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Everything posted by bigcall

  1. I won't debate the math either. Having not seen the last thread, I thought I would share my hightly modified version of this that also happens to be quicker too. At the 500 ft point (or basically when my distances shift from .1mi to ft) I start taking bearings off the pointer with the idea to focus in on some distant point which I estimate to be that distance (takes some practice getting this about right and also assumes you can even see that far in proper direction). I'll then as I walk off-axis (or remain on a trail or some other means of avoiding the straight on bushwack), but still in the general direction of the cache (depending on the terrain of course) and take another look at the pointer at perhaps the ~250-200 ft point and see if my focus point is still the same. Conditions permitting, I try to use as close to a straight line approach for the last ~150 ft and really only monitor the distance. When I hit ~30 ft I stop and put the GPS down to settle and start looking around in the immediate vicinity at likely hiding spots. If this doesn't seem to be working I'll go back and look at the GPS again and note the distance reading and factor that into the equation. This methodology accomplishes a quick running fix of sorts on the cache without getting bogged down in taking sightings. It also gets your brain engaged somewhat into figuring out where the cache might be without blindly following the needle. Finally, it takes into account the reality noted above that in many situations the cache is not going to be where your GPS says it should be. Btw, the 30ft stop and drop figure is what just works for me. I think it's a reflection of the fact that the GPS is always catching up to some degree if you are on the move.
  2. I'll let my GPSr settle in the same spot for a few minutes and then let it start averaging. The spot chosen is sometimes more important than the time spent settling/averaging. For example if the cache location is under heavy cover I'll attempt to find a less obstructed location nearby with hopefully better accuracy and adjust the coordinates accordingly after the fact based on an estimated bearing and range to the cache. Obviously this isn't possible in all situations and any sizable offsets will require more work. I rarely rely on a single data point either since I'll usually scope out the cache location in advance and take my readings then. Upon returning to place the prepared cache at a later time/date, I follow the arrow to the marked position and make sure it puts me in the ballpark - I'm trying to see the cache through the eyes of a finder. If I get to within 25ft or so I let the original coords stand, if not I'll repeat the process above and take an average of the two.
  3. I think I finally have mine up to date, reflects ~600 found in each of the Greater DC and Greater Chicago areas with another ~200 everywhere else:
  4. Stopped by a few small banks near my office today and got lucky and found some!!! They claimed that they usually didn't have any, but someone just gave them a roll the other day - I snagged all 25. Thanks for the suggestions - I guess I just needed some more perseverance.
  5. The Mint sells them for ~$1.40 apiece before shipping which may run the final price up to ~$1.60 each for a roll of 25. That was the part I didn't understand. I'll check some more local banks, the ones I have asked so far didn't seem to have any
  6. OK this is slightly off topic but still in the same general area so here goes: Anyone know where how to get/buy Sacagawea dollars? We have found a few in caches and always thought they were neat prizes to swap with. I went looking around the internet to find a place to find/buy some - the problem is that every place I found sells the collector's versions (i.e. in a case or at least uncirculated). While this is OK, I would prefer the less pricey, run of the mill variety. Are these coins being hoarded that much that they are unavailable?
  7. There are several along the Bull Run/Occoquan Trail in NoVA that will allow you to hike as little or as much as you like. The area is dog friendly, but they do prefer leashes. Here is a quick look at some of them. The entire trail is actually 17 miles long and is a nice trek. The majority of the caches appear to be concentrated at the southern end since a caching event was held there last year but there are a few more along the way north up to Rt 28 in Centerville. Here is the PATC write up and here is a trail map. Hope this helps.
  8. I haven't done a locationless cache in since early 2002, but I'll see what I can do. Funny thing is that I don't recall seeing many welcome to Chicago signs around - I'm sure they are out there somewhere!!! I kinda figured you had this one already, but if no one else is jumping in....
  9. Here's an old forum topic on walking the Mall area. The map is a little outdated now given this is from 2 years ago. Bottom line is that you're probably better off just walking around the mall area than attempting to take the Metro. If you want to go off mall here's another discussion on the proximity of caches to Metro stops - again a little dated but still accurate. As far as the DC Cornerstone Cache goes, either stop mentioned above should work fine - although you will have to walk a ways to get to it. If you are really interested in the DC cornerstones the southern one is located near this archived cache. Have fun!!!
  10. Do you mean like this? I just bought the second one for use in the car and left the serial connector as is.
  11. Here's one we enjoyed in WV - it's history is the most interesting part since it was made to have the C&O canal flow through it. Tunnel Hill Trail
  12. WOW!!! That would definitely not be an option.
  13. The Seaward tandems look nice but are probably overkill for our needs at the moment - I didn't see prices, but I'm guessing they were in the $1K range
  14. Jumping in on the discussion here since I have been interested in picking up a kayak for the past year or so. I had done a fair amount of ocean kayaking when we lived out in CA. Kids came along and put the kabosh on it for a while, but now I'm thinking of starting out slowly once again. I've been leaning towards the Loon 138T or the 160T since I would like to be able to bring at least one of my sons (ages 8,7 or 4) along periodically yet still have the option to go solo. Any thoughts on these models or any recommendations on tandems in general? Cost is a factor. I'm not so worried about the carry weight but it does need to have at least a 350lb capacity (mostly for me - 6'7", 265), which rules out most of the inflatables I've seen.
  15. My thoughts are to go with an upgraded GPSr with routing over the upgraded PDA. As stated above the GPS unit will generally be much sturdier meaning a loss of a single item won't necessarily be catastrophic. I have also tried the laptop route but found it too cumbersome. I've used a Garmin GPS V for over three years and put 45K miles on it both geocaching and just finding my way around. It is certainly nice to not have to fumble around with maps. While it's not perfect, the routing works pretty well and I'll frequently use it's best guess on the closest approach rather than reading the cache page. I recently upgraded PDAs going from an old Palm Pilot to a Palm Vx (bought on ebay) in order to get some extra memory. I'm not a power PDA user so the basic calendar, address, etc. functions are fine for me. As far as juggling gadgets, I usually just carry the GPSr and only pull PDA out of my small pack (which also contains batteries, cell phone (w/ camera), trade items and any other necessities) if absolutely necessary. I don't like the around the neck option since it seems to be begging to get snagged on every passing twig.
  16. I think I had the beta version loaded - is the final version different? I'll look for that route feature since it looks like it may be useful. Is there a new option or any way to save some memory and not download all the POI data that comes with City Select? I don't think I would use this feature often but planning a route that includes going through any major metropolitan areas just is too memory intensive .
  17. Rob, et. al. Unless the planets align, somehow I don't think I'll be able to make this one. I was getting back to VA fairly regularly last year. Looking ahead to this year, I'll be lucky to get back at all. Of course given the amount of geocaching I think I'll be able to do in the snow in Chicago this winter, you might have more luck with my V. [] The spoiler pic above looks funny compared to the one in the logs with the huge teeth marks on it. Looks like something big was pretty hungry. The idea to bring another container is a good one since the wash the bucket sat above has probably collected it again - and who knows what other creatures have stopped by for a visit in the last two years. Glad to see there's some interest in going after it.
  18. Congrats on finding your first cache!!!!
  19. I happened to see the month old note posted on the Elvis Confluence cache in located in SW VA today. It hasn't had any visitors in close to 3 years and may not even be there anymore for that matter. It's obviously not the easiest place to get to and I know it's been discussed before as a possible group challenge. I figured that not many have seen huggy_d1's note, so I thought I would give it a little more visibility. I'm still of the belief that Burke Lake Park is older by ~3 weeks (see the original submission with wrong coordinates - Here), but either way Elvis has not been seen in a while and he may have left the building.
  20. bigcall


    I can't say that I expect a lot of repeat business on either which is part of the reason that I felt OK in putting out Duo ~700 mile away. Congrats to Tantor for being the first to complete the "series" - that is until my next move.....
  21. Super D Duper!!! Now we'll have to show you the secret handshake
  22. Great job!!! I haven't been checking in much lately so it was nice to see that you are closing in on the big 1 0 0 0. I'll be keeping an eye out for that milestone message soon enough I'm sure.
  23. Just thought this was interesting as I read the saga because I was pretty sure you had actually met at this event before. Maybe I'm wrong though??? Sounds like everyone is on the same side, but the words are getting in the way. Have fun on the annual tour!!!
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