Support LANMonkey via Patreon

Become a Patron! Please check out the fantastic perks of being a Patron by clicking the "Become a Patron" button above! Thank-you to our Patrons: Catches Her Arm, Anonymous, Mark Dowding, Mark Kavanaugh, Liane Scott, Scott & Jessie, & Valaina Maher!

Friday, 9 August 2019

Want Pro-Tips for Geocachers AND Muggles to Love Their Visit to BC, Canada?


Well then friend, you've come to the right place!
This Fall I will be making the first edition of "The Geocachers Handbook to Metro-Vancouver & the Fraser Valley" available to LANMonkey Patrons!
This book is the compilation of two years of effort of combining all the best geocaching and non-geocaching visitor experiences from the region. 




Painstaking research including colour photos of various highlights will assist the experienced and novice visitor to our beautiful region in understanding the local history, geography, transit & transportation, amenities, and family friendly attractions.


Oh, and did I forget to mention the geocaches? The book will highlight some real pro-tips on what the must find geocaches in a variety of categories are, and include tips from my personal experience on how to find them and what to expect on your adventure.

The book will be invaluable to any visitor, and is offered first to those who have invested in supporting my efforts to publish quality geocaching and travel adventure information and entertainment for the past several years.

Any level of Patreon support will have access to the book for download once it's ready for you later in 2019. 

However, to give you a taste of what's to come, here's an overview of the chapters of the book at the moment:


  1. The Cities and Suburbs
  2. Getting Here
  3. Must-Find Geocaches
  4. Where Geocaches & Attractions Overlap
  5. Best Secret Spots
  6. Getting Outside the Cities
  7. Free (and Discounted) Stuff
  8. Day (& Multi-Day) Trips from Here
  9. Other Resources & Contacts for Geocaching in South Western BC


The first chapter has already been made available to Patrons for download as an early thank-you for their support, and is available to any new Patrons.

If you are curious about how to access this once it's published, follow our social media channels @LANMonkeyGC on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, or better yet, sign up as a Patron and support the work, plus get other great patron bonuses & perks!


LANMonkey's Geocaching Adventures are written by Jay Kennedy, outdoor adventurer and photo-journalist. All content is affiliated with the Wander Network. Experience his adventures on Twitter and Instagram by following @LANMonkeyGC, and subscribing to LANMonkey on YouTube. He is also a regular co-host of the Caching in the Northwest geocaching podcast.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

GeoWoodstock XVIII (or, you know, 18)

It's possible you haven't heard yet.
It's more likely you've heard the news, but have lots of questions.

Either way, you've come to a great place to get started on the topic of GeoWoodstock XVIII!

The reason for that is I am one of the four lead planners who have been working on this since summer 2018. We have been growing a super team of volunteers (PS: we will be calling for MORE volunteers shortly), and are extremely excited to be welcoming Geocachers from around the world to the first GeoWoodstock hosted in Canada.


Why is it in August?

Traditionally, GeoWoodstock events have occurred primarily in May or July, on US long-weekends. This time, GeoWoodstock XVIII will be hosted on August 22, 2020, exactly one week after the August 15 "20th Anniversary Celebration" event in Seattle.

It's pretty cool to consider that the Pacific NorthWest will be hosting a week-long GeoExtravaganza unlike anything that has occurred here before. 

Geocachers can travel to Seattle for an unprecedented party at Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle!) and then the next day head east to the Going APE mega event and enjoy the cool summer walk through the 2 mile long Tunnel of Light to claim the APE cache there!

If that isn't enough, detour south on Monday and stake your claim on the Original Stash (don't forget to ask the GPS spirits for increased battery life!) and then make your way northwards for the events leading up to GeoWoodstock XVIII on Saturday, August 22.


Why is it in Canada?

The honour and responsibility of hosting a GeoWoodstock event is sought out by those interested in taking that on through a bid process, which is well defined on the GeoWoodstock.org website

Our team decided we would take the chance of putting our "hat in the ring" and put together a bid, following the processes. Being Canadians, our intention was to host it at home, and we built a working relationship with TRADEX, a fantastic event venue in Abbotsford, BC.

At the end of the bid review process, our team was awarded the opportunity to host, on the date and in the location we had proposed.

As mentioned earlier, the location also makes this a fantastic opportunity for geocachers to experience the GeoExtravaganza week of events and possibly make their first visit to British Columbia, Canada (that's 2 souvenirs if you haven't been here before!). This is made really easy by our venue proximity to Seattle, Vancouver, and several international airports.


OK, So How Do I Find Out More?

This blog was intended to give you a taste of what's coming and some key info, but what I really want to do is point you to the key resources that will give you timely information on-going for GeoWoodstock XVIII.

Here's the four "pro tips" I can offer you!

  1. Are you thinking you'll come? Start by logging your "will attend" at GC86VDF.
  2. Want to make sure you don't miss ANY important info? Sign up for the newsletter!
  3. Looking for a comprehensive source of all event, travel, regional, and geocaching information? Visit the GeoWoodstock website (active starting June 20, 2019)
  4. Want to get regular audio updates? Follow the Caching in the NorthWest podcast; the official podcast of GeoWoodstock XVIII!



Want to get exclusive inside scoops on geocaching in the Fraser Valley and the Pacific NorthWest? All kinds of amazing perks are available to LANMonkey patrons - check it out on our Patreon site.



Monday, 1 April 2019

Is Geocaching HQ Losing Signal?

Unofficial sources* from HQ have leaked that the official retirement of Signal is coming soon.

"With 2020 being the 20th year of Geocaching, we feel it is time to let Signal finish on a high note, and we are looking to a new mascot for the game."

While many are shocked at this announcement, the fact that a new Signal Tribute GeoArt was just published this morning in the Seattle area seems like confirmation.




Signal has become iconic with this game so many are wondering who the new mascot will be, and also why the seemingly sudden decision to retire the beloved mascot.

With respect to the timing, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of geocaching in 2020, unofficial sources have also shared that "since the average lifespan of a frog is a max of 10 years, Signal has had a really full and long work life and is excited to move into retirement."

When queried about who the new mascot might be, we were told that everything is being kept tightly under wraps, but in conjunction with Signal's official retirement party on April 1, 2020, the new mascot will be announced.

Rumours have also spread that apparent problems with the official city bird of Seattle being the Great Blue Heron which is known to sustain itself on frogs, there was a long-standing optics issue that was planning to be addressed.

Speculation around the new mascot include:

  • A squirrel named "Stasher" who hides away geocaches
  • A seagull named "Sqwak" who is iconic of how geocachers demolish donuts at events
  • A salmon named "Slips" who labours his way up creeks in continual mortal peril


Inquiries about this story should not be directed to anyone at Geocaching HQ, and can be sent to LANMonkey.

*Sources are unofficial because today is April 1st. I'll let you figure out the rest.

Friday, 26 October 2018

So Much Geocaching Talk!

First off, let me be clear I'm not complaining!

That out of the way, I'm in fact sincerely thankful to have had the rare opportunity this week to appear on four different geocaching podcasts in one week. 

For those interested, here's the quick recap and links to each show.



Day Podcast Topic Link!
Monday Podcacher Upvoting Logs http://www.podcacher.com/show-651-0-geocaching-log-upvotes/
Wednesday Geocaching Podcast Favourite Caching Apps http://geocachingpodcast.com/gcpc-episode-534-useful-apps-for-geocaching/
Thursday GeoGearheads Earthcaching http://cacheamaniacs.com/ggh-356-earthcaches-iii
Thursday Caching in the Northwest Geocaching in Utah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zy_nrVm2sg


If you'd like a little more insight into the process and contents before you click through to the links, here's the brief synopsis for each podcast appearance.


Podcacher:

I was contacted by my friends at Podcacher and asked, as a Canadian Geocacher, if I had any thoughts on the new upvoting innovation on geocaching logs. Of course I do! 

I offered to record some content for them and they graciously accepted and played it in show 651 (can you believe they have recorded over 650 episodes!!!). 

This episode contains some interesting and diverse opinions and feedback on upvoting from geocachers in Canada and Norway, the two countries where upvoting is currently enabled.

Take a listen to Podcacher episode 651, and check out log upvoting. Share YOUR thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and please tag @LANMonkeyGC so I can hear what you think!


Geocaching Podcast:

In case you hadn't heard, the Gecoaching Podcast is back from the summer hiatus with a new format and (almost) the same hosts. Andy has retired from the show after contributing to it's success for several years, and Scott Berks and Taz427 are now joined by ShortyKnits.

The new format is a call in show - each week the hosts pick a different topic and encourage listeners to call in and share their thoughts, live on the air!

This week the topic was "Useful Apps for Geocaching" and there were some great ones shared. Check it out; if you didn't hear your favourite, or want to weigh in on that conversation, share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, and again, please tag me so I can hear what you have to say.


GeoGearheads:

Chris of the Northwest and DarrylW4 contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I could fill in for Darryl (can anyone really ever fill in for Darryl?!) and talk about Earthcaches

Of course I can! And since GeoGearheads tends to be technology and innovation focused, I thought it would be fun to throw in a news story about China creating artificial moons to orbit the earth, and then dig into the numbers and stats about the 2018 International Earthcache Weekend.

This led to Chris and I each sharing some interesting stories about our adventures finding our Earthcaches for the souvenir that weekend.

I also answered a listener's question and gave some top tips about my own process/workflow for creating new Earthcaches. We then provided an update on the status of the GSA's Earthcache Academy.

Did you get your souvenir? Do you have questions about creating Earthcaches? I'd love to hear about your adventures, or your thoughts about Earthcaches. Again, please share those thoughts on Facebook or Twitter and don't forget to tag me in your post so I can make sure I read it!


Caching in the Northwest:

Last, but surely not least (?), is the podcast closest to my heart, the one I spend every Thursday night with my close and awesome friends WitzEnd and Chris of the Northwest.

This week on CachingNW we had show Patrons CampClan join us to talk about their recent adventure of going Geocaching in the amazing state of Utah. Having completed the Visit Utah Geotour myself, I had lots to share and discuss with them.

The timing couldn't be better as I had just received my official Utah GeoAmbassador jacket that very night and was able to wear it proudly during the podcast!

They shared their adventure of finding Potter's Pond on the cusp of winter, and some of the places they explored on their adventures. We then "shifted gears" to chat a bit about bike share services available in several cities, and how those can be used for Geocaching.

Have you visited Utah and have thoughts or pictures to share? Have you tried Geocaching using a bike or scooter share service? We're really curious to hear more about your experiences and opinions; share them on Twitter and Facebook, and remember to tag me @LANMonkeyGC so I can read all about it!


The Week of the Monkey


So in summary, a very busy but fun week in podcasting for me, and I am so thankful to each of the hosts/producers for making time to include me and my thoughts on their podcasts. 



I hope you enjoy listening to each, and make sure that you let the podcast hosts know what you think about their episodes.

And until we chat next, cache safely and cache often!

LANMonkey's Geocaching Adventures are written by Jay Kennedy, outdoor adventurer and photo-journalist. All content is affiliated with the Wander Network. Experience his adventures on Twitter and Instagram by following @LANMonkeyGC, and subscribing to LANMonkey on YouTube. He is also a regular co-host of the Caching in the Northwest geocaching podcast.


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Nor-Way to Go! Episodes 3 & 4 of Geocaching Adventures

It's time to share our insider info on Geocaching Adventures Season 1 - Episodes 3 & 4 from artful Oslo, Norway.

In case you've missed those episodes, you can watch them here!

Episode 3 - Norway to Go!
 

 Episode 4 - Art Attack!



Where Did We Go?


We explored the city of Norway; in episode 3 we explored entirely on foot from our hotel near Munchs Gate and Keysers Gate, right by the virtual cache "Grass Roots Square" featured in episode 3. 

Most of what you'll see in episode 3 is from walking through City Hall area and down to the waterfront near the new virtual rewards geocache "Oslo City Hall - V&V #27."

We followed the shoreline to the South-East and that's where you'll most of the sights we shared in that episode.
 
Some of the key places we visited are:


In episode 4, we used the Oslo Hop On - Hop Off tour bus to explore our way around a larger part of the beautiful city.

The tour buses run a standard pattern; effectively a loop that is clearly illustrated on their website. 

In the 4th episode we took you along to:

Vigelandsparken (Vigeland Statues Park)
Norsk Folkelmuseum
Norwegian Maritime Museum
Oslo Opera House
Jernbanetorget


What Geocaches Did We Find?


Here's a list per episode of key geocaches we found. Good news - there's been several more virtual reward caches placed in Oslo since we visited. OK, good news for YOU planning a trip there, or perhaps for us, since I'd love an excuse to go back!






Want to Know More?


If you have questions, please post them in the comments section below, or use Twitter @LANMonkeyGC and I'm happy to do my best to answer them.



If there is something else that would be helpful or interesting to you, please make sure to leave a comment. If you enjoyed it, please make sure to share it on social media and use @LANMonkeyGC so I can thank you.




LANMonkey's Geocaching Adventures are written by Jay Kennedy, outdoor adventurer and photo-journalist. All content is affiliated with the Wander Network. Experience his adventures on Twitter and Instagram by following @LANMonkeyGC, and subscribing to LANMonkey on YouTube. He is also a regular co-host of the Caching in the Northwest geocaching podcast.



 

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Contest Alert! The Caching in the Northwest BCGA Bonanza!

Wow - just LOOK at that pile of BCGA swag!


10th anniversary geocoins, caching bags, and pathtags - all to be won by some lucky geocachers who find the Caching in the Northwest podcast hosts at GeocoinFest 2018.


Are you planning to attend any of the activities around GeocoinFest2018 in Issaquah, WA?

To be entered to win a share of this great BCGA swag, all you need to do is:


  • Ask nicely for a draw ticket!

  • Take both halves of your draw ticket to the Caching in the Northwest booth inside the historic Pickering Barn at the GeocoinFest2018 Mega Event (GC7CX8F) by noon, Sunday September 30.

  • Drop half of your ticket into the draw bucket then and there.
 
We'll make the drawing shortly after 12:00 noon - be present to win!

Special thanks to the GeocoinFest2018 organizing committee and the WSGA for allowing us to have a booth, and to run this free draw!
 
That's it! I hope I get a chance to meet you at GeocoinFest2018 - say hi, ask for a draw ticket, and let me know what you think about the podcast, my blog, or YouTube videos.

And most importantly -

"Cache safely, and cache often!"



LANMonkey's Geocaching Adventures are written by Jay Kennedy, outdoor adventurer and photo-journalist. All content is affiliated with the Wander Network. Experience his adventures on Twitter and Instagram by following @LANMonkeyGC, and subscribing to LANMonkey on YouTube. He is also a regular co-host of the Caching in the Northwest geocaching podcast.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Geocaching Adventures - The Golden Circle

Here's the behind the scenes info on Geocaching Adventures - The Golden Circle. It's episode two of season one, and our second full day in Iceland.

If you haven't caught this episode yet, here it is so you can get caught up.



Where  Did We Go?

In this episode we spent the day on the Golden Circle Tour. This is likely the most popular tour you take take in Iceland as it hits all the major well known attractions in one day. 

The route involves "circling" the southern part of the island nation on the major highway system, taking you from Reykjavik to Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir National Park. There are plenty other stops of interest along the way, and the highway route "circles" you back to Reykjavik. 

This does take a full day in order to maximize the enjoyment of the stops, so plan for that.

Here's some more info on where we stopped:
 An interesting point is that we did the tour "backwards" to what many tour organizers do, but it worked out best that way; Gullfoss and Geysir can get very crowded in the later afternoons.

A pano shot of Thingvellir National Park from the upper parkade and observation deck.
 

What Geocaches Did We Find?



There were some other caches, including a WhereIGo that requires you to visit multiple parks in the Golden Circle to complete it and find the cache.

What Else Did We See?

 
We made a couple other interesting stops, including one to visit with some Icelandic horses. These creatures are pretty fascinating not only because extremely strict breeding and import/export laws allow them to be the only breed of horse bred here, but also because they have a unique "pace" they travel at that other horses cannot. 

There was a stop in the morning at a small market with a fantastic deli along Highway 1 before we made the long stretch out to Gullfoss.

Want to Know More?


If you have questions, please post them in the comments section below, or use Twitter @LANMonkeyGC and I'm happy to do my best to answer them.

Are you interested in planning this trip yourself? Well you can rent a car and drive it - all roads are quite passable. Or, Google "Golden Circle Iceland" and you'll get tons of options.


If there is something else that would be helpful or interesting to you, please make sure to leave a comment. If you enjoyed it, please make sure to share it on social media and use @LANMonkeyGC so I can thank you.




LANMonkey's Geocaching Adventures are written by Jay Kennedy, outdoor adventurer and photo-journalist. All content is affiliated with the Wander Network. Experience his adventures on Twitter and Instagram by following @LANMonkeyGC, and subscribing to LANMonkey on YouTube. He is also a regular co-host of the Caching in the Northwest geocaching podcast.