Hi there, I’m Patches. Pleased to meet you. 

 

For years I have sat at home (near Vancouver, Canada) waiting for my BIG brother (too big to go in a geocache), Travelin’ Ted, to come home from his adventures with our friends, Terry & Sherrie.  They have a web site www.traveltales.ca (non-commercial) and on it Ted gets to show-off places they have been together.  In November 2012, while Sherrie prepared for their trip to India, I stowed away in her backpack.  I figured along the way I would find just the right geocache and begin to travel and collect stories on my own!

What's a geocache?  So glad you asked.   Geocaching is a world wide game of hide and seek and a geocache a the place in which "treasures" are hidden. Anyone can do it.  It's fun, easy and gets you to places, even in your own neighbourhood, you haven't explored before.  There's lots of information and how-tos at  http://www.geocaching.com .
MY GOAL is to return to a geocache near home … either Between 2 Parks (cache by CCRT&MET) in Langley, or, Little Treasures at Little Oak (cache by Little Oak) in Fort Langley, BC, Canada … BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, along the way, enjoy some travel and collect stories and photos from the geocache owners and the people who are helping me travel. 

I thought it was going to be easy to do what Ted had done, but it seems it’s not that simple at all ... I can’t move on my own, I didn’t take a camera AND I needed people to tell me their stories.   So there I was, throwing myself (I sometimes have a hard time doing that) on the mercy mercy of strangers (aka "friends in the making) and asking them to help me out with the travelling part as well as a photo (or 2 or 3) and hopefully a tale. 

 

I asked them if they would write about how they came to build their own geocache or how they came to find the geocache  I was in, or, maybe something that happened to them while geocaching or travelling (I love travel stories!).   I told them it could be short or long, funny, happy or sad; it can be about almost anything - all I asked was that it be a family friendly story and a true story.  I also told them if it was a good tale and/or a good photo, I would like to share it with other folks – LIKE YOU - on a web page of my own - LIKE THIS !   Ta-da ... here it is !

Sure appreciated your help, travel friends. Thanks so much !      

NOTE: 
The following posts are in
the order they were received
 starting at the top

For the latest posts,
scroll down to bottom.
 
 

   

2013 01 04

We have heard from my little brother, Patches.

He left Sherrie’s backpack in DARJEELING, INDIA and jumped in a geocache called “education connects people” in St Anthony’s School – a school of about 50 underprivileged elementary students w
...ho were practicing for a Christmas concert when we arrived.

We left and he stayed!

He has told us that he wanted to travel and collect stories on his own. He now finds he can’t move on his own, he didn’t take a camera AND he needs people to tell him their stories. Wonder how this is going to turn out!
Will keep you informed.


(To learn more about geocaching, check out www.geocaching.com)
See More

2013 01 13

NEWS ABOUT PATCHES - He was picked on December 10 up by a geocacher named SecretAgent-T, a kindergarten student from Edmonton!
SecretAgent-T (photo) writes, "My first trackable. I was so excited to find this one and especially in India."



2013 02 23

UPDATE on my little geocache travelling brother, Patches: TO VELSAO BEACH, GOA, INDIA
After being picked up in Darjeeling, in North Eastern India, Patches travelled with SecretAgent-T to midway on India’s west Goan coast to a golden beac...h, called Velsao. This beach, lined with tall coconut palms, harbours the occasional fishing boat and even fewer tourists. We don’t know why he didn’t stay in that cache, perhaps it wasn’t suitable after the monsoons.
SecretAgent-T brought Patches to his home in EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA. Although Patches got to visit 3 geocaches around Edmonton, SecretAgent-T felt they were unsuitable for Patches to wait out his next ride. SecretAgent-T’s dad was heading to New Zealand in February; perhaps Patches would enjoy doing part of the trip with him.
TODAY’S NEWS
Patches is camped out in a geocache called “Go Scorpions Go!” somewhere in FIJI. We look forward to the next update.
DISTANCE
Since leaving home November 6, 2012, Patches has travelled approximately 45,360 kilometres. In comparison, the measurement around the world at the equator is 40,075km.
See More
SecretAgent-T

2013 04 12

Today, April 12, 2013 I, was found by a geocacher named Jykk€ who has found 2,541 caches in the last two years! He carried me 10.46 miles to a geocache named Rarapatu on the most northern point on VITI ISLAND, FIJI . In the local Fijian... dialect, Rarapatu means ‘rock that is very far down’. The area is also known as Volivoli which means ‘trading place’ as it was once a popular point for inter-island commerce.
Although the move was short in distance perhaps this geocache will be more active and I might be on my way again soon. Here’s hoping !  signed ~ Patches
See More

2013 04 28

Hi brother and Travel Tales friends, sorry I’ve been far too busy to write; Jykk€ and I have been on the move … and boy have we ever been on the move. 

 

After a whirlwind tour of 8 different geocaches on Fiji, we climbed aboard a plane to do a little 8611.5km (5,350.93 mile) hop and arrived in LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA  April 24th.  We finished off the day by visiting 4 L.A. geocaches including one by the AT&T Sculpture; another near a ‘camp’ on the L.A. Marathon route; others by the Challenger Shuttle Memorial and the Avila Adobe.  The next day we visited two more in and around an American legend, Mel’s Drive-In, and then about a block away Station 10, with its Art Nuevo architecture.

On April 26, we visited a virtual cache in North Hollywood Park, where there is a statue of Amelia Earhart, called ‘California 9-11’; it had a special write-up on www.geocaching.com which I want to share.

The owner of the cache, Tom -- 'Brainerd', wrote,Imagine yourself leaving either the Boston or the New York City areas after a vacation or a business trip. It's early in the morning on just any other Tuesday, and although the flight is a non-stop, you won't be arriving home in California until that evening. However, on that particular Tuesday 19 terrorists decided that your destination would not be California, rather it would be either one of the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, or a field in Pennsylvania. * 9-23-2003 The original cache 'container' was removed. Nuts. I will replace it or modify it in the future. Until that time, as proof of your visit, when you log your find on the cache-page, please include the name from the plaque that follows alphabetically, the name listed in the log-entry previous to yours. You may wish to write down a few names -- in the event that there are multiple finds on the day you were at the cache site. Thanks.  * 10-8-2003 I am deeply touched by the direction of the logs on this cache page. Although it is not a requirement for verifying a visit, many geocachers have taken it upon themselves to research the history of the individual that they name in their logs. These moving tributes have made me conclude that this hallowed location would be better served if it were to remain a virtual cache. Therefore, I requested that the cache type be permanently reclassified.  It is a moving testament to the reverent and gracious character of geocachers.”

April 27 we went to 3 more LA geocaches including 2 by the big ‘HOLLYWOOD’ sign.  While on April 28 we took in 3 more including The Rose Garden and the University of Southern California with a statue of a spaceman.

It’s a lot to take in … but I’m lovin’ this travel thing.  Hope all is well at home.  I’ll catch my breath and then get back to you with more about my travels with Jykk€.

Love you, Ted.  Say hi to all our friends.   Patches

2013 05 02

Hi again, Ted,

Still trying to get you caught up on my travels with Jykk€ … 

I thought being in Los Angeles, California, Jykk€ would stick me in a geocache there because I was just down the coast from home but we had a talk.  Next thing I know is we are flying from L.A. to CHICAGO, ILLINOIS  (we found a geocache in Ohare Airport) on April 29 and then went on to WISCONSIN.  Being in 3 states in one day … I tell you Ted; we’re movin’! 

April 30 we travelled through Indiana finding 5 geocaches including one at Chamberlain Lake Nature Reserve (after the big cities … that was a nice stop) and on through MICHIGAN (2 geocaches there) and into OHIO (2 caches there including one at a Wendy’s fast food place). 

On May 1 we were travelling through the countryside in ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA  and stopped at this guy’s big front yard where he has art pieces made from old cars … including a bumble bee … HUGE.  On we went to TERRAPIN POINT, NEW YORK an observation area to see Niagara Falls from the US side.  Then we went into ONTARIO, CANADA, but even though Canada is my home country he didn’t leave me there either!

It was May 2 when we went to NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA.  That is some place!  I remember seeing your photos but it’s a place you just got to go to and experience.  We found a geocache at 8th Ave and 40th Street right by the New York Times building and the bus station and another in Bryant Park right in Midtown Manhattan. 

Oh Ted, you will NEVER guess what happened then!  Sorry got to run, have a flight to catch.

Love, your brother, Patches

PS: Please say hi to our friends. Will write again soon!

 
 
 
2013 05 03  

Dear brother, Ted,Hello from Finland … YES, FINLAND!!  

When I last sent words to you, Jykk€ and I were just about to board an airplane … well the flight was another hop; this one a little shorter… only 6602.8km (4,102.76 miles) from New York to HELSINKI, FINLAND.  Jykk€, being from Finland was here for other reasons as well, but the timing let both of us attend “Back to Hel” an Event Cache at the Helsinki Airport. (An ‘Event Cache’ is when local geocachers and geocaching organizations designate a time and location to meet and discuss geocaching.)  

I met lots of geocachers including ones who call themselves ‘Oomai’, ‘Pek47ka’, ‘ailuut’ and ‘Tarya’ … These four even reported into www.geocaching.com they had met me! (Makes a little guy like me feel kinda important.)  Tarya talked to Jykk€ and me, and together we decided it was time for me to move on without Jykk€. I’ve had such a great time with him.

So Ted, the short of it is that I’m heading off to the unknown (at least for me “unknown”) with Tarya.  I’m still … well more accurately AGAIN … an ocean away; but still safe, still having a blast, still meeting new people, seeing new things and learning from experiences.  No wonder you like to travel so much!

Say ‘hi’ to our friends and let them know I will write when I can. 

Love you.   Patches.

 
 
   


2013 05 29
Hi big brother,
I am fine! Having fun and on the go … A LOT!
The last time I wrote I was in Helsinki, FINLAND at the “Back to Hel” Geocache Event. I met lots of people and some other travel bugs as well. Did I tell you? that’s what th...e geocachers call us hitchhikers, “Travel Bugs!” It was at this event that Jykk€ and I decided we would part company and I would go Tarja and a travel bug named, ‘Geobunny’. It has been a whirlwind of travelling and searching … 30 geocaches in 24 days!
Geocaching is great fun ...  www.geocaching.com.  Tarja started geocaching in August 2010 and has since found 2,655 caches and has logged in 1880 trackable (travel bug) moves! … I’d say she’s a little serious about this. 

I won’t tell you about each geocache we visited ‘cause I need to get some rest or I’m going to start losing my stuffing. Tarja has been really good about taking photos so I’ll just let them tell the story.
 Say “hi” to our travel friends for me, would you please?

Love you, brother. (yawn)  Nighty night,
Patches

PS: The first 2 photos were taken at “Back to Hel”. The next five are at Mellunmäki metro station in Eastern Helsinki, May 11. and the other two in this bunch were taken on the M Train May 12, 2013.  It is the northernmost ground level metro station in the world
!

Above:  At Helsinki-Vantaa Airport during the "Back to Hel" Geocache Event

 2013 05 12 (above) with Tarja and Geobunny Urmas: "Naulakallio, Finland - a round granite rock formation with steep cliffs - geological rarity Helsinki-scale."
2013 06 01

Still travelling with TarjaTarjaTarja and Geobunny Urma in Finland.
The closest photo on the right is near Isolampi 'Big Pond'(Tampere), and on the far right Tarja titled this one, 'Two courageous cachers on aqueduct.'

2013 06 08

Tarja writes, "Time to let go of Patches.  Have a great journey!!"

They were at a "Traditional" geocaching event in southern Finland near the town of Hämeenlinna, by the beatiful lake "Iso-Munakas". Also foreign cachers spending holidays in Finland were also welcome to spend this early summer Saturday evening cachers and enjoy Finnish sauna, swimming in the lake and totally easygoing atmosphere.

Here Patches also met some other geocachers.  Will he continue his travels with one of them?
2013 06 08
Dear big brother,  YES!!   STILL travelling.  I said good bye to Tarja and 'hei' (that's 'hello' in Finnish) to Mälsäyttäjät   (I can't pronounce it either!).   Their geocache logo has characters from that show you like.  They said, "Welcome to travel with us," so I'm on the go again.  Bye for now.  
Patches
 
2013 06 08

Dear big brother,
Just a short note before I collapse into bed.   I don't know if I can keep up with Mälsäyttäjät.  After we left the geocaching event where I met them, we drove the Finland Highway E12 and visited 11 ... that's right 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 ... 11 geocaches!  Whew!  There are SO many geocaches in this area it seems like you could trip over them if you're are not watching your step.  I'm one tuckered teddy.  Nighty-night. 
(yawn)
Patches



2013 06 11

Hi Ted,
I'm still near Helsinki.  After all the whirlwind travelling I have done, I seem to be stuck in Finland.
Went to Nuuksion Pitkäjärvi ("Nuuksio long lake") which, at 7km long, is one of the largest lakes in Espoo (the second largest municipality in Finland). The lake was formed during the withdrawal of the ice age.  Today there are lots of villas and cottages along the shore, a road and metro-line.
As pretty as it is, I'm ready to move on and see more of the world.
Love you big brother,  Patches.  (Say 'hi' to our friends)
2013 06 18

Hi Ted,
I'm in a cache called
"Österbackenin pähkinäpensaslehto" north-west of Helsinki.  I really mean I am IN a cache.  Had such fun with Mälsäyttäjät; they were great and showed me lots of Finland, as did Tarja; but it's time to move on.  I forgot what it was like to be INSIDE a cache.  I haven't been inside one since Fiji.  Fiji seems so long ago but it's only been two months and a week. Glad it's not winter now or it might be sometime before I was found.  Looking at the cache record (there is not much else to do in here) it has only been found six times since the beginning of the month. Three times this month folks looked for it  but couldn't find it.  One of those "Didn't Find It" was Mälsäyttäjät and me last Thursday.  It's a big rock formation with lots of tricky hiding places.
Gosh it's quiet.  There's nobody around.  I'm a little bit lonely, Ted.  MAYBE a little bit scared. Wish you were here.  You always helped me when I was scared.  Someone will find me before winter, won't they, Ted?
            
  I hear something.    Shhhh.
 
2013 06 22

Hi big brother,
Whew ... Jentsu can travel.  After some down time at their place they took me geocaching on Friday (June 21).  We found 22 caches ... no, Ted, that is NOT a typo .. twenty-two caches ... IN ONE DAY!  It was hectic but fun!
Today (Saturday) we went caching again ... the third one was big enough to hold me and it is a good location (I hope) so I'm not expecting to be here long.  THANKS JENTSU for a great time!  These are some photos they took ... except the aerial shot found on Google Earth to show where I am now. 
Geocaching is a BIG pastime in Finland; there are 25,009 geocaches in an area less than Washington State x2.
Think if I'm going to leave Finland, I need to get near an airport or ferry terminal.  I'm near the water right now so here's hoping.
"Hi" to our friends.  
Love you. Patches
2013 06 25 - Patches found by geocachers, IslaZemba, and they wrote ...

Pleased to meet You too!
I found Patches from a very special mystery cache called 'Tatun ja Patun outo koje' which means something like 'Tatus and Patus weird device'. 
Brothers Tatu and Patu are the main characters of childrens books written by Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen.One of the books is translated in english: Tatu and Patu This is Finland. If you want to know something about our country, that's a good way to start! [:D]
Here's a poem from that book translated by Owen Witesman.

Oh Finland, now I taste thy baked goods,

I find they match thy lovely laked woods.
To what shall I compare this pie,
Save thy rolling fields of rye?
Ever humble, Finland mine,
There is no pie on earth like thine

2013 06 30

IslaZemba placed Patches in the geocache named ‘Forum Marinum’.  The Forum Marinum Maritime Centre, located by the River Aura in Turku, is a lively centre for maritime activities including a national maritime museum and the Finnish Navy Museum. Some of the buildings were built in 1894 and served as storehouses for grains.  

The geocache, where Patches waits to meet his next travel companion, is in front of the museum where concrete tiles have plaques on them showing names of those who have donated money for the conservation of the Archipelago.  Casting a shadow across the ground by the ships on water, and the cache, is and old crane.  In the original museum plan, it was to be torn down but fortunately a decision was made to preserve it as a monument.

"Hello?" ... "Anybody there?" ... "Anyone want to travel for a bit with a teddy bear?  I've been called, 'cute'!"  ...  "Hello?"  ... "Oh, Ted. (sigh, sniff)  I miss you."

 2013 07 07
Hi Ted, 
Was found by Laarym and she/he writes:

"Picked this little bear from Forum Marinum, Turku, Finland. The first trackable I ever pick up. Now I have to figure out how to add a picture of Patches's adventures."
I guess Laarym did because the photo to the right is was taken today.  
I'm travellin' again!   Yippee!
Love your little brother, Patches

2013 06 08

Hello
Patches is still with me. He has been in Finland for so long, that I thought it would be time for him to get to see some other places too. Unfortunately I'm not going anywhere until October, but then I will try to help him to travel back to Canada, maybe to visit home or just travel around and then leave abroad again. How does that sound?
Laarym

2013 10 13

Tried but couldn't make it to abroad. So I'll let Patches's adventures in Finland continue.

2013 10 16

 
 Dear big brother,
I’ve been waiting for months …. MONTHS! … with Laarym for a chance to leave FINLAND (where I have been much since May 3) on a trip abroad with her and to be left in another country. Well, plans for the trip have gone sideways and to start me travelling again Laarym put me in a geocache Sunday called Musta Laatikko (which means ‘Black Box’). The GOOD NEWS is I have a CHANCE of travelling again. The BAD NEWS is the geocache, Musta Laatikko, is a forested area between a divided highway and a ring road.
 Winter is setting in and the temperatures are dropping. Right now it is a shivering 4 degrees C. It is supposed to rain Thursday night and Friday morning but there is hope for sun on Sunday this weekend with a high of 6 degrees. Here is hoping this Black Box is water tight and a kind soul finds me and takes me to a place where international travelers might help me out. If I don’t get out of here this next weekend …oh my goodness Ted, I WILL be here for the WHOLE WINTER!!! OH TED, the geocache listing even says it’s not available through the winter. OH TED!! If I’m going to be doing any crying I best get it done now, ‘cause any colder and my tears will freeze to my fuzz! Oh, Ted, I don’t want to be here … I’m cold … I’m scared … and (sob) I want to come home!! 
love you, Patches

2013 10 27

 

Hi Ted !  

I HAVE LEFT FINLAND!  It’s a great country and I got to visit with my Finnish cousin ... but I’m on my way traveling again!  Yippee!! Ötökkä brought me here to Tallin, Estonia. 

You’ve been here Ted, and now so have I.  When you were here you spent most of your time in the old part, after all Tallinn is the oldest capital in Northern Europe, but I’m in the modern part of the city, right amongst the big glass skyscrapers.  I’m next to a statue of Eve.  It’s a busy place and right across the street from a big hotel.  So Ted, I’m not expecting to be here for long. 

Maybe I’m not so anxious to come home after all; well, not just yet.  

Here is a bit of a write-up on the statue from the cache owner, ‘laululind - geocaching.com :

“According to a legend, in ancient times Eve had the task of putting out the light of the sun every evening and Dawn had to light up the fire every morning. In northern countries summer is the time of white nights. At this time the two met and gave the sun to each other, and fell in love with each other. The Creator, whom they both served, noticed and suggested to arrange their marriage. That way they could still do their job and be happy at the same time. But lovers refused, claiming their love would always be fresh and new, if they could forever remain just bride and bridegroom. The Creator respected their wish and blessed them.

On 15th December 2004 the statue of Eve [Estonian: Hämarik] by Mare Mikof was placed near the new Viru Centre [Estonian: Keskus] in the center of Tallinn.

Will write when I get a chance.

Love your happy little brother, Patches

   
2013 10 29

Hi Ted.  Just a quick note to let you know I'm movin' on ... didn't have to stay in the Tallinn, Estonia  'Eve' geocache long. 
A geocacher named 'ukko63' found me; he smiled and said, "Nice little bear" and then he put me back! 
Along came a serious geocacher, Luna49, from Diekirch, Luxembourg, picked me up and TOOK me.  Yeah!   Wonder where we are going.  This geocacher is serious with 11,286 caches found and has lots and lots of experience with trackables like me so I'm sure if Luna49 doesn't travel with me, I'll be sure to get into another good cache.  Will write when I can. 
 
Patches
 
2013 10 31 -   Hi everyone.  I'm in Luxembourg for Halloween ... except they don't celebrate it here!  Patches  
 
2013 12 18 PATCHES has been picked up from the cache in Luxembourg and is currently with a serious geocacher named “ Stresskett” (she has found 3863 caches and has handled 197 trackables, like Patches). Perhaps this is the person he will be spending Christmas is. Will have to wait and see.

2013 12 29 Hi Big Brother, It wasn't the best way to spend Christmas but I stayed warm enough.  Just been picked up by a geocacher named aennchen00.  It was getting a little chilly so right now I'm glad to be moving.  Would love to get to somewhere warm while winter is in the northern hemisphere.     It's hard to believe I've been on the road (and in caches) for over a year now. Maybe I'll make it home for summer 2014 ... at least for awhile before heading out again.  Take care.  Happy New Year to all our travel friends!  Love you.   Patches

 

 


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