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Thread: Maine Northwoods Tread Lightly® 4x4 Cache Rally

  1. #101
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    Awesome pictures everyone!! That looked like F-U-N!!!! I am not sure that Tom's truck would of fit down those narrow roads??? It is one BIG Dodge truck. Okay, please, don't comment on the Dodge part.

    Team Teebow 2
    I said WHAT!!! You just took me the wrong way......

  2. #102
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    This event has inspired me to form the Maine ORCAs!!! No... not whales! the Maine Off Road Caching Association!!
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram357
    This event has inspired me to form the Maine ORCAs!!! No... not whales! the Maine Off Road Caching Association!!
    Great idea . . . can I be the mascot? We can get some foam rubber and create a costume that makes me look like Shamu Jr. and then on future Tread Lightly events I can ride around in my 4Runner waving my fin at everyone and if anyone gives us a hard time I can throw a half eaten seal at them.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    Great idea . . . can I be the mascot? We can get some foam rubber and create a costume that makes me look like Shamu Jr. ...

    Why the foam rubber? All you need is the make-up..... LOL


    HahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahaHa hahahahahahaha
    HahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahaha

    Ok, it was a bad joke and I apologize but I just finished my shift and after living with 11 guys for the past 24 hours I haven't returned to "normal" yet.

    Although, you do have a Toyota so you'd be a good addition to the O.R.C.A's.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trezurs*-R-*Fun
    Why the foam rubber? All you need is the make-up..... LOL


    HahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahaHa hahahahahahaha
    HahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahaha

    Ok, it was a bad joke and I apologize but I just finished my shift and after living with 11 guys for the past 24 hours I haven't returned to "normal" yet.

    Although, you do have a Toyota so you'd be a good addition to the O.R.C.A's.
    Owwwww . . . that one stung a bit . . . I knew I shouldn't have brought my feeling to this forum!

    Wish you were there with us Steve . . . Hiram actually seemed surprised that the Toyota was doing so well . . . even if it wasn't lifted like his Jeep and still had the running boards on it. I'll be posting some pics here soon. You would have been disappointed though since we did nothing that was as technical as the climb up Harris Mountain in Dixmont . . . there are some scary-looking rocks and ledges there!
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  6. #106
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    Firefighter Jake and Friends’ Excellent Adventure on the Tread Lightly Geocache Event

    WOW! What a weekend. I attended my first official geocaching event and it was a great one . . . well at least it was good for me. After actually sleeping the night through last night without any errant white Jeeps roaring up beside me I sat down to jot down a few of my thoughts from this past weekend and I thought I would share them with the rest of the geocaching community.

    Where to start . . . well the beginning always makes the most sense so let’s start there. My name is Firefighterjake and I was born the poor son of a sharecropper . . . well, that’s not entirely true and more-over that may be a little too close to the beginning. Why don’t we start out at breakfast . . . where this whole event officially began?

    **********

    It’s five minutes before five o’clock and I’ve beaten my alarm clock to the proverbial punch as it was set the night before to go off at 5 a.m. Guess I must have an internal alarm clock that works just as well as my internal GPSr. A few minutes after a quick shower and some personal hygiene and I’m out the door and on my way to Fairfield’s Big Stop Restaurant on Rt. 201.

    I pull into the yard and see all kinds of SUVs and pick-up trucks laden with camping gear. Looks like I’m in the right place.

    I walk inside with a bit of trepidation and meet the rowdy-looking crew. Ironically I knew most of the folks from previous experience and from conversing at the site here with the main exception being Whlrgod and Tidos who turn out to be Ned and "Nancy" . . . well I thought her name was Nancy and I called her Nancy the entire weekend. It wasn’t until Monday morning while reading the logged caches that I learned "Nancy" was in fact "Tammy."

    After a quick breakfast with Cammy and Tim who stopped by to say hi the Tread Lightly event crew/mob was on the road and heading north. Our first stop was a series of quick grab and go caches in Skowhegan. At Watching Place cache I was looking at the beautiful waterfall and nearly stepped on a fresh doggie "land mine" which I missed thanks to the warning of fellow geocachers (guess they really do like us Magellan users! ) We found this cache as well as one of Laughing Terry’s Plain Sight caches (I was last to find that one) and the Big Indian cache in short order.

    Our next stop was at the relatively new Old Canada Road cache (after Hiram boomeranged past the point – and he didn’t even have a Magellan GPSr to use as an excuse ) where Dave of Dave and Gail fame tried to convince his wife that a perfectly round hole in the ground the size of a small swimming pool was from a meteorite. Needless to say she didn’t believe him.

    In Bingham the group temporarily split apart. Some folks went to the gas station to fuel up. Some folks continued down the road to grab a cache at the Half There rest stop cache.

    However, all of the men folk were staring at the bikini-clad Bingham girls who were holding a car wash and yelling "Hey Mister, your car is dirty." For our part, us men were thinking, "Why yes, those bikini-clad girls are right. This car is looking kind of dirty . . . even if I did just wash it yesterday and even if I haven’t been off-road with it yet." Meanwhile the respective spouses of these men were giving their partner THE LOOK.

    The convoy grouped up at the Half There cache and continued to the campsite with the exception of myself as I elected to grab a few more quick caches at Wyman Lake and Another Reason to Stop rest stop . . . even if it’s not all about the numbers. I tell ya geocaching is like eating potato chips . . . well I mean you don’t actually eat the geocache, I mean you do one cache and then you feel compelled to do another and another and another and . . . . well you get the idea.

    When I arrived at the campsite most of the folks were still in the process of setting up their tents. My job was pretty easy – I moved the jack and tire iron out of the way and unrolled my sleeping bag. Home Sweet Home in the back of my 4Runner.

    Hiram and Steph meanwhile were erecting a mini Waco complex with a tent and screen tent centered around a picnic table. Dave and Gail were hard at work building their Taj Mahal with a tent and canopy . . . later on both of these complexes were tied together with "the good green tarp" which proved quite useful when it began raining in the evening.

    Dave1976 and Girlmate were lazy, I mean smart, like me. They camped out in the back of Dave’s Nissan pick-up with a cab. They later told us they spent the night watching a movie before falling to bed . . . at least that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

    Attroll slept in what can best be described as a cocoon suspended underneath a "gigan-normous" banana leaf . . . in reality it was a sleeping bag/hammock with a rain fly tied off over him. I still think it looked more like a giant cocoon though. I half expected to see Attroll go to bed on Saturday night and emerge from his cocoon on Sunday morning looking like Brad Pitt . . . just like a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly.

    Maniac had a relatively small tent . . . but he made sure there was plenty of room for him and his geo-pups. Whlrgod and Tidos probably had the most normal-looking tent set up compared to everyone else that was there.

    Shortly after we had set up the tents WhereRWe arrived on site . . . this time around he had the right campsite and the right date! At this point we mounted up and rode off to do some serious geocaching with WhereRWe acting as our tour guide.

    I was fortunate since I had a front seat with WhereRWe who obviously knew these roads like the back of his hand . . . I say this based on the fact that he was able to tell me all about nearby springs, old railroad station buildings, mountains, etc. and the fact that he was driving as if he was in training for the Dakar Off Road Rally.

    We quickly nabbed the cache at Fossil Rock. Fossil Rock hasn’t been found much lately . . . but the next few cachers should have no problem finding it after having 15 or so folks stomping around in the undergrowth looking for the cache.

    We then moved on to another quick find at Moxie Trail Crossing after driving by scenic Moxie Lake and then it was time to tackle Foster’s Solitude cache. With only a few words of warning and advice, WhereRWe headed back home, so I jumped on board with Hiram and Steph in their white Jeep (No, they didn’t win it in the Jeep Geocaching contest.)

    First off . . . if anyone is thinking about doing Foster’s do not fear this cache. There are a few washouts and some rocks, but if you have a 4WD vehicle with decent ground clearance (it doesn’t need to be lifted) you can easily ride up to the cache. While there are some branches and raspberry bushes which may brush against your vehicle you will not have to replace your windshield or call Maco to get a brand new paintjob after this ride.

    The ride up to Foster’s was in fact a rather short, but bumpy ride. Steph was bouncing back and forth like a Weeble Wobble that refused to fall down . . . fortunately the window was down so she didn’t smack her head repeatedly into the window which is good since I’m not so good at treating cerebral hematomas with nothing more than a roll of duct tape and a drinking straw.

    As I stated earlier the ride up wasn’t so bad as we had been lead to believe, but nevertheless you would have thought we intrepid off-roading geocachers had just driven up the side of Mt. Everest. We didn’t break out the celebratory champagne, although a few folks did take a few swigs of Poland Spring water . . . but I suspect they were simply thirsty.
    After finding the cache, checking out the view from the top (you could see the Backscatter radar site) and posing for the obligatory photo the group took advantage of the rest stop to grab a snack.

    When Hiram and Mike from The G-Team began to talk to each other about technical four-wheeling stuff which I could make no heads or tails of I told the group I was going to walk down to get pictures of everyone coming down the trail. Of course, I also gobbled down more than a few of the wild raspberries on the way down since I was feeling a bit hungry at that point and all of my snacks were bad in the 4Runner at the campsite.

    Our next geocaching stop was a quick find at Over the Horizon cache and then someone had the bright idea to try Laughing Terry’s Deathwish I cache. The ride to the cache was quick, but finding the cache was a whole different matter. After scrambling down the steep embankments we saw a beautiful set of waterfalls . . . but no sign of LT’s elusive cache.
    I kept hoping that maybe this was a variation of LT’s Bessie Tale cache so I was all for trying to get the group to go look for the cache attached to the tale of some nearby moose , but no one else in the group thought Terry would do such a thing.

    Instead we vainly searched high and low for the cache on the steep sides. I found a beer can which I opted to CITO with an assist from Dave1976 . . . yeah Dave that was me who put the beer can on your Nissan’s antenna (maybe next time you’ll think first before telling the folks at Unity House of Pizza that you needed my home address since I was sleeping with your girlfriend . . .

    After what seemed like hours and hours of searching we reluctantly gave up on the Deathwish cache. The negative: the cache was not found even with all of us searching for it. The positive: no one plummeted to their death which would have been bad . . . plus it would have meant a lot less time to search for other caches.

    Incidentally, LT if you’re reading this Hiram and I were thinking about starting up our own geocaching club called the "I Hate LT" geocaching club . At least that was our thought before we did LT’s Under the Waterfall Cache. This was a much easier and very beautiful cache spot.

    As for solving this puzzle . . . all I can say is that I had the answer right in front of me even before LT gave me the hint and I couldn’t believe I had missed seeing the coordinates! I personally loved this cache and the little dwarf inside me opted to explore the site. I ended up with wet feet, but the look of surprise on some of the geocacher’s faces when I popped up on the other side was worth the soaked hiking boots.

    Our final cache for Day 1 was Bingham Trestle. It was at this point that 1manhunt and Team2Hunt left our group and headed south as they were not planning to stay overnight.

    Back at the camp we gathered together under Dave and Gail’s "good green tarp" which was now attached to Hiram and Steph’s screen house. While Maniac had to dodge the occasional puddle of rain water that would collect in the tarp’s gap between the screen house and canopy, most of us stayed reasonably dry. Of course, Hiram and Step were living life to the fullest in their "first class" accommodations as the screenhouse had a picnic table, citronella candles and reportedly there were little mints being left at each place setting.

    Burgers and hotdogs seemed to be the main fare for the evening with a few exceptions. Whlrgod and Tidos had some appetizing looking beef and vegetable kabobs while Dave and Gail served up jalapeno burgers. Hiram and Steph (OK, mostly Hiram) had beans with their franks . . . which led many of us to pity poor Steph.

    There was no excuse for anyone to go hungry since Gail was serving up generous portions of her pasta salad while Dave kept offering food to each and every geocacher present . . . once again showing that famous northern Maine/Canadian sense of hospitality.

    Dave1976 and Girlmate had veggie burgers . . . funny thing though, I didn’t see too many geocachers drooling over those veggie burgers and wishing they had one of those on their plate.

    Unbeknownst to most everyone, Attroll had his own private stash of brownies that Donna had made for him to "share" with the group . . . of course we never learned about these special brownies until the next day when Rick confessed to the fact he had eaten all of the brownies but one.
    As we ate and talked, Gail kept trying to keep the fire stoked in a steady downpour. Eventually, she gave up and let the fire die out . . . but it certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort.

    As we sat around and reminisced every once in a while (well every 15 minutes) someone would say "let’s go geocaching" and some in the group would get motivated for all of 5 minutes before deciding that a second drink would be a better idea than going geocaching in the pouring rain.

    After awhile I went to bed as others started to drift off to their respective tents and/or vehicles to sleep the night away. I quickly fell asleep until around 11 p.m. when I woke up to what I could swear was the sound of a vehicle pulling up beside my SUV. I attributed the sound to an over-active imagination/dreaming and went back to bed. It wasn’t until the next day when I did Caratunk Boat Landing cache that I realized I had not been dreaming and in fact Hiram, Attroll and Mike from the G-Team had been out to nab a few caches . . . and attempt Hole in the Wall before deciding the combination of darkness, steep terrain and rain would most likely result in someone getting hurt.

    In the morning I woke up around 5 a.m. and folks were still asleep so I cruised down to the nearby Caratunk Boat Landing Cache and then headed to the Got Moxie cache for a brief, brisk walk to those beautiful falls. When I returned the group was breaking camp.

    At this point our Tread Lightly group broke into two separate parties with Dave/Gail, Dave1976/Girlmate and Maniac heading north to Jackman as they wanted to grab a few caches for the DeLorme Challenge. The G-Team/Attroll, Hiram/Steph, Whlrdod/Tidos and myself elected to work our way east towards Greenville.

    While most of the roads were smooth gravel roads, Hiram wisely chose a rough-looking logging road that was full of washouts, rocks and overgrown in spots as our main route to Greenville and the Gateway to Greenville Cache. Of course, since this was an off-road geocaching event we loved every minute of this portion of the trail.

    After a quick all-you-can-eat breakfast at Kelly’s Landing (and a big hug from the waitress – well Whlrgod got a big hug as he apparently knew the waitress – she definitely wasn’t his ex-wife ) we went to Lily Bay State Park to grab the caches there. Only a geocacher would consider paying $3 to stop by a park for a half hour as a good deal – and a bargain at $1.50 per cache.

    The ITS Stash was a quick find, but the Beyond the Trash Stash/Gravel Pit Cache was a big bust . . . unless you count being stung by bees or seeing the moose bone graveyard as a good thing.

    At the Fishy Find cache us men folk proved once again that we have a problem with taking directions. Our GPS receivers all said to head into the woods, so Whlrgod, Hiram and myself did just that. G-Team/Mike and Attroll wisely chose to stay on the trail . . . of course they may have done so since Hiram gave them bad coordinates and they were thinking they would have to go halfway to Canada to find this cache. Meanwhile Steph kept suggesting we stay on the old logging trail. We foolishly ignored Steph’s advice . . . only to find 15 minutes later after stumbling over wetholes and thick underbrush that the cache was located right beside the trail Steph mentioned.

    Our next stop was the B-52 Crash Stash Cache. The cache was easy and in a picturesque spot . . . the crash site was not so pretty and in fact was rather sobering.

    We began to work our way south as it was clear to see that we were all beginning to grow tired. Sawyer Pond and Memorial Bridge caches were quick stops along the way.

    VicBiker’s Arc de Brook was probably the hands-down favorite of the day for the group as the short ride into the cache offered the most technical riding of the two days and we were rewarded with a clever micro in a beautiful spot.

    While we loved VicBiker’s Arc de Brook we were ready to add him to our new I Hate LT fan club when we struck out on Vic’s Challenge. We searched high and low and despite the hint and a few false hits (I honestly thought the Gatorade bottle was the cache guys! ) we DNFed here.

    Whrlgod and Tidos parted with us in Abbot and made their way home while the rest of us headed to Dexter. The gang stopped at Wasoookeag Cache, but didn’t listen to me when I told them I thought Cameo had archived this cache (Sure, never believe the Magellan user! ) Shells Over the Water was also a DNF . . . although I suspect Hiram found part of the remains of this cache.

    Our final stop was Noreasta’s Work of Art cache as we were all very intrigued as to what was the "art". This too was a quick find. We signed the logs and then I headed home . . . it was a long weekend. I was hot. I was tired. I was smelly . . . but on the flip side I had met some great folks. I had a great time geocaching, camping and off-roading. I had taken some neat photos . . . and of course I had just found a boat-load of geocaches to add to my count . . . even though numbers aren’t everything, right?
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  7. #107
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    **Just a footnote... It was the DeLorme GPSr and software that had me slingshotting past the turns... and also the wife telling me to turn as I'm looking at the road pass us by.**
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    However, all of the men folk were staring at the bikini-clad Bingham girls who were holding a car wash and yelling "Hey Mister, your car is dirty." For our part, us men were thinking, "Why yes, those bikini-clad girls are right. This car is looking kind of dirty . . . even if I did just wash it yesterday and even if I haven’t been off-road with it yet." Meanwhile the respective spouses of these men were giving their partner THE LOOK.
    hey now... i was gunna try to do the right thing and donate to their worthy cause, they were trying to raise a lot of money to help... uh, you know it was one of those good charity things... they had signs.

    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    First off . . . if anyone is thinking about doing Foster’s do not fear this cache. There are a few washouts and some rocks, but if you have a 4WD vehicle with decent ground clearance (it doesn’t need to be lifted) you can easily ride up to the cache. While there are some branches and raspberry bushes which may brush against your vehicle you will not have to replace your windshield or call Maco to get a brand new paintjob after this ride.
    I'll second that opinion, it was only rough because of the little boulders scattered here and there, probably any stock 4x4 vehicle could make it up with some careful driving.

    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    . . . but no sign of LT’s elusive cache.
    I kept hoping that maybe this was a variation of LT’s Bessie Tale cache so I was all for trying to get the group to go look for the cache attached to the tale of some nearby moose , but no one else in the group thought Terry would do such a thing.

    c'mon jake... seriously, how would he get a moose to stand there that long...? unless... it was on lunchbreak!! we need to go back! hurry!

    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    Dave1976 and Girlmate had veggie burgers . . . funny thing though, I didn’t see too many geocachers drooling over those veggie burgers and wishing they had one of those on their plate.
    .... no comment on the veggie burgers

    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    While most of the roads were smooth gravel roads, Hiram wisely chose a rough-looking logging road that was full of washouts, rocks and overgrown in spots as our main route to Greenville and the Gateway to Greenville Cache. Of course, since this was an off-road geocaching event we loved every minute of this portion of the trail.
    yes, once again I made an ingenious decision... actually I just went the route of the delorme software knowing full well (from many past experiences) that this program was written with the full intent to drive people crazy, get them stuck and lost, and also to help keep mechanics in business... so we followed the computer, and what a great decision it was... i bet back at delorme headquarters someone was watching the spy satelites and saying to their supervisor... "OMG!!! Someone is actually driving down that road!?!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    At the Fishy Find cache us men folk proved once again that we have a problem with taking directions. Our GPS receivers all said to head into the woods, so Whlrgod, Hiram and myself did just that. G-Team/Mike and Attroll wisely chose to stay on the trail . . . of course they may have done so since Hiram gave them bad coordinates and they were thinking they would have to go halfway to Canada to find this cache. Meanwhile Steph kept suggesting we stay on the old logging trail. We foolishly ignored Steph’s advice . . . only to find 15 minutes later after stumbling over wetholes and thick underbrush that the cache was located right beside the trail Steph mentioned.
    jake... we were right. that's all that needs to be said.




    P.S. When can we expect to see pics?
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Auburn, Maine
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    Default Firefighter Jake and Friends’ Excellent Adventure on the Tread Lightly Geocache Event

    Hey Jake - I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing!

  10. #110
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    great story, jake! i wish i had been there - maybe next time, for the sequel!
    "life is short...make a mess of it!"

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