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Lookout Lisa

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  1. Hi! I'm Lookout Lisa from Spokane, WA (I am also the owner of Cache Advance). I'm coming to Salt Lake City to attend the Summer Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at the Salt Palace. I just thought I'd post a note here and see if anyone would like to offer up some local advice on those 'not to be missed' caches and/or to meet up for some caching! I'm staying near the Salt Palace, and I am not planning to rent a car. I am also going to post this over at the UTAG forums. Thank you!
  2. Way Kewl! Very nicely done. You should get a kickback from Garmin now...
  3. I was just about to congratulate them as well! We tried hard to get them past #3,300 on the way home, but just couldn't quite make it. Big congrats to dmagoo for passing her record of finding the most caches in one day at the MCM. I don't know the exact count, but I'm sure she blew away her old record! I'm sure there were other milestones at the machine -let's hear all about them!
  4. I'll be needing a whole bunch-o-coffee to prepare for you, Brad It's going to be fun! Straight shots of espresso for me!! Can't wait -this is going to be fun -day and night!
  5. Thanks, I bookmarked the link to her page. I like the "pre-camo'ed" ones. Thank you! I just camo'ed up a bunch yesterday now that the humidity was finally low enough Like Allanon said, I can get these in bulk for a pretty nice deal. If folks are interested, I can arrange a bulk order (at cost -this is for the community, not for my profit) like what some folks have done with acquiring ammo cans in bulk. If there is enough interest (and a ship-to address and helper for distribution), I can set something up. Another option would be free pick-up at our WSGA Campout here in Spokane the first weekend of August. Let me know what y'all think.
  6. A bunch of us Spokanites are staying at the Super 8 on Brooks street -linky. I got a double queen room for $70.00/night. Pretty basic, but we're there to cache, not lounge around in the motel! Thanks Lisa!! Just saw that one AND it has wifi! W00T That is a priority!! LOL Great! Looking forward to seeing you guys again I can't wait to hear GWVI stories... I didn't 'get out' much that day
  7. A bunch of us Spokanites are staying at the Super 8 on Brooks street -linky. I got a double queen room for $70.00/night. Pretty basic, but we're there to cache, not lounge around in the motel!
  8. Linky: TravisL's Cache Machine Primer It's also linked from my Cache Machines bookmark list, where you can see the details for all previous CMs. FWIW, I have done 72 caches in one day at a CM, and others have done more (I think at least one team made it to 100). Many teams spread the CM over a weekend, and cache Fri-Sun, or at least Sat-Sun. So the more caches, the merrier! Thanks hydnsek!!
  9. TravisL may have updated his method, but this was fantastic go get us started here. A few notes to add: 1. Contact the police/sheriff to let them know about the event. This will save problems when so many cachers are looking 'suspicious' to the muggles all day! 2. Keep your dinner location updated so they know what to expect. I started with a reservation for 60... then 80... then it was 150... then it was 250 for dinner! We also reminded people to tip if they thought that they should. After dinner OBC told me that they never believe anyone that says they'll have 250 for dinner... but they'll believe ME every time!! lol 3. Be sure that someone gets to your dinner location early to ensure that your seats are really reserved! 4. Have fun!!!!
  10. When I worked on putting on the Spokane Cache Machine, TravisL had posted his 'how to' on a forum for a recently completed Cache Machine. I found it invaluable! I copied it down, and am going to paste it here (not sure where it was actually posted, and I'm a little too busy packing and shipping out 50 orders to find it!): Some folks have asked, both recently and over the last couple years, "TravisL, how do you set up a cache machine?" I'm just tossing this out here for whatever it may be worth; here's my process. A lot of the work is done by the MS MapPoint software I have, although rumor is that MS Streets & Trips works just as well. I use MapPoint 2004. The first step is to get a pocket query of the area, which I usually limit to 3/3 caches or easier, no events or locationless. I then dump it into GSAK and generate lists (.csv files) of caches by type - traditional, virts, multis, webcams, letterbox, etc. I import these CSV files into MapPoint, giving each set a unique icon (which I shamelessly steal off of the geocaching 'nearby cache map' page). When figuring out how many caches we can do in a day, I use MapPoint's travel times, and add seven minutes per cache. Some caches will be slower (hikes), some will be faster (drive-bys), but seven minutes has been a good working number. Five minutes is never enough, and ten minutes has left us at the end with more daylight than caches. Generally, 40-50 will be plenty for a winter cache machine, 60-70 will be good for a spring or fall cache machine, and 70-80 is good for summer. In MapPoint, lasso roughly this many caches, and "add to route". I try to make a guess as to where on the route would be a good dinner point, and set that restaurant as an end point. This should also be close to where you guess that most people will get hotel rooms. Then I find a cache near that location, make sure it's not one that would be bad to do at dawn, and set it as the start point. I then tell MapPoint "optimize route", and it puts the caches in somewhat of a good order. (Caches bad to do at dawn are those in neighborhood pocket parks and those that require access to closed business areas. Good ones are those in very heavy downtown areas -- Victoria, for example -- or rural caches that require a small hike. Nothing like a stroll through the wet grass in the brisk sunrise air to get a cache machine started; Wenatchee and Olympia had good first caches like this.) It's helpful to have the start and end point be near each other, because it allows for easier carpooling and keeps the group together longer. It also makes for a shorter drive for folks once the event is over and it's time to go home. This isn't always possible, particularly when your first guess for the restaurant turns out to be an impossibility (Pt. Townsend). Next, I step through the caches on the route one by one, visually following the route to make sure it's not doing something dumb. Most of the caches are routed OK, but often there's a few that MapPoint places in a strange order, so I have to resequence them. In areas where you're backtracking on a major arterial, MapPoint does a good job of placing right-side-of-the-road caches on the correct direction (so you're not frequently turning left across an arterial). It looks odd sometimes that (for example) cache 25 and 50 are right across the street from each other, but that's the reason. When MapPoint is plotting the route, and there's no road right to the cache (e.g., it's 0.1 mile into a park), it'll call the last direction "local roads". That's a good indication of how far someone will have to walk to get to the cache, so any "local roads" that are 0.3 or longer, I'll check the cache page to see how long the walk really is. If it's longer than a quarter mile, I delete it from the route. MapPoint always tries to route to the cache from the nearest road. Sometimes, a cache page will have parking directions at a spot that's different than the nearest road to the cache -- maybe there's a river or ravine or just no access from the MapPoint directions. When that's the case, I'll actually move the location of the cache in MapPoint (drag the icon) until the access point is the closest way to get to the (quasi-)cache. If that's not possible, I'll set the parking coordinates as the cache location in MapPoint, and draw a green line from that waypoint to the cache. Once I think the route is good for the first draft, I use free software from pdf995.com to generate the PDF file of the route. I post this on the web and link to it from the cache page, then solicit feedback in the cache comments and in the Northwest forums. After about a week, I'll re-do the route based on that feedback, and post a second draft. Another week of feedback, and then the final draft. While I'm doing this, I also run an updated pocket query to catch any caches that have recently been placed. GSAK also color codes them, so that I can tell which ones have been disabled, and I'll usually give those caches a different icon, and if they're still disabled, I'll remove them from the final draft. If a cacher tells me that a cache is in a sensitive area -- either environmental or mugglage -- I'll take a lot closer look at it. If the owner says "keep it off the route", I do, period, end of story. Sometimes, though, a cacher will say "this shouldn't be on the route," but the owner says "yes, keep it." In that case, it stays on, if it's not too far of a hike (more than 0.25 miles) or too long of a hunt (e.g., a 5 stop multi). Basically, my route is subordinate to a cache owners' wishes. Of course, if a cache is near the route, I can't keep it off of other cacher's self-run pocket queries -- all I can really do is mark it on the map as "do not get", but I always get questions on the day of the event as to why a certain cache isn't on the route, and sometimes a few cachers see the little flag on their GPS, and can't resist. Friday before the event, I'll check the pocket query one last time to see if anything's changed. At dinner that night, I'll announce any last minute changes. So, that's the route generation. Secondly, but almost as important, are dinner locations. The criteria that seem to be absolute musts: 1) Able to handle groups of about 40. We've had as few as 20 and as many as 65, and it's hard to tell in advance how many we'll get. 2) Separate checks. The two places in Port Townsend that we were looking at wanted us to have a single check for all of us. That was a show stopper. We learned the hard way in Wenatchee that having a catered-style meal doesn't work, because the restauarant won't count on serving starving people who haven't eaten all day, and who have worked up an appetite caching for the last 12 hours. 3) Beer. I'm not a big beer drinker, but I don't disagree that it really tastes good after a long day driving. I think this was the reason so few people showed up for dinner at Bremerton II. That, and the fact that the buffet food was just kind of nasty. 4) OK for kids. There will be cachers under 21, so restricted bars are out. In the past, I'd tried to keep the typical meal cost at around $10-12, so I was surprised that we had as many people showing up for dinner at the $20-30 restaurant in Sequim. The pre-event meal is usually a lot less casual. We've had it in a hotel conference room (Victoria, Olympia), we've had it at a fast food restaurant (Tri-Cities), we've had it as a potluck (Gig Harbor), we've had it at a bar (Yakima, Portland) and we've had it at pizza places (Wenatchee, Port Townsend). Overall, this takes about 6-10 hours of work to put together, spread over a few weeks. It's not a LOT of work, but it's something that the caching community will remember for a long time, so it's important to get it right. They'll remember the things that go wrong, whether you can control them or not (e.g. snow, u-turns, closed roads, cliff climbs, 12-stop multis), but they'll also remember the things that go well, too. I've never felt like this is unappreciated -- cachers are great folks that way.
  11. I just want to throw out some congratulations: To everyone who logged their first MEGA Event at GW6 -that was a hoot! To Liwolf for hitting 1000 at the Friday Meet and Greet at GW6! To Trevor and Kate for passing 3100 on the way home from GW6! I'm sure there are more to come -way to go everyone!!
  12. Lisa, we'd be more than happy to have you set up your store at our lunch stop. At this point based on the schedule looks like the most likely location will be at Fort Missoula, which would give us lots of options. But we'll figure out the best spot once the route is closer to being finalized. Great! Provided I survive Geowoodstock VI, I'll be there with Bisons on! Feel free to PM me with details as we get closer. In the meantime, if folks want anything special from Groundspeak, just shoot me a note and I'll be sure to have it along -great way to save on shipping! See y'all in June~ Lisa
  13. Cache Advance is still available to to set up a Geo-Store if y'all still want it; I'm coming to cache regardless! Let me know -thanks!
  14. I am going to try to get it on there. I may be able to borrow a wireless card from work and use my laptop to capture folks visiting the camera location. It may be something where you have to go there between certain hours to be caught on jpeg. Maybe it could be the starting cache, like SCM2. Most of the participants would be gathered, and our wonderful hosts only have to stationed there for a short time. I'll have my laptop along again... so if there is Sprint coverage, I am more than willing to capture a group image at the webcam, like I did at the SCM2
  15. Congratulations to my good buddy and original member of the Cache Dashers, Yellow Alligator, for passing 1500 find on the Yakima Cache Machine. Woo Hoo!!
  16. I really enjoyed all of your caches that I found this past weekend -thanks for placing them! If I wasn't all the way in Spokane, I'd love to adopt some of your caches. And I can certainly understand about grad school! I know from personal experience that can SERIOUSLY cut into your caching time. Best wishes on the PhD!!!
  17. Thanks for sharing about your experience today! Reading all the nice logs, and then about your first find today, made my heart beat a little faster, and brought back all that excitement of finding MY first cache. Thanks!
  18. Yes, I will be there at the Spring Fling, AND I will be at Geowoodstock I am also taking 'will call' orders now -place your order with me ahead of time, and I'll deliver it to the Fling -save on shipping this way.
  19. I was on the organizing committee of the Spokane Cache Machine 2 and we notified the police and sheriff offices in the route area before the event happened. Sure glad we did, as 250 cachers racing around town from dawn to dusk did stir up a few calls and cacher-police incidents. But, as they were notified of our event, they just confirmed that the subject in question was a participating cacher, and then all was well, and the cachers were back on track in just minutes. Whew! Since then, I've become the police/SWAT contact when they find 'suspicious' items hidden in the area, and I have fielded a few calls... luckily they WERE caches (so far!) and everything has worked out OK.
  20. I'm a double Coug -did my masters here, and I'm a researcher here for the last 7 years. How about some extra credit for some of my WSU Caches: University District U-District Webcam And a pretty pic from my webcam today: Enjoy!! Oh, yeah, I like Dawgs too!
  21. Just wanted to cross post here and on the cache page (sorry if you are reading this again!) I will be there with the other Cache Dashers -can't wait! I used to live in Yakima pre-geocaching... so this will be a treat. I am also bringing Geo-Merchandise from Cache Advance, www.cache-advance.com and will be set up at the lunch pit stop for a few hours (with permission and by invitation from the local organizer). If you miss me there, I'll be at the pre-event on Friday, and dinner on Saturday too (not set up, but I can pull down the tailgate after eating if anybody wants/needs anything). Drop me a PM by Sunday March 23rd if there is anything special that you would like (such as clothing from Groundspeak -I'll need sizes and such, and any other special requests), and I'll be sure to have it -and save on shipping!! Happy (and safe!) Caching everyone Now back to your regularly scheduled CM forum
  22. I wanted to get a note up here to let folks know that the Inland Empire Chapter and other members of the WSGA are beginning to get ideas/plans/activities for the campout underway. So please check back here for more information as it becomes available, and we'll be posting volunteer opportunities here as well. Looking forward to seeing many of you in August!
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