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Caching on business trip in Houston


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#21 northern girl

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:26 PM

Hello Houston cachers. Just a bit more than two weeks :)

 

I do have two questions left that you might help me with.

 

1. I don't mind creepy crawlies, but what about poisonous ones? Someone already mentioned snakes. Are there other beasts I should avoid in George Bush Park? I'll certainly bring my hiking boots along.

 

2. And I know the States are car country. Will it look suspicious when I walk through a residential area and search for caches or walk to a shopping center (hey, it's just around than three miles. Sounds very doable, even in hot and humid weather)?

 

Thanks a lot



#22 Baytown Bert

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 12:42 PM

We have 3 VENOMOUS snakes, none of which are poisonous, even if you eat them. The copperhead, cottonmouth, and coral snakes. Learn to identify them. Keep your eyes open and give them a wide berth. Oleander plants will kill you dead if you ingest the fluid in them and there are others. Don't put any plant in your mouth on the trail and you will be good. We have 2 real bad spiders. The black widow and brown recluse. As with snakes, don't put your hand any place a stick can do better. We have lots and lots of thorns ranging from cactus to tall Devils walking stick in George Bush Park. We have fricken CHIGGERS (or redbugs, whatever), ticks, and mosquitoes in abundance. Our humidity and heat can kill a person who stays outside on the trail without copious amounts of water. All of us know of people being taken to the hospital while caching due to the heat. We have bee hives in old trees and hornets and bumble bees which burrow underground. Very few caches are actually in residential areas, but in small parks. You should have no problem.

Edited by Baytown Bert, 30 May 2013 - 12:47 PM.

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#23 northern girl

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 01:43 PM

Wow, that's a lot of dangerous beasts  :what???:  OK, spider cuddling is out of the question then. Thanks a lot for this great advice, I'll certainly bring photos of these animals along, just to be sure.



#24 Baytown Bert

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:26 PM

Just keep the normal amount of diligence, especially when caching solo and you will do fine.

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#25 chefkimmo

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:42 PM

Northern girl, there is a thread on this site where others were discussing snakes seen while caching so you could get a good look there... and the saying that always helps to know what to be aware of is in that thread.  



#26 Dhaulaghiri

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:45 PM

Hi Northern Girl,

 

Just wanted to chime in, since you are a fellow European! I moved to Houston with my wife last October and I've been doing a lot of caching since. In fact I have now found more caches in Texas then in the Netherlands.

Unfortunately I won't be around when you will be in Houston, as we will be flying back to the Netherlands on June 14th and won't be back until June 22nd. Otherwise I would have gladly introduced you to the HGCS and shown you around to some really cool caches.

 

Now let me tell you something about the biggest differences between caching in Europe and caching in Texas:

 

The humidity is a killer combination with the heat, and I haven't even experienced summer (which, as everybody tells me, is HELL)

Walking to caches (for me) is only an option if they are no more then a mile (and sometimes less) away in an urban setting or waaaaaayyyyy less if it's in a park like George Bush, unless you are willing to sweat a lot!  So whatever you do, bring A LOT of water to drink!!! And don't forget about protection from the sun either!

 

In the six months I've been caching here I so far have only seen 2 snakes, but I consider myself lucky. Do not take the snake-thing lightly, most of them ARE Venomous and sometimes very well camouflaged. IF you decide to go out to GBP (George Bush Park) please do so with a local cacher and ALWAYS wear hiking boots, long pants and take at least a walking stick.

George Bush Park & Bear Creek Park are both beautiful & wonderful places to visit, but not like anything you've seen in Europe before. I was really surprised the first time I went out to either one, they're not really parks, more like THE JUNGLE!

 

Lots of vines, thorny plants, mud, water, etc. etc.

 

All the other wildlife will just scare you most of the time, but they will probably be just as scared of you. I've encountered Raccoons, Vultures, Lizards, Snapping Turtles, Coyotes, Wild Pigs, Deer, Tarantula's and many more.

 

Please understand me, I don't mean to scare you, but the season you've picked to go caching in one of the big parks is not the best (although some of the locals will tell you differently, they seem to love it!).

 

The events around here are really awesome, there's always lot's of cachers and some of them will be more than willing to take you on a trip. Also, if you have even half a chance: go out to Brazos Bend SP, it's al little ways out, but they've got cool caches and you'll be very likely to see alligators!

 

Please let me know if you want to know more!

 

Oh, btw: There is now sort of a bike-plan in Houston, but mostly in the DownTown area, and trust me unless you're out in a park, you don't want to be biking (again, the HEAT!), but drivers just aren't used to people biking that much AND there are almost no bike-lanes.

So you'll be stuck in among traffic most of the time, and they're NOT Toyota Aygo's or Smarts either! I'd say 80% is (Huge)SUV or Pick-Up Truck. A car is almost a MUST, and they are not very expensive to rent, and because they are automatic even easier to drive then our stick-shifts (IMHO). Then again, traffic in general can be a pain in the .....

 

Good luck!


Edited by Dhaulaghiri, 30 May 2013 - 03:02 PM.

"Do or do not, there is no try." -Yoda

 

"Some say he can get FTF on a 5 terrain cache blindfolded. Some say he's never decrypted a hint and doesn't own a GPSr. All we know is... he's called The STIG!" -Houston Control
 
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#27 Dhaulaghiri

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:07 PM

What's a bicycle? 

 

Awwww.... come on Bert, don't go acting innocent all of a sudden  :coolsmiley:


"Do or do not, there is no try." -Yoda

 

"Some say he can get FTF on a 5 terrain cache blindfolded. Some say he's never decrypted a hint and doesn't own a GPSr. All we know is... he's called The STIG!" -Houston Control
 
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#28 Baytown Bert

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:12 PM

 

What's a bicycle? 

 

Awwww.... come on Bert, don't go acting innocent all of a sudden  :coolsmiley:

 

I'm pure as the driven snow, I tell you...


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#29 Baytown Bert

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:34 PM

Here you go Northern Girl!

 


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#30 Mr Muddy Buddy

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:07 PM

We have 3 VENOMOUS snakes, none of which are poisonous, even if you eat them. The copperhead, cottonmouth, and coral snakes. Learn to identify them. Keep your eyes open and give them a wide berth. Oleander plants will kill you dead if you ingest the fluid in them and there are others. Don't put any plant in your mouth on the trail and you will be good. We have 2 real bad spiders. The black widow and brown recluse. As with snakes, don't put your hand any place a stick can do better. We have lots and lots of thorns ranging from cactus to tall Devils walking stick in George Bush Park. We have fricken CHIGGERS (or redbugs, whatever), ticks, and mosquitoes in abundance. Our humidity and heat can kill a person who stays outside on the trail without copious amounts of water. All of us know of people being taken to the hospital while caching due to the heat. We have bee hives in old trees and hornets and bumble bees which burrow underground. Very few caches are actually in residential areas, but in small parks. You should have no problem.

 

Now I'm afraid to go outside......

You forgot to mention wild hogs, bobcats, coyotes and chihuahuas.


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#31 cachestacker

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:27 PM

Think you meant chupacabras.


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#32 heftydude

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 10:44 PM

Hi Northern Girl,

Just wanted to chime in, since you are a fellow European! I moved to Houston with my wife last October and I've been doing a lot of caching since. In fact I have now found more caches in Texas then in the Netherlands.
Unfortunately I won't be around when you will be in Houston, as we will be flying back to the Netherlands on June 14th and won't be back until June 22nd. Otherwise I would have gladly introduced you to the HGCS and shown you around to some really cool caches.

Now let me tell you something about the biggest differences between caching in Europe and caching in Texas:

The humidity is a killer combination with the heat, and I haven't even experienced summer (which, as everybody tells me, is HELL)
Walking to caches (for me) is only an option if they are no more then a mile (and sometimes less) away in an urban setting or waaaaaayyyyy less if it's in a park like George Bush, unless you are willing to sweat a lot! So whatever you do, bring A LOT of water to drink!!! And don't forget about protection from the sun either!

Good luck!


Dhaulagiri - this has been like the *mildest* May we've had I in about ten years. You ain't seen nothin yet.

Your comments remind me of how I felt going to Arizona mid-summer to do some caching (okay, it was really a business trip too). The dry heat thing is amazing to me. 110 is frickin hot, bit is quite comfortable to climb a mountain out there. Really weird. Humidity is a huge drain.

Nor Girl - bring some (read lots of!) water unless you plan to urban cache from a car. And that would be my plan! No shame in a little AC every 528'.


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#33 northern girl

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:33 PM

I know, heftydude. I used to live in a desert country that had around 122F for two months. Caching there was rather interesting and involved drinking water by the buckets :laugh: I just came back from a rather hot place where I did lots of hiking, and am leaving for another hot one (about 100F) for work today. I hope I'll be accoustomed to the Houston heat. And if not, then the hotel pool is also a nice place to be.


Edited by northern girl, 30 May 2013 - 11:34 PM.


#34 Great Birds

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:14 AM

I'll give my $0.02 about the heat.  Stay out of the sun when at all possible, particularly as the day progresses.  If you can cache GB park and stay in the forested part you will be much better off.  Any amount of shade you can find will protect you and the sometimes still air in the forest is better than being directly under the hot Texas sun.  

 

It sounds like you are an experienced with the heat so you will be OK.  Just do be careful to bring more water than you might think you will need and be attentive to nature, she bites.  



#35 northern girl

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:02 AM

If I may ask: what areas are forested in GP park? Maybe you could point me to a cache in that area as Google Maps doesn't really help to identify such area if you're not familiar with the vegetation. Yes, my backpack can carry lots of water, and I'll use waterproof sunscreen and a wide-rimmed hat. Plus snakeproof (gotta test that as I'm only claiming it) boots.



#36 Baytown Bert

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 11:30 AM

I would do the Noble Road series starting right here: GC37HCV. Minimal bushwhacking and if you get tired, you turn around and walk back. No chance of getting confused.

Edited by Baytown Bert, 31 May 2013 - 11:31 AM.

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#37 northern girl

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:33 PM

Dhaulaghiri,

 

I completely forgot to reply to you. Cool, a Dutch guy in Houston! How do you survive without cycling? :NTN:  I used to live in the Netherlands. Shame you're not around at that time. Oh well, you can't have it all.

 

I've encountered Raccoons, Vultures, Lizards, Snapping Turtles, Coyotes, Wild Pigs, Deer, Tarantula's and many more.

 

Cool! I hope I'll see some local wildlife!

 

Once the map works again I'll check out if there's an event around somewhere. Would be great to visit one and get to know some local cachers.



#38 Eagles1181

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 01:47 PM

From what you posted I believe you are going to be in town the week of the 9-15.  There are two on Tuesday evening (11/6/2013) up on the north side of town, then there is my lunch event Wednesday.  

 

GC49R25 - Tuesday event

GC49Z1T - Tuesday Flash mob event

GC4CP8V - Wednesday lunch event

 

If I have the dates wrong, let me know and I can tell you what else is there.

 

Eagle


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#39 northern girl

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 01:58 PM

From what you posted I believe you are going to be in town the week of the 9-15.  There are two on Tuesday evening (11/6/2013) up on the north side of town, then there is my lunch event Wednesday.  

 

GC49R25 - Tuesday event

GC49Z1T - Tuesday Flash mob event

GC4CP8V - Wednesday lunch event

 

If I have the dates wrong, let me know and I can tell you what else is there.

 

Eagle

 

 Almost :) I'll arrive on the 15th and leave the following Saturday (phew.. what a long flight for such a short stay :blackeye: )



#40 Mr Muddy Buddy

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 08:21 PM

No.  I meant to say Chihuahua.  Those little "yippie" barks drive me insane.

 

Chupacabras, I can deal with...... 

 

 

Think you meant chupacabras.


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