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Everything posted by sammydee

  1. Run - do not walk - to the video store and rent the movie "Office Space". Now. Your other meetings for the day are hereby cancelled.
  2. I hope you have a great visit to the Bay Area! If you only get one chance to cache while you're here, I would go to Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Start at GCJVQ4 and there are easily 25 or more excellent caches within a few hours hike. The scenery is great and there's some nice history as well. (edited) Er, I just noticed that you're using the Quicksilver TB Hotel. It's in the same park, but at some distance from the entrance I suggested. There'a a much greater volume of caches in a shorter hike from GCJVQ4 than from the Hotel. You can hike between them, or drive depending on how much time you've got available.
  3. QS? QS? Did someone mention QS? Trail Days: Almaden Quicksilver Be there!
  4. Great pic! There's the real "precious"!
  5. A bit out of the region, but FYi were up in Tahoe and Carson City this weekend and did a bit of caching. There's still too much snow around Tahoe for much caching, but near Carson City are some super spots. We had a blast at GC7F22, Deadmans Creek Trail Cache, near Washoe Lake. Temps in the 50s. There were hundreds of butterflies at the bottom of the trail and lots of snow at the top. Half of the 1 mile trip was on dry land; the other half was over about a foot of snow on the trail. Quite a contrast!
  6. My family visited Carson City this weekend, and we had a blast at GC7F22, Deadmans Creek Trail Cache. Great views. There were hundreds of butterflies at the bottom of the trail and lots of snow at the top.
  7. I hope we can jump on this. A hands-on demonstration is probably the most effective way to show what our sport is really about. It sounded like he was actually interested. I was careful to give him a business card; hopefully he'll touch base if he gives it a try. I'll attend the meeting next month, and will be sure to say "hi" after the meeting to nag him - er, get an update.
  8. This is something Krypton and I would very much like to see. Do you know who we could contact to get our hands on these maps? Each park has a "master plan" that describes what the development of the park should look like over a 20 year span. I believe that these 'zoning' maps are part of the master plan for each park. Some of the newer ones are online, but most are not. I know that Santa Teresa is due to have its master plan update start soon. I'll see if I can get a copy of the master plan document for that park; if I get it I will scan any interesting material. (The Quicksilver trail day event is submitted.)
  9. Yes, it was a good meeting. Big thanks to Steve and WoW for coming out - making a mini-"show of force" was a really good thing. As a result of that meeting, and the other groundwork that's been laid over the past few months, I think we're pretty well "hooked in" to the SCC Parks organization, and will hear about anything they do that impacts us in the future. I also believe that they are not planning any formal "policy" on caching in the short term. However, folks at a high level in the department DO have it on their "to do" list. SO...we don't seem to have the same sort of crisis atmosphere with SCC Parks that seems to be going on in the East Bay. But we DO need to increase our visibility to make sure that we're seen as a legitimate, LARGE group of users of the parks whose needs and interests should be heard. As WoW said, everyone seems to get a hearing when policies are being determined. (There was a significant discussion last night about what the "local Frisbee Golf" organization wanted to happen in one park.) Obviously we need to be heard at least as much as "Frisbee Golf" - and we have as much to lose as the mountain bikers in Nisene Marks if we aren't. I'll continue to monitor the FoSTP meetings monthly. We need to keep up our coverage of the SCC Parks meetings. If we can get a volunteer posse of 2 or 3 folks who can attend these, perhaps on a rotating basis, we'll be in good shape. Finally, we need to increase our visibility as "good citizens" - starting with the upcoming "Trail Day" event on April 23rd in Quicksilver. Let's use that as our "coming out party" to let the Parks dept know just how many of us there are and just how supportive of the parks we are! (Look for an Event posting soon.) ...Sam
  10. The official closure list is here: http://www.parkhere.org/channel/0,4770,chi...3D16311,00.html As of today only the remotest sections are closed until Spring. Plenty of great hiking in the 7 miles that are open!
  11. Yeah, I went to one a few weeks ago in Calero that was a 25 minute hike in from the parking lot, was 3 feet off the trail - and that hadn't been visited since August. Sigh.....
  12. FYI - please mark your calendar to come help for the upcoming Trail Days event at Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Here's some information from Santa Clara County Parks and Rec: Thanks for your interest in the our volunteer trail events. April 23rd's trail event is part of California Trail Days and will help complete the New Almaden trail between Mine Hill and Senador Mine. We are in the process of building a new bridge including a reroute from Mine Hill to the new bridge. April's work will complete the trail and open this area for the first time in over two years. We will be meeting at the Castillero school parking lot and transporting volunteers up to the work site via our van. This will help with the limited parking around the McAbee entrance area. If you think you can help, please email me (drake@timesten.com). I'd like to get a rough count. I'm sure that we'll turn this into a more formal "Event" pretty soon. Thanks, ...Sam
  13. You could also try the Southside Community Center on Cottle Road.
  14. I'm no expert, that's for sure. But for my two cents: We may need a "formal" organization at some point - but for now we need a couple of volunteers per district that can commit to a long term relationship and presence with their local parks district. I stll haven't seen anyone volunteer to go to the next EBRPD meeting...seems like that should be a real priority! Whoever goes needs to be polite, helpful, informative, non-combative. LISTEN a lot, take a lot of notes, figure out who does what. Maybe talk a tiny bit, but just a tiny bit. We need to learn how the system works, THEN figure out how to monitor it to make sure it's not doing something silly behind our backs, only THEN can we try to influence it. We need to get hooked into the processes for the long term, not try to solve all of the problems in the world in one meeting. Building relationships and trust will be a long-term process, and it needs to go district by district. Some folks need to take "ownership" of the geocaching relationship with EBRPD. Other folks need to take "ownership" of the geocaching relationship with SCC Parks (I'm encouraged that we may have this one covered.) And so on, all around the Bay. If this is going to be done, it HAS to be done with great care and great respect and caution. Establishing a more formal, visible presence has an up side and a down side. UP side: The powers that be understand us better, take us into account when making decisions, and our interests are preserved. DOWN side: We put ourselves in their face, and they can no longer ignore us as they have. They'll have to take an official position. That might be good, or it might be bad. I'm not sure if there's a crisis here in general (it seems like there's a bit of one at EBRPD, which is why getting someone to that meeting next week seems like it's so important). I don't know that we have a "crisis" with the others. But we ARE getting on their radar, and we DO need to know what they are thinking and doing. At a minimum, every senior planner for every parks department and every open space district should be able to say, "Geocachers? Yes, I've met some. They seem like nice people, but that's a really odd way to have fun." Today I think most of them would say, "Geocachers? I hear they are causing trouble in some spots. Some of my peers have banned it. I've never met anyone who geocaches and I sure hope those hoodlums don't come to my park." If we can accomplish that, I think a lot of the rest will sort itself out. And accomplishing that is about relationships and education, not about petitions and confrontation. OK, that was more than two cents. I've only got 144 finds; that's all I get to say. Others with more vested in this need to speak up. ...Sam
  15. That was a very nice segment! It's on "Do Not Delete" in my TiVo until I figure out how to get it out of there. Super! (I've never seen some of you so clean-shaven...)
  16. Huzzah to WoW!!! On the political front - mountain bikers are a group that seems to recognize the need for lobbying and activism to keep their interests intact. I'm very impressed by their site . http://www.imba.com/ We could learn a lot from this sort of organizational skill. I never saw anyone volunteer to cover the East Bay meeting - is anyone going to go? ...Sam
  17. I'll try to find out where in Quicksilver they plan to work during the April Trail Day - I've exchanged several emails with the right fellow in County Parks. I'll let you know what I find out. During the Trail Day at Santa Teresa in May work will be done on the Rocky Ridge trail, which is a nice trail leading up to Coyote Peak (with my DollHouse near the bottom and with Bay Area Multiple Hills - 3 at the top). There are wonderful views from up there. I've done a couple of Trail Days, and they involve a lot of work but are very fun. Think picks and shovels, filling in erosion due to winter water damage. But don't be put off by a little honest work - a large number of the volunteers for these are teenage Girl Scouts. If they can do it, so can you! ...Sam
  18. I'll join you there. Thanks for looking up the info.
  19. I don't know about this organization, but in general Board Meetings exist to rubber-stamp proposals that were worked out earlier....so waiting until something shows up on a Board agenda is a recipe for failure. You've already lost at that point. My bet is that the Park Advisory Committee is the place where we need to start showing up. The web page posted doesn't list any 2005 meetings of the Park Advisory Committee. I called the phone # listed on the page, and they say that the next meeting is next Monday the 28th at 7pm at 2950 Peralta Oak Ct in Oakland right off of 106th street. Meetings go until 9:30 or 10. They are attended by 21 members of the Committee as well as 4 or 5 staff members. One or two people should show up, do a lot of listening, take notes of names and titles, introduce yourselves to people in the hallway and at breaks, and be sure to say that you're very interested in the committee's position on Geocaching and want to make sure that the committee is well informed on the subject. Polite, helpful, informative, non-combative. I'd volunteer to go, but I have to work in SF setting up a demo at Moscone for a trade show that night. ...Sam
  20. I don't have as many as I should. Friends of Santa Teresa Park. (These are the ones that I attend.) http://www.stpfriends.org/ Santa Teresa Foothills Neighborhood Association. They are concerned about development at Miracle Mountain and promoting the (non-existent) Coyote-Alamitos Trail (turning the old drainage canal at the base of the Santa Teresa Hills into an actual trail) http://www.stfna.org/stf/ I haven't been going to County Park Board meetings, but the chair of the FoSTP meetings does. I've been tempted to go to a few. I don't know if there are similar organizations for Quicksilver or other local parks. ...Sam
  21. Aargh. That's really unfortunate. Arguing with the ranger isn't the right answer, but I'm glad you tried to educate him a bit. Got to figure out how to get to the boss. Ignorance is dangerous. We need to make sure that people in power have an accurate idea about what we do. After the snake-bite-while-caching incident last summer in Santa Teresa Park, I was worried about that sort of backlash. So I started going to the monthly meetings of the "Friends of Santa Teresa Park" - precisely to monitor for similar silly over-reactions and to make sure that people have an accurate notion of what caching involves. As it turns out there wasn't a backlash in this case, but at a minimum there's a group of involved community members who now know what geocaching is and have a balanced (and I think largely positive) view of it now. I've only had a couple of short exchanges with Santa Clara County Parks people on the topic of caching. They are indeed nervous/concerned about it, and as one person told me taking a "wait and see" attitude towards it. Fair enough. All the more reason why we need to push our side of the story - publicizing things like the recent "CITO at the Workshop" - to make sure that the Parks folks have an accurate and balanced view of what we do. Similarly, I'd like to get cachers out for more events in the Parks. As an example, there's a "Trail Day" at Santa Teresa in a few months where volunteers will help do some trail work. Typically 4-H, Girl Scouts, and some local mountain bike groups turn out bigtime for this sort of thing. We need to be visible at this sort of event as well. I don't know if there are any similar "Friends Of" community groups exist for the parks you're having trouble with, but certainly getting involved is a good thing in moderation.. Not to be pushy; not to ask for permission - just to make sure everyone knows what we do and that we're good to have around. In short, someone needs to go to some meetings. How much could it hurt?? :-) ...Sam
  22. Are you still in Tokyo? I was lucky enough to cache there last summer. Of the 4 that I did in Tokyo, only one (Odaiba; GCJJ8F) is still in existence. And that one is lots of fun to do - by all means get that one if you can. The cache is nothing special, but it's in an interesting spot. I had bad jet lag, so I would wake up at 5am, go caching (on the subway, which is super easy even if you only English), then return to the hotel at 8 and go to my meeting at 9. Fun! ...Sam
  23. Behind the fish restaurant, out by the dumpster, next to the jumbo rat trap? THAT sort of cache? Yeech, that one was NASTY.
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