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Port Townsend/port Angeles Cache Machine


travisl
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Don't forget that not everyone reads the forums. Was this posted on the Cache Page as well?...I don't remember.

Good point. That was the 10 I was adding. Figured 1/3 non-readers/responders was a good number to add.

 

But we now have the bigger room. And a limited menu. Sequim is not a big city so we are a very big group for them to handle. A number of restaurants turned us down or had requirements we weren't willing to be stuck with.

 

Here is a list of the choices we'll probably have:

 

Chicken & Artichoke Penne

Prime Rib

Pork Osso Buco

Scotch Seared Wild Salmon

Stuffed Halibut

 

I'll talk to them more later in the week. I've heard nothing but good things about them so this should be a fantastic dinner.

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Am I the only cheap one or does it not bother anyone else that the items on this menu start at $17.95?

Do you have any better suggestions?

 

None of the other suggestions on this thread would work out and this was the best we could find in the area that would satisfy the many demands of a cache machine dinner. Impossible to please everyone so you have to find what fits closest.

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But we now have the bigger room. And a limited menu. Sequim is not a big city so we are a very big group for them to handle. A number of restaurants turned us down or had requirements we weren't willing to be stuck with.

 

Here is a list of the choices we'll probably have:

 

Chicken & Artichoke Penne

Prime Rib

Pork Osso Buco

Scotch Seared Wild Salmon

Stuffed Halibut

 

I'll talk to them more later in the week. I've heard nothing but good things about them so this should be a fantastic dinner.

 

Is this "group limited menu" written in stone or will we be able to chose off menu? And what about a kids menu? What kind of cost are we talking about?

 

There are 6 Tribe members and if we have to stick with the limited menu, that sounds like it might be a little spendy for us. We might have to pass.

 

Edited: I write to slow and a couple other messages came through. So it looks like the "limited menu" starts at $17.95 :rolleyes: We might do the same as andrewrj!

Edited by SeabeckTribe
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Am I the only cheap one or does it not bother anyone else that the items on this menu start at $17.95?

Do you have any better suggestions?

 

None of the other suggestions on this thread would work out and this was the best we could find in the area that would satisfy the many demands of a cache machine dinner. Impossible to please everyone so you have to find what fits closest.

It wasn't meant as criticism for the work you and others have done. I can imagine how difficult it would be to organize all this and try to please everyone.

For me personally, after paying for 2 nights’ lodgings, ferry and gas this is going to be a relatively expensive weekend adding to it a couple of meals at around $20+ each really bumps it up. If it wouldn't be a problem we may grab something somewhere else and meet up for dessert if that is an option.

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It wasn't meant as criticism for the work you and others have done. I can imagine how difficult it would be to organize all this and try to please everyone.

For me personally, after paying for 2 nights’ lodgings, ferry and gas this is going to be a relatively expensive weekend adding to it a couple of meals at around $20+ each really bumps it up. If it wouldn't be a problem we may grab something somewhere else and meet up for dessert if that is an option.

No problems. I was actually hoping you had a better suggestion.

 

Putting together the post-machine dinner is a real bugger every time and you can never please everyone.

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It wasn't meant as criticism for the work you and others have done.  I can imagine how difficult it would be to organize all this and try to please everyone.

For me personally, after paying for 2 nights’ lodgings, ferry and gas this is going to be a relatively expensive weekend adding to it a couple of meals at around $20+ each really bumps it up.  If it wouldn't be a problem we may grab something somewhere else and meet up for dessert if that is an option.

No problems. I was actually hoping you had a better suggestion.

 

Putting together the post-machine dinner is a real bugger every time and you can never please everyone.

Sure you can. :) Just rent a big hall and have it catered. Let everyone order their meals in advance. No wait, then you'd have people like me 'wondering' why the meals cost $75 a piece. :laughing:

Edited by Recdiver
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For those of you taking the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry to the machine:

If you have to wait for a few minutes, I have a cache in a small park right alongside the ferry waiting area on the Edmonds side. Be sure to start your caching day with this quick grab if you haven't already found it!

 

Standing Wave GCPEBB

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...81-21da20c926af

 

If you have to wait for the ferry on the Kingston side on your way home, there is a micro hidden by Seth! & Family near the waiting area. The puzzle part is optional--the coordinates given will lead you straight to the cache:

Kingston Solo Microcache GC5DCA

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...d9-e3f85b0997e1

 

I'm looking forward to seeing people at the Saturday dinner, and throughout the day as our paths cross.

 

Carolyn

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I'll announce at dinner tomorrow that stop 59 (Railroad Bridge Park) and stop 14 (Spruce Goose) are off the route, and that a new cache, stop 47.5 (Francis Street Park) has been added.

Why is Spruce Goose off the route?

It's a no-impact cache, and it's *on* the route.

Not that I mind... :rolleyes:

The webcam is reported to be down. If you look at it tonight it will probibly still show a day scene. Unless the sun never goes down over there. :D

Edited by andrewrj
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I'll announce at dinner tomorrow that stop 59 (Railroad Bridge Park) and stop 14 (Spruce Goose) are off the route, and that a new cache, stop 47.5 (Francis Street Park) has been added.

Why is Spruce Goose off the route?

It's a no-impact cache, and it's *on* the route.

Not that I mind... :rolleyes:

The webcam is reported to be down. If you look at it tonight it will probibly still show a day scene. Unless the sun never goes down over there. :D

Ah, I see. Last time it happened, I called them, and they fixed it right away.

The phone number is on the page. If someone wants to volunteer, that's great.

 

I'm buried under work - not even sure I'll make it to the pizza tomorrow. :)

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I'll announce at dinner tomorrow that stop 59 (Railroad Bridge Park) and stop 14 (Spruce Goose) are off the route, and that a new cache, stop 47.5 (Francis Street Park) has been added.

Why is Spruce Goose off the route?

It's a no-impact cache, and it's *on* the route.

Not that I mind... :rolleyes:

The webcam is reported to be down. If you look at it tonight it will probibly still show a day scene. Unless the sun never goes down over there. :D

Ah, I see. Last time it happened, I called them, and they fixed it right away.

The phone number is on the page. If someone wants to volunteer, that's great.

 

I'm buried under work - not even sure I'll make it to the pizza tomorrow. :)

I sent them an e-mail. I am not going to call since I am at work.

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One big map correction -- US 101 was re-routed through Sequim a few years ago. My mapping software hasn't caught up.

 

The US 101 on the PDF route map in Sequim is now just plain old Washington Street. This affects the route instructions getting to stop 37, and getting from 59 through the end of the route

 

The "new" US 101 follows the route shown in red, below.

 

Check your auto-routing software. The faulty PDF was generated with MapPoint 2004; but mappoint.msn.com shows the updated 101.

 

756931e6-e2f9-4d49-9744-4ce4e91fb5b3.jpg

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QUESTION ABOUT CACHING BEFORE SATURDAY MORNING!

 

It used to be that it was a rule you could not hunt for any caches on the route a couple days prior to the Cache Machine.

 

I know when I went to the Vancouver CM I arrived early the day before. I had a few good hours to cache that afternoon but had to seek out caches NOT on the route.

 

Does this still hold true?

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It used to be that it was a rule you could not hunt for any caches on the route a couple days prior to the Cache Machine.

 

Does this still hold true?

No, you can do that if you want. The "rule" (which was really more of a suggestion) was, in retrospect, not a great idea. I'd still discourage it, 'cause it's fun to see who else is crazy enough to be out at dark o'clock in the morning, but feel free.

 

Heading out the door. Hope the Tacoma bridge isn't too bad...

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We don't remember that rule. If it's a rule then we have violated it many times <_< First by having cached before in the places beforehand and second by getting there the night before and doing the first caches on the route to avoid waking up at o'dark thirty. And I guess by picking up a few the next day on our way out of town the next day. Even doing that, we have never been able to complete a whole CM route. And have never felt the first lick of shame about it either :huh:

 

We should be safe tom. WD! We've both cached plenty there and we will be able to stick to a nice pace and we're looking forward to another memorable CM with ya'll.

 

Lucy

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It used to be that it was a rule you could not hunt for any caches on the route a couple days prior to the Cache Machine.

 

Does this still hold true?

No, you can do that if you want. The "rule" (which was really more of a suggestion) was, in retrospect, not a great idea. I'd still discourage it, 'cause it's fun to see who else is crazy enough to be out at dark o'clock in the morning, but feel free.

 

Heading out the door. Hope the Tacoma bridge isn't too bad...

Thanks Travis!

 

We actually aren't coming until morning. <_< I recently had a discussion with another geocacher about this so I thought I would ask. I didn't want to misdirect anyone if the "Suggestion" had not changed.

 

Looking forward to caching with The Ricardos and Johnny Greenforever tomorrow!

 

We go at a "Banker's Hours" pace these days! :huh:

Edited by Wienerdog
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travisl, Thankkyou very much for putting this event together. I'm glad I was able to participate in one that you organized, even if it is the last. Well Done! A bar has been set for others to carry on your legacy.

 

Thanks too, Stump, for the location of the restaurant - a good if expensive choice.

This was the last travisl CM? I hadn't heard that - what's the scoop? What about the other that are scheduled? Who will be carrying on?

 

Travisl, you've done a great job, and I really enjoyed the 3 I got to participate in - you have big shoes to fill!

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This was the last travisl CM? I hadn't heard that - what's the scoop?

 

:D 'Fraid so. I just wasn't that motivated to get Bremerton II going, and getting this PTPA event organized felt a lot more like work than fun, so I'm sadly not planning to organize any more cache machines. I'm also just getting increasingly bored with geocaching - finding a bison capsule in a tree in a field just isn't doing it for me any more.

 

Other folks have organized some successful cache machines, too. I know of events that took place at Anderson Island, Bellingham, and Beaverton, and have heard of others in passing. If someone else wants to continue on the tradition, please, feel free to do so; I'd be happy to lend advice. I've typically planned the cache machines on the weekend after the change of season, skipping holidays, which spaces them out to about once a quarter.

 

The next one, Bellingham, was scheduled for January 7. Longview was scheduled for for next spring, and San Francisco for next summer. Grays Harbor, Everett, Boise, Nanaimo, Whidbey Island, Grants Pass, and Bellevue/Redmond have all been mentioned as other possible great CM locations.

 

Someone this weekend said that with very few exceptions, geocachers are among the nicest, most helpful people you meet. I completely concur. Thinking over the twelve cache machines I've organized, and the hundreds of folks who have participated, and all the opportunities for things to have become disastrous, nearly everyone has been been exceedingly kind. We've had ice and snow, car crashes, lost tires, grouchy cache neighbors, six mile long u-turns, sprained limbs, border searches, meal mixups, missing micros ... so many opportunities for complaints, but almost all of you have been flexible and taken it in stride.

 

There's been lots of folks who've helped me -- I never did this all by myself. Stump and Shunra pitched in a lot on this trip. Other CMs wouldn't have been as great without the help of other cachers, such as MrGigabyte, Robinego, Elkmilk, twowackywhits, LucyAndRickie, Team Misguided, CachinCin, Team Giblert, Sharp88, YeOleImposter, TurtleTrax, MojaveGirl, MarinerBC, Fledermaus, Moun10Bike, Kfam, DubyaDee, Oly Sidewinder, GEMs, Blue Heron, Lady Di, Sharp88, Grandpa Rocks, and many others. Even the criticisms I've received have been polite and helpful, leading to the institution of rules like "if you found it, you wait and re-hide it" and "one sticker per micro".

 

I'm hoping someone else does step forward and take over the planning for future CM events. I've really enjoyed it, and with the help the caching community gives, it's easier than you think.

Edited by travisl
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Wow, I'm really bummed to hear that I missed the last of the great TravisL Cache Machines. I suppose that that's fitting given that the only other one I missed was the first one in Bremerton.

 

TravisL, thank you so much for all of the work you did on these. Some of my most precious event memories have come from the CMs. Nothing brings a bunch of diverse cachers together in quite the same way as one of your CMs. They will be missed.

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Wow, I'm really bummed

I'm bummed too, but grateful for the tremendous fun I had at the three CMs that I was able to attend. Even more so for the friendships I have made at CMs. Most of my best caching buddies are people I met at CMs.

 

Thank you TravisL for the gifts that cannot be measured.

Ditto. Thanks Travis.

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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.

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