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Spokane Cache Machine


eagsc7
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I could have swore that "someone" told us that the "mystery caches" would be texted to us on route AFTER they were approved by geocaching.com. I guess "someone" jumped the gun or decided to cut corners and text them anyway. It's too bad. We wasted time on three caches that still do not exist when we could have done some others. :mad:

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Just curious - What was the free giveaway at the REI Pitstop? Didn't notice anything being given away when we got there....

According to Lisa, originally it was supposed to be water bottles of some kind, but it turned out to be just a coupon for 15% off any one item you wished to purchase.

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Just curious - What was the free giveaway at the REI Pitstop? Didn't notice anything being given away when we got there....

 

It is my understanding that REI promised free waterbottles at the Pitstop. However, the day of the event, they changed their mind and for whatever reason gave us the 15% off coupon things.

 

I suppose everything that is planned (such as the waterbottles) doesn't necessarily go according to plan...and everything that is unplanned may not necessarily go to begin with. But we tried and the Pitstop was a success thanks to all the wonderful cachers that stopped by for the SCM2. You guys rock!

 

Hope you all enjoyed Spokane, "ya'll come back now, ya here."

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Hey Everyone!!

 

Thanks to EVERYONE for attending the Cache Machine. Here are the links to the caches that were published on/after the event that you may have done.

 

Bridges to nowhere #1(GC12FKA)

 

Bridges to Nowhere #2(GC12FK9)

 

Bridges to Nowhere #3(GC12FKB)

 

REI PITSTOP!!{Pitstop and Take a view(GC12DAZ)}

 

Also, Don't forget to log all those caches and Travel bug movements. As far as I remember, the bugs/coins in the REI Pitstop is correct.

 

If you have any recomendations, PLEASE E-mail me with the reccomendation for next time.

 

 

The Steaks

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Hey Everyone!!

 

Thanks to EVERYONE for attending the Cache Machine. Here are the links to the caches that were published on/after the event that you may have done.

 

Bridges to nowhere #1(GC12FKA)

 

Bridges to Nowhere #2(GC12FK9)

 

Bridges to Nowhere #3(GC12FKB)

 

REI PITSTOP!!{Pitstop and Take a view(GC12DAZ)}

 

Also, Don't forget to log all those caches and Travel bug movements. As far as I remember, the bugs/coins in the REI Pitstop is correct.

 

If you have any recomendations, PLEASE E-mail me with the reccomendation for next time.

 

 

The Steaks

The REI Pit Stop bonus cache was intentionally not published until after the Cache Machine, and was placed post-event by The Steaks a few miles west of the event Pit Stop, as planned by the committee. We would have liked to have had an actual hidden cache to remain at the event Pit Stop location, but as that is a commercial location we decided to move the physical/hidden cache location after the event. We hope that all Cache Machiners enjoyed the Pit Stop; a brief break, time to grab a few refreshments, met up with other cachers and oh yeah, find a bonus geocache!

 

Regarding the Bridges to Nowhere series, please address your questions to The Steaks as they were hidden solely by them. I thought the texting (SMS) of coords during the event was pretty clever!

 

I would like to suggest that if folks have recommendations about the Spokane Cache Machine 2 that they be posted here for all to see. The committee would love to answer any questions and is very willing to lend ideas and such to future Cache Machine planners. TravisL's posts after his last cache machine were VERY helpful to us here in planning this one, and we'd like to return the favor :cool:

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Hey Everyone!!

 

Thanks to EVERYONE for attending the Cache Machine. Here are the links to the caches that were published on/after the event that you may have done.

 

Bridges to nowhere #1(GC12FKA)

 

Bridges to Nowhere #2(GC12FK9)

 

Bridges to Nowhere #3(GC12FKB)

 

REI PITSTOP!!{Pitstop and Take a view(GC12DAZ)}

 

Also, Don't forget to log all those caches and Travel bug movements. As far as I remember, the bugs/coins in the REI Pitstop is correct.

 

If you have any recomendations, PLEASE E-mail me with the reccomendation for next time.

 

 

The Steaks

 

I'd suggest actually attending a cache machine or two so to know how to better plan one in the future would be key. There seemed to be too much glitter thrown in as compared to Cache Machines of old.

 

I also didn't care for what we are to understand to be a faux-text message stating that three caches were approve while on the route when indeed the were not. It was our understanding that these three mystery caches (which the SCM2 planning committee did not know about whatsoever) were going to be approved on the route and once they were approved by an Official Approver they would be text to us via the cache owner. This did not occur, although it was a good, novel idea. What happened instead put a whole damper on our expierence believing we were either one of many victims of a prank or a down right out LIE when the cache owner text us without the caches ever being approved.

 

Also, the night cache (which the SCM2 planning committee did not know about) seems to be on private property, or at least crosses private property where people reside. We are worried that the buildings, trees, and landscaping are owned by someone where permission may not have been granted to use.

 

Beyond that, I think that since a lot of the prep-work (renting Kress, etc) came from non-existent funds out of the IE Chapter, the Coins, silent auction, and etc were a great way to recoup some of our loss and stay somewhat in the black (I think we are in the black...we'll see at the next meeting). What a lot of people do not realize is that this we the IE Chapter could not get any help funds from other sources for an event this huge. I think the route (albiet some so-so caches were on the list) was a good well planned route. The dinner was a good except for the fact that WE too forgot to ask for Moun10Bike's autograph :cool: .

 

Trevor

Trevor and Kate

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For future Cache Machine planners I'd like to call attention to the following section of the guidelines:

 

If you are placing a large number of caches to be published on the same date (for example, on the day of an event cache), please submit the cache pages for all of the caches at least ten days in advance of the release date. Leave a “note to reviewer” indicating that the cache is to be released on the date specified. This allows your reviewer adequate time to review the submissions or to arrange for help from another reviewer. (Note: Caches placed in connection with an event must be placed with the intention of leaving them in place after the event, temporary caches are not accepted.)

 

The emphasis was added by me. The extra time is necessary to give the reviewer time to look at the cache page and the owner time to make any necessary adjustments required prior to the actual event date. When this happens as suggested a timed release of event caches on a specific day/time can be arranged.

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The REI Pit Stop bonus cache was intentionally not published until after the Cache Machine, and was placed post-event by The Steaks a few miles west of the event Pit Stop, as planned by the committee. We would have liked to have had an actual hidden cache to remain at the event Pit Stop location, but as that is a commercial location we decided to move the physical/hidden cache location after the event. We hope that all Cache Machiners enjoyed the Pit Stop; a brief break, time to grab a few refreshments, met up with other cachers and oh yeah, find a bonus geocache!

 

The pit stop was great and no one is complaining about the good intentions of giving Cache Machiners an extra cache to log. However, it is generally considered poor form in the geocaching world to log a find on a cache when you haven't visited the actual cache location (i.e. the posted coordinates).

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Hey Everyone!!

 

Thanks to EVERYONE for attending the Cache Machine. Here are the links to the caches that were published on/after the event that you may have done.

 

Bridges to nowhere #1(GC12FKA)

 

Bridges to Nowhere #2(GC12FK9)

 

Bridges to Nowhere #3(GC12FKB)

 

REI PITSTOP!!{Pitstop and Take a view(GC12DAZ)}

 

Also, Don't forget to log all those caches and Travel bug movements. As far as I remember, the bugs/coins in the REI Pitstop is correct.

 

If you have any recomendations, PLEASE E-mail me with the reccomendation for next time.

 

 

The Steaks

 

I'd suggest actually attending a cache machine or two so to know how to better plan one in the future would be key. There seemed to be too much glitter thrown in as compared to Cache Machines of old.

 

I also didn't care for what we are to understand to be a faux-text message stating that three caches were approve while on the route when indeed the were not. It was our understanding that these three mystery caches (which the SCM2 planning committee did not know about whatsoever) were going to be approved on the route and once they were approved by an Official Approver they would be text to us via the cache owner. This did not occur, although it was a good, novel idea. What happened instead put a whole damper on our expierence believing we were either one of many victims of a prank or a down right out LIE when the cache owner text us without the caches ever being approved.

 

Also, the night cache (which the SCM2 planning committee did not know about) seems to be on private property, or at least crosses private property where people reside. We are worried that the buildings, trees, and landscaping are owned by someone where permission may not have been granted to use.

 

Beyond that, I think that since a lot of the prep-work (renting Kress, etc) came from non-existent funds out of the IE Chapter, the Coins, silent auction, and etc were a great way to recoup some of our loss and stay somewhat in the black (I think we are in the black...we'll see at the next meeting). What a lot of people do not realize is that this we the IE Chapter could not get any help funds from other sources for an event this huge. I think the route (albiet some so-so caches were on the list) was a good well planned route.

 

Trevor

Trevor and Kate

 

I feel compelled to respond to this part of the discussion.

 

While I felt "nickle and dimed" at the cache machine, I did purchase several items simply because I wanted them. The rental of the pre-event site (Kress Gallery) I believe was not neccessary and I was underwhelmed by the amount of people there to warrant the cost not to mention the extreme effort the committee put into this endeavor. Hind sight. Possibly. But in past cache machines, a room in a pizza parlor with handouts of route changes always sufficed. Crowded? Yes. But free. In past cache machines, I know from personal experience that money is spent for incidentals. The person putting out the money should make the decision if they want to try to recoup the costs. The problem being, how big do you go and how much do you want to spend before people are turned off by the commercialism? A sticky wicket.

 

That said, the IE chapter did an enormous amount of work and should be commended for their efforts.

 

Loved the idea of a raffle for the DONATED GPS.

 

The dinner was a good except for the fact that WE too forgot to ask for Moun10Bike's autograph :cool:.

 

Poor Jon. Would you all believe he pulls his pants on the same way we all do? (at least I think he does..) And YES dinner was AWESOME. Great locale!

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Please take this as a comment to help in future cache machine planning. The frustration I felt in preparing for this machine was that the suggested routes became confusing. Geting the GPSr and the PDA set up so that there is minimal button punching on the way to the next cache is critical. It seemed that the route was constantly changing as caches were added or removed, even at the pre-CM meeting Friday night.

 

How the route was presented was challenging as well. I used the (edit) .pdf of the MapSource file to try to detirmine which caches were on the route and the suggested order to follow for the route. I use the program regularly and it is not the best for planning a large route as this one was. The text in that file was inconsistent and didn't highlight caches very well. I went through the text several times and kept finding caches I overlooked previously.

 

I was fortunate to ride with TravisL who optimized a route for us that started on the south loop. He uses MS MapPoint and obtained a route in less than an hour. That was one of the reasons that we had found 81 caches by the time we got to dinner (a new personal best.) We traveled at a easy pace that didn't seem rushed an it included several potty breaks and a leisurly lunch. I'm still not certain how we did that but Travis's optimized route played a big part in that success. After the Port Townsend / Port Angeles Cache Machine several years back, Travis wrote a very good primar for how he organized a machine. It should be required reading. Also make note of his offer to help.

 

Providing a clear description of the route that is easy to read with a consistent message from whomever organizes the route is key to making a successful machine.

 

That said, thankyou again for the hospitality and welcoming atmosphere that was present thoughout the weekend.

Edited by Kiersolvd
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Well, since you asked ...

 

Most of the folks involved in running the Spokane Cache Machine II know me and know how seriously to take my opinions. (Not a lot, for the newcomers here...) So, random stream-of-consciousness comments -

 

We did feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of merchandising going on. We understood why, it just seemed a lot. Maybe have that sort of thing less 'front-and-center' at future machines if the locals want to recoup their expenses.

 

We did not sign the logbook at REI because we did not find a cache there. There's nothing wrong with setting up a temporary cache just for the day, and I don't have to get a smilie before I have fun finding a container in the bushes. Or find a way to hide a geocache at a business that doesn't run afoul of the commercial guidelines. The gods know we've found enough geocaches near businesses in the past; they just didn't make a big deal about the location on the cache page. Talk with your local reviewer; I'm sure something can be worked out.

 

I think Team Misguided and Trevor and Kate have already commented on the other new caches intended to be released during the event. Either make them temporary 'fun' things, or make them permanent really fun caches which will last. While the relocation of our local family units to Virginia has reduced how often we visit Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, we do keep an eye on the area and plan where to go and what to find on our next trip. It's always sad to see a new cache pop up and go away due to poor placement before we can get a chance to find it. That sort of thing happens at the best of times, but not rushing into hiding a new cache just for the sake of hiding a cache helps. (Note to self - take own advice in the future...)

 

I was disappointed to see a couple of the caches that were discovered to be missing during the cache machine will not be replaced and were archived. I certainly understand when a location turns out to no longer be a good one for a container, but for the ones I'm thinking of that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case. We're always disappointed to not find a cache, but the disappointment is greater when we'll never have a chance to make good on our No Find.

 

All that said, we had a fine time at the cache machine and would not have missed it. We found a little over 40 caches on Saturday, though we visited some 60 or so that the Pirates and Raynebeau could find some of the ones we've already been to. Going 'off-route' we were able to get to some of the caches requiring a little hiking which are somewhat outside our usual caching areas. We also appreciated those caches that were replaced during the day so that we could make good on our earlier failures.

 

As ever the Friday night pre-event gathering and the Saturday dinner were great fun. There never seems to be enough time to visit with everyone, gossip with friends and meet folks we haven't had a chance to get to know before, but we did our best. The chance to socialize is what makes any event worthwhile, cache machines especially (anyone can set up their own optimized route after all), so we always appreciate the opportunity to meet and greet as much as possible. And the hospitality of the Inland Empire chapter is legendary; SCMII certainly demonstrated that once again.

 

Thanks to all of the locals who put in so much time and effort to make the gathering fun for us visitors. If we're able to set up a cache machine in Missoula some time down the road I hope we can learn from your example.

 

Ron/yumitori

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Well, since you asked ...

 

We did feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of merchandising going on. We understood why, it just seemed a lot.

 

Just a little explanation about the things available during the SCM2 -

 

We wanted to have a little something for everyone.... as an option, not a requirement of the event.

Hopes this provides a greater understanding of the whole picture!

 

Event coins - we wanted to make a special remembrance for all those geocoin collectors, like those at other events across the country. We kept the cost down, took a risk and to date, we have not yet broken even.

 

Event buttons - we made these available for those who could not afford or were not interested in the coin. They were offered at a reasonable price to offset their cost.

 

Silent Auction - this has been popular at previous IE events - people bid on things they want and can get at a bargain (vs. unlike getting an unwanted item as a door prize). The items donated came out of the pockets of IE members with a few from Groundspeak. The intent of the auction was to provide a fun activity while trying to offset some of our Event costs.

 

SCM2 CD - this was added at the last minute as a fun option for anyone wanting music to drive/cache by. It was not intended to be a money maker.

 

Pit Stop Water and Snacks - with lack of funds, we decided on "donations" for this, for those who needed a quick convenient break We would have loved to give food away! (We had solicited for food donations at numerous places and were turned down.) With the pit stop "donations", we came close to breaking even for the water/snacks we purchased.

 

Big Raffle item - REI provided the GPSr unit and their patio for the Pit Stop. They also provided REI discount coupons (which some people preffered over the water bottle we thought we were getting, and which most people already have.) In return, we are donating our time and providing sweat equity by teaching Geocaching 101 classes at REI this month.

 

So, a lot of work, for a variety of items, offered to please a lot of different people... perhaps next time, folks will want souvenir T-shirts! :blink:

 

Thanks for all your comments....

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The only thing that I can think about that could have been changed was the caches to be included on the list. Make a list of the caches on the route and leave them as is. Have a cut-off of like a week before the machine where there will be NO changes made. It kinda got frustrating and confusing having to figure out what lists were acurate even as close as the morning of the pre-event desert thingy as we were leaving from the wet side, not to mention having the dozen or so additions and subtractions to and from the route the night before. Sometimes consistant change isnt the best thing, leaving as is, is.

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The only thing that I can think about that could have been changed was the caches to be included on the list. Make a list of the caches on the route and leave them as is. Have a cut-off of like a week before the machine where there will be NO changes made. It kinda got frustrating and confusing having to figure out what lists were acurate even as close as the morning of the pre-event desert thingy as we were leaving from the wet side, not to mention having the dozen or so additions and subtractions to and from the route the night before. Sometimes consistant change isnt the best thing, leaving as is, is.

I have to agree with -Hawk- on this one. Making last-minute changes might have worked well for the folks that lived...oh say, withing 20-50 miles. But for those of us that live on the wet side, all the changes were a royal pain. There were folks in our group that had them, and others that didn't.

 

Please--in the future, finalize the list a week out. No additions, and removals only if the cache is disabled/archived. One would have to assume that if a cache owner doesn't want a cache to be included, he/she would say something early on.

 

If a new cache gets listed, let the folks worry about it on their own.

 

Other than that, the whole thing was a hoot. Lotsa bells and whistles, yes, but great fun.

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I would like to suggest that if folks have recommendations about the Spokane Cache Machine 2 that they be posted here for all to see. The committee would love to answer any questions and is very willing to lend ideas and such to future Cache Machine planners. TravisL's posts after his last cache machine were VERY helpful to us here in planning this one, and we'd like to return the favor :(

First I want to say a huge thank you to the planners for all their efforts. You all did a fantastic job, and everyone had a good time.

 

I still think it was a mistake to exclude caches that were on the previous machine. The vast majority of SCM2 attendees either were unable to attend the first one, or hadn't begun caching yet. Bypassing perfectly appropriate caches is completely vexing and inefficient when you're trying to get a high find count for the day. It is also completely unnecessary when it is so easy for people to filter out caches they've already found.

 

SCM2 is definitely the most deluxe cache machine I've ever attended. I wonder if it might have been better to have done without the big expenses and save the planners all the fund raising and worry about ending up in the black.

 

Getting REI involved was great. The donation of the GPSr to raffle off and use of their patio for the pit stop is well worth having the local community put on a geocaching demo for them. (That'd be a great thing to do even if they weren't donating the GPSr, but don't tell REI that) :blink:

 

The dinner event location worked out perfectly. A few people boycotted it in favor of more gourmet fare, but Old Country Buffet had the key amenities that please the majority of people at the end of a long CM day - Enough seating for everyone, inexpensive food, and plenty of it for the starving masses.

 

I agree with previous posters that there were too many last minute changes to the route. It should have been finalized earlier. Some of the cachers were already traveling to the event before it was final.

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I still think it was a mistake to exclude caches that were on the previous machine.

 

There were plenty of caches from the first SCM on the official route. I personally had 9 re-visits on Machine day that I couldn't log but my teammates could. Filtering them out was not an option due to my teammates who had never cached in Spokane. I appreciated any attempt to keep these repeats down to a reasonable number of quality caches without excluding them entirely.

 

I agree with previous posters that there were too many last minute changes to the route.[\quote]

 

Yep, this was my biggest peeve with the event planning. I tried to get ahead during the week leading up to the Machine only to find that the planning I had done became worthless each night. I was still downloading and building route maps before leaving for the Machine Friday morning.

 

The dinner event location worked out perfectly

 

I couldn't agree more. Lots of room, quiet enough to communicate (especially in the back room) and excellent food.

 

All in all I had a great time at the Machine and appreciate all the hard work by the IE Chapter. While the fund raising was something I had never seen before to this degree I wasn't too offended by it. It was just different from the other 12 machines I attended. Having an event coin minted was a nice addition for this CM. Ditto the button and CD, nice souvenirs!

Edited by k7-wave
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Everyone.

 

Things that I realize now:

 

:lol: The forums Always seem to bring out the bitter side of things. This happens in Almost every thread.

 

:( The Cache machine was a BIG Success.

 

:lol: The reasoning for the MANY changes to the route all the way up to the Pre-event Dessert, was simple. I and another committe member was dealing with the route changes. I did NOT have the software (or the resources to buy the software) edition that was used so Greatly for the proper routeing. Next time, I will have the software and there will be no issue. Everything was finalized on the Bookmark page a full week before the event. The only issue was getting things strait on the .gdb. From there, the .doc/.pdf files were created BY Hand. There is no easy way to export data to make it look as nice as it turned out.

 

:( The REI Pitstop cache is not actually placed at REI. If you signed the Log-book, then you can log credit for the cache.

 

:laughing: The Bridges to Nowhere series of caches(the ones IM'd to people) have been published. Yes, the coordinates did move, BUT the log-book did not change. I placed them in the center of the bridge for the most avaliability to the cache site. The caches did not move by more than 200 feet, so QUIT COMPLAINING!

 

:rolleyes: Thank-you EVERYONE for coming to the Cache Machine.

 

:(:) And with that... *snaps fingers* Its a Wrap! :)B)

Edited by eagsc7
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Closing this thread at the OP's request.

 

In my opinion, there was no bitterness displayed here. People were asked how to improve things on future Cache Machines and they posted constructive criticisms and suggestions. As for moving caches, it is customary to only log a cache when you find it at the indicated coordinates, and the reviewers/moderators pointed this out in order to help educate those who might be unfamiliar with this bit of geocaching etiquette.

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