Rugby Caching

Paris Mountain Geocaching Workshop

Several months ago John Kaup asked if I would do a geocaching workshop for Paris Mountain State Park’s Fourth Saturday program.  The appointed Saturday came around, so I headed up to the park with all of my GPSs, laptops, etc, in tow for the workshop.

I planned to do a repeat of the workshop I’d done for the park back in 2009.  We had secured eight Garmin eTrex GPSs for the participants to use, and I had set up ten dummy geocaches within sight of the building where we were holding the workshop.  The plan was to go over the basics and show them the website, then send the participants out to find the dummy caches.  I had the coordinates for the caches in my netbook, and had several different types of cables for different models of GPSs, in case someone had brought their own and wanted to participate.

Last time I did this I only had two participants.  This time I did more advertising.  I posted on the Upstate Geocacher’s Facebook page, and I also got it added as an event cache on geocaching.com.  That way, anyone who attended to add the workshop itself as one of their finds.  Ranger Cathy Taylor also posted announcements in the Greenville News.

Paris Mountain Geocaching Workshop

It worked.  We had nearly 20 participants.  Also attending were experienced geocachers Patrick Peden and his wife, who have over 6000 finds (compared to my measly 135).  Patrick took the photos here, since for just about the first time ever I got so wrapped up in the program that I forgot to take ANY photographs. What I really like were that there were families with lots of kids there. It was almost like teaching fourth grade again. Continue reading “Rugby Caching”

Geocaching on Lake Marion

Lake Marion Paddling

Another second Saturday, and it was time for another epic paddling trip with Lowcountry Unfiltered. This one was truly epic. This time our explorations took us to the eastern part of Lake Marion to do some geocaching around Persanti Island.

Our launching point was Carolina King Landing, just north of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. It’s a private landing with cabins for rent, and was quite the happening place when I arrived. It turns out that this was the day for the Sparkleberry Poker Run up at the north end of the lake. Lots of camouflaged boats were getting ready for departure.

Lake Marion Geocaching-2Lake Marion Geocaching-1Lake Marion Geocaching-4

Alan arrived, and we entertained ourselves with Cokes, Moon Pies, and conversation with the proprietors of the local shop. These turned out to be very nice folks, and were very helpful suggesting parking and launch spots for the boats. They also had some interesting taxidermy. Continue reading “Geocaching on Lake Marion”

New Geocaching Restrictions

No Geocaching

A new law was passed by the state of South Carolina and signed by the governor on June 2 that places significant restrictions on geocaching activities in Department of Natural Resources lands, including wildlife management areas and heritage preserve areas. This law seems to have passed under the radar of local geocaching organizations, and hasn’t gotten much discussion – until now.

The new law states the following (and I’m copying this directly from the USCG website as edited):

Section 50 11 2200 (C)

(C) The following acts or conduct are prohibited and shall be unlawful on all wildlife management areas, heritage preserves, and all other lands owned by the department; provided, however, the department may promulgate regulations allowing any of the acts or conduct by prescribing acceptable times, locations, means, and other appropriate restrictions not inconsistent with the protection, preservation, operation, maintenance, and use of such lands:

(30) geocaching;

(E) A person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.

In addition to the posting on the Upstate Geocacher’s website there have been several discussions on Facebook. So far most of the discussions have been level-headed and not reactionary. Most are recognizing it for what it is – an attempt to regulate all manner of activities on DNR lands. Notice the number (30) next to the word “geocaching”. This is just one activity in a long list that includes hiking, trapping, target shooting, and a variety of other things. If anything, it’s a recognition of geocaching as a possible activity that might take place on DNR lands. The phrase that tends to get over looked in that passage is the following:

provided, however, the department may promulgate regulations allowing any of the acts or conduct by prescribing acceptable times, locations, means, and other appropriate restrictions not inconsistent with the protection, preservation, operation, maintenance, and use of such lands:

This simply means that DNR would like to regulate these activities, and not ban them outright. Continue reading “New Geocaching Restrictions”

Tales of a “Terra”-rist

Last night I ran into a buddy of mine that happens to be an ATF agent. He gave me some inside scoop on an incident that I saw on the news earlier this week, one that’s given geocachers even more bad press.

On Tuesday someone reported a pipe bomb at the dam in Ware Shoals. The pipe was wrapped in camouflage tape and had the words “Terra Tube” stenciled on the side. My friend was called, and was on the way to investigate when he was told that it was OK, that it was just a Geocache.

It’s been interesting to watch the reaction to all of this. I know the person who placed the cache, and on his website he’s been outspoken about placing geocaches in inappropriate containers and locations. I don’t know how this one slipped past him, but it’s placed him in the position of having to make some uncomfortable apologies. Continue reading “Tales of a “Terra”-rist”

From Lake Fairfield to Fairfield County

Monticello Store

My last Saturday before heading back to work after Winter Break, and I decided to do some geocaching and photography in Fairfield County.  I had new GPS units to test drive, I had specific locations I wanted to photograph, and I wanted to take some time to swing by my parent’s house.  I had ambitious goals for what I wanted to see and do, perhaps too ambitious.   It turned out to be a day of mixed results – delight and frustration, discovery and missed opportunities. Continue reading “From Lake Fairfield to Fairfield County”

Photo Navigation

First a caveat – I try not to review or discuss specific gadgets here at RandomConnections unless I actually have the device in hand and have played with it, either having purchased it for myself, for work, or having swiped it from a friend for a test run. I don’t like to speculate on a device’s capabilities unless I’ve seen them myself. Also, especially this close to Christmas a favorable review might be taken as a “wish list”, and that’s not necessarily the case. So, I tend to stick with what I’ve actually seen.

Today I’m going to break with that policy somewhat. My intent was to discuss a capability rather than a specific device or brand, but it turns out that only one brand has this feature (so far.) I’m talking about photo navigation, the ability to navigate to a geotagged photo via GPS as an inherent capability of the device. Continue reading “Photo Navigation”

The Travels of JH, Junior

In the summer of 2006 we made a trip to London and visited the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. While there I picked up a fuzzy little souvenir I intended to use as a Travel Bug for geocaching. Thus was born “JH, Junior.“ JH, Junior. was named for John Harrison (1693-1776). Harrison was an English clockmaker … Continue reading The Travels of JH, Junior

Memorial Day Caching

Today I went geocaching with John Kaup and his son, Richard. I’ve found that I enjoy geocaching with others more than just heading out on my own. I think that’s why I haven’t been very active lately – it’s been harder to coordinate times with friends who are interested. John and I were actually written … Continue reading Memorial Day Caching