Welcome to "JAGA-land", of the Johnstown-Altoona Geocaching Association. The Legend of OddMushroom 'mystery'/puzzle geocache (GC7A00T) was created to commemorate a one-year anniversary of some local geocaching history for the cache owner, mrGreen317, regarding the story surrounding the change-of-username of one dshope33/OddMushroom, who had since become a good geocaching friend of mrGreen317. While not initially intended, this geocache became Part 1 of a 5-part series of geocaches in the area, to be dubbed the "Geo-Friends Saga", retelling highlights of mrGreen317's first year of geocaching adventure as shared with other area cachers.
About the The Legend of OddMushroom "Goes to GeoWoodstock" Idea:
A week or two before GeoWoodstock 2018, OddMushroom had joked to green nikki, and then nikki in turn to mrGreen317, that one of the puzzle travel bugs related to the geocache should be taken to GeoWoodstock as a joke (they are supposed to stay within a 25-mile radius of the posted puzzle coordinates). But this gave mrGreen317 an idea...
The three travel bugs that make up the puzzle to find the geocache were 'cloned' using three new travel bug tags to create a new "outside" set of three - copies of the three "inside" originals - that would roam around the continental USA, staying outside the 25 mile radius of the original TBs, allowing possibly other out-of-area geocachers to maybe think about one day coming through the area of Cambria, Blair, and surrounding PA counties to do some geocaching, and maybe find OddMushroom's Legendary ammo can...
It also seemed like a fun idea to add an incentive: The first person to find and log the geocache that had encountered at least one of the "outside" travel bugs (which each have unique codes attached inside) would be awarded a special FTF gift worth $30, related to geocaching.com gifts (a one-year premium membership renewal or a gift card, the choice of the recipient). Some rules are required for properly claiming the prize.
About the Out-of-Area FTF Prize:
- Anyone with a geocaching.com account (premium or non-premium) is eligible for the gift (even if they live or geocache within the 25 mile radius of the posted puzzle coordinates).
- To claim the prize, at least one of the "outside" cloned travel bugs must have been encountered by the geocacher, and the geocacher will have to provide at least one of the enclosed out-of-area code words, one located in each of the three newer "outside" travel bugs.
- Previous finders of the Legend of OddMushroom who have logged the cache before GeoWoodstock 2018 are NOT eligible for the out-of-area FTF prize, however, if one of these geocachers does encounter one of the new "outside" travel bugs and gets a code, the CO may decide on a special secondary prize for them.
- Since the three "outside" travel bugs could be anywhere in the country, it is possible to find the two remaining "inside" travel bugs that stay within the 25 mile radius of GC7A00T and use those to finish solving the puzzle. It is only required for the out-of-area FTF finder to have encountered one "outside" travel bug.
- The CO will need to verify that the out-of-area FTF claimant has actually visited and signed the cache log by visiting the cache site and double-checking the log book. Dated photographic evidence showing the geocacher with the ammo can and their entry in the log book may be used to expedite the verification process. This "evidence" may be emailed to the cache owner.
- The prize will be sent by email using the email address that the geocacher has provided for use with the geocaching.com website.
- Geocachers attempting this out-of-area FTF (or any that may visit thereafter) may contact the CO to verify that the remaining "inside" travel bugs and the cache container are in place and in proper shape before traveling to Central PA. Please allow up to a week (but likely less) for that verification to be made.
- Geocachers are encouraged to visit the GC7A00T cache page to write notes about any progress made or plans to visit the area. Any comments posted containing puzzle or code word spoilers or deemed inappropriate by the CO are subject to deletion.
- Currently, only one FTF prize is available, so once that is claimed, any further prizes awarded are at the discretion of the CO (see next point); joint/shared finds for the out-of-area FTF by more than one geocaching account may decide among themselves how the prize will be shared. Joint out-of-area FTF will likely all be noted on the cache page. A joint out-of-area FTF by multiple geocachers will be considered as a single FTF, and STF/TTF/etc will still be up for grabs (although no prizes are at this time promised for those finds).
- The CO reserves the right to award lesser prizes for STF, TTF, etc, but those decisions will be made based on demand for travel to and finding the geocache.
- At the discretion of the CO, a second "outside" set of puzzle TBs may be released at some future time.
Note that for each series of travel bugs, both the "inside" and "outside" series, the three parts of the puzzle are named "Odd", "Mush", and "Room", and each of the three holds a piece of the puzzle needed to find the prize. The "outside" versions of each travel bug are a replica of the original "inside" TB, with the addition of the special code word used to claim the out-of-area FTF.
Update for week of 6/3/18: As of June 5, all of the "inside" puzzle pieces have been updated to match the newer version of the puzzle for the "outside" puzzle pieces as described in the note from 5/27/18. One missing piece, the local version of "Odd", is now back in play in a newer cache in the area, and one of the other pieces, "Mush", is being moved to another cache to keep a greater distance from the current location of the "Room" piece. That "Mush" piece should be back in play by 6/7/18. Thanks!
Update for week of 5/27/18: The puzzle pieces have been changed slightly from the originals to make the hint part of each piece hopefullly more understandable than the original pieces. The newer pieces are also larger in size and employ larger fonts. The orignal puzzle pieces are still in play "inside" the 25-mile radius and will also be getting puzzle updates to match the newer, "outside" versions during this week. By early June, all pieces of the puzzle should be the same version, both "inside" and "outside". The puzzle itself does not change, just the hinting method on the pieces. Clarification for any confusion that may arise from seeing both version 1 and version 2 puzzle pieces should be directed to the CO for clarification by geo-messenger or email. Thanks!
Geocaching in JAGA-land:
While in the area, explore other geocaching adventures:
- JAGA "classic" geocaches featured on the original JAGA T-Shirt
- The Clearfield County GeoTour (GT86)
- The Cambria County Geotrail
- The Geo-Friends Saga member caches