Who are we? We are two wacky artists from either side of the country who have discovered that we are kindred spirits- in fact, elf sisters. We both like to be outdoors and exploring, so we've created the blog to share our adventures!
Note: Here be spoilers. Well, sometimes, but you may find photos or info about the location or description of a cache. You've been warned!

Caching around Main Street in Exton - green elf and blue warrior face burgers, foxes and rock walls

Blog post by Meri Greenleaf
Sunday, June 26, 2011 | | 1 Comment »

Yesterday Josh and I decided to take advantage of the great weather and the fact that I needed to pick up some stuff at Michaels- we looked for a bunch of caches located in Exton. Art supplies acquired, we wandered around Main Street looking for the answers to the different parts of the Stroll Along Main Street cache. This was really enjoyable and a lot of fun! I really like puzzle/mystery caches. :) I didn't want to take pictures as we were walking, though, because that would have been really suspicious!

While putting together the numbers we needed for this one, we hit Main Street Cache, the only one I personally found that day. I've gotten pretty good at locating magnetic caches and spotted this one right away- after first crouching down and pretending to tie my shoes at the bus stop. ;)

Since we were right next to it, we hit Blown Circuit:

Josh spotted this one quickly (it probably helped that he was holding the GPS!) and snagged it as I poked around in all the wrong spots. Turns out I should have been trying to tie my shoes again. ;)

We took a break here to grab dinner at the convenient burger place that we'd walked past a few times; Josh and I were turning this adventure into a game of Gauntlet, so we kept saying things like "Green elf needs food badly!" and "Blue warrior has acid breath!" (he'd eaten the spicy burger, of course!), then Josh poked me in the arm and said "Green elf is It". This is why I love Josh- he's as dorky as I am. Love is quoting video games, right?

While eating (green elf did not shoot the food for once), we finished doing all the math we needed to locate the first cache. We didn't do that one right away since it would have involved backtracking, so we set off to find 1750 Zook House-Colonial Cache #2, located near a historical house next to the Exton mall. Josh says they do tours, so I'd like to see more than just peeking in the window.

And here I am outside it:

Here we struck out majorly. We poked around in the greenery where the cache is supposed to be for probably close to 45 minutes, but couldn't find it. I was getting so frustrated that I told Josh "There's too much green! We should just come back in the fall", shocking him greatly. I've never made that complaint before since green's my obsession and I love wooded areas. Someone in the logs on the site said that the hints are off, so maybe that was the problem?

Starting to run out of light, we drove over to complete "Stroll Along Main Street", which was on the same paved trail as Commerce Trail Rocks. I was really disappointed here. Apparently the cache has decoys around it, but Josh spotted the real cache so fast that I didn't even have time to poke around and find fake ones! ;)

Here I am reading the logbook paper:

And here's Josh in front of that rock wall:

And a picture of both of us since we hadn't gotten one of those yet:

We continued along the trail to the actual spot of the "Stroll Along" cache and spotted animals up ahead. At first I thought they were two cats, but as we got closer we saw that they were foxes. I love foxes! They scampered away before we could get close enough for a good picture, but you can sorta see one here:

Foxies gone, we finally reached the end of the trail and the cache. I didn't want to go in too far since there were sticker bushes and I wasn't wearing long pants (although I did pick up a hitchhiking tick at some point that day), so Josh spotted the cache while I pointed out that hollow logs are always suspicious. ;)

I adjusted this photo, but it was actually a lot darker than this by now:

We made a run for Fun at the Park, which was nearby, but couldn't beat the sunset. We have a good idea of where it is so we'll stop by in the daylight. There was an awful lot of people and kids still around at 9pm, though! But it is summer, so no wonder.

Oh, and today was the first geocaching day I was wearing my new KangaTek Sling. (I LOVE this thing! So much better than a purse for walking and caching!) This meant that my geopatch attached to it came along, too, so I was able to mark that it visited the caches. Maybe someday someone will spot me wearing it (it essentially turns me into a travel bug), but I'm just having fun logging it as visiting caches. :)

Even for some park and grabs, that's an awful lot of trees!

Blog post by Meri Greenleaf
Friday, June 24, 2011 | | 0 Comments »

My dad and I did a few easy (well, pretty easy) caches earlier this week. Most were park and grabs, but I did take a few pictures anyway. :)

First we looked for Who took my sign?, which definitely lived up to its name. ;) But it was in a LOT of weeds and bushes and I was wearing shorts, so my dad grabbed it and brought it back to the car so I could sign the log... only we couldn't because it was soaked, so we added a piece of paper. Luckily I carry one of my writing notebooks with me everywhere!

I have NO idea why this one was so wet, though, since it hung in the once-signpost upside down... Maybe someone had once opened it in a rainstorm or something? See- it's upside down from the hook:

Next we found HBTM, located just off a parking lot of a pizza place. My dad was paranoid and stayed in the car, trying to think of a way to look without being suspicious, but I realized no one was at the window of the pizza place. I darted over to where I thought it was and made a quick dash back to the car to sign it.

Aren't these things supposed to be filled in, though?

Signed the log and continued on our way:

Next up was Happy Feet, located near a dance studio. Dad found this one so quickly I was barely out of the car:

The next one I beat dad to- yay! This one was Olde Ridge Cache. While my dad got stuck in greenery he didn't have to, I found this one without getting poked by any trees. Mwahaha! He was looking under while I went in from above to snag it. Can't really tell, but there's a hole near those dead branches.

Then we headed to Twin Towers. This one apparently used to be a location with two random, strange stone towers, but alas, now only one remains. I kept calling it a "gnome house" because I had no idea what the heck it was:

And here you'll see that I made a mistake in clothing- I always wear shades of green and/or brown, which means I blend in well with trees. But not this day. No, this day I wore red. Smart, me.

(I'm also squinting at the sun like crazy. Should have just left the sunglasses on!)

And here's dad:

The next cache we hit was Gimme Shelter. Alas, my dad found this one while I stayed behind in a convenient gazebo, picking seeds and bushes out of my shoe. See all that knee-high stuff from the last cache? Yeah, that entire field worth of plant ended up in my shoes. ;)

And you know that D&D story about the Dread Gazebo? I couldn't help thinking of that, especially when I saw one of the names graffitied inside: Elan. Elan is the adorable but moronic character from Order of the Stick, so the dumb story about the gazebo reminded me of something he would say. Yeah, really random, but that's my geekiness in a nutshell. ;)

Sufficiently geeked out and now having gotten most of the plants out of my shoes, the next cache on the list was Baby Steps. Dad found this one, too- I was looking in the tree rather than by the side of the road where it was. Whoops! But hey, it was shady, and on a hot day, that was good.

We struck out on two caches, but did find the last one we looked for, Little Gunn. This one was located on a Vietnam memorial cannon- just off a parking lot of an old bank. Why a memorial would be next to a bank, I have no idea, but it was nice. :)

Fortunately it wasn't in the first place I looked (inside the cannon) because I'm an arachnophobe and that was WAY too many spider webs for me to stick my hand there. Luckily the next place I put my hand a) didn't contain any webs and b) did contain the cache.

The next day (I think?) Josh and I were out near Claddagh, a cache I couldn't find last week. This one I was ready for, though! I'd gotten hints in emails from two geocachers, and when we pulled up, the property owner was pulling out, so she gave me hints, too. We wandered over and I found it in about three seconds. Sheesh, turns out I was actually poking in the right spot last time, but my short attention span had caused me to wander away before I found it then. Took some poking around to get the cache in hand, but we did it. :)

Terrible picture, but here I am next to the farm's sign. I'm Irish, so I liked an Irish-themed cache:

And I had to document the log because I got a cache without my dad signing it, too. ;) It's hard to see, but my name is the green one on the end:

Caching near Hobbiton with an Irish faux fox (err.. something like that, anyway!)

Blog post by Meri Greenleaf
Saturday, June 18, 2011 | | 1 Comment »

Nice weather again this week meant a bunch of caching. Yay! Friday I went geocaching with my dad and Saturday was a quick trip out with my fiance- and my dad surprised me this week with an early birthday present. A paid premium account for geocaching.com. Yay, upgrade! :D

First up, my dad set out to find the first half of Hidden Trails, a cache near our house. While walking to the first half, I remarked to my dad that the overgrown back road reminded me of the road in Hobbiton where they first meet the ringwraiths and Pippin finds mushrooms. Yeah, I'm a dork. ;)

My GPS was WAY off and was telling me to go far beyond the hint given on the cache page, so the hint actually served me better than the GPS. Wasn't up to trekking to the next part of the cache because my asthma was bothering me too much to walk far, so I'll get the second half later.

Next we headed off for some easier ones- I say "easier" because the terrain was simpler, but we only found one. LOL! First was one outside a church we've driven past a gazillion times, Holy Sh??. Here's the church:

My dad found this cache so quickly I barely had time to get out of the car. lol!

Feeling lucky, we tried the next one, Sleeping at the Beech, a micro in an old cemetery. Here our luck failed. My dad had found this one a while ago, but couldn't remember exactly where it was. We both poked around the large tree for a while, climbing up on it to look around, but came out empty handed. I hope the storm this week didn't dislodge it!

But hey, at least the tree was neat!

Finally giving up, we headed to the next one, Claddagh. This one appealed to me because I'm Irish and know about Claddaghs (I just gave my claddagh ring to my sister last week, oddly enough!), but despite being Irish, my dad and I couldn't find this one either. I've since got some hints, so I'll use those to look next week- I'll get pictures then, too.

We then struck out again with garratt mill park. The coordinates we had were off but forgot to put the new ones in our GPSs. My dad had found this one months ago, too, but it was so overgrown this time of year that he had no idea where it was. So we'll look for this in the fall.

Next up we did actually have some luck! Dad had found these Campus NSQ caches earlier, too, but tagged along while I did them. And they involved my most hated nemesis- math! I finally got the coordinates calculated right, though, and found both of these caches and the bonus. Here I am avoiding the sudden burst of rain near the first part:

This was an office complex, but had once been a school and dormitory for girls in the last century, so there were lots of old buildings. Here's one of them:

Driving past, we saw a really neat thing- a fox decoy, I'm assuming to keep birds away. I love foxes, so I took a picture:

The third part of the cache involved a lot more bushwhacking- here's a view near the cache:

Here I dropped off the geogem travel bug I'd picked up last week and my dad also dropped off a travel bug, too (his was a pirate).

I really loved the cache log. Monkey in a hat!

Bonus cache found, we called it a day because I had to head over to my best friend's house for dinner and geeky gaming.

Saturday Josh and I didn't have great luck, either. First we set off to find Don't Take The Speaker!, a cache we'd already looked for twice. Turns out we were making it WAY harder than we had to, and I spotted it in about fifteen seconds. LOL!

Here I am squinting at the sun near the cache location- and I'm holding the cache, although you can't see that in the picture:

And here's the cache log:

Happy to finally find one we hadn't before, we set off to try to locate Ye Ol Watering Hole. Again. This one totally needs to be a 5 difficulty, not 4! ;) Josh was getting frustrated by the fact that the GPS app on his phone kept bouncing him all over the place, so we gave up again. Someday we'll find it!

We struck out once again with the third cache we looked for, NY Giants. This was in a park and after walking very very much uphill, we found the spot where the cache was... but gave up. I logged this as a "did not find", but it was more of a "did not want to go into the underbrush wearing shorts while being swarmed by bugs"; in other words, we chickened out and decided it would be better to look for in the fall- or at least when equipped with long pants and bug spray.

So lots of geocaching fun times! Hopefully my asthma will calm back down so I can do more hiking ones, but I'm just glad to knock one long-time "did not find" off my list!

(Not so) Grim geocaching adventures with a bouncy horse

Blog post by Meri Greenleaf
Saturday, June 11, 2011 | | 0 Comments »

Yesterday was another gorgeous day of geocaching in woodsy Pennsylvania with my dad. :) We looked for five caches and I snagged them all- a good day. I think dad had found all of these, but he tags along with me so I can find them, too.

First we hit a playground for Playtime:

After trying to figure out what the funnel things were on the jungle gym thing and agreeing with my dad that they were something from Dr Suess (later I realized they were things you could talk into, but I like our idea better), I located the cache. Er... after ending up with a pound of woodchips in my hair. Note to self: pull hair back when near the ground.

And then it was playtime- after signing the cache log, I jumped on yet another bouncy animal, this time a horse:

Dad asked why I didn't pick the duck again; I said I wanted a change. ;) Luckily there was no one around because it meant no one got suspicious of me poking around- or wondering why a grown woman was sitting on a bouncy horse. LOL!

Next up we headed into the woods for Stream to Screen. This was one located at a gauging station next to a creek. My camera decided to make this picture be very green:

I have to say, this is the most... er... vertical cache I'd located so far (a status that didn't last long because we found two on top of cliffs later that day, lol). While climbing up this one, I had to joke-grumble about the cacher before me being tall- or at least taller than me. I really had to stretch!

I thought this one was neat because my dad was actually the first to find earlier this week and I was #6:

Next up we crossed the street and headed for three caches that were in the same general area; these were all near an old railroad track, a future Rails to Trails:

First up was A Grim Adventure. Yup, this one was themed on "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy", so of course I insisted on quoting that show as we hiked to the cache. Alas, my dad hasn't seen it, so my speaking in a Jamaican accent just confused him. Oddly enough, I was going to wear a shirt with Grim on it without realizing what caches we were hitting, but decided at the last minute not to. Double alas!

I braved sticker bushes, poison ivy and spiderwebs (spiders are definitely the worst of the bunch!) and got to a spot that looked rather suspicious. And yup, there was the cache, in it's Grim-ly glory (hope it's okay to share cache pictures- this one was just so cool! And apt!).

After I signed the log, we headed off to the next one nearby, The Edge is Never Dull. Great cache location with a great view- I was kind of wishing it was winter, though, because so much greenery meant I couldn't really see down to the creek. But since I wouldn't want to be caching in winter, I'll take the greenery. ;)

I'm going to assume this was painted to look like a face? Anyway, I practiced my climbing skills and located the cache, then climbed the rest of the way to the top:

Unfortunately my camera didn't really show how high up I was; dad was pretty far below:

We continued on, but near the cache I spotted the word "Art" graffitied on the rock. Since I'm an artist, I had to pose for a picture:

Picture taken, we headed for the last cache, Rails and Trails 2. We joked that this one you needed to be half-goat to get to because it was even higher up than the last one. But we made it up! (Yay, I'm in better shape than I thought I was!) Something caught my eye, and I wandered towards it without realizing that this geocache had a hint. ;)

I found the cache and went "Ooo!" or rather "Yarrr!" when I saw what was inside:

That ruby gem is a travel bug! How cool is that! I signed the log and grabbed it, and will try to drop it off at a different cache this weekend.

Dad and I headed back down the mountain (why did I not get a picture of that? Oh, right, I was too busy sliding down on my butt on the slippery dead leaves, lol!), and wandered over to check out a bridge. Or what was left of one, anyway:

At this point I was all sorts of worn out, so we called it a day. But it was a lot of fun! I love getting to hike in the woods- what can I say, I'm an elf-girl. ;)