Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Fizzy Challenge

I'm going to depart from my normal dog-related content to share a really exciting Geocaching challenge that I just finished (although, dogs were with me nearly every step of the way to finishing this challenge.)   In Geocaching, caches are rated according to their terran and difficulty - 1 to 5 stars, with half increments as well.   This means, there are 81 possible combinations of Terrain and Difficulty for geocaches.  The "Fizzy Challenge" was originally started in California, and was a challenge dedicated to a cacher named FizzyMagic.   The challenge is to find a geocache of every possible combination.   There are different variables on this challenge, to make it more challenging.

"Tree Olympics", 4.0/5.0
Since the early Spring, I wanted to attempt the Fizzy Challenge, it looked like fun and it would get me looking at different types of geocaches.   And it did.   I never attempted 4 or 5 star difficulty geocaches before this year, and they are hard.  Many of the ones I did were puzzles, "Mystery caches" created by people who present a puzzle to be solved into the actual geocache coordinates.  Puzzles caches have historically been baffling to me, and I avoided them.  But this challenge made me find a way.   And now, I kind of like the puzzles!   For me, the joy in finding a geocache is in the hunt.

"Wilkum to Rocksylvania", 3.0, 4.5
I learned different hiding styles, I found geocaches in the middle of the woods cleverly disguised as a branch or rock - and stubbornly refusing to leave until I finally picked up just the correct piece of woodland that contained the geocache log.   I was inspired to buy a kayak to get the 5-Star terrain geocaches, and in doing so discovered a whole new dimension of enjoying nature.   As well as a way for Ein's ageing body to continue enjoying being out and about with me.   The Fizzy Challenge inspired me to do my longest ever paddle, a 5 mile stretch down river with geocaches hidden all along the river - and a beautiful day spent with Ein laughing and getting muddy and getting closer to my goal.

"Just Past the Sun", 3.0/5.0

Every time I would go to a trial, I checked to see if one of the desired Terrain/Difficulty combinations was nearby.   I found some at the Poodle Specialty, some in Ohio, and many at the various trials I have attended in between.  The Fizzy Challenge here in Pennsylvania requires you to find geocaches of certain types: and it made me search out an old type of geocache called the "Webcam cache".   I never would have done this otherwise, and it was a lot of fun!

It was frustrating.  Sometimes geocaches are missing, and many times they were just too hard for me to find.   Some of the caches I had to drive far for (I tried to keep it within 2 hours.) as there were few options that I was capable of local to me.  Some of the geocaches I visited the "ground zero" location multiple times before actually finding what I was looking for.  The final two geocaches, which gave me the most trouble all through the last months were the 4.5 difficulty, 3 star terrain and the 5 difficulty, 3 star terrain.   I finally solved a difficult three stage puzzle that was way beyond my prior capabilities and got my 4.5/3.   And just yesterday, after solving a 5 star difficulty puzzle and failing to find the geocache on my first visit (after walking through thick brush on no path to where the cache was hidden.)...I made another trip and found the geocache container and finished my Fizzy Challenge.

"The Masterpiece", 4.5/3.0
There is a Mystery Cache that is a "Challenge Cache" hidden semi-nearby here - you can only sign the log if you have completed your "D/T Grid".   I plan to make that my find #1500 within the next few weeks.  It will be a perfect "milestone" find.

Oh, the places you will go!

"SWATARA FALLS 2", 4.5/5.0

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Danielle! You are amazing in your dedication to setting goals and achieving them, whether it is dog training or geocaching.