# Monday, 20 March 2006
The weather was so nice yesterday I couldn’t resist the urge to cache.  Over the last few months between moving, the truly foul weather, and the fact that large parts of Hillsboro were under water, it’d been a while since I’d logged a new cache.  The kids and I got two yesterday.  Nice easy ones to get back in the game.  I’m hoping to start logging more regularly now that Spring is almost here.  We’ll be out in Sisters a couple times this Spring, so I’m hoping to pick up a few more out there too.  Caching in the high desert is fun.  Plus I’ve picked up several sets of maps for my GPS, so that’ll make finding things much easier out there. 
Monday, 20 March 2006 16:38:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 23 January 2006

This morning I got to talk to an AP Computer Science class at a local high school about GPS receivers, and the wonderful world of geospatial data.  We touched on making your own maps, Google Maps/Google Earth mash-ups, and the kinds of data you can get from the internet and from a GPSr.  Fun stuff. 

In timely fashion, Scott has some info on how to geotag your photos using various means, which is handy information for the geospatially inclined.

Monday, 23 January 2006 15:09:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 03 January 2006

Thanks to Rich Owings, I now know how to make my own custom maps, both for printing and for downloading to my GPSr.  Rich has a great book called GPS Mapping: Make Your Own Maps, which is truly a wealth of information.  It includes rundowns on a number of mapping packages for the PC, as well as information on making your own maps for a GPSr.  I spent Saturday morning running through the instructions on downloading free data from the USGS and turning it into a downloadable map of Hillsboro for my Garmin GPSMAP 60C.  Rich’s instructions are very easy to follow, and make a very complex process pretty understandable.  In retrospect I’d have to say that I’m glad I know how to make my own downloadable maps, but I can see that it’s something you’d really have to want.  It’s a very long and cumbersome process involving about 6 different PC applications and a great deal of data manipulation.  For most applications, the data that comes with Garmin’s MapSource Topo product is enough for me, but I’m glad that I understand how to create more detailed maps.  I may cook up a few for areas I visit frequently. 

If you are interested in GPS and/or mapping, also check out Rich’s personal blog gpstracklog.

Tuesday, 03 January 2006 10:32:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
We’ve had a lot of rain here in the last week or so, and that’s come with some flooding here and there.  Ivan and I tried for a bunch of geocaches over the long weekend, only to be frustrated on 2–3 occasions to discover that the cache location was totally under water.  Hopefully the caches haven’t washed away, and we’ll be able to come back and find them after the waters have receded.  We stopped off after sledding on Sunday to find 2 caches on the old Barlow Road up on Mt. Hood, just a bit East of Rhododendron.  Those were good finds, with some cool locations.  I’ve passed those turnouts on the Barlow Road dozens of times but never actually stopped.  I’d like to come back and hike around there when it’s a little warmer.
Tuesday, 03 January 2006 10:23:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Geocaching is the bomb!  I’m totally hooked.  Even in the crummy weather we’re having today, Vikki and I managed to find two caches at lunch.  We’ve been geocaching in Sisters, out to Cannon Beach, and up on the Columbia outside of Vancouver.  There are a couple we haven’t been able to find, but for the most part it’s been pretty successful.  Even if we don’t find it, it’s a great excuse to get outside and go hiking with the kids and the dog.  And the thrill of the hunt really keeps me going.  I’m hoping when the weather improves (April? July?) I can plan some longer hikes to caches in the backcountry.  We’re also planning to hide a few of our own come Spring. 

It’s also been an excuse to finally learn map & compass navigation.  I’ve been wanting to try orienteering for a long time now, and now that I’m getting practice navigating it’ll be that much easier.  I’ve found some really good books on navigation and geocaching, and I’ll try to get around to posting a list some time. 

 

Profile for SafetyGeek
Tuesday, 29 November 2005 13:47:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 07 November 2005

I got in some more geocaching this weekend.  I had a bunch of free time on Saturday, but unfortunately it started to rain really hard just as I found the first cache of the day, so I decided to call it quits.  So instead I went home and started reading up on navigation, which inspired me to get a snazzy new compass and start boning up on my wilderness navigation and mapreading skills.  I’ve wanted to try orienteering for ever, so this might get me towards that goal too. 

I had better luck yesterday since the weather was way better, although caching with both kids and the dog is an additional challenge.  They all hung in like troopers though, and we found 3 caches in Lacamas Park, up in Camas, WA.  It’s a lovely park, even this time of year.  It’s even better in the early spring when the camas lillies are in bloom. 

Monday, 07 November 2005 09:53:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 01 November 2005

I found 4 geocaches around Sisters this weekend, and had a blast doing it.  I’m totally down with this sport!  Of course, I need another hobby like the proverbial whole in the head, but at least it’s an outdoor activity. 

The part that was the most fun was looking for caches that were in places I otherwise never would have visited.  We saw the remains of the first ski area in Central Oregon, the view from 4–Mile Butte, and some other great sights in the high desert.  I’m hoping the rain lets up a bit this weekend so I can go after some of the local caches in Hillsboro.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 16:36:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 28 October 2005
I found my first geocache at lunch yesterday.  Vikki and Carter (my wife, and our dog) came over to help.  Pretty fun stuff.  It was actually a “multi-cache” meaning that the initial coordinates get you a piece in a puzzle, which leads to the next set of coordinates, etc.  Bascially it’s a treasure hunt for technologically enabled grown ups.  I can see it getting to be a habit forming kind of hobby.  From looking at the maps, there are plenty more caches near both work and my house to keep my busy for a good while.
Friday, 28 October 2005 09:48:03 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 26 October 2005

I did a little geocaching with some friends this summer, and really want to do some more.  To that end, I just got my first GPS, a Garmin GPSMAP 60C.  So far I’m totally digging it.  It gets great reception, even in the car, and the color screen is super easy to read.  It’s even got some nice built-in geocaching features, like the ability to mark a cache as found, and recording when you found it. 

The USB interface is super easy, and I was able to upload/download waypoints in no time.  I have yet to try downloading a route, but that will be next.  I haven’t shelled out for the mapping software yet, so I have to content myself with the basemap, which isn’t much to go on, but should be enough for highways at least.

I’m hoping to get in some ‘caching this weekend, so we’ll see how well it works in the field.

Wednesday, 26 October 2005 10:07:12 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |