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Everything posted by e-bird67

  1. Hi PnavE_81- I am going to be in Atlanta at a conference from 1/7-1/10, and am staying within a few blocks of this park, and I am happy to team up with you. I can try to do it on the 7th. Feel free to PM me if you are still interested and we can exchange numbers!
  2. I've noticed that local/state caching communities who have formed FB groups seem to have some luck pulling in newbies. If your area does not have a FB group already, consider starting one. Somehow, new cachers often seem to stumble on these groups, and often, introverts are more comfortable getting to know other cachers online than in person. When a lot of us in our area list an event on gc.com, we also post a link to that event in our local FB group, so that those who don't get notifications or who have a difficult time navigating to the events section of the web site are made aware of the event. I'm sorry that some cachers have found the local events to be somewhat exclusive and have not felt welcomed into the community. I was very, very fortunate where I live that so many of our local cachers are welcoming to newbies.
  3. Wow! Small world! Thanks for the links and the .kml file- this is great stuff! I have a mission now!
  4. Thank you, Gitchee-Gummee!!! Interesting stuff!!!
  5. I just read this article, and am currently obsessed with finding the coordinates (and any caches related to) these super cool 70 foot concrete arrows placed by the US Postal Service during the 1920s to help direct air mail pilots across the country. I have found a bookmark of some western caches at arrows, and found a cache in the east that I won't post, as it would be a multi spoiler, but am very interested in finding a database or list of these remaining US arrows, with coordinates, so I can compile a national list of nearby caches. Does anyone know where such a thing exists? I've been Googling, and am finding some here and there, but have come up short of a comprehensive list.
  6. I would add that, as someone else pointed out, true rugged wilderness caches tend to be lightly hit. Where I live, these are often found in swamp areas and require hip or chest waders. There may be one or two small groups who hit these every year, but, by and large, these groups leave very minimal impact. I think cachers tend to self-police. In the rare cases that we find a cache that appears to be hidden on forbidden properties, we tend to report these caches to our reviewers, whom, in my experience will immediately archive it. It does not further our hobby to anger land managers, so most of us try to play nice. I would never hide a cache in an area that appears ecologically sensitive, such as a nesting area, or an area with sensitive vegetation, whether we have blanket permission on these lands or not.
  7. The questions were very similar to what she posted here. Is geocaching allowed in designated wilderness areas? If so, what is the impact? Should it be allowed? Do I know anyone who has cached in designated wilderness areas? Given that she originally proposed meeting a local cacher for coffee, I doubt it's some agency spy. Best I can tell, it's a paper topic she was assigned for her class. I think the biggest confusion is attempting to parse out "wilderness". Federally designated? Locally designated? BLM? Some patch of land on the edge of town with a swamp? As a librarian who deals with students fleshing out paper topics every day, I'm sensing she's still in the stage of articulating and refining her topic.
  8. A couple of us have been in contact with the OP. No "agenda" that I can see, other than trying to write an assigned paper for a class. I took a very similar course while at the University of Montana. This isn't a scathing exposé here, on its way to the cover of the New York Times- it's a term paper.
  9. Go Griz! I did a stint at U of M in the Wildlife Biology department, and recreated around Missoula for a few years, so delurking to say welcome! I moved away before Geocaching emerged as a hobby, so have never cached there, but have a few thoughts as someone who is environmentally conscious and a geocacher. I just eyeballed the listings in Missoula, and many of my favorite hiking areas, Mt. Sentinel amd Pattee Canyon, have caches now. Dang. First of all, it might be helpful for you to read up on your area land agencies and their geocaching policies, as each agency sets its own policies. For example, some state parks systems allow caches and others do not. Cachers work very closely with land agencies to clarify policies and the reviewers will not allow caches to be placed in areas where the agencies have said they cannot. Some states and agencies actually co-op geocaching and use it as a marketing tool to increase visitation. I am environmentally aware, and I am pro-caching, as long as caches are hidden responsibly and cachers behave responsibly, and I believe that most of us do. I have some thoughts, and will shoot you an e-mail some time tomorrow.
  10. My "back-up" GPSr is a Garmin Nuvi 500. I prefer my Garmin Oregon 450t for hiking caching, but seem to have recently misplaced it. Anyway, in the past year or so, I have experienced intermittent problems with my Nuvi. When I copy over a PQ into the GPX folder, there's a 50/50 chance that I will be able to pull up any of the caches on my unit when I try to select a cache from the menu. Sometimes, if I delete and copy over again, it will work, and sometimes it won't. I never had this problem the first year or so with this unit. The way I load the file is simply to copy the .gpx file and paste it into the appropriate GPX folder. I cannot seem to figure out any kind of pattern- it truly seems to be random. When I look at the folders on the computer with the unit connected, the file is there, but when I unplug it and turn it on, the caches don't show up. Has anyone ever experienced this problem before? I am stumped!
  11. Finished a 100 day streak last Sunday to complete the requirements for the North Carolina Streakers (A Century) Challenge. I didn't start out with the intention of completing this challenge, but noticed one day that I had cached 14 days in a row and just decided to keep going. It wasn't easy with the shorter days and winter weather, and I whined and kicked and screamed about it the entire time, but I'm glad I stuck with it. However, I am enjoying a little breather before I go back into the field this weekend. I can see how long streaks could potentially ruin the sport for some people and make what was once an enjoyable hobby become a chore. 100 days didn't do this to me, but I realized that trying to extend my streak could eventually begin to diminish my enjoyment of caching.
  12. Is the Alien Head also being archived, or just the series bits that are right by the highway?
  13. I have managed to bring a few of my friends "into the life". I try to identify those who seem like the type who might enjoy it- folks who enjoy technology- computers, smart phones, etc, and who love the outdoors. Someone who sits inside and knits all day is not the best candidate. I threw a "geocaching party" for my daughter's 5th birthday, and we hid several caches in a state park (temporarily!) full of grab bags and candy. Several of the parents have now signed up on gc.com. Last week, I took a buddy with me out for her first caching excursion, and introduced her to three different types of caches- an ammo can in the woods, a tricky micro hidden in a parking garage (had to figure out which level!), and capped it off with a venture underground into the storm drain system of Durham. She's gone out caching by herself a few times since then. I don't know- I've had pretty good luck with it, but it helps to project infectious enthusiasm. I'm surprised my stories of being in tubes with black widow spiders crawling past me, my tendency towards terrible poison ivy infections, and the fact that I constantly sport war wounds doesn't scare 'em all off!
  14. I dabbled in the sport for a bit in the early 2000s, and at the time, I don't recall bumping into any micros OR urban hides- mainly because my general region is filled with green spaces and I think I focused on hiking areas. There were probably some micros around, I am sure, but I never encountered any. My life became hectic shortly after, and I didn't begin again until April of 2010. Boy, had the caching landscape changed! Not only did we lose the ability to hide caches in some of our wildest areas in our region, including our state parks, there were LPC and quick parking lot P&G everywhere. At first, I stamped my feet and grumbled, feeling indignation that the "spirit" of caching was gone. Soon, however, I realized that there is a time and place for everything, and as others have stated, sometimes it's nice to be able to grab a quick micro on the road or on my commute home, if I only have a few minutes to spare. I have even done a couple of power runs in the area, and found that, if in good company, it's kind of a blast and an opportunity to hang out with fellow cachers for a day. So, there's something for everyone, and I tailor my activities based on my needs for that day. Still prefer the hikes- especially longer ones- but can see a place and function for quick P&Gs. Also, I am working on a 100 day challenge, and there's no way I can reach my goal if I have to do a 3 mile hike every day!
  15. Yeah, I anticipate that new cachers would get up to 100 very fast by groping every lamp post in town to get those smileys. Personally, I chose to wait until I had 100 caches under my belt before I hid one, though I did adopt someone else's early on. I wanted to have the opportunity to see different types of hides, and to get a better sense of what the various difficulty and terrain values look like before I tried to rate my own caches. However, I would tend to view someone who had found 100 caches that included a lot of very challenging caches and a wide variety of cache types as more "experienced" than I would someone who had 100 1.5 difficulty/terrain Wal-Mart lamp skirt hides. Also, cachers who have experience in similar hobbies, such as letterboxing or orienteering, might need less experience geocaching before being prepared to start hiding caches. There's certainly nothing wrong with encouraging new cachers (me still relatively being one myself) to gain some experience and caches under their belts before hiding their own, but I hate the idea of making it mandatory and set with some kind of arbitrary number. I would also suggest that new cachers try out their hand at different kinds of caches before hiding their own. A long hike with an ammo can at the end is going to be different to hide than a nano in a haystack.
  16. We have some hiders here who specialize in old abandoned buildings/homes/structures, and they have some of the most awesome, adrenaline-boosting caches I've ever seen, but I just wonder sometimes how they get the landowners to agree to let cachers climb into these rickety old structures when it seems like the liability factor would scare the crap out of most landowners. When I read the descriptions for some of the extreme caches that involve climbing into storm drain systems, climbing huge trees or water or electric towers, or donning bunny suits to descend into an abandoned containment building contaminated with radioactive and toxic chemical waste, I just have a hard time believing that, given the fear of litigation in our country, that there are landowners- either private or public- who would happily give permission for people to put themselves in harm's way on their land. I'm not knocking these hides, as I am in awe of anyone who has the nerve to do these extreme caches, but I'm just curious. I have a cache I'd like to place that crosses 3 large plots of land that are just used for hunting, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to approach the landowners to maximize the chance that they'll allow me to place a cache there. I queried our local GIS database and have identified the owners, and 2 of the three plots are owned by people who don't even live around here. Do you just send letters? What can I say to these people that would inspire them to allow total strangers to bushwhack through their hunting lands?
  17. So, there are some pretty out-there caches. Some involve crawling around old abandoned buildings where there are things like broken glass and rusty nails. Others involve climbing dangerous old structures. Every time I find one or hear about one of these, my first thought is: "Cool!" and my second thought is: "Yeah- right- like someone hunted down the land owners who abandoned this property full of hazards and secured permission for people to traipse around and court tetanus. So- really- is it fairly common to place caches and pretend that permissions have been obtained, or are most hiders diligently tracking landowners down and convincing them that it's a good idea to have people climb up their old towers and walk through their creaky old abandoned homes?
  18. Yeah, I probably do. I'm a neurotic newbie- isn't that obvious? I think I'll just leave things the way they are. Neither one of them really cares. And now, I'm going to walk over to the fridge and enjoy some good German Hefeweisen.
  19. So, I heard back from the jogger. He realized he didn't have a pen with him and tried to etch something onto the paper log with a stick, said that didn't seem to help, and said that if I wanted to delete his log, he'd understand. The second to find and the first to log online wasn't really adamant that I remove the jogger's online log, and the jogger wasn't adamant that I keep it. Neither party is being unreasonable here. The jogger told me something about the cache that he would not have known had he not seen it. So, I'm still at an impasse. It appears that people interpret the rules, policies, guidelines (I guess I need to know which applies) in different ways. It sounds as if, ultimately, it's up to the individual cache owner as to how he or she wishes to enforce the rules, but, technically, it appears that it is expected that someone will physically log all caches he or she logs online. I guess I am going to have to ponder this a little more. I think I'm actually more worried about it than either of them are.
  20. Oh my goodness, you rock, New Jersey TJ!!! If it's this easy, then I don't see a need for EasyGPS.
  21. I just received my new Garmin nuvi 500 last night, and have been playing around with downloading files from Groundspeak to the unit. I'm fairly new at this, so I don't have all the terminology. I do know that the files I downloaded were in gpx format. I did a search on the site here for caches within a certain mile range of my home address, and have been checking the boxes of the caches I want, downloading them, and going to the next page, etc. I opened these up in EasyGPS and saved the files to the Garmin within that program. Upon disconnecting the unit and going to the Geocaching button on the unit, I can find all the caches, but the difficulty rating has been set to 1, 1 for each cache and when I click on "More" to go to the description and other info about the cache, it isn't there. It appears that the only info that came through was the coordinates and the name of the cacher who placed the cache. I was really hoping to go paperless, but if I can't figure out how to get all the other information to load with the coordinates, I'm still going to have to print out paper. Has anyone encountered this before? Am I doing something wrong?
  22. A new cache of mine was published last weekend. Someone logged FTF online within a few hours. Since the cache is near my office, I walked by it that afternoon and saw that it had been slightly moved from where I first placed it. I moved it back and went home. The next morning another cacher logged it online, but also e-mailed me to tell me that the FTF never physically signed the log. Now I am facing a dilemma. If this were not a FTF issue, I might not make a big issue out of it, but if someone doesn't sign the physical log, technically they can't claim the find, right? The FTF said he was jogging when he found it, so perhaps he did not have a pen, but then, isn't it his duty to go find one, or to at least notate on his log why he did not physically sign the log? The confusing thing is that it did appear that he did grab the cache and then put it back in a slightly different place, so why then wouldn't he sign it? I am not sure what to do. Should I delete his log and let the person who actually signed the log claim FTF? I did contact the one who didn't sign the log and ask why he not sign the log, but he has not responded. I am inclined to delete the log, but I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.
  23. Ahh- now I know where to hide the fake turd cache container I just ordered!
  24. I just had the same problem this week with a brand new cache. Someone logged online and claimed FTF, and then the second person logged online and said that the first person had not signed the paper log. Now, we're talking a bison tube with one sheet of paper inside, so there's no way anyone took the top sheet. The curious thing is that I checked out the cache after the first person logged online, and it was not put back in the same way I left it, so I believe that the first person actually did touch the cache, so why didn't he or she sign the paper log? It wasn't in a spot that would be obvious to muggles. And I, too, pondered as to whether or not I should delete the FTF's log online, since he or she did not actually sign the paper log.
  25. Thanks for the suggestions! I actually have used the pedestrian and off-road setting when getting my coordinates, but I did not take the time to let the GPS settle before walking back and trying again. My Garmin nuvi died on Friday, and I ordered a Garmin nuvi 500, as we can't afford having 2 units right now- one for the car and one for geocaching, and this looked to be a decent compromise, so I'll go back and check my caches with some of the suggested tips and see if I can hone in on some more accurate coordinates. I guess one problem is that we have two margins of error working- one for hider and one for the seeker. If we're both 20 feet or more off, that's at least 40 feet!
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