Monday, August 31, 2015

Menu Planning Monday 8/31/15

Monday - Hamburgs, Copycat Texas Roadhouse Steak Fries

Texas Roadhouse Copycat Recipe

Serves: 4

1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds), with skin on
2 tablespoons peanut oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine paprika, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Seal bag and shake to mix.

Cut each potato in half then each half into 4 flat wedges. Add peanut oil and potatoes to seasoning in bag then close tightly and shake to coat well.  Spread potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until fork-tender. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and serve immediately.

Notes: Sure, you can peel the potatoes if you want, but we like the extra crunchiness of the skin. Besides, the skin is good for us!

Tuesday - Taco Night
    Set out as make your own.  Ingredients:
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Quesadillas
  • Seasoned ground beef
  • refried beans
  • salsa
  • guacamole
  • black beans
  • sour cream
Wednesday - Church Dinner

Thursday Night -  Pulled Pork, Roasted Potato Salad, Broccoli

Perfect Pulled Pork | Kevin & Amanda's Recipes
The recipe calls for soaking the pork in a brine, then coating it in a dry rub, and slow roasting it.

Dry Rub

1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 cup brown sugar

Roasted Potato Salad
Toss the potato chunks in oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Roast.
I love to use Hickory Smoked Bacon - I bake that while the potatoes are roasting
Then it's best with home made mayo - but whatever you typically use to make your potato salad will work.

Friday Night - Football night - Eat Out/Calzones at home
For away games, we eat out in the town of the football game, but I'll make sticky buns for breakfast, calzones for lunch, with an extra calzone for my son and his friends to eat after the game, if they end up here.   

This weeks restaurant - 
    Our favorite restaurant in Muncy is the Main Street Grill, but they take a long vacation each year, to visit greece, and do not reopen until September 10th.
    So we're still deciding between Haywoods, and the Country Store Cafe.  I think we're leaning towards the Country Store right now - I love their soft pretzels.

Saturday - Soup & Sandwiches
Hungarian Mushroom Soup (From the freezer)
Leftover pulled pork sandwiches

Sunday - Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings - stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Geocaching Favorites

After a semi disappointing trip the train trestle cache, I started thinking about caches that truly have taken me to beautiful views.  I can't remember all of them, but I'm starting a list so I can remember in the future.  :-)

We live in Central Pa, so most of our favorites are nearby - although we do travel the state a fair bit.  

I have a photo album of interesting geocaches here:

What A View!

Sharp's Ridge
High Above The Rest
Columbia Hill Summit
Hickory Run Boulder Field
Canyon Vista Trail
The Glens Of Ricketts Glen
Rider Vista
Shikellamy Scenic Look Out

Historical Spots
CCC Museum - also a GREAT container!

Pennsylvania Oddities
Graffiti Highway
Scripture Rocks
Land Of Oz
Wilson's Home
Galloping Ghost

Fun & Interesting 
Raiders Of The Lost Cache
Lewisburg Bookswap Cache (find the cache, swap a book!)
Flea Market Find (great container!)
Old Trolls (Great container)

Gadget Caches
Betwixt & Between 6 & 5
How's The Fishing  & Where'D The Cache Go (2 locations, same gadget)
  Slide Me Up The Pipe
  Float Your Cache
The Answer Is The Key (A WVTIM copycat cache)

Evil Hides (super tricky containers)
Nature's Totem Pole

Interesting Caches That I Don't Personally Love

Fools Gold (find the container, then sort through a bunch of little containers inside to find the log)
Train Trestle Falls

An Early Geocaching Diary

As I was cleaning up our old geocaching blog and moving the posts over to this blog, I found a few posts that show how much geocaching has changed in this area over the years...  I combined them here, in a sort of early geocaching diary - 

Our 100th Cache - 12/25/06

We started geocaching the first week of September in this year, 2006. Our goal, once we knew how much we loved this, was to find 100 caches by the end of the year.

Saturday, December 23rd, we headed to the Berwick Boulevard to see the Christmas lights, but mapped out a route to geocache along the way. Bloomsburg has some of the most creative containers we've come across yet.

We found our 100th cache, launched our first coin, and our first travel bug, all in one day. :-)

Two FTF's, in the dark, tonight! 12/30/06

Yes, we are addicts. We got home tonight from a family gathering and saw that MrsPg had posted #2 of her three new caches in Milton. (We're so happy Milton finally has some caches on the map!) So we loaded the coordinates and grabbed a good flashlight, and off we went. VERY easy find. Datruck is taking bets on how long it takes for this one to be muggled, but it's not in the "main area" like you'd think, so it might be ok?

We come home from this FTF (First To Find) and I have a new email from that there is a NEW cache posted 4 miles from our house! That means we now officially have a geocache closer to us than any store or gas station. :-) We head back out, with the flashlights and new coords.. on the way there we are commenting that we SHOULD be FTF, how many others would be out in the dark, right after this is posted? To which datruck immediately said "Gr8dnz". Uh huh, we pulled in to see his jeep parked there. No surprise. He didn't think the coordinates were quite right though, and was looking off to the side. We checked our coords, and it ended with Datruck & Gr8dnz reaching for the cache, a micro, at the exact same time. I'm telling you, this sport is just plain fun!

The littlest truck got the FTF prize, lottery tickets. We let him rub them off - we didn't win, but we had fun standing outside catching up with a fellow

cacher. He passed off two coins to ldtruck too, making his day. That boy LOVES coin icons almost as much as his mom. 

When we came home (no, no more caches tonight!) we stopped and got our mail, and our unite for diabetes travel bug was here. What a good 
geocaching day!

The Anti Geocacher
In 2006 there was a woman on a mission to remove all geocaches - she would go out to find them, and destroy them.  In 2015 her blog has moved, I don't know what ever happened to her -

FTF - 1/1/2007

We weren't actually expecting this one to be a FTF, but it was. :-) This cache, and MrsPG#3 are on our way to my parents house, where we were having New Years dinner, so we did both caches along the way. I love Covered Bridges, and my kids don't mind stopping and posing with them if they get to look for a cache too.
We were hoping to leave a bug or coin here, but nothing we had fit. :-(
We did leave Poly at MrsPG3. That cache is literally right down the road from my parents house.
Tomorrow we are doing some shopping AND going to Middleburg for the livestock auction. We'll be kind of all over, and have several caches ready to load on the GPS. :-)

Caching With Droids


If you look at the iphone app on the site, at the very bottom of the page, it says 
"We will be introducing a version of the application for Android in Q1 of 2010." YAY!

Until then, we use geobeagle combined with Radar.  We've been out twice this week, with two droids and a garmin, and the droids were just as accurate as the garmin every time.  The readings were almost exactly the same, although on the droids we are learning our metric.

Install both.  Then open geobeagle and start caching! 

 You can pre-load caches, which is nice and a little faster, but it's never necessary, you can cache anywhere you are with no pre-planning.  Under settings, choose map to see the caches around you.  There's a link to go right to the webpage to read the details if you do not have the caches preloaded

If Caches Are NOT Pre-Loaded - 
  1. choose
  2. Android will go to a list of caches near you, choose one
  3. On the cache page, scroll down to "for online maps" (it will be right above where the logs begin)
  4. Choose google maps (this is the trickiest part, tapping the right link with them so close together!  LOL!)
  5. Android will ask you what to open it with, choose geobeagle from the list
It will then go to a screen like the black one below.  From there you can view the map, use the arrow to navigate  once you are close, and the webpage link will take you to the page to log the cache.  (the "log cache" button will enable you to log using SMS, but we have never done that...  I just go to the website and log from there)

To Load Caches Ahead Of Time - 
  1. generate a pocket query as normal (you must be a premium member at to do this)
  2. download the file on your computer.  (emailing it to your phone does not work well for some reason)
  3. hook your droid up to your computer.  (remember to then pull down the top shade like you are checking your new messages, and choose "mount"
  4. Place the zip file on your phone.  
  5. unmount, disconnect
  6. Open geobeagle, choose the settings button (always the second button over that is a bunch of lines like a paragraph, to the left of the house) and choose cache list
  7. Then press settings again and choose "sync/sdcard/download"
  8. Now you will have a list of all the caches in your pocket query, and from the black screen above, you can choose details and read about the cache without going to the website.  No need to go to the site and open googlemaps either - it will load right from the list.  

Whatever Happened To Ammo Boxes?  May 11 2011

We were out caching today, for the first time in awhile.  Some of the caches were fun.  Some..  not so much.  

Why does everyone think it's a great idea to hide a bison tube in the woods these days?  What happened to hiding containers you wanted people to find?  I'm not opposed to bison tubes, and I prefer my caches to be in the woods rather than on a stop sign..  but a bison tube in the woods is a tricky thing.  It needs a good hint, or extremely precise coordinates.  Here IS a hint - it's hard to get extremely precise  coordinates in a dense patch of woods.    And looking at 50 different sticks to see which one the cache is hidden in, just really isn't that much fun.  It's NOT the same as a creative container. It's been done.  Over done.  Move on to something more unique, or go back to the basics, please. 

 Whatever happened to ammo boxes?

Odds & Ends - August 4, 2011

I realized when I logged in here this morning that I never finished posting about our week at geowoodstock, nor the pics.. and I haven't posted about finding our first Munzee.  I don't think I've even posted the pics from this years ASP geobash...

It's been a very busy summer!  Not a lot of geocaching the past year, for us. We find a few here and there..  but mainly when we go to events these days.  It's actually harder with the kids older, and going in dozens of directions (all of which we have already cached pretty thoroughly) every day, to make time for geocaching.  Maybe this fall will be better.

I know a lot of others are saying Munzees will never catch on because they do not take you to the awesome places geocaching does..  but for me, the smartphone addict, I LOVE the idea of them, and think I would prefer them to geocaching these days, if I could add pics and comments about the locations.  I think they can take us to awesome places, just like geocaches do - and the simplicity of scanning them to log them..  I love that it eliminates the cheating, the log replacing, the logging..  I really love the idea.  It does need some work in the application, it's still new.

Next up for us is the geobash in Bloom later this month.  We love that event - Joe always has some great hides, and Datruck is hoping for some more night caches, those are his favorites.

Our Journey to the Train Trestle Falls Geocache

At the Train Trestle

Earlier this summer we had the opportunity to visit the geocache with the most favorite points in PA - which at the time was Raiders Of the Lost Cache.  When I posted on You Might Be A Geocacher If..  that we were headed there, several commented that they much preferred the Train Trestle Falls Cache, and that is was the most scenic, beautiful, cache they had ever been to - with a tunnel, trestle, amazing view, and waterfalls.  More than one person could not believe it had so few favorite points, compared to other caches.

So I immediately added it to my "want to go there" list.

It was only a few weeks later that we heard of a geocaching wedding taking place half way between this geocache, and where we live. A bike trail I had been wanting to do was also nearby (The Little Toby Bike Trail).  So we loaded up the tent and the bikes, and made a week-end out of it.

We made a wrong turn headed to the cache and turned back a little dirt lane, which was then gated with a sign denoting private property.  We had to back back out the lane to get out.

This is what the actual parking location looks like:

To the far right, out of this photo, there was a short, mildly steep, trail leading up to the top of this wall.

 The view from the to of the wall.  Not pictured here are piles of trash, a campfire area, and many other signs that made it clear this is a popular party location.  I was glad to be back out of here in the afternoon - I don't think this is where I would want to be on a Saturday night - just not my thing.  :-)

A very short walk back a pretty trail led us to the entrance to the tunnel.
The cache description is clear, and repetitive - BRING YOUR FLASHLIGHT.  Probably not the one on your phone.  We had our spotlight along, and were happy to have it, in the middle of the afternoon.  The description is also clear that you might get your feet wet - especially if you don't have a flashlight.  I didn't hesitate to wear flip flops, because I didn't care if my feet were wet - but if I went back I'd wear boots.  Not because of the water, but because of all the trash floating in the water.

It's so cool in the tunnel.  Almost immediately you escape the heat.

About half way through I had the fleeting thought that if this tunnel collapsed on us, no one knew where we were.  The tunnel appeared to be pretty secure - but there was no cell phone signal anywhere in the area, and we really should have made sure someone knew what we were doing.  This is true of so many of our trips...

  The tunnel is long - much longer than it appears in photos.  Maybe a quarter of a mile long?


 You come out of the tunnel to a small area, right before the train trestle.  In early spring, or winter, the view would probably be more impressive.  Walking out on the tracks would have allowed us to see more of the creek - but it didn't feel smart, after remembering that no one knew we were out here.. and I couldn't envision the view being great.  I was also thinking about all of the recent articles about being on these train tracks being tresspassing...  it just felt wrong to be out there.  I did venture out a few feet before deciding the view wasn't really worth it.

There were trails to the left, and to the right.  We explored the one on the left, away from the cache, to see if there was a better view (no) and found a campsite and more signs of partying.  Then we headed to the right, towards the "waterfalls" and the cache.

Spoiler alert - there were no waterfalls.  Not even "cascades".  Nothing of the sort.  :-(

Other cachers talked about the view - I'm thinking they were there in the winter?  In the summer, this is the view of the creek from the path - 

The actual cache is easy to find - but hard to get to.  It's STRAIGHT up a steep hill.

Then it was back to the tunnel - 

All in all, it was just really disappointing, because I had the cache so elevatedin my head.  I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had NOT been told about it, if no one had raved about how awesome and beautiful it was, I might have been more impressed. For me, it felt a lot like tresspassing, was dirty, and not even close to one of the 50 most beautiful spots I've been in PA - let alone THE most beautiful.


We only had a few hours to spend in the area, and there are so many interesting caches here.  The ones we did really enjoy included:

Scripture Rocks - read the cache description. This is one of those PA Oddities that I love, and never knew about.  I love that geocaching takes us to places like this!

This series of PVC caches area fun, simple, gadget caches that we enjoyed very much:

We didn't get to this one - but I really wish we had!  It was raining a bit, and dark, so we skipped it.  :-(
It has 110 favorite points, as of 8/23/15 -

We did stop by this one - and although it's a pretty spot, and I enjoyed stopping there, I am unsure how it merited 72 favorite points?  It must be on location alone - which was nice - I do enjoy caches taking me to locations like this.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Geocaching Challenges

What Is A Challenge Cache?
   A challenge cache requires that geocachers meet a geocaching-related qualification or series of tasks before the challenge cache can be logged.  

Please note: Beginning April 21, 2015, a one-year moratorium is in effect on all new "challenge cache" submissions. This includes cache submissions that contain optional challenges. It does not impact previously published challenge cache listings. -

This challenge checker lists a lot, but not all, of the challenges -

Challenges In Pennsylvania - 

Map Challenges - typically based on the county level:
Fizzy Challenges - one cache representative for each of the 81 terrain and difficulty ratings:
Century Challenges - typically finding 100 caches with some common attribute:
Alphabet Challenges - finding caches with names for each letter of the alphabet:
Other Challenges:
* Denotes Challenges we have qualified for

From the groundspeak website - 
Additional points to consider when creating a challenge cache:
  1. Challenge caches must contain the word "challenge" in the geocache name.
  2. Challenge caches are listed as the Mystery/Puzzle geocache type.
  3. A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions. Specifically:
    1. Challenge caches based on a specific list of geocaches, such as those placed by a specific person or group, will generally not be published.
    2. Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; geocaches found before the challenge geocache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge.
  4. Challenge caches need to be attainable at any time while the geocache is active.  A geocache that requires "100 multi-caches found in 2011" would not be publishable, as would not be attainable by someone new to the game.
  5. A Challenge cache based on non-accomplishments, such as DNFs, will not be published.
  6. One should not have to 'give up' finding other geocaches to achieve a challenge cache's requirements. To state that "10% of your find count needs to be Attended Logs" would require the geocacher to stop finding other types of geocaches and could affect their overall enjoyment of the game.
  7. Challenge caches may not require the publication or ownership of a geocache or waymark as a challenge criteria; challenge caches must be achievable by those who do not own geocaches or waymarks.
  8. Challenge caches must not require geocachers to log geocaches that are disabled or archived.
  9. A challenge cache should recognize the completion of a personal achievement, rather than the winner of a competition. For example, a challenge cache based on "First to Finds" is a competition between geocachers, and is therefore not publishable.
  10. A challenge cache must be attainable without the need to email the owner. The container should be located at the posted coordinates on the geocache page, or if a puzzle, the geocache page must include the means to calculate the coordinates of the container.
  11. If a challenge cache is submitted within an area where a similar challenge cache already exists, then it will need to have a unique list of qualifying criteria (geocaches, waymarks, etc.).
  12. Geocachers may sign a challenge cache's physical log at any time. However, the challenge cache may be logged as found online only after the log is signed and the challenge tasks have been met and documented.