Saturday, February 08, 2020

Geocaching: January 2020

I got into a weird habit of dividing my geocaching posts up by meteorological seasons. The last few seasons I found 17, 17, 9, 6, 10, 39, 37. This January, I found 47. So it seems time to move to months for a summary.

Before getting to January 2020, I found two caches in the winter portion of December 2019 that I should acknowledge. On a stop on Skyline Drive, I found an earthcache, which gave me County 101 (Warren County, VA). On New Year's Eve, I found a cache to give me the Goodbye 2019 souvenir (64th souvenir).

So, why 47 caches in January? Partially a desire to get more exercise, partially a well-timed trip to Colorado. 47 is of course, my busiest month.
Get ready for many more stats I achieved in January.

On January 1, I found a cache in Virginia, which gave me the Hello 2020 souvenir (65th souvenir), and the 3, 2, 1 go souvenir (it was the last day of a period in which I had to find 6 geocaches). It was also my first cache placed in March 2019 (Month 197).

I had a busy weekend the first weekend of the year, which led to my best weekend yet, and second busiest day yet on Sunday.
At the end of that Sunday, I had found some traditionals, some mysteries and a virtual when I saw a nearby, easy multicache. That's four types in one day.
One of the caches I found that day was placed in May 2007 (Month 198), which finishes off all 2007 months for me.

On my trip to Colorado, I decided to break my maximum distance in a day.
The Colorado souvenir was my 67th.
While staying in Denver, I found 10 of 13 counties in the North Central Colorado Urban Area. (I skipped the mountainous ones, since it was January.) Those were counties 102-111 for me.
The week of the trip was my most in a week.
My list of highest elevation caches looked substantially different, with only two caches from a 2007 cross-country drive remaining on the list, compared to the ones pre-trip.
While I was out there, I also managed to add January 2010 (Month 199), September 2008 (Month 200), December 2018 (Month 201),  January 2020 (Month 202) and June 2011 (Month 203).

Since Colorado is approximately the same latitude as Maryland and Virginia, I made some progress towards the North 39 Degrees Latitude Challenge, which requires me to find a cache in each minute of 39 Degrees North. After adding minutes 32, 33, 42, 44, 47, 49, 50, 58, I had 29 of the required minutes. (3 of the minutes were from a trip to California, where I may end up again this year.)

On the trip, I added my 41st and 42nd difficulty/terrain combos.
A very nice caching week, and not just statistically. There was also some very nice scenery. I wouldn't mind going back, and maybe hitting those mountain counties.

Back in the East, I got my 22nd First-to-Find on the 24th (my birthday!).

On the 26th, I knocked out a few more degrees. I picked up a cache in 38'43". I now have all the latitude minutes from 38'40" to 39'08". On the longitude side, I also got 77'06", 77'14", 77'16" and 77'38". I now have 45 of the 60 I need for the West 77 Degree Longitude Challenge. I now have all longitudes from 76'39" to 77'34".

On that day of caching, I stopped for a bite to eat. I went to see if any caches were nearby, and one was. After finding it, I discovered it gave me December 2009 (Month 204) and my 43rd D/T combo.

On the 28th, I picked up my 23rd FTF.
Then, on the 30th, I found a May 2019 cache (Month 205).

I am writing this in early February, so the stats below include a few caches I found this month, but no new months placed, I believe.

I see four distinct groups of missing months. There are the "ancient caches" -- from 2000 or 2001 (8 missing months). Those are often ones people need to plan trips in order to get, as there are only a few from certain months.

Then there are the "old caches" -- from 2002 to 2005 (11 missing months). These are rare, but not spectacularly so.

Next we have the "middle-aged caches" -- 2008 to 2013 (10 missing months). Because they are not of historical value, they are less likely to be preserved, but often they will pop up at random.

Finally, we have the "young caches" -- 2018 to present (3 missing months). They are not hard to find, but they are easy to miss as new months keep popping up on the calendar. (I am not counting February 2020, since this is a January post.)

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