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Mushroom finder

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Everything posted by Mushroom finder

  1. So around Christmas time last year my family had a get together and the kids asked if I would take them Geocaching. No one else in my family caches but several of them have gone with me a few times. On this occasion I took the kids to one of my own hides just because it was close by. While there my 11 year old niece took a shine to a travel bug that was in my cache. I explained to her what a TB was and that it wasn't a trade item and why it needed to stay in the cache. Then as 11 year olds often do, a mini melt down started to occur. To diffuse the situation, I finally agreed to let her take it on the condition that she only got to keep it for a little while and then had to put it in one of the caches in her neighborhood. She was fine with that and when we got home her Dad agreed to make sure it happened. I didn't really know how it was gonna work out since they don't have an account and would have no way to log the drop. I didn't want to put it in my inventory since it wasn't in my possession, nor did I want to mark it as missing since it wasn't missing, so I just put it on my watch list. A month later someone logged a "grabbed it" and promptly placed it into another area cache where someone else picked it up and began dipping it. At that point I assumed that my niece had followed through with her promise and either dropped it in a cache or handed it off to a school mate that cached. Either way, the TB seemed to have safely made it back into circulation so I left it at that. Fast forward to yesterday when my family was once again together for a holiday picnic. One of the activities we had planned for the kids was a bike ride to an area park to find a cache. My niece was along and so was her Dad. When we got to the cache he asked her if she remembered to bring the TB with her and she said no, she had left it at home. Turns out she still has it and has had it all along. So now the question becomes; how has this bug managed to move over 30 times and pass through the hands of more than one person while sitting on my niece's dresser? My best guess is that someone found my cache specifically to retrieve the bug and when it wasn't there, rather than mark it as missing, they created a fake and let it go. What I can't understand about that is what anyone (especially someone who isn't the owner) would have to gain from that. My next question is what happens when I get the real bug back from my niece and set it free? How are the drops and retrieves even gonna be kept straight? I forsee a lot of grabs happening back and forth. Since the bogus bug is now several states away, a grab and drop here and a grab and drop there are really gonna screw up the miles. Part of me says to leave well enough alone and not even try to rescue the real bug but then I think that if I were the owner, I'd be interested in my bug's travel history and not some imposter's. Help me out here, I'm not really sure what to do but I feel some responsibility for it.
  2. Several possibilities. A. Could be a new cache that has not been published yet. If the log book was still blank this would be the most likely. B. Could be a stage or the final of a multi cache or mystery cache whereby the exact listed coordinates would be different that where the cache is located. C. Could be a cache that has been archived for one reason or another but has not been removed the area. D. Could be a premium member only cache which are only visible to premium members. E. Could be a cache that is listed on another "geocaching" site (there are a few others out there). F. Could be a Letterbox which is similiar to a Geocache but is typically found through clues rather than GPS coords. Letterboxes will always have a rubber stamp of some sort and the log book will be stamped with finder's personal stamps rather than signatures. Anyway, welcome to Geocaching, I hope you decide to join in on the hunt.
  3. It is what it is... I don't think there's anything unsportsmanlike about, but it also doesn't really count for anything either. Getting a FTF is kinda cool the first time, but I never really understood the attraction to the FTF race. Geocaching is not a competition no matter how much some people try to make it one. To me, the only FTF's that are really meaningful or represent an accomplishment are caches that have set unfound for a long time due to extreme terrain or that required some extensive planning and execution. Or caches (puzzle or otherwise) that have stumped many other cachers. Being the first to claim a cache that everyone else has been DNFing for months, now that's a cool reward. Being the first to lift up a bunch of lamp skirts .01 apart, or the first to hit the dumpsters behind all the Wallgreens, wow, now there's something to brag about. Who cares.
  4. Not entirely true. I don't know if this is the case everywhere, but in my area the reviewers conduct a monthly sweep of caches with an unanswered NM attribute. CO's are usually given a 30 day notice to preform maintenance and if they don't, the cache is archived on the next month's sweep. When cachers fail to post a NM and just write something about it in their log, it allows caches that need maintenance to go unnoticed by reviewers for months and wastes subsequent searcher's time.
  5. A little confused by that statement. I don't see where you've logged any of my caches, or any in my entire state for that matter.
  6. OK, so the cache you are talking about is one of mine. At the time I saw it as a gentle reminder and not a plea for points. I included it after seeing it on a few other cache pages in my area. Around that same time there had been a forum discussion about the purpose of fav points and how people forgetting to award them or just handing them out to their friend's hides kinda defeats the purpose of helping people filter caches. I'm a guy who likes to read all or at least a good portion of the logs on every cache page I view. While reading that thread I thought about all the times I've seen someone mention that a particular cache was the "best ever" or their "favorite to date", but then didn't award a fav point I've seen it on my own caches a couple of times. Always makes me wonder if they just forgot. I'm a firm believer that the best way to improve the quality of caches in your area is to lead by example. When I hide a cache my goal is to do hides that represent what I think Geocaching should be about and that are something I'd like to find myself. My hope is that they inspire others to think about quality when they do their next hide. Acquiring a lot of fav points is the best way to bring quality caches to others attention. In hindsight I guess it does seem a bit cheesy, but hey, we spend hundreds of dollars to run around finding tupperware and Mc Toys in the bushes, what could be more cheesy than that Did mentioning favs on the page cause anyone to leave a point that didn't want to, not likely. Did it remind anyone who was in the middle of logging 20 or 30 finds that they wanted to leave a point, perhaps, but who knows. What I do know is that a lot of people have really enjoyed this one and a few have mentioned that all the fav points is what brought them out to find it. A few people have contacted me about importing the idea into their area. So in the end, if mentioning favs reminded a few people who might have forgotten to leave a point, and a lot of points brought a few people to find this specific cache, and my cache inspired a few to hide better quality in their own areas, then it's worth it, cheesy or not.
  7. I own 6 caches, all have favorites with a combined total of 80 points. My highest has 50 and my lowest (also my oldest) has 1. So an average of 13.3 points per cache.
  8. I'll give you props for building your own container rather than wrapping some random piece of trash in duct tape and calling it a cache. I'll give you even more props for taking the time to document your build and share it with the community, but I'll agree with the rest that building something that resembles a classic pipe bomb isn't very wise. That being said, I will say that there are endless possibilities for creative containers that can be made from PVC parts. I have a cache made from PVC that has acquired 50 fav points and nobody has mistaken it for a bomb. I suggest that you use the skills you have demonstrated in working with PVC, take a trip down the plumbing isle and let your imagination go wild. I bet once you look at all the parts available and think about how you can fit various fittings together, how you can cut, drill, glue & screw things together, you'll come up with something truly unique that doesn't cause suspicion or concern. Best of luck to you.
  9. The owner must have gotten tired of people constantly tampering with his lamp pole while searching for the Geocache 30' away.
  10. Wimseyguy has given great advise. Also nice to see no one climbing all over the OP lecturing about bad form for asking for help. Use the advise given here and the clues on the cache page/gallery. There is a spoiler there, just have to recognize it and then you'll have a better idea of what to look for and where.
  11. Shrooming for sure! I actually stumbled across a letterbox while mushrooming a few years back. The very next day and over 40 miles away, I stumbled across an unpublished Geocache. That's literally how I discovered Geocaching and I make it a point to combine caching and mushrooming every spring now. Earlier this spring a cache I'd previously found that's near one of my mushroom spots was reported missing. I was shrooming there the next day so I decided to look for it. Not only did I locate the missing cache, but I found three morels within 4 feet of the cache, so that was a pretty cool bonus. Most often, bicycling is the activity that I combine with caching, although I've been able to combine it with boating too, and yes, even rappelling. Here's my rappelling cache GC1D7G0
  12. I really like your mushroom cache, but I wouldn't exactly call it "evil". Although it's a cute little cache, IMO you have the difficulty rated much higher than I think it actually is. Your cache name, description and hint all make it painfully obvious that seekers are looking for something disguised as a mushroom. Even if I hadn't read the name and description, this one would jump out at me for a couple of reasons. A) it looks like the type of mushroom I expect to see in the grocery store and not in the wild. B ) it's placed in a spot that I wouldn't expect to see mushrooms growing. I would rate it a D-1.5 at best. I apologize if it sounds like I'm being overly critical, just offering an honest opinion since you said your goal was to become know for the most difficult hides. `Experienced cachers are pretty sharp and you have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull the wool over their eyes.
  13. The only problem is that the OS was buried except for the lid, so your tribute cache would not be publishable if it was hidden the same way.
  14. That's interesting, I always thought a Letterbox hybrid was a letterbox (actually listed on one or more of the letterboxing sites with the traditional means of finding) that was also listed as a geocache on GC.com. Seems to me that a geocache with a stamp in it (listed only here) is nothing more than a geocache with a stamp in it, and not a letterbox or hybrid at all.
  15. Neighbors might get annoyed with the traffic. Be sure to let them know what's up or a well meaning neighbor might call the cops if they see people prowling around when you aren't home.
  16. Power trails aren't my cup of tea at all, but to each their own. I'd drive 100 miles to do one really awesome cache before I'd walk a block to start a power trail in my own neighborhood. Whenever I see a long string of evenly spaced traditional cache icons on the map, I just keep surfing without even looking at a single cache page. I sure I'm not the only one who chooses to ignore power trails, and that's where my one and only beef with them comes into play. Because power trails take up a pretty good chunk of real estate, they often monopolize entire trail systems, effectively blocking all other caches placements that would appeal to non power trail cachers. I can think of more than a few really interesting spots that are perfect hides for fun caches but can't be used because they are too close to a poorly hidden pill bottle 5' from the trail. Worse than just blocking better placements, when a new power trail gets set up in an area that already has a few caches, the trail can unintentionally cast the other caches into oblivion. Cachers who don't care about power trails aren't gonna dig through 100 cache pages one at a time to see if a "real" cache is hidden amongst the PT, and cachers who are there specifically for the PT aren't gonna be bothered with a cache that isn't part of the PT if it takes more than a few seconds to find.
  17. I've noticed lately a lot more people signing the physical cache log but not logging their find online. Me too. A lot of times you'll see a group that all signed the log together but only one logged online. I know I've taken family members caching before and we all signed but I'm the only one who has a geocaching account so I'm the only one in the group who logged online. When I look at my log books I count each entry as one visit no matter how many people might have signed as a group. On a recent maintenance trip to my most popular cache, I counted 138 separate finds (both individual and group finds) recorded in the log book but only 98 finds had been logged online. I believe there were over 150 individuals documented within those 138 visits in the physical log. I don't notice very many online logs that can't be tied to a physical entry, but I do see a few of them. I don't delete them because I remember when I first started I often went out expecting that there would be something to write with in every cache and then had no way to sign when there wasn't. Even as an experienced cacher, I still make it to a cache once in a while and discover I left my pen in my truck. Only once have I ever deleted a find. This was on a D5 puzzle and someone logged a smiley but stated in their log that they had only found the instructional stage and didn't realize it was a puzzle until they found it. They did promised to complete it but after a month of no follow through and no signature showing up in the log book, I went ahead and deleted the find.
  18. I don't think it's a throw down since the sheet was blank. More likely it is an unpublished cache that happened to be placed in almost the same spot as the cache isbbc was looking for.
  19. RE: barrel of monkeys. Neat idea, but what prevents anyone from just picking the bucket up and shaking the bison out of the top or side holes?
  20. I find it comical that you are freaking out about the spoiler pics but then turn around and post them and links to the caches yourself here in the forums.
  21. Well now that I know where the final is I guess I don't need to find the phone booth
  22. Nope, that's a cop out used by too many people to justify to themselves that it's OK to trade paper clips, rubber bands, sticky, spilled soda pop covered pennies dug out of their console, pop tabs, pieces of gravel picked up from the parking spot, broken bits of some random unidentifiable object, etc. for whatever struck their fancy in the cache. "Took the $5 FTF prize, stereo earphones and flashlight, left a soggy tattoo that I found in another cache 20 minutes ago. TFTC!!!". As a cache owner, I've come to expect that a well stocked cache with a dozen or more decent swag items will degenerate to 2-3 junk items and a few scraps of paper trash within 10 finds or less. Everyone talks the "trade even or up" philosophy on the boards, but I firmly believe that 1% or less actually practice it. It is what it is, and it's something you can't let bother you if you're gonna hide swag caches. As a finder, the swag is not what makes caching enjoyable to me, but I certainly do appreciate it when I find a well maintained cache with good swag. To me it says that the owner takes pride in his/her cache and cares about the finder's experience. As a cache owner, the enjoyment I get out of my hides is seeing the enjoyment that others got out of them. Keeping my caches stocked up with fun, interesting and clean swag is my way of showing my appreciation to the caching community for the caches that I've enjoyed finding. I think if more new CO's went into it with that attitude, you'd see a lot less people getting bent out of shape when their swag is all traded out for trash. The best you can hope for is that new cachers who find your cache will remember it as an example when they are ready to hide their first cache.
  23. I believe this has been done several times before. Here's a video that got some attention last summer. He tricked her into believing they were video documenting a FTF attempt. I think I read somewhere that he had to work with the reviewer on getting it published at a specific date and time.
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