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Everything posted by PoledraDog

  1. I like it because it's a good way to get out with the kids. I love to drive the 2 hour drive from my desert home to the forested high country of AZ. For me, I would be happy driving up there, looking around at the scenery, having a picnic, and driving home. The kids, however, would get bored. This gives them a goal so that instead of hearing "are we there yet?" and "can we go home now?", I hear "are we going to do another cache? Please, please, pleeeeeeaaasseee????". i also like that caches give me new destinations. I had a few favorite places I used to go to for the weekend, which were very nice, but I rarely ventured elsewhere simply because I didn't know where to go. There were roads that I wondered about, but had no idea where they went, if anywhere, or if they would be passible with my vehicle once I got down them. Now I have "recommended" places to go. My very first caching experience was so very positive because it took me to an area I've wanted to go for years, but had no idea how to get there. In northern AZ there are forest roads that are not marked or at least not marked with anything other than a number. Some of them I had no idea were even on public lands. I found some wonderful camping areas that I would have never found otherwise thanks to geocaching.
  2. Your wife lets you go without taking her with you? Silly, silly girl!
  3. Well, there are no hard and fast rules, so I say it depends on how you feel about it. If you're always going to look at it as a cheater find, then don't log it. If you feel good about it, then do. It's one find, so it doesn't affect your stats that much either way, so do whatever fits within your own personal definitions. I went through sort of a similar self-questioning about my first caches. My father discovered geocaching, told me about it, and bought a GPS so that he could try it with myself and my kids when he was out here for a visit. I went with him to geocache, helped with all the finds, and used the GPS as much as he did. I debated logging those for a while, wondering if some would consider it cheating since it wasn't my GPS. But I thought, hey, I drove (in some *rough* terrain for my vehicle, I might add!), I navigated, I hiked, I used the GPS, so I figure I should share in the find. I don't feel one bit badly about claiming those finds.
  4. Well, items useful to hiking/caching are kind of nice. Batteries, carrying cases, sunscreen (unused), bug repellent, for example. I like to place items that kids would like, but could be fun for adults, too. For example, I recently placed 2 keychains: one with a carabiner clip and one with a whistle (metal like the carabiner clip, not cheap plastic kind). Another group came up on us while we were at the cache. We saw them again when they got back to the trailhead, as we had stopped for lunch. 2 of the kids had picked up the keychains I had left. Pencils are cool, too; you can place cool ones that kids would like to collect, and that adults could use if they needed them. Anything geocaching related (stickers, etc.) I like to see things that the kids like; of course I'm biased 'cause I cache with my kids. Not cheapie McToys, though. That doesn't mean they have to be expensive; some recent things my kids got and liked include: marbles cool rocks/stones a bell thing to put on your bicycle a waterproof container you wear around your neck that you can put small things like keys, spare change, or other small cache finds in Things that tell about the people who visit...I've been thinking lately about purchasing postcards from places we visit to place in the caches. I may even fill them out with a message to the "finder" that tells something interesting/cool about the place we went. I know I think it would be neat to find something like that. I think doing the same for my home area would be fun (for placing in caches we visit; not so interesting for placing in local caches). *Good* coupons/gift certificates for places to eat, things to do. Things for the girls: pretty hair clips, earrings, bracelets.
  5. There is a small park near my house where I'd like to place a cache. It is a pretty standard city park, but I think it's always nice to have a cache to hit where you can also sit and have lunch, play with the dog, etc. Plus, this park has special meaning, as it is the park where my husband proposed to me. Anyway, I know I need to ask <whoever it is; still need to find out, but I'm sure it's someone from the city> permission to place a cache. My question is, what do you say to people when you're asking permission for cache placement? How do you describe geocaching in a nutshell? I've found that when I describe it to friends, I feel like I haven't explained it adequately. Maybe it's just because you don't really "get" it until you try it (although I was pretty excited about it when I first read about it). I can see that for certain areas, you could "sell" it as a way to promote traffic, i.e., near a business or something. That doesn't really apply for this park, though. Thoughts/suggestions?
  6. Yep, I agree. I don't have a 4x4, just a regular 2WD Dodge quad cab. I'm half tempted to take the front valence off, because it really cuts down on the clearance. I was all ready to trade it in for a minivan (yeah, I can hear the groans) until I started caching; now I'm rethinking things so I can access more of the wonderful caches in the high country of AZ. Doing them by vehicle would be so much nicer, since I usually have the 4 and 5 year old along. Ultra-long hikes aren't really doable with them at this point.
  7. How far are you willing to drive? I know there are some caches in the South Mountain area, although I haven't visited them yet. South Mountain is on the southeast side of Phoenix. I can't attest to the hiking value of specific caches since I haven't visited them yet, but I know that South Mountain park in general is nice to hike in. Here's a set of coordinates that should get you in the vicinity (look them up on Google maps and you'll see South Mountain park): 33.319627,-112.002869. January is a great time to hike here. I've recently been caching around the Pine/Payson area, which is about 80-100 miles away, depending on exactly where you're coming from and where you're going. This area is right around the Mogollon Rim, which is *spectacular*. This is one of my favorite places to go and I can't get enough. The only problem is they do get snow on the top of the rim which results in a lot of closures of roads that access the caches (since they are just forest service roads), so you'll have to check specific caches. I did a search of caches in the Pine, AZ area (coordinates 34.384459,-111.454411) to get caches in the area. I just did Payson Boulders this past weekend. It was about a mile hike in and back out, but the cache is on a trail loop that I believe is 4 miles total. Unfortunately I'm usually with the younguns, and at age 4 and 5 we don't get to hike very far. But barring any other specific suggestions that may come up, I'd look for anything around Payson (heading out east on the 260 is nice) or Pine/Strawberry and on up north (Follow the 87 north of Pine and Strawberry to where the 260 splits off), remembering to be aware of possible snow/road closures on the northern route. Another good area that I haven't cached in, but that has wonderful hiking in general, is Sedona. Prescott is also nice, and a bit closer. Flagstaff is nice if you get out of the town, but may not have the best weather. On the whole weather thing, it's really hard to say. Some years they get a lot of snow. Lately they've had very little. It's hard to say right now what will be doable and what won't be. Hope this helps; I'm not much help about specific caches, but if I can be of any assistance with the area in general, let me know. I've lived here over 10 years and my husband grew up here, so I'd be glad to help where I can.
  8. My favorite caching stomping grounds are about 80-100 miles from my house. Just close enough that I can make it into a (very full) day trip, or spend the weekend (great camping, or we know someone with a cabin that we can stay in occasionally). I will certainly bring cache info anywhere I happen to travel for other reasons. I could see myself planning a geocaching trip/vacation just about anywhere. But I would probably pick a place I'd like to go and then go for whatever caches are there (with a cursory check to make sure I don't inadvertently pick some weird geocache black-out zone). I could also see myself travelling for organized geocache events. I don't see myself picking out a particular cache real far away and then travelling specifically to see it, but who knows; if I ran across the right one, I might.
  9. As a race fan, new geocacher, and Phoenix area resident, I love the idea of a racing-themed event. I found out about the Halloween Radioactive event too late to go this year, and was quite disappointed. I'm already planning to make a point of going next year, as it sounds like great fun and a wonderful way to meet other cachers. I could certainly see myself getting excited about something like this. It would certainly need to be a separate event...which is why I say "racing themed" as opposed to "Speedweeks Nascar Geocache event" or something. As someone who does a lot of volunteer work at my son's school, I think the advice to start small is very good. My son's school is a charter school, and relies heavily on fundraisers. The amount of work we go to in order to bring in sponsors, donations, etc. to certain school events is enormous. I wouldn't even know how to start, and I don't know how they do it (I'm just a grunt worker and do what I'm told, which is fine by me ), but I do know it takes a lot of time and work by a lot of people. I realize what you're talking about isn't the same thing, but it is similar in terms of the time involved to organize and bring in sponsors, which is why I bring it up. It sounds like you're excited about a general idea, but don't know much about the implementation. That's ok; I don't mean that as a criticism and I realize that that's exactly the reason you're here. I just think you have a lot of research and coordination ahead of you. Honestly, I don't see pulling something off for the November race. You could pull off something a lot smaller, though. I personally have no idea how to start, but if it were me I would try talking to the folks that did the Halloween event. Tell them your ideas and I would bet they would have some good suggestions as to how to frame what you're wanting to do in a format that would be successful and positive for the geocaching community, as well as give you an idea of the kind of amount of work/man-hours you can expect to need to put into it.
  10. My friend wants to see the fall colors, and I want to get some caching in, since I just got my new GPS (my dad got me hooked, and I've been going through caching withdrawals since he went back home and I've been GPS-less). I thought we could combine our interest this weekend for a day trip (and yeah, I'll admit it, I'm hoping to get her hooked, too ). My favorite spot these days is around the Mogollon Rim...specifically, General Crook Trail/Rim Road. Does anyone know what the fall colors are like in that area? The best I've heard right now is around Oak Creek Canyon, and I'll go there (and enjoy myself, I'm sure) if I can't find out anything about the rim area. But I would love to take her up there (and show off the cool camping spots I found while I'm at it) if the colors are decent. Any other suggestions for good fall color places are welcome and appreciated!
  11. THANK YOU FOR THIS TIP!!! I just got my new Garmin 60CSx for my birthday yesterday, along with the metroguide maps. These are the maps my dad had (which he got without really knowing what he was doing, either) when he visited and turned me on to caching a month ago. I was getting the weird "go to the highway 10 miles away" behavior with his GPS, too, but I thought it was something weird about the rural area we were in. I just downloaded the above software and the relevant maps and got instant *good* directions! Maybe not always exactly how I would go, but definitely reasonable, usable directions. Thanks so much!
  12. Well, here's my answer: because you can't control what other people do, you can only control what you do and how you react to what other people do. Sure, you could make adults/kids-only caches, and I think in theory that's not a bad idea, but how would you enforce it? You could just as easily make a note in the description communicating your intent, but you're still at the mercy of people who find it. Personally, I'm with the others who have said they are in it for the hunt. But obviously, that's not true of everyone. I cache with the kids and I don't think I've taken anything for myself yet, but what I'm enforcing with them is to leave something of similar value to what they take, or to take nothing at all. I'm new to the sport and have not set up my own caches yet. When I do, I will probably put a mix of "good" vs. "toy" items in, request a like for like trade in the description, and hope for the best. But I know that the reality is I can't enforce anything, and if I can't accept that, then I won't place the cache in the first place. No need to set myself up for unnecessary disappointment. And for the people who use broken stuff/used dental floss, that's just gross. I don't understand why people would do something like that.
  13. Interesting, considering they'll let people park all sorts of trailers, motor homes, etc. overnight. Admittedly, I've neither done that myself, nor explicitcly ask if I would have permission to do so.
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