Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lost Grove Lake

 The other day I was looking for a terracache or two to do and this one peaked my interest.  It's called Lost Grove Lake.  By reading the description this is a lake that is currently being built.  I've been to many man made lake, so seeing how one was being built, well I really wanted to see it.

As of right now you can see where they have cut down trees and "sunk" them to the bottom.  And how they are putting rock all the way around the edges.  It was pretty cool to see.  I'll take the discription of the cache here to kind of tell more about it.

" Lost Grove Lake is a man-made lake in the development stage. Lost Grove Lake in rural Scott County could be described as a future top recreational attraction in the Quad-Cities. The 350-acre fishing lake stretches across 1,200 acres of state land that is located eight miles north of Davenport and four miles west of Princeton.

It is estimated the dam construction will take up to two years to complete and it will be another two years for the lake to fill with water. Design of the dam has delayed the lake project. The new design will take into consideration revised federal rules which changed since the first was completed 19 years ago. The area around the future lake has been seeded with native grass seedlings. When finished, there will be wild flowers and five species of mixed native grasslands to attract the bird population. A three to four mile trail will wind around the area."

The area is big enough I didn't explore the whole thing, and there was a few hunters out in the area but I can't wait to see how this project comes along.   Here's a few pictures of the area.

 This is just a general photo of the area.  I wish I could of gotten up much higher to get a better view and photo.

Here's the other side of the road and how it's coming along.  You can see the rock they are putting in along the edges of the lake, and the different depths they are making it.

 I must say a huge thanks for WUGOII for placing a terracache here.  It was pretty cool to see this before it's filled up and put into public use.

Tape worm \m/

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wow it's been awhile

I guess I've been kinda AWOL for quite some time.  I'm hoping here to put my nose to the grindstone and get to blogging.  I've got a ton of kick ass caches to talk about and hundreds of photos.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Apocalypse Now

I saw this terracache get published and knowing the area, I thought, I know just where that would be, and couldn't help myself from laughing.  It was a very evil laugh, knowing just what the area does, and seeing who owned the cache I knew it would be a good one.

The area the cache is in is called the Coralville Res. It's a man-made "lake" that depth is controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers.  Right here is looking down the old highway that was taken out of use many many years ago after the Interstate was build nearby and the Res was created.  Some of that old highway is still there.  Many times during the year parts of it are underwater.  I had done a geocache near hear a while back, but at that time the old highway was underwater and I had to take a very long route cause you couldn't go straight to the cache you first had to walk about a quarter mile or so back deeper into the woods to find dry land to cross.

But this time I was on an epic journey and got to see and follow the old highway, I have seen for years from driving by on the interstate.  I had always wanted to go down when the water levels where down, and check it out, but just never got around to it.

These where just some of the sites in the area I got to look at as I walked down the old highway.  This whole area is really neat to walk along and see.  I even noticed across on the other side of the bank a couple of people fishing.

I kept moving on watching out for those helicopters, and snipers off in the trees hearing some rounds being fired off.  I had to make my journey a quick one and try to sneak in and out unnoticed or face an untimely death.

I was moving along and getting closer and closer to the cache when all of a sudden my path was blocked.  Which left me with the decision of making a swim for it, or trying to find yet another way around to the cache location.
I'm not the smartest one in the bunch but I've got this problem when it comes to terrain.  Getting wet, so what, sore legs from steep hills, child's play,  hanging on to a tree over the edge of a bluff, fun.  But it was kind of early in the year yet, and that water was going to be cold.  I debated swimming across, or looking for another route around.  Normally, I would have just dropped my gear and went the wet route, but I spotted what looked to be a much longer way around but doing so without having to swim.

I found one of the unlucky ones that didn't survive the journey and was picked off.  I had been spotted and was on the run but made it threw the heavy fire fight with very minor wounds.

I even noticed some spent rounds when I got to a spot I could get out of sight.

I finally made it around and even went as far to see the other side of where the water stopped me dead in my tracks.

After a short search, I hit pay dirt!!!  Which once I found it, all I could do was laugh again.  The perfect spot for a Terracache.  I signed my name to the log, and recorded my journey in the log.  I grabbed the cc code and then was on my way back to the car.

Now just for the record, there really is no firefight to avoid, it all just seemed fitting given the title of the cache.  Also I've done a few tricks in the blog and was very selective in the photos as not to give away a few surprises.  But they are quite funny.  the only way you'll know is, by making the journey yourself.  And yes, it's worth it.  A well done cache!!

The SS Minnow

The SS Minnow

After talking all summer long about going and hunting this Terra-cache called the S.S. Minnow, we finally where able to get the plans made for the hunt.

The S.S. Minnow was a cache placed by mmdals over two years ago and had only been found twice since it was placed. It was hidden on an island out in the Mississippi near the town of Cassville, WI. Wugo II was able to put together a boat trip and 8nut's provided the boat and some great driving as well. We where joined by leaderdog as well. The four of us met up at a boat ramp in Cassville. 8nut's had his boat in the water all ready to go when I got there.

It was quite a journey to the island. With the floods we have over the summer we didn't even know if the boat (the minnow) would still be there. It was just over 4 and a half miles from the boat ramp to the cache. It had rained a bit on my drive up to Cassville but had stopped by the time I got there. The weather other than the rain was perfect.

The trip along the Mississippi in the boat was a lot of fun. We got to see some barge's and one full of coal that was on the bank being unloaded by a crane. There's a car ferry there as well that will transport your vehicle across to Iowa if you didn't want to make the drive around. I'm sure this cuts a lot of travel time down. But I got to see a car on board the ferry.

As we neared the island I could tell all of us where getting anxious to see if we could find this one. We drug the boat ashore about a quarter mile away from our destination. From there we found some nice ground to hike in the rest of the way in. As we walked along very shortly after pulling the boat in I heard Wugo say there it is. I could feel the excitement growing but still couldn't see it.

Sure enough we got there and there she was. This was just amazing to find. I can't image how someone found this abonaded boat on the island. It was about ten feet long and about 4 foot deep. currently with the water level being down the boat was on land but as some of the picture's on the cache page indicate it does float when the water level comes up.

The wooded boat had about two inches of dirt and plant's growing in it. The hull of the boat was in pretty bad shape and a lot of the wood was roting away. We spent some time there at the "Minnow" talking about this and that and enjoying the day. This was quite a fun trip. I was glad to share this with the other's. It was great to have some great company along the journey. But as all things do this cache hunt was at it's end.

We all left the "Minnow" and headed back to our boat. We got rained on just a little on our way back but really it could have poured and I don't think anyone would have cared. We pasted a couple of other boats on the river on our way towards the dock where just a couple of hours earlier our journey had started. We spotted a couple of Bald Eagles flying over the river as well.

Once we docked we sat around for a little while and visited a bit about our other caching adventure's. This will be yet another one that will be talked about for quite some time to come.

It was great to meet the famous 8nut's who I seen the name but had never meet in person. And as always is was great to join Wugo and leaderdog for a cache hunt.

Now that the S.S. Minnow has been found I don't know what will be the next great adventure. I guess I need to hit the web-site's to see what else it out there waiting for us.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Under Every Helpful Smile.....

I was on my way back home after doing a few caches up in southern Minnesota, and I had this cache mark as I could do a little backroad driving and could get to it without going to far out of my route back home.  I had an ok day caching, but too much time spent driving in the car.  This Terracache is called Under Every Helpful Smile.....  I had looked at the distance and elevation and thought this one won't be bad, should be a nice way to finish off the day and it would give me a small break from the road.  The one thing I didn't take into account was the owner.  I should have known better that it wouldn't be a walk in the park, but wasn't expecting what I ran into.  It was quite a workout.  Plus this was a neat idea.  This cache was made at an event that the attendees got to log, but those that missed it would get the pleasure of vising it out in the field.

As I was trying to find my way on the back roads of Northern Iowa, I was completely turned around and was starting to debate if I should tried this without a full tank of gas.  This was an area where homes are few and far apart.  When I saw this place, thoughts were rolling threw my head this is the perfect way to start a horror movie. I passed this little "store" thinking, yup if the car breaks down that's where I'll have to walk to, looking for help, since my cell phone had no signal in this area.

As I took the twisty and winding roads I finally made it down to the parking area.  Which nobody was around.  But I'm in the middle of no where.  I looked at the GPS and saw it was only .30 of a mile away.  This was when I thought, yup piece of cake.  Please remember I'm still having problems with my neck and shoulder since I had major surgery done on my neck about 6 months ago.   So off I head into the woods looking for a trail of some sort.

It became quite clear after the first  tenth of a mile, this was going to be very ruff.  You are walking on the side of the slope upward the whole way there, and all I could find at times, where a few small broken animal trails.  It was bushwack city the whole way there but you had to be careful cause there was slippery grass under the tall foliage.  At times you where reaching for something to grab onto to keep going which most of time, I grabbed some plant with thorns or got a handful of neddles.  As I kept going in deeper it was starting to get dark out and I really didn't want to be here in the dark, so I was trying to be quick, but the bluffs at the top of the slope were really neat to see.

I finally reached ground zero, and thought just by looking, it right there in "that thing".  Nope.  It was going to take some climbing around these big boulders and a little searching to find it.  This is what I looked like with the cache in hand.

I took note of the cc code by taking a photo of it twice, and writing it on my hand.  I had left my pack in the car since the distance wasn't far, but wasn't expecting having to deal with such thick foliage.  I swear I was waiting and listening for banjo music to start playing.  This area is never visited.  But again I had no time to waste, as I wanted to get back to the car before it really got dark out.

I have to say this was the roughest cache I had hunted in a very long time.  Of course there will be better times of the year to hunt this one down, but I'm glad after it's all said and done to have done it right in the middle of summer.  It was also a good reminder to take my pack even if the distance and elevation isn't very much as you just don't know what kind of terrain your really going to run into.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Galena Bike Trail

I took on a few TC along the Galena Bike trail a week or so ago.  This was a very nice trail to take a ride on, for one, it's all flat. lol   But near the start of it was a small spring.  That I thought was really neat.

This spring looked like just water was bubbling up from the center.  As I was over here checking it out, another bike rider rode over to me and asked it there was any side trails.  Which I had no idea as this was my first time on the trail.

After reading about the spring and watching it for a bit, it was time to head on down the trail to look for a couple of caches.  This was a nice trail.  Most of it was pea gravel, which is nice to ride on.  The caches I was after where about 2 miles out, and I think 2 miles was the end of the trail.

My first stop was at a cache called Cabin Fever.  I don't know how woodsie found this but it was pretty interesting to see.  If you read my log on the cache, most of it was just joking around saying as I got close I saw this neon sign saying "Eat at Woodsies".  This rusted out "cabin" is barely standing, but was very interesting to check out.  It was just a one room cabin with what looked some sort of fireplace furnace, in the middle of it.

The cabin from a distance.

Inside the cabin.

After checking it out, I didn't stick around long as the sketters where eating me alive.  The rest of the trip, I was wondering who build this, and why.  Why would it be so small?  Questions that I don't think I'll ever get answered.

Then it was on to the next Terracaching, End of the line.  Again getting back on the bike trail, was quite a relief as I was able to out run the sketters, and biting flys.  This one was located near the end of the trail, which is where I ran into some trouble.  I had to do a second dose of bug spray cause the first coat was just like adding flavoring to me.  Which you know what I mean if you've ever had that burning feeling from using too much bug spray.  This area was neat as there was a picnic table, and a bench where you could watch trains go by on the tracks.  There is also a geocache near the TC as well, but I never was able to lay eyes on it, but the forest floor at spots was armpit deep, and I tripped over a few logs on the ground you couldn't see.  I found an old "cellar" type object here too.

When I finally found the Terracache, it was a sight for sore eyes.  A nicely stocked  ammo can.  I think all I got in the log book was my name, and the work sketters.  They where so bad over here, I didn't stick around long.  But I had a great time hunting these two, and again just wonder how he found that cabin.

Happy and safe caching!!!

Tape worm

Balltown, Ia

The whole family went out this past weekend to grab a few caches but we where going way north up to Balltown to see the "Million Dollar View". We had a pretty cool trip going up and back. And we worked it just right so we hit the view at sunset. You can't beat that here in Iowa. Also I didn't know the oldest bar and grill in Iowa was right next to the viewing area. Which I guess it had a fire last year and we found out it had just reopened.

The Terracache we where looking for was Having A Ball .

We didn't find the cache that day, but we had a good time exploring a part of Iowa, none of us have really been too.  Finally here a few weeks ago, I was up in the area and thought I would give it another shot, and wouldn't you know, it was like I knew right where it was at. lol  Sadly we don't have any mountians in Iowa, just a lot of farmland, so seeing a place like this is a rare treat.

Tape worm