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Everything posted by GoldenDaze

  1. Earlier this week I received this post on one of my caches. The poster reported that they had signed up for an account just so they could let me know that my cache had been destroyed. While I really appreciated being contacted about it, it seemed like it was quite a lot of work to go through. So I perused the home page as if I were an outsider, and found that it's not that easy to figure out how to contact someone here. Sure, at the bottom there's a tiny little "contact us" link, but that goes to a page with lots of other stuff before you finally get to an email address. So, perhaps there is, or could be, an easier way for non-members, including for example parkland managers, to contact geocaching.com about issues with caches?
  2. A few months ago I was flying from San Diego to Washington DC, with a stopover in Dallas. My San Diego flight was delayed, to the point that we missed the connection, the last one of the day. The guy at the ticket counter was re-booking us for the next day, noticed my GC.com hat, and said "Hey, nice hat. What's your geocaching name? Okay, I've upgraded the 4 of you to first class for tomorrow."
  3. After I placed Three Billy Goats Gruff, finders started reporting a letterbox. Turns out the letterbox is all of maybe 10 feet away from the first stage, and I'd never seen it when I scoped out the hide. I contacted the box owner and offered to move the cache, but she graciously agreed that a double-header could be more fun for everybody. At her request, I added a reminder on the cache description not to take the stamp.
  4. I just had a nice walk to "koz's kreek kache" and "cache in the hole", a pretty area and pretty much deserted. I recall that "good dog day" was similar. In fact, now that I look at the map, you can walk between them. Any of the NVRPA parks along the Occoquan are great during the week or in the dead of winter, but can have too much traffic otherwise. Forget Burke Lake Park altogether. In general, NoVA lacks the "wide open spaces" that you're looking for, though people manage to get by. Some solid recall training would be a big help to working off-leash without bothering other people. Not that I'd know, of course, 'cause that would illegal.
  5. I'd like to offer my congratulations to jemcjb for hitting #200 with me yesterday at "The Girl Cache" in Reston. I'm honored to have been there, but since neither of us realized it at the time, I missed my opportunity to razz the heck out of him!
  6. By the way, folks seem to be exceedingly gracious even when your new cache has a problem. From the FTF's log of my most recent puzzle multicache: "Came up empty. Discussed "local knowledge" with Network Cacher and decided there were some places that seemed to fit the storyline well. Walked over to the first one where NC quickly found.... a Letterbox. Looked a bit more and he found Stage 1 nearby." They went on to finish the cache without ever solving the puzzle in the intended way, and finished the log with "Thank you, GoldenDaze, for a thoroughly enjoyable search." I really appreciate that kind of class. On another fairly complex puzzle multi that still had a few bugs left in it when I listed it, one of the finders noted "Don't worry about the minor mistakes along the way; it was still fun and challenging, and I have no doubt you'll correct any errors in a fair and honest way for any future cachers. Great job" That kind of support from finders makes me want to keep hiding! -Bob
  7. Leprechaun pretty much nailed it... what's the point of this multi? If the locations relate somehow, and the finders will enjoy the sequence of going from one stage to the next for reasons beyond just the cache, then you've got a good multi. If you don't have a good thread that ties the stages together, then forget it. I put out this multi that covers about 20 miles as the crow files, and generally requires you solve a puzzle between each stage. Several people complained that it was over, but nobody complained about it taking too much driving! -Bob
  8. Kudos to you, h&s, Zoe is a cutie. Medic, your huskie is adorable, but I suspect that "all season" depends a lot on how far south you live. I know that when it gets up in the 80s, there better be water around or Halley stays home. In the 90s, which describes much of our summer here in northern VA, we don't even bother. -Bob
  9. Oh yeah, I'm skewed all right. The thing about Goldens is that they sneak in and change your life, force you to get out hiking every weekend, insist that you enjoy the day and do something fun. Soon you find yourself with more than one of them, then suddenly Mr. Liberal Suburban Boy is explaining to his wife why the Golden needs her daddy to have a shotgun, and you find yourself sitting on the edge of a swamp in December freezing your butt off, thinking "that's odd, I never had any desire to do stuff like this before I had her..." But I must confess, I have a 10-month-old black Lab that my family is raising to be a seeing eye dog. This is my first non-Golden in 20 years of dog ownership, and I swear, she's just about enough to make me go to the "dark side". On a serious note, Goldens and Labs, as great as they are, are active intelligent dogs that require extensive exercise, training, mental stimulation, and attention. You are making a serious long-term commitment in time and money by bringing one into your household. I've been involved in Golden Retriever Rescue for 5 years; this group rescues about 250 dogs a year, 28 of which I've fostered myself, two of which I've adopted. Please make any decision to add any dog to your life with the utmost care and consideration. -Bob
  10. Instead of doing the tempting thing and naming a specific breed (golden retrievers), I'll be generic and talk about dogs in general (golden retrievers). Your choice of a caching dog (golden retrievers) depends on the type of caching you do. For those hikes that involve more than a park-n-grab, a mid-sized reasonably athletic breed (golden retrievers) is desirable. You want a breed with good stamina (golden retrievers) and reasonable energy (golden retrievers), but also one that's calm enough to listen to you (golden retrievers), and has a pleasant personality (golden retrievers) when you're not on the trail. It's also desirable to have a dog that's tolerant of water (golden retrievers), poor trail conditions (golden retrievers), and bad weather (golden retrievers). In any event, your dog (golden retrievers) should be a good leash walker at the very least, and if you plan to walk off-leash, he or she must be trained (golden retrievers) to very reliably honor voice commands. Your dog should also be friendly with strangers (golden retrievers) and children (golden retrievers), though it doesn't hurt to have one big enough to be a little intimidating if that's what's called for (golden retrievers). You also need to consider your climate. If you like to hike in Maine in the winter, a dog that's tolerant of cold weather (golden retrievers) is a must. On the other hand, if you enjoy summers in Arizona, your choices might be different (NOT golden retrievers!). As you can see, there are any number of breeds (golden retrievers) that would be an excellent choice (golden retrievers), and I'd never dream of suggesting any one breed in particular (labrador retrievers are outstanding too). -Bob
  11. Here's my favorite, from The Eagles Tour: Many of the other logs for this cache were equally rewarding. One finder put off the final stage to make it #200. Yeah, this has been a lot of fun.
  12. Assuming that the distance is small enough that degrees of longitude are not of significantly different lengths over the latitude range of interest, you can use this: lat2 = lat1 + cos(hdg) * dist * (360/40000) lon2 = lon1 + sin(hdg) * dist * (360/40000) / cos(lat1) Be sure to convert your lat/lon values into the units needed by your trig functions. For example, in Excel, you'll need to convert degrees to radians. Basically, this uses the "flat earth" model, and assumes that lines of longitude are parallel. It isn't perfect, but it's a whole lot simpler than great circle calculations and it'll get you pretty close. If pretty close isn't good enough, or if your distance is too large, you'll need to go with the great circle calculations. Of course, you can trial-and-error this by just doing a whole lot of iterations with one of those online calculators you mention, until you get a distance and bearing answer that look like what you want.
  13. By markandlynn's categories, my first cache White Trail Rest Stop is a "type 2". Indeed, I listed it as a multi, even though the first two stages are only clues. My second and much more ambitious cache, The Eagle's Tour, is a true mystery cache of "type 1". Both have gotten a lot of positive comments.
  14. Well, there's this one in northern Virginia: The Bunny Man Cometh. Actually, I thought that the story behind the story was even stranger and more interesting.
  15. I'll second the Fountainhead caches, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert make a nice hike. Likewise Weird Stone House and several nearby caches, especially if you come in from the main Fountainhead parking area. At Pohick Bay, Pohick Bay Park Cache Hunt is a nice hike, and Meadowood Scramble looks interesting.
  16. Here's another easy way, at least with a Garmin. Create a proximity alarm zone centered on each waypoint, with the radius equal to the distance between the points. The two proximity circles will touch at two points; one of those will be your cache.
  17. Congratulations! And, may I add, nice work.
  18. I don't usually go on very extensive hikes in back-country areas, my typical outing is probably 4-8 miles not far from suburbia, so my list is pretty close to many of the simpler ones listed. 1) water, lots of water 2) hat, always (preferably leather Australian hat, but orange cap during deer season) 3) GPS & spare batteries 4) cell phone (in remote areas, map and compass instead) 5) snacks (meals if a long enough trip) 6) first aid kit (includes matches) 7) whistle 8) Golden Retriever with backpack - what's the point of going anywhere without a friend to share the trip (and snacks) with? For longer or more remote trips, add 9) mini maglite (takes same batteries as GPS!) 10) emergency blanket 11) extra clothing layers 12) rope (I like 1/4" nylon braid-on-braid)
  19. Here are a few photos that I got while going after Pohick Bay Park Cache Hunt. It's a juvenile Bald Eagle, in its first year plumage. When I was a kid, you'd be lucky so see a Bald Eagle if you went to Alaska. Now they soar by the half-dozen or more, just 10 miles south of the nation's capital! -Bob
  20. How 'bout N 11.727 E 165.445? "bravo, that's a big one"
  21. My caching buddy Halley has found three caches on her own; all had been found and handled within the few preceding days. Most of the time she's much more interested in hiking, and resents that I've stopped to pointlessly shuffle around in one place. What's interesting is that she has an uncanny knack for picking out the trail, even in very difficult locations. I assume that she smells the way that people have previously gone, but I don't really know. As denali7 also said, she's great at backtracking to the car. That's just a natural talent she's always had, even as a puppy. By the way, when we hike or geocache, she wears a nice bright red backpack. She carries some extra water, it makes her easier to see, but most importantly, I've never yet met someone on the trail who was afraid of a dog wearing a backpack!
  22. The Naked Eye in Fairfax, VA. Interesting puzzle.
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