Jump to content

Mt. Vernon Cache Machine


travisl
Followers 7

Recommended Posts

Note: circumstances may change after this initial posting. Look for my posts (with the icon13.gif icon) in this thread for all the important details and changes.

 

(Link to dinner event cache.)

 

Do you like finding caches in lamp posts? Is your idea of a good winter weekend involve staying warm, dry, and maybe hanging out in the WalMart parking lot looking for micros? Then this is the wrong cache machine for you.

 

Do you like walking, wading, and spectacular views? I'll see you at the Mt. Vernon cache machine. The towns in Skagit County's I-5 corridor have dozens of caches. We're starting there, sure, but then we're going for a stroll instead. If you want to clear out the town, you've got Sunday.

 

So fill up the tank, toss down some breakfast at way-too-early o'clock, and start on the route. Sunrise on Saturday, December 29, is at 7:30 a.m., so let's meet at the parking area for Up a Tree. From there, move at your own pace and get as many as you can.

 

If you can, I'd recommend you cache with someone you can share driving responsibilities with, or coordinate two vehicles with extra seats. A few spots on the the route have somewhat long trails, so perhaps your driver can drop you off at the south end of the trail, drive to the north end, cache the trail backwards, and give you the keys at the halfway point, so you can pick him up back at the south end.

 

Wear boots that can handle marshes. You're gonna get damp.

 

You'll encounter bird hunters at multiple locations. You might want to avoid wearing your grandmother's chapeau with the stuffed pheasant on it.

 

Dinner's at 5:00 p.m. at Sahara Pizza, 1501 Parker Way, Mt. Vernon. See its event page for details.

 

Note that several caches on the route map may be marked with a "do not enter" icon (icon_disabled.gif). Those cache owners have justifiably asked for their cache to not be on the route, and for the cache to not be sought after this weekend. The cache is, in the owner's opinion, in a sensitive area, whether it's ecologially sensitive, socially sensitive, or physically fragile. Just don't get it. It's not like there's a shortage of caches in the area.

 

Parking for several caches on the route requires a Discover Pass. Plan accordingly.

 

Rules:

1) Follow all traffic laws, and drive safely. This is not a race; there are no winners. The only loser will be someone who gets hurt.

 

2) Respect private property, even if the cache owner didn't. Post your DNFs proudly.

 

3) One logbook entry for "MtVCM" is fine for most small and micros. Don't go filling up the logbook just because you want to mark your territory. 100 people's names and dates will fill up most one-sheets. Be kind and bring extra paper to add to caches with full logbooks.

 

4) As with all cache machines,

if you find the cache, you'll be the one who has to re-hide it. Hide it as well as you found it. Handing it off to someone else and pointing down saying "it goes there" isn't good enough. Don't be a jerk.

The extra 45 seconds isn't going to ruin your day.

 

If you’ve already found a couple of these caches, that’s fine - give us a chance to find the cache, and then we may turn to you for a hint. Suggestions and ''Count me ins'' are welcome on the event page.

 

----

 

The Mt. Vernon Cache Machine FAQ:

 

When is it? When is the start time?

Saturday, December 29, 2012. Start time is 7:30 a.m. at Up a Tree

 

Will it be one large group, will we be split into teams, or what?

We'll start as one large group, but after a dozen caches or so, the large groups will likely fragment, and on a long day like this, you'll probably be on your own by the time most people in town are waking up.

 

Is anything going on before, during, or after?

  • Friday, December 28, at 6:30 p.m., will be a pre-event dinner. Location will be announced later in this thread, once I figure it out.
  • Saturday, December 29, at 5:00 p.m., dinner will be at Sahara Pizza, 1501 Park Way, Mt. Vernon, N 48° 26.058 W 122° 19.326. See the event page.
  • Sunday, December 30, would be a good day to get all those lamppost micros we skipped!

 

A cache on your map shows the wrong place to park.

Let me know, and I'll incorporate it into the route.

 

If dinner's at 5:00 p.m., why does the route run way past then? Is this a two-day event?

The extra time is a buffer, in case you're so good that you'd run out of caches before you run out of daylight. I don't expect anyone would be able to hit all of them between sunrise and sunset. Of course, if you wanted to hit them after dinner, or on Sunday, I'm sure you'll be able to find folks to join you.

 

It sounds fun, but I've already found some of them.

Then come laugh at us, or guess when we'll be at the caches you haven't hit yet.

 

You don't have X cache on the route. Why aren't we getting that one?

I try to avoid most multicaches, most puzzle caches, caches that appear to be overly time consuming, and caches that the owner has asked us to avoid.

 

You have X cache on the route, but it's disabled/archived/a two mile hike.

Let me know, and I'll remove it from the route (if archived) or will check with the owner (if disabled).

 

X cache is in an environmentally sensitive area.

By all means, let me know. I don't want to send 100 people there to stomp all over it.

 

I disagree with the whole idea of cache machines. I don't want you finding my cache.

Sorry to hear that. It's too bad you've got a neat place to show us that we won't be able to see. Let me know, and I'll remove it from the route.

 

What's this gonna cost me?

Nothing for the caching. Or, at least, nothing more than it would cost than if you did the trip solo (e.g., paying for your own gas, hotel, and dinner). I'm not collecting any money for this.

 

Lunch? Breaks? Bathrooms?

Lunch: I've heard rumors of a locally organized lunch stop, but unless you see more on this later, you should probably bring a sack lunch to eat on the road.

Breaks and Bathrooms: There's no breaks in cache machines! Just hold it. :-P Or find something on the way.

 

Rain? Snow? Landslides? Flooding?

Probably, yes. Do what you safely can, and skip ahead when reality or your capabilities don't match the plan. Be prepared and flexible.

 

What do the map symbols mean?

Turquoise lines show my suggested route, but if there's a brown trail or grey road that I've drawn in, ignore the turquoise. Purple "P" icons show places to leave a car for a short time. And there's these symbols:

ce16d180-40c2-423d-a3ab-b976b7b4a2b2.jpg

Edited by travisl
Link to comment

I've posted the first draft. If you know the area even a little bit, please take a look and let me know if I've done something wrong, such as providing directions to the wrong side of a river, or showing a route that doesn't exist.

 

(Edit: as soon as I posted tentative draft zero, the restaurant confirmed. Draft 1 is live!)

Edited by travisl
Link to comment

I just booked a room through Priceline's bidding system at the Best Western College Way Inn for two nights, $105 total. I bid $43 for a 2.5* place, and used a $7 bonus cash offer that was in my e-mail this morning. I got it on my first try, so perhaps I could have got it for even less. It's rated #2 of 5 on TripAdvisor, so I'm pretty happy with this result. Your mileage may vary.

Link to comment

I would love to meet up and share ride with other solo(?) cachers

 

I can provide a 4 door sedan, tasty snacks and a working familiarity of the roads in the area.

 

I have a fair number of finds in this area but many pockets of unfound remain.

 

I enjoy caching but am not one to bend rules, ground or road, just to get a smiley.

Link to comment

The second draft of the route is up!

 

New in this edition: On Saturday, between 11 AM and 4 PM, GrievousAngel has graciously agreed to provide shuttle service from the south end of the Padilla Bay trail to the north parking lot, saving you from the long walk back. Although I appreciate this now, I'm sure I'll really be appreciating it the day of the CM. Remind me to buy her a drink at dinner.

 

This will be the last draft before I post the final, on or around Christmas Eve.

 

If you've got a hunter orange cap, you might want to wear it. It's bird hunting season on the Skagit, and you don't want to be mistaken for a bird. To paraphrase Wil Wheaton, don't be a duck.

 

You're also gonna get wet. In fact, one disabled cache near the end of the route has the new caution "Flooded but can be found by the adventurous." You can dry out on Sunday.

Link to comment

Finally got around to updating the book mark.

 

#1, as you noted in the logs, is unavailable.

#18 is archived.

#83 is unavailable because of being flooded, the adventurous are welcomed.

#84 has recent DNF's, the cache note indicates it is there but not suitable for large groups like cache machines. I have found this one and concur with RDR on this assessment.

 

#62,#63 and #64. The description mentions parking and walking past a gate if it is open. The generally open hours are Monday-Friday daylight hours. This would imply it is closed on the weekend and the description requests that you do not go down the service road if the gate is closed. This does not sound like a good candidate for a weekend cache machine.

Link to comment

Thought I would add the tidal charts for the 29th, since some of them are tidal specific.

 

Tides for Swinomish Channel ent., Padilla Bay starting with December 29, 2012.

 

Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon

/Low Time Feet Sunset Visible

 

Sa 29 High 6:51 AM 9.2 8:02 AM Set 8:31 AM 99

29 Low 12:14 PM 6.8 4:23 PM Rise 6:11 PM

29 High 4:01 PM 7.7

29 Low 11:48 PM -1.0

Link to comment

This event looks like a great time! A couple things:

 

Our cache, Up a Tree! (GC2x26F) which was supposed to be on the route but is disabled, should be up and enabled again tomorrow. We will also be doing maintenance on all of our other caches tomorrow to ensure they all have logs with plenty of room.

 

Second, our house has an animated Christmas display that will still be up and running on the day of the cache machine. It's in Burlington only a couple blocks from Sahara Pizza. It's at 206 Judy Ave, Burlington WA 98233. I invite everyone to stop by and watch. Here's a video of the display:

 

 

And a video of our display being featured on KOMO 4 news last night:

 

Edited by Hot Pepper Crew
Link to comment
Up a Tree! (GC2x26F) which was supposed to be on the route but is disabled, should be up and enabled again tomorrow. We will also be doing maintenance on all of our other caches tomorrow to ensure they all have logs with plenty of room.

Great! Thanks for keeping on top of this.

 

Second, our house has an animated Christmas display that will still be up and running on the day of the cache machine. It's in Burlington only a couple blocks from Sahara Pizza.

To be clear, the dinner will be at the Sahara Pizza at 1115 Riverside, not the Sahara Pizza on East Fairhaven, nor the closed Sahara Pizza on Parker.

 

It's at 206 Judy Ave, Burlington WA 98233.

It's only 2.6 miles from dinner. I've gotta see this. I know where I'll be after the event!

Link to comment

The final route is posted!

 

Note that the informal, unofficial, unannounced pre-event dinner, where I'll announce any last-minute changes, will be at Skagit River Brewery, 404 S. 3rd St., on Friday at 6:30 PM. It's a small joint, so your wait time may be a while. Essentially, if you actually get to eat there, you'll be lucky. I'll also post the last minute changes to this forum after Friday dinner.

 

The start point is currently disabled, but I've been in contact with the cache owner, who expects to have it up and running by Saturday.

 

See you all soon!

Edited by travisl
Link to comment

Up a Tree! is now fixed and enabled. The cache was actually still there, though about 20 feet from GZ. It is now as it should be. Thanks for the clarification on which Saraha Pizza the dinner is at. I just assumed that it was the one right by our house, since I didn't know there was one in Mt. Vernon. That one isn't far from our house either though. I hope everyone stops by and checks us out. This should be a fun event!

Link to comment

Thanks to everyone who attended. I'm sorry that the restaurant had difficulty serving everyone. I'd warned them weeks ahead of time to expect 50-70 people, and stopped in on Friday to confirm at least 70. I counted 80, not far above their expectations. Bummer.

 

Did anyone get contacted by law enforcement while caching the route on Saturday? I'd emailed La Conner, Mt Vernon, and Skagit County police and sheriff on Thursday morning but never heard from them.

 

I only made it as far as the downtown La Conner caches, and calculated that I'd walked 6.7 miles up to that point in the route. No wonder my legs were sore Saturday night!

Link to comment

As I was paying prior to leaving Saturday night the waitress asked if we were having a birthday party. "No, just a bunch of geocachers." "Oh, that sounds like fun." Clearly the word did not trickle down. Don't think we even spotted the boys in blue, let alone having a chat. Certainly not near as much fun as Centralia.

Link to comment

As I was paying prior to leaving Saturday night the waitress asked if we were having a birthday party. "No, just a bunch of geocachers." "Oh, that sounds like fun." Clearly the word did not trickle down. Don't think we even spotted the boys in blue, let alone having a chat. Certainly not near as much fun as Centralia.

 

Our group did not run into any of Washington's finest, but we did run into a couple of birders out on the trail along Padilla Bay who were aware of the cache machine. The way they phrased their reply made me think that they were aware of it before the event started, but I suppose I may have been reading that into their words and they had simply run into a number of cachers out on the trail.

Link to comment
"No, just a bunch of geocachers." "Oh, that sounds like fun." Clearly the word did not trickle down.

Sigh. On Friday, I stopped by and talked to the person behind the counter, who showed me their new 2013 appointment book, and inside the front cover was a note "Travis, 50-70, 5:00 December 29". I told her it would almost definitely be 70, and to change it to 4:30. They didn't forget about us, because the sign in the front of the restaurant said something like "Welcome Travis and friends." They appear to have simply understaffed for the crowd they agreed to. Granted, I counted about 85 people, but I think the camel's back was already broken before the extra 15 arrived.

 

[W]e did run into a couple of birders out on the trail along Padilla Bay who were aware of the cache machine. The way they phrased their reply made me think that they were aware of it before the event started, but I suppose I may have been reading that into their words and they had simply run into a number of cachers out on the trail.

I know the group you're talking about. They left the parking lot trailhead the same time we did, and I'd talked to them about the Cache Machine and geocaching in general for a few minutes as we geared up for the hike. They were ahead of us most of the way, and with their binoculars, I wouldn't be surprised if they watched us find a few.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 7
×
×
  • Create New...