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Gig Harbor Cache Machine II


travisl
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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.)

 

Charles Wilkes: explorer, naval officer, and Civil War commander. On his expedition to Puget Sound in the early 1840s, he brought his gig (a ship-to-shore shuttle boat) into the harbor for protection during a storm. On later maps, he named this place Gig Harbor. On our maps, it's a place with dozens of caches.

 

So fill up the tank, grab your gear, toss down some breakfast at way-too-early o'clock, and start on the route at What's Up Doc? II. Hopefully, the tide cooperates -- it's going out, but not low. Sunrise on Saturday, January 3, is just after 7:00 a.m., so we'll start then. From there, move at your own pace and get as many as you can.

 

Dinner's at 5:00 p.m. at The Hub at the Gig Harbor airport, 1208 26th Ave NW, 47° 16.146, -122° 34.476. See its event page for details. A headcount ahead of time will be very helpful. Please log your "will attends" on the event page.

 

Note that a few 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 this weekend. The cache is, in the owner's opinion, in a sensitive area, whether it's environmentally unwise, socially sensitive, or physically fragile. Just don't get it. It's not like there's a shortage of caches in the area.

 

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. When someone asks what you're doing, the right answer is honesty: "geocaching".

 

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

 

3) One logbook entry for "GHCM2" 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 Gig Harbor Cache Machine II FAQ:

 

When is it? When is the start time?

Saturday, January 3, 2015. Start time is 7:00 a.m. at What's Up Doc? II.

 

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, January 2, at 7:00 PM, an informal pre-event dinner will be at the Tides Tavern, 2925 Harborview Drive. This is a 21+ only bar. Last-minute changes will be announced at this dinner and in this thread.
  • Saturday, January 3, at 5:00 p.m., dinner will be at The Hub at the Gig Harbor airport, 1208 26th Ave NW, 47° 16.146, -122° 34.476. See its event page for details. Please let me know how many of you are coming by logging a "will attend" on the event page.
  • Sunday, January 4, at 1:00 PM, you should go to the WSGA After-The-Holidays Holiday Party event. It's just a few miles up the road in Silverdale.

 

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

Hey, that road doesn't exist!

What's with making us ford a river?

Thanks for catching that! 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.

Me, too. If you went to Gig Harbor Cache Machine I nearly 10 years ago (Jan. 8, 2005), you'll see a few caches we found then are also on this route. Come laugh at us, try to remember where they were, look at the old logbook signatures, 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?

There's no breaks in cache machines! Just hold it. :-P Or find something on the way. I'm pretty sure the route will have a cache near a Starbucks drive-thru before 8:30 AM.

 

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. Red car icons show places to leave a car for a short time. And there's these symbols:

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

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Dang! I don't think we'll be in the area for this one. Blooming Idiot just retired (two weeks ago today!) and we're heading down to Reno soon to help her mom sell the house, pack and move up here, and I just think we'll get that all done in time for this CM. I don't think I can talk BI into a short trip back home just for a weekend of caching... [sigh]

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I'm traveling now and won't get to the bookmark until next week. But that shouldn't be a problem.

I don't want to be pushy jholly, but your bookmark list is really useful. Any update?

I see it is in fact up now that I check on it (and I didn't check before replying to this thread initially). Whether you did it before and I didn't notice or just finished it - either way a big thanks!

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I've just posted the second draft. Thanks to JHolly, cachenscary, Spl1nt3rC3ll, and Rose Red for your feedback. I've incorporated your advice.

 

If you -- anyone -- can take a look and see anything else I can improve, I appreciate the feedback.

 

I'll be posting the final route on December 29. Any changes after that will be announced at the pre-event dinner (January 2) and in this forum late that night.

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1. Is there a text list of the caches in order available?

Check JHolly's site. That might have what you're looking for.

 

2. Do you still use FRX 2 for communication?

Not since nearly everyone got cell phones. The radio usage was pretty worthless; it quickly devolved into 12-year-olds making farting noises for the entire day.

Edited by travisl
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This'll be my first CM. A few questions:

 

1. Is there a text list of the caches in order available?

 

2. Do you still use FRX 2 for communication?

 

See you there!

 

Austin, Glad to see your going on a CM I think that you will have a blast. I still use FRX 2 for communication, sometimes the group I'm with are the only ones on the channel, sometimes there are others. Since I have someone that does the driving it comes in very handy to communicate with her if I need to be picked up in a different location, or for some reason I'm taking a long time and she gets worried. Honestly I use it more on CM's with lots of hiking, which it doesn't look like that's the case for this CM. However I will still have it with more than likely. I'd suggest that you bring the radio, you never know it might come in handy.

 

Also, while I'm here, where are people staying hotel wise?

 

Rob

Edited by SirKarp
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I've just posted the final route.

 

Things to note:

  1. A Washington State Parks Discover Pass will be required to hunt caches in Kopachuck State Park, stops 44-46.
  2. A mystery cache on Fox Island, GC4CD20 Final FI Historical Cache (stop 77), requires codes from six other Fox Island Historical Caches. Don't forget to get the codes.
  3. Dinner on Saturday might be an exercise in patience. I haven't been to the airport restaurant in about a decade, but I don't remember the space being very big. Based on previous winter CM events, I told them we'd have about 40 attendees, and they seemed OK with that number. I'm seeing 69 "will attend" logs so far, with several of those being multiple-person accounts (and a few cancellations). I'll stop in on Friday night after the pre-event dinner to see how things look, but it might be crowded and slow (or I may just be over-worrying about it). Adjust your expectations accordingly.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all there! The current forecast looks to be perfect geocaching weather: overcast, dry, and in the mid 40s.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

Paging jholly:

 

I'm trying to get your CMNumber macro to work in GSAK, and one problem I'm encountering is that it will only recognize the Default database, which is not the one where my CM caches are. If I select my CM database (cleverly named x-CacheMachine) and run the macro, it switches to the Default database. I looked at the macro code, but the Default database isn't named in it, so I'm not sure what to change to get it to use my database. (No, I don't want to rename my databases - Default is where I keep all my unfound WA caches.)

 

Help? Thanks!

Edited by hydnsek
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Just found the macro, great idea... hydnsek, I created a fresh database with the same name as yours and downloaded the bookmark list into it, and it did stick with the "x-CacheMachine" database and populate the usersort column properly.

 

It looks like a couple caches are missing from the bookmark list as the macro bombed out on caches #5 and #77, but once I removed them from the data file it completed just fine..

 

I can' see any reason why it wouldn't work... Is it possible you have a space at the beginning or end of the database name??

 

You could try changing the line that says < Database Name=$cbxDataBase > to < Database Name="x-CacheMachine" > (without the <>'s)

 

Too bad I can't make this CM.... I'll have to remember this macro next time...

 

-TWT

Edited by TheWinterTrio
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I'm trying to get your CMNumber macro to work in GSAK, and one problem I'm encountering is...

 

I have the macro installed and it appears to let me choose any GSAK database but just in case, I renamed my CM database to "default".

 

I choose the default, run the macro and I get:

 

Error in Macro at line: 16

FileRead File=$srcfile

 

Error=> [File=] parameter is missing (Note: no spaces allowed either side the =)

 

(error number: 631)

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Just found the macro, great idea... hydnsek, I created a fresh database with the same name as yours and downloaded the bookmark list into it, and it did stick with the "x-CacheMachine" database and populate the usersort column properly.

 

It looks like a couple caches are missing from the bookmark list as the macro bombed out on caches #5 and #77, but once I removed them from the data file it completed just fine..

 

I can' see any reason why it wouldn't work... Is it possible you have a space at the beginning or end of the database name??

 

You could try changing the line that says < Database Name=$cbxDataBase > to < Database Name="x-CacheMachine" > (without the <>'s)

 

Too bad I can't make this CM.... I'll have to remember this macro next time...

 

-TWT

Thanks, Stephen! Changing the database name solved the problem and it ran for me, no errors. What a time-saver! Thanks to jholly for creating it. B)

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For what its worth....We have run a lot of the route in the past two days and there are a few that we feel are MIA.

 

GCKXT4- Power of the Written word....... Lots of Geo trails and a couple of places that it could have been but no luck for us. Hasn't been found since Sept 15th.

 

GCWR9F- Caching Cushman-Trail Park....... If its there, we sure didn't see it. Of course that doesn't mean much at my age!!

 

I'll be looking to see if anyone else has issues with these two.

 

See Ya Tomorrow.

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Here's the route changes: one removal, two additions.

 

Remove:

#75, GC4KZ4J Troll Under the Bridge. It has two DNFs, a needs archive log, a previous finder couldn't find it, and the neighbors are grumpy.

 

Add:

#2.1, GCJTPM, What's UP, Doc? IV. It's a puzzle cache, but if you read the cache page, the coordinates are easy to find.

#82.1, GC1Y73P, EASY Cryptex. The page's coordinates will get you to the cache. The puzzle is how to open it. I trust you can figure it out :)

 

Otherwise, I'll see you all tomorrow at 7 AM, at dinner, or somewhere along the route!

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Thanks for coming, everybody! You all certainly overwhelmed my expectations for dinner, and if "too many cachers" is a problem, that's a good problem to have.

 

I've done 42 of these now, and while you'd think I'd have it down pat, I'm constantly looking for ways to improve the next one. If you've got any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

 

With the day's logs starting to roll in, I'm seeing one thing that's concerned me, and I'm seeking feedback on how to fix it. For the last several cache machines, including this one, I'd written in the first post:

 

Note that a few 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 this weekend. The cache is, in the owner's opinion, in a sensitive area, whether it's environmentally unwise, socially sensitive, or physically fragile. Just don't get it. It's not like there's a shortage of caches in the area.

 

And, after getting feedback from local cachers, I mark them with icon_disabled.gif on the map, and list something like the following, on the route "rules" PDF:

15577420223_b1e3ca769c_n.jpg

 

But, inevitably, I still see logs like these:

16171397046_0ec2cc2bed_c.jpg

16011154619_66ec49b9cf_c.jpg

16197237105_02d2f248bd_c.jpg

 

I don't blame these experienced finders -- it's obvious I haven't made it clear enough that there are sensitivities about these caches. Any suggestions for me to improve this communication? Or, perhaps my communications are sufficient, and the reduction (but not elimination) of cachers hunting sensitive caches is adequate.

 

Suggestions that won't work:

  1. Have owners disable and remove their sensitive caches. It's a bad idea because this will result in more damage, as cachers will still look for them and spend more time looking for them.
  2. Archive them because they're in "bad spots". It's a bad idea because several "do not hunt" caches are great caches, perfectly suitable for small numbers of visitors over extended time; they're often either environmentally sensitive or the cache construction is considerably fragile.

 

Thoughts?

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

Paging jholly:

 

I'm trying to get your CMNumber macro to work in GSAK, and one problem I'm encountering is that it will only recognize the Default database, which is not the one where my CM caches are. If I select my CM database (cleverly named x-CacheMachine) and run the macro, it switches to the Default database. I looked at the macro code, but the Default database isn't named in it, so I'm not sure what to change to get it to use my database. (No, I don't want to rename my databases - Default is where I keep all my unfound WA caches.)

 

Help? Thanks!

 

I'm trying to get your CMNumber macro to work in GSAK, and one problem I'm encountering is...

 

I have the macro installed and it appears to let me choose any GSAK database but just in case, I renamed my CM database to "default".

 

I choose the default, run the macro and I get:

 

Error in Macro at line: 16

FileRead File=$srcfile

 

Error=> [File=] parameter is missing (Note: no spaces allowed either side the =)

 

(error number: 631)

 

I was able to reproduce Team Sagefox's error with an blank source file. I have not tried to reproduce Hydnsek's error, but with the combox box populated with a GSAK call I'm confused how that could happen.

 

It would be helpful when an error occurs you send me your MacroError.txt file found in your GSAK application data directory, or simply click the View Error Log button and cut and paste the first error shown in your forum post.

 

Edit:

The mystery of the database selection is solved. The database field is a combo box and as such it is a pull down selection allowing selection of the correct database. I'll change the macro to force the selection of the current database but still allow the selection.

Edited by jholly
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<snip>

With the day's logs starting to roll in, I'm seeing one thing that's concerned me, and I'm seeking feedback on how to fix it. For the last several cache machines, including this one, I'd written in the first post:

 

Note that a few 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 this weekend. The cache is, in the owner's opinion, in a sensitive area, whether it's environmentally unwise, socially sensitive, or physically fragile. Just don't get it. It's not like there's a shortage of caches in the area.

<snip>

 

I've thought about it a bit. First off if a random cacher does the cache and is not participating in the cache machine I'm hoping the CO will not blame that on the cache machine. Of the three cases you mentioned they apply to the random cacher as well to cache machine participants. But, of course, the traveling hoard can put a lot more wear and tear on a cache than a year's worth of random cachers.

 

Perhaps one thing that might help, and it will be a pain, is if you clean the non-cache machine caches off the maps. With the non cache machine caches showing and temptingly close to the route it probably does encourage some to "expand" the list. You will also need to remove the don't enter caches from the map, but still maintain the list. At least now there has to be a level of work done to find and include the nearby caches.

 

Of course you could always threaten to delete any attended logs if they do the do not enter caches and tell them you are watching the caches. :)

Edited by jholly
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The only way CM participants won't do the Keep Out caches is if they aren't on the list/map. Yes, some will check for any that are nearby, but most will move along.

 

If the CO's are adamant about not doing their caches, the best thing IMO would be to disable and pull them for the week before the CM.

 

Jim, I assume you're kidding about deleting the attended logs. Since the evnet is the dinner and not the CM, that would raise a major stink, I think.

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Whenever I go into an area, I always load my GPS for every active cache nearby. There is always the chance that I will go off route and grab caches that are not along the route. The first CM I attended, only 50% of the finds I had that day were along the route. The only sure way to prevent finds is for the cache to be disabled at least a week before the CM. Cache owners that request that their cache not be included on the route should be prepared to have some finds if they do not disable the cache.

 

I find it helpful to have the icons of Do Not Hunt caches to be on the map. In this case though, the map failed me.

 

blocked2_zpsececd084.png

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I think Rambudo's post points to a problem with the do not enter. If someone down loads a PQ of the area and not from my bookmark and they use the next button they are likely going to end up doing the cache. Especially if they don't down load the map and see the do not enter list and icons. And even if they do Rambudo's post does point to the problem of S&T covering the icon with the stop number flag. Of course they could put an ignore on the do not enter cache before the generate the PQ and those caches will not be in the PQ. And then there is that percentage that feel any cache is fair game regardless of the CO's wishes. This is an example of that attitude

Yeah, I know, this one was banned and not on the Cache Machine listing, but I'm working the route backwards and caching alone, so there's not a dozen cachers showing up with me at one time. It was around the corner from the Horsehead hides. Very nice 'anchor' display and hide.

TFTC :)

There were four other logs from the cache machine that day.

 

You could try posting the do not enter list in the forum and on the event page. You could ask that those that download an area PQ to use the ignore feature to exclude the do not enter caches. You could publish a list of shame in the forum listing the cache machine participants that ignored the wishes of the CO. And then there are some that simply do not care.

 

Probably the best bet is for the CO to disable the cache, post a note on the cache page that any logs during the time the cache is disabled will be deleted, remove the cache and put a sign in the vicinity of the cache stating the cache gone so just move along.

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Whenever I go into an area, I always load my GPS for every active cache nearby. There is always the chance that I will go off route and grab caches that are not along the route. The first CM I attended, only 50% of the finds I had that day were along the route. The only sure way to prevent finds is for the cache to be disabled at least a week before the CM. Cache owners that request that their cache not be included on the route should be prepared to have some finds if they do not disable the cache.

 

I find it helpful to have the icons of Do Not Hunt caches to be on the map. In this case though, the map failed me.

 

blocked2_zpsececd084.png

 

While I had to pull out of this event due to some guests deciding to visit from out of town, I thought I would share my practices regarding cache machine planning and how to avoid finding caches on the Do-Not-Find list.

 

First off, I use GSAK to load my GPS. Like rambudo, I have a large GSAK database (I keep mine for the state of Washington) and update it before heading off on any caching adventure. My GPS holds 12000 caches and so I'm not unafraid to have more than are on the cache machine list. Here's the process I use in GSAK (which I assume has an up-to-date database of the area):

 

1) Create a filter for cache inclusion

2) Refresh caches in the filter

3) Copy newly refreshed caches to new DB

4) Remove caches from Do Not Find list in the new DB

5) Load this DB to my GPS

6) Boot the GPS and make sure it loaded up correctly.

6) Delete this new DB.

 

I assume this could all be automated by a suitably motivated and talented GSAK macro programmer. The Do Not Find list would probably have to be a publicly available bookmark list that you turn into a PQ or perhaps simply be link to a Google docs file with a list of GC codes to avoid.

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You've all listed several good suggestions and examples, and I'll keep them in mind for upcoming cache machines.

 

I've cautioned cache owners that a handful of people may still find their cache on the day of the CM, and for the most part, they've been OK with knowing that I'm minimizing traffic while unable to eliminate it.

 

One or two cache owners have made an effort to remove and disable their caches that weekend, which I think is going above and beyond, and I commend them for their efforts.

 

I need to do a bit better work on the map itself. On the GHCM2, I didn't try hard enough to figure out paths from parking to trails, as you can see in Rambudo's screen shot. Where the icon_disabled.gif icon is hidden and near the route, I'll call it out on the map.

 

I'll also put the "Do Not Find" caches in a bookmark list. I'll need to figure out the wording, so that someone looking for the cache the week before doesn't get deterred by a "AVOID THIS CACHE" bookmark entry.

 

FYI, regarding trail mapping, I also messed up a little later in the route, marking the wrong trail altogether. My intent: go to the eastern cache. My route: go to the circled cache. The result: getting the circled and squared caches, and wondering why the squared one wasn't on the route:

16024243757_d3cc304ce6_o.png

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As this was my first cache machine, I was more than happy to follow the route put together by Travis, so I wasn't likely to go to the "Do Not Find" caches. I cache with my phone app. As I was chauffeured to the next cache (thanks RocketGlider) on the list I read the details, hint, size and last few logs on the cache for us... If there had been a note in the log stating that a cache was "Do Not Find" for the CM, I would have seen it. Just a thought that might help some.

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Travisl, I think you do a great job of letting us know which caches to NOT do during the CM day. You noted them on the list, stressed that they are not to be found during the CM, and let the owners know that some will find it anyway. I think you are doing everything you can. CHEERS to YOU.

 

I would hate to see the owners disable and remove the actual cache for there are cachers that cache that day that are not doing the CM. We have ran into some on several of the CM's we have done. Also, we usually go to the CM a few days early and sometimes we pick up those caches on days other than the CM day. I also make my own list of caches to do especially on cities where we have done a lot of caching before. There may be a D/T we want that we are going by that I will get. So I load all caches in the area on my gps.

 

I am still from the ole school and use my gps not a phone. I load my gps several days before leaving home so if I go 3 days early, I have loaded caches about 4-5 days before the CM. Putting a note on the cache page would not help me at all unless it was done before I left home. Most people on the CM log caches on their phones as they go so a note would soon be lost way down the list. If I used the phone to see if there were additional hints from some that day, I probably wouldn't see that log. I never look at the bookmark lists unless I'm looking to do a power trail.

 

I will restate - I think you do a super job of letting everyone know. You can't make people adhere to the request. But you do a good job because if there are only 4-5 finds that day from 50-100 cachers out there. I think that is GREAT!

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For those of you who keep track of these things far in advance, I'm moving the date of the Quincy/Ephrata Cache Machine to September 26. The previously listed date, September 19, conflicts with a training class that I'll be out of state for.

 

Spokane Valley's still on March 21 (I need to get working on it!), and Everett's still tentatively scheduled for June 20.

 

The full list is on my profile page.

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For those of you who keep track of these things far in advance, I'm moving the date of the Quincy/Ephrata Cache Machine to September 26. The previously listed date, September 19, conflicts with a training class that I'll be out of state for.

 

Spokane Valley's still on March 21 (I need to get working on it!), and Everett's still tentatively scheduled for June 20.

 

The full list is on my profile page.

Thanks for the update. Saturday night / Sunday morning of that weekend is as lunar eclipse!

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For those of you who keep track of these things far in advance, I'm moving the date of the Quincy/Ephrata Cache Machine to September 26. The previously listed date, September 19, conflicts with a training class that I'll be out of state for.

 

I deleted the old date from the Event Calendar on this board. The new one should appear this weekend when I do the update..

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