James and Penny's adventures in Geocaching
#26 Traditional Cache Discover Vigilante  by Rick and Shawna MT - June 22, 2004

Vigilante Camp Ground is above York and one of the places we periodically go to spend a few hours or most of a day hiking around and enjoying nature. When we first noted that there was a cache there we put it on the back burner because we'd already been there a number of times. We were enjoying Geocaching into areas we'd never before been, discovering new lakes, creeks and secret river fishing holes. Finally, however, we decided to get Discover Vigilante onto our list of found caches. A young buck greeted us as we stepped onto the trail, giving us a nice pose, Penny loves her flower pictures and got a great shot of this beautiful blue Penstemon.  Pasque flowers were everywhere, and we even saw a bobcat flashing through the bush.

Deer Penstemon

[log] We've been putting this off because we have been here many times. Decided now to run out there after supper. A quick quarter mile hike and we snagged it. Took a rubber gold fish. Left a Flamingo stuffed animal, a postcard and a Puppies calendar. The weather was perfect for the hike so we added another mile to make it a nice 2-1/2 for the evening. Thanks for giving us an excuse to get off of our sofa.


#27Traditional Cache Little Known Park Finder 2   by Team Lemons MT - June 24, 2004

This was a fun cache because it never stayed in one place, which sort of puts it into the mystery category. The idea of it is that the Geocacher who finds it must move it to a new location and then log the new coordinates. It was like a travel bug but applied to an entire cache. The concept has since been discontinued, so new traveling caches are no longer allowed, however, the old ones are still on the move. We picked this one up near the Lincoln Ranger Station north of Helena and transported to another "little known park" in Helena. It seems every place we go in Montana we run into the beautiful Indian Paintbrush flowers. Penny couldn't help but grab this picture. At the ranger station we were treated with a tree-ring display on a tree dating back to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, a few years before Lewis & Clark passed through what would later become Montana. Sandhill cranes took off in flight as we left the area.

Paintbrush Lincoln Ranger Station Tree Rings

[log] Beautiful evening drive to find this interesting "Forest" Park. Took the cache south to our home town and found a little known park to place it in. Watch for the "Blue Spruce." Minor digging required.

Ours #2 Traditional Cache Ripplin' Waters MT - June 24, 2004

On our way home from picking up Little Known Park Finder, we stopped at a narrow pull-off, a wide spot on a two-lane Montana highway. We followed a nearby trail that led downhill for 70 or 80 yards to a mountain creek. It was a wonderful spot suitable for a afternoon picnic on a lazy Sunday afternoon. To hard core Geocachers, however, it was a perfect spot for a new cache, and we just happened to have the makings of one in the car, an ammo box we picked up at a Army/Navy store in Helena just for such an occasion. After finding a good hiding spot and grabbing the coordinates, Penny said, "What should we call it?" I looked at the creek as it rushed by, sunlight through the trees rippling off the surface and said, "How about Ripplin' Waters?" We’ve come here many times over the years  to “check on the cache” simply because the spot is so beautiful.

Ripplin' Waters

[cache description] Park at N46 52.440 W112 33.501. Look for trail heading down slope to the sound of "Ripplin' Waters". If you lose reception follow the trail to the natural tree bridge. Stand by the rock it encloses; the cache is at bearing of 165 degrees, 30-40 feet, well hidden under natural materials.

We discovered this beautiful place on the way home from picking up "Little Known Park Finder II." Enjoy the relaxing and soothing sounds of nature.

The cache is a standard ammo box.

In December of 2006 we relocated from Montana to Southern Arizona. As per Geocaching rules, one must be able to service their caches. Since that would be difficult from Arizona, we offered all our caches out for adoption to the great Geocaching friends we've made over the years. Jennifer&Dean of Missoula, Montana adopted Ripplin' Waters on Oct. 23, 2006.

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]

Under an old pine,
In a scanty patch of shade;
A surrogate bed.


#28 Traditional CacheZigZag Lake   by LoneRinoWolf MT - June 26, 2004

I had my eye on ZigZag Lake Cache for some time, waiting for the opportunity to present itself, that is cooperative weather. Located in the shadow of Mount Baldy in the Big Belt Mountains, it was well into June before it appeared that the snow had receded enough that I could get to it. Silly me for assuming such a thing in the mountains of Montana. From the parking where it was perfectly dry and mildly cool at roughly 7500 feet, the trailhead sign indicated 6 miles to Hidden Lake and 9 Miles to Edith Lake. Also, just beyond Hidden Lake stood Grace Lake (another Geocache awaited there for another day) and Upper Baldy Lake. Edith Lake was a fair hike more to the east. Zig Zag Lake--not the official name--was just over halfway to Hidden Lake, a total of about 7 miles round trip, taking me up to just shy of 8600 feet before coming back down to the lake at 7890 feet. A zig-zag switchback in the last half mile or so is what prompted LoneRinoWolf to assign the name. Otherwise, the official name of the lake is unknown.

As far as there not being snow, no such luck. At roughly 2 mile the snow fields starting showing up and then all of a sudden the trail disappeared under the snowpack, and as far as I could see there was no indication of which way it went. It is very easy to wind up walking in circles in the mountains if one doesn't have a reference point. Fortunately I had the GPS and a line to the cache on a bearing of 130 degrees. The decision was simple, follow the GPS pointer. Very simple indeed until a message pops up on the GPS which says, "Lost satellite connection." Drat drat drat. What to do? Give up and trek back to the car or proceed forward, whatever forward was, in hopes that it would pick the satellites back up. How far off track could I possibly get? What if I never got the satellites back. What if I met a bear? I'd say, "Howdy Mr. Bear. Which way to the unnamed ZigZag Lake?"

Fortunately the Mr. Bear, or Ms. Bear, scenario never had to be played out because, one, I never ran onto the cuddly creatures, and two I had an old fashion compass in my pack. With that in hand and lined up on 130 degrees I set a direct line toward the lake until the snow pack disappeared and I ran across the trail in the middle of the zig-zags. Miraculously the GPS picked up the satellites again at the shore of the lake and in short order the cache was located. The lake was absolutely beautiful, still and quiet. Note the picture below. The mountain in the background of which you cannot see the top is Mount Baldy, standing at 9472 feet.

Hidden Lake Sign Mountain Creek

Glacier Lily ZigZag Cache Log Book Hidden Lake

[log] This is not for the faint at heart when it comes to hiking. Hit plenty of snow and lost the trail for most of the last mile because of it. I also kept losing the signal to my GPS so I had to rely on the compass. Once I got close, it all came together and the find was easy. I took one of the key fobs and left a small flashlight and batteries. The hike out was tough as I swung East to avoid the snow and relied on my compass to take me back. It did but the ups and downs were wearing. All in all, it was all worth it. Thanks for an awesome location, LoneRinoWolf. This one I've been looking forward to doing for months.

Hidden Lake

#29 Puzzle Cache Little Known Park Finder 2 (Again) by Teams Lemons MT - June 27, 2004
And for the second time we picked up the Little Known Park Finder 2 Cache and moved it along. Amazing the unknown parks there are around us.
Ash Grove

[log] Found it for the second time - in the rain - we figured no one else might be out, and the new location intrigued us. Had never heard of Sunderland Park. Will place it again tomorrow and log coordinates. This was a cool little park, especially in the rain. Left a twig teepee in case anyone else was out.

We dropped the cache, now containing the Joe Dalton Travel Bug, in Gwen’s Garden, a beautifully maintained garden in Massa Park in Townsend, Montana. A nearby plaque states that Gwen maintains the garden out of love for beauty. Feel free to rest a bit if you're passing by. Although the Little Known Park Finder is off finding other parks, there may be a permanent cache in the vicinity. Pull up your favorite Geocaching App on your Smart Phone and have a look.

Park in Townsend, Montana

[note] [Little Known Park Finder 2 "bagged" a friend in Joe Dalton travel bug before he drove off to a new park adventure. His new location is N 46 19.194 W 111 31.199. Hint:]Tjra'f snibevgr pbybe vf checyr.

#30 Traditional Cache Aspen Grove by Jennifer&Dean Lewis & Clark County, MT - June 29, 2004

The days are long in early summer in Montana, sunset pushing almost to 10:00 so we had better than four hours after the work day to do a little geo-playing. We grabbed some dinner before heading out, taking a little too much time to organize and load our gear. We had plenty of daylight, we thought, figuring to pick up 2 or 3 before bedtime. It was about 35 miles by the way the crow flies, a lot longer by car though the mountains, to get to Aspen Grove Camp Grounds northwest of Helena in Lewis & Clark County. And then the fun began. With two GPSs, we walked in circles, crawled under bushes, picked up rocks, considered climbing a few trees. After better than an hour and sunset racing at us, we were just about ready to call it our first no-find, our first geocaching failure, when Penny crawled under on more bush we both thought we'd already investigated. Yes!

Arial view of Aspen Grove
Mountain View For our persistent efforts we were rewarded with a Jeep Travel Bug, one of thousands that were sent around the United States and world to add a little spice to the game. Every Geocacher loved the little yellow jeeps. Over the years we have moved a total of 28 Jeep TBs, yellow, white, green and red.

Jeep Travel Bug

[log] WOW! What a tough find. Penny and I looked for better than an hour, our two GPSs taking us all over in a thirty foot radius. I was starting to mumble things about our first "no find" when all of a sudden Penny comes out of the bush saying, "What's this?" BINGO! This is the third time we would have had a no find if not for her persistance. For our reward we plucked out a Jeep TB. COOL! Neat container. Neat location. We have a serious series of caching planned over the 4th so we will be sending the Jeep on its way. Thanks Jennifer and Dean for the great cache, and the TB.


#31 Traditional Cache 31 cliffview by Don & Nancy Wilson now river runner Wilson, MT - July 2, 2004

Caching  Cliffview brought us to fields of  blooming yucca plants, covered with tiny red lady bugs glowing in the sun, and osprey playing lord of the manor atop their high phone pole nests. It can't get any better than this.

Lady Bug Osprey

[log] First time for the Dam road on this side; had been to the other side of the dam with school field trips. This was a great drive - lots of new wildflower pictures, and interesting shots of the canal. We took a bear postcard and 2 Ecuador coins and left a mini-clamp, a rhinoceros (not full-size) and some Animal Kingdom bandaids. Thanks for the first cache of our day.


#32 Traditional Cache Copper City Overlook by Don & Nancy Wilson now river runner Wilson, MT - July 2, 2004
Mountain View
Postcard of Black Bears

Another fine Montana summer day it was as we settled in for a short hike in a relatively low area sitting between the Elkhorn Mountains and the Big Belt Mountains, just north of the Missouri Headwaters State Park. Mountain flowers abound including fields of Blue Flax with sprinklings of Spring Gold and Sulfur Paintbrush. We looked the cabin over, trying to guess at the homesteaders who made it their residence. Was it a family finding their escape from the eastern big cities, looking for their piece of the land? How did they make their living? With no evidence of a well, from where did they haul their water? Is whatever garden they had so overgrown we could not see it? How did they survive the harsh Montana winters when snow could reach 20 feet deep with temperatures plunging well below zero? It leaves us wondering how we'd have survived in such conditions; could we if we were forced to now?

A postcard was as close as we got to the black bear in the area, but the fields of blue flax near the cabin were beautiful.

Blue Flax Old Montana Cabin

[log] We really enjoyed the drive in and the tiny "town" tucked back in the hills. This was #2 for the day; we took the waterball (James is a golfer) and left a belt clip.


#33 Traditional Cache Fairweather by Don & Nancy Wilson now river runner MT - July 2, 2004
Pelicans at Fairweather Fishing Acces in Montana
Fairweather Fishing Access Site sign Fishing accesses, and there are many throughout the state of Montana, are very popular for placing caches, and they're always fun to come to. You never know what you're going to see, from deer, elk, moose, bear, large variety of birds, and on occasion a fisherman or two, wading hip deep, whipping the fly-line out and back in search of that elusive "big one." This day the only life in residence was a pod of pelicans soaking in the sun rays. I looked that up on the internet so it must be right, a pod. We took their photograph and as usual, signed the log in the cache. This was number 3 in another fine day of Geocaching.

[log] Rough road in, but not as long as expected. Eddie the Eagle TB was not in residence. Took nothing, left 2 bug rings.


#34 Traditional Cache Planterbox Fountain by Wing Nut now cache 'n burn MT - July 2, 2004

Driving along Montana Hwy 2 south of Butte brought back childhood memories and stories to tell Bearfr involving riding in the back of my parent's car saying things like, "Are we there yet?" and "I have to go." Although I don't remember the exact details, I can see my father pulling off next to the planter box pictured below, and pointing up into the woods. "Go take care of business."

After leaving the mountain region of the drive we spotted ears sticking up in a field. The doe, not much bigger than a fawn, likely thought she was well concealed in the field of tall grass.

Arial view south of Butte, Montana
Deer in field

Grass so tall,
Ears twitch,
A deer appears.

Deer in field

[log] Nice location for a cache. James has seen this fountain since he rode in the back of his parents car on the way to Butte, 50+ years ago. Not too bad a hike even the steep way. Took golf ball, left tire gauge. Thanks for the memories.

Planter, fountain


#35 Multi Cache Gold Miner's Cache by skydiver Garnett, MT - July 3, 2004
Garnet Ghost Town Sign

Located at approximately 6,000 feet, Garnet, Montana is considered the state's best preserved but least visited ghost town. It is so unknown we didn't even know about ourselves until we showed up looking for a cache. This is what makes Geocaching so cool, finding unique and fun places we'd never before seen .

We took the opportunity to stick around a bit, talk with the part-time resident volunteer and browse about. The town, as you might guess, was named after the semi-precious stone, garnet, because it was the first item to be mined there. Gold quickly took center stage, however, and the town grew until it peaked at roughly 1,000 residents in 1889. A hotel room cost visitors from 1 to 3 dollars. If you were a poor miner who could not afford such high prices, a windowless attic was offered for a quarter. Just over 20 years later, shortly after the gold ran out, fire destroyed half the town and it was shortly thereafter abandoned.

It ended up being a crazy day in and around the ghost town of Garnet: Missed seeing a bear by 15 minutes, solved the cache puzzle, learned some interesting history, found the cache, and then, somewhere in the wilderness, lost Penny’s keys where they still reside for posterity to found by another adventurer in maybe another 100 years.

Garnet Ghost Town Sign Garnet Ghost Town Garnet Ghost Town Sign

[log] Took the road into the cache from the I-90 side on a Missoula caching day, then came out the Hwy 200 side. Entertaining and educational site with very friendly people running the place; we only had to ask about one question and they guided us to the cemetary nearby. This was our first of 4 for the day; we took the watch and frog and left a screwdriver and a purple bug ring. Thanks for a great start to the day.

[note] It is possible that Penny lost her keys at the site of the Ghost Town. If any other cachers find a key ring with a Saturn key and an electronic door opener or hear from the rangers of a find, please email.


#36 Traditional Cache My Unbirthday Cache by Red Hot Mama Missoula, MT - July 3, 2004
Kim Williams Nature Area Sign

Eric the Cat Travel Bug with Squirrel

Eric the Cat and Cricket

My Unbirthday Cache was our first in the popular Kim Williams Nature Area in Missoula, Montana, which was to become one of our favorite caching sites to revisit over the years as other caches “bred”. Eric the Cat TB came home to visit Cricket and Squirrel, our own furry friends. Two days later we dropped it at Willow Creek Cache just north of Augusta, Montana.

[TB log] We picked up Eric the Cat from the "My Unbrithday Cache" in Missoula, Montana. The log entry there said he dropped it passing thru on his way to Canada. Figuring he is on vacation he has not had an opportunity to log it. We have two cats so it was fun to find this one. We will pass it on in the next couple of days as we continue on our Geocaching 4th of July weekend.

Three months later we picked up Eric the Cat again, this time in Helena, from the Kid's Cache.

[TB log] Figured Eric the Cat was tired of Helena, so we picked him up to take to the Cache 'N Grub event in Hamilton on October 10. Maybe he'll meet someone there who will show him some interesting country.

Unfortunately, as happens to the majority of trackable items, Eric the Cat went missing somewhere in the Czech Republic, November 8, 2011 with 19296.5 miles under its feline belt.

[log] Very nice non-climbing hike along the river. Enjoyed it very much. Were pleasantly surprised to find the Eric the Cat Travel Bug. The person placing it hasn't logged it yet. He/she was on the way to Canada from Colorado according the the log book. We left a nice Eagle/Flag Statue. Thanks for a cool (figurative and literal) cache.


#37 Traditional Cache Chipmunk Condominium by leonata Missoula, MT - July 3, 2004
Chipmunk Condo Clarkia
I, Frogwarts, hiked this one alone as Bearfr was finding the steady climb a bit of a challenge on a hot afternoon. I have to say, I was rather winded and dripping with sweat myself when I arrived on location. The views, as is the case just about anywhere one goes in Montana, were absolutely fabulous. I poked around the condominium but couldn't find any resident chipmunks. Maybe they were off on a sabbatical or family picnic.

[log] Decided Penny was less in shape than the grandfather carrying the baby; this was a tough one for her, even amidst the beautiful wildflowers. James found the cache, but no chipmunks unfortunately. Gorgeous views of Missoula and the valley. Took the tiny bear and left some Animal Kingdom Band-Aids for hiking fatalities.


#38 Multi Cache Go Ask Alice by leonata Missoula, MT - July 3, 2004
Go Ask Alice Step 1

Go Ask Alice was a multi-cache based on Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." and it ended up being quite fun. There were 5 steps and with each step came a hint, all together reading like a poem:

Jagged snag
Picnic spot
Beneath a stump
Low shrubs
Parallel sticks

[log] What a fun cache; step number 2 lead on a merry chase but made some geocache converts from Liberty Lake, Washington since they couldn't figure out what we were doing. Unique little hidden park on Step 3; we took the longest possible scenic route to the hide of course. Beautiful area for the cache itself; this brought our total hiding total up to 8 miles for the day. Took the caterpillar bug and golf ball but left some Flathead Cherry "Queen of Hearts tart candles" for Alice's tea.


The next 11 caches (#39-#49) were found on July 5, 2004 around the Augusta, Montana area and are all owned by zac59410. Zac sets out hoards of really great caches, too many to manage in one day.  We had so much fun we will be back for more. We were honored to meet zac59410 and his family at the Chokecherry Bush Cache. Our GPS took us to the back fence of his home, though of course we didn't know that right off. Geocachers are often nervous of muggles and so were we when a young boy and his dog came out to investigate who these strange people were. Soon the boy's dad followed and we were able to meet the entire family, Justin, Kim, Cheyenne, Calvin and Sam the dog. We didn't pick up right away that his name was Justin, calling him Zac for a very long time. Not only do you find great places Geocaching, but you also meet some great people.

Map of Caches 39-49
#39 Traditional Cache Deer Trail by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004

Nearly got muggled by the herd of deer...

High, wet grass made for a very wet search. Nearly a dozen deer watched us for a time and then spooked. As we approached the cache location, one deer bolted from the deep grass. What fun, for us anyway, don't know about her. Searched about 10 minutes before finding a way into the inside of a group of bushes. It was like a small room with the cache resting in the crook of a couple of branches, guarded by a small heard of deer.

[log] 1st of 11 Zac caches we hit today. Very high, wet grass made for a very wet search. Lots of deer, one bouncing out of the cache location as we approached. Certainly don't need to go across the field. Took the double keychain, left a Caterpilla Beanz.

Deer near Augusta, Montana


#40 Traditional Cache Rodeo BackDrop by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004
Steer at Rodeo BackDrop

Now the muggles were long-horn steer.


[log] This one created memories as a child in the fifties going to rodeos with my parents. Easy find. Left a National Parks calendar. Took only photos of the bulls eating through the fence. This was #2 in the Zac cache Augusta marathon.


#41 Traditional Cache Chokecherry Bush Cache by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004

Had to be so cautious here because of the residence nearby, and the muggle turned out to be Zac himself!

[log] Let us tell everyone this. Of the 11 Zac caches we did today, (this is #3) this was the coolest. At first we were nervous poking around in the bushes behind someone's house, especially when two kids and a dog came out to watch us. Then the dad came out and we almost split. Glad we didn't. He ended up being a super nice guy and we stood and talked to him for about fifteen minutes. He was very much in support of what we were doing. If you get in there and see someone come out while you're searching, wave and say hi. You'll be glad you did. We logged in and continued on to #4.

Bearfr heading up the alley to the Chokecherry Bush Cache


#42 Traditional Cache Shipping Cache by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004
Frogwarts thinking outside the box This was the inspiration for our “Fadeaway Stockyards” cache.

[log] This was no doubt unique. It puzzled us at first and then James got the idea and bingo, there is was. As they say, don't give up. This was #4 in our 11 Zac Cache day. We logged and kept on going.


#43 Traditional Cache Rest In P. . .? by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004

Is it “lucky” to find a Lucky Penny in a cemetery?

August Cemetery

[log] We are starting to learn how Zac59410 does things. We are planning to plant more of our own caches in the Helena area, maybe using some of his techniques. Not much room for trading items but we managed to take a penny (for Penny whose daughter was born on the mint year of the penny--1981) and the manta ray. We left a green cat and a stop sign. Thanks Zac59410

1981 Penny


#44 Traditional Cache "Y" NOT by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004
Looking through the cache

[log] Number 6 in our 11 Zac Cache day. Easy find. Walked right up to it. It was also a bit exposed so we recovered it. We took a Montana key chain which we will use when we launch our Travel the States TB. We left a neat 3-headed man statue. Thanks Zac59410 for another good one.

3-headed man


#45 Traditional Cache Sun River by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004
Great zac59410 caches just keep coming. We stolled across a field in search of the cache and then returned along the North Fork of the Sun River, picking our way along the rocks, trying not to slip ankle deep into the water. Bearfr spotted a snake but it skittered faster than did she.
Left our footprints in the mud riverside and found a mysterious “present” of a rock wrapped with barbed wire ribbon. Barb wire wrapped rock
Cactus Bloom Sun River Henbane

[log] Another easy one by Zac. Enjoyed to stroll across the field and then back along the river. Started getting hot and had to shed some clothing before continuing on to #8. This is #7 in the 11 cache day. Saw one snake--no big deal. Left a watch. Took golf balls and tees.


#46 Traditional Cache Boyhood Trail by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004

We walked through and enjoyed the smell of grasses, tip-toed around a few cow pies, the not-so-good smells long gone. Birds flitted about calling to one another. "Beware! Beware! Trespassers in the area." Something flashed 50 yards out, disappearing into a depression in the earth. Deer most likely. In the cache description Zac59410 wrote of herding cattle along this area of the Sun River as a boy. Great memories flitted about my own head of my parents going to rodeos, and me, bored, exploring nearby hills and streams in the 1950s. The memories continued as we followed the GPS arrow until we came to a nestle of trees. The cache hid was unique, almost as thought the tree purposely provided the hidey-hole.


[log] This one was so easy James spotted it from fifteen feet away after Penny placed it with the GPS. This was #8 on our 11 cache day in Augusta, all by Zac59410. We logged and headed for #9.

The Sun River


#47 Traditional CacheTwin Springs Cache by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004
White Tail Fawn

White-tailed fawns fly away through the grass, tails reflecting pure white sunlight.


Scared up a doe and then a minute later her fawn jumped from hiding and ran. The last we saw of the two of them they were disappearing into a stand of trees a half mile away down near the Sun River. Not quick enough for a picture. Five minutes later Bearfr signaled me and pointed into a small ravine of tall grass. "Two fawns," she whispered loudly. I was across the ravine from her and slowly made my approach. I could see one peeking at me through the reeds of grass. I got one picture before suddenly both of them jumped and ran in two different directions. I managed only rear ends and flying tails.

[log] #9 of 11 today. Only 4 tenths but a hot hike. Scared up a deer and then a minute later her fawn jumped from hiding and ran. No picture. Five minutes later two other fawns jumped and I managed a couple shots of their tales. Slow reflexes. The springs were great and the cache moderately difficult to find. Took a wooden match for the scrap book, and a Plastic catipillar. Left jewelers screw driver set.


#48 Traditional CacheWhere's the Ducks? by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004

[log] Real easy find. No ducks. Logged it and headed for the last cache of the day.


#49 Traditional CacheWillow Creekl Zac by zac59410 Augusta, MT - July 5, 2004

Our first Geocoin cache – a solid gold coin from Canada; we had antelope, ducks and cattle wondering about these weird people who were so excited about a rock in the field. All in all this was one of the best days of Geocaching we've had so far. Hadn't been up in the Augusta area since I was a kid so it was a real treat to walk through some old memories. Can't think of any better way to spend a summer in Montana.

Antelope Geese Cow with calf

[log] Here we end with the final cache of the day, #11 in our zac59410 cache marathon Monday. Nice drive. Saw lots of deer and geese. The Turtle Racer TB Riverunner said he place was not in residence, or we didn't recognize it. We did find a Geocoin--our first of those. We took the golf ball and the egg and left the little bear we acquired at the Chipmunk Condo Cache in Missoula. We also dropped the Eric the Cat TB. Thanks, zac59410 for the great caching day in and around Augusta.

Canadian Geocoin Canadian Geocoin


#TB01 Tavel Bug USA Down Under MT - July 5, 2004


[log note] We decided to select this cache to drop our first TB, "USA Down Under". We hope it is picked up by someone who can pass it on to someone who can pass it on to someone . . . . . . . until it makes it to Australia where it can get within range of James' son who is stationed there with the United States Navy. A big mission, but why not?


#50 Traditional Cache Old Works by Sidewinder Anaconda, MT - July 6, 2004

Bearfr’s first solo Geocache. Frogwarts was off golfing with the guys, so I drove to nearby Anaconda to try for a find.  If there was a scenic route to this top-of-the-hill hide, I’m sure I took it! Hard scrabbling 500 ft straight up the side, only to find a gentle grade to come down on the other side of the hill. The thrill of a solo find was worth every scary slide on the rocks. The tiny nearby historic park topped off the day.

Hill up to cache

[log] Really interesting history about the smelter; thanks for the tips on the Interpretive center and the parking. It was a super day for a hike-super hot that is. I too took the hard way up the last 500 ft, and found the easier way down, but enjoyed it all immensely. This was my first solo cache and travel bug. The A. Leon Spaceguy bug had already traveled on, but I picked up the Binky Bug. Left Mini-mag light and a pedometer for future cachers.

The Fun Continues - Part II
Part I Part III
#51 Puzzle Cache Little Known Park Finder 2 by Team Lemons (Larry & Augie) Montana - July 9, 2004

This was the third time we'd run upon the Little Known Park Finder 2 and we found a very unknown and unique place to which to move it, Parker Homestead State Park, which as of this writing is a state park no longer. Located in Jefferson County, just 8 miles west of Three Forks, Parker Homestead is a 1-acre plot supporting a sod-roofed log cabin built in the early 1900's. It represents the first homes built by settlers in the Montana frontier.  Unfortunately for the park and it's few visitors, the Montana state park commission let its lease expire on January 1, 2010. It is now in private ownership.

When we arrived at this little park in July of 2004, antelope where in abundance, racing across the prairie as only their kind can do. Being Montanans, we made just a passing note of the beware of rattlesnakes sign. Watching for the deadly rattlers was, you might say, bred into us as youngsters. We already keep an ear, keep an eye and watch where we step and stick our fingers.

Parker Homestead Western Rattlesnake

[log] Knew we were going out of town caching on Saturday so stopped by the Reservoir to pick this up. Good clues even if I pushed aside a mountain of dirt before getting lucky. I'll blame it on the GPS being 15 ft off. Fun place though; didn't even know Helena had a model airplane field, and I've lived here since 1978. James joined me on his lunch hour before I found it, so of course I'll have to give him half the credit. We've really enjoyed this little guy (this is our third pickup); hope where we place him will bring others as much fun. Left a note for future searchers.

[note] N 45° 50.756 W 111° 40.603 July 10, 2004 [On our way back from a three cache day, we dropped the little guy off at a wonderful historical park.] Qba'g sbetrg gb ernq lbhe uvfgbel juvyr gurer.


#52 Traditional Cache Variations on a Theme I by Red Hot Mama Missoula, Montana - July 10, 2004

Blooming Cactus

Whie Harebell

We first attempted this at dusk on July 3 while heading back from caching in Missoula. We searched for near two hours, using a flashlight in the end. Frustrated, we went home and logged a no-find. This morning we decided to try it again, despite the fact that it was about a hundred miles out of our way, hauling the canoe to use on the Harrison Hideaway cache. We did have an ulterior motive, though. On the previous Geocaching adventure in which we did not find this cache, Bearfr lost her keys. Although we thought they disappeared at Gold Miner´s Cache , we thought there was a chance they fallen in the grass while looking for this one. Considering the clue that "Beavers do this around here, but beavers didn't do this one," we searched for another hour for keys and cache, and were about to accept another defeat when suddenly Bearfr yells, "Here it is!" She'd found the cache, not the keys. Oh, well. I would describe where she found it, but that would be giving it away. In any case, it was right where our GPSs were pointing us; we were just to blind to see the obvious.

That Red Hot Mama had a devious brain on this one! We loved her puzzles and the challenge of a unique camo hide.

[log] OK - we went back this weekend in the daylight - and I swear we looked forever using all the tricks we had learned about by doing Zac59410 caches in Augusta, then all of a sudden, without any digging I might add, there it was. Both coins were in the log, but the button seems to have disappeared. This was our first find of three today, and we were overjoyed to start the day by taking this off our NO FIND list. You really hide them sneaky Red Hot Mama, and you gave us a couple of other diabolical ideas for our own caches. Hope to see you in Great Falls later this month. Unfortunately, we did not find Penny's keys - oh well.



#53 Traditional Cache  Moon You Cache by Red Hot Mama Missoula, Montana - July 10, 2004
Moon Writeup Butter & Eggs

Bearfr opted out of this one because of the steep hike. I think she could have handled the hike up, bu the hike down was tough due to the loose shale and pebbles. As I approached a squirrel was sitting on the log under which the cache was hidden. The GPS took me to within a few feet and the telltale chunk of bark lying at an odd angle really gave it away. I took a cool karabiner key chain and consumed a granola bar to get it out of the cache. Such sacrifices we must make. I left a small toy camel and a blue glass moon-like paperweight. Meanwhile, Bearfr took a few pictures of some of the many flowers. Pictured above is what she called, Butter & Eggs. Great views were certainly to be had. After all, this is Montana.

[log]This is a wonderful location for a cache, and the hike really wasn't all that bad. We enjoyed the Rock Creek Enterprative trail at the same time. The cache was rather bare of items. That seems curious after the entries of previous cachers. I took a carabiner keychain, and left a blue glass ball (Blue Moon?) and Camel figure. This was fun following the trials of the search for Variations on a Theme I. Thanks Red Hot Mama for another good one. James & Penny


#54 Traditional Cache Harrison Hideaway by river runner Harrison, Montana - July 10, 2004
Canoe on car Canoe in water Canoeing
Map Harrison Hideaway cache in Willow Creek Reservoir

Bearfr will always have her souvenir FTF (First to Find) prize from Harrison Hideaway cache– a beautiful oval tiger’s eye set in a turtle pendant. She hung it on a leather cord and basks in the complements every time she wears it! The thrill was in doing a level 5 cache, transporting the canoe to the lake and paddling to a location not reachable by shore, only to be the FTF!!! Beautiful scenic location combined with a fun challenge; who can beat it! We both feared the work it would involve but were pleasantly surprised that it was easier than we thought. When we slid the canoe into the water of Willow Creek Reservoir, we were showing .92 mile away. With the wind we had to have rowed at least two miles, only running the canoe into the rocks maybe a half dozen times. Once we tied up, the hike was easy, the GPS taking us right on top of it. In addition to the Tiger's Eye Turtle Necklace we picked up a Karabiner compass, and left a Mustang Calendar and a Hex Key set. We took lots of pictures, including one of a lone doe standing on the hillside across the lake, watching us. The trip back to the car was more like a half mile, with the wind to our backs, however, we were too tired to take the canoe off the car when we got home. Saved it for morning.

Willow Creek Reservoir Bearfr sorting through Harrison Hideway cache

[log] Ahhhh! A fine find. We tried this one a week ago but ran out of time trying to find a land route to it. Decided that we would go back with the canoe. It's been five years since we have had it out and kind of forgot how much fun it was, and how much work it really wasn't. Thanks Don and Nancy for placing this and making us work just a little. It was a bit windy--we rowed at least two miles to get there and about a half mile to get back--and the noisy boaters often disturbed the sereneness of it all, but still it was well worth it. Penny loved the tiger's eye turtle necklace and the karabiner compass. We left a Mustang calendar and a hex wrench set in trade.


Ours #3 Traditional Cache GeoTour #12: Helena New by paddock2 adopted by TeamHelena  Helena, MT - July 11, 2004
Carousel Ice Cream in the Great Northern Town Center The Art Wall in the Great Northern Town Cente
The Brewhouse in the Great Northern Town Cente Much fun to be found at the Great Northern Town Center in Helena, Montana, an exciting place for for kids of all ages. Once you locate the cache reward yourself with licorice ice cream, or any flavor of your choosing, and then a ride on the famous Carousel.

The land on which Helena New resides was the former and long time abandoned depot of the Great Northern Railroad. In 2001, after many years of planning and land purchase finagling, the City of Helena turned this eye-sore into a brand new downtown development, now proudly known as the Great Northern Town Center. In the vision put forth between the city and developers, a 5-part definition was set forth:

  • Where the people are
  • Where you take your friends and people you love
  • Scaled for people and accommodating to automobiles
  • A place with integrity, vitality, a sense of permanence
  • With varied and interesting architecture, a feeling of safety, and convenience
Following the development of new zoning rules, ground was broken and before long all the goals were met." Let's go down to the carousel and get some ice cream," is a common phrase used by all ages of folks living in Helena. When friends and family visit, this is one place they are brought to show off the city, and so we thought this is where we'd like to bring our friends of the Geocaching community. In one of the pictures above, one can see the cache location, if one knows where to look. This picture (right) provides a hint. Hint - In the Silence You'll Hear all the Answers

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]

Gleaming flanks and necks,
Ponies dancing in a ring;
Calliope song.


Ours #4 Traditional Cache GeoTour #11: Helena Old by paddock2 adopted by TeamHelena Helena, MT - July 11, 2004
Guardian of the Gulch

Since we made a Helena New cache in the new Great Northern Town Center, we thought we'd do the same with Helena Old in historic Helena Downtown where folks could enjoy old buildings, superb food and candy, and history. Shadowed by Scapegoat, Little Belt and Sleeping Giant mountain ranges, we took a stroll up historic Last Chance Gulch  until we found ourselves sitting in the old yellow trolley car that has been part of Downtown Helena for as long as we could remember. From there we looked up at the Guardian of the Gulch, a fire tower erected after an1876 fire destroyed the downtown area. The Guardian of the Gulch was manned around the clock to keep watch over the city in case of another fire breakout.  The Guardian is the last remaining tower of the many that once existed in Helena. In fact it is one of only five of its kind left standing in the United States.

Less than 30 feet from where we sat stood the Lasso the Moon toy store. With a name like that we just had to go in and browse around. Next store to that was the Ghost Art Gallery. We couldn't help going in there as well to admire western and wildlife art, featuring over 80 of Montana’s finest artists. Did I mention that the Ghost Art Gallery used to be Big Dorothy's Brothel? If you should decide to search down this cache, be sure to allow time to stroll the entire downtown walking mall. When you get hungry, check out Taco del Sol or any of dozens of fine eateries.

Ghost Art Gallery Lasso the Moon Toys Trolley

In December of 2006 we relocated from Montana to Southern Arizona. As per Geocaching rules, one must be able to service their caches. Since that would be difficult from Arizona, we offered all our caches out for adoption to the great Geocaching friends we've made over the years. TeamHelena of Helena, Montana adopted Helena Old in October, 2006.

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]

Amid darkened shops,
Lazy strolling families;
Downtown evening


Ours #5 Traditional Cache Helena View by  paddock2 Helena, Montana - July 11, 2004
Helena, Montana with Sleeping Giant in the background

After Helena New and Helena Old, it just seemed right to have a Helena View to finish off the trio, and we made it a bit more of a challenge, requiring the cacher to read signs, follow cryptic instructions and to do a little math. The view above is what one should see from the starting point. From there they must follow these instructions:

[the cache] Step 1 - Drive to the listed coordinates. Enjoy your first view of Helena. The fellow in the distance with the big nose is the Sleeping Giant. Now find the street sign with two "W" streets and a DEAD END. Look at the largest number on the signs. A = the first digit of that number. B = the second digit of that number. C = the sum of the digits. D = twice B(Can you tell yet that 1/2 of Paddock2 is a math teacher?)Step 2 - You will now head for N 46 BB.828 W 111 59.DD9. To get there: Go C/2 blocks east on Winnie. Turn right onto the street named for "what woodworkers do to finish wood." Cross 2 streets, then the road will curve left and become Virginia Dale. Follow it and turn right on a new street named "A fruit used to fight scurvy - A Tool used to fire clay." Stay on this main paved road; DO NOT ENTER ANY PRIVATE DRIVES. The road will eventually become South Hills. With roughly .8 miles to go, the road will become improved gravel. As you follow your GPS, think "Keep Montana Green" and be sure to look beneath the boughs. You are hunting for a micro cache. Be sure to read the 1st page of the log for final coordinates. Log that you made it this far with the stubby if you like. Step 3 - Turn up Martinez Gulch and follow the new coordinates to the cache. It is only a few steps of the road.

With a little luck the cacher may come upon a few of the resident deer of Helena, one report had them numbering in the 400's living in Helena neighborhoods. They make it very hard to maintain flower and vegetable gardens. The first to find the cache just happened to be our son, Kelly. How cool is that? Maybe he had a little inside knowledge.

Deer in the city of Helena, Montana Buck in the city of Helena, Montana Our son, Kelly, was the FTF
The prize for the FTF (First to Find) was a brand new travel bug started by us. We called it the Keys to Fifty States. Its goal was to travel all over the United States gathering key fobs from each state. We started it with the Montana fob. As with so many travel bugs, it went missing, showing its last log in Georgia on October 24, 2006 after 4504.8 miles. Fortunately, just the week before, a cacher had photographed it with all the state fobs it had collected. Would have been cool to see it again.

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]

Winding through the hills,
A dusty track leads onwards;
Grazing deer glance up

Keys to the 50 states travel bug

[note] We left the "Key to 50 States" Travel Bug in this cache. It's goal is to travel as much as possible and eventually come home to its owners with a keychain from each of the 50 states.

Keys to the 50 states travel bug


Ours #6 Traditional Cache IceBox by paddock2 (adopted by Anawimess) Helena, Montana - July 11, 2004
Refrigerator Canyon One of our favorite places to hike and explore is Refrigerator Canyon, so why not place a cache there? Located within the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness, Refrigerator Canyon Trail is 9.1 miles long with views of Sheep Mountain and Candle Mountain, each over 7,000 feet, as well as possible sightings of mountain goats, deer and maybe even a black bear. Appropriate care and caution must always be observed when hiking Montana wilderness. The first quarter-mile, our favorite part on a hot summer day, enters a narrow canyon with 200-foot high limestone walls, at one point a mere 10 feet wide with a jumpable stream passing through. Cool breezes blow over the stream and between the rock walls to create a refreshing "refrigerator" effect, thus of course the name.

A "cool" place to hide a cache on a hot Montana summer day.
Refrigerator Canyon trail
Pollywog's Binky Bug

[note] We passed on the "Binky" travel bug when we placed this cache. It needs to meet new children.

In December of 2006 we relocated from Montana to Southern Arizona. As per Geocaching rules, one must be able to service their caches. Since that would be difficult from Arizona, we offered all our caches out for adoption to the great Geocaching friends we've made over the years. Anawimess of Helena, Montana adopted IceBox in October, 2006.
Trail Head to Ice Box


#55 Traditional Cache Kid's Cache by  helena5 Montana - July 13, 2004

We thought to start a new travel bug on my birthday and came up with a cute little children's book that we could attach to a TB. We called it Sara's Bedtime Story with the goal to eventually reach our 2-year-old granddaughter in South Carolina. What better place to start it than Kid's Cache . Packyfan, the first to pick it up, took it to Colorado where it visited various families before going missing in April, 2005. The following October only the tag showed up at a caching event.

[note] Sara's Bedtime Story has been missing for some time. We had given up hope until we were contacted by Ivy Dog Parents in Denver. It seems the TB Dog Tag showed up anonymously with many others at a C.A.C.H.E. meeting. Thank you, Ivy Dog Parents for going way beyond the call of duty and offering to return the TBs to their owners. If you're ever up in the Montana area, we'd love to give you a tour of the local caches. We are working on finding a substitute bedtime story to start this one on its way again to Sara in South Carolina.

Sara's Bedtime Story travel bug
Sara's Bedtime Story travel bug
We could not find another of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears books so opted for What Makes a Rainbow? and started Sara's Bedtime Story on its way again. In April, 2006 it went missing once more, last seen in Hogwarts, less than 100 miles from where it started. Total distance logged, 1350 miles.
The Shrine at Archie Bray Foundation

Archie Bray Foundation

"...for all who are seriously interested in any branches of the ceramic arts, a fine place to work."
    Archie Bray, Sr. 1951

Archie Bray Foundation for artists is the home of many an innovative statue done by resident artists over the years.

Searching for Kid's Cache was a real treat because it was located on the Archie Bray Foundation property. Founded in 1951 by brickmaker Archie Bray, and Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts is a public, nonprofit, educational institution with the sole purpose to be "a place to make available for all who are seriously and sincerely interested in any of the branches of the ceramic arts, a fine place to work." With workshops, classes, exhibitions and auctions, visiting artists and artists in residence have unlimited opportunity to excel in their art. As we walked the 26-acre property we found ourselves often stopping to admire or study the various clay and ceramic pieces scattered about. But be careful if you should visit. This is snake country and, as we can personally attest, skunk country. We spied the skunk and the cache about the same time. We gave the little critter plenty of right-of-way, being sure there wasn't more than one as we finally approached the cache. We traded, logged and made our departure.
Angel at Archie Bray Foundation The Story Teller at Archie Bray Foundation Wolf at Archie Bray Foundation

[log] Headed out tonight to pick up cache #55 on James' 55th Birthday. The bugs definately made us spray for them, and fortunately James stopped 3 feet from the skunk before it sprayed us. We traded Happy Budda for our Sara's Bedtime Story travel bug, took nothing else, but left a baseball and a pink bathtub pig. The area is definately worth a walk around and pictures. Just be sure to watch for skunks.


#56 Traditional Cache Wind in the Willows by tuba2tr  Canyon Ferry, Montana - July 16, 2004
Pelicans on Missouri River
Skull near Missouri River

Meriwether Lewis, August 1805
Wildlife Sign

I believe this was the hardest find we ever did; we spent hours and multiple trips before finally falling over it – by accident I swear. We came back to Wind in the Willows so many times we thought we'd have to start paying a squatting fee and had serious doubts about our skills as Geocachers. We crawled around on our hands and knees, found plenty of stickers, spiders, one snake and, fortunately, no poison ivy. And then, suddenly, there it was, leaving us feeling rather inadequate. But, hey! It's all in fun. It was a beautiful area for wildlife. We walked out almost to the end of the little spit and got a few pictures, including the pelicans lounging in the middle of the river.

[log] Thanks to bvhd cop's find, we didn't give up on this one but it led us a merry chase. Four trips to Townsend from Helena and a total of 4 1/2 hours of hunting; boy did we wonder about our skills when bvhd found it in 15 minutes! But it was a skillfully hidden cache - even once we found it, it was still hard to spot. The area is worth the find though; tons of birds and deer to see on a longer walk. Took the pink egg and left a Travis Tritt CD called "Trouble"-seemed appropriate and musical both. Thanks for the workout.

#57 Traditional Cache Variations on a Theme II by Red Hot Mama Missoula, Montana - July 17, 2004
On July 17th we headed over to Missoula, which we'll discover over the years will be our favorite city around which to cache and where we'll wind up with many great Geocaching friends, including Red Hot Mama, the owner of this cache, and her daughter, Leonata. Red Hot Mama is one of those people you'd love to claim as part of your own family.
                           Red Hot Mama

A view of the Clearwater River in Montana
From June through October of 2003, Red Hot Mama road her bicycle alone, unsupported and self contained, from Wolf Point, Montana to her 50th High School class reunion in Folsom, California, a round trip of 3400 miles. Two years later starting in May of 2005, to celebrate her 70th birthday, she biked 4500 miles, from Wolf Point, Montana, north through Ontario and Quebec to Bar Harbour Maine. She return via the more southern route south of the Great Lakes, arriving back in Montana in October, 5 months later. It was about that time that I, Frogwarts, had to climb some fifteen feet up a tree to log a cache that she planted.

[log] Clever hide but we're getting smarter. Of course, the hint helped a little bit and we walked right to it. We took the harder more tedious route up and then discovered a much nicer, more friendly trail back down. We loved the river view and the whole area. This one was fun. Thanks Red Hot Mama.


#58 Traditional Cache Clearwater Blackfoot cache by IFR GPS (adopted by yumitori) Missoula, Montana - July 17, 2004

Blackfoot RiverDeer


[log] This one seemed a bit difficult until we found it, and then wondered how we missed it. From one angle it was in plain view. We logged and then camouflaged it a bit better. The hint was tricky but we were able to make use of it in the end. We got lucky. No sooner had we logged in and put it back that four boat loads of rafters pulled in for lunch and took over the area. This was a beautiful spot.


#59 Traditional Cache Variations on a Theme IV by Red Hot Mama Missoula, Montana - July 17, 2004
Berries Ten years has gone by since we cached along the Blackfoot River and stopped in Johnsrud Park to pick up a couple more great caches by Red Hot Mama. I can still remember the trucks and cars full of kids--high school and college students from Missoula--swarming all over the park, launching floating vessels of all kinds. I see my note in the log about how they didn't pay much attention to us old farts. The date was just after my 55th birthday. If I was an old fart then, what am I now as I press through my 65th year? Has it really been 10 years since we started Geocaching? Where has the time gone?


[log] Is this a cool hid or what? We plan on using this technique in one of our own future caches. The area was slammed with people--hardly a parking space. This seemed to be the drop off point for river tubers--students from the university or just local kids. Truck after truck of tubes kept showing up and skimpy bathing suits were everywhere. Luckily the cache was a distance away and nobody was paying much attention to us old farts. We left a blue agate stone and a pink bug. We took nothing, logged and navigated our way out of the parking lot. Would love to come back with our own floaties. James & Penny


#60 Traditional Cache Hogwarts by Red Hot Mama Missoula, Montana - July 17, 2004


Owl Unfortunately, this cache was our first experience losing a TB – either muggled or dumped in a drawer by a newbie cacher who didn’t go on in the sport.

In honor of the owl stickers we left in the cache I pulled this owl photo that I took at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum shortly after moving to Arizona in 2006.

[log] This appears to be one of the inner tube pickup areas for some of those floating down from the Variations on a Theme IV Cache area up the river. When we stopped there it was a mad house with kids of all ages setting out on inner tubes for a cool afternoon ride. We envied them as the temps rose into the mid nighties. The cache was a bit difficult as the two GPSs kept bouncing all over the place. We kept checking out the little side-trails until James walked right up to it. Penny took the "P" notepad. We left a set of Owl stickers in honor of Harry Potter, plus the Happy Budda TB. The Budda is probably wondering what in the heck he fell into and is wishing someone would come along and rescue him. We hung around for a little while watching the kids in the river while Penny soaked her legs in the cold water. James dipped his head in and we headed on our way to our next scheduled cache.

I forgot to hit the button that said we dropped the Budda TB. So, here he is.


#61 Traditional Cache Caboose Cache by asatruar Missoula, Montana - July 17, 2004

I seem to recall a switch-back trail that kept us guessing as to the exact location of the cache. Apparently, according to our log, it was rated as a 1/1, that is a 1 in terrain and a 1 in difficulty. There was no way a wheelchair was going to navigate this trail unless it was an all-terrain wheelchair. We visited this site on July 17, 2004.  Several weeks later asatruar, the owner of the cache, filed this note:

The difficult has increased to 5, since the cache is under roughly 30 yards of clay.

Later, the cache was archived. Too bad.

Bonner Sign It was very interesting, this Milwaukee Road Caboose 992303 parked behind an enclosed structure in Bonner, Montana. At the time we couldn't find much to say why it was there, or maybe we were just so busy trying to find the cache that we just didn't pay much attention. What we have since found out is that this caboose was used on the Big Blackfoot Line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, or better known as The Milwaukee Road. It connected with the railroad's mainline at Bonner Jct. on the south bank of the Clark Fork River and extended 40 miles to Cottonwood in Powell County. Organized in 1910, the Big Blackfoot Line, or Big Blackfoot Railway, was acquired by The Milwaukee Road. It served the Anaconda Copper Mining Company sawmill at Bonner. The Milwaukee Road eventually grew to a transcontinental system spanning more than 10,000 miles. The Blackfoot Line was abandoned in 1977.
Caboose Caboose Cache Map

[log] We see from a previous log that we just missed the Jeep Travel Bug. Shucks! This one was tricky because we kept wanting to go to the wrong area. Parking and cache were somewhat seperated from each other. We had the impression that this was a real easy one with a 1/1 rating. That would tell me it would be wheelchair accessable. It wasn't. We also had the impression it was very close to the trail. It wasn't. At the end of a very hot day, we may have been just a little cranky, but I do think 1/1 should be reconsidered. We left bandaids (May be needed after the brambles), a Mickey Mouse pen, pink shoelaces, and a white hairclip. We also dropped a Canadian Geocoin. If you pick this up be sure to log onto the listed website and log your find, and keep it moving. We took nothing from the cache.


#62 Traditional Cache Chronological Progression by Jennifer&Dean Missoula, Montana - July 17, 2004

The Chronological Progression Cache was disabled in 2006 because the structure it resides on was getting ready to be replaced, at least that's how we interpreted it from Jennifer&Dean's log.

...since the structure the cache resides on is going to be replaced soon we hve removed the cache until the work is done.

A month later they archived it.

The picture below was captured from Google Earth on March 6, 2014. The picture at top left was taken in 2004 by us. Sure seems like the same bridge to me. When was this replacement supposed to take place?

Bridge 2

[log] Being a very hot July afternoon, where will some of the kids hang out? On the old bridge where they can jump or dive into the water. Where is this cache? Hmmm! Both our GPSs took us right to it but there were a half dozen kids practically sitting on it. We hung around for a while and then decided to go on to the Caboose Cache less than a mile away and then come back. We did and when we returned all the kids were gone. James found the cache quickly and then all of a sudden there were kids coming from everywhere again. We managed to log and then get it hidden dispite them only a few feet away but decided not to spend a lot of time going through the coins and seeing if we could add to the progression. Managed a few pictures for the scrapbook and then headed on our way.


#63 Traditional Cache Herd of Turtles: Micros for the Masses I by Leonata- Missoula, Montana - July 17, 2004
Playground Without a doubt, playground caches can be some of the hardest with loads of potential muggles... curious-eyed children and the parents of curious-eyed children. We stood in this playground with our GPS's in our hands considering the title and staring at this red playground device. We are so glad we hit this late on a Saturday night. A few hours later we'd likely be trying to explain to a couple of parents why we were lying on the ground, poking around under this turtle while their kids played on top. Geocaching has its own set of unique challenges.

[log] After many other tricky and clever caches, we are starting to have a good idea what to look for. With a couple of lurkers probably wondering what we were doing, we managed to walk a few circles and then plop down right next to it. It took a bit of imagination to find and extract it while possibly being watched but James managed it. I think he even impressed Penny. By the time we log it the lurkers had wandered away and the rehide was easy. Thanks for an easy one after a long, hot day of caching.


#64 Traditional Cache Wandering in the Dunes by Mark & Geri Ulm, Montana - July 24, 2004
Jeep with Snake We wandered onto the Wandering in the Dunes Cache with apparent disregard for our safety. Luckily the two snakes in nearby residence weren't of the poisonous variety.

Looking back at the logs in preparation for writing this entry, I spotted yumitori's "found it" log on the same day as ours. Further investigation revealed that that was the day in which we met yumitori and leonada, who became our great friends throughout our Montana Geocaching days. Most sadly, yumitori (Ron Martino) passed away on April 28, 2013. His haikus will live on forever.

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]
Walking in the dunes, 
A curlew spooks underfoot;
Grit in my sandals.

[log] Short hike with a gentle climb led us to an easy find with the cache, despite the two non-poisonous snakes who appeared unhappy to be disturbed with all of our banging around to make our presence known. The cache itself was snake-less, much to our joy. Also to our joy was our second Jeep travel bug. We left a 16-foot tape measure. Follow the hint and you can't go wrong on this one.


#65 Event Cache Great Falls 1st 'Homo Sapians' Cache by  XVampire Montana - July 24, 2004
Penny and Leonata Homo Sapiens Event
Winning Hand

[log] Great fun, food and caching. Made faces of many of the handles we've seen logging throughout Western Montana. A great round of applause to the Xvampire Duo (Kevin & Colleen) for putting the event together. It was great to find out how many things we had in common with other cachers; we found out we are not the only ones crazy enough to crawl around in thorn bushes, regardless of ticks or snakes, just to find a Tupperware box full of cool trinkets. We compared one-day caching records; came up with 37 for an individual and 72 for a group caching machine. James won the low hand off the 5-part poker run cache with a 10-high. Penny's pair of 4's lost to a pair of aces--surprise, surprise. We cached around Great Falls and then headed on home, happy to have made so many new friends. Oh! We too a TB (will log it later when it gets logged in) and left a baseball and a letter opener.


#66 Traditional Cache Dam Overlook by  XVampire Great Falls, Montana - July 24, 2004

We loved many a walk along this beautiful river trail in Great Falls, hunting for old and newly placed caches, enjoying the water, the scenic views and the wildlife.

DamSignRainbow Falls

[log] Incredible views of the dam and Rainbow Falls. We had been to Giant Springs before but never went further on; thanks for bringing us up here. Cache was easy find and fortunately NO snakes. Took a mini flashlight and left a hacky sack


#67 Traditional Cache West Bank Park by beeverboy Great Falls, Montana - July 24, 2004

Birds in Flight

[log] What a cool little hidden park with a million birds on the river. You definately need to follow the signs to get there; we could see it for a mile before we found the entrance. James got some great birds-in-flight pictures and we found the cache with ease, even though we're not sure how the hint applied. It was a good thing the river was not any higher or wading would have been necessary.


#68 Traditional Cache Lewis Points "da" Way by AbeariR Great Falls, Montana - July 24, 2004

Lewis points the Way

[log] Interesting statue and history and a sneaky hide on the cache.This was number 3 for our Great Falls day.


#69 Puzzle Cache Parks Are Really Kool (P.A.R.K.) by  XVampire Great Falls, Montana - July 24, 2004

Giant Springs

Giant Springs 6
Sign Jaycee Park
Madison Sunnyside Park

[log] As out-of-towners, this took us awhile. XVampire had given us the park names at the Homo Sapiens event; we could look all but one park up in our GPS to get locations. The last park we never found - just back figured the clue with logic. Looking at the pictures on this page first for clues helps, but if you are not from Great Falls you might ask for the park names first from XVampire. The mathematical clues were excellent and the final cords right on. This was our last of 4 GF caches we finished after Homo Sapiens before heading home. It was cool that James remembered one of the parks from when he lived nearby as a high school student. Thanks for the exercise - mind as well as feet.


#70 Traditional Cache  Mason Cache by soylentpink Montana - July 31, 2004

Another fun caching day trip, this time up to Mullen Pass off Highway 12 to learn about the history of the Masons in Montana while driving through fields of balsamroot sunflowers  in Little Sunflower Meadow. We witnessed an underground stream, evidenced by the different vegetation growing on the surface of the ground as the water ran just underneath the surface. Monkeyflower, Owl Clover, Fireweed, Elephanthead, Bristle Thistle and Sego Lilies covered the meadow nearby. Finding an old bottle in the center of the road, we filled it with sunflowers and left it standing as an offering to the Gods. The area so inspired us that we found a place to put our 7th Hide – Double Cairns.

The History of Mullen PassMullen Pass Sunflower
Owl Clover Fireweed
Elephant Head Yellow Monkeyflower
Mariposa Lily Thistle

On the way to Mason Cache, we saw a beautiful herd of deer in with softly velveted antlers – and where  were they? – off Henderson street right in the middle of Helena.

Bucks 5


[log] The coordinates led us right to this cache. We were a bit concerned from some previous logs as to the spookiness of the area; however we found it to be quiet and beautiful. We aren't sure if we discovered the actual Masonic sight or not since all we saw was corrals, fences and pallets. We took the tattoos and the moose postcard, left bungee cords and a keychain flashlight.


Ours #7 Traditional Cache Double Cairns by by frogwarts & bearfr - adopted by Jennifer&Dean  Montana - July 31, 2004

Close to 9 years later, cachers still stop and meditate in the beautiful view from this lofty spot.  We love receiving their logs and knowing we brought them joy and peace by placing it.


[note] Just a reminder - we left a little yellow something as a first finder prize!

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]

Glory days long past,
Relics along the pathway;
Flowers find shelter


#71 Traditional Cache Ophir Cave by  2OldGeolopies Montana - July 31, 2004
Our fantastic day was closed out with an awesome cave adventure. Lost satellite in the cave once, but safely found the treasure. Saw an ancient rappelling  system made of wooden box steps to help the climbers. Cave Paintbrush
Cave Butterflies Caveout

[log] Because we came at this one from the Mason Cache, instead of from Avon, we stopped before we got to the road for the parking area. As a result we wound up walking an extra couple tenths of a mile straight up the hill. If you do the same as us we recommend driving until you see the Cave Gulch sign. The cave was awsome but we did only safe exploring. We are not rapelling people. We lost satellites once at the cave, but the clue took us right to the cache anyway. We took the Yakamotsu toy and left orange shoelaces and a travel backgammon game. Thanks for the cool cache,


#72 Traditional Cache Hell's Gate by Jon Straughn Montana - August 1, 2004

Another multiple cache day in Augusta thanks to prolific cache-hider Zac59410.  We love the drive up, walking the rivers and meadows, and challenging our minds on the sneaky camo hides.

Lunch Cliffs
Monarch Butterflies


[log]Although a bit hot, I enjoyed the hike in. Didn't see any game. The heat was probably keeping them down in the brush and shady areas. I had thoughts of laying down in the creek myself. The cache was easy to find. Traded my Frog and Compass key chain for the puzzle. I only admired the Collector TB. Since it had passed through our hands a month or so ago I chose to leave it for another cacher. Thanks Jon Straughn for this cool cache.


#73 Traditional Cache Swallow Canyon by  zac59410 Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004

One of our favorite Augusta walks, along the river to view the swallow nests in the riverside cliffs.

Swallow Nests Penny at Cliff

[log] This one started out our second Augusta Zac cache day. It was a beautiful crisp morning for a walk by the creek. We crossed with no problems, and Penny managed to climb over trees to the cache without falling off the cliff. We took two kid's board games, and left a smiley fishing bobber, a Yakamotsu toy and the Jenny Lind travel bug for future finders. We saw the swallow nests on the way out and wondered where the old country road used to go. You know all the great spots Zac, thanks


#74 Traditional Cache Indian Painting Cache by zac59410 Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004


[log] Our second Elk Creek Road cache out of four for the day. We were sweating this one some from Zac's description of the rock climbing involved, but we ended up taking a wrong fork in the trail, climbing an easy slope, and coming down a short 25 foot gully from the top of the cave instead of up the rocks from the bottom. Definately recommend this way - it's more like a 2.5. For our efforts we got Zac's Second to Find Prize - 2 steak and shrimp dinners at the end of our caching day! Recommend everybody drive to Choteau; the food at Zac's restaurant is excellent, and the service superb. At the cache, we saw one circle Indian painting but couldn't find the horse. It was a great cache and well worth the effort. We left a pencil flashlight, a lizard and a Montana postcard.


#75 Traditional Cache BigFoot's Lookout #1 by zac59410 Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004



We hiked, we found the cache, we saw footprints and scat, but where, oh where, is that Bigfoot?!?


[log]Cache #3 for the day. Wandered around some before settling on the right hill - which was covered with wildflowers. Cache was no problem; took a platypus beanie, left a snake, Koosie and stapler puller. It was so windy, even Bigfoot was keeping his head down; we never spied him.

The Fun Continues - Part III
Part I Part II
#76 Traditional Cache Wrong Twig by zac59410 Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004
Wrong Twig Bear

Keep your eyes peeled; it really is right there –thanks to clever Zac. Seeing the bear was a plus for the trip!


[log]Final and fourth Elk Creek Road Cache. Zac is sneaky,but we're getting smarter about his tricks. The best part of this cache turned out to be an error. On the way back down the road to the car, Penny dropped our logging pencil. We drove back to see if we could spy it, did, and also spied a gorgeous adult black bear, who looked at us in curiosity from the hill, then lumbered off into the aspens.


#77 Traditional Cache One for Zac to find too!! by XVampire Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004


[log]Thanks to XVampire for sneaking in a non-Zac cache. This was our #5; we went through a lot of logs, but it was there.


#78 Traditional Cache Nilan Cache by zac59410 Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004


Nilan Reservoir

[log]We followed directions about going through the posted NO Trespassing fence, and found the cache with no problem. The lichens that Leonata spoke of are gorgeous, even in broad daylight. Took a multicolored Emery board, left a cell phone case and a pink lizard. When we got back to the car, a friend of the landowner had taken our license plate down, but was reasured when we told him what we were doing with permission. He turned out to be a really interesting old cowboy with his trusty dog Duke and his 38 Colt.


#79 Traditional Cache Warner Place Cache by zac59410 Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004
Notes Augusta

[log]#7 of our 9 cache day. We had done Twin Springs on an earlier trip but missed this one. Easy find by the creek - missed the Bigfoot travel bug, but snagged the Trashy Racheal bug. We took her along with a pencil-topper frog for James, and left a wrist pouch, a twisty toy and a yellow swirled paperweight egg. We'll pass Racheal on at the Crazy Cachers' Confluence on the 22nd.


#80 Traditional Cache 7 Mile Hill Micro by zac59410 Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004
Notes Mile High View


[log]Almost took the scenic route as usual for us. Stopped two parking pull offs too soon, but smartened up when we faced a cold walk in the wind. Found the cache with no problem, logged and left a tiny rubber snake coiled in the bottom for the next finder - he's really cute! Found tiny, tiny bones and TWO business cards from MoonCat in Missoula - one on the road at the first pull off and another on the road at the right pull off. Wierd! Will have to check her business out the next time we are in Missoula.


#81 Traditional Cache Tractor Park Micro Cache by zac59410 Augusta, Montana - August 7, 2004


Notes Mile High View

[log]We agree with the kids; we'd call this Tractor Park too. Our GPS led us around in circle for a while - who knows why - but James persevered and found it at last. We adjourned to John Henry's for steak and shrimp. What a great way to end the day.


#82 Traditional Cache Gag Me!! by Anawimess Montana - August 13, 2004


Why oh Why are they always at the TOP of the hill?!

Mile High View

[log]Truely a challenge for the high clearance Explorer. We got there and couldn't see the reason for the 4 in difficulty, until we got within 500 feet. Oh Boy! A half hour of poking around the rock and ledges finally revealed a very nice cache. Took the key chain keeper. Left a rubber snake. Thanks for this neat one. Frogwarts & Bearfr (Paddock2)


Ours #8 Traditional Cache Hidey-Hole Park #1 by paddock2 (adopted by ClancyCrawlers) Helena, Montana - August 12, 2004

Decided on a park series of our own in Helena Parks; this park is our favorite and the eventual site of one of our events.

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]

Walking hand in hand,
Together along the path;
Umbrellas bumping.


Ours #9 Traditional Cache Hidey-Hole Park #2 by paddock2 (adopted by Team Helena) Helena, Montana - August 12, 2004
Cache Hide 9

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]

Seeking mindlessness,
Pounding feet upon the path;
No outrunning thoughts.


Ours #10 Traditional Cache Hidey-Hole Park #3 by paddock2 (adopted -CerealBoxMonsters)
10 Hides
Achievement of 10 cache hides
Helena, Montana
- August 12, 2004
Cache Hide 10

[cache log in memory of our great friend yumitori, master of the haiku]

The scurrying mouse,
Atop the rock outcropping;
By a lonely pine.


#83 Traditional Cache  Summer Visitor by Zevan Montana - August 14, 2004

Start of a three day trip to Spokane

Bridge Signing

[log]Our first cache in a 3-day, 3-state(Montana, Idaho, Washington)caching vacation, and what a nice one. Took the pillcase, a dice and the 698 Travel Bug; left a frog with putty eyes, a computer snake game, and a smiley fishing bobber. We will place the travel bug in the Crazy Cachers' Confluence for pickup on August 22, 2004.


#84Traditional Cache Kellogg Micro IV - Down By The Station by N7SZY Kellogg, Idaho - August 13, 2004
Even though Penny had visited Kellogg many times in the past, caching here brought us to many new and fascinating quaint historic places within the town that were unknown to her. Railcar

[log]Took several tries using the hint to open our eyes to what was right in front of us, but we got it. Also found the benchmark and will try to research it at home.


#85 Traditional Cache Kellogg Micro II - Don Quixote by N7SZY Kellogg, Idaho - August 14, 2004


[log]Loved all the statues in Kellogg; this one was an easy find and hide.


#86 Traditional Cache  Kellogg Micro III - "Old Nordberg" by N7SZY Kellogg, Idaho - August 14, 2004


[log] Found this as our third micro of the day; the history of this area is really interesting - thanks for the tour. Did not see any wasps to worry about at this time; hopefully they've migrated!


#87 Traditional Cache  Kellogg Micro I - State Quarter Exchange by N7SZY Kellogg, Idaho - August 14, 2004


[log]Our 4th and final micro of the day before heading for a Spokane wedding. Caching sure helps break up traveling. This tour of old time mining has been very interesting; can't imagine riding into the dark on this.


#88Virtual Cache Reach for the Brass Ring! by Turtletrax Spokane, Washington - August 14, 2004WA
How can you ride the carousel with your kids numerous times and never know there is a cache here? That’s the intrigue of caching. Carousel

[log] Went to Spokane for a wedding, and after the reception was over, we grabbed a few quick Spokane caches that we had looked up at the Spokane Public Library earlier. Penny loves to ride carousels, but it was tougher in a long dress and pearls - note the walking shoe compromise!


#89 Virtual Cache Upper Falls by Fire Elemental (Originally Owned By SpiderTracks)

Spokane, Washington - August 14, 2004
Falls Falls


[log]It was dark with the falls lighted as we stood on the bridge - gorgeous! Will email the answers.


#90 Multi Cache Spokane County Court House by night by Silver-Klutz

Spokane, Washington - August 14, 2004
Did our first night cache here. Courthouse

[log]Loved the Courthouse in the dark - gorgeous architecture and lighting. But the locations of the two parts of this cache were less appreciated. A woman caching alone would not go either place, and even as a husband-wife team it was spooky. The benchmark find made it worth the time though.


#91 Traditional Cache Four! by GangofTen Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004

On to Couer D’Alene for an entire day of 10 caches in and around the lake and its islands. One of the day's highlights was the large art-painted statues of animals we had seen in other NW towns; Couer D’Alene sports the moose – painted with every scenery coat you can imagine.

This hide was on the golf course that backs onto the back yard of my ex mother-in-law’s house, a place where I spent many an enjoyable weekend with Jean and Papa playing cards and hunting missing golf balls with the kids on that same golf course, never knowing of the existence of the cache.



[log]This one was great fun; it turned to be right next to Penny's ex-mother-in-law's house; she had spent many pleasant hours there with no knowledge of the cache's existence ( or of caching either until she married frogwarts!)


#92 Traditional Cache Honey what!?! by GangofTen Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004
Honeypot Spider


[log]Number 2 of a 13 cache day; a quick and easy find. Nice trail system.


#93 Traditional Cache Riverview Knoll by  topotracker Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004


[log]Nice little park. Slighly hard to find entrance. As well as a cache find, we got lots of new ideas for hiding caches in nature that we'll try out in Montana.


#94 Multi Cache Blackwell Island Hide by kavuday Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004
Flower Geese Poppy


[log]Beautiful wetlands area with a boardwalk; will spend some time IDing all the new plants and flowers we saw. The final cache is a nice island area also. Watch out for wasp nests on the first two stages; the ones we saw were currently uninhabited. We took a dice for Penny to use in her math classroom and left a skiboat bath buddy. Cache looked OK - no more muggling with.


#95 Traditional Cache HWY 95 South Bound Travel Bugs by thehobbler, adopted by BirdTrekker Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004


[log]Found a bug here - the Warthog Pumbaa, which we will place in Crazy Cachers' Confluence to be picked up on August 22, 2004. Also tooka golf ball for James and a dice for Penny; left a frog bookmark and a frog pencil topper in honor of frogwarts and the wierd fact that this was cache 95 for us.


#96 Traditional Cache Walk the Boardwalk by kavuday Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004

This cache hide brought back memories for Penny of the parasail ride she took on the lake.  A last minute swerve by the boat to avoid a water-skier, pulled by a boat whose driver was not paying attention, dumped Penny in the lake instead of the boat deck on the way down.  Getting towed 500 ft with a wet parachute on her back, before the wench line could be stopped made for exciting viewing by all the people on the Boardwalk and beach. No harm- no foul, so this was a good memory to come back to.


[log]Sure - there had to be a boat sale going on right next to this one! But we prevailed and hid each other long enough to log it. The boardwalk facts were interesting.


#97 Traditional Cache Tubbs Hill Cache by Moun10Bike and idspud Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004

[log]Our first cache of 4 for the hill. We are worried though; the container was exposed, the travel bug was gone, and no log entries had been made since the bug was placed. Muggles? We hope not. Since there were very few trade goods left, we took the wizard, left a ellow frog, an ice scrapper, a hair clip and an official baseball, then re-hid the container carefully.


#98 Traditional Cache  Pick-Me-Up Cache by  thehobbler Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004


[log]This was our second find for Tubbs Hill, after we re-read the directions to find the cache four times. It was right were it was supposed to be. We had forgotten to wrap our gift when we left home, so it now sports a multicolored Kleenex travel pak wrapper and a bow made of extra tree-flagging tape we found on the ground at Highway 95 Depot cache. James ended up with a ski mask, and Penny a clock so thanks to all who placed gifts. This sounds like a great idea to import to Montana. We also appreciated the 3 other cache coordinates on the hill; we had forgotten to print two of them at home.Thanks - frogwarts and bearfr.


#99 Traditional Cache Mustang #1 by thehobbler Couer D'Alene, Idaho - August 15, 2004
Dog View

[log]We were running out meter time on the car, so James jogged from Pick-Me-Up cache back to the boardwalk to bring the car around to the east parking area, while I (Penny) when on up the hill to this one. He was already at the car when I found it, so I think the terrain rating is correct. That is one steep hill, but the cache was worth it. Thanks - frogwarts(James) and bearfr(Penny) Paddock2.


Bob Marshall Wilderness
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