Heading to MOGA 2009

Well, I’ve been a bit lax on posting much of anything lately. So how about we fix that this week with some posts about this last weekend. What about this last weekend? Well, I went to MOGA, the Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure.

So what is MOGA?  MOGA is a geocaching competition that occurs at Mark Twain Lake in Northeast Missouri.  Centered around Florida, MO (the birthplace of Mark Twain), the lake is a man-made lake built with help by the Army Corps of Engineers.  Encompassing 2,775 acres, the park provides many opportunities for hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and geocaching.  The geocaching part comes from the park working with the St. Louis Area Geocachers Association, with help from the Army Corps of Engineers who work at the park.

The competition includes different brackets of individual, 2-person, and 4-person teams, based on age brackets.  The competition is a 3 hour timed hunt for up to 30 geocaches, all hidden in varying terrain in the woods.  I personally joined up with 8601Delphinium, JLondon1963 and Master Cacher to form Team Nebraskache.

But, before I give all of the juicy details about the event, I’ll open with the drive there.  For me, the weekend began when I got off of work.  Heading home, I finallized my packing and loaded the car, hitting the road at about 4 PM last Friday.  Having worked out a route, I planned on grabbing caches along the way to gain some more counties.  This time, my focus was on caches along I-70.

My first find was a rest area cache East of KC.  With the route in mind, I took I-70 to Columbia, grabbing rest stop and intersection caches along the way.  Originally, I planned on a side route on a section of HWY 40 North of Boonville.  However, to ensure that I made it to Mark Twain Lake on time, I decided to save those for the return trip.

Once I passed Columbia, I headed North on HWY 63 to Moberly, grabbing four caches along the way.  Once again, time forced me to pass up a quick series along the way.  Time was important because I was meeting up with the rest of my team at a MOGA pre-event being held Friday night.  Called BYO–Bodacious Bash Before the Bash is Back (2009), I didn’t want to arrive after the event ended.

In Moberly, I grabbed dinner and stopped at Wal-mart.  I was in search of a camelback holder.  If you aren’t familiar with that term, then you should become familiar with it.  I can’t believe I went so long without one.  A camelback is usually a 2-liter water container with a long tube straw.  Designed to be worn in some kind of backpack carrier, it allows you to easily take water with you on the trail.  I had one that went in my backpack, but I wanted to get a lightway carrier since I didn’t need all of the supplies my backpack carries with me during the competition.

When I went to Wal-mart, I went straight to the camping gear.  Unfortunately, the only carriers they had included the camelback itself, which I already had.  So, I grabbed some rope and a strap and decided that I would jerry-rig a backpack to carry mine with.  However, while there, I saw some nice hiking poles.  Grabbing a two pack for $20, I purchased my products and hit the road for the 45 minute drive to Mark Twain Lake.

Once at the lake, I drove to the East end into a small town called Perry.  I needed to go North from there to reach the event.  I’m glad I had my Missouri Delorme with me, as I almost took the wrong road and would have found myself one penisula West of where I needed to be, and lost about 20 minutes of time because of it.

Finally, I made it to the event and met up with my team at the nearby campfire.  We were too late to try the night cache, which sounded interesting (and unloggable online), but we did get to meet up with some other cachers and hang out for a while.  I ran into Smiling Bee and Batman17, some KC area geocachers who arrived soon after I did.

After standing around a bit, our team went to grab Comanche, a nearby cache, before we headed back and spent some more time around the fire.  I started talking with another cacher about puzzles, including my cipher series.  As the event winded down, my team was the last to leave.  MasterCacher had a cabin for himself, and JLondon offered 8601 and I the opportunity to stay at her cabin.

Once back at the cabin, 8601 fired up his computer and we tried our best to work with the limited internet connection.  Eventually, we all went to bed.  I took the loft above the front deck, which ended up being quite comfortable.

The downside…we needed to start getting up about five hours later to make it to registration and breakfast.

Next post…day two.


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One Response to Heading to MOGA 2009

  1. P.J. says:

    I need to start using my camelback. I have one I won at a caching event — it’s already a backpack, so I’d either have to put it in my backpack or wear this by itself and carry my caching stuff some other way!

    Sounds like a good start to a weekend. And the event sounds wild, too.

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