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A Height Warning for Short Cachers


Dianalynnxk
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I was out caching today, and found yet again my height as a severe caching disability. I'm 5'2" (barely) and this should-be-simple fencepost cap left me with scratched wrists. I couldn't reach over the fence, was scared of cutting my wrists deep of the chain-link, so I grabbed the fence and climbed up to gain the extra few inches I needed to get my hand on the cap.

 

There was no one around, thankfully, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to attempt an otherwise easy cache. A few weeks ago there was a cache attached to the top of a sign I couldn't reach either.

 

I don't mind these caches, but for the most part I cache alone (until I find some friends). I would have taken my boyfriend with me on this one had I known.

 

Why isn't there any warning for things like this? I think 5'2" is an average height, so it isn't excessive to expect to be able to reach a cache on my own. I Just wish that caches listed "hard for short people to reach - bring a tall friend"

 

sure, it might ruin the element of surprise for some, but it'd save the pain of barely, or not, reaching the log for others.

 

Any suggestions? Anyone else share my burden?

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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.

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Any suggestions?

I can appreciate your situation, but I don't think that a height warning should be the responsibility of the cache owner. There are many, many circumstances that would make the retrieval of any given cache difficult for any particular person, and cache owners can't possibly provide warnings to account for every situation.

 

Not every cache was meant to be found by every cacher.

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Any suggestions?

I can appreciate your situation, but I don't think that a height warning should be the responsibility of the cache owner. There are many, many circumstances that would make the retrieval of any given cache difficult for any particular person, and cache owners can't possibly provide warnings to account for every situation.

 

Not every cache was meant to be found by every cacher.

I whole-heartedly agree with cache_test_dummies on most points, but with the following exception: I believe that Terrain rating should be assigned to a cache accurately, and thus I believe that if the cache hide will pose a problem for folks who are a bit toward the short end of the bell-shaped curve (i.e., around 5' to 5' 4"), then the Terrain rating should be 2.5 or higher (even higher if special equipment/gear will be needed to reach the cache.) One of my pet peeves in the geo world is caches which bear too-low Terrain ratings. Even though I personally prefer to seek only caches bearing a Terrain rating of 4 or higher, this is NOT true for everyone, and it irritates me when I find caches which have been assigned too-low terrain ratings.

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I believe that Terrain rating should be assigned to a cache accurately, and thus I believe that if the cache hide will pose a problem for folks who are a bit toward the short end of the bell-shaped curve (i.e., around 5' to 5' 4"), then the Terrain rating should be 2.5 or higher (even higher if special equipment/gear will be needed to reach the cache.)

Good point - an accurate terrain rating is important, and very much appreciated by most of us. Unfortunately for some, the ClayJar rating system (which is what most people use when establishing D/T ratings) makes no provision for the height of the seeker.

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From the rash of recent posts of there should be a.............. I see that the mentality of the general public is starting to gain support in geocaching. What mentality am I talking about? The there should be a law so I don't have to think, that I don't get hurt, that I shouldn't act responsible, etc.

 

This sport is for the fun of seeing new things, learning new things, getting out and enjoying yourself, exploring and adventure, excersise, etc. If we start making more and more rules that commen sense should cover or start putting warnings and all on cache pages it will take alot of what made this so much fun away.

 

If you couldn't reach the cache, chalk it up as a DNF and come back another day when you are properly prepared.

 

At the rate I am seeing there should be.........popping up in the forums it will not be long before some one will just want the owner to log that the person found it with out said person ever leaving the house.

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I'm about 5'1" myself, so I see where you are coming from, and I've had my height-challenged frustrations, too. But you know... I never would have had the experience of falling off an ammo can I was using as a stepladder, or dragging friends along to use as human ladders, if I were taller...

 

It's just part of the challenge. I can't get it because I'm too short? I'll think a bit and find a way around it... or come back later with height-boosting accessories. No shame in coming back for a cache.

 

Still, if anyone has a Jetsons' style jet-pack, I'll take one of those. :huh:

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Well, you could try what I did (I'm 5'3")--marry a tall man. Of course, that means that he sends me in after all the hides that are in low spots (dark, dank low spots; dark, dank low tunnels; dark, dank, low hollows). :huh:

 

I also carry a grabber, but mine is inconspicuous. It's a thin flexible metal tool with a retractable claw that grabs almost anything, very well. I also carry a telescoping magnet. You can see something similar to what I carry here (my magnet is much smaller). Mine came from an automotive store. The grabber slides into my belt loops on long hikes and the magnet collapses to fit into my waist pack.

 

I usually have a few others tricks as well, such as small mirrors, a really good small flashlight, some fishing line.

 

Part of the fun is figuring out how to get to some caches. A lot of hides are "tougher" (and more fun to find) simply because people don't think to look up high, or to look down very low. Frankly, I'm not only too short for some caches, I'm also too old, too heavy, and too out-of-shape to get to some of them.

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The only cache I've placed where someone came close to complaining about the height

 

 

ea07b571-829e-484f-8139-f1c826482c06.jpg

 

 

An I'm 5 foot 5 (andahalfthankyouverymuch)inches. I have always thought of myself as sorta short so, just how tall do you have to be in order to not need a special attribute on a cache page? I ask because I would hate for someone to drive all the way up there and then have them be disappointed because they couldn't reach the cache.

 

 

Lordy, don't I look grand after several days of camping in the van.... :huh:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S., that's a spoiler pic for one of my caches.

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Instead of wondering why the cache owner doesn't go out of their way to warn you that you may not be able to get this cache without some physical strain, why don't you just walk away from it and say "hey this cache just aint for me". Go for a cache or dont go for one. YOU decide. Dont expect other people to decide which caches you should go to.

 

You know I went to a cache tonight and I couldn't find it. Why can't the cache owner inform me that I won't be able to find it on the first try. Why should I keep coming back to the same cache because the owner put out a good cache that I cant find? Gosh!

 

I have more to say, but I think my point has been made and I dont want to get banned.

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Thanks to a fall down stairs many years ago, bending is an issue for me. I have gone solo caching quite a few times, only to sigh in frustration. I could see the cache, but couldnt bend to reach it. I just go back later on with my husband. Given todays gas prices though, this might be a bit more of a nuisance. Still, I dont see that a note on the cache page is needed, as long as the terrain difficulty is above a 1 star.

Edited by Tsegi Mike and Desert Viking
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I mainly worry about a height warning spoiling the cache hunt's difficulty. For those caches which warn that short people might need to bring help, I immediately eliminate all hiding places lower than 6 feet.

 

I like the idea of bumping up the terrain rating a bit. I am math-challenged. When I see a difficulty 3.5 puzzle cache, I know that I'm likely to fail.

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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.

 

I have no problem carrying one, I just carry a trash bag and pick up trash, no one gives me a second look. Two birds/one stone, CITO and Geocaching.

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Yeah, even though ClayJar doesn't account for this specifically in the rating system, the owner could bump up the rating by at least half a star on their own, if they don't want to specify a height requirement in their description.

 

On one hand, I think it would be nice to mention on the cache page if it's a particularly tall cache, but on the other hand, once you figure it out, a lot of times you can just come back another time with a taller cacher. Unless you're traveling, and then you'll just have to skip it, unfortunately.

 

We were on a trip once, and came upon a cache like this. It was at a very busy street corner. The cache was a magnetic nano placed high up on the pole for the stoplight. Extremely exposed! We had a shorter friend with us who said that she couldn't reach it on her own, but it turned out that even I couldn't reach it, and I'm 5'7'' (average to just above average female height, depending on what you're looking at). Fortunately, we had my husband with us, and he's 6'5'' (he was just barely able to reach it after standing tippy-toe on the base of the pole, if my memory is correct). But afterwards I looked through the logs and didn't see any clue in all the logs that there could be an issue with this hide. Perhaps it was a recent cacher who shoved it up high, and not the original hider. Or perhaps people just didn't want to give it away. Dunno.

Edited by Ambrosia
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Being 5'2" myself, I totally understand the OP's comment. But I know it would be hard to make "warnings" for the many kinds of physical limitations that might affect finding a cache. I found a cache in the roof of a gazebo which I couldn't reach because 1) I was too short 2) I have vertigo and couldn't stand on the picnic table and look up. So I emailed the cache owner to confirm I had the right location. They were very nice and even offered to meet me there and retreive it for me. I thanked them but got a much taller, steadier friend to reach it for me. Definitely some caches are placed without thought to the vertically challenged. It does suck to log a DNF just because you're short. lol :huh:

 

In the grocery store, I borrow a toilet brush from the cleaning aisle to hook an item that is too far back on the top shelf. Sometimes, like a monkey using a blade of grass to fish for ants in an anthill, you have to be creative to reach what you want. hehe :rolleyes:

Edited by PlantAKiss
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Hahahahaha, I have to use tools to reach things in the store too! Thanks for the commiseration Plantakiss and Gravechaser.

 

Renegadenight, sioneva, neos2, and village-idiot: Thank you, thank you, thank you for the suggestions! That's what I wanted and was asking for, not flames like others misunderstood! I'll have to check into those grabber things; I think I remember seeing some of them at bed bath and beyond, but where did you get yours? Also, I think a little step stool is a good idea too... that'd probably be better than dragging my 5'11" boyfriend. I'll try to find a folding one I can put in my trusty backpack so I can really be prepared.

 

I refused to log the last one as a DNF, and Climbed the chain link fence, but really just want to avoid future instances like that. I think the terrain rating on it was one star, too. Yay! I have 2 new ways to be a better cacher. Thanks guys! I really appreciate it.

 

I also got an idea, based on the stepstool suggestion and gaining height myself to make me the same height as the (seemingly) majority of cachers: Platform heels!

 

Yo, bugsmasher69, I am trying to get suggestions to get outside more... not less :huh: I just want to be more prepared so I don't have to log a DNF next time ;)

 

and ADKcache... Oh My God!!! what's up with the flame? Maybe you should read a post before you reply and see I was asking for some constructive criticism and suggestions, not boneheaded remarks. At least my disability isn't being an impolite ninny. I'll take being short over bad-mannered any day. I assure you, after this topic, will be getting outside to cache even more! Especially seeing as you weren't worried in the first place I obviously have no worries myself! But thanks for the suggestion; I like birds too!!!

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Hey, while we're at it, can we get a height warning for the tall cachers? ;) I'm tired of hitting my head. I'm a half an inch taller from the big goose egg on my noggin right now! B)

 

Someone already said it, but my best advice is get a tall partner. That's what my wife did!

 

Short of that, don't be afraid to ask a tall passerby for help. We're used to it. I get asked to pull the detergent down off the top shelf by little old ladies all the time in stores. I'm a little bit more apprehensive about helping after I caught one woman checking out my backside :huh: as I helped her, but still am willing to help.

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and ADKcache... Oh My God!!! what's up with the flame? Maybe you should read a post before you reply and see I was asking for some constructive criticism and suggestions, not boneheaded remarks. At least my disability isn't being an impolite ninny. I'll take being short over bad-mannered any day.

 

I'm a joker. It's a joke. I'll explain the humor if need be.

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Hey, while we're at it, can we get a height warning for the tall cachers? B) I'm tired of hitting my head. I'm a half an inch taller from the big goose egg on my noggin right now! ;)

 

Someone already said it, but my best advice is get a tall partner. That's what my wife did!

 

 

HAHAHAHAHA. Hey, when I start making caches (when I feel one is appropriate, of course) I'll surely post any needed help. But of course that's just me. I guess I really wasn't serious in asking for a height thing, but just frustrated. It sounds like you understand B)

 

And while you wife is smart for that, I don't think my boyfriend is ready for that yet - especially if it means dragging him caching! LOL! He enjoyed the few he's found with me, but he looks at me as I log a find the way I look at him when he's watching a Cowboys game... nerd love :huh:

 

I am, however, slowly meeting local cachers, so hopefully I'll have some height-varying buddies soon.

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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! :huh: 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.

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Anyone else share my burden?

 

Yes, at least sometimes. As caches in my home town are regarded, I do not mind to visit a cache more than once and to bring along special tools if necessary.

 

There are situations, however, where I end up being quite frustrated when I have to give up at a cache due to not being tall enough. Typically these are hiking multi-caches where the route is not provided in advance and one has to give up somewhere in the middle if one is not able to reach the container which provides the next coordinates. Of course, the same situation arises if one cannot find the container or even more if it is not any longer at its place, but failing due to physical limitations produces more frustrations on my side.

 

Most of the time I cache on my own, but even if I am accompanied by someone, I only log caches as "found it" where I am able to retrieve and rehide every single part of the cache (including all intermediary stages in the case of multi-caches). If I fail at some point, I only log a note or a DNF. Sometimes it is, however, not easy to write my logs in a way that they do not end up as spoilers since writing that I had to give up because I could not reach the cache gives away some information at least to those who know me in person.

 

I do not think that a warning of the type you mentioned in your posting is possible. In some way it also depends on the goal the hider of the cache had in mind when hiding his/her cache. If the challenge of the cache is the search, then any hint would be a spoiler.

If the focus of the cache is providing a nice hike in a beautiful scenery, the hider might think about adding some comments to the cache description regarding requirements to be fulfilled, or, alternatively, try to find hideouts that exclude a smaller number of persons if possible (without changing the character and the goal of the cache).

 

Cezanne

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I was out caching today, and found yet again my height as a severe caching disability. I'm 5'2" (barely) and this should-be-simple fencepost cap left me with scratched wrists. I couldn't reach over the fence, was scared of cutting my wrists deep of the chain-link, so I grabbed the fence and climbed up to gain the extra few inches I needed to get my hand on the cap.

 

There was no one around, thankfully, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to attempt an otherwise easy cache. A few weeks ago there was a cache attached to the top of a sign I couldn't reach either.

 

I don't mind these caches, but for the most part I cache alone (until I find some friends). I would have taken my boyfriend with me on this one had I known.

 

Why isn't there any warning for things like this? I think 5'2" is an average height, so it isn't excessive to expect to be able to reach a cache on my own. I Just wish that caches listed "hard for short people to reach - bring a tall friend"

 

sure, it might ruin the element of surprise for some, but it'd save the pain of barely, or not, reaching the log for others.

 

Any suggestions? Anyone else share my burden?

I agree that this should be stated. I dont agree with you when you say 5 foot 2" is average height though :huh:

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I agree that this should be stated. I dont agree with you when you say 5 foot 2" is average height though :rolleyes:

 

Actually, Lotho, the average height for women in America is between 5'2" and 5'4". For a woman, I'm average! I suppose I should have added the "woman" part eh? LOL.

 

gravechaser, you nailed it on the head: it's my competitiveness that makes my head hurt to give up. I'll be a trash collector one of these days too. I suppose it'll go far with CITO :D

 

cezanne, I agree completely. I suppose for me it's more about the actual hunt, then searching for the sneaky cache. I'm all about using my GPSr, and it's an adventure in itself trying to find coordinates in this new city I find myself in. I'm guessing when I start to learn where stuff it it won't be as much of a challenge as finding the actual log itself. I would hate to spoil that aspect for other people though, you're right. I was merely airing frustrations. Hopefully a stepstool will curtail that.

 

And you guys, first you're telling me to get married and now you're telling me to have kids!?!?! Sheesh, you're all worse than my parents! :anitongue:

 

If anyone has some mobile monster cache retrievers I could borrow though I'd totally be down. ha.

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I'm surprised that 5'4 is average in America.

 

I'm 5'3 and that's considered petite in clothing sizes (most petite collections are 5'3 or under).

I too must confess to the 'tall husband' solution - he's a foot taller than me, though I'd like to make it clear I did *not* just marry him for his cache fetching activities! :anitongue:

 

TheWife

HoweFamily

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Crap, now I need a grabber, a stool, A husband, kids, AND a pickup truck. sheesh. :rolleyes:

 

I'd like the stick idea if I lived back up in WA still, but I think I'm gonna need a grabber here in LA.

 

I'm actually surprised by, while people don't think the height is average, so many have responded. :D 5'4" is average in England too. I haven't looked elsewhere. Where I live there is a high Asian population too, and being white my Asian friends make me feel tall. maybe that's the balance for the average.

 

anyway, I think next time I go caching I'm going to wear my platform shoes and bring something that will work as a step until I get a stool and grabber... and tall husband, kids, and pickup :anitongue:

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I was out caching today, and found yet again my height as a severe caching disability. I'm 5'2" (barely) and this should-be-simple fencepost cap left me with scratched wrists. I couldn't reach over the fence, was scared of cutting my wrists deep of the chain-link, so I grabbed the fence and climbed up to gain the extra few inches I needed to get my hand on the cap.

 

 

OffT: I was always under the impression that the height averages were something like 5'10" for males and 5'5" for females. Has something changed?

 

OnT: I think it would be difficult to rate anything that your 'average' cacher doesn't have to climb to reach. I do have to admit though, I try and place most of mine low and away. while on the flip side, I love climbing to reach a cache.

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yeah, i gotta admit, once I climbed up the fence it was a bit of a rush. And I don't expect a warning, and I guess I don't need one now that others have suggested better ways to get by.

 

As for the average, I always knew I was on the bottom end of average, but believed I was average nonetheless. I just double checked and Wikipedia claims it's 5' 3.8", and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the average american woman is 5' 3.7" tall. I'm sure there's more, but I don't know where to look online.

 

I wonder if THIS would be safe to stand on to reach things? or if i should get one like this or this instead.

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In my opinion one way to address the cache height issue is to cache with another person, otherwise you have to take what you can get.

 

I'm just a half inch shy of six foot and I recently came across a cache that was well out of my reach. My 11 year old daughter was with me and between the two of us she was able to retrieve the cache, no lifting required.

 

Two people can be more creative than one when it comes to cache retrieval.

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I'd always heard that the average height for women was 5'6''. :)

 

I dunno!?!?!?!? I'd always heard it was 5'4"! uh oh. I honestly wonder though. I was always told I was the norm, and around women I felt as such, but in general I know I'm a shorty. By all means, if you can find something that says elsewise lemme know. The thing is, I was always told 5'4" was the average hight for "American" women. I'm sure it's taller worldwide... maybe? guh, I dunno... I just know I need more platform shoes!

 

PS, I just moved from Bellingham to Los Angeles and everytime I see your sig, while a little homesick, it makes me smile :D

 

Harry Dolphin, that is awesome! I'm going to have to start reading logs more before my hunts.

 

BlueDeuce, true dat! but like I said before, I just moved to LA and don't have ANY friends here yet, and have only been able to drag my man out with me once. I'm trying *really hard* to meet up with local cachers, but it takes time, so I have to solo it for a bit longer until I make some new friends. But I'm ok with that too.

 

I griped the other day to my boyfriend "ugh, everyone says I should go with someone." He responded "I thought you liked doing that alone." My response: "Only because I don't have anyone to go with." "ouch." "ouch indeed."

 

I just need to make some tall unsuspecting friends as nerdy as me who will fall for the exhilaration of what the Blaine, WA police call "hide and go seek for nerds." I'll just tell them I'm doing an Indiana Jones role playing game. har har har. ok obviously it's my bedtime. :P

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I'd always heard that the average height for women was 5'6''. :P

That's what I recall. It's a good height. My daughters all want to stick at 5' 4".

 

Erg, with that many feet and inches, you people must look like Octopus or kind of ? :)

 

Because of the various ethnic groups, "average" means nothing.

 

If I have my feet in the fridge and my head in the oven, can I say that I am comfortable on "average" :D

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I'd always heard that the average height for women was 5'6''. :P

That's what I recall. It's a good height. My daughters all want to stick at 5' 4".

My dad is 6'5'', so I was hoping that I'd be taller. I had heard once that models (or was that super models?) had to be a minimum of 5'9'', although 6' was best. Not that I wanted to be a model, but it was just something that stuck in my head. When I realized that I wasn't going to reach that height, I decided I wanted to at least end up taller than my mom, who is 5'5 3/4''. I made it to 5'6'', so I was fairly content. Then when I was in my early 20's I measured myself and I was 5'7''. Somewhere after age 17 I grew a whole inch. I'm convinced it was extra growth hormones from being pregnant at 18.

 

My daughter is just over 5 foot, and since she's almost 14, I wonder how much more she'll grow. They have that test that's supposed to be fairly accurate to tell how big a person will be as an adult, and it says that my son should end up between 6'' and 6'2''. With a 6'5'' dad, a 6'5'' grandpa, a 6'1 uncle and a couple 6' (or more) cousins once removed (is that correct? it's my cousin), that sounds about right.

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I just figure out how to do it and move on with my life.

 

I've logged caches from the tailgate of my pickup. Just back into position and hop right up!!!

 

We found a cache nearby where finders mentioned standing on the bumper to retrieve this cache. Being forwarned, we looked for the right spot (on the side of the road), and there it was! Son hopped up on the bumper, stuck his hand in the tree limb, and it was an easy find!

 

Without the car, it would have been a definite struggle for just about anyone. The hint, however, suggested looking up.

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