- Written by Tom Wolpert
- Hits: 2900
SLAGA Members Take on Tower Rock
Special to SLAGA
On Saturday, August 4, several SLAGA members and other local cachers took on Tower Rock by kayak. Your reporter is a little fuzzy on just how this amazing adventure came to pass. The logs, pictures and professional video (yes, really!) tell only part of the story. What we do know is that Gone2theDogs, Quailman2, McRob&the2Hero's and 60CGarsee invaded Tower Rock using kayaks provided by Gone2theDogs. Apparently Mr. Gone2theDogs made the trip out and back multiple times in order to individually accompany each of the other cachers - none of whom had previous kayaking experience.
We have it on good authority that Mrs. Quailman2 was feerless in the face of the climb up the vertical face of Tower Rock. We can believe that ;)
All of the cachers successfully found the traditional cache, La Roche de la Croix, on the top of tower rock. At the same time, the others also snagged Gone2theDogs' Earth cache, Tower Rock. Local historian, photographer and videographer Ken Steinhoff was on hand to record the proceedings for posterity. You can view his video and pictures on his web site.
Congratulations to all the cachers who made it to the top. And thanks to Ken Steinhoff for his coverage!
Really folks, you have to see this rock to believe it!
- Hits: 2613
BY Justin Yang
COLUMBIA, MISSOURI— At dusk Tuesday, eight adventurers set out to Rhett's Run Mountain Bike Trail at Cosmopolitan Park in search of a green box.
The group, which varies in age from about 30 to 60, is all male except for one woman. They're wearing bucket hats and carrying walking sticks and flashlights. Each has applied a liberal dose of bug spray to his or her clothes and skin.
The Internet description of what they are seeking said to look for trail marker reflectors – small shiny cubes stuck to trees along the steep, narrow trail.
The group is geocaching, a modern-day searching game that uses GPS technology, the Internet and nature. Geocaching usually requires solving riddles, puzzles or simply following descriptions from Internet posts that can be found at websites like Geocaching.com. The goal is to find caches, usually army surplus ammo boxes, that other geocachers have hidden.
According to Geocaching.com, more than 4 million people geocache globally.
Read the entire article at www.columbiamissourian.com.
- Written by Kathy DeWitt
- Hits: 2923
Treasure Hunters Lured to Tourist Destinations with Geocaching
By JOHANNA SOMERS
The Seattle Times
SEATTLE - Historical sightseeing may never be the same again. Now parents can tell their children to bring their smartphones with them for a nature walk, and national parks may want tourists to leave something behind. Geocaching, a form of high-tech treasure hunting that utilizes clues from a GPS device, is being harnessed by tourist destinations as a new way to draw visitors and encourage them to explore.
Five locations from Washington, D.C., to Park County, Colo., recently launched tours created by Seattle-based company Groundspeak, which runs the Geocaching.com website.
The nearest geocaching tour is centered on Cache Creek, British Columbia; it weaves through the region's Gold Rush country and will have 144 caches by the end of the summer. Several more tour locations are in the works.
- Hits: 2503
Summer is upon us, and it is time to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and commune with nature. On Saturday, July 21, join hosts Cribbage Witch and Hobbit Taz for a relaxed summer get-together at Indian Camp Creek in St. Charles County, Missouri. Bring your own picnic lunch. We will light a grill with a charcoal fire for those who wish to cook their fare. The picnic starts at 10:00 am, until everyone leaves or we get tossed out! Please respect park regulations which prohibit glass containers and alcoholic beverages. See you there!
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POTOSI, Missouri. Travis and Cindy were on a mission.
After parking their minivan in front of Mark Twain National Forest's Potosi Ranger Station, they turned on their GPS unit and stepped out of their vehicle.
They weren't there to purchase a map, or to inquire about camping, or to buy a firewood permit. They were searching for something…something that they knew was very close by. And if they found it, it would be momentous because never yet had they been the "First To Find."
Time was of the essence, and even the damp and chilly air of that October 2011 morning was not enough to deter them. They had to find it, and find it first.
They walked down the sidewalk, past the Pollinator Garden, across the parking lot, and headed into the woods. As they approached a small vernal pool, they suddenly stopped. Did they see something? Maybe a bird flushing from a bush? Or a frog jumping into the pool? No, they saw something much less obvious.
Travis walked a few steps further, stopped again, turned around, then kicked some leaves and exclaimed "I found it!" Pulling an old ammo box out from behind a tree, they both grinned from ear to ear. This was what they were looking for. This was the geocache!
Travis and Cindy represent hundreds of people who participate in geocaching, or treasure hunting on Mark Twain National Forest.
This particular geocache was put there by Mark Twain National Forest Employee Marge VanPraag.
A geocacher herself, Marge has enjoyed encouraging others to participate in this recreational pastime.
- Written by Denmother
- Hits: 4172
With the mild winter we had in SLAGA territory, we expect the ticks to be out in force this year! As a public service, we're reprinting part of a great article that Brawny Bear wrote a few years ago about ticks and how to avoid them. L Frank and I follow Brawny's advice and treat our caching clothes with Permethrin every year, and we swear by it. The brand we use is Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Home Spray. Here is an excerpt from Brawny's article:
So that some of the people new to caching and the outdoors understand the reality behind ticks, I have put together a primer to help you out. There is a great article in Backpacker magazine that covers ticks and how to avoid them.
When a tick buries its head into your skin, it forms a cement bond that keeps it in place while it excretes a chemical that breaks down tissue and allows them to absorb the blood and fluids they desire. There really isn't any documented length of time a tick can wait for a host. Some ticks will have several hosts as they morph from a nymph to an adult and others will have one host. Ticks have been known to live over 3 years, even through the dormant Winter, without ever attaching to a host.
A quick overview of the cycle of a tick is as follows...
Female lays eggs, Eggs become Larvae, Larvae attaches to birds or small mammals, Tick becomes a nymph, Nymph attaches to a host, Tick feeds until it becomes an adult, adult males detach and look for females usually on the host, male breeds and then drops and dies, female continues to feed, eventually dropping off and laying eggs. In some cases, the female will lay eggs on the host.
In Missouri, we have all 3 species of ticks.
1) Deer Tick - often called seed ticks and are very small. Females are bigger and often are 2 tone brown with the head and back being darker than the legs.
2) Lone Star Tick - Most common in Missouri. Females have a white dot on their back. This is where they get their name. A big misconception is the males have a spot too. This is not true. Males are the most common tick and often called a dog tick or brown tick. These ticks are more round than oval. Almost all ticks here in Missouri are Lone Stars.
3) The American Dog Tick - These are the largest ticks and they are more oval than the other ticks. The male and female are almost the same size. They are brown with darker brown spots on their backs. The adults are usually the ones
that feed on us and dogs.
Lone Star and Deer Ticks carry Lyme. Dog ticks do not but they can carry other diseases.
Wear Light Clothes when in the field. I can't stress this enough. People who head out into a field with dark clothes are going to get skin buried ticks. Light clothes has them show up easier and you can pick them off.
Tuck your pants into your socks and tape them with some duct tape if possible. This keeps them on the outside. Also wear shirts tucked in and make sure they are light colored as well. Some people talk about ticks dropping from trees overhead. While this may be possible, it is highly unlikely. These critters are ground dwellers that usually get no higher that a weed. Birds love to eat ticks so climbing a tree would be like marching into the oven.
Spray your clothes with Permethrin. You can buy Cutter's and other brands of this but I use Equate brand Bedding Spray from Wal-Mart. Same stuff only a buck cheaper. Spray clothes until moist and allow them to dry completely. Spray shoes, socks, pants, shirt, undies, etc... It will last a couple of washings and a few rainy days.
Carry a spare set of shoes, socks and pants in the vehicle. If you can, change clothes and place your clothes into a plastic bag and put them in the trunk. When you get home, pop them in the dryer on high for 10 minutes. This will ensure all hitchhikers are incinerated.
Do a tick check often. When you get home, have your significant other check for all sizes of ticks. Remember, some may be smaller then a pinhead. If you do not have someone that can check, use a mirror.
Obviously, avoiding high grass and marshy fields would be the way to go...
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