Thursday, 16 February 2017

Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek - gslink

Thanks for your patience everyone!

And now LANMonkey's Geocaching Adventures proudly presents the next Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek - gslink!

gslink - also known to listeners of the Geocache Talk podcast as Gary Slinkard - has over 160 geocaches placed, and over 1,000 found. Most notably in the Texas Geocaching community, Gary annually hosts "The Great Hunt of Hunt County" geocaching event.

Most recently, Gary has joined the ranks of Geocaching authors with the publishing of his book "Hide & Seek: Life Lessons of a Geocacher." Follow the link to check out more about his book on Amazon; available in ebook and printed copy.

Gary has worked in IT for over 25 years and lives in Greenville, Texas which is just an hour east of Dallas. He grew up in San Antonio Texas and anyone who's heard him on the weekly Geocache Talk podcast Sunday evenings can attest to the fact he is indeed a Texan!

Gary loves to travel and will often be found on a #GeocacheRoadTrip with his wife of 28 years, "SlinkyMama."  Combined with his Geocaching activities, Gary has also been participating in Weight Watchers for the past two years and has lost 100 lbs!

However, even more importantly than their accomplishments in Geocaching, writing, and podcasting, gslink and SlinkyMama are the proud parents of three sons; Joshua and Caleb who are 27 and Nathan who is 21.


You can catch Gary every week on the Geocache Talk podcast and watch him live on YouTube Sunday evenings at 6:00pm. 

Do you know someone who deserves being recognized as a Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek? Let us know by commenting on this post or tweeting your nominee to @LANMonkeyGC #GeekoftheWeek

Monday, 30 January 2017

Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek - witzend

Welcome to our second edition of the Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek, this week featuring true Renaissance man - witzend.

witzend has been geocaching since 2004, where he found his first geocache while visiting his hometown for a high school reunion. While he enjoys the hobby and has passed on his enthusiasm to several others you may be surprised that his "find count" isn't among the top in his area. 

This is because he continually seeks out innovation, quality, and social aspects of geocaching over find counts. This is evidenced by having finds in 20 states and four countries, being a frequent familiar face at geocaching events, and being a proud owner of an A.P.E. icon.

Growing up in Southern California, witzend is a true Disneyland junkie but also considers the Northwest home as he's lived here his entire adult life. Living in the Northwest has allowed him access to people and places where he can enjoy some of his passions including camping, geocaching, photography/videography, amateur radio, and schuhplattler.  

Like we said - a true renaissance man who is a life-long learner and always making something new or improving on something in his garage which doubles as his podcasting studio. Of course, when not attending to family, work, or these hobbies, he's helping with the local amateur radio enthusiasts or working as a freelance videographer (including 20 years on the crew at the Puyallup Fair).

He is proudest however of his family - "My children have grown into amazing and wonderful adults in spite of my parenting and of course my wife of almost 29 years is a big reason for that."

You can catch witzend every week on the Caching in the Northwest podcast recorded live Thursday nights at 9:00pm Pacific on YouTube

Do you know someone who deserves being recognized as a Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek? Let us know by commenting on this post or tweeting your nominee to @LANMonkeyGC #GeekoftheWeek

Saturday, 28 January 2017

How to Get a Canadian TB Contest in 4 Easy Steps


How many of my fellow Geocachers are also tired of “residents of the USA only” Geocaching trackable promotions? Well, I’ve tried the route of complaining until I’m blue in the face and that didn’t work. But here’s an idea that will.

If all of us follow these four simple steps, we’ll get the attention of Canadian outdoors & activity retailers and soon have our very own Canadian Geocaching Trackable promotion. Who knows, maybe we’ll even let the Americans play?


  1. Share the Message on Facebook and Twitter


Sample Twitter Messages:
Hey @MEC want a deep reach to 30k #Canadian #outdoor enthusiasts? Try a #geocaching TB promotion! https://www.geocaching.com/promotions/

@CanadianTire DYK there’s 30,000 active #outdoor enthusiasts across #Canada you could get to promote your message? https://www.geocaching.com/promotions/


Sample Facebook Messages:
There’s a huge marketing success secret that @TimHortons doesn’t know! Like and share if you agree they could get 30,000 Canadians passionately sharing their message if they launched a #Geocaching Trackable promotion! https://www.geocaching.com/promotions/

Like and share if you think @CanadianTire should launch a #Canadian #Geocaching trackable promotion for us 30,000+ awesome Canuck geocachers, eh! https://www.geocaching.com/promotions/


2. Make Sure to Attach a Picture

It’s a proven fact that photos add “stickiness” to tweets and posts, and attract more attention. Check through this post for some pictures you can use, but don’t let me limit your awesome creativity!



3.  Support Each Other!

If you see one of these posts or tweets from a fellow Geocacher, make sure to like, repost, retweet, etc. the message. The more activity these messages have the more the target companies will pay attention.

4. Share Your Awesome Ideas


I KNOW you’re smarter than I am, so if you can think of other companies we could all be targeting these messages to, share your ideas with all of us Canadian Geocachers by using the hashtags #Geocaching and #TrackableCanada on Twitter, and posting to Facebook groups like You Might be a Geocacher if…and the other various Geocaching online groups.


The more of us that get active posting these messages, and the more likely sponsors we target, the better our odds of finally getting a CANADIAN trackable promotion launched, and hey, what better year than our 150th Birthday!


Monday, 23 January 2017

Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek - DarrylW4

Welcome to our very first Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek feature!


Today's #GeekoftheWeek is darrylW4, host of the GeoGeardHeads podcast.


Darryl is acknowledged as an authority on Geocaching and geo-location technologies, and shares his insights on these topics weekly on the Thursday evening GeoGearHeads podcast with his co-host Chris of the Northwest and various guests.

What may be lesser known is that Darryl also loves cycling, and started in the podcasting world talking about cycling. His love of photography has also brought him to be at the leading edge of 360 video and photography, as well as real-time video social media technologies like Periscope for sharing his geocaching adventures.

Through the GeoGearHeads podcast listeners are introduced to great ideas in the geekier side of Geocaching including 3D printing, caching in education, puzzle caching, and many other topics.

In 2016, Darryl & Chris interviewed the hosts of several other Geocaching related podcasts to provide a "behind the scenes" look at how the podcasts came to be, and are made. You can check out the Geocaching Podcast Profiles at this link.  


Perhaps lesser known outside of the geocaching podcaster community is how much Darryl has helped other podcasters get started and tune their shows through his own knowlege and experience. 

Check out GeoGearHeads live every Thursday at 9:10pm Eastern or 6:10pm Pacific on YouTube. You can subscribe to the audio version of the podcast through iTunes, Play, RSS, or Stitcher, watch the shows on YouTube, and check them out on FaceBook, Google+, and Twitter.

Do you know someone who deserves being recognized as a Geocaching #GeekoftheWeek? Let us know by commenting on this post or tweeting your nominee to @LANMonkeyGC #GeekoftheWeek


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Alaskan Caching Cruise - Day 5: Glacier Bay

Well this took a little longer to get posted, but here we are.

OK, back to the adventure. Departing our most northern port of call in Skagway, we next headed further north into Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. As we first made our way into the park the clouds and fog were thick and we were quite concerned we'd not see some of the amazing sights we were hoping for.

Never-minding the weather, like a true Canadian, I bundled up after breakfast and went out on the lower bow viewing area to enjoy the salt air on my face and the beauty of the North.

As we continued northward, naturalists from the US Parks Service on board the ship (live, from the Crow's Nest coffee lounge) began sharing stories of the area, local heritage, and wildlife.

We passed grey whales, puffins, and increasing chunks of ice as the bay and fjords slowly narrowed on our way to Margerie Glacier.

At first the glaciers we could see (Reid, Lamplaugh) seemed quite distant from the boat, but were still spectacular to view. Would this be as close as we'll get to the glaciers here? We had hoped to get up close to Johns Hopkins Glacier but had been told that due to seal calving season we couldn't enter the fjord.

The ship took a slow and steady pace continuing northwards, and the weather continued to get better and better, and the views increasingly beautiful.

And soon we were able to take in the sight of the Johns Hopkins Glacier dipping into the Pacific - even from a distance a spectacular sight that brought a hush to the outside of the ship - all you could hear were shutters snapping and admirers whispering to each other.


The striped colours created by rock stripped from the mountains moved along in this glacier brought so many of the earthcaches (glacial erratics, anyone?) I've worked through before to life in a vivid and unforgettable way.

And onwards yet we cruised past more amazing glacial sights as us lucky passengers were held spellbound by these arctic wonders.


And soon we had arrived at our final stop; our most northerly waypoint of the cruise, Margerie Glacier. Extending through both Canada and the US into the icy waters of Glacier Bay, this was not only an amazing place to stop, but the ship was able to actually get very close to the glacier.


We stayed here for about an hour at this point. The sun was out in full, and many were debating whether to grab lunch, or just stand on the deck in amazement. Well, Mrs. LANMonkey and two of her new Geocaching friends decided the best option was to quickly go back to the cabins, and then return ready to complete the Earthcache here.
 

Oh, did I mention they were working on the Earthcache from the hot tub?

Now THAT'S cruise-ship geocaching in style!

So after enjoying ourselves at Marjorie Glacier, it was time for lunch as our ship began it's way back south. South, and eventually home, but not before one last Alaskan port of call.

Next stop?

Ketchikan!


Thanks for reading our blog, and stay tuned as the adventures continue!

Cache safely, and cache often.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

#WhosTheBear - 2016 Lackey Geocoin Contest

#WhosTheBear @LANMonkey 2016 Lackey GeoCoin Contest!

We have a new mascot in the LANMonkey studios, and he’s looking to make you a deal; If you can share a winning name for him on social media* (Twitter/Facebook) he’ll get you the 2016 Lackey Geocoin courtesy of Worldcaching.

Have you seen the 2016 Lackey Coin? Would you like to have your very own?
Help us name the bear in LANMonkey studios and you could be the winner of a 2016 Lackey Coin thanks to Worldcaching.

Share your suggestion for the name of the bear on Twitter or Facebook but be sure to use the hashtag #WhosTheBear and include @LANMonkeyGC through the month of October.

Mrs. LANMonkey and I will go through all the entries on Monday, October 31st and share the winner on our YouTube channel, this blog, and the Caching in the Northwest podcast Nov 3rd.

Remember! To be entered you need to send your suggestions via Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #WhosTheBear and include @LANMonkeyGC - we are looking forward to your creative suggestions, and announcing a winner of that super cool geocoin thanks to contest sponsors Worldcaching.

*Please note we are allowing as many entries as you'd like to post, noting the character limit to Twitter.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Alaskan Caching Cruise - Day 4: All Aboard!

Having enjoyed our brief visit to the Yukon town of Carcross, it was almost time to climb aboard the White Pass & Yukon Railway train and head back to Skagway.

But before we get to that, a little bit of trivia for you. The town of Carcross was originally called "Cariboo Crossing" but because too many other towns were similarly named the residents elected to rename their community since the name confusion seemed to result in a lot of lost mail on it's way to them. 

One of the (many) great stories from this cruise was hearing from cacher IndigoDave from Ontario about how he and his new bride spent a summer in the 70's working in Whitehorse - and that Dave's job was as brakeman on the White Pass & Yukon Railway! So not only did he have experience with this line, but he was allowed to ride the engine all the way from Carcross to Bennet, BC. 

To hear that full story from IndigoDave himself, take a listen to this episode of the Caching in the Northwest podcast where we played the audio interview I conducted with Dave. Get it? Conducted? Train pun. Dave would appreciate that.

Well, at this point it was time to board the train, and as we got underway to our first stop of Bennett and rolled along the narrow gauge railway along the iconic mountain and lake scenery of the north, there were opportunities for the classic "comin' 'round the corner" train shots and many other amazing photos by all aboard.


We even had the opportunity to complete another Earthcache from aboard the train which was pretty amazing.

Soon enough we had arrived at the stop of Bennett BC - last stop before crossing the international border back into the USA, but more importantly from a historic standpoint, Bennett marks the NW end of the famous Chilkoot Trail - the only passage available through the mountains to Gold Rush prospectors.



Prospectors would need to amass one tonne of supplies here, as inspected by the North West Mounted Police (predecessors of the famous RCMP), to ensure they had enough supplies to last a full winter in the harsh conditions of the Yukon.







We toured what remains of the gold rush tent-town along the shores of the lake, then headed back to our train for the final and amazingly scenic ride back into Skagway.


If you ever find yourself in Skagway - geocaching or not - we highly recommend the White Pass and Yukon Railway experience from Carcross to Skagway.

Having completed some more touring about the town and a few more geocache finds, we headed back aboard ship. Tonight our ship pulls out and heads for Glacier Bay - tune in for the next blog highlighting that amazing part of our trip.