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The Marauders

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  1. Hello,


    I am in the cultural resources business, and what Mr. Donnelly seems to be describing is a Traditional Cultural Place or TCP. These spaces are indeed sacred, and protected under federal law, insomuch as the government has to take them into account if there are buildings or other projects that would somehow mar them. There is a lot of play in the law here, however, as these spaces might include a river, a mountain, a hill, or a rock. There would be no way for geocache approvers (or hiders for that matter) to know if a property where a cache was located was included in a TCP.


    These places are often secret for this type of reason, so they don't get written into guide books. If this was written up in the guide book as a sacred space, the Native Americans in question should take it up with the guidebook writers.


    As an archaeologist, I do have some concerns about cachers and archaeological sites, but I have found most of the caches near sites, have already been looted.

  2. Here is a log from a cache I did last summer (GCJ2KR):


    Ok, so I am doing our 150th cache, I thought I would try this adventure. It turned out to be more of an adventure than I bargained for. I parked the car and managed to get to the coordinates for the first stage. Looking under a bush, I spot not the cache, but a curled up rattlesnake. I look around for the cache for awhile, all the while keeping an eye on that snake, to make sure he doesn't bite me. As an archaeologist, I have an inbred fear of them slithery monsters.


    After about ten minutes of looking for the cache and watching the snake, I spot the cache: literally 2-3 feet from the the snake. I think, oh boy, how am I going to get that without him popping with those monstrous fangs (in reality, the snake was probably about 3 feet)? I could come back later, but I have walked all this way, and I have enough DNFs on my already stained record. I think, maybe this is a dirty trick the Fuqowee is playing on the local cachers. I've seen it done.


    To test this theory, I toss some small pebbles at the beast to see if it's real. It doesn't move. I look around for a good stick to poke it with, but there was none handy. I inch a little closer, trying to reach the cache, and notice his tongue licking in and out. It's real. Eww. But no buzzing; that buzzing really makes my hair stand up on end.


    I take a larger rock, and wedge it next to the snake, so that its head is on the backside of it. It must have been sleepy, or cold, because it still didn't buzz. I carefully reached out with my hand and snagged my quarry, did my business, and carefully put the cache back. I stepped away from the area to the next stage with little trouble, though my heart beat faster all the way back to the car.

  3. The whole trading scenario is an object lesson in fairness. While caching, I use it to teach my kids about being fair with trading. When selecting toys at the house prior to leaving, I remind them to bring something special if they want something special in the cache. Now being 4 and 6, they have little idea of what value is placed on many objects, so when we get to the cache, I tend to put worth on some of the items in the cache they want. Then they decide how many of their toys to give up for the trade item.


    Value of items is often in the eye of the beholder. For example, my kids love McDonalds toys, but I have seen in forums where these are the bane of caches. I think I may have traded poorly on some occaisions, but over all I have treated cache items fairly.


    A dollar is still a dollar, which was worth more when you put it in the cache than when it was taken out. Money in caches is a strange thing (unless its a Wheres George), but usually something that we usually carry in our pockets. I don't usually trade for it.

  4. As an archaeologist, I feel it is vital to preserve as many sites containing important information. I have been on many sites that have been bulldozed for the ceramic wares they contain. I have seen Billy the Kids initials once pecked into stone, stolen. I have seen where people remove whole panels of rock art to put in their fireplaces. I have seen people with coffee cans full of projectile points.


    All of these things serve to remove us from understanding the nature of our history and prehistory. In my profession, we try to recreate past lifeways only having on the order of nine pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle. Land encroachment and the work of casual and professional hunters leave us with fewer pieces.


    I believe that most geocachers are of the ilk to leave artifacts where they are found so that future users of an area may enjoy them. My fear is that others may use the gc site to as a tool to know where the good stuff is located.

  5. Back in 1992, we used these trimble units that looked like they could be mounted into a vehicle of some sort. We had a civilian model (brown) for finding our archaeological sites, but we were given loan of a SLUGGER, which was green. That baby was accurate as they came then, but they had a PAD? system to help rectify locations. Those units were heavy too, because of the big batteries.


    My Sportrack is much lighter in the pack...


    The Marauders

  6. I saw a piece with Diane Sawyer on a morning talkshow (Today or Good Morning America, they both look the same to me) yesterday (2/7/03) that was showing off some of the militray hardware the troops are using, including mobile command centers, gasmasks, etc. One thing was mentioned is that every soldier is carrying a gps, and the model they showed them using was a Magellan Sportrak Map.


    I got that same model for Christmas, and find it to be the best thing ever. I bet the military has all the streets in Iraq plugged into the memory of those things.


    The Marauders

  7. Thank you for running the stats page! I think it is awesome the way it is now. I think being given credit for hiding a cache may encourage people who count on the stats page to hide more. Without getting into a quantity/quality issue here, I think credit should be given where credit is due. It is much easier to find most caches than to make them.


    As for archived caches, this shouldn't be a problem for most people as there are always more caches being placed. Not changing this would have effects on state leaderboards in some states with only a few caches (i.e., you found em all, then some got archived), but this should only be a minimal discomfort for two or three people in the top of one ladder in one state with few caches. I wonder if that makes a lick of sense...


    The Marauders (nowhere near the top of any leader board

  8. I have been using GPS technology since 1992, in the field of archaeology. We work on Fort Bliss, which in tose days had a trimble "slugger" unit, meaning the selective availability was off. We were using the unit to log archaeological sites for the post.


    Today we use them to map sites, relocate old sites, pinpoint artifact collections, and a whole host of other uses. We use them to survey areas for new sites. Much of what we find are remanants of old pottery vessels, or prehistoric tupperware, I suppose.


    The Marauder

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