Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Geocoinfest 2010

Kris: This past weekend was go, go, go, go, go!  The Twin Cities had their very own super awesome nerd fest at Geocoinfest 2010.  There were events to attend Friday night through Sunday night.  So here's how it went for us....

Friday night - "Let's Make S'Mores!" event

We needed to get in a 3 mile run today so we decided to head to the event and run along the river trail through the woods in St. Paul.  Unfortunately we didn't remember to bring the GPS along on that run because our turn around point was within feet of one of the cache run caches.  We got back and filled our faces with potluck type food and a 20oz bottle of Mt. Dew.  Mark: After our run we were a bit warm and was still in our running gear during dinner. Afterwards we changed into some warm clothing so we could go caching. It was funny later in the evening when MnMizzou saw us and commented that we had put some clothes on. Kris: We had some time before the door prize drawings so we took off and meet up with our cacher friends Sharknose Bunnies and Trista74.  Of course it got super dark and with about 10 minutes to get back to the picnic area we all decide to trudge up a terrain 3 to pick up one more cache.  With like 2 minutes to get back, we made the find and started the trek back. 

Sharknose signing the log in the dark
Hope I didn't seem totally unsocial as I was power walking to make it back.  Never fails if I'm not there....I'll miss winning something!  (Which I didn't by the way but they had a ton of great prizes!).  We hung around to chat for a while longer, made a few s'mores and event traded a few pathtags before we headed out for the night. Mark: During the S'mores event another cache apporced us and asked if we had any of our Coffee Love pathtags with us, it turned out to be Mayberryman, who we ran into at a cache in Iowa back in April on our way to MOGA. It was really cool to talk with him and trade pathtags.

Saturday...Cup of Joe, Cache Runs and the Meet and Greet.
It was early up on Saturday to get to the Caribou at the MOA for the Cup of Joe.  There were so many cachers here and we got to chat with some folks from Iowa and Nebraska.   Also again got to trade a few pathtags :) Mark: At the event we finally got to meet Tank Hounds, who we have have found her pathtags in cache when we have been traveling on a couple of our longer outstate road trips. We also both one something during the prize drawings at the end of the event. Kris got a Cup of Joe geocoin and I won a trackable Patch.
Cup of Joe Mall of America - Saturday AM

At 10am we all took off to pick up caches for the cache runs.  We had to get a minimum of 4 caches from the cache sets designed for the LRT, Minneapolis and St. Paul.

We opted for the Light Rail first.   It was a bit crowded as there were a lot of people heading down town for the Twins Game (yawn!!!) but we got about half the caches on the route.  Due to time constraints we decided to get the rest of the LRT caches a different day. Mark: Which will make for a another fun afternoon, we can start at the new Twin Stadium (yawn!!!) and pick up the remainin LRT caches from the north.

 No idea what these are but they were at the 2nd stop along the light rail.  Made for cool pictures.

Next up we went for the Minneapolis caches and picked up some Jamba Juice for lunch.   I was so starving I was getting faint!!  We managed to find two really great trails that we want to investigate for trail running while picking up caches in Edina.  The one back to this one REALLY made me wish I had my run shoes with me!  We got back to the cache to find this enormous old tree! Mark: During the Minneapolis cache run we picked up 4 pathtags in the caches taht we found. Kris was hungry before our first Minneapolis cache and I kept promising that we were on our way to Jamba but out route took us litterly right by two caches, within 50 feet of one cache so WE HAD TO STOP, it would have been silly not too.

Mark showing his climbing skilz at Trolley?"

Then it was back up to the house to feed the kitties and let the pups out 2 P before we rounded out the day by picking up the St. Paul caches.   We were running late to get to the Meet and Greet so we found 3 along the river trail.

Cache in the rocks in St. Paul

(And by the way, not sure if you can tell from this pic but we are wearing our new trackable visors.  We had the idea to have custom visors made with the travel bug symbol on the front and a trackable number with our geocaching handles on the side.  Every one thought they were a really cool idea :)

Our last St. Paul hide was by this group of Snoopy character statues.  I couldn't help myself in this pic.  C'mon...he's holding a GPS!! Mark: And the cache was not even hidden at the statue with the GPS, it was hidden on one of the other charaters.

Me and Charlie GPSin' in St. Paul

The evening finished with dinner and door prizes at the Holiday Inn. Mark: Kris is forgetting to mention that she also one something at this event as well. They were drawing names in one of the conferance rooms and called Kris', she was in the Bar at the time and I ran to go get her as they were counting down from 20 if your were not ther to claim your prize. Kris slowly got up and I had to yell for her to run as quickly as she could. She got to the room as they were chanting 3, 2.... Close one. She won a pathtag.

Sunday - Geocoinfest!
Our morning needed to start with a 12 mile run so it was up early again.  We got in our run with the group MN Running Wild which worked out great and we met a few new running friends.   Then it was a quick stop at the Lifetime Fitness to shower and off to the main event!   Mark and I volunteered working the Silent Auction which was a ton of fun.   We got to small chat with so many cachers from all over the US. Mark: While we were working at the silent auction, I learned which coins were Mystery coins. For those who might not know, there are cachers who have geocoins made up so they can leave them anonymously in caches and events, even mailing them secretly to other cachers/coin collectors. All weekend long cachers were finding geocoins that had been left in various places during all the events. Unfortunalty we did not find any, but several of our friends did find coins. Kris did get a couple of geocoins that I secretly bid on for her during the auction.

There were a number of major geocaching vendors there selling some really cool shiny objects :)  And unfortunately we didn't win any door prizes but we got to do a mass trade of trackables that I currently had in my possession and again trade a few more pathtags.

The evening we decided to buy in to the Texas Hold'em game where the winner got a full set of non-trackable poker chip geocoins and got to split the pot of 144 unactivated geocoins with 2nd and 3rd place.  I held my own for about the first hour or so. I wasn't the first man down but didn't make it real long. Mark: Buy in was 3 unactivated coins per person, I had to buy a grab bag of coins from a cacher who was willing to save me the cost of shipping and brought them with them to Geocoinfest. During poker I was doing fairly well to start out and I did last a bit longer then Kris. We started with 6 tables and I made it to the final 3 tables. I went all in and Anne the Geocaching lacky decided to call my bluff. Thats was OK, becuase earier in the afternoon when Kris and I meet her gave us one of the 2010 Lacky coins.

This is what I look like when I have NO clue what I'm doing.

The evening ended with watching the final rounds of the Texas Hold'em game right around 8pm.   I was SO tired but it was such an exciting weekend of being a total nerd.  Just like I like it ;) Mark: Kris was gettting tired, a little bored and she was really hungry but I wanted to make sure that we stuck around to the end becuase traditionally that winner gives each player one of the poker chip geocoins that were used to play with at the final table. So we each walked away from the Poker event with two poker geocoins, one from our swag bag for just playing and one from the winner. We also got another pathtag in the swag bag so not  a bad evening!

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