Archive for August, 2011

Find Your Geocache: Sandy’s Adventure

Sandy’s First Geocaching Adventure

Last week I wrote about planning the big geocaching adventure for Sandy. It was her very first time ever geocaching but she’d been hearing about it from me all summer long.

Sandy's First Cache

Sandy's First Cache Find!

I decided that we should head to nearby Willow Lake. I chose Willow Lake for three reasons:

  1. There was a high concentration of not-too-difficult caches around the lake. I wanted an area where we would have multiple caches to go after so if we couldn’t find some Sandy wouldn’t get discouraged. Caches near Willow Lake
  2. Heritage Park is pretty busy every day of the week. Two women out alone — well I wanted to be someplace where we wouldn’t be isolated.
  3. It a GORGEOUS area! So I knew that even if caching was a bust there would be plenty of scenery for us to enjoy.

And my bonus reason was that I hadn’t looked for any of the caches there!

We left right after work and of the 7 caches we looked for, we found 6! That’s not too bad for an early evening of caching and especially great for Sandy’s first caching adventure.

Sandy and The Outdoor Princess

By the end of the trip, she was already asking me how much my Garmin cost! Prices have come down quite a bit since I got mine: Garmin Venture HC. That’s a link to

Garmin Venture Hc

Readers Weigh In:

  • What was your first geocaching adventure
  • How long did it take before you were hooked?


Mystery Mondays: Funny Campfire Story

This story and 15 others appear in the eGuide “Campfire Stories: From the Chill to the Giggle” Volume 2 available now at Shop and coming soon to’s Kindle.

The Chicken In The Library

A librarian was working on afternoon when she noticed a chicken had come into the library and was patiently waiting in front of the check out desk. When the chicken saw it had the librarian’s attention, it squawked, “Book, book, book, BOOK!”

Puzzled, the librarian looked at the chicken. But the chicken kept squawking, “Book, book, book, BOOK!”

Finally, she put a couple of books down in front of the chicken. The chicken quickly grabbed them and disappeared.

The next day, the librarian was disturbed by the same chicken, who put the previous day’s pile of books down on the desk and squawked, “Book, book, book, BOOK!”

The librarian shook her head, wondering what the chicken was doing with the books, but eventually found some more books for the chicken. The chicken took the books and left.

The next day, the librarian was once again disturbed by the chicken, who squawked, “Book, book, book, BOOK!”

By now, the librarian’s curiosity has gotten the better of her, so she put a pile of books in front of the chicken. When the chicken left with the books, the librarian followed the bird. She followed it through the parking lot, down the street, and into a large park.

She followed the chicken into a small grove of trees, trying to keep as quiet as possible. Beyond the trees, there was a small marsh. The chicken stopped at the water’s edge and looked down. The librarian, now really curious, hurried over and saw small frog next to the chicken. The frog was examining each book, one at a time.

The librarian crept even closer, just in time to hear the frog say: “Read it, read it, read it!”

Fun Food Fridays: Glamping Crepes

This recipe was sent to me by my friend Jessica. (Or Jes-ka! as I call her!) It totally fits my definition of a Glamping Recipe.

In Jessica’s Words

I doubled the batch to feed six people (and had a stack of leftovers as you can see in the picture, ha!).


I totally made the batter in the blender the night before we left and then filled a water bottle with the mix. Two mornings later it was perfect crepe-ing. 🙂 (It was two mornings because our other friends couldn’t join us until the second night we were there).

They brought mimosa stuff and we cut up strawberries and fruits and had nutella…. nom nom.

Almost too decadent for camping. Almost.

Blended all ingredients in blender and funneled it into the water bottle. They cooked very well on the stove with a spray of Pam, I was impressed..


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.

Crepes cooking

Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

What Is Glamping?

Are you familiar with the term glamping? It’s “glamour camping” where you might be in a tent but it has a Persian rug and you’re served with fine china. Typically, you would pay a LOT for these camping “adventures”.

Anybody who knows me knows that glamping just wouldn’t be in the style of The Outdoor Princess; I’m more of a get dirty kind of girl. But, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t bring a bit of glamping to some camp cooking!

The difference between a glamping camp cooking recipe and a normal recipe would be that you might need exotic ingredients or more specialized equipment. And the final bit to take it from ordinary camp cooking to GLAMPING camp cooking? It has to be a to-die for recipe!

Set Your Hook: Trout

Trout Freezing Tips

Trout is a very delicate-fleshed fish. (It puts up a great fight on my Eagle Claw Feather-lite pole!)

If you can’t eat it right away, then be sure to get it ready for later. Clean the fish as you normally do. You might want to de-scale and cut off the head as well, even if you don’t normally do that.

After the fish is cleaned, make sure you pat it dry. Wrap no more than three good-sized trout in a freezer zipper bag. Squeeze out all the air in the bag before sealing it. Then, place the sealed bag into another freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and seal. Freeze.

Trout don’t last long in the freezer so eat them soon!


Readers Weigh In:

  • Do you eat your catch right away or freeze it for later?



Pitch Your Tent: Ziplock Bags

The Magic of Ziplock Bags®

This “extra” and 3 others PLUS 26 recipes are available in the eGuide: “Camp Cooking with Joanne Fitterer”

Camp Cooking with Joanne Fitterer

Every camping trip should include a selection of sizes of Ziplock Bags®. These great plastic inventions are great for storage, make for easy cleanup, and are always useful.

Tip #1: Dry Ingredients
Most of the time, you’ll be able to combine all your dry ingredients into a Ziplock Bag® at home, before the trip. Just measure into the bag like you would a mixing bowl, remove the air when you seal the bag and ta-da! Your dry ingredients are ready – pre-measured, pre-mixed and already contained.

Tip #2: Disposable Mixing Bowl
Ziplock Bags® make great mixing bowls because you can just drop everything in, seal the bag and mix with your hands through the plastic. When you’re done, just throw it away! This isn’t recommended for warm or hot ingredients. But, for things like pancake batter, coating potatoes in oil, or dips, it’s perfect!

Tip #3: Directional Pouring
Okay, you’ve made pancake batter and you need to get the batter onto the griddle. Pour the batter into a large Ziplock Bag®, cut off a corner and squeeze the batter through the hole onto the griddle.

You don’t need to take entire boxes of Ziplock Bags® with you- a handful of each size: sandwich, quart, and gallon should be fine. I don’t find a lot of use for the snack or 2-gallon sizes in the kitchen, so I don’t recommend them.

Readers Weigh In:

  • What camp-cooking tips make your life easier?

Find Your Geocache: Adventure Planning

Planning A Geocaching Adventure

ESP Boss has had a great girl working for him this summer. Sandy is a local girl who has been attending ASU pursing a degree in accounting. So, this summer we’ve hired her at the tax office to help out.

In addition to working on a MASSIVE project for a client, she’s also been doing some back-fill for Mainly, Sandy has been researching the state parks in Utah.

She’ll be heading back to school in a couple of weeks but before she goes back to Tempe, she asked me if I would take her geocaching. Yeah! I love nothing more than introducing a new person to the great game of geocaching.

We’re planning on heading out tomorrow evening, after work, to find some local caches. I’ll be planning the outing tonight (hence the shorter post). Here are some things I’m taking into consideration as I plan this:

1. Size of the cache
Let’s face it, the exciting part of getting started in geocaching is the swag. Every new geocacher is convinced they’re going to find something super cool in a cache. So for Sandy’s first caches, I want them to be large enough to have some good swag.

2. Difficulty
When you’re introducing a new sport or game to somebody you want them to “win”, right? Well for a lot of geocachers, the “win” is the find. I’ll be concentrating on caches that aren’t too difficult to find so she can start to build up her geosense.

3. Letting her do it
When I was camping with my friend Nicole last August, we went after a geocache. And I made a BIG mistake when I was introducing her to the game: I didn’t let her do it. It was a cache I had hid and I was in “maintenance mode” not “encouraging a new geocacher mode. I didn’t let Nicole hold the GPS or make the find. Tomorrow, I’ll be sure to let Sandy do it herself.

Some other things I’m planning are to have the caches pre-loaded into the GPS and the cache pages pre-printed. I know a lot of people do paper-less caching, but I’m not one of them. Also, before we head out, I’ll have her register for a free account on

Readers Weigh In:

  • What are your tips when you’re taking somebody geocaching for the first time?

Mystery Monday: Scary Campfire Story

This story and 15 others appear in the eGuide “Campfire Stories: From the Chill to the Giggle” Volume 2 available now at Shop and coming soon to’s Kindle.

The Death Watch

A long time ago, in Arizona, a copper miner was killed in a cave in. His body was dug out, but his prize pocket watch, which he had hung up somewhere while he worked, was never found.

Weeks later, the pocket watch suddenly appeared, ticking loudly, near a miner named Williams. The following day, a prop gave way just was Williams was passing and he was killed by falling rock.

This was just the first appearance of the watch. Many times after that, it would appear, ticking loudly, in different parts of the mine. And every time the watch appeared, the miner working closest to it would be dead by the next sundown. Soon, the miners knew that the watch was a herald of death.

Many times miners tried to grab the watch, to smash it and stop its ticking. Each time, the watch would disappear but by the evening of the next day, another miner would be dead. The watch might be silent for months at a time, until the miners would think they were safe, but sooner or later, it would reappear, marking another death to come.

Pocket Watch

One day, the shift foreman was making his rounds after the men had left for the day when he heard the watch ticking. Following the sound, he saw the ghostly watch ticking near the work spot of a young miner named John. Even when he left the mine, the foreman could hear the watch’s eerie tick following him out of the mine.

The next day, as the miners were lining up to enter the mine, the foreman stopped Jim. “Don’t work today, Jim,” he said. “Go home to your wife.”

“Why should I do that?” Jim demanded. “I have a family at home to feed.”

The foreman took Jim by the arm and turned him away from the mine. “Jim, I didn’t want to tell you this, but last night I heard the watch ticking at your work space.”

A that, Jim turned pale. “The death watch!” he gasped and hurried away from the mine.

But Jim’s wife had just had another baby, their fourth, and Jim was worried about missing a day of pay. So Jim hurried along, looking to catch a ride down from the mountain to the town below. Maybe he could work in the smelter instead and bring home his pay to feed his wife and children.

As Jim walked into the smelter to see if there was work, a huge smelting kettle suddenly fell from its rack and smashed him dead in an instant.

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