Friday, June 13, 2014

A Loaded GPS

Dick spent most of this day trying to load local caches onto the Nuvi.  It was a very hard job, with many fail attempts.   Even though it is Friday the 13th, he was undaunted and finally achieved success!  A pox on Friday the 13th.

We did take time out for a mall walk and lunch at the Food Court.  I'm a little tired of China Wok, so I got a bagel and cream cheese at Cool Beans.  Yum - honey cinnamon cream cheese :)

Here is Dick's report:
Sunday is June 15th.   It is also Fathers Day.

 In 2002, Jana gave me a Magellan GPS for Christmas to use on our pontoon boat. The following spring there was an article in the Traverse City Record Eagle about Geocaching. It sounded like a fun way to use your GPS on dry land. We did research and decided to give it a shot. On Fathers Day in 2003, which is also June 15th, we searched for and found our first geocache. It was a film can placed by ABX Guy on the shore of Keystone Pond on the Boardman River. We were hooked! Looking for caches has taken us to every County in Michigan and every State in the country.

We found that we could load the locations of caches into our GPS units in the car. It is fun to see them pop up near our route as you drive along. Unfortunately, the more complex the new GPS, the more complicated it is to load them. After a bit of a struggle in January, I was able to load a bunch into our Nuvi while we were enjoying our first Snow Bird winter. Once they were in there, I couldn't get them out. It's frustrating to be back in God’s Country with a load of caches that are over 1200 miles away.

For this Father’s Day, I wanted to drive over to Frankfort to get smoked ribs at Dinghy’s. They are one of the few places who actually smoke meat in the area. After lunch, I wanted to drive south along Lake Michigan down M22 and look at the scenery as well as pick up some caches. To do this, I wanted to load some near-the-road caches into the Nuvi. I started on Tuesday the 10th working on our little Windows tablet. After a couple of hours without success, I decided to hold back until I had a chance to talk to Jay Finch at our meet and greet on Wednesday. He and Mary have racked up more than 2100 finds. I knew he loads caches into the same model Nuvi we use so I asked him for help. They are leaving in the morning for an event downstate and I didn't bring my 'puter so there wasn't much he could do. He did give me a tip about downloading a group of caches which came in handy on Thursday.

On Thursday, I put in at least 4 hours trying different ways to load caches from Groundspeak to GSAK to the Nuvi without success. All I accomplished was to once again prove to myself that, when it comes to computers, the technology has left me in the dust. Friday was another day. After about 4 more hours, I discovered that I could erase the Florida caches but every attempt to load the local ones in Michigan just loaded the Florida ones back in. Nancy attempted to bail me out, she took the little laptop and tried everything she knew to solve the problem but had no more success than I had. We learned that we have become much more adept at using our Apples than Windows.

I finally decided that the thing to do was to delete all Garmin files and start all over. I spent at least another 3 hours deleting and renaming. Finally I moved an empty folder from the desktop to the Garmin "D" file. Apparently the Nuvi talks to "D" not "C". After loading our local caches from GSAK to the "D" file, I used the POI Loader to move the Garmin GPX file to the Nuvi and waited one more time as the loading progressed. When it finished, I unplugged the Nuvi, turned it back on and - - TA DA!! there they were!

Today when we went for a ride they showed up on the screen as ammo can cache symbols. We are two happy campers. Tomorrow is Father's Day and we will go for a ride and start our twelfth year of Geocaching.