Sunday, September 12, 2010

Otak 2010 GeoFest - Bike, Hike, & Crawl

Kris: Yesterday we drove down to Mankato for a geocaching event that sounded interesting. "Otak 2010 GeoFest - Bike, Hike, & Crawl - GC2A15F" With the words "bike and hike" in the get our attention!  We had to get up at 6am to make it down there in time so after a big mug of coffee we pulled into Mankato. 

It was a beautiful day and we brought along the mountain bikes and our run shoes, not really knowing what was in store for the cache run portion of the day.  Once we got the coordinates for the 30 cache run caches (15 new perm / 15 temp) we were on our way through town at 9am. 

After the first few finds, we realized that the diff/terr ratings weren't exactly what we were expecting.  Quite a few were rated higher in terrain than they should have been.  Most were no worse than a 2 / 2.5 although I'll give the one up in the tree a 3-ish and the climb down into the rocks along the river a 3 as well.

Mark: There were actually two very impressive well done caches. "The Doctor" and "You can park here" Kris made a great find with "The Doctor" and we might have been stumped had we not gotten a clue from the cache hidder of "You can park here" As soon as I got to ground zero the clue made perfect sense and I walked right up to it. This one was also a very cute cache but I never understood the name "Foul Ball"

The middle set of caches were all along the river trail so we took down the mountain bikes and that saved us a LOT of time.  It was a lot of fun getting to stretch the bike legs a bit while caching (well....except for the one cache that had incorrect coordinates and us along with another cacher ended up inside private property at the water treatment facility.  Seriously!  Strike 2 for us in two weeks when it comes to tresspassing!) Mark: The wind was also a bit of an issue going south on the trail along the river, but it was not to bad. During our ride along the river I found my 1200th cache.

We also got to ride past the Gay Pride Festival that was going on at a river park.   Saw a seriously funny bumper sticker...

Mark: Here are few other pictures we took at the varius caches we found.

Can you see the cache container in the last picture? The Star behind the Liberty Place marble sign.

The cache run was from 9am-3pm and luckily we finished up around 2:00 so we had time to get in our daily run before meeting up for dinner and door prizes at 4:30pm.   Luckily along our run up the river we went past one cache location where we got a chance to help out one cacher with his two boys that made the same mistake we did in making the find. Mark: During the run we passed 5 of the cache locations and saw cachers at about 3 of them. It was fun to be the "muggle" and watch how the geocacher reacted.  We also picked up a few other caches in a nearby park. After our run but before dinner.

At dinner, we both won some cool door prizes.  Between the two of us we got two unactivated TB tags, a $5 Panera Gift Card, a travel mug with cache swag in it and some custom caching labels. Mark: We ended up being the only ones that found all of the event caches so one of the TB tags was the prize for find the most caches. We also learned that (and I say this with no disrespect) Mankato area is very new to the geocaching scene.  Most everyone at the event has been caching for a year or less and out of everyone there, Mark had the most total cache finds by at least 300.  Mark: I am never the cacher with the most finds at an event. Here in the cities there are so many people that have 1000, 3000, a few even with 5000!   AND (get this Twin Cities cachers.....) if a cache gets published after dark, FTF usually is around 6am the next morning.   I wish we had that kind of time to get FTF!!!!  For those of you outside the twin cities area, I don't care if the cache is published at 2am, you have about 20 minutes to get there or you will not be FTF.   Hounds are crazy fast around here.   But I will say that sometimes does make the chase for FTF kinda fun :)

I mean no hard feelings to Mankato.  It's actually the opposite.  It's quite exciting to see a new area really embracing the geocaching community and I really do hope they hold this event again next year and I also hope we see some of the Mankato cachers up for GeoCoin Fest and/or other large events.

PS - and if you are wondering what "OTAK" is for in the event name as I's a local thing.  Take "ManKATO" and make Kato backwards.  "Otak" I think they said is the name of the Mankato High School yearbook I guess.

Mark: On the way home we could not help being distracted by shiny objects and we stopped at 3 more caches hoping to find a few geocoins, and we got lucky at 2 of the 3 with each picking up a coin. The second stop was this wayside rest outside of Jordon but the cache took us back in the woods to the edge of a beautiful creek. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera or phone so no picture.

So the cache count for the day is 35 caches (20 regular caches and 15 Temporary event caches). I scanned our copy of the log sheet from the OTAK event.

Next Up is Geocoinfest 2010 this coming weekend. Activities all weekend long.

1 comment:

  1. This just forwarded to me, and and I thought I would leave a note. As a member of the OTAK group, thanks for the input. We are planning on doing another one and we hope to have some improvements.

    As for Foul ball, it was so named because the tree in question was by a baseball field, and any ball hit here would be a foul ball.


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