Super palindrome day 2020-02-02

3 02 2020

The previous palindrome day was 1111-11-11 which was way before our time, but the next one we will catch as it’s 2121-12-12, after which none of us will witness another one as it is 3030-03-03.

Of course, geocaching HQ used this as a reason to issue a souvenir. I had already planned to make a short geocaching trip to the area close to Mehedeby, more accurately the puzzle caches of Jober so I quickly secured another souvenir.

Fun in all directions souvenir

On the way I made a short detour to Dragon Gate where there were a couple of relatively new caches, Drakens Wherigo and XMAS2019U – 5 Santas Letterbox. The Wherigo container was the usual micro but the Letterbox was made of finer stuff.

XMAS2019 letterbox

From there it was on to the next turn off from the E4 and the Puzzle caches. I solved a few of the simpler puzzles and the associated mysts last September whn I made my first trip around the area. I have now laid all the puzzles and solved all bar five of the mysts. As a couple are dependent on solutions to others a little work remains.

Jobers Pusselbiten

One by one the log books were signed. Most of the caches were quickly found at good coordinates. All the coordinates were accurate but small pines are great for hiding PET preforms so that they are nearly invisible! Most of the caches were nearly park’n’grabs but a few entailed a shortish walk.

Without revealing too much it’s obvious that the old E4 plays it’s part in the series. I travelled between Sandviken and Arlanda hundreds of times before the new E4 was opened. It was only now when I stopped that I realised that the road followed a morain with a steep drop off to the west.

West side of the Uppsala moraine

The cache that gave me most fun was the D5/T5, both for the D part, where I was forced to learn a new subject to get the necessary coordinates for the cache and then some construction at home of a new geotool which worked surprisingly well and made the job of retrieving the cache simple!

Another D5/T5 in the bag


New geoequipment

Clear blue skies and temperatures above zero. The lack of snow and ice made access to all the caches simple and those at gound level were easily recovered.

No snow and ice on 20200202

I just have to sharpen a few of my brain cells to solve the final mysts so I can tick off the whole series.





Österturen

9 01 2020

A few days into the New Year and there are reports of crocuses and even chanterelles being found in the wild. Yesterday it was 9 °C and not a sign of snow anywhere. Global warming? Who knows?

A geocaching opportunity turned up that I was quick to grab. A couple of our grandchildren needed looking after for a couple of days as the personnel at their daycare centre had their planning days and thus turned away their “customers”. Grandma spent some time in the kitchen preparing a picnick lunch while I provisioned the treasure that would be found at each cache and loaded the GPS with waypoints. Knowing that an empty PET tube is not such an interesting find for a 7 or 9 year old, but a “Dumle Cola” (a soft toffee) would be much appreciated I made sure we had plenty with us. I picked up a few more extra prizes if we managed to get to the semifinal or final cahes.

One of our area’s prolific geocaching hiders is SE81293 or “Postis” as we call him (Who can remember a post code?) and a 5km long circular trail of mixed caches was hidden in Hammarby, some 45 minutes drive from home. It included four series of four caches, four “semifinals” and a final cache.

Österturen

First geo tour of the year

We parked at the junction of the gravel road and track leading to WP1 (at the far left of the picture) and agreed that Alice would be the first to use the GPS and that she and Axel would take turns to use it. Alice agreed to being responsible for showing Axel how to use it!

Starting off on the Österturen trail

The first cache on our clock-wise circuit was quickly found and the reward of a Dumle Cola was greatly appreciated as they had no idea there would be a reward like this. It took them five sconds to realise that each cache we found would give them a sweet. Nice!

The next couple of caches were also found with little difficulty but Österturen #04 gave us our first DNF. I double checked the answer in Certitude and we were at the right place. Disappointmnet and no sweet, but it didn’t take long before we ticked off the next three caches in the series.

Österturen #05 was in a strange natural? depression in the hillside and gave Axel a bit of a challenge but he didn’t give up until he had grabbed it and then after I had logged the find putting it back in the same place.

Österturen #05

We decided that after solving the multi Österturen #08 we would go to the next cache along the trail and eat our picnic lunch. #08 was another Orange cache and another DNF so we knew that we wouldn’t be able to do the Orange final and the Grand Finale.

Picnic at Österturen #09

In the forty five years I have lived in Sweden I have never experienced a green day in January with a temperature of +9°C. Amazing. Eating a picnic on a mossy forest floor like this is usual in summer but not winter. Fortified by hot chocolate and mini pancakes with jam for the kids and coffee and sandwiches for us we set off again with renewed energy and found the kids favourite cache of the day – a small cave containing a “real” cache which was a small lock and lock box with logsheet and pencil (No trading objects as is the norm these days). I always have a couple of torches with me for occasions like this.

The kids favourite cache of the day – Österturen 11

We kept on going, the kids finding caches and me logging them after the Dumle Colas were awarded. When I told them how the numbers for each colour of cache were added together to give a code to a final cache with even better prizes there was not problem withe starting to get tired or more likely bored. At the Österturen #17 – Gul seriefinalen they were “awarded” a small LED flashlight each. It was probably as well that they didn’t get them earlier or they may have stayed in the cave for ages.

The last prize of the day at Österturen #19

The final prize of the day was a bag of crisps designed to keep them quiet in the car on the journey home. I need not have worried as both fell asleep before we got as far as Kungsgården. A great day out even with a few DNF’s. I also know now that rewards for finding a PET preform hanging in a tree can be different for different people. I’m happy with a smilie and the kids were very happy with their Dumle Cola. I hope they brushed their teeth properly that evening.

 





Geocaching targets 2020

2 01 2020

Over the past couple of days I have been reflecting on what I have achieved in the way of geocaching during 2019, why it was like that and what are reasonable targets for 2020. This is what I arrived at:

1. Update my blog more frequently!
2. Find a cache in one new country.
3. Complete round 2 of the D/T matrix (Jasmer challenge) – 8 combinations.
4. BadgeGen – upgrade Ruby Badges to Sappphire
– “The Geocacher” – All geocaches (410)
– “The Tradiotional Cacher” – Trads (1033)
– “The Mysterious Cacher” – Mysts (75)
– “The Virtual Cacher” – Virtual (4)
– “The Social Cacher” – Events (3)
– “The Environmental Cacher” – CITO (1)
   – “The Large Cacher” – Large (16)
– “The Brainiac”- D5 caches (3)
5. Place 3 caches.
6. Complete the alphabetic mystery owner challenge Questionable COs: A-Z Roll of Honour Challenge

Finding over 1000 caches this year will be a challenge. I have only met that criteria once before. Target 6 is here again for the seventh year in a row but I have now identified a few local candidates so it should get done. There are not many owners of mystery caches in Sweden with names begining with Q, U or W!





How did I do in 2019?

1 01 2020

I have only spent fewer days in a year caching twice before since I started geocaching in 2003, yet I still managed to find a reasonable number of caches, my fourth best year in fact, which surprised me a little. I set a few targets and listed them in my blog. See post Geocaching targets 2019

1. Find a cache in one new country. Fail.
Apart from driving a few kilometers in Norway this summer I haven’t been abroad. It’s the first time I haven’t flown since 1975! Unbelievable. I can’t fathom it!

2. Find 10 multis. Success.
I started off the year very slowly with only six finds in total during the first three months of the year. It was only in May that I started to find multis. I was expecting to be successful if I worked at it but thanks to ”GC_i_Gästrikland” who placed 50 multis in August I ended up finding a total of 58 multis by the end of the year.

3. Find 10 large caches. Success.
Again, nothing happened until May but during the summer months I found a total of 10 large caches.

4. Place 3 caches. Success.
I have had a number of gadget caches in my garage for a couple of years but was too lethargic to place them. Again, May was the month when things started to happen and the first two caches of the three that I placed found a home out in the wild.

5. Complete the alphabetic mystery owner challenge Questionable COs: A-Z Roll of Honour Challenge. Fail.
A fail again! This has been on my ”todo”list for years and I only need to find a myst placed by an owner with a name starting with Q, U or W. It sounds easy but there aren’t som many cache owner names starting with those letters in Sweden. I will get there.

6. Find caches in all boroughs of one Swedish county that is not yet complete. Success.
As described in my posting Värmland my partner and I spent a few days holiday in Värmland and visited every needed borough to grab caches to meet this challenge. This was the occasion we drove into Norway, my only foreign travel for this year.

So in total four out of six targets were met. It’s now 2020 so let’s see what targets I set for this year!





Värmland

14 08 2019

One of my geocaching targets for 2019 was to try to find a cache in each of the remaining boroughs of one of Sweden’s 21 counties. Now, as you are probably aware Sweden is a rather large country and the closest borough where I have not found a cache is about 250 km away from home. I then had to chose an effective route that would allow me to find a few more boroughs I needed before returning home. I had to chose between Södermanland (Gnesta, Oxelösund and Vingåker) possibly with the addition of Östergötaland (Finspång, Söderköping, Valdemarsvik and Ödeshög) at a round trip distance of 985 km

Södermanland and Östergötaland

or Värmland (Hagfors, Munkfors, Sunne, Torsby, Eda, Arvika, Årjäng, Säffle and Hammarö) at a round trip distance of 1035 km or thereabouts.

Värmland

So, two trips of comparable length, one giving seven new boroughs and one giving nine new ones. As my partner has friends in Värmland it was natural that we chose that trip. We were away for four nights but could easily have done the trip in a day less.

On the way to Hagfors I stopped close to Bomber och Granater 2 hoping to see something of the area in the daylight. Unfortunately the road had a couple of huge boulders impeding our progress and my partner wasn’t too keen on me disappearing up the track on foot for an undetermined period of time so we turned around and continued on our journey.

Our first geocaching stop was at Rundhäll / Slab, an earthcache in Hagfors. I enjoy earthcaches but surprisingly there are not as many in Sweden as could be expected.

The slab earthcache in Hagfors

For good measure we also stopped at Hagfors pryl och TB-Hotell in the hope that there may be some travel bugs there. The only one seen was a personal TB in the logbook.

Our first overnight stay was at STF Prästmyren just south of Munkfors. It was very close to a power trail and even though it was tempting I just logged P som i Petrör # 79 before we drove back in to Munkfors for dinner followed by a short visit to the old factory area where we found Power Station.

Old firestation in Munkfors


Dry river bed in Munkfors

The next morning was a cultural one, starting with a visit to Selma Lagerlöfs Mårbacke. Of course, as we passed by P som i Petrör #1 I had to stop and log it. I noted afterwards that it was in the borough of Forshaga rather than Munkfors. The visit to Mårbacka was interesting and the guide was both knowledgeable and clever at pretending to be Selma’s sister showing us around. The only momento from the visit apart från trying the Mårbacka cake which I wasn’t impressed with were a couple of geranium shoots. Hmm.

It didn’t take long after we left Mårbacka before we reached Tosseberg (Gurlitta klätt). My twelvth find way back in 2003 was GC29CA Spruce Island, also hidden by IT-Gubben, so it was fun to find this cache which came from about the same time period. As Gurlitta klätt is in the borough of Sunne that was one more ticked off the list.

B

View from Gulita Klätt in Sunne

Although there were showers on and off all the time we were in Värmland we were luck to miss being out in them. We had just logged Fryksdalsbanan when it decided to rain. Luckily the car was nearby. At first I thought that the railway must be just for goods trains but it seems now that it is also used for passenger traffic.

The shortest route from Torsby to Morokulien on the border between Sweden and Norway in the borough of Eda is through the forests on small winding roads to Charlottenberg. I decided that the slightly longer route over Kongsvinger in Norway would be better. I haven’t been to Kongsvinger since the early nineties so a revisit seemed like a good idea. In each of the small places we passed through I stopped at the Systembolag (State spirit shop) to pick up a few local beers. An average price is 25-30 SEK (very roughly £2-3 or $2-3). I bought a couple of beers in the Vinmonopol (Norways state spirit shop) for 85 – 90 NOK (roughly £8-10 or $8-10). The bottles were slightly larger but what a price!

I only looked for three caches between showers in Norway just because they were conveniently located near to the road and didn’t involve bushbashing through wet undergrowth. The one of note was Masterudkrysset – TB hotell. There was an advert for Forsbacka Värdshus on the notice board! I’m not sure how many people would travel from Norway to the east coast of Sweden to have a meal though.

Advertising a local establishment at the Masterud junction, Norway

Morokulien for those who have never heard the name is a ficticous state between Sweden and Norway since 1959 that is both a republic and a monarchy. Read more on Wikipedia. It is also unique for amateur radio operators like myself in that it has a special status for radio operations. I’m not sure what is happening there now as the mast outside the radio shack was lying on the ground and the antennas propped up by the cottage. No chance to operate from there then. Hmm.

The peace monument in Morokulien


Not much radio happening any more in Morokulien

We stopped at Eda Glasbruk which is the name of the place as well as a glass making factory to see what they had on sale. Even though it came from the factory outlet it was beyond my pockets. At least there was a fun cache nearby It´s All Connected (EC). I have great respect for electrical boxes and even more so when they are this close to a railway. Luckily the cache was rather obvious.

It’s all connected in Eda

Even the next cache, Big Easy #8, had many favourite points and was easy to find!

Big Easy in Eda

Our goal for the evening was Arvika and as luck would have it the hotel price included both an evening meal and breakfast. After dinner we wandered down to a micro forming part of a series of caches about a well known group of local artists. Rackstadkolonin: Christian Eriksson.

View from the cache in Arvika

We were now into our third day in Värmland and had Årjäng, Säffle and Hammarö on the agenda. Of course in Årjäng we had to visit the Årjängtroll. The cache was conveniently located precisely where I sat down. Some times I am lucky!

The troll in Årjäng

A famous Swedish comedy duo, Hasse and Tage, hade a sketch whereby the punchline was a cup of coffee in Säffle, so of course, we had to have a cup of coffee in Säffle before finding Skeppsredarvillan v2.

A cup of coffee in Säffle

From Säffle it wasn’t far to Hammarö where a second earthcache was found and logged. It was St Olofs gryta Earthcache. Usually these glacial potholes are larger but there was a good view over the lake from the cache to compensate for the small size of the pothole.

Pothole earthcache in Hammarö

After an extra day in Karlstad we made our journey home having found twenty five caches and completed the hunt for a cache in all of the sixteen boroughs in Värmland. The route to do this is shown below. Was it worth it? Yes.

Caches found on our trip





Team DI(M)S

13 08 2019

On some occasions I go caching with various people, usually my muggle partner if we are on vacation, my brother and wife (zelger) if I am in England, but quite often it will be Ironhawk67, MadChicken or Slas or some combination thereof. The team name if we are all together is Team DIMS for abvious reasons. See The Rasbo Circle.

After talking with Ironhawk67 a couple of weeks ago and mentioning Team DIMS he contacted Slas who suggested that Team DIMS could get together at the coming weekend and go caching. Getting all our activities aligned so a geocaching day can be freed up is not so easy and even this time Madchicken had to do something with his son so couldn’t be with us. So Team DIS was formed for the day.

In the past we have set our sights on an area with a collection of mysts that we solve before we head off for the day. As this was short notice we decided it would be in order to aim for a local area where none of us had found the caches there. Using project-gc.com we were able to see that the area around Hedesunda had quite a few caches that met the criteria. Most of them were what I would call ”lonely” caches as they all seemed to be a few kilometers from each other in the forest.

The area around Hedesunda before our visit

We started off by visiting Dragons nest which hasn’t been found for ages with the exception of a visit a few days previous to ours by DanPia. I guess he is hunting for ”forgotten” caches for some challenge or another. We quickly moved on to In the middle of Africa, which of course it isn’t even though a South African lives and works close to the cache. Our first DNF of the day came after that although I have subsequently found it. Sometimes looking isn’t enough, you need to feel for the cache! Finnböle

We then moved on closer to Hedsunda via a couple of simple caches until we reached Koffstavägen where there are three caches in a row, Return trail 5 Koffstavägen being the first, again not frequently found.

By now we decided to have an early lunch at Sandnäs before heading north. We stopped at Skvaltkvarnen as Ironhawk67 and Slas had not found it. This was a cache I found on a cold December day in 2011.

Of course, there were a couple of caches at Sandnäs which we picked up before eating. Sandsnäsbadet being the first one. After eating we made our last stop to the south of Hedesunda and carried out some maintenance on Sunset.

There is a series of caches under the old course of the Sala-Gysinge-Gävle railway line. Full information is at Salabanans undergång #1 which I found in June 2012. We attempted six in the series before leaving the track towards the caches in the forest north of Hedesunda. Two were DNF’d but the photos below give an indication of our dedication to finding them!

Ironhawk67 in action on Salabanan undergång #10

Slas in action on Salabanan undergång #7

Vem bor här was memorable and was a cache that also received some TLC. The cache container contained about 1 liter of water!

Pouring water out of the cache Vem bor här? – Who lives here.

A couple more caches took us nearly back to our starting point as the crow flies but as there was no road between the two points we headed back the way we came to the main Hedesunda – Valbo road. GÄVLE FULL D/T #48 was the cache that took us the longest time to find which said a fair amount about it’s camoflauge as it was a large container, even though the description was regular.

At least the geocaching map around Hedesunda is starting to be filled with smilies now but it may be a while before the final caches in the area are visited.

Lots of smilies around Hedesunda now

Time was against us so we headed back into Gävle and Sätra where there are number of caches we haven’t found despite them being fairly close to home. The final find of the day was Trollskogen.

We all agreed that we had had fun and that we should try to arrange a day when the whole of Team DIMS could participate. It will be interesting to see where that takes us!





Film PT – Spoilers

26 06 2019

I found a great power trail in Uppland by accident. I had just reached Harg and was zooming out on the Geocaching app so I could find the Zoo PT which was next on my agenda. I saw that there was another power trail closer to Uppsala and clicking on a couple of the caches showed that they had high favourite points. I decided to change my plans and hunted for the roughly thirty caches with a film theme. There are no spoilers in the logs so here they all are. I won’t reveal which photo belongs to which cache or film. That’s something you will have to work out for yourself. You may even be prompted to make a geocaching trip this summer and see for yourself. They are easy enough to find on the geocaching map, just look to the north east of Uppsala.You will be impressed! The cache owners are Anders&Katriinkeri

Spoiler 1
Spoiler 2
Spoiler 3
Spoiler 4
Spoiler 5
Spoiler 6
Spoiler 7
Spoiler 8
Spoiler 9
Spoiler 10
Spoiler 11
Spoiler 12A
Spoiler 12B
Spoiler 13A
Spoiler 13B
Spoiler 14 – My personal favourite!
Spoiler 15
Spoiler 16
Spoiler 17
Spoiler 18
Spoiler 19
Spoiler 20
Spoiler 21
Spoiler 22
Spoiler 23
Spoiler 24
Spoiler 25
Spoiler 26
Spoiler 27







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