kjwx’s Report Card: 2011

Now the Year of the Rabbit has hopped off into the sunset, it’s time to fess up … Keeping New Year’s resolutions has NEVER been my thing.

But 12 months ago, I wasn’t about to be outdone by my darling brother when he set his agenda for 2011.  All fired up, I started my so-called Year of The Geo-Goal with a bang, crossing off three of my 15 pledges within days. 

Then my willpower faltered and how. I’d love to tell you I was busy doing what rabbits do best but this is a family-oriented blog, after all.

Six months later, I was still trying to kid myself (and Cumbyrocks) that all was on track but it wasn’t till late October that I actually managed to dig myself out of a hole – primarily by using the carrot-and-stick approach.

Several decades of friendly sibling rivalry can be mighty motivating – and for the first time ever, I am tantalisingly close to being the Walker leading our family’s geo-charge – not to mention the promise of a new iPhone 4S if I made the grade by December 31st.

Judge for yourself …

  1. Buy a new GPSr: DONE I bought myself a shiny new Garmin Oregon 450 last Christmas.
  2. Get to 750 finds: DONE In fact I even went one better, hitting 800 by year’s end.
  3. Attempt one or two Terrain level 4/5 caches: DONE Well, the Level 4 part anyway. I may attempt a Level 5 (similar to climbing Mt Everest for somebody as clumsy as me) in the coming 12 months.
  4. Complete all 10km radius hides: FAIL To be honest, this was challenge set by my geo-sibling and I didn’t pay it much attention.
  5. Up my total daily find tally from 11: DONE AND DONE My new 24-hour record is 116, thanks to my one-day 101 Dalmations marathon in November. Somehow I don’t think  I’ll be breaking this any time soon.
  6. Solve some of the harder Wellington puzzles: DONE Of the three hides I listed last December 31, I completed two – GC2A77V Candy Please and GC1VR0A Child’s Play 4: Okonomiyaki Party – as well as GC1PRTJ 8118 and GC1VFHA Child’s Play 2: Hide-and-Seek (Wellington) – mostly with my own brain power.
  7. Cache in more NZ regions: FAIL Sadly, I only managed to replicate my efforts from last year, so there was only one new square filled in on the chart for GC1BXCN Kiwi Nomad’s Outward Pursuits Challenge (Canterbury).
  8. Place a few more hides: DONE As well as adopting an established Wairarapa cache, I placed two new hides in my hometown of Wellington and have four more ready to be listed.
  9. Attend a geocaching event: DONE AND DONE After getting over my initial fear of such gatherings, I attended six – and enjoyed most of them immensely. (Of course, that could have had something to do with the person I went to them with.)
  10. Cache with Cumbyrocks and Juniors 1-3: ALMOST, though I’m actually counting this as done. On my second visit to Auckland last month, I joined Cumbyrocks and Juniors 1 and 3 on the geo-trail. Unfortunately, child No 2 was busy recuperating in Starship Children’s Hospital but he was always on our minds as we searched. I’d like to think that’s why said trip became known as the ‘trip of failed caches’.
  11. Try for NZ daily record in Dunedin: FAIL With the creation of Auckland power trail 101 Dalmations in March, this goal went flying out the window. However, I plan to revive it in 2012 during New Zealand’s first MEGA. A girl’s still gotta dream, after all.
  12. Buy a new mobile phone with built-in GPS compass: DONE AND DONE First I treated myself to a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini-Pro, then Mister kjwx bought me an iPhone (aka My Precious).
  13. Expand my cache type finds: DONE Finding a chirp cache was easy enough but nobody (ahem Cumbyrocks) told me I’d have to fight off an angry goose while doing my first Wherigo.
  14. Write more blog posts: DONE Though I suspect my darling brother may have recently purchased 1000 monkeys with typewriters, if his current posting rate is anything to go by.
  15. For good measure (and my waistline): Try some of the longer hiking caches such as Wainuiomata’s GC46 Geocache by Kevin Anderson. DONE Since making this resolution, I have completed four of the necessary seven hour-long hikes to log Dunedin challenge cache GC2XBA7 Rambler’s Reward and made two visits to the historic GC46.

CONCLUSION: 12/15 … Pretty good, if I do say so myself. Perhaps even worthy of an A minus, though definitely sufficient effort for that new iPhone.

Strangely, though, many of the year’s highlights aren’t reflected on my list. Last December 31st, I never imagined that by now I would have had It’s Not About The Numbers first geocoin minted, won a competition to design the 2011 geocoin for the New Zealand Recreational GPS Society, become co-opted on to its Mega organising committee, and then won a seat on its management committee, created two pathtags, organised several informal geo-events and made some really good (and completely geo-mad) friends along the way.

I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store …

* Tune in tomorrow for kjwx’s resolutions for 2012.



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