Featured Players – LilSmiths

lilsmiths

Where are you from? Where do you live?

We are from Louisiana. We live in the A.P. in the village of Moreauville.

 

What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?

Being that our Smith clan is rather large, we had to find a way to distinguish ourselves. In the clan, my parents are called the Smith Sr’s, my brother’s family are the Smith Jr’s, and they called us- my wife, my 3 children and myself- the LilSmiths. Since we geocached as a family, our name was a no brainer.

 

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

My parents, the WilcoxWeedPatch, better known as Granny and Grandpa to us, pretty much forced us to go with them one day! We’ve been hooked ever since!

 

What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?

The first cache that we went to find was Bamboo-zle (GC1KQ88) in Mansura, Louisiana. We had no idea what we would find. But we bushwhacked our way through the bamboo like we were the first explorers to visit the area! After a couple of minutes of frantic searching, we finally found the treasure! A plastic container!

 

Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

Once upon a time we were on our way home from dropping our oldest daughter, Alyssa, off at college in Shreveport. We were on Interstate 49 around the Natchitoches area and our youngest daughter, Emily, decided we should cache on the way home. So my wife, the official navigator and head which-wayer, got out her trusty iPhone and searched for nearby caches. She found one that was only 7 miles off of the interstate. We took the next exit and our adventure began! After 50 miles of piney woods and dirt roads, countless turn arounds and even a house that had a man standing near a shed with faceless dolls hanging on it. We had to pass this house twice because we were on the wrong road, again, and on the way back out the man started walking towards the truck and Emily started screaming “He is coming after us! Go! Go!” So, of course, I slowed down and Emily started screaming louder! We eventually made it to the right dirt road and made the find! But the adventure was not over! We had to find out way back to the interstate! The head which-wayer said “Take a right on this road and it should get us there.” It was a nice two-lane paved road, that turned into a single lane paved road, that turned into a gravel road, that turned into a dirt road, that turned into a very rough, narrow trail. It finally brought us back to civilization and a desperately needed gas station!

 

What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?

The swag bag stays loaded in the truck at all times. It is full of replacement logs, caches, and the tools needed to repair or retrieve caches, along with the usual swag.

 

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?

Besides faceless dolls, caching has taken us to so many places that we would have never known existed. The abandoned pool on Camp Claiborne, countless old cemeteries, a beautiful dam and an old rest stop area at Iron Creek in Arkansas, and so many more wonderful places. Some of our best finds are a spoon from the Civil War era and an ax that I am still using today.

 

What cache is on your Bucket List?

There is a cache in Lafayette that we have dnf’ed numerous times that is at the top of our list. The oldest cache in Louisiana, any cache in Ireland, and we want to finish the alien head near Roswell, New Mexico.

 

Any other hobbies?

Reading, listening to the blues, impromptu road trips, and visiting our children.

 

Anything else you would like to say?

Who would have thought that looking for a plastic container in the woods would be such a rewarding past time? We have met a lot of amazing people and been to so many wonderful places! We can’t wait for all the adventures yet to come.

Featured Player: reh2

reh2_featured

What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?

When my friend and I joined we weren’t aware of how you can be creative with the names, so I just have my initials.

 

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

My BFF got me started. She is still amazed that I love the game as much as her!

 

What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?

I had no idea of what I was doing. We were using a gps, which I was unfamiliar with and the cache was in, of course, a Tupperware container! LOL

 

Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

I have to say getting the Original Cache Tribute Plaque this fall was the best. We were on a Canadian trip and I had my family make a detour just for this one!

 

What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?

I carry my handy dandy geocache backpack with my at all times! It has EVERYTHING in it!

 

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?

Just about every “new” container type is memorable to me. From my first birdhouse cache to underground cache containers.

 

What cache is on your Bucket List?

Since I just checked off the “Original” off my list, I’d have to say getting a cache in every state would be next.

 

Any other hobbies?

My husband and I love to travel so Geocaching was a perfect companion hobby!

 

Anything else you would like to say?

I love this hobby! Our local tourist bureau has GeoTours in our area. I love when I see cachers from all over the world finding my caches while in the area. Now that I’m retired I hope to do many more tours as we travel.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my story! Happy Caching!

LGO Honorary Member: plsellers

plsellers

Tell us a little about who you are and where you live.

Retired in 2009, after over 45 years with same Company; widowed, Accountant by education, NOT an outdoor person at all until…..now….Live in El Dorado, AR 17 miles N of the Louisiana line.

 

Other than geocaching, what draws you to Louisiana?

Over many years, Monroe/WMonroe – S’port/Bossier have been shopping & eating havens for my area; also had a place on Lake Claiborne for years due to  husband’s love of fishing; grew up going to Sugar Bowl/ Mardi Gras; traveled to New Orleans many times for work.

 

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

Wanted to do something out of the box after retirement…In 2009, 1 daughter who works for Arkansas Game & Fish Commission gave me a weekend of Becoming an Outdoor Woman. Among their programs that weekend was Geocaching, which I selected. Pursued nothing. The next year, went back, selected it again, Pursued nothing. In April 2012 read quip about an Eat & Greet locally; attended & a cacher from Houston who was visiting her cacher family showed me how to find one very close to our event location. But it was not until July that I started in earnest.  Bronco’s Girl & Bronco46 took me under their wings to start this adventure.  I’ve learned a lot from locals allenearl58, arkfiremedic & gmcsac for becoming a better cacher.

 

Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

I have no Big Fish story.  At the beginning, my mentors were both still working, so then especially & even now do a lot of “by myself” caching.  With age in mind & being female, I try not to get myself into unsafe or questionable situations so I really try to review the cache description info and the location area before potentially getting myself into this “big fish” area.  In fact my daughter, who unknowingly started me on this road (as mentioned above), has actually warned me…no hospital or police calls.

 

What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?

EDC, you would not believe.  I have 2 vehicles sorta dedicated to caching opportunities—one, the go anywhere vehicle and the other is a step-up in comfort if having a navigator along. I have duplicated supplies so I’m not at a loss no matter which one I’m driving.  My Sunday car is just that….no supplies at all.  But like probably everyone, I definitely carry logs, baggies, replacement containers, tape, extra pens; then comes the TOTT and swag.

 

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?

Memorable – I don’t know – memorable is a relative term…each cacher has his own definition.

   Many stand out for historic implications————–many stand out for just neat things to see nearby————–many stand out for container uniqueness or creativity—————–many may not stand out other than serving their purpose for offering that PNG we all need.    I’ve seen battlefields, monuments, sunsets (no sunrises), museums, things that used to be, specialty artifacts, religious icons & architecture, trails (not hikes) through parks, gardens, countryside.

 

What cache is on your Bucket list?

Being a single female, of a certain age, I haven’t felt the need for a Bucket List.  So far, I’m able to rise each day & take advantage of any opportunities, caching or otherwise,  that comes across my path. That fills my Bucket.

 

Any other hobbies?

No real hobbies requiring talent….that’s what got me here.  I am a voracious reader but that still didn’t get me out of the box.  I do have 5 books going at once, audio in each of the cars; 1 at the TV and 1 at bed so that hobby is taken care of pretty completely.

    I am a Master Gardener but with a brown thumb (took the training after retirement just because I then had the time).  I serve on the Arkansas Geocaching Association Board as well several Boards around the area, take care of my Church library, go to College lectures, Art Center plays & South Arkansas Symphony performances. Cook when I have to and only for myself, have a housekeeper for my peace of mind, cars always filled with gas in case a caching trip comes up.

 

Anything else you would like to say?

I try to promote Geocaching being a great family activity that provides excitement of the find, still using technology (GPS, phone apps), geography, exercise, critical thinking in some cases, family entertainment & togetherness, critical with kids today. The virtuals & earthcaches are great teaching or learning tools.  The historical aspect, cemeteries, churches, monuments, museums …there’s nothing better for teaching children and lots of adults too.   Hey, we Seniors still need something to keep ourselves going full speed ahead, maybe not the body so much as the mind.

Arkgeocaching.org is our Arkansas Association.  Cachers in contiguous States are welcome to become members of our Association, even can become voting members.

LGO Honorary Member: czamacona

czamacona

Tell us a little about who you are and where you live.

My actual name is Courtland Zamacona (I know, not a very creative player name) I’m a born and raised Southern Californian living in Diamond Bar, CA. I starting geocaching in Louisiana when I moved to Denham Springs in April of 2013 up until I moved back to California in May of 2015.

 

Other than geocaching, what draws you to Louisiana?

Originally it was the whole follow your heart (ex-girlfriend) situation. After living there for two years I can honestly say I’d move back for the food, the geocaching and mostly my geocaching friends that I was fortunate to make in my short time in Louisiana. I still tell people here in California how nice the people are in Louisiana and how I still talk to some friends from there more than I talk to some of my California friends.

 

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

I first opened my account in 2007 after my mother told me about this treasure hunting game she had heard about on the radio here in Los Angeles. I didn’t have a real grasp on how to input coords in to my GPS or what it was I was exactly looking for. So needless to say I ended up not actually finding my first cache until 2011 when my girlfriend at the time and I were looking for something to do on weekends that would get us out of the House. I really liked it and she thought it was stupid. Showed her, I still geocache and now have an amazing girlfriend who enjoys caching with me now!!!

 

Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

Not just one cache but a road trip full of caches. When I was moving to Louisiana my mother and I took our time getting to Denham Springs. We took what could have been a 26 hour straight through road trip and turned it into 6 days of sightseeing and an epic road trip. Our first day we started out in Lake Havasu City, AZ and we didn’t even make it out of the state that day.

 

What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?

At a bare minimum I always have my phone on me and a pen nearby. When I’m out with my truck I have a large ammo can that has more pens, logs, containers, signature items and special handheld TOTT’s.

 

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?

America. Granted I’ve only cached in America but a great number of caches I’ve done across the states have taken me to many places that I wouldn’t have thought of or known about. It brings me such joy knowing that I’ve cached among the spacious skies, the amber waves of grain, the purple mountain majesties and of course the fruited plain!

 

What cache is on your Bucket list?

I don’t have a single cache as a bucket list item. I do have overall geocaching goals that I’d like to complete. The top is going to Geocaching HQ and getting an APE cache. I’m currently planning a trip to the Seattle area for Geocoinfest next year so these both will happen. Once I get those I guess I’ll go back to trying to fill in my US map and completing the Louisiana Parish and Delorme challenges (I’m about ½ way done with all three of those).

 

Any other hobbies?

When I’m not geocaching I enjoy going to Disneyland (annual pass holder) and train watching.

 

Anything else you would like to say?

Get out there, let the geocaching map be your guide. You don’t have to stop for every cache but let it guide you to all the historical, geological, the scenic or even the everyday locations. You might be surprised what you find out there! Also, go to the events and meet new people I have to say some fellow geocachers are some of the best people I know! Hi, to all my friends (Frank, Riann, Cindy, Ben, David, Brian and anyone else I may have forgotten) miss you all and we’ll get together again in the future. I guess it comes down to a simple choice, get busy caching or get busy dying!

Featured Players: Pretzallady and PretzalNugget

pretzallady

What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?

I work at the local pretzel shop in the Mall and everyone knows me as the Pretzel Lady. It was only fitting that I call my Daughter Aimee who is always with me PretzalNugget.

 

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

I am a Boy Scout Leader and it was a merit Badge we were working on. I enjoyed it but the boys we had at that time did not. My new younger scouts now love it.

 

What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?

Dead End GCXNN9.  This was my first attempt and I was not sure what to expect. What I found was what looked like a nail head and it was a nano stuck in the top of the pole.

 

Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

I hate Multi Caches but I needed to find The Curse of Madame LeVeaux (GC573QV). Pretzalnugget and I found this shortly after I had shoulder surgery, my arm was still in a sling. I had to climb up a little hill that was covered with pine straw, as I was reaching the top I grabbed a tree limb and it snapped and I lost my Balance and fell down, tree limb then fell across my legs. It was a fairly large limb. As I laid there assessing my injuries, it crossed my mind that if I was seriously injured, Pretzalnugget would not be able to help me. Thankfully I was not severely hurt and I did find the final stage. I have to say this was a great cache.

 

What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?

I never leave home without my caching stuff, i have a tub of spare containers, a tub of swag, and a tool box with logs, pencils pens, zip ties, super glue, bison tubes , nano’s, my multi tool, scissors, and much more. I also carry a full first aid kit.

 

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?

As of this week I would have to say the grave of the Revolutionary War Soldier at a Cemetery in Leota, Indiana.

 

What cache is on your Bucket List?

Any Cache I have not yet found.

 

Any other hobbies?

Scouting and Camping

 

Anything else you would like to say?

I love going to events and meeting other Geocaches. I had the opportunity to go to GeoWoodstock XV in North Carolina and it was an awesome experience. I enjoy hiding caches as much as I do finding them.

Featured Players: mike ‘n pink

mikenpink

What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?

The first half of our username comes from Michael’s obvious nickname, Mike. Erica’s half of the username, Pink, comes from her high school mascot being the Pink Panther. Thus, mike ‘n pink!

 

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

A friend introduced the game to Erica in college, who felt Michael would love it. The concepts of a treasure hunt combined with technology seemed like the perfect combination for fun in our relationship. We lived two hours apart from each other at the time (in Lafayette and in New Orleans) and would both meet up in Baton Rouge on the weekends and spend our time together geocaching.

 

What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?

The first cache we went after was “Heart Check” (GCGP63). Erica had the vaguest idea of what to look for from that first geocache that her friend showed her, but it was brand new to Michael. It took some effort, but once we found it, Michael was hooked.

 

Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

A few caches come to mind, but one that stands out is “HTGT: Wildlife 2” (GC5HF85). It’s part of the Houma Geocaching Tour series. We were determined to find the 27 caches we needed to complete the tour in one day. For this cache, we trekked through a swamp wildlife refuge just as it was starting to drizzle. The hike involved crossing a bridge swarming with dozens of wasps (Erica’s great nemesis), dodging falling golden orb spiders that were being knocked from their webs by the rain, and watching our feet to avoid stepping on the hundreds of mating grasshoppers that were all over the path. The drizzle turned into a storm, and the longer we looked, the louder we could hear the grunting sounds of nearby alligators. The hide was a fairly easy one, but nervous about the alligators, it took us much longer to find than it should have, and we had come too far to give up. After making the find, we ran the mile back to our car, completely soaked, covered in mud, but victorious.

 

What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?

We HAVE to have a pen and our phone—can’t cache without either! Erica keeps an arsenal of pens in the center console of the car just for geocaching and always tries to remember to keep a towel or two in the car in case the search gets dirty. We also try to keep our geocaching bag in our car, which Michael keeps stocked with extra logs and baggies, tradeables, and our first aid kit, among other items.

 

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?

Michael’s most memorable sight was at our 600th cache in Alabama, Favorite Places Series: The King’s Chair (GCKRVB). We hiked to the top of a mountain and sat on the very edge of a ledge, our feet dangling over an incredible drop while we looked out at the beautiful view below us.

Erica’s favorite was seeing the Grand Canyon covered in snow. We were the only two people on a particular ledge where there was a mystery cache, and we stood on the edge of the canyon and felt like we were the only people in the world.

 

What cache is on your Bucket List?

We just completed a big bucket list item of ours, which was to find all of the caches in the Louisiana Star Geocaching Challenge—which was made extra challenging what with Erica being 8 months pregnant at the time.

We’d really like to visit the Geocaching Headquarters in Seattle and visit the cache on location. And although it’s not a specific cache, our biggest bucket list item is to find a geocache in every state. We’ve got 18 crossed off so far…

 

Any other hobbies?

Michael enjoys playing computer games and building things for fun. Erica loves to read and write.

 

Anything else you would like to say?

We got engaged when Michael created an entire fake geocaching page and surprised Erica by “finding” a ring instead of a cache—we now have a real cache placed at the site in memory of the proposal (GC48G6R). At our wedding, the priest who married us knew of our love for geocaching. He made us a homemade “cache” with the “Love is patient, love is kind” verse on a paper inside in place of a log and presented it to us after his homily. Michael’s groomscake was even designed to look like a giant geocache. Geocaching is a big part of our lives, and we can’t wait until our son Benjamin (who was born this March) is old enough to cache with us!

Featured Players: LAVNVet and LALizzie

lavnvet_lalizzie

What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?

My geocache name (LAVNVet) comes from my service as a Viet Nam veteran living in Louisiana. My wife’s name (LALizzie) is based on her name along with living in Louisiana. These names are the same as our letterboxes.

 

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

A close childhood friend (Poet61), who now lives in northern Georgia, introduced me to geocaching. He and I have cached near each other’s homes and at our 50th high school class reunion in Ohio. My wife had heard about geocaching several years before we married, but, had never done any. While we were dating, we added geocaching to our list of great things to do together. Now, Geocaching is a quick activity, a date night, a day trip, or, even a long excursion with many planned stops for caches.

 

What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?

Started off just looking for nearby caches. Then while visiting grandkids found an earthcache and a traditional cache at the Garden of the Gods. Really didn’t have any idea what I would find, but, now we try to go for earthcaches and those that teach lessons.

 

Everyone has a geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

There has been one cache that we started to think didn’t exist and thus a Big Fish story. We searched 5 or more times and had almost concluded that it was missing. Without the help of pretzallady, we would probably still be looking for it.

 

What is Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have with you?

Canvas bag containing flashlight, UV light, extendable mirror, extendable magnet, our letterbox stamps with ink pads, 12” locking clamp, tape measure, 10-in-1 mini multi-tool, pens and pencils, extra logs, extra containers (many types), trackables, batteries and gloves. And, in the back of the truck, a stepladder!

 

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found whilecaching?

While we were both geocaching at Cypremort Point, two couples from Canada in a van stopped and asked if I was geocaching and I responded, “that’s what I was doing”. The couples went on their way, but, joined us a little later to find a cache together. We all took part in helping hoist one of the ladies up a tree to retrieve the cache, which, we then all signed the log together. Have pictures to prove it!

 

What cache is on your Bucket List?

We both want to find the earliest Louisiana cache and the cache at the highest point in the state. Farther afield, we would like to find caches in all 50 states with emphasis on earthcaches.

 

Any other hobbies?

Primarily interested in birding and historic areas hence my “Ornithological Lesson” caches and the Solomon Northup Geotrail. Also, since we enjoy earthcaches, I established the Louisiana Earthcache Challenge (GC60YJ7), which has yet to be completed by anyone. As a retired biologist, anything outdoors is of interest to me, which is why my wife and I set up a series of letterbox hybrids with tracks of various animals. Unfortunately, many of those were muggled.

 

Anything else you would like to say?

I am open to other ideas so currently not sure what the next series will be.

Featured Player: Nugglers

nugglers

What was the inspiration for your geocaching name?

We came up with this name after doing some research on geocaching in general before we actually started caching. We figured out the meaning of “muggles” and decided we should come up with something to counter that. So, “Nugglers” is kind of like a word we decided would be like kryptonite to the much loathed MUGGLE!!

Why did you decide to try geocaching?

I actually made an account years ago and only found one cache. I unfortunately did not look into geocaching any further at the time. Then, Kacie (the famous Nuggler 2) and I, were trying to figure out something to do one afternoon, and immediately Geocaching came to mind. The thought of being outside, adventuring and exploring was exactly the medicine the doctor ordered. Well, as you guys can see, the rest is history!

What cache were you after? What did you expect to find?

We actually were not after one cache specifically. We simply opened up the app and found that Cosper’s Little Secret (GC480D9) was right next to our house, so we headed in that direction. I tried to explain the best I could on what we expected to find, but neither of us were really sure. When we arrived, we did not only find an actual cache container, but an awesome pastime that we spend hours and hours…..and HOURS lol of time doing.

Everyone has a Geocaching “big fish” story about the hunt that was much more than you expected at the start. What is yours?

Well, we each have one. Kacie’s no doubt is a cache called 16.9 (GC3BX2K) that we came across while caching right outside of Seattle a few months back. It’s a mystery cache that we were drawn too because of the John Grisham trackable (I am a trackable junkie)  that was in it at the time. The cache turned out to be cooler than we expected. It was a big box with a lock on it but no key! After reading all the logs and spending a ton of time looking at this box in the middle of the night, Nuggler 2 had that “OMG” moment! The key to the box was actually about thirty feet away, hidden in a buoyant case inside of a PVC pipe. In order to get it out though, we had to pour 16.9 ounces (one bottle of water) in it to get the case to float to the top! It was our first 5 difficulty cache and gave us a overwhelming feeling of accomplishment!

My Big Fish is definitely Strain Allen Cache (GC52X1R) by Darrellba! To this day, I am not really sure why I got so much satisfaction in finding this cache, but I definitely did. We had been out caching for hours and hours and I promised Nuggler 2 that we would be finished after this last “quick” cache. Well that “quick” turned easily into an hour adventure. The batteries in our flashlights were dead, so I was using my phone light, which btw, is absolutely one of the worst lights ever. Nuggler 2 was pouting in the truck because she was tired lol and kept telling me “its not even here,” but I was not taking that as an answer. And the best part of all, is my phone didn’t have any service there, so I was searching for a needle in a haystack. After crawling around on the ground and poking around every tree trunk inch by inch, I heard the most familiar sound to all of us, the beautiful “THUMP” Needless to say, if anyone was nearby, they would of thought I found a buried treasure of some sort, or was some crazed person that got loose from a psych facility!

What is your Geocaching EDC (Everyday carry)? What gear do you have to have with you?

Well, we carry quite a few things in our backpack, which is always in my truck. It has flashlights, Nuggler 2’s cherished headlamp, multiple sharpie pens, a mirror magnet combo, extra cache logs, extra clothes (since we always end up wet or muddy somehow) and our (MY, lol) bag of trackables.

What is the most memorable thing you’ve seen or found while caching?

So far probably the most memorable thing we have seen is that bottom of the Grand Canyon. We picked up a couple of virtual caches while we were on a road trip this past November and one of them was South Kaibab to Bright Angel (GCFA7D). We hiked down 7 miles, stayed the night in the bottom of the Grand Canyon beside the Colorado River, and then hiked out 10 miles the next day to the top! Most exhausting/rewarding thing that we have accomplished so far in our caching careers!

What cache is on your Bucket List?

There is no doubt that our Bucket List cache is “The Leap” (GC16R4B) in Arizona. We had full intentions of getting it while road tripping this past November, but it rained on the day we had planned to pick it up (the only day it rained on our 11 day road trip :I). There is not a doubt in my mind that we will get it in the next year though. I don’t know that Nuggler 2 will make the giant leap across the gap, but I do know that she will be right by my side navigating the entire way!

Any other hobbies?

Well when we aren’t working, we just like being outside really. We are emergency room nurses, so anything that gets us a little adrenaline rush we are up for….as I am answering these questions while we are working on a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle while sitting in the house lol!

Anything else you would like to say?

We are getting ready to start travel nursing, so we will be in the Seattle area for the next couple of months. Hopefully, we will get to finish up our D/T challenge while we are there. We would also like to give a thanks to a few cachers in our area for being patient with us when we bombard them with questions about Geocaching, since we are fairly new to it all, comparatively speaking: PrizeSeekers, Darrellba, and Shelleydee34. Also, we want to thank all the cachers who have continued to put out new caches for us to find: Geobear42 and Deannasmith97. If we forgot anyone, thanks to you guys too!!

North East South and West

Here was our question: Which Louisiana geocaches are the northernmost, easternmost, southernmost, and westernmost? What are our geo-extremes?

It seemed easy enough. Starting along the beach at the bottom of our state, one needs to only follow the Geo-map from one side to the other. There’s really only a couple places that our L-shaped geography protrudes with any kind of vigor into the Gulf. There’s the Mississippi Delta, and the Bayou Lafourche corridor.

A quick search for geocaches in both of those areas easily give us the site of the geocache hidden for us which is the farthest south, and the farthest east.

No place in Louisiana goes farther east and south, land-wise, than the Delta.

IMG_1696

And most of it is accessible only by boat

The three-veined Mississippi entrance doesn’t have any physical hides (presently). The closest place to the river’s mouth is Venice, where the world ends. At that ending we find a handful of hides, and the one farthest to the east is GC64VNP ‘Park at the End,’ one of BAMBOOZLE’s many droppings. It’s sitting on 89° 21.158’ W of Greenwich, making it the easternmost physical geocache in Louisiana.

That stretch of delta isn’t the east-iest dry land in the State, however.

IMG_1694

Here’s an interesting fact: The easternmost point of the Chandeleur Islands is farther east than Biloxi is.

The Îsles de Chandeleur arc out into Mississippi Sound, and even though they’re disappearing at a disheartening rate, they still are a beach with fauna and flora. However, there isn’t and there won’t be any physical geocaches there, since they’re part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge.

Now, a swipe of the map westward leads across Barataria Bay past Grand Isle to the land of the Lafourche, and it is there we do find the southernmost geocache presently on our map.

It’s another one of BAMBOOZLE’s. GC3A0K7 ‘Come Get Me Big Doggy’ was hidden by Bam and Short Circuit 2, as a challenge to Big Doggy, a veteran player in the New Orleans Metro Area. To our knowledge, Big Doggy still hasn’t gone after it.

Measuring latitude 29° 06.463’, it is the closest place to the equator in Louisiana that you can sign a geocache log.

Now, astute map-heads will point out that there’s an Earthcache at the Head of Passes, more southern and more eastern than these.

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Image: geocaching.com / Leaflet

GC605FW ‘Foot of the Bird – Earthcache’ is an educational exercise touching on delta formation and river navigation. Its published coordinates are southeast of Venice, in the river proper. Auxiliary to the lesson, the owner has left a physical log at the Pass-A-Loutre WMA check-in station. Because the coordinates to that station are below the 29th Parallel, and nearly three more miles east than the pin for the earthcache, we can interject a kind of asterisk to our above statement about the southernmost log you can sign.

However, this author will claim that such an ‘additional logging requirement’ is optional for the Earthcache and does not count as a physical geocache, respectable and exceptional though it may be.

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.51.05 PM

Image: geocaching.com / Google

 

What started as a hypothetical question about geographical geocache extremes has blossomed into a monumental puzzle to solve.

Check this out. In the Caddo corner of our State we have a physical geocache, looking like it’s across the dotted line and properly in Texas, but listed in Louisiana, and hidden to the NORTHWEST of a Virtual cache, listed as being in Arkansas.

GC23HE8 ‘ArkLaTex’ and GC7EF5 ‘Two for One, Three at a Time’ seem to have swapped bathrobes. Is one of them not in their actual state? Who knows?

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Image: geocaching.com / Google

 

A Kind Of Controversy

Our North-West corner’s actual location has been the subject of much international, mathematical and astronomical debate since at least the end of the Jefferson administration.

Here’s a little history on the topic. The south and east boundaries of our State are easy enough to find, but where our legislative boundaries slice dirt can be much harder to project.

In 1804 Congress divided the Louisiana Territory using the 33rd Parallel. Everything south was called the Territory of Orleans, and is roughly our Louisiana today.

[For exhaustive history on the matter see: Oliver P. Stockwell, The Boundaries of the State of Louisiana, 42 La. L. Rev. (1982) Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.lsu.edu/lalrev/vol42/iss3/7 ]

Then, in 1812 Louisiana entered the Union as the 18th State, and its Western and Northern Boundary was at that time defined as:

Beginning at the mouth of the River Sabine, thence, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river, including all islands, to the thirty-second degree of north latitude, thence due north to the northernmost part of the thirty-third degree of north latitude, thence along the said parallel of latitude to the River Mississippi…

 

And on and on. It’s fascinating reading.

One thinks it should be easy to figure out. Turns out it wasn’t. Nineteenth Century geodetic and astronomy tech was good, but not to our modern degree. Those original, and later, surveyors were in error to the north by 2,220 feet when they laid a granite marker on the left descending bank of the Sabine River where they said it met the 32nd Parallel, calling it the International Boundary between the U.S. and Spanish Texas.

 

The marker still stands today. Aim for GCTBR8 and you’ll find it not far from the cache. See also this Waymark.

Since the granite Sabine-32° marker was off, their later mark for the 33rd parallel was off too. Therefore, we find there is some of Louisiana above Latitude 33°.

No big deal, right?

That’s actually the case. There has never been a dispute between Arkansas and Louisiana over the border. Whatever it is today, based on the original survey, is good enough for both parties.

It took some time before anyone asked the all-important question (it was 1841 in fact), ‘What is the granite marker’s longitude?’ Later, the Louisiana Geodetic Survey defined it as 94° 02’ 33.0”.

 

How To Give Up and Yet Succeed

This leaves us with the questions: Which geocache is farthest West, and which is farthest North?

To answer them, we are going to simply have to refer to the listings and follow the map down the border. Whatever state the Geo-map tells us the caches are in, we will use.

Of the caches which are shown as falling in Louisiana, the one with the greatest latitude will be Northernmost, and with the greatest longitude will be Westernmost. Sure, it’s arbitrary, or throwed-off a bit. Sure, the surveyors were either drunk or followed a snake. Look what happened with the ArkLaTex cache and it’s little ghosty friend.

There are a lot of candidates. For many miles the boundary between the Natural State and the Bayou State follows a road that’s supposed to be arrow straight but isn’t, and there is a series of geocaches along it to one side or the other, named alternately for local players. The AR-LA boundary was supposed to be a perfect parallel, but it’s not and so it winds a little bit. Due to surveyor’s errors, the Louisiana border dips slightly more and more south the farther east one goes.

 

The Winners Are…

So, after following the map east and south, and much aspirin, we have the following results:

Northernmost: GC17J60 ‘A Welcome Sign’

Westernmost: GC23HE8 ‘ArkLaTex’

Easternmost: GC64VNP ‘Park at the End’

Southernmost: GC3A0K7 ‘Come Get Me Big Doggy’

Honorable Mention: GC605FW ‘Foot of the Bird – Earthcache’

There you have it. A little history, a little geography, a little nonsense.

 

Here’s a challenge: If you find and log all five of them in the same day I have a little prize for you. How little? You’ll just have to try it and see.

Louisiana Geocaching Organization

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LGO

Louisiana Geocaching Organization is a social benefit organization promoting Geocaching and geolocation gaming in Louisiana.

LGO aims to be the foremost unified society of geocachers in Louisiana, in order to keep geo-gaming relevant and modern, available as a vibrant family-oriented activity for present players and generations to come.  LGO uses modern internet-based social media and forums to keep member players connected.