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Everything posted by Steve&GeoCarolyn

  1. Here's a quick picture to illustrate what it looks like to hike in the swampy areas. We pursued a cache here last weekend. Carolyn
  2. I think you'll find that in most areas, things tend to go missing due to misadventures with non-cachers a lot more than with cachers. A cache reasonably well placed in the areas you describe aren't likely to be stumbled across by accident. Your Otter should stay out there for a good, long while. We've got ammo cans out here in Colorado that must be nearly as old as the mountains themselves! When you've got your container complete, post a pic for us! Hi! Thank you for the advice. I feel much better about placing my Otter Box in the wild once I find the right place! I can't wait! I will definitely post a photo because the spot I pick will be worthy of photos. I think the wetlands in Colorado are different than the wetlands in the Midsouth and the social attitudes around water in general and wetlands in particular are profoundly different. My recollection of Colorado's wetlands (at least in the high country) was of marshy areas where columbines and other flowers grow and I remember being shamed by someone I was hiking with when I was young because I ran across the marsh and harmed the delicate vegetation. And, of course, water is rare enough in Colorado that wars have been fought over it. Memphis exists on land reclaimed from yellow fever swamp, so any area that isn't either bottomland forest or developed is wetland. Most of the farmer's fields here seem to be set on land my topo map designates as swamp. Waterlogged land here is as common as fields of yellow/brown vegetation and yucca are around Denver. Even many of our bottomland forests spend part of the year under a few inches of water. (Half my backyard spends a portion of the year under water despite our best efforts to rectify this problem.) As a consequence the wetland sensibility here is not as developed as Colorado's or California's. It is not just that ecological consciousness is not a substantial part of the dialogue compared to Denver or L.A., but that the ecology itself is different and this drives a different conclusion. I think it is difficult for many people to see wetlands as fragile when their best efforts to have a nice lawn and garden are hampered by the terrain's desire to turn back into a swamp (or weir). There are designated wilderness areas and some caches have been placed in these places. I do not understand the complexities of permission for this, so I am reluctant to do this until I understand these issues better. I should probably stop using the word bushwacking. Alongside most of the portions of swampy areas is muddy land with very high plants, twisted vines, brambles, thorny vines, poison ivy, and so forth. It's very dense and simply trying to walk through it isn't possible. The process of hiking through these areas is that you have to push the vegetation out of the way as you duck under or lever your body past the hazard and you pretty much have to do that every step of the way while watching for snakes and waving off mosquitoes. Often when we return from a longish hike my shoulders and arms hurt more than my legs. That's what I meant by bushwacking. A lighter version features areas with vegetation that isn't as dense. I'm not sure I understand what you are asking here. The two spots that look promising for the other two caches I'm planning are both city-owned park area or areas designated to become parks. There are already caches in the areas but the area is not saturated. I asked the locals about permissioning and was told that geocachers are welcomed by the officials for both cities and so I am very relieved. Princess Jasmine's Pirate Treasure now has an Otter Box, but I don't yet have a perfect site to place it. Carolyn
  3. Great idea! We've got a 2 stage multi around here that uses a similar idea. It was a hoot! We have a wonderful one like that here as well and it gets very good logs and is on a few favorite bookmark lists. (It is great fun in a beautiful place.) However, it isn't listed as a difficulty 4 hide, which is what I sense the OP wants. It is listed as a difficulty 2 hide. Carolyn
  4. Twitter has a grouping function that lets you set up interest communities like the one you are talking about. Here is the link to the Twitter Groups page: http://twittgroups.com/index.php There is even a group for geocaching: http://twittgroups.com/group/geocaching
  5. No, no, no! Then I would be unable to tell the two of you apart. I have it set up now that mrbort is the sweet faced dog and knowschad is the smart dog with glasses. (I shall be ever so disappointed if I meet you and it turns out that one of you is a human pretending to be a dog like the reverse of that famous New Yorker cartoon.) If you both wear glasses I shall be mystified. Carolyn
  6. You really can't do this in a simple fashion by subtraction. Coordinates vary in the amount of space they describe depending on where you are on the earth because the Earth is a sphere, not a flat plane. My strong recommendation is that you do as I do and use Google Earth to get the actual measure between two coordinates. They have a ruler function that lets you drag a line from one place to another and gives you the distance in feet or meters (your choice). I put in my two coordinates and then drag my ruler to get a sense of the distance. Once I've found something that looks promising I take my GPS to the spot and ask it to show me all nearby caches. It always gives me the distance to the nearest ones. If it is less than .1 mile (or 528 feet) I pout for a while and stalk around and then go home to try again. Carolyn
  7. What I am currently looking for is a site with a pleasant 1-2 hour hike in bottomland forest with some minor bushwacking toward the end. Failing that, I am looking for a shorter hike with more bushwacking in light swamp, marsh, or weir. The sort of thing that can be crossed by laying down a pattern of sticks or simply wading through. (Our swampy land is not as deep as yours, I think.) I want to try to keep the terrain rating somewhere around 2.5-3. I'm willing to go down to 2 if it is a truly breathtaking site and I'm willing to do 3.5 only if it is both beautiful and reasonably near to where I live. I'm really having a great deal of trouble finding a location I like. I have discovered that I am apparently the world's pickiest princess when it comes to picking a location for this hide. I've found two other locations I like that I intend to put hides, but they're not good enough for the Princess Jasmine cache, though they are both reasonably pretty sites. (I have an ammo can and a witz case for the other two hides and puzzles ready for those as well.) I am beginning to think that my aesthetic sense needs to be pinned to Snoogans' Tree of Angst and have tomatoes thrown at it. I really like the Otter Box. It looks like a jewelry box and it is water-tight. Since it will be filled with jewelry, it is perfect. But, of course, I don't want it to disappear in the swamp or be taken by someone. I plan to cable it to its location because that is the only way ammo cans survive our floods and I assume the same will be true of this Otter Box but I am not under any illusions that cables can prevent determined thieves. Carolyn (The angsty hider)
  8. This is basically true of me and my beloved as well. I carry a cell phone when we cache, but only because I'm required to be instantly available if a server goes down. It is my true hope that I will never be on the phone, twittering, or engaged with other people while caching. I'm not a phone-a-friend type. I don't see anything wrong with asking for help from friends, but it would ruin the illusion of aloneness for me if I did it while caching. One of the sad things about living east of the Mississippi is that it is so terribly settled that you can never truly find real wilderness of the sort I knew in the Rocky Mountains so I am never able to get more than a bit of true people-free quiet time. However, here in the Mid-South there are many cachers who are far more social that we are and they would probably be happy with something like this. I think it is possible for different people to get different things from Twitter. I use Twitter regularly and like what it adds to my life. But I certainly don't use it the way you do and wouldn't want to. It's not that I don't "get" Twitter just like it's not that I don't "get" the idea of cell phone usage simply because I'm not always on it. Technology like Twitter thrives in part because it is amenable to differing usages and can be personalized for each user's desired experience. I think it is probably a mistake to over-generalize about what people should get out of social media applications. I'm kind of lost here. My understanding is that early middle age comprises the mid-30s to mid-40s. Middle middle age comprises the mid-40s through mid-50s. And late middle age comprises the mid-50s through mid-60s. I think these definitions are quite durable and have been used for quite a while. What source are you using that defines it differently? Carolyn
  9. Thank you! That's good to know. I really like how this Otter Box looks for the cache I'm putting together so I'll just have to find a safe location to put it. Is there a high theft rate of cache boxes in the field? Carolyn
  10. I have a bunch of very large copper bellydance costume coins that I've been placing in caches as my signature item. They're made by a famous bellydance zil maker: Saroyan. I think they're quite special and not something found everywhere. Here's what one looks like (with a quarter for size comparison):
  11. My wonderful beloved just bought me an Otter Box for a puzzle cache I'm putting together (tentatively titled "Princess Jasmine's Pirate Treasure"). The Otter Box looks like it will be perfect as a jewelry box for Princess Jasmine's jewelry swag and I have read that they do a good job keeping out the wet. But the latches are very difficult to open. Has anyone had difficulty using Otter Boxes in the field? Do anxious cachers break the latches? Carolyn
  12. I know my synopsis is not entirely inclusive and is not for teaching, but it gives a basic idea. Ah! I see. Thank you for the photos. I agree then that you will probably get some comments about them since they look like bullets. However, if they are legal as swag and they are not a danger to anyone, I don't see how anyone can credibly object. The one thing I would suggest is getting a sense of the sentiment in Ohio. I lived in Columbus for about five years and people there seemed far more conventional than any other place I've lived with a very high premium placed on getting along with others, fitting in, and avoiding offense. (It was a very difficult place for me to adjust to after growing up in Colorado.) The culture may be different in North Eastern Ohio. As to your note, I think that it is not dumbed down enough. I have fairly high reading skills and I had some trouble as I went along, probably because the material is unfamilar to me. However, I suspect that the people you are educating will also be unfamiliar with the material, so I'm probably a good test case. I think you may be giving too much information in each step. I'd also recommend not using all-caps for emphasis. I wonder if you could include some pictures in the steps? I think that would be both interesting and would help make it easier to read since part of the issue in reading unfamiliar material is the difficulty in bringing up a picture in one's mind. I am also concerned that some people may not know what the word "inert" means, but I think you've probably covered your bases by adding the word 'replica' after that. Also, I can't think of a better word for what you're trying to say. You asked for comments about the note and those are mine. Carolyn Update: Upon reflection, I should say that it is actually paragraphs 2 and 3 that I had the most difficulty with. The other paragraphs are fine. (And I appreciate that you have paragraphed very clearly.)
  13. I think that I can speak for the gun-ignorant here. I have no idea what a cartridge looks like. I can recognize a bullet, though I've mostly seen Civil War bullets at this point. I suspect a cartridge would look like just an odd piece of metal to me until I read the info sheet. My guess is that the gun-ignorant are not going to be the problem people. It's the somewhat gun knowledgeable who will be concerned. Carolyn
  14. Wow! Those are great!!! I would love to find one of those in a cache. Do they require a lot of time/money to make? Carolyn
  15. Excellent example of how to properly use a controversial item in a cache description. Thanks for sharing! I thought it was cool, too! As several people here have said, context is everything. Carolyn
  16. I see nothing wrong with an info sheet written to a low reading level with the kind of GeeWhiz! tone that info directed at children has. I think we have all grown up with it and almost everyone is fine with it. If people weren't ok with it you wouldn't see adults grab the child-oriented placemats at travel diners to read the fun facts and riddles. Most adults have a bit of child in them. Also, a surprising number of adults read at a fairly low level, so I think you can consider this kind of info sheet a benefit to a lot of people. Carolyn
  17. Ladies and gentlemen, the football team will be playing before and after tonight's featured performance of the marching band. OK. What is 'FTW'? When you used it with the picture of the babe, I assumed it meant "First to Wench", but now I'm mystified. Carolyn
  18. I really loved reading the logs you linked to and seeing the photos. Carolyn
  19. Before answering the on-topic question, I have to say that I love, love, love the Pluto at the kiddie table image. Thanks for the smile! For me, my internal game is the adventure, the opportunity to experience beauty, the opportunity to write up the adventure and and the opportunity to take beautiful or unusual photographs. I judge my success in my write up and photos. (A DNF can often be much better than a find if there is an adventure in a beautiful place.) My beloved says that he is only in it for the hikes but if we don't find the cache we are looking for he gets grumpy and frustrated, so my guess is that there is something else there as well. He doesn't care about smiley counts and wouldn't care if we never logged our finds. But unsuccessfully looking for something disturbs his Veni, Vidi, Vici sensibility, I think. My suspicion is that he enjoys the strategic determinations of what to choose to look for, how to look, how to approach, and figuring out the mind of his opponent (the hider). If the hider prevents him from finding the cache through a devious hide, the hider has stolen a march on him. If we go in a season that is inauspicious for finding the hide, we've failed in our strategic analysis. Carolyn
  20. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that searching (rather than finding or not finding) is the core of the game? You are right that the searching for something differentiates it from Waymarking or just taking a nice hike. (Of course this still makes the virtual caches and earth caches something apart.) I also think that it is important for people brand new to geocaching to find at least a few of the geocaches they look for. I don't think you can go to the next stage of the game (which is figuring out what the next stage of the game is for you) without finding caches. But once a new cacher has found his first 25-50 caches, he should begin to have a feel for what has meaning for him as an individual. From there, what causes disappointment or frustration is defined within that person based on his individual goals and the meaning geocaching has for him. Carolyn
  21. Nicely put. Alternative history (or as my beloved calls it, "Counterfactuals") has an honored place in literature and other media. Seeing it in a geocache is fun. The only issue with this one is ensuring that the fun can be enjoyed without offending, upsetting, or overwhelming the potential audience. I think the CO is making every effort to ensure that is the case. Carolyn
  22. And then we release the zombies! Mental Note: Alligators are not a threat in Florida. However watch for swamp zombies.
  23. I think that anything you do with the eagle will offend far fewer people than the swastika, especially since fewer people have the kind of instant recognition and associations with that symbol. In addition, the eagle gives more of a historical flavor since it is not currently being used in other contexts. Since you're in Missouri and not catering to a group of hyper-sensitive historians, my guess would be that this would pretty much solve the problem. So good job on thinking outside of the box. Carolyn P.S. I also think your cache sounds like fun.
  24. As long as no one starts a debate on Macs vs. PCs, I think we'll be all right. Carolyn
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