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You turned a 3 into a 5 because of stupidity?


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Sorry. Got kicked off when posting. Here's my original post:

 

Ever turned a 3 terrain into a 5? I have on numerous occasions. 2 Come to mind.

 

1. I had just started caching during the spring melt. Decided to bushwack to a cache. 400 feet or so direct. Climbed into the snow and after about 75 feet I ended up waist high in muck, water and snow. Got to the cache and found a trail that led me back out another 500 feet down the road.

 

2. Yesterday I decided to tackle a 3 terrain up a hill. I was on the road and stopped when I was closest to the cache. Took off up the hill. It started off at about 30 degrees incline. Quite a steep one. Then became a 45 degree climb and at one point I had to climb over a small cliffside(only 2 feet high). By the last 20 or so feet up it was about 60 degrees and I had to grab onto trees to pull myself up. Not an easy feat considering I'm a large man 325 pounds. Finished climbing the 120 feet or so vertical and found an atv at the trail going around the hill and coming out about 200 feet from my car over a hill. Worth the view though.

 

What are your stories?

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The closest I've come has been using a boat to cross a lake, when I could have driven around the lake to a parking lot that was just a short walk from the cache location. But boating with my wife was the main activity, and the geocache was just a fun diversion for me during a break.

 

I found a cache that was perhaps 50' from the trail, with no poison oak at the cache site, or along the 50' between the trail and the cache. Other logs described bushwacking half a mile or a mile through poison oak. I figure they left the winding trail early, and then followed the arrow on their GPSr. They would have been within 200' of the trail at all times, but they made it a lot harder on themselves.

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I've done things like that repeatedly. I think I've done it often enough that I've made a new personal diff. category of 5.5. I'm starting to learn now. After blindly following the arrow through brambles, briars, bogs, busses, bruises and beauty parlors. I stop for a second and ask myself questions like, "How deep is that creek?" and "Why would anyone put a cache in that crevasse?", before moving forward. Minor lacerations are one thing I can handle, but who wants to play full contact caching with a rockslide?

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I have done that intentionaly a couple of times, taking shortcuts over cliffs etc. So far, never unintentionaly.

 

I tend to try to stay on any path I can find untill my arrow shows a 90 deg turn required. So far, that simple techniqu has not lead me astray.

 

Edit: Oh I lied. I was doing a puzzle multi cache, and didn't use google maps for the second leg. Ended up having to cross a ice bridge over a creek.

Edited by Andronicus
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Once, due to inaccurate reading under heavy tree cover, I took the wrong path and after 20' ended up very tangled with thorny vines. Took me 15 minutes to extricate myself without donating too much blood :D It was my first terrain 3 and I didn't quite know what to expect. The actual cache was much, much easier.

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I have a few caches where if you follow the arrow on your GPS you are getting into some serious 4 star terrain. When I see some logs I'm absolutely astounded by the approach some geoachers take, particularly by those who have done them by night. Some of those approaches I wouldn't try during the day without a darn good reason. In every case there is a much easier way.

 

I have one cache called Rocky Horror. The direct approach is a very steep, rocky hillside but if you stay on the trail and walk past the cache by a few hundred yards and double back it's fairly easy terrain. I even mention on the page "Rocky Horror or not, its for you to decide" It seems most people decide to tackle it head on.

 

I admit to placing caches that will give the arrow followers quite a challenge and those who can read the terrain or a topo map an easier route. It is amazing how many people just follow the arrow. I have to give them credit.

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This one time, I ended up taking a wrong route through a neighborhood that apparently has residents who like to call the police on folks who come around. I got to enjoy the company of 3 police officers while in handcuffs for an hour while explaining Geocaching and them saying "there's no such thing, that just sounds stupid".

 

The Walls are Alive. (see the June 6, 2008 log).

 

Good times.

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I created a new hard way to get there many times... I can't tell you how many times I scaled some steep hill only to find a walking trail at the top, until I figured out that most cachers are as lazy as I am! Now when I am presented with tough terrain I stop and think "There must be an easier way!" and sure nuff, there generally is!

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This one time, I ended up taking a wrong route through a neighborhood that apparently has residents who like to call the police on folks who come around. I got to enjoy the company of 3 police officers while in handcuffs for an hour while explaining Geocaching and them saying "there's no such thing, that just sounds stupid".

 

The Walls are Alive. (see the June 6, 2008 log).

 

Good times.

Ouch. When dealing with LEO. Unless you are suspected of committing a crime, they have no right to detain you. I wonder what crime they may or may not have suspected you of committing. In our state unless you are suspected of committing a crime (or during a traffic stop) you do not have to show ID. Of course most folks don't know this.

 

Am I suspected of committing a crime?

Am I free to go?

 

Another good phrase to remember is: You do not have permission to search my person. You do not have permission to search my vehicle.

 

My wife and I have discussed this. She says we have nothing to hide. I say, well then why take the officers from their job looking for bad guys and why waste our time.

 

Sometimes cache writeups and parking waypoints can help. Not everyone posts parking waypoints and certainly not everyone reads the cache pages.

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I do this deliberately. The town I live in, Sierra Vista, Arizona, lies at the foot of the Huachuca (pronounced waa-chew-kuh) Mountains. When caches pop up on the other side of the Huachucas, rather than drive to them, I bike or hike around or over the mountains. A lot more inspiring than the long, dusty drive it would otherwise be, and pretty good cardio to boot. I've also biked to caches near Tombstone and in the Dragoon Mountains for as much as 96 miles of on/offroad mountainbiking in a day. A few examples:

 

Dragoon bike ride

Trans-Huachuca hike

Round the Huachucas to Parker Lake

"Rough Ride"

 

Kind of an open question as to whether it's still "stupidity." :D But I like it.

 

(edited to fix bad link)

Edited by Mule Ears
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I once turned a 5 stage multi into 7 stages! At one point I hit the button for "nearest" which led me to a stage I had already found. Then I somehow deleted the coordinates for the actual next stage, and had to go back to the last one I had really found to retrieve the coords again. Sound confusing? The miracle is that I ever actually figured out what I had done!

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I had one the other day that I made way more difficult than it had to be. I was walking along a deer trail not far from a creek and the GPSr started pointing 50ft which would place it about 8ft directly across the creek. I looked up the trail to see if it looked like it would wind around back to it but it looked like it went the opposite direction.

 

Now, I thought there was a good chance the trail did make it's way back around closer to the cache but I was short on time and didn't have the patience to possibley take the trail and have an extra 30 minutes of walking one way. So, I decided to try and jump the creek (about 8ft), luckily I made it for the most part. I got one foot in the creek and a couple handfuls of mud but made it without major disaster.

 

I found the cache and sure enought there was a path within 100ft of it and it lead back to where I jumped the creek and it took about a 5min walk.

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This one time, I ended up taking a wrong route through a neighborhood that apparently has residents who like to call the police on folks who come around. I got to enjoy the company of 3 police officers while in handcuffs for an hour while explaining Geocaching and them saying "there's no such thing, that just sounds stupid".

 

The Walls are Alive. (see the June 6, 2008 log).

 

Good times.

Ouch. When dealing with LEO. Unless you are suspected of committing a crime, they have no right to detain you. I wonder what crime they may or may not have suspected you of committing. In our state unless you are suspected of committing a crime (or during a traffic stop) you do not have to show ID. Of course most folks don't know this.

 

Am I suspected of committing a crime?

Am I free to go?

 

Another good phrase to remember is: You do not have permission to search my person. You do not have permission to search my vehicle.

 

My wife and I have discussed this. She says we have nothing to hide. I say, well then why take the officers from their job looking for bad guys and why waste our time.

 

Sometimes cache writeups and parking waypoints can help. Not everyone posts parking waypoints and certainly not everyone reads the cache pages.

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I used to be a strong believer that the shortest route was a straight line. I created a lot of 5 difficulty caches and lost my share of blood along the way. I now follow the trail. The find may not be nearly as interesting, but I come back with all my body parts in one piece.

 

:P

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I started out making a lot of 2's into 5's, but then I started realizing all the geo-trails that we were creating through the woods, and up hills that would contribute to erosion. i've seen geo-trails go straight up hillsides that are more like climbs. (the trails always start where my GPS starts going up in feet again) So now I walk around to save the forest.

 

We just keep walking trails until we're under 25 feet to get to the cache. Most caches are right on the trails, I've learned the hard way. So now i just hope the trail winds around in that direction. If not, well I'll get in a good walk anyway. :P

 

Definately made some 2's into 5's by going caching in the snow. Dig here, dig there. No cache. OK, dig over here. Still no cache. I dont' recommend it.

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I once came to a fork in the trail. The left branch went left about 10 degrees and stayed level. The right branch went right about 10 degrees and headed upslope. I could not tell from the GPS which to take. I took the left one and when the GPS said the cache was 25 feet from me, it was mostly up a vertical cliff. The other path went right to the cache and gave a wonderful downward view of the left path.

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I used to do some pretty silly things with terrain - like most following that little arrow on the GPS seems an easy thing to do. Things improved some when I started printing off Google maps of my caching targets. They really improved when I went paperless with a Delorme PN-40. Now I download the aerial imagery (at a minimum) of every location I hit. Trails are always pretty well defined, and I can choose the best routes pretty easily.

 

I like to hike / climb, so sometimes I'll do terrain for the heck of it. Yesterday the trail route back to my car was about a mile, and the uphill over the rocks route was considerably less. Why not?

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I have done this too many times to count. Climb up a mountain when I could have taken a very nice trail to the top. Crossed over a very swollen creek when if we would have looked down the way about 200 feet we would have seen the nice pedestrian bridge. But that is what makes it all the more fun!!

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Caching partner and I were in the mountains,boulder hopping along a small stream in a narrow ravine. At one point our GPSs said "turn right and go up the hill." The hint said something about the cache being a a rock crevase and we saw several from the streambed.

 

There was a long rock shaped like a knife blade - sharp side up - going up the hill. I went to the left, partner to the right. He soon announced a find and I started to make my way across the steep, slippery hill. I had to cross that rock, so I put my hands on top of it and threw my right leg over the rock, hoping to then follow through with the left leg. Well, my left leg slipped and I lost momentum. I was now straddling the rock, on tiptoes with most of my weight on my hands.

 

The top of the rock ended about an inch from where my inseam started. Soon my feet started to slowly slip on the pine needles. I was moving backwards down the hill, straddling that rock, when I discovered that the rock was now 1/2 inch from my inseam. About the time the distance narrowed to zero, adrenaline kicked in and I made a risky, but successful, effort to heave myself off the rock.

 

All-in-all—a great cache.

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More times than I want to admit. The one that comes to mind that made me stop the "Dam the torpedoes,Full speed ahead." I needed to be on the other side of a 100 yd wide field full of head high growth. My choices were, bushwhack straight across or walk around the edge of the field on a mowed path. So ,,, after the bushwhack I found the cache,set down to log on the PDA. Thats when I notice the empty cellphone holder on my belt .I finish the logging and stsrt retracing my steps back through the field knowing I was wasting my time but see the above quote. an hour later I give up and head home with no phone ,two deer ticks and more chiggers than I have ever had in my life. Now I will ALWAYS look for an easier way. :laughing:

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Yep I've done that it was a terrain 3 I was glad to make it out in one piece.

 

[No I wasn't ftf either and after what I went through to get there 'what the ...' comes to mind when I saw that other name already on the log!!

Walked along the 'beach' and decided that it was easiser to walk on the sand than the rocks, that was the first mistake. Kept going until we saw a fence decided to go inland, wrong again. At least I made one good decision and that was to leave hubby and boys here to eat lunch and I would go the last 230m through the trees following the fence line, can't be that hard could it. How wrong can someone be, VERY!!

 

Only wearing slip on footwear. Lots of pine needles on the ground which was not a problem until I got to about 90m to go. Then it started going straight up. Looking at what was in front of me it didn't look to bad. So of I went, there was a ftf to claim, would take too long to find another way in.

 

If you too ever get to this point TURN BACK! Started of upright, progressed to using hands, at one point even used my knees. Each time I looked up the top seemed just as far away. Never did have the guts to look back. All I remember thinking was going up is easier than going down. Can't remember a time when I have been so scared in my life.

 

Finaly got to the top to find a fence with barbed wire at the top blocking my way, found a way past it, still not looking back down that hill.

 

Went to ring husband to let him know I had survived to find there is no cell phone coverage, I guess he found that out too as next thing I know I can hear him calling out to me. No idea what he said.

 

After that cache was easy find. As said above 'What some one else has been here first!!'

 

So for everyone else the sign that you want is at ] south fortytwo degrees fiftyone minutes nineteen seconds, east onehundred and seventythree degrees eighteen minutes eight hundred and seventyseven seconds [if you walk along the inland side of the line of rocks you should see it easy, just like I did on the way back to the car.

 

 

Then on another multi cache I somehow added a waypoint without realising it in the middle of a braded river. The cache was all about differect geocaching hazards and the placer has a habit of getting people wet looking for their caches so I crossed over to the island. That was ok, searched around counldn't find anything. Realised what had happened and had to cross back to the car. Couldn't remember where I had first crossed over so picked a point and started off very slowly and carefully to stop the water sloshing over the top of my gumboots, it just kept getting higher and higher. Only had about 9 feet to go couldn't be bothered going back to find a better crossing point so went for it . The water only ended up being an inch over my boots - flip it was cold.

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Maps! We don't need no stinking maps. When I first started caching it was full speed ahead, follow that arrow. I don't want to tell you how many times I ended up at a cache ten or fifteen feet off a trail or field, after bushwhacking a couple hundred feet or yards. Through these experiences, I try to remind myself, "Geochaers are lazy". To me this means there usually is an easier way. This was a hard lesson to learn and I still forget it, like yesterday. A few hundred yards of bushwhacking, around a cliff, down a steep hill to find the cache. The return was a lot easier. Up the hill and fifty yards to a dirt road. Another lesson learned. Have to start looking at the maps a bit closer. Yes, I have increased the terrain difficulty of a cache.

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Yup! We did that last week except it was more of a 1 1/2 terrain into a 4! We turned left instead of right and turned a 15 minute walk on a nice trail into a 1 hour 15 minute walk crossing streams, over logs etc. (the area was flooded, other times of the year the terrain on the long way would have only been a 2 or 2 1/2.) Of course by the time we realized we took a wrong turn we thought that pushing on was the best route. Looking back I'm not so sure.... a trail map of the park would have been helpful!

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