Sunday, September 6, 2009

What is this?

Sometimes, having a creative geocache isn't about how well you can hide it or what the geocacher has to go through to find the geocache, but about the site itself.  You can hide an ammo can out in plain view and people will still talk about how cool it was.  It takes the right frame of mind when designing it. Slick 50 had that frame of mind when she placed her second geocache.  The geocache is called  Charlie Brown

Let's take a quick look at the supplies needed for Charlie Brown before we examine how it was built.

  • Ammo can
  • Swag
  • Logbook
  • Christmas Ornaments

That has to be wrong.

Christmas Ornaments?

Well, surprisingly enough, THAT is where the creative part came in.  But before we move on, let's hop into a Delorean and go back to 1965.

In 1965, a small Christmas special was aired and became a quick hit.  It was called "A Charlie Brown Christmas", and it quickly became a classic.  One of the main plot points of the film was a tiny, decrepit, baby tree that Charlie Brown picks to use as the tree for the school play.  The tree looks bad, and when decorated, it looks like a dinky little tree with those colorful ball ornaments.  I still remember watching this movie as a kid.  I'm sure many of you remember watching this when it aired each year.  Time to leave 1965.  Punching in time coordinates for late November, 2007.

Slick 50, a geocacher in the Dallas, TX area, was looking to place her second geocache.  With the desire to place a Christmas cache, and hearing about an idea from another Dallas geocacher by the name of Caveman2040, she began thinking of a name.  Charlie Brown.  Once the name came about, the rest of the design suddenly became clear.  She looked for the scraggiest tree she could find that was hidden from view of muggles, and went to work.  Placed in a park along Lewisville Lake in North Dallas, the cache is just a little ways off of the main trail.  When you get close, you have to bushwhack just a bit to get around some large trees, but once you do, you'll be greated by this:

Now, looking at the photo just doesn't really give the same impression.  This is partially a result of when the photo was taken.  This was taken in January, when many trees are missing their leaves.  As a result of this, much of the background blends in and makes it hard to see the tree in question.  Let's just say that as soon as I came around the nearby trees and saw this one, I just about died in laughter.  It was a great display and totally fits with the above film.  This is a perfect example of how the name of a geocache can be just as valuable as the cache itself.  I'm not sure it would have had the same impression if it had been named anything other than Charlie Brown.

Decorating this tree was nothing more than putting up the ornaments.  But Slick 50 went the extra step and attached some fake holly to the top of the ammo can, which is in plain site at the base of this tiny, three foot tall tree.  Punching in time coordinates for present day 2009.

I'm not really sure anything else needs to be said about how this was set up.  It's a pretty simple hide.  But above many of the geocaches I've found, this definitely demonstrates how the site itself can make a geocache not only creative, but memorable.  Since I found this, I've frequently referenced it when talking about memorable geocaches.  The only downside of this cache is that it doesn't get visited enough.  I'm amazed that in the almost two years since it was placed (November 2007), it has only been found 19 times.  That number should be higher.

By the way, Slick 50 has a few other holiday themed caches in the North Dallas area: Halloween, Easter, and Valentine's Day.  I guess I have a few others to go after next time I'm in Dallas.

Here's one more view of the cache:


PS: A thanks to Slick 50 for letting me write about her geocache Charlie Brown.

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