)
Regular – Most Creative The Connection-South Carolina
Regular – Best Liked Mary
Micro – Most Difficult Merovanished
Micro – Most Creative Bushy Tail #5
Micro – Best Liked Bushy Tail #5
Puzzle – Most Difficult Tomb of the Holy Grail – L.E.G. #1
Puzzle – Most Creative Tomb of the Holy Grail – L.E.G. #1
Puzzle – Best Liked Tomb of the Holy Grail – L.E.G. #1

The New Year is upon us!

N 34° 53.436 W 082° 24.035

January meeting of the USCGA. Dinner, announcement of the Smiley Awards winners and raffle.

The fun begins at 2 PM at the Golden Corral across from the Cherrydale Shopping center. When you arrive you should notify the cashier that you are with the USCGA group. The charge is a flat rate of ten dollars per person which includes a buffet dinner, gratuity and the private room. After dinner we will have a short meeting of the USCGA and we will announce the winners of the Smiley Awards for 2007. We will be having our customary raffle, so you should bring a gift to donate to the raffle prizes. Remember the more prizes we have, the more winners we will have. Hope to see you there for much fun, food and laughter.

It’s a rainy Sunday morning, and with little to do but wait out the rain, and looking forward to the New Year, I thought that I would jot a few lines about our group’s progression.

It is no secret that this past year has been one of phenomenal growth for the USCGA.

While we geocache for fun, we come together to serve a greater purpose.

All of us at the USCGA would like to thank all who have contributed, participated, and helped in any way for everything this year. Between the selfless fund-raising events to the “fun-raising” get-togethers, CITO’s, group-led hikes, kiddie-caching, paddle trips, camping adventures, disc-golf, and just plain socializing, it has been a wild ride, and one which leads us into another year of even wider horizons.

Already there are plans for another informal “Coffee-Cache” meeting, our January Bi-Monthly meeting, and another paddling/camping adventure is in the works. Also, at any given time, there are those who offer up mini-gatherings, not necesarily cache-associated such as plays, shows, disc-golfing, etc.

Here’s hoping that everyone has a great New Year, and along with that, another year of adventures and awakenings to the world around us.

I’d like to close this blog with an article that has just been published in a new online Geocaching magazine,  “Caching Now:” 

Enjoy!

Caching in on Life

(Toads in Time)

by Darcy Kamps On occasion, there are events, places, or experiences that stick in our mind. They become a benchmark of sorts, helping us organize our memories. Frequently there is nothing extraordinary about these events except that for some reason, they were exceptional to us.

Although Toads in Time wasn’t the actual name of this cache, it benchmarked a great life lesson learned together while geocaching.

That year, I had wanted to do something alone, something special with each of our sons during their spring vacation, and since we weren’t in the Bahamas for Spring Break, our next best option would be geocaching.

Here in Wisconsin, we meet spring like we meet most seasons: armed with both sandals and parkas, ready for either equally likely weather possibility. Luckily, it was unseasonably warm, and my youngest and I hopped in the car comfortable in our blue jeans and t-shirts, hope and excitement mingling with the spring air in anticipation of finding hidden treasure.

I had picked a cache less than ten miles from our home for two reasons.

First, I didn’t want William to lose interest before we arrived at our destination (a good idea for young cachers–and those who have a proclivity toward carsickness).

Second, my curiosity was piqued when I saw the description of this cache site. It was soclose to our home. We had driven by it dozens of times. We had sat at soccer games for hours on end less than half a mile away. Could this idyllic little spot be right under my nose and I never knew it? (There’s a geocaching lesson if ever there was one! But that’s another story…)

There was a sign near the road indicating the park–part of a watershed in our area. We meandered half a mile down the sloping gravel drive and parked the van. I brought up the cache on our trusty GPS (a Garmin eTrex) and handed it over to William. There are so few times when the youngest member of the family gets to be the leader. He accepted the responsibility with a seriousness common to him, but uncommon for one so young. He knew how to follow the arrow to the cache and did a great job directing us–until we found the toads.

We started down the wide mown pathway leading away from the parking lot. Willow trees gently draped the path, leaving an aura of mystery. I instantly feel transported to another time–this unpretentious rambling piece of the Midwest looks as though time and technology have completely passed it by. The first thing I notice (okay, I admit it helped that the cache had a very specific description) is that within 50 yards of leaving our car, we’re standing in the middle of several spring-fed ponds. In fact, as I pause for William to tie his shoe (a perpetual activity for small boys too proud for Velcro), it’s actually possible to hear the trickle-bubble of fresh-water springs. Willows, bubbling springs, spring in the air–and what’s that? Oh my goodness, a symphony–no, a cacophony–of toads! We actually hear them–dozens, maybe hundreds of them–before we see them. The cache is instantly usurped by these small creatures.Distracted, William and I wander around enjoying the area for quite awhile, and when we do decide to get a’huntin’, he is no longer interested. This is fine with me. We are close to the cache when he finds a sitting rock–just his size–in the middle of a shallow area of water. He kicks off his shoes and rolls up his pants, playfully splashing in the cold spring water while I hunt the cache near a tree the size of my mini-van.As I extract the cache from this ancient tree, I look over at my son and realize that the picture in my mind at this very moment is the real cache.

A wide ray of sun shines down on this treasure as he splashes. It bathes him in timeless golden light. Toads are playing with him–as he plays with them–each seeing how close they can get to the other before they get caught.

I’m overwhelmed that we have this moment. It is caught in time–benchmarked in my memory, and brought to us by the sport of geocaching. That’s why we cache: because the joy really is in the journey.

Happy caching!

Darcy Kamps

———————–

When she’s not pursuing additional education in Ultrasound Technology, Darcy Kamps spends her time juggling hats and putting out fires. She drives a mini-van but has never been in the PTA, loves to cook but hates to clean up, and loves to plant but frequently forgets to harvest. She hopes to graduate before her children.

Originally published on November 15, 2007.