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Everything posted by gravechaser

  1. One last comment on the highjack-line: I honestly don't know if Marshall Cemetery cache has written permission. It has been there for years and the sexton that retired and the other employees knew all about it so I can only assume that yes, it has written permission from the board. In view of the ones that I've asked my family about, yes, I can say they are speaking with authority. The ones I've asked them about are small long abandoned cemeteries. Since my ancestors are buried there I've researched all of the known buried persons to see if they were also related. The non-ancestors families have died out. I've tried to find any living members to let them know where their people are buried but there is no one. In the case of these small abandoned cemeteries there is no sexton to ask and the county doesn't have jurisdiction over them, just the landowner.
  2. Forgot to mention, I get told a lot that I'm weird for liking cemeteries so that won't be news and that will make three of us! The thread has gotten off the subject a bit. It started by the OP asking if anyone else has had trouble with their GPSr working properly for them within a cemetery boundary so the debate of whether one should cache or not within a cemetery is a gentle nudge off the subject.
  3. Actually, yes, Team Cotati, I have been to several cemeteries where I have family buried. Without revealing where the caches were located, usually just outside the fence/boundary but not always, I have asked my parents and uncles what they thought since it's their family members buried there too. Guess what? OH MY GOSH! They thought it was great! To a person they ALL told me they think it is great since it is bringing people to cemeteries that would otherwise be forgotten. The one in the Marshall Cemetery (Marshall, IL) isn't far from the last remaining vault. One can follow the walkways and never step on a single grave if you want to go straight to the cache but unless you are heartless you will be distracted by the vault which is a beautiful beautiful thing to see. It is worth going whether or not you cache just to see it. I spend most of my free time in cemeteries anyway by updating the newer cems and locating forgotten ones to transcribe for the county genealogical library. Caching has helped me to locate at least 10 that were never transcribed and the genealogy library didn't even know of those 10's existance. So, no, I have no problem with caching in or near cemeteries. The ones that we've logged finds on so far have been either micros, film containers, or decons hidden within trees. To find them one doesn't need to walk across the graves but it can be very distracting when you want to stop and read them and see who the "residents" are. My GPS literally won't work for me- I don't know why- inside cemetery boundaries so I have to triangulate or have the kids use it. They usually find the cache while I'm walking along slowly reading the stones. I believe the disrespect comes by not taking an interest in who is there and in not taking care of the place. I didn't really understand what CITO meant but before we started caching I took bags with me and when visiting a cemetery to transcribe I would remove trash that had blown in or been left like cans/bags/bottles, etc. However, if a cache were hidden on or at the base of a tombstone...that would bother me. But that is a PERSONAL belief. I personally think a cache inside a cemetery should be placed if not in a tree then somewhere at a respectful distance from a tombstone. I think the question for people really amounts to "what is the 'proper' respectful distance?" and that is different for everyone. If I do visit a cemetery and find one is literally next to a stone I'll log a DNF and not go back. Cemetery hides are not for everyone. I happen to love cemeteries for the people and their lives that are commemorated in them. When I happen to see an unexplained "thing" that just adds to the experience (thank goodness it doesn't happen often as it's unnerving).
  4. I like the idea of an automotive grabber. I've never seen such a tool and that little jewel would come in real handy! I do believe I'll be pricing one of those today! I should have clarified in my first post here....the caches rated above 2 are the ones that I take all kinds of stuff with me in case we need it. Thats what the kids are for- I can send them back to the truck for whatever we need upon locating cache if we can't reach it by stacking up each other. The idea of using a grabber with a trashbag is so obvious that I didn't even think about it! My husband tells me I make things too complicated....case in point! I'll be popping that grabber and a roll of bags in the trunk as that is a GREAT idea! Who watches somebody picking up trash? I need to rethink stealth. We do log DNFs if we can't find "it". It's when the terrain rating is at a 1 and it should be higher that it frustrates me. Usually we are able to return at a later date to succeed at the cache. If I can't find a cache rated under 3 it drives me nuts. I'm a little competitive. To hit the ignore button signals defeat for me. I know I'll have to use it eventually, though.
  5. Yeah, mine does, too. I have a sensitivity to electrical things- I can improve TV signals if I touch an antenna, can witch water, etc. If a cache is near a cemetery I have to walk around it to triangulate because my GPSr just wont work for me inside a cemeterys boundaries. I've seen a thing or two that most people probably can't see so it's probably my body chemistry that won't allow the GPSr to work for me in those "sensitive" areas.
  6. I share your burden! I'm 5'4", which is a smidge taller than you but I also have difficulty with those high and signpost caches. Along with being among the "height challenged" I am physically unable to jump, either. Some folks will say "Oh, just carry a grabber-stick" but lets get real. One cannot carry a grabber and still be stealthy let alone inconspicuous. I usually have my kids with me so I'm usually able to put the 6 yr old on my shoulders to make her grab things but I'm screwed if I'm out by myself. It would be really helpful if hiders would note somewhere on the page that "a high reach" might be entailed. Then I could plan accordingly.
  7. We put one in a far-out corner of our yard. It provided a lovely view of the across-the-highway neighbors very large well kept horse pasture until he tilled it up this summer to reseed. I think we put an adequate description of where it is- comfortably away from our house, parking area off the side road, lazy contained dog that cannot get anywhere close to the cache area (wireless fence collars are SO the way to go!) and scads of trees that it could be in. I've seen a couple of people do this one and say that they were uncomfortable because it is on private property. We are going to make some signs with a geocache symbol on it for the drive on that side of the house and for the corner of the property. Perhaps if cachers see a friendly geocaching sign/symbol they won't feel so uncomfortable? We'll see since we haven't got the signs made yet. I'm not accomplished at insertint links (my first time) but here the web address for our cache: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...bc-a85ee7b9320d
  8. I can't tell you folks how glad I was to find this thread! My kids go caching with me and love the game. At the September meeting they will choose their projects for 07-08 and a NEW project area being offered is Geospatial which will cover geospatial science, technology, geographic education, GIS and GPS. They are always asking me how the GPS works so I told them to sign up for this project area and learn about it. I was wondering how to handle the Fair entry portion of the project. This thread has given them both some great ideas. Who knows? They might actually get a project ready to turn in early for once! Thanks, everyone!
  9. On the serious side, wear protective disposable gloves when touching the bag. Seriously, in our area, this would be a prime candidate for an abandoned portable meth lab. They can be very serious to deal with so handle with care. If it appears to be a lab be prepared to call the police so they can dispose of it safely. Be careful out there!
  10. We keep a couple of the brochures in our caching bag but have never been stopped by LEOs. However, we keep several of the folding business cards with us at all times in my purse. The folding cards are great to give to muggles when we explain our little hobby. (The brochures won't fit in my purse without getting bent up). Several people from our Church have expressed interest in caching due to our having given them a card. They actually read it and looked over the website and liked what they saw. We may have a convert or two from those little folding business cards! BTW, Happy Birthday Belated, CyBret! We're going to attempt the 40 on 40 for 40 series when we return from vacation!
  11. Granted that we haven't been at this all that long and only have 2 small caches to our name.....we are on a tight budget . We pick up items at the local Wallyworld that are usually on the clearance aisle that are in perfect condition, originally priced above $6 and are currently under $3. This amounts to glow sticks, hand tools, nice craft-packs, handtowels, carabiners, handiwipes, new batteries, fishing lures in little clear boxes, and anything else that we can find that would be handy to have. We are getting ready to put out our first "full size" ammo can. That will have larger tools, nifty camping items, anything that I can find at $6 or less full price. I want that can to be full of things that most adults would find useful and NO TOYS!!!! My kids have plenty of stuff and I want to make some trades too!
  12. We began with my design and username printed on business cards using our computer since that was more economical. My oldest wanted to play around with Sculpey clay and now I make our signature items out of Sculpey. Our username is gravechaser so I cut out tombstone-shaped pieces and carve "R.I.P" on the top and the year. I use a paint pen to sign our gravechaser name on the back after it's baked, then I glaze it to seal it. They look pretty neat. I was asked to start numbering them, and I'm up to 6 that have been left in caches large enough. I've thought about reducing the size to conserve clay as the colored clay is pricey.
  13. We used to not care whether we were FTF or not but one morning the 13 yr old checked my email and said, "Hey! Mom!! Teacman put a cache uptown and it just got published! You could beat the Brazil guy!" Actually the guy that usually is the FTF in the area isn't from Brazil but close enough. The kids said they'd get themselves on the school bus and shoved me out the door with the coord printout. 2 inches of snow and Terre Haute is an hour ahead of us and he still beat me, literally by minutes. He must have turned the corner as I pulled in to park! I think the kids wanted a FTF on the caching belt more than I did but it gave me a little taste and I wanted more. Over the next couple of months teacman put out two along a defunct railway, near some great trestles. Once again the oldest was online when the notification email came. I wasn't half dressed before the 13 & 10 yr olds had the coords downloaded in to the GPSr. The 6 yr old was holding the door open! I wasn't sure about it but I went anyway and for the first time ever I was the FTF! Even then I still wasn't quite hooked. But then...... That same cacher put out one called Are You Afraid of Heights? (I'd put a link in for it but I'm not sure how to do it). That single cache has become my personal favorite although I'd not go visit it again anytime soon. I am TERRIFIED of heights and I walked across the trestle to 'bag' this one. It was a great hide! I won't deal with heights for quite some time but I'd go after another FTF again if the kids would either hold down the fort or hit the door running! Now we LOVE EM!
  14. In our town I can only get Tecnu in a box package with Calagel. It's called a "trial size bottle". The trial sizer is 2 fl oz and the label says "stops irritants from spreading & decontaminates laundry, pets & tools". It does it's best when used within 2 hours of exposure. From the directions: "1. Apply Tecnu to exposed, unwetted skin within 2 to 8 hours after exposure to poison plants. 2. Rub vigorously for 2 minutes to remove oils and other contaminates from skin. If hyper-sensitive, wash entire body with Tecnu. 3. Rinse skin with cool running water or wipe off with a cloth. Repeat." If a rash has already appeared apply Tecnu to the entire body, lathering for 2 minutes then rinsing with cool water as above. If the itching persists, reapply Tecnu to affected area, lather up and "rinse in a very warm shower but not a bath". I get PI easily, as do my kids. My husband didn't used to be affected by it until the last two years and Katie-bar-the-door! Now he gets it worse than I do. He treated the first rash with calamine lotion and it kinda helped. The next year his second rash resulted from mowing ditches along our fields during a dry spell. The tiny particles of the plants got into his socks and boots. He had it all over his feet. This Tecnu helped him tremendously. He got it on the back of his neck where the shirt didn't protect him and I missed this area with the Tecnu. Calamine didn't help him there but when the two older kids got Chicken Pox I made poultices with old-fashioned oatmeal. Those poultices gave them relief so I tried this with his neck. I had to change the sheets and pillowcases anyway so I sent him to bed each night with a fresh poultice behind his neck and that helped him better than the calamine lotion. For our caching bag and the clothing that we wear when exposed my kids and I strip to the scivvies in the back room and I put everything including the canvas caching bag in the washer and set it to the hottest wash it will to and put a full load of detergent in. I wash our affected bag/clothes three times in hot water and extra detergent. So far doing this seems to take the oils off our stuff. But I go out of my way when possible to avoid PI because washing 3x ties up my washer. With 5 people (one a hog farmer) in the house I need that available at all times. I'm interested in the Zyrtec and Claratin for myself. Are those prescription-only strength or the over-the-counter versions?
  15. Granted, I haven't been caching all that long, but I definitely agree with briansnat! Not because of bias due to never having letterboxed or because I've had to submit my caches for approval but because of being a landowner. Parks may be open to the public but the public HAS to adhere to the park rules. If the park rules state that a permit must be obtained for a cache what makes LBers think they can ignore that? They are placing an unnatural item in said park so logic dictates that they have to have a permit. In IL a permit isn't required but, honestly, if I find that there is one in the State Park near our home I'll probably report it to the Park Office. There are some sensitive areas there so if the main office doesn't know it is there who knows how much damage the box visitors would be causing? If the box owner DID get permission, then FABULOUS! More visitors to my hometown and more income to the merchants in the area! As a landowner I look at this rather simply. I know who has asked permission to be on our land. If they want to leave equipment they tell us where it is and mark it on our parcel map so we know where it is. Others in the area have "hunted there all our lives so we're going to continue on" -without receiving permission. We call the county sheriff and file trespassing charges against them. I have a cache on some land right next to our house. I'd be deeply angered if someone decided to put any gamepiece for ANY game on our ground without asking first. I doubt that I'd file trespass against them but if they put another one back I would. It seems that SOME LBers (NOT ALL!!!) don't ask for permission to place their boxes. That nonchalance about common courtesy, to say nothing about trespass or ignoring park rules, seems to be the biggest beef and will eventually cause their game Public Relations difficulties and since geocaching is a very similar game it will cause us problems as well. I personally resent the concept that someone, REGARDLESS of what game they are playing, thinks they have the right to leave boxes/caches/anything else on land without gaining permission first. I don't care if they don't have an approval process but there should be some way to show proof of permission before being posted online. And yes, I think we should have to show proof of permission in caching regarding private land and parks. I try to be consistent. In closing please forgive my punctuation mistakes. I didn't do well in English classes all those years ago.
  16. Wow. I hadn't thought of that.... My husband and I had our first wills made out before our marriage license was even filed in the courthouse. I guess I'd better talk to my best friend. She and I and all our kids go caching together. She hasn't put any out because she finds a great spot and then discovers there's already a cache there. She would probably love to take over my two. Maybe there's a way to make her a co-owner of the cache for such an event?
  17. I've thought the same thing, Spunkmeyer. The Geocacher U brochure is fabulous for LEOs and introducing muggles to the sport. I just gave my last one to my dentist after he asked what the wad of papers was in my pocket! It would be great if there were a second brochure geared toward explaining the "rules of ettiquette" for permission, hiding, etc. so the landowner could study it in more detail. I am going to hide a large container on some land we own but my brother-in-law, co-landowner, is balking so I'm having to constantly answer basic questions that could probably be put in a two sided brochure. I might write one up before long just to shut him up!
  18. It's not an ego thing at all for us. We know very few cachers and used our homeprinted cards as a way to introduce ourselves and what we do in our non-caching life. I've since run out of cards but had Sculpey on hand (kids!) so I now am making small tombstones with our "name" and the year on it instead. So far those are a big hit with the local cachers and those tombstones are taking up way more space than our cool little cards. I WILL be buying more card sheets soon though to have some on hand. If you don't like the sig cards then don't look at them. Besides- how are the cards really any different than any other signature item? By your definition would any signature item left behind would be due to egos? For the record, we trade in items of equal or better value plus leave our signature card/tombstone if there is room. If not we just trade.
  19. I am quite shy also. Just thinking about attending the first event made my chest tighten with fear. But we went anyway. The first event we went to was at a restaurant in Terre Haute. I REALLY didn't want to go but I cache with my kids and they read the page over my shoulder and announced that they really wanted to go. I don't interact with many people during the week and the crowd at Church is almost too much for me. The kids kept begging to go so I caved in. I'm almost 40 so I figured I should be able to suck it up and deal with the crowd. Due to the configuration of the restaurant I wasn't able to sit with my kids. There was limited room for those under 21 and I wanted to leave room for any extra "unders" that came. My kids behave VERY well in public I wasn't stressed about not sitting with them. The people sharing the table with them were great! My stress came from knowing only 2 people there. I sat surrounded by strangers and they were either quiet or shy too. Eventually we started coming out of our shells and talking about caching, where we live, our favorite caching areas, problem caches, etc. My tenseness evaporated by the time my meal came. I really don't like crowds but now I'll attend geo-things anytime I can get away from the house. I met several really nice people at the first event and met even more at the second one I went to. Besides- these have been at restaurants I've never been to so it's an excuse to try new foods! My husband said my attending the two events seems to have brought me out of my shell a bit so it's all good. You just have to get out of your comfort zone.
  20. Oh, brother! We know the family that put this one out. Others were logging finding the thing in less that 10 minutes. The wife provided hints after we'd invested over 4-5 hours over 4 months trying to "bag" this one but try finding a small magnetic keyholder on a very old large non-working bulldozer!!! I will try to add the link for it: Doze or No Doze If the link didn't work (my first time trying to insert one) the name of it is Doze or No Doze, GCXFWF. The bulldozer is out in the country away from prying eyes. The kids and I swarmed that thing. We simply couldn't find it. I don't like spiders at all but I stuck my hand in places that I NEVER thought I'd stick it...all to find a lousy little keyholder! The kids literally cried over this one. They wanted to find it so badly! I finally had to beg a veteran who had found it very quickly for help. After he got done laughing at me for not being able to find it he simply told me where it was. Even then.....I still had trouble finding it. That last attempt took quite some time. I must be a slow study. But when we did find it I danced a jig!
  21. I don't have geocaching tattoos but I do have two. One is on my chest, I thought about what I wanted for 12 years. After 3 kids it looks more like a cow skull than a buffalo skull (things kinda stretched out over the years) but I still love it. I don't want to stretch out my Black Hills Gold wedding ring since I've gained weight over the years so I have a beautiful Celtic pattern around my left wrist. They say the fingers aren't the most choice spot for tattoos. So, instead of having a wedding ring I have a wedding band that I see clearly every day. If I'm still as enthusiastic about geocaching 15 or so years from now I will probably have something inked involving it. I still can't find that CHOICE flash art commemorating genealogy, though.
  22. I'd say this is a bit too paranoid. I've never found anything that bad in 1500 + cache finds. Nah, not paranoid. You'd have to know my kids. The 6 and 10 yr old have gotten into fistfights over the contents before I can get to it. They have to wait until I get there so I can referee the inevitable fight over who get to make the trade. I only allow one item to be traded out per cache and the little buggers conveniently forget who made the last trade. The 13 yr old can hold her own against the other two but she's more considerate of her old Mom and hangs back with me. She and I are just giddy to find the cache and sign the log! So, my having the rules isn't paranoid. I'm just reducing the amount of blood shed!
  23. Our kids trade out cards and put them in a small photo album as mementos of the caches that we've found. I wanted something a little more substantial than a card to dispense though. I do have some cards that I printed with our computer and they are kinda neat but I like my sculpey things best. I played with Sculpey clay to make some business card size flat tombstones. I used a stylus to put our username on it as 'the deceased' and the year, 2007. The first one went out when I snagged my FTF. The next guy, the usual FTF-er, seemed to be totally thrilled to find my little tombstone. I made molds for 4 different shaped tombstones for a consistent product. As ClayC recommended I will be signing and numbering them before I take them out with us. Regretfully I don't have any photographs for the little stones yet but I plan to take some. I'm pretty proud of how they turned out.
  24. 9 years ago my uncle, over 75 yrs of age, asked me, a 30 yr old, a simple question. "How many cemeteries are there in Clark Co. (IL)?" I didn't know. I went to the local genealogical library and asked. They gave me a list- 64 that had been visited and transcribed (ALPHABETICALLY, of all things?!! Really, how can you find anyone in a cemetery when the listing is done alphabetically?). I knew right away of some that were not on that list! My uncle and I were both members of the Clark Co. Historical Society at the time and he wanted an up to date list for their files. Being afraid to say no to him I embarked on what has become a passion! Since I started we now have 132 known cemetery locations for Clark County, IL, and I have visited slightly more than half of them. I have future plans of transcribing and mapping each little cemetery along with GPS coordinates so that anyone can find a specific cemetery and their long gone loved one. In visiting these cemeteries I came to love them. I especially care for the abandoned ones. They look so forlorn and I feel so sad that these people were loved and adored by someone and now no one cares where they are. Doing these cemetery visits my family members thought I was nuts and started calling me a grave-chaser since I would rather be out looking/visiting tombstones than doing things with the family (in-laws, not my immediate family). Honestly I get along better with the tombstones. When we were introduced to this game I realized how great it would fit in with my cemetery fetish. After the kids and I cruised the geocaching website we knew we HAD to get into this and the kids were the ones who suggested my nickname from the in-laws. After all, if the nickname fits...wear it with pride!
  25. I'm going to be painting an ammo can soon so this thread caught my eye but "Old George"?!!! That can is SOOOO AWESOME!!! I can definitely see why the cemetery cleaners left it alone! Thanks, GeoBain, for the article link, too! I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this can and hiding it. My goal is to paint and hide this in such a manner that the local geocacher buddies start refering to me in rude terms! This thread has really kickstarted my imagination for camoflaging!
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