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Team Noltex

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  1. Just wanted to post an update, if for no other reason than to create a tiny bit of activity here. We now have only three days left in our one year cache of the day streak. Back in January, I wouldn't have given any odds that the streak would last for a full year, but here we are. And now, Mrs TN thinks she wants to extend it to at least 410 to make it to another challenge cache. Getting a cache every day, we have definitely gotten back into it in a big way. We also have only a few last puzzle caches left to complete the Tacoma Blackout challenge, an accomplishment we wanted to complete years ago. All together, 2014 has been a pretty good year.
  2. Some good memories there, Travis. Thanks for sharing it.
  3. Thanks to the awesome Wizard of Ooze reviewer, a last minute cache for the route was just published, By the Seashore, GC5AGG6. It is at the parking area for stop #26, Gems Around the Northwest With a View, which is at the Anderson Island marina. We'll have coords available if you see this too late to get them.
  4. I posted this to the cache page this evening. At the current rate, we're likely to have closer to 100 attending. Just how many more do we need for a Mega Event? At this point, we will have a small boat to ferry people over to Eagle Island. Capacity is limited, but we should be able to get a fair number of cachers over there. We're planning to have a water stop at the trailhead for stop #11-13, which is the last of three moderate hikes. There are also bathrooms at stop #'s 2, 3, 15, 24, 26 and 27, with port-a-potties at several others. While we have a fair amount of seating available at our cabin, please consider throwing a couple lawn chairs into your car to insure you don't have to eat standing up. See you all Saturday.
  5. As of today, the Will Attend count is just over 70 people! In order to help accommodate space on the ferry, if you would like to come over on the 8:00 AM ferry, we'll be at the landing on the Anderson Island side to meet that boat as well. The ferry can hold 54 cars, so it will likely be fine, we just don't want anyone to miss the 9:00 AM boat because it happens to be full.
  6. The first draft of the cache route has been posted here. At this point, I don't expect it to substantially change, with the possible exception of adding one more additional new cache. Please let me know if you see any changes that need to be made. There are two longer hikes of approximately 3/4 mile and 1 mile each way. Both have three caches along the trail. There is also one hike of approximately a 1/2 mile for "Grandma's Goodies", stop #7, but if you are willing to bushwhack, the approach is only a couple hundred feet. There are two water access only caches, "Eagles Lair", which is on Eagle Island, a very small island situated between Anderson Island and McNeil Island, and "Florence Float", which is in Lake Florence on Anderson Island. Eagle Island is about a 10 minute paddle from Anderson Island and there is direct beach access at the location of another cache site, Eagle Island Cottage. I put those two caches in the route to be as close to low tide as possible, as it will be a pretty large tide exchange that day. Low tide on August 9 is at 11:00. There is a possibility that I may have a small boat with an outboard there for a couple hours around the low tide time to ferry those without boat access to the island. Volunteers for boat captain duty will be accepted. At the "Florence Float" cache, we will have a canoe and two small kayaks at a nearby dock to use for access. Lunch is on your own, but because of the nature of the event, that it's a small island with few dining options and that there are probably more than a few people who have already done some of the caches on the island, the BBQ grill at our cabin will be fired up most of the afternoon for burgers and hotdogs. Bring other potluck food to share, we'll have refrigerator and cooler space for storage while you cache. Our cabin is located at the last route stop, and is the listed coords for the event. The address is 10409 Salmon Place AI. Hope to see you there. At this point, it looks like the weather is probably going to be fabulous!
  7. Here is the bookmark list for the event. Still working on putting together the route, though it's been WAY too long since I've worked with Streets and Trips. There are eight new caches on the island, only one of which has a finder so far, with the possibility of one more still to be placed. The caches on the island are a pretty good mix of a few park and grabs, numerous typical regular caches, two caches to paddle to (at least one of which will have full access to a row boat or canoe) and two longer hikes of over a mile, each with three caches along the trail. The hikes are very easy with huge viewpoint and beach payoffs. It looks like replies for around 40 people so far, so it should be a great turn out. Hope to see you there!
  8. Waiting for a few new caches to be published, then I'll publish a route.
  9. Will you be publishing a route? Any idea when the new caches will appear? I will be publishing a route, or at least minimally a bookmark list. The new caches will be placed by several other cachers in mid-july and will likely be published soon after.
  10. The event has been published here, GC56KD2. Put it on your calendars, hope to see you there.
  11. The event will hopefully be published soon. Just trying to navigate the changes in posting events since the last time we hosted one.
  12. For anyone who's wanted to go but didn't have a good reason, the Anderson Island Mini Cache Machine and Party Excuse II is your chance. Mark your calendars now for Saturday, August 9, 2014 for a day on this island gem in the Puget Sound. Our last event here was in 2005 and was such a blow out event, we've only just recently recovered! Anderson Island is near the city of Steilacoom and is serviced by a Pierce County ferry. A ferry schedule can be found here. Ferries to catch to be there by the start time leave Steilacoom for Anderson Island at 8:00 and 9:00 am. A link to the cache page will be posted as soon at it's approved. There are currently 18 caches on the island, with eight to ten more planned to be published prior to the event. Another seldom found cache is at nearby Eagle Island that is a short canoe or kayak paddle away. There are also a number of caches in Steilacoom near the ferry landing. We will meet at the ferry landing parking lot on Anderson Island at 9:30 am. A suggested route and cache list will be posted soon, so stay tuned. We are planning on an afternoon BBQ potluck after the caches, probably around 1 or 2 pm. Bring a salad or dessert and we'll provide the hamburgers, hotdogs, buns and non-alcoholic beverages at our place on the island, which is at N47 09.737, W122 41.510. Please post a "Will Attend" note with the number in your party so we can plan for food.
  13. Let me also welcome you to the 10 year club. Although, does it still count if there was a year you found zero caches?
  14. So after an over three year hiatus, we have returned to caching. Upon our return, we have found that technology has really caught up to the game. Shortly after we started caching in 2003, we thought we were doing pretty good to cache "paperless" with PQ's loaded into a Dell PDA. However, loading caches into both the PDA and GPS involved about fifty-eleven steps and was not exactly non-geek friendly. We have returned to smartphone apps, favorite points, logging caches from the field and a touch screen GPS that loads PQ's with little effort. The flavor of the game has changed a little too, and there are a whole new crop of cache hiders to become familiar with. Unfortunately, unimaginably placed micro-spew caches are still way too prevalent, but there are enough creative caches, containers and camouflage to give us hope. It also appears that this forum has changed dramatically as well. The Northwest forum had been vibrant and active, but now, sadly, appears nearly dead. We currently have a cache streak of 69 days of found caches, at least one each day so far this year. Anyone else have a cache streak going?
  15. For GSAK: 1. Use the User Data field to number them 01-88. (You could use User Sort, which is a numerical field, but it dumps the leading 0's; User Data will keep the 0's so the caches remain in route order.) 2. When you export to your GPSr or GPX file, use this for the waypoint name: %user%smart. This will create cache names in numerical order, beginning with the number and then the smart name (shortened cache name, not the GC#). Example: 01RiteBehind. Hope that helps. Aaaaand, there ya go! I knew someone smart had figured it out. Thanks.
  16. Really hating to sound like a noob here, but I've never been able to figure out how to order my pocket queries/bookmarks and the GSAK export so that they are in the same order as the route, short of renaming them numerically. Suggestions from any GSAK or bookmark guru's?
  17. Do you anticipate any more changes, Travis, or am I ok to do all the GSAK wizardry to load it into my numerous devices?
  18. We've talked several times about doing Anderson Island CM II, but haven't made any work of it. Perhaps next summer.
  19. Perhaps you have a bit of a misunderstanding about just how accurate most available GPS's are. When they make the claim of being accurate to within 10 ft/3 m, that is under the best of conditions. So let's say your GPS has a position error of 10 ft when you place your cache, meaning a circle with a 20 ft diameter. You post the coords and I go to find it. Now my GPS also has a position error of 10 ft , which means I could expect to add an additional 10 ft of distance from the cache. Now add in all of the things that typically increase the position error, such as number of satellites, satellite geometry, tree cover, topography and structures, and you can very easily zero out at a position 30, 40, even 50 ft away from where the cache actually is, sometimes more. Most GPS's have a readout for Estimated Position Error (EPE). How high or low the number is gives you an indication of how accurate your GPS happens to be at a given moment, under the current factors that are affecting the sat reception. If I have a high EPE, I know that I need to expand my search area. A low number tells me I'm probably pretty close, assuming that the hider also had a reasonably low EPE when he placed the cache. Most experienced cachers know that a GPS won't take you to the exact location of the cache. Just because it read's 0 feet, I can't expect to look down and find the cache. The GPS is used to find the general location (within 30-40 feet) and the rest is up to you. Expecting the GPS to do more than that for you will only lead to disapointment. And wasted time and gas. All that being said, I don't think that an iPhone was ever meant to have the kind of accuracy equal to a dedicated GPS. I think you'll be much happier and get more out of geocaching if you invest in one.
  20. A similar article came out a week or two ago in the Tacoma News Tribune from an AP story. It was your typical over-reaction scary headline and intro, with worst case scenario suppositions trhoughout, but at the end of the article you find out that there is already excess satellite coverage and that there is no real danger of any interruption. As the Garmin rep states at the end of the Seattle Times article, it's just too important to the government for there to be any significant outage. For some strange reason, after reading articles like this I always just want to slap the reporter upside their head a little. Weird.
  21. I was wondering if someone was going to bring up caches like our "Fear This:" series, which if you aren't familiar, are caches that address several different phobias. For those with those phobias, they truly are 5 star difficulty caches. For example, on the "Fear This: Acrophobia" (fear of heights), you have to look over the edge of a spectacularly high bridge in order to get the coords for the final. Mrs Team Noltex doesn't like to even go onto the bridge, let alone look over. The ratings are a bit tongue-in-cheek for most people, but we occasionally get logs about how truly horrifying they were for someone to do. So in that sense, the 5 star rating is justified. I guess you'd need to judge for yourself if it qualified for this challenge cache.
  22. Good call on the Wingate. We stayed there two years ago and the kids loved it. The water park isn't real big, but more than adequate for the kids to play in for a few hours. I think we paid about $125 as well. On a side note, if your daughter happens to get sick while you're staying there, they'll let you keep the ice bucket to take home as a souvenir.
  23. People come to the CF Conference from around the world. I was hoping to meet up with someone attending the conference to grab some caches.
  24. Will any other cachers be attending the Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Anaheim next week? I'd love to team up with someone else. and get some of the caches near the convention center.
  25. Pay to play is discouraged. The rest of it doesn't sound bad.
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