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Kite and Hawkeye

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Everything posted by Kite and Hawkeye

  1. There is always a chance of running into rattlesnakes in San Diego, even on maintained trails. We've only encountered one (heard but not seen) in two years of caching, but plenty of people before and after us at places we've been have seen snakes that we didn't see there. Be wary of warm, rocky areas. Put your stick into a hidey-hole instead of your hand. Don't make a bigger deal of it than it is -- I don't like snakes either, but they're not lurking behind every rock and you aren't at all likely to be bitten. Just stay aware of your surroundings. Don't let your boy run ahead recklessly in a snake-happy area. We see lizards all the time, but have never had a visual on any kind of snake at all. If you cache near streams or in the woods or places where snakes are somewhat less prevalent, you will inevitably encounter poison oak. Be sure you can identify it before you risk walking in it. Personally, I fear it more than I fear snakes!
  2. Many have said that Magellans just won't admit it as quickly as Garmins when they lose signal -- they keep guessing for longer. I'd rather know right away. That said, we've got a yellow eTrex and a Vista, and I swear the yellow gets signal faster and keeps it longer. Could be my fevered imagination, but if the yellow just had a click-stick I think I'd prefer it to the fancier model.
  3. Absolutely! As much as I like the paperweight I got out of the mondo ammo can, it was really the puzzle that made that one of our favorite caches. I know at least one of your waypoints is gone (Wizards of the Coast closed), but I recall mentioning another establishment neaby that fit the theme . We still pass things (last weekend it was "Antiem St." Auntie Em! Get it? har har, yeah) that remind us of this cache ("Hey, have we been around here before?" "Yeah, this is where we saw the burritos, for Off to Find A Wizard!"). And the logs of all the weary hunters who finally figured out where the Munchkins lived... it's just a fun cache to watch. I'd love to see it resurrected.
  4. If you're in Madison again, Training Camp is a lot of fun.
  5. Burn your shoes. And your backpack. And all your clothing. (No, not seriously -- if there's any oil on them, burning it could be bad!) Intellectually I know poison oak doesn't spread, but that didn't mollify me when I was getting new rashes for three weeks and unable to tell what I could possibly be picking up more oil from. I recently touched the backpack we were using the day we did "Up the Rat Hole" -- reluctantly, with great care -- and now the faded rash on my side is flaring up again. I have no idea how I did it (again) but I won't be happy until that backpack is beheaded and buried with a stake in its heart.
  6. I have to admit I was getting a little suspicious of arcticabn, because it seems a little odd for someone from Minnesota to be logging so many San Diego caches over such a long timespan, and rarely putting anything but the same one-liner in the online logs. We just replaced the logsheet in our Frogs on Guard cache, though, and he did indeed sign it. I guess it's not hard to be a power cacher in this area if you visit often and hadn't previously cached here much. We started when the density was much lower, and it's hard to find a nice cluster anymore.
  7. Fourteen days, my a**. I could have endured this for fourteen days! I'm still itching a full month after the rash appeared (and five weeks since I went anywhere near a poison oak plant). I heard that after a while the dry skin is the main problem, so I've been slathering on every moisturizer and lotion I've got, to no avail. The visible rash is restricted to a small spot on my side now, but my arms still itch like crazy anyway. When I scratch, little bumps pop up -- they're very subtle when I avoid scraching them though. I wonder if I am having some freaky abnormal reaction. Still thinking of swearing off everything but 1/1 urban micros.
  8. I'd feel guilty about logging a find on a cache I hid or helped hide. There may be other circumstances where one can log a find without having found it pristinely (say, you arrive and someone else is there holding the cache), but to go into the hunt with complete foreknowledge that it's under that bush because YOU put it there... c'mon. You can't solve a riddle you wrote yourself. There seems to be a notion that people want 'credit' for effort, by transforming a hidden stat to a found stat, or logging the spot where the cache used to be because you walked all that way and looked real hard, or logging a find because you replaced a missing cache. Maybe you deserve thanks, or commiserations, or 'originally by Team X' on the adopted cache's page, but I don't think logging an extraneous find is the best solution. It makes perfect sense for the new owner to retain his 'find' on the cache, though, because he did not own it at the time and presumably did find it. There's nothing questionable about the find's legitimacy.
  9. I don't think you generally need to wait to hear a response from the owner before logging your find online, unless they've specifically asked you to do so. The only time I waited was when I really wasn't sure I had the right answer (very bad signal bounce in an urban location). But SENDING the answer to the confirmation question, either before or very shortly after logging online, is required. Maybe the owner will read it, maybe they won't, maybe they'll respond, maybe they won't. Still need to send it. The owner is entirely within their rights to delete the log if the logger can't or won't answer the confirmation question.
  10. Indeed. That's where I got it. On March 20th. Scratch, scratch. I even left some Ivy Wipes in the final cache, because I thought *I* wouldn't be needing them! It's a great cache, though. I'd say it's one of the top five most memorable in the 380 we've done. In fact, I can't (scratch) forget about it.
  11. After a year and a half of blithe immunity -- nearly 400 caches in poison oak territory -- I have come down with a truly amazing rash. I was exposed 15 days ago, and I only just stopped getting NEW spots. (No, I can't figure out what I could have been touching that might still have had oil on it.) I had a blotch on my neck that made co-workers shy away from me, my arms and legs are covered in the stuff, I have puffy splotches down my side in places that never see the light of day... it's absolutely everywhere. The itching, dear God, it's driving me insane. I've tried benadryl, cortisone, lanacaine, calamine... nothing really helps. I was going to put one lotion on each limb and see which itched the least! Now, I knew there was poison oak around that cache we did, but I was fairly careful -- I only remember brushing a plant once. I showered when we got home, but it must have been too late. So many times in the past I've waded hip-deep in three-leaved plants and lived to tell the tale. I'm not sure what could possibly tempt me into doing another creekside cache anytime soon.
  12. I have the opposite problem.. I keep being tempted to leave microswag in caches designated log-only! You can start your micros off empty if you want, just don't forbid me to leave stuff. I promise it'll only be things that fit!
  13. Everything looks fantastic. All the information I frequently use is now accessible and nicely organized. These last few tweaks really tipped me over into preferring the new way to the old. Nicely done, and amazingly fast response to the many suggestions.
  14. Just a few minor things... I'm using Netscape 7, a browser that generally displays things properly, and the dates are slightly overlapping the "You found" lines in the My Logs This Month table, making it somewhat hard to read. Below the calendar, it says our monthly membership will renew on April 29th. That can't be right; we pay at the start of every month, and there will surely be an end of March/beginning of April payment coming soon unless we've somehow snuck a free month. Not that I'd complain about that.
  15. The sentiment against logless caches has been very strong over the last several months, and your chances of getting a log-free cache approved are very low. "It's too small" is not sufficient; someone will inevitably post the picture of the little bitty Bison capsule with its logbook. Yes, the log is too small for anything FUN, but it does fit, and it can even be somewhat interesting (there are more people than you'd think who find caches but don't log them online). We don't use our logs to check up on the veracity of the online logs, but if certain names showed up online I might be tempted to look. Hasn't happened yet and I'm not picky enough to reconcile them monthly with my checkbook. Also, the log can be interesting to finders -- sometimes you're following another team around the same day and it's interesting to see that someone was just there. None of these things is vital to the survival of the universe, but they're enough to make me think it's worth the bother of fitting teeny little logsheets into teeny little caches.
  16. 42 miles down a river, and it's a terrain 1?
  17. There used to be a cache near here that was a coffee can filled with nothing but matches. Sure, kids can get matches from plenty of other places, but it just seemed less than brilliant to place a container chock-full of matches in a dry, brushy, but easily accessible area of a neighborhood park. On a more general note, I once ran into a situation where there was something I wanted to trade for in a cache, but my bag was nearly empty. I ended up leaving a moderately expensive tube of sunblock, as it was the only item of value I had. There have been occasions where I failed to plan ahead for what was a cloudy day at home but a sunny day inland, and a discovery of sunblock in a cache helped save my hide. I thought it wasn't a FUN item to leave, but it was potentially useful and better than leaving my pocket change. The next cacher removed the sunblock as hazardous (out of fear it would attract critters) and left something that was certainly worth less than $10 in exchange. Now I feel extra-guilty for not having had something nicer to trade, because the cache has certainly degenerated in value.
  18. Might want to try TucsonThompsen's other puzzle cache, Pay Homage to the Master. I think I recognize the photo location on Pushing Tin, but have no idea how to make that into coordinates. I'm utterly lost on Master as well, even though I've figured out what the photos mean. I'm just not getting numbers out of any of this.
  19. It may be difficult to tell ahead of time whether a trail cache will be accessible; I've seen some with one star for terrain that nonetheless would stop a wheelchair in its tracks. If you are familiar with your local parks that may help you judge, and you can always ask the cache owner if you're not sure (and if you're patient enough to plan that far ahead!). Many urban caches should be accessible; you might sometimes need assistance with the actual retrieval, but not always. Virtuals are highly likely to be do-able, but I find the micros more fun.
  20. The coordinates on the coin point out the center of the state, which is still the center of the state. There's a cache 58 feet away? Nothing wrong with that. Just because it's not the California Geocoin Official Center of the State Cache doesn't make it bad. I don't imagine a whole lot of coin-owners were going to go to the coordinates on the coin, since they are quite far away from many of us. And if anyone does go, they'll get to see the center of the state, and also somebody's cache. No harm done to anybody, and certainly the coins are in no way devalued. They're as cool as ever, and I'm sure they'll be very popular. Perhaps the owners of the recently-placed cache would like to be part of this. They might move their cache a little closer to the coords on the coin and retain ownership; they're local to the area and thus able to maintain the cache, and since Bobkat isn't I assume a local steward is needed anyway. Or they could leave it fifty feet away; geocachers are smart, they'll manage. I don't think it's fair to pressure them to archive their cache or hand it over. They had no reason to believe anyone had 'dibs' on that site, and without an active or disabled cache there nobody did have dibs on it. Don't let this spoil your enjoyment of the geocoins; you may have to deviate from the master plan a little, but I think it will work out fine.
  21. It's been a while since I tried to look at a TB map, and I guess there have been significant changes. Is there no way to see a large overview of the bug's travels anymore? The big US map they used to show didn't have a lot of detail, but I could see that the bug had been to California and New York and Florida rather than following a trail of very small zoomed-in maps and wondering where the heck some of them were. I think the drama is in the big picture, and I'm not sure how to see that anymore. It's not that exciting to watch the bug bounce around one city and then have to switch maps to realize that it was in Canada before it was in that city. Am I missing something?
  22. Hope your dad is doing okay. We certainly don't mind waiting for our order, family is necessarily more important!
  23. Caches have long been forbidden on National Park Service land. I don't know if the caches you're referring to were recently approved... but if they were, they must have slipped through by accident, because the ban has been in effect for quite some time now.
  24. Thanks for the suggestions so far. Any fairly realistic map might work; our original plan involved hiding a cache in the area depicted by the map, but we've also had ideas about working with larger-scale maps. The only definite requirement is that it be outdoors and readily accessible to the public.
  25. Does anyone know of a flat, publically-accessible outdoor map in the San Diego area? On the ground or on some kind of pedestal, doesn't really matter, but we'd like it as flat as possible. Map of a park, map of a city area -- we're willing to consider anything. Even a mural of not-quite-map-level detail might be useful. I know there's a slightly inclined map at some entrances of Mission Trails, but for various reasons it won't do for our (mysterious!) purpose. Can anyone think of anything else fitting our (vague!) description?
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