Monday, June 22, 2009

How to get a geek into the woods, or Geocaching

Last year, after our wedding, we hauled ourselves up to Duluth to get away for a day or two. On our jaunt, I wanted pie and had heard of Betty's Pies, which is on the way to Two Harbors. So, we get pie, but have time to kill, so we stumble into Gooseberry Falls State Park. At the visitors center, there are displays of stuffed animals in the area, birch canoes, etc. But, there are also brightly colored signs advertising Geocaching at the State Parks (sponsored by Best Buy.)

We wander over to the info desk, check out a Garmin eTrex GPS, received a sheet with instructions for the GPS and headed out of the door.

We did get lost, but wandering around a state park isn't boring, even if you are lost. We eventually followed the right path to lead us to the "cache." We hiked on well established trails to an outhouse which overlooked Lake Superior. It was a great view and something we wouldn't have found on our own.

We were hooked. When we came back home, I plugged in coordinates to a few caches in Como Park and one that was stuck in a train on Energy Park into my car's GPS. We had no luck finding anything and stopped looking. We started up again about a month ago, because our friends, Crystal and Vic, started Geocaching. They were actually finding things like Geocoins, and Travel Bugs. It sounded really interesting, so we headed out with the Mio DigiWalker c310x. We didn't find anything.

We found a Garmin eTrex Venture HC for about $85 refurbished to up our game a bit. Still, the caches we tried to find were elusive. It looks like the Como area is more difficult then we would like and was probably a bad place to start out.

Since then, we have crawled over Central Park and Villa Park in Roseville, Crosby Park in Saint Paul and Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. We have left a bunch of Travel Bugs we purchased to leave in caches, a handful of geocoins, and some trinkets. It's been fun, even if we've both been soaked, exhaused, muddied, pricked, bit and frusturated.

For more information on Geocaching, visit


Sunny Skeptic said...

YAY! :)

It get to be where I am kind of sad if we can't go, like if it's raining a lot or something... Of course, once we find all of the ones near us there won't be anything left and we'll have to travel, travel, travel. :)

stuart said...

I am SOO MADD I just have to unload somewhere AND EVERYWHERE!!!!

I am an atheist and I have grown very disheartened by our self-defeatist culture. I was corresponding with one of the biggest atheist bloggers – the guy who guys by the name of ‘Sabio Lantz’ (he acknowledges that this is not his real name) over at

I told him that he should read this new book called the Real Messiah by Stephan Huller which I had been turned on to by Robert Price. I wanted to reach out to every atheist blogger to tell them that we can finally disprove the entire rationale of Christianity at one fell swoop.

He send me back a nasty email and then proceeds to slam the book in a manner which is worse than anything ever said about the Real Messiah by religious nutbars:

His negative review of this book is a depressing demonstration of the selfishness and self-defeatism that often pervades individuals on our side of the debate:

“My site and many others were spammed for the sale of this book. That alone is enough to stop me purchasing it until I hear amazing reviews from those I trust.”

The point is that I actually sent him links to positive reviews for
the book in Publishers Weekly:

And a list of New Testament scholars who support the book:

The aforementioned site was from a CHRISTIAN BLOG for crying out loud!!!

Look at the objectivity even with these people when compared to us.
Now I am not against someone having their own opinion about a book. ‘Sabio’ or whatever his fake name is can say whatever he wants about the Real Messiah IF HE READ THE BOOK. Yet it seems entirely self-defeatist to me for we atheists to deliberately sabotage a work whose specific intention is to destroy the Christian paradigm.

Unlike our enemies in the Religious Right we are rarely united, politically naïve and basically content to sit around engaging in intellectual masturbation while our rights are systematically stripped away from us.

My intention was not to spam anyone. I was simply trying to find a way for our side to go on the offense for once. We are always on the defensive while they (the religious folks) take shots at us.

I thought the Real Messiah was special because it is centered around a physical object which the author found in the Basilica di San Marco in Venice. It is universally understood to have been taken there by Italian sailors stole from the most ancient Church of St. Mark in Alexandria in the ninth century. Huller demonstrates that the throne goes back much further than that - i.e. all the way to the beginning of Christianity in Egypt.

In any event this throne is the real deal. It has an inscription written out in Hebrew letters and symbols which prove that Jesus was not the messiah of Christianity. Here are pictures of the throne:

We have to defeat the myth of Jesus Christ with another myth – a ‘rational myth’ to coin the language of Robert Price.

I am not asking you to ‘join my cause.’ I just want to defeat the oppressive ideas of Christianity with freedom and rational discourse. Is that really too much to ask?