Geocaching in Yong An

Our good friend, Mr. Michael Turton joined us today to hunt a geocache. We planned on another cookout later in the day after the hunt.

UPDATE: Check out geocacher blogger Tadpole’s article on us here.

A beautiful area in Yong An. No matter what, it was a cool place to be today.

We were looking in a thicket because the GPS indicated that the cache was very close by. This looked like a good place to hide the cache.

More hunting in the deep thicket.

After some time searching, i decrypted the final clue on the geocache description sheet.

That led us to this tree. I hope that I am not giving too much away, but all this information is available online anyway.

There is it! Michael Turton was the first one to actually spot it. He said “does this look like a funny place for a rock to be?”

Bushman and Michael Turton pose with the geocache and my Garmin eTrex Vista-C Taiwanese version.

GPS with the geocache.

Contents of the geocache.

Out: the travel bug, top. In: a “rosette” casting. I work in the castings business and I always have unusual items like that. I am going to take the travel bug out of Taiwan in a couple of weeks. UPDATE: at the request of the travel bug owner, I have deleted this photo. Apparently, dishonest people might try to claim that they found it by using the serial number which could be clearly seen in my photo. That never would have occured to me, because of not only being dishonest, but also an incredibly stupid thing to do since the whereabouts could easily be confirmed by the next geocacher. Oh well.

Hui-chen, Michael and I pose at the geocache site.

One of the most important aspects of geocaching is to hide the geocache when you are finished. We packed everything up properly and then hid it where the owner had originally placed it. After that, we left to explore some other sites in the Yong An area.

Nearby are some of the wind generators that I have blogged on before. Michael Turton is also very interested in these machines so we went for a closeup look at them.

Unfortunately, while backing up along one of those impossibly narrow roads with no guardrails, Michael’s van slipped off the road and rolled onto a grassy marsh.

No one was hurt. But for a few moments, things were tense! I was in the passenger side and literally hanging over Michael, who was still seated in the driver’s seat. My seatbelt held me in position (and kept me from crushing Michael!). I opened the passenger door and Michael climbed out over me. I was deathly worried about my Hui-chen who was riding in the back seat. She hadn’t been wearing her seatbelt, but had grabbed the handle above the sliding door. She was standing up inside the van and was unhurt. I saw some smoke and told Michael that I was concerned about a fire and us not being able to get out in time. He couldn’t open the sliding door for Hui-chen to climb out of, so he ran around the back and opened the hatch. Hui-chen (and eventually I) walked out, unscathed.

The cooler! Oh man, all of our food for the cookout was in that cooler, not to mention the grill and everything else was scattered about. Not to worry though, this is Taiwan….

Michael goes back in to retrieve something from his vehicle.

“It could have been a lot worse.”

This is the tow truck operator that Michael called. One never knows how skilled someone may or may not be in Taiwan because no one is honest about their capabilities. Often, men brag about being able to do something, when in reality they can’t do squat.

This guy went to work right away, beginning with an assessment of the situation and a plan for recovering the vehicle. Once approved by Michael, he went to work.
He began by moving the vehicle away from the embankment. First he moved the rear end of the vehicle out. Here we see him setting up to move the front.

I’ve never seen anyone use logging hooks to capture the holes in wheel rims before, but this is how he moved the vehicle.

Then the tow operator rigged it up for the next operation….

Which was to flip the vehicle over! Notice how low the wheels suck into the ground. The soft ground really saved Michael’s van from more serious damage.

The two operator used a boom and 4 lifting straps….

And, demonstrating skill like I have never before seen, he set Michael’s van down on the road so gingerly, that I commented “he could diaper a baby with that crane!” I was very impressed with this man.

Up on the tow truck, the next stop was the gas station, where the tow operator demonstrated genuine concern for the condition of the vehicle. We added motor oil and water, which had leaked out due to it being on its side.

We were able to drive away. Those Japanese can build a car!

You can read Michael’s account here.

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  1. Oh my god, I am so sorry to read this post. I am not YungAn fishing port’s owner but TB Tadpole’s. Glad to know you three people were fine, god bless you!!

  2. Tadpole, thanks for your concern! we are all OK and what happened to Michael’s car didn’t spoil the fun that we had hunting the geocache. in fact, Michael and i have plans to hunt another one near his home in the near future!

    i have plans for your travel bug and will be blogging on that in a couple of weeks. i’ll email you and let you know. thanks and take care!

  3. Michael, i was very pleasantly surprised by the professionalism of that tow truck operator! its nice to know that you can still count on someone to take the necessary caution and care when performing such services. that guy is an artist with a crane! our readers need to check out both articles in order to get the full impact of the photographs! i really like the candids you got while driving around.

  4. thanks for your concern andres. we are already planning our next geocache outing in the Taichung area. we were not hurt at all, as the car rolled very gently to the ground. it was nice and controlled, actually. we were never in any real danger (except from our women who usually kick our butts for stuff like that). take care!

  5. ha! don’t we all wish, porkbarrel! at least in the USA, that kind of bragging will eventually get your can kicked, when you cross the wrong person. that guy was a very pleasant exception to the rule!

  6. Really impressive rescue by the tow truck guy. I was sweating, having started at Michael’s site, dying to see how the trick was done. Thanks for such a great photo-narrative. It’s always the most non descript, unassuming guys in Taiwan that surprise you with wizard-like abilities. As for “Often, men brag about being able to do something, when in reality they can’t do shit.”-weird! That never happens here in America ;).

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