Geocacher Flies the W
at Wrigley Field
Geocaching Chicago Series: The Friendly Confines
By Jim Donovan
Geocache Method Milestone – In September 2019, I made my 900th find. It took me 3 years and 5 months to reach this milestone. I immediately set a goal to reach 1K finds before the end of the year. This naturally led me to start thinking about what I might do to celebrate the next milestone. Number ONE THOUSAND seemed like a big deal, so I wanted it to be a really special cache.
Having cleared out most of the caches in the surrounding north suburbs, I had been spending more time geocaching in the Chicago Loop. So I was initially thinking I would identify a worthwhile cache downtown. The two front runners were: So Many Stories, So Little Time (Sky Deck at the Willis Tower) and Chicago’s Water Tower as both were virtual caches with high favorite points.
Then it hit me, out of left field! The Friendly Confines (GC7B8M4) is a virtual cache with a live webcam and over 100 Favorite Points. I added it to my countdown list and set my sights on Wrigleyville.
Go Cubs Go! Wrigley Field is a baseball stadium on the Northside of Chicago and is home to the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. For most baseball fans and “Northsiders” Wrigley Field is a very special place and is the second oldest ballpark in the major league behind Fenway Park. The ballpark opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park and changed names a couple of times until the team was acquired by the Wrigley Gum Company in 1921. The stadium was called Cubs Park from 1920 to 1926 before being renamed Wrigley Field in 1927.
The Chicago Cubs are also a special kind of sports team. The team won back to back World Series Championships in 1907 and 1908 before entering into a 108 year slump which ended with a World Series Championship in 2016.
“I work for the Chicago Cubs, a team with a following so loyal and adoring and a history so forlorn that we were known nationwide as the Loveable Losers.”
When the big day arrived, I had 994 finds so I would need to find five caches along the way to GZ 1000. Heading south into Chicago along Lincoln Avenue, I started off with the Caching Route 41 series which shares the history of this historic street. Route 41 was once a major access route into the city from the North. I had a couple of fun finds and a couple of unexpected DNF’s. I had reached number 998.
I continued Southbound towards a series of four caches, when suddently I saw (GC3CA5D) Episode I – The Jedi Masters. I had just seen the Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker the previous day and felt the Force calling me. I jumped to lightspeed and followed the coordinates to GZ. I was so glad I did because it was one stellar cache and also number 999. It was time to head to The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.
“The Friendly confines” of Wrigley Field is a nicknamed popularized by Ernie Banks who played for the Chicago Cubs and was a Hall of Fame shortstop and first baseman. Be sure to stop by the statue of “Mr Cub” just to the North of GZ.
GC7B8M4 The Friendly Confines is a Virtual cache which pays homage to the iconic red marquee. A Favorite Point for sure and a Big shout out the Cache Owner Darth Leviosa for placing this virtual cache! Put this one on your bucket list! In addition to being an awesome virtual there is also a webcam pointed at the marquee. So be sure to capture your image amoung the hordes of muggles who are also making memories in front of the marquee.
Parking in the area can be challenging but the CTA El Train is a convenient option via Purple or Red line trains to the Addison stop.
The ballpark is surrounded by pubs and restaurants which are bustling all year round. My strong recommendation for a post cache celebration is Yak-Zies Bar and Grill which is located at 3710 N. Clark Street. All of their food is good but I personally go for the wings and thin crust Chicago Tang Pizza.
Other Chicago Stadium Caches
White Sox Fans – Bronzeville Ballpark (GC6NXEP)
Chicago Bears Fans – Bear Down (GC8BEWE)
Blackhawk Fans – I Love Chicago! Chicago Stadium – United Center (GCKCA8)
Northwestern Wild Cats – #5 Hatsya Becomes a Cheerleader (GC5E9TV)
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More Wrigleyville Caches to Conquer
There are four traditional caches around the perimeter of Wrigley Field including:
(GC353VM) Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Which of course is a nod to the classic 80’s film Ferris Buellers Day Off in which “Save Ferris” motif scrolls across the red Wrigley
On My To Do List – 80’s Movie Cache Series (Featuring John Hughes Movie Locations
GC7VVEF | GC1G08E | GC1WYA4