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Trail of the Gods


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I thought this discussion deserved a seperate topic, rather than changing the tone of the other topics that discuss records, events or other aspects of the TotG. I got a notification that the west end was archived, and was wondering if anyone could share more details on the situation, like the reasons and the scope of the problem?? Here's the note I got...

 

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Location: California, United StatesNGA archived Yuki-Onna (Archived) (Traditional Cache) at 4/13/2010 Log Date: 4/13/2010

 

Regretfully, we had to agree to archive these caches due to the "increased traffic and undue attention to the area".

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What does "increased traffic and undue attention to the area" mean in the desert?

My gut tells me that it means undue attention and increased traffic on the "Access Road" to the towers, since there are probably land use issues that didn't include all the extra visitors. I don't know all the laws, but I can only imagins that the power line roads have similar "Right of Way" restrictions as railroads. I've never mentioned it in the forums, but from minute one, I've wondered if permission was granted by the power company. Also consider that powerlines of this importance could be considered terrorism targets, just like the dam, and maybe should have been off limits??

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I've been reading the threads on the 'world records' and others in regards to this series. While I don't really have much of an opinion on whether or not it should have been listed, I do find it kinda hard to believe that the placers of it couldn't foresee that the reason they're citing for archiving it was going to happen.

Well, actually, more than wondering about permission, I've been absolutely certain from day one that there was no permission from the power company and I suspected that this would have to happen eventually. They were fun to watch while they lasted though.

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I've been reading the threads on the 'world records' and others in regards to this series. While I don't really have much of an opinion on whether or not it should have been listed, I do find it kinda hard to believe that the placers of it couldn't foresee that the reason they're citing for archiving it was going to happen.

Well, actually, more than wondering about permission, I've been absolutely certain from day one that there was no permission from the power company and I suspected that this would have to happen eventually. They were fun to watch while they lasted though.

 

Oh yeah, there is that too, most definitely. I did have fun reading the threads about them and certainly would have wanted to do them if I ever got out there. Doubt it would have been for 'the record' but it's always nice to increase ones personal best from time to time.

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"wondered if permission was granted by the power company".

 

No kidding. I have been wondering though, how on earth could something like that have happened?

 

What are the chances that someone decied to call the power company and check (or report)?

I would guess that either a local saw all the traffic and reported suspicious activity(drugs, illegal imigration, etc.) or maybe some workers from the power company noticed, or maybe someone got hurt and tried to get compensated for their bills?

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"wondered if permission was granted by the power company".

 

No kidding. I have been wondering though, how on earth could something like that have happened?

 

What are the chances that someone decied to call the power company and check (or report)?

I can't say for certain, but I believe this is what happened. The land around the power company easement is BLM controlled land and I heard one of the rangers found out about the new uses of the land.

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Well I don't know about the trail of the Gods, but the trail of Fears (if you are starting at Primm) has "Private road" signs posted. Which is kind of weird because one of the roads/trails goes on up to Beer Bottle pass. I haven't explored out there enough to know if you can get to that the back way. There were other caches out there before the trail, so we'll see if everything on that side of the freeway get archived too. I am headed out that way right now with a pair of earplugs, I couldn't leave Nevada without giving it another go.

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I now suspect TotG was either a joke by aliens that had escaped from Area 51,

or they were attempting to lay down a Nazca Line visible to outer space

to signal their hidden location north of Vegas. See GCF5CB Groom Lake / Area 51.

MiB are now taking action.

Edited by bthomas
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Great, 6 of us have already booked flights, hotel rooms, rental cars etc for this weekend and the Trail of the Gods figured in our plans. Hopefully we can still do the Other PT's in the area.

 

Who knows, the containers might still be out there. Archived doesn't always mean locked.

 

Great, I was also planning a trip out there in the next few weeks. What a drag! So, who knows what is really happening?

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Wait... People pay hundreds of dollars to sweat all day in the desert? Why not go caching somewhere closer... Seems like a waste of money to me...

Well, it's actually pretty cheap from Bellingham (just over border from Vancouver). Lots of shared costs, its not very expensive for a little adventure. A once a year crazy caching trip, why not! :)

 

Besides, I'm sure we will appreciate the shady green cool forests of home after 2 days in the desert!

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Huh.

i'm more inclined towards replying with: WTF?

 

I'm waiting on the details.

 

I heard that many of these were off road and all these people hitting the trail to set records (personal or otherwise) were driving right up to the caches and their vehicles were making a royal mess of the areas around the caches.

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Huh.

i'm more inclined towards replying with: WTF?

 

I'm waiting on the details.

 

I heard that many of these were off road and all these people hitting the trail to set records (personal or otherwise) were driving right up to the caches and their vehicles were making a royal mess of the areas around the caches.

 

Yeah, I heard the same thing. Probably from a different source.

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Huh.

i'm more inclined towards replying with: WTF?

 

I'm waiting on the details.

 

I heard that many of these were off road and all these people hitting the trail to set records (personal or otherwise) were driving right up to the caches and their vehicles were making a royal mess of the areas around the caches.

 

Interesting. I guess the next time one of those threads about how cachers are "tearing up the place" comes up and somebody says something about there not being any proof to support this, they can point to this thread. And the next time somebody says something about how there's no proof that "numbers cachers" don't make a general mess of cache sites they can do the same.

 

It's really unfortunate how this turned out, but I'm not that surprised. Guess there was a reason that power trails weren't allowed for several years until recently.

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Seems clear to me that they didn't want a lot folks out there on a semi-dangerous road especially over the next few months.

 

One of my favorite desert photos near a cache south of Mesquite NV has a sign alongside the road (can't read it in the photo) that says - "NO travel beyond this point - delicate environment"

 

view_pic.jpg

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I heard that many of these were off road and all these people hitting the trail to set records (personal or otherwise) were driving right up to the caches and their vehicles were making a royal mess of the areas around the caches.

That's funny, considering 99% of the caches had dirt roads leading to within 10 feet of the cache. How do you make a mess of a dirt road?

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Huh.

i'm more inclined towards replying with: WTF?

 

I'm waiting on the details.

 

I heard that many of these were off road and all these people hitting the trail to set records (personal or otherwise) were driving right up to the caches and their vehicles were making a royal mess of the areas around the caches.

Having been there I saw no evidence of " Royal Mess ". nor did I see evidence of off trail mayhem.

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Some speculation that someone in a Southern Calif. off road 4 X 4 group " dropped a dime on them " to someone with the BLM and that apparently may have started the ball rolling.

 

I am sure glad that I went ( lightweight 300 count that I am ).

I'd buy that...with a lot of inexperienced people trying their hand at heavy duty 4 wheeling, they(we) could have damaged the reputation of the clubs that are managing their activities better, and gotten some areas closed to them.

 

Even considering that, I think it was probably a permission issue regarding the towers.

Edited by WRITE SHOP ROBERT
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...I do find it kinda hard to believe that the placers of it couldn't foresee that the reason they're citing for archiving it was going to happen.

Yeah, how lame can an excuse be?

Are they gonna pretend that they didn't know that placing a power trail cache series would cause "increased traffic"?

I'd love to hear the real story, but I'm unwilling to hold my breath.

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I heard that many of these were off road and all these people hitting the trail to set records (personal or otherwise) were driving right up to the caches and their vehicles were making a royal mess of the areas around the caches.

That's funny, considering 99% of the caches had dirt roads leading to within 10 feet of the cache. How do you make a mess of a dirt road?

 

You leave tire tracks on them. Dirt roads in the desert are suppose to be pristine and unmarked.

 

 

 

:)

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Just spoke to the crew of the Leaky Spoon via Twitter and they are heading back after getting the Presidents, the Fears and a good hunk of the Gods. Experienced desert four wheel team and they were averaging 180-240 seconds between caches at one point without rushing; there has to be more to the story. :)

 

Dang it this would have been a fun one. Thanks NGA for all your hard work; sorry it's gone!

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I heard that many of these were off road and all these people hitting the trail to set records (personal or otherwise) were driving right up to the caches and their vehicles were making a royal mess of the areas around the caches.

That's funny, considering 99% of the caches had dirt roads leading to within 10 feet of the cache. How do you make a mess of a dirt road?

 

I wasn't there so I don't know. Heard it through a third party who had been to some of the caches. The caches had unusually heavy activity with most having 60+ finds in about 30 days so it's not unreasonable that some damage could occur. Or perhaps it was in response to potential future damage because if the trail kept attracting people at that rate it could conceivably be destructive.

 

Even dirt roads are susceptible to damage if they are not designed to handle that kind of traffic.

 

Apparently the NGA was concerned enough about it to archive them.

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How do you make a mess of a dirt road?

 

I wasn't there so I don't know. Heard it through a third party who had been to some of the caches. The caches had unusually heavy activity with most having 60+ finds in about 30 days so it's not unreasonable that some damage could occur. Or perhaps it was in response to potential future damage because if the trail kept attracting people at that rate it could conceivably be destructive.

 

Even dirt roads are susceptible to damage if they are not designed to handle that kind of traffic.

 

Apparently the NGA was concerned enough about it to archive them.

 

I'm speculating, but...

 

I live on a dirt road. If the county doesn't come by a grade it on a regular basis it develops ruts. Ruts collect water, water causes bigger ruts, bigger ruts cause Jeeps to go bouncy-bouncy, bouncing Jeeps cause even bigger ruts, which collect more water, etc, etc.

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oh my goodness.

Let's not make stuff up just to cause conflict in the forums :D

 

I drove ON the dirt roads.....not in the desert.

The roads were scraped and flattened for a very large utility truck to drive on.

It certainly wasn't a damage issue. :)

2 vehicles per day seems to be quite low. Not sure how often these roads are used for tower maint., but I am sure that during Hunting season, they are frequented 20+ times per day. 2 vehicles per day, give me a break!

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I wonder that those who haven't experienced desert caching can appreciate just how much land there is out there, and how well maintained these utility roads can be; I'm hanging on tenterhooks waiting for Paul Harvey to cut in with "...the REST of the story"... 'cuz I don't think it was an "overuse" issue. Lots of offroaders use these tracks, and they are not all geocachers, as has been pointed out.

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