FAD 2017

9 11 2017

A Mega event just an hours drive away from home is not something you can miss! Together with Madchicken and Ironhawk67 I drove down to Uppsala on Saturday morning and found a free parking spot close to Studenternas. We had only one thing on our agenda and that was to visit FAD and find the lab caches. Everything else would be a bonus. It may seem strange but this is the first Mega event that any of us had been to and in my case I have been geocaching for more than fourteen years. Not having visited a Mega event meant that I had not found any lab caches either. That gave us a feeling of great expectations!

FAD isn’t just a Mega event either. FAD means Fumble After Dark and is an event that started many years ago in the west of Sweden and has grown in popularity and status with time. It has also had different venues. As the name suggests we were to expect night caches of various types and we weren’t disappointed. We passed the event location on our way to the car park just as the doors were opening and there were just a few people standing in line to go in. By the time we had parked the car and walked back the queue had grown in length so we decided to dive right into the day’s lab caches. The starting point was just a few meters from the entrance to the hall.

Queueing for entry to FAD

There were ten lab caches that could be found here. Finding them involved watching videos then answering various questions at chosen places. A bit like a multicache but without known coordinates. As each cache was solved the key unlocked the next in the series. Three of the caches had a TB code as the answer and were loggable as TB’s

After the lab caches we returned to the event hall. checked in and spent some time wandering around, visiting the well stocked tables of geo merchandise as well finding the lab cache Cubes and grabbing a “fika”.

Lots of geogoodies were on sale

A really good organisation for handling TB’s

We decided to try the nearby Wherigo Pelle Svanslös which was great fun and took us to new places. Well actually, I had been to the same spots previously but now saw them in a different light. Much more interesting

Pelle Svanslös behind the window

As we had no agenda for the day we didn’t feel any pressure to rush around just to get find numbers. Somewhere along the route I mentioned that we had the opportunity to try to get as many different cache types as possible in the day. A quick count told us that we could find a Mega event, Trad, Multi, Myst, Earthcache, Virtual, Letterbox Hybrid on top of the Whereigo bringing us to eight different types. It was agreed that we would try for this. We had already found a Trad on our way around the Lab cache trail Uppsala Slott in addition to two of the new Virtuals, Uppsala Slott

ds8300 blocking the view of the cathedral

Uppsala cathedral where there is an earthcache


and Gustavianum – Virtual Reward

Is the globe that small?

as well as the earthcache Minerals In The Cathedral

What we now needed were a Myst, Multi and Letterbox Hybrid. As Madchicken and I were looking for Multis and Letterbox hybrids Ironhawk67 calmly announced he had just solved a nearby myst. Yes! As the final coords for Lättare än Gormare were a fair distance away we decided that as it was lunchtime that we would drive over to the cache then eat nearby before finding suitable multis and letterboxes. We found a convenient pizzeria in Flogsta. It was then I remembered that I had scouted out letterbox caches earlier on in the week and that there was an easily accessible one not too far away. As darkness started to fall we arrived at Vernisage where we duly left our artisitc creations in the logbook.

Part of the Vernisage

Once that was done we headed back to Studenternas och parked the car in more or less the same place we had picked it up an hour or so ealier. The multi we decided to look for was an obvious choice as it started at FAD headquarters. Svandammhallarna lead us on a short hike but as the time was nearly 5 pm and we wanted to get our coordinates for the night lab caches we broke off and returned to the hall until 6 pm.

Loading the GPS was a painless process even if it wasn’t really relevant for the lab caches. It did make it very easy to know exactly where to go. I tried to download the info to my iPhone but as I don’t often use it for geocaching I am not familiar with the process. Luckily my friends had it covered. We finished off the multi then headed down to Stadsträdgården for the first five of the lab caches.

The caches were all reasonably close to the event HQ, but after the event they will be moved to other areas and be converted into multicaches. Anyway, this was our playground for the evening.

The FAD 2017 playground

The lab caches for the evening can be found here.

Again the name Pelle Svanslös turned up and was the theme for the caches. They weren’t really night caches but child and wheelchair friendly. When we started on the next series, Carl von Linné, which were located around Uppsala castle one night cache turned up but it was first when we reached the forest some way beyond the hospital that the real night caches appeared. The lab caches in both the Niklas Zennströn and the Anders Celsius series were really creative and in a couple of cases quite difficult. Nontheless we were able to unlock the finals, which were bird boxes locked with a code lock. The code came from solving the five related lab caches.

We decided that we didn’t need to do the final series, Maria Strömme and the reflex trail. We had walked nearly 25 km during the day and had a lot of fun so we headed back for home around 11 pm. The day netted us eight different types of caches including a Mega and 15 lab caches. One takeaway, was inspiration to want to copy some of the ideas that had been used in creating the caches. Let’s see what it will result in!

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July events

1 08 2017

Despite being on vacation I have done very little geocaching, if you ask me. If you ask my partner it’s a different story, of course. I have been to three events and cached on a total of seven different days. On two of them I have found just one cache. Now that is what I call very little caching.

The month started with an event on 2017-07-01 Förmiddagskaffe. This was at the “commemorate Canada 150 years” weekend and in addition to the event itself also gave a souvenir. I could add it to the two Canadian souvenirs I already had. I’m pretty sure that the Canada souvenir came just last year, ten years after my visit but that the Ontario souvenir was available then. However, my memory being what it is I can’t be certain.

Canada souvenirs

The event was a bit special in that it turned out to be a “multi”. Due to the fantastic Swedish summer month of July, where EVERYONE is on holiday, the event location wasn’t open when we arrived. A new place was quickly decided on and the event info updated. That was also closed, and so was the third place. The event was finally held at Donkens in Sandviken. You can rely on them to be open. TB’s and coins were passed around and I chatted with new and old faces before going home and starting on my vacation chore of painting the garage.

The second event was at Axmar Bruk. 2017-07-09 Välkommen till/ Welcome to: Axmarbruk. I convinced my partner that it would make a nice afternoon out and that there probably would not be so many people there. I was wrong. The event was very well attended. A handful of new caches were released and we were able to look around the park, which we have not done before. We usually just pass by on our way to Axmarbrygga, a very good fish restaurant. After the event we drove out to Gåsholma where apart from logging a couple of caches on the way we bought some fresh perch (aborre) fillets and a smoked char (röding). They were delicious.

Some of the event participants on a hunt

One of the remaining buildings at Axmar Bruk

The third event was 2017-07-16 Build your crew: The lost treasure of Mary Hyde which was again an activity initiated by geocaching HQ. Over a period of time several souvenirs are to be gained by achieving various goals. As we are now in the middle of the activity I don’t know all the stages. More can be found here.

The event meant an early start from Gävle but the sun was shining and I was curious as to what the EO had in mind for us. He had formed a colourful cache description page and promised to release some caches at the event. The event location was Hohälla, some kilometers north west of Storvik. In the middle of nowhere! Again, this was a well attended event and there were plenty of geocoins to log (thanks Gluggfan) and a new mystery trail that we all followed in a caravan of cars and which lead us to a real treasure chest. Fantastic. An eloge to SE81293 for all the effort put into the event.

Participants at the Mary Hyde event at Hohälla

Is this Mary Hyde’s treasure chest?

The first Mary Hyde souvenir

After the event I decided to start ticking off some more of the GL3 trail caches and did the most westerly ones before the rain set in – GL3 #A21 to GL3 #A26 together with Lealetar. Since then I have found over a dozen more and hope to have found them all before the summer is over. More to come in a new post.





Heritage Power Trail – Isle of Man

20 04 2017

Isle of Man flag


The last time I visited the Isle of Man was in 1964 and the railways were still in operation. Fast forward to 2016 and I had the notion that I would like to revisit the island and add another geocaching country to my list. I mentioned this to my brother who is half of team “zelger” and he said that this would be a great opportunity for a “lads reunion”. Anyway, time passed and nothing materialised due to everyone having commitments. Finally, in March 2017 I raised the idea again and booked my tickets for Easter 2017. Half of zelger decided that this was not an opportunity to be missed and booked tickets too.

The aim of the trip was twofold. Walk the Heritage Power Trail in a day and spend a day of nostalgia on the electric trams and steam trains on a second day. While we were at it I threw in a geocaching event so we could meet some of the local geocachers. A friendly bunch they were too. The event was Meet a Swede, which isn’t quite a lie as I have dual nationality. Teamkiisseli from Finland were relieved that they were able to speak English not Swedish and didn’t need to discuss ice-hockey.

The Heritage Power Trail crosses the Isle of Man from Douglas in the east to Peel in the west. There are other trails as well but this one seemed to be the definite trail and also gave us the chance to brag that we had walked across the island. After a hearty but early breakfast at our hotel we made our way through Douglas to the start of the trail. Well actually, the end of the trail. Number 1 is in Peel and the last one, number 79 is in Douglas. I had been watching the weather forecast for a few days and it seemed as though we may be in for a wet day. Apart from some light rain early on we had no problems. The sky remained cloudy most of the day but cleared up for a while in the afternoon. There were several information boards along the trail. This was close to Douglas.

Steam Heritage Trail – Douglas to Peel

Our walk together with lunch and a couple of other diversions took all day but was worth it as it gave a nice string of smilies right across the island.

Heritage Power Trail – done in a day!

The majority of the caches were micros, either film canisters placed in nifty little wire baskets on trees and fence post or PET preforms. A few of the caches were larger, notably the TB hotel, the letterbox and the bonus cache.

Bonus cache

Of course, as the trail follows a disused railway line there are no really tough gradients. I think that the highest point we reached was 49 m asl. There were various remains from the days of the active railway, amongst them a couple of rusty bridges like this one.

A rail bridge across a river

The old station at Union Mills has gone along with all the track but there are details available on line for those interested.

Maps of the trail at Union Mills

Historical railway crane at Union Mill

After the third run of micros it was great to find the TB hotel. There was a TB in the box that we picked up and took with us along the trail.

zelger extracting a TB from the trail’s TB hotel

Even though it was overcast and only about 8 degrees C spring was still well on it’s way and there were flowers of all kinds along the trail. These were just some of them.

Plenty of flowers along the trail

Needless to say we were pleased to get to HPT #24 at Tynwald Hill so that we could get lunch. We got there a couple of hours later than expected but a couple of pints of beer to replenish our fluids and a hearty Manx cheese sandwich put us back in good spirits. I had originally planned to find a handful of caches at Tynwald Hill but decided to skip them as we were running late. Tynwald is also the name of the legislature for the island of Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man).

Tynwald Hill – of historic significance for Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man)

As we neared Peel the track followed the River Neb and the scenery changed somewhat. There was plenty of bird life including this heron.

Heron and mill wheel

Heron

After the intial difficulty we had finding HPT #76 the rest of the caches were easily found, until we got to Peel that is. HPT #2 was located at a sign but we couldn’t see anything. As we were searching we heard a voice. “Are you looking for the geocache? It’s in the …” It was a local guy getting something out of a nearby parked car. He saved our day. He had probably given the same hint to others before us too.

Peel Harbour

As we arrived at Peel Harbour we just had HPT #1 to find and that was a nano under a bench. Of course there were four people sitting there but we HAD to find that cache so we told them what we were doing and suddenly there were six people on their hands and knees searching for the cache. We found it after a rather long search much to our relief. All that remained was to get the bus back to Douglas. We had to wait an hour as it was Easter Monday and the busses were not running the regular weekday service. Once on the bus we were back in Douglas ready for dinner in just over half an hour.





CITO weekend

20 04 2016

Saturday morning offered cachers in the Gävle – Sandviken area the possibility to do a good deed in the form of a CITO.

The place of choice was Svartviksstugan on the shores of Lake Ojaren. There has been a public cottage there for as long as I have lived in Sweden and that is more than forty years now. It has always been free from vandalism until two years ago when it was burned to the ground by unknown arsonists.

Remains of the old cottage at Svartvik

Remains of the old cottage at Svartvik

It was rebuilt and opened to the public at the beginning of March 2016. Before the end of the month someone had broken in and stole all the new electric radiators. It is still open to the public but the road there has a new barrier across at night.

A group of more than twenty geocachers, family members and friends turned up at 10 am for CITO – Svartviksstugan and after the cleanup which included some pretty extreme rubbish the CO LFCFredda hosted a traditional Swedish “fika”.

CITO activities

CITO activities

After CITO fika

After CITO fika

Ironhawk67 and I noted that there were two nearby caches that we hadn’t logged so off we went to find Flora #6 – Rhododendron and Flora #5 – Juniperus that were placed along Gästrikleden towards Högbo.

A short walk out along Gästrikeleden

A short walk out along Gästrikeleden

Upon returning to Svartviksstugan we saw that there were still many cachers chatting away and enjoying the sunny weather. After leaving Svartviksstugan but before reaching the main road I had to stop again for a Number two. 🙂

Number two!

Number two!

I noted when I was logging my finds that I had received a new souvenir. Cool!

CITO weekend 2016 souvenir

CITO weekend 2016 souvenir





New souvenirs

7 01 2016

Goodbye 2015
What better way to end 2015 than a geocaching event just a few hundred meters from home? After eating a great New Year’s dinner courtesy of Gefle Gourmetservice it was great to get some fresh air and exercise. We walked up to the top of Hemlingbyberget where Nyårsevent at the top of the hill was taking place. Just a couple of cachers were there when we arrived but before midnight the numbers swelled and our group was surrounded by hundreds of muggles who came to view the fireworks over Gävle. It was great to see that cachers from Uppsala and Stockholm made it up to the event.

Vallafrun, Olleoljud, Eligirly and Team Ese sharing the FTF with me.

Vallafrun, Olleoljud, Eligirly and Team Ese sharing the FTF with me.

Yari had just published a new cache, Toppen Stället so was my final cache for 2015. Fantastic! It was also great for Eligirly who was with a little group who got the FTF as it was here first one ever.

Hello 2016

Of course, once New Years Eve was over and a new year started I needed to find a cache or attend an event to get the second souvenir. I had planned to attend the New Year’s event at Gavelhyttan as that is the site of my first placed cache from 2003, but I ended up finding two nearby mysts that I had solved some time ago. I had a pleasant walk close to home and was surprised to see that I wasn’t the first person to log a find here on New Years Day.

First cache for 2016

First cache for 2016

So now a week into 2016 the temperatures have dropped (-20 C this morning) and we have about 10 cm of snow. Winter has finally arrived. It probably won’t make a huge difference to the number of caches I have been finding over the past few months.





Odds and ends in October and November

1 12 2015

The past few months have been characterised by an intensive time at work and other activities at the weekends such that geocaching has been put on the back burner. It hasn’t completely dried up but is at a real low. During November I found the odd one or two caches as part of my quest to find a cache on every date of the year – round two, Not caching in November can be understandable when weather and light conditions are taken into consideration but that doesn’t explain why I only found three caches in the whole of June!

After a great start in January (NZ) autumn has been really quiet

After a great start in January (NZ) autumn has been really quiet

During October I had to make an effort on the 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 19, 23 and 24th days of the month. In total I found 11 caches so just 2 more than the absolute minimum required.

During November I needed to find caches on the 3, 4, 10 and 28th days so here again a total of 5 found caches only meant one more found than the minimum necessary.

Many of the caches found in the past two months have been at Rörberg. A short series of caches there has been convenient for finding a cache when I needed to. In October I could stop there after work but in November I had to make my finds in the morning in order to be caching in daylight. I have even saved one for 14th December!

A handy series of caches in Rörberg

A handy series of caches in Rörberg

One interesting departure from the above series of traditional caches was during the weekend of 7/8th November in Sundsvall with my partner. It was not intended to be a geocaching weekend so it was a bonus that there was an event on that Saturday. Under Hökens vingar kom #2!We met a friendly group of geocachers and learnt that the half hour event was just the precursor to a longer activity related to Sundsvalls orienteering club. This was a reoccurring event where a geocaching orienteerer had made a geocaching specific course that was highly prized by the geocaching community in Sundsvall. We were not at all equipped for such adventures but were pleased to meet the local cachers from who we got some great tips on caches to look for on future visits

The last date in November where I needed to find a cache was the 28th which was fortunately on a Saturday so instead of just grabbing a quick find on my may to or from work I was able to spend the morning with some of my geocaching friends, madchicken, Ironhawk67, Slas and Susen! We had three hours to find caches but no plan other than making an attempt at a new cache where there was still an FTF chance even a few days after the cache had been published. We arrived at Ornitologernas stugaand parked within meters of GZ. Slas spotted some objects in the area that seemed to be related to the cache which we could easily see in the nearby pinus sylvestris, so we had a couple of clues right from the start. The challenge was to get to the cache which was a well built small scale “summer cottage” built in the tree. With the aid of my telescopic ladder and Slas tree climbing skills we were able to use the clues we other in the ground personnel had collected to break the code and get into the cottage. The quality of the cache and logbook deserved a favourite point. An additional bonus was that this was an FTF!

A couple of ornithologists perched in a pinus sylvestris

A couple of ornithologists perched in a pinus sylvestris

From there we walked a couple of hundred meters to another of netski1985’s caches. Primus kvadratus. Both madchicken and Ironhawk67 had hunted here earlier with no success. susen! found the cache lying on the ground so the difficulty rating was a 1 instead of the published 2.5. After adding our nicks we replaced the cache were it was supposed to be ready to confuse the next hunter.

We left Bonhus and headed for Hille where an Urban Exploration (UE) cache was waiting for us. The Old Pump Station. Here we had to hunt for three clues by finding three objects shown on the cache description page. The first two were not too hard to find but the third one was well hidden so a lifeline call was made so that Slas could get a photo of the clue without falling into the black liquid below him.

Slas concentrating on not falling into the black liquid below

Slas concentrating on not falling into the black liquid below

A quick couple of stops were made on the way back home so that a couple of the team could log a cache that they had on their lists and an attempt made at an unusual field myst. We solved the puzzle but weren’t successful in finding the cache despite getting to GZ. A return visit will be needed. All in all a morning well spent and a reminder that I need to get out geocaching more often.





Pi-day

16 03 2015

Pi-day is my brother’s birthday so I never forget it. However, I nearly forgot that I could collect two souvenirs on the same day. That there was a Pi-day event was easy to spot but it wasn’t until I got there that I learnt about the Pi-day souvenir for finding a myst on the same day.

Pi Day Event Souvenir

Pi Day Event Souvenir

Pi Day Mystery Souvenir

Pi Day Mystery Souvenir

The local event  Pi som i pizzalunch was held at a food court in the centre of Gävle and was the initiative of a relatively new geocacher, Udenius. Great initiative. About 25 people turned up so it was quite a task to find a group of tables to sit at. I didn’t get the opportunity to say hi to everyone but I think we all managed to get a place and good food during the couple of hours that most of us were there. I ate a tuna salad so not a lot of “pi” in that. So here are the souvenirs. Rather stylistic and simple.

I had recently had a failed search for Madchicken’s Bearlake mystery caches that I cursed and swore about at the time – see my post Bear-lake and was now over the moon as I was able to go back today and find a couple more of the caches in order to earn my souvenir. I was still not able to solve all of the mysteries but that wasn’t a problem for today as the finds picture was a pie!

Bear Lake Pie

Bear Lake Pie

I tried hard to fish for tips on the remaining two unsolved mysteries one of which was  Bear Lake #6 – P13 – a pi-mystery of course. It was like getting blood from a stone as the CO was as tight as a mussel, just to use a couple of often used euphemisms.

Finally to round off pi-day I had a look at the new geocache GC31415 but my video skills are too poor to even think about sending in an entry. Actually, Pi-day spilled over into the Ides of March as I found a newly released cache Pi-dagen 2015 the morning after the official pi-day unlike a team who shall be nameless who logged it a year ago. 🙂








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