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Everything posted by Dread_Pirate_Bruce

  1. That's why you should always consider the terrain rating and read the description and should never blindly follow me into the brush.
  2. A needle in a haystack may be a "5" difficulty, but I personally consider it a lame hide. It is just a matter of looking at every stone or doing a grid search on the beach. My vision of a difficulty "5" hide: A fake pen on a desk in an office at the Department of Homeland Security.
  3. I'm not going to incorporate anything anyone has said. I assume everyone who reads this has read everything else already. Personally, I am a stickler for the rules, both the letter and the spirit. I wholeheartedly agree that caches that have the “principal or substantial intent of soliciting customers or generating commercial gain” are contrary to the guidelines and should not be allowed, except under unusual circumstances (which includes prior approval.) But, mentioning a business or even suggesting that one visit it does not equate with there being a “principal or substantial intent of soliciting customers or generating commercial gain.” The key is the intent. Many caches are on the premises of businesses. They are in the parking lots. They may be in nearby bushes. I found one under the front steps. There are a number of caches that are actually inside of a particular business and the cacher must ask the proprietor for it. But, that does not mean the “principal or substantial intent” of the cache is to solicit customers or generate commercial gain. If the business is incidental to the cache and the cache is just a cache, then the “principal or substantial intent” is not to solicit customers. Mentioning the presence of a business at a particular location, does not, in my view, shows any more an intent to solicit customers than placing a cache in the general vicinity of a business. In fact, now that I’m really thinking about it, the caches that would concern me would be a few caches located in or even within 30 miles of a place like Rachel. In the absence of a real good reason for the caches being there, I would infer that they were placed in order to lead cachers to town and to the only food or drink within 60 miles. And, I would infer it regardless of whether the description mentioned the business or not. In contrast, the ET caches constitute a power trail that happens to run past Rachel. Rachel, the restaurant and the inn are just incidental to the power trail. I do not see the ET caches or description as violating the letter or spirit of the guidelines. If the guidelines wanted to prohibit any mention of a business, they could easily have done so. They could have said something like: “The cache page may not mention or describe a business.” If the guidelines wanted to preclude caches that might lead a cacher to visit a business, they could easily have done so. They could have said something like: “Caches may not be hidden closer to a single business than to other similar businesses.” Having now spent an hour drafting this, TTFN.
  4. Thanks everyone for your input. I'm going with a 3.5 and a good description. My concern over the terrain is so that the cache is picked up by an appropriate PQ. What I've noticed from all the input is that a 9 mile hike on flat ground is about the same terrain as a very rough climb 1/4 mile up a mountain where you can park right at the base.
  5. I don't like useless hints. But, then, useless is in the eye of the beholder. Consider the hint that says "under rock" when there is a field full of rocks. The hint does not tell me which rock. But, it tells me that if I look under each one, I will eventually find it. That beats the heck out of looking under every one and then finding that it is hanging from a nearby tree. Even the "no hint needed" tells me that if I can't find it, it is because I'm making things too hard. "One of these isn't like the others" tells me that I am looking for a cache that is disguised as something common and that it probably is in plain sight. So, which hints are really useless? First, the ones that tell me I need specialized knowledge, e.g. "This is a typical HH242 hide." Great, if only who that was and what a typical HH242 hide is. (Not really HH242 in the clue.) Second, a hint that requires me to have specialized knowledge or to be able to do research, e.g. "The winner of the 1968 Olympic gold medal in sailing." (That would be Lowell North.)
  6. My buddy and I were out riding ATVs in the dessert. We found some caches. We hid some caches, so the question of terrain ratings came up. I know this has been covered before, but I felt like covering it again. To get near some of the caches would take an ATV, motorcycle or jeep. A horse could do it, but it would take several hours. A very rugged hiker could probably do it. But realistically, mechanization is needed. However, once one is within 200 yards of the cache, it is pretty easy terrain. So, what is the proper terrain rating? Is it "5" because special equipment is required? Is it 1.5 because once you are using an ATV, motorcycle or jeep, it is a short, easy walk from the trail? Is it a 3.5 because that is the approximate average of 5 and 1.5? BTW: the ones we hid are essentially P&Gs if you have a suitable machine.
  7. I, too, have noticed how trips take longer than they used to. The NSF does help, except when my wife has the sudden urge to drive 500 miles to do a power trail. Go figure.
  8. If one reads the actual description of the "Commercial Cache" guideline, one would quickly realize that the E.T. caches are not "Commercial Caches" within the scope of the guideline. No one should perceive them as having "the principal or substantial intent of soliciting customers or generating commercial gain." No one is "required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service." Likewise, there are no "overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion." While I am hopeful that the suggestion that the caches be archived for violating the guideline is based on a genuine desire to strictly adhere to the guidelines, even if based on a misreading of those, I suspect that it is sour grapes by someone who does not like power trails. BTW: I've started scoping out a location for MY power trail. It will consist only of true difficulty 3, terrain 3 caches.
  9. My wife and I did 413 in about 9 hours on the E.T. trail ... and that included a few rather longish breaks. We actually stopped, found, signed (stamped) each log, and replaced the log and cache and then proceeded to the next. Several took more than a few minutes to find. And, due to an error in the published coords, one caused me to take a rather extended hike up a mountain (I gave up before getting to the wrong coord.) There was one 2 hour period in which we did 130 caches, i.e. better than 1 per minute. Therefore, unless the caches got much harder toward the far end, 700 in 20 hours is not all that tough ... no disrespect intended. BTW: At lease some cachers were not replacing the caches where they found them. We found a number just lose on the ground and there is strong evidence some cachers were taking the cache with them, signing while driving, and then putting exchanging it for the next cache. (That would explain how we came to two different caches that we had already signed!)
  10. One of the all-time great caches is in a skyscraper. The coords take you to the security desk. When you finally work up the nerve to ask about the cache, they call the Building Engineer, who will take you to the top of the building and let you into the Cache Room. The cache is just about directly above the security desk. It is one of my all-time favorites ... and one of the biggest I've ever found.
  11. I will be in the San Diego area in mid-July to take my kid to the Comic Convention. We will be staying near the intersection of 805 and 163. I've previously covered Balboa Park pretty well and a lot of downtown. Does anyone have any recommendations for an area where I might want to go caching. I will probably be bringing bicycles, so I'd really like somewhere where we can ride and cache. I'd like to grab a bunch of good caches, but am not in it just "for the numbers." Thanks
  12. As with many others, I'm not in it for the numbers. I'm in it for the fun. But, the numbers do tend to reflect the total amount of fun I've had. I did something like 25 when I hiked Grant's Trail in St. Louis, MO. I did nearly that on a bike trail in Del Mar, CA. I did 40 caches with a group on a puzzle cache rally that covered a fair number of miles. It was fun being part of the group, but not quite like finding them myself. However, my wife and I found 414 caches on the ET Highway. We did this over the course of about 8 hours, which included a lunch break and a snack break. As I've said before, there was nothing particularly imaginative about the hides, but the fun was in the sheer number of caches and the challenge of how quickly we could find, sign and replace the caches and in being out doing it. (Quite frankly, I have no real interest in any more power trails for quite a while, unless it is on foot or on a bike and they are further apart than 0.10 miles.)
  13. The ET Highway presents a unique logistics problem. One can either try to set a record, personal or otherwise, of caches per hour or day or one can see how long it takes to find all 1000 caches. The two are inconsistent because some of the caches are harder to find than others. (Unless the geotrails have solved that issue.) If one is just going for speed, one would skip a cache after not being able to find it within a specified time, say 45 seconds. However, skipping a cache means one can't claim to have found all 1000 caches. OTOH, finding every cache could significantly impair a speed record. I've said it before and I'll say it again: There are lots of ways of having fun while caching. One is going to interesting spots. Another is going on a challenging hike or climb. Yet another is finding a cache that is really well hidden or cleverly disguised. However, the whole bit about driving out to the middle of nowhere with a bunch of other cachers, telling stories and having a beer and seeing how quickly or how many caches one can find, can be fun. I sure would not do this often, but I sure had a blast doing it this time. I'm hoping that if I do another power trail, it will be on a bicycle or on foot...just to see what I can do. And, BTW: for anyone who wants to flame me, to REALLY show me your disdain, there is a rocker switch on the back of your computer, flipping it will REALLY show me how much you disdain me.
  14. I think you did the right thing. For someone new to the game, the first few finds could be rather tough and could require a hint. If I ask for a hint, I'll often ask the most recent finder as the most recent finder has the best information. As far as your concerns that it is someone intent on doing harm, if they saw you and want to muggle the cache, they probably don't need you to tell them where it is. After all, they would have seen you at the cache site. Moreover, how would they know about the web site unless they either (1) had already found the cache in question, or (2) were actually cachers.
  15. Huh, I was right... same exact log for 1000 caches. I guess I could see why 3 mouse clicks is an annoyance, once you've read your log once, there's no point in reading it again. Isn't sending the same thing over and over considered spam? Or at least in bad taste? Not the "same exact log for 1000 caches." I didn't look for that many. I didn't find that many. I didn't try to log that many.
  16. Wow, a couple of clicks. You need someone to go find the caches for you too? Actually, after looking, I think I found your problem, it doesn't look like you've really had that many days that you had more than 20 or so, that is until you found that et series, and I didn't look but I bet every one of your logs for those are cut and paste, and none give a unique experience related to that cache. They are not all cut and paste jobs. The first one was original. And, I did something different for the second day. And, the first one for the second day was original, too. And, FWIW, there was nothing unique about any of them except four of them. The thing that was unique was the totality of the experience ... and that I logged in detail, several different times, for the event itself. BTW: Your response to my original post provided no assistance, whatsoever. ... Which reminds me of what my mother always says: "If you can't say something helpful, don't say anything at all."
  17. It should have said "4" mouse clicks, not 44. One to bring up the "Compose log"; two to scroll to the bottom of the page to click "submit" and one to return to the field notes. Now multiply this by something like 100 field notes.
  18. I have entered a large number of field notes via my iPhone. However, I did not have them set to post immediately. Now, I need a way to post them all and would really rather not have to click each one. (It is actually 44 clicks for each one). Is there any way to post them in bulk? Thanks
  19. There are different ways to play the game. When I first discovered urban micros, which was early in my caching career, I had the same thoughts about it not really being "geocaching." However, I quickly realized that I didn't often have the time to go to some forest or desert or mountain to take a hike and look for one or two quality caches. The urban micros gave me the opportunity to go caching on a more convenient basis. What I discovered is that while I like to go to interesting places and I like to hunt for a geocache, seeking a cache, even if just a lame urban micro, is an enjoyable adventure. It is an adventure whether it entails a trek to a scenic location or recognizing that a common object is really not what it appears to be or grabbing something without being spotted by others. And, it is an adventure if it only entails seeing how many caches I can grab in a given hour or day. The power trails fall into this last category. I've done parts of two power trails. I did them because my wife wanted to do them. And, she is not really a cacher. In fact, it these are the only two times she has gone caching ... and she did not log them (though I probably will log them for her.) But for my wife, I would not have bothered. But, in an odd sort of way, it was a fun adventure. We went at a reasonable pace. We found the cache, signed the log, replaced the cache and moved on. We did maintenance on the caches when it was necessary. At least for the latest trail, while the hides were generally pretty easy, just about any one of them could have stood on its own "merits." Had there not been a power trail, just about anyone could have done a single hide that was similar to just about any hide on the trail. I've found caches hidden in unusual piles of rocks or sticks where there are no other caches around, that are no more significant than any of the hides on the trail. I've found caches hidden behind a rock at the base of a post where there are no other caches around, that are no more significant than any of the hides on the trail. While I find any of the individual hides to be pretty lame, taken together, I found the whole thing rather interesting. However, I would have found it more interesting if the caches had been a little further apart. But, it was a grand adventure.
  20. I don't have colons in any of the names that disappeared. And, they were less than 500 caches. They did, however, have dashes in the name. While some disappeared, others did not disappear.
  21. I'm having a similar problem: files listed in the download section disappear and leave a message saying that the file is not available for download. These are newly run PQs. I cannot find a pattern. Some do; some don't.
  22. Why does MEK help epoxy cure? I would expect just the opposite.
  23. I had one run in with a security guard. He thought it best that we take a short walk to his office and talk to his superior. I was proactive and started with the premise that to be a superior, he would certainly have to know about geocaching. So, I said: "I assume you are aware of geocaching, where people use GPS units to locate things that are hidden and their coordinates posted on the internet. Well, I was looking for one of those. You can look on the internet at geocaching.com for the latest information on it." I don't know whether he knew about geocaching or not, but he was not going to admit being ignorant of it. Matter over. I had two visits with the regular police. Again, I was proactive. In the first incident, I noticed a cop car pulling into the driveway, stopping to watch me, and then moving on. I decided it would be best to go over and greet him and make sure everything was cool. He told me I was looking in the wrong place. It saved me a DNF. Most recently, I wanted to grab a cache in a park. As I walked toward GZ, I noticed a police car parked nearby and facing GZ. So, I walked up to the car, greeted the officer and said: "I'm going to be doing something very suspicious looking over by that picnic area. Its not illegal or dangerous, but I figured I'd tell you first. I think your department is aware of a game called geocaching that is done using a GPS to find things. Well, I think one of those is hidden over there. So when I'm looking for it, it may look suspicious, but its not a problem." It was not a problem.
  24. As I understand the it, the game of geocaching is to find containers hidden at the posted coordinates. The cache should be hidden only well enough to keep it from being carried off by muggles and should be as big as can be carried to the location and hidden. For someone who uses "bad" coordinates, it makes it harder for someone with a GPS to find it, but does not make it any harder for a muggle to stumble upon it. If I find someone is intentionally posting bad coordinates for a traditional cache, I'll just ignore all of their hides.
  25. If you compare the logs on gc.com to those in the real cache and those on the throw down, you should be able to send e-mails to everyone who signed the throw down, i.e. everyone who is not on the real log. Tell them what happened and suggest they find the real cache, but do not delete their logs. You might be able to figure out who left the throw down, i.e. the first name on the throw down or the first name on gc.com that is not on the real log. Send that person(s) an e-mail asking about how they came to sign the throw down. Depending on their answer, you can decide what to do.
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