Quality vs. Quantity

Last summer “Best Bud Ed” and his family came to town and we invited them to stay with us for a few days.

While visiting, “Best Bud Ed” (who is also a GeoCacher) and I used the opportunity to do some “team caching”.  We hit a large percentage of the caches in Belle Plaine, Minnesota – and then we hit a number of them in Shakopee, Minnesota in and around Huber Park. 

Now, remember – “Best Bud Ed” hails from a pretty rural region of the northern portion of Minnesota.  He lives in a outer ring suburb of the Duluth area.  While Duluth itself is fairly “urban”, a few minutes outside of the urbanized area and you are DEEP in the heart of the unpopulated northern Minnesota wilderness with creeks, streams, rivers, rocky hills and forests.  Needless to say, his Geocaching experience has been slightly different than my own. 

Here is a typical email I have received from him about one of my cache finds…

From: “Best Bud Ed”
To: “Father of five”
Subject: Re: you there?

http://coord.info/GC2TQTM

Really?!?!  Terrain level one???  And in a parking lot on top of it???  I hope you were careful not to strain your index finger rolling down your window to get this cache.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.........

As an example, while caching in and around Huber Park, we were within walking distance of a “lamppost” cache.  In a metro area, lamppost caches are pretty common.  So, #3 of 5 (who was caching with us) and I decided to sit back and watch “Best Bud Ed” struggle to find a cache that (for someone who is used to “urban” caching) is about nothing more than adding another find (little to no challenge).  After a few minutes, Ed gave up and had #3 of 5 show him where it was at.  He shook his head in disbelief, and has not stopped razzing me about the ease of the “urban” caches.  Since then, he has been wanting me to join him, caching in and around his area. 

“Best Bud Ed” has coined the phrase “Quality vs Quantity” to define the caches in his area (and “Quantity vs Quality” to describe caches in the urban areas around me).  Last week, I got to experience firsthand what he meant.  I spent a couple of days at his place and he showed me around some of the local GeoCaching hot spots in and around his ‘hood.  Not only did we see some of his previous finds, we took on a “multi-cache” (the first one gives you directions on the second, the second gives you directions on a third, etc) that he had been saving for us to tackle together.

The first day we only took on a couple of “kid friendly” caches.

Enger’s Wedgie - GC1BB9P
Get to the “Finnish” line - GC1D0PQ

Then, on the second day, “Best Bud Ed” pulled out all the stops and we took on a bunch of caches – some he had previously found, and some he had not.

EC Cache / Elys Peak Climbers Parking Area Trail - GC178YH
Dark Passage - GC20AA
Lost Camp Cache 2 - GC13Z2G
Old Symbol or Carving - GC15H99
Larry’s Pencil Box - GCKWZ
Lost Camp Cache - GC128FM
Thompson Hill TB Hotel - GCJ2BF
Allie’s Bug Box – GC2RNPK

These eight caches have (an average) difficult rating of 2.06 (out of 5), and a terrain rating of 2.65.  Two of those eight caches were “multis”.  One of them had two stages, and one of them had three stages.  That equates to another three caches found (but do not show up in the logs).

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I’ll SHOW you some of the highlights!

Be sure to check out the data (mapping) from my GPS Data on THIS PAGE!


(left) The trail “into the wild” - (right) The first find of the day!

Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota

Approach, in, and through a dark passage to “The Dark Passage” cache  (Note:  The floor of the tunnel was GLARE ICE.  It still had a layer of ice about a foot thick.  The tunnel funneled wind and on the trip back through, we had the wind in our face.  It was surprisingly cold!)

Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota 

Back into the light on the other side of the tunnel.  High cliffs and scenic overviews (through the trees).

Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota

After finding “The Dark Passage” it was time to head back through the dark passage.  Yes, that is still ice hanging from the roof of the tunnel. 

Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota

Once we came back through the passage, it was time to start heading towards the top of the “hill”. 

Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth MinnesotaGeocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota   Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth MinnesotaGeocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth MinnesotaGeocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota

It was not just in the tunnel, we were still finding patches of ice throughout the wilderness.

Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota 

Time to work our way back down the hill.

 Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota 

Once we made it back to the parking lot we were getting pretty hungry.  We decided to head to the next caching area, then make a quick stop for lunch… We parked, headed down the hill, found a delightful “scenic overview” and lit a fire to cook our lunch. 

Just as we were ready to start cooking, we opened the package and …  Oh, wait… “Someone” brought the wrong package.  The package we thought had our lunch did not contain our lunch….  Instead of today’s hot dogs, we had the stuffed mushrooms intended for for tonight’s dinner.  We ate the rest of the “steak bites” (sort of like jerky) and “Teddy Grahams”

 Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota

After lunch and a long hike out to another “multi cache”, we headed out to another location.  This one required the cross of a small creek (still partially frozen).

Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota   Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota  Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota

We finished off our day with a couple of “easier” caches – one at the seinic overview where the St. Lewis River meets Lake Superior (at the gateway to the city of Duluth).

 Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota

Then we hit one last cache… It was a “family friendly” cache hidden by a couple of cachers I know pretty well!

Over all, it was a GREAT day.  We put a lot of work into finding the caches.  We put a total of six miles of hiking, climbing in through the best part of the day. 

While it was true that had we spent that much time caching in my ‘hood – we would have found many times more caches, it was sure great to get out and experience some Quality vs Quantity GeoCaching.

It was a perfect day with a great friend!   Thanks “Best Bud Ed”!!

Geocaching in Duluth Minnesota

One more post about Caching in Duluth, Minnesota coming soon!

3 comments:

  1. Great scenery... looks like a fun day. I haven't been out to get any that required any good hiking yet... a lot of our area caches are also of the urban quantity variety.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Dave, I had a great time showing you around my neighborhood. I can't wait for you to visit again soon. For anybody wondering, I introduced Dave to the benefits of using a walking staff as seen in many of the photos.

    Have fun caching.

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  3. All the ice is gone now, except inside the tunnel... still pretty slippery in there. And the wind was howling the day I was there. I swear I could hear the train coming down the tracks! I was up on Ely's Peak working on Eskoclimber's puzzle cache which turned out to be 8 (i think? I lost count) stages. It took me 3 separate trips to finish the darn thing, but it sure is a beautiful spot!

    ReplyDelete

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