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Aran365

NON-geocacher, Homeowner, needs help

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Hi everyone, 


I need the advice of all you good and kind geocachers out there. 
I am NOT a geochacher (I’m a knitter and a gardener actually) but in the last week I have found the need to familiarize myself with the whole concept. 


I can say as far as parks, forests and other open spaces go, it’s a wonderful way to get out in nature and walk and have a bit of fun in the process.

 

But here’s a bit of background on my story, and my conundrum and I really want the opinion of all of you nice geocachers I’ve read about here.

 

I live in an extremely rural area about 30 minutes from town. There are three other houses in “hearing distance” but I cannot see them and it is extremely peaceful and quiet. VERY quiet. I am retired, so I am home all the time and my daily highlight is the mail, or the UPS man. My dogs know the difference and I know with one bark who is coming up the road. My dogs know when to bark (the UPS man) or at coyotes that are “too close” or when they SEE something (a wild pig, coyote or a human).
 They will bark when a vehicle stops along my stretch of road frontage, mostly because it’s a rare occurrence-maybe once a week. Usually it’s a service vehicle pausing to check directions or someone who took a wrong turn who is turning around in my driveway. But it’s rare.


Sightings of humans on foot are even more rare, about as rare as seeing a coyote in broad daylight. There was the one time a few years ago a guy’s work vehicle broke down, and the rare occasion when the kids up the road have to walk home from school. My dogs bark madly at people, because it’s so rare and because they are warning me. Out here in the country, when someone is visible from your home outside of a vehicle, it MEANS something. Usually, they lost a cow. It has always been thus, and I’ve known plenty of old farmers that would greet the sight with a shotgun. I’m not that way, but I am AWARE ANYTIME ANYONE stops.

I should add that I have problems with anxiety and that being out here is my solace. One might say I’m “hyper-vigilant”, but I like to think of it as being deeply in tune with my surroundings. I also know every bird that flies over, how many hawks live in my little valley, how many eagles I have seen, how many geese live on the pond next door, what time it is by the cooing of the doves, etc.

 

There is another reason that there has been some stopping along my road. I live in a county where the old roads were built along a creek before anyone understood (apparently) how badly the ground will erode during a heavy rain. About every 5 years we get a bad rain and literally parts of the bluffs, sometimes 200’ high will DROP right into the creek. We’ve lost two bridges out here, at least, in the last 20 years. We had a heavy rain recently and when the chunk of bluff slid, it shook my house! Unfortunately sometimes there are roads along these banks and the recent slide was right next to a road-to the point where now the road is being nibbled away. It’s scary. One good rain and we could lose a road, bridge, or life (I know someone who was killed by going over a washout in his truck). 
So now we have a county vehicle that has been stopping once in a while-about once a month, to check on this bit of roadway.

 

So if you’re still following me, all that has been to explain WHY I now know about Geocaching and what my conundrum is.


Someone in the last couple of months has placed over NINETY of these caches in my area. (see the map). By “area” I mean an H shape of road, that covers a total of about 17 miles, or a radius from the center of the H of about 5 miles.

 

First of all DOESN’T THAT SEEM EXCESSIVE?

Especially when the person who did this doesn’t live anywhere near here? 
And I thought Geocaching was about WALKING-but these people are all stopping their cars in the roadway of a dangerous narrow road that has NO shoulder and has many curves. Most are not walking more than 5 ft. The local logging and service trucks and locals do NOT go slowly down this country road. People are putting themselves in danger when they stop. 
Not to mention this is an area that has an extremely high rattlesnake population. We see 4-6 on average per year IN OUR YARD and many more along this strip of road. The neighbor was bit a few years back. They come out onto the roadway at night for the heat that the roadway absorbed during the day. That reminds me, part of this area of caches is supposed to be a NIGHT cache. We have mountain lions, wild pigs, and skunks just to name a few, and the area where this night run is does have a few houses.

Secondly, two of these spots are within close sight of my property (conveniently just over the property line, as if the cacher planned it that way). The first is located close to where I sit out in my side yard-and I sit out side A LOT. 
The spot in the road (at a narrow bridge) is close enough that when anyone stops my dogs bark wildly and I can hear car doors opening, people talking and yelling, walking back and forth in the road and I ALWAYS get up to go see what is going. One group of people was even at my fence line, near my gate walking around looking for something-when we walked out to see what they wanted, they all looked away, turned around and rapidly walked back to their truck and took off. That’s considered strange and suspicious behavior out here.


The second marker has been placed right where the bad erosion spot is in the road. People are not parking in the pullout and walking down to it, they are parking right in the road where the bad spot is (and there are NO signs, NO cones, NO tape-NOTHING [our county is poor]) and so these people (IF they are even in the right spot) are parking right where they shouldn’t and walking up to a spot literally where they could fall 100+ feet (there is one strand of old barbed wire).

 

In the past few days I have been extremely upset, honestly losing sleep over this, realizing that the peace and quiet-the reasons that I purchased this place have now been broken by people on a random 40 minute “sight-seeing drive” into the country playing a game. (Who even does that anymore? Who can afford to waste the gas?).

I have read up on the “geocacher code of ethics” and it seems to me this woman is violating a lot of them. 


 

I could be angry about it, but that won’t get me any understanding. I AM upset. I’m trying to wrap my mind around the idea of being tolerant to this whole new set of strangers who are visiting the front of my property at the rate of at least 3-4 sets of people (usually 3-4, sometimes in 2 vehicles) per week.



I understand that everyone has a right to freedom. And that roadways are public thoroughfares. (Maybe that’s the problem-everyone else is going THROUGH the area). I do not know specifically what the laws are regarding public “use” of a roadway and what constitutes “use” (stopping? throwing a party? camping?). I get that it’s a new era of (some) people who have a different set of boundaries than I do and value their own fun above being considerate of others. 



 

I was thinking of writing to the person ON the page for each marker (so that everyone who wants to go there can see my comment) and explaining kindly that as the homeowner, these two markers are invading my peace and quiet and could she please move them. My only hope is that this woman will move the two markers down the road a bit.

 

And yes I DID write the company. That letter was longer than this one. They said they would talk to her about the “parking” situation. I wrote back and told them that parking is not the issue.

 



Believe me this is the short version of this letter, I apologize for it's length but it's a complicated problem and I'm trying to be clear. I just wanted to ask YOUR opinions, on what I can do to regain my peace. 
Please bear in mind again that I am NOT a geocacher and my point of view is as a homeowner seeking peace and quiet.

 

Please be kind when responding. I know there are those that can be nasty, but I am looking for honest kind help from the geocaching community. Any ideas, suggestions, etc. would be appreciated.

 

Thank you

Aran

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Aran, I sympathize. It sounds like you're describing a "power trail" or geoart, caches placed specifically to form a shape on the map. I'd suggest contacting the cache owner with the concern, although he/she may be reluctant to move any if the shape is important.

 

Caches should have permission for placement, but public property is often fair game unless prohibited by rule. The cache owner would definitely have avoided private property.

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I'm so sorry you're dealing with this issue. I am sure it is frustrating and upsetting. It seems as though the cache owner "may" (note - I have made no attempt to verify this) have a legal right to place these caches near, but not on your property. Most cachers don't want to irritate others, though. My suggestion would be to e-mail the owner, explain your concerns - including safety - and see if she'd be willing to move the 2 that cause you the most anxiety.

 

In the upper left area of the cache page, right under the title, is a line called "A cache by" followed by the cache owner's screen name. If you click on their screen name, it will take you to their profile page. On that page is a line titled "e-mail address". If they have chosen to have their e-mail address public, it will list it righ there. If they have kept their e-mail address private, it will just say "send an e-mail message". In either case, you can click that link and a page will open for you to send them an e-mail through the geocaching web site. If you want a response, be sure to click the box that says "I want to send my e-mail address along with this message."

 

I hope that helps and that the cache owner will work kindly with you to resolve the situation.

 

Mrs. Car54

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Hi-

 

I also sympathize with your plight. I also live on a (relatively) quiet street and wouldn't like it if the amount of traffic were to increase dramatically.

 

I have just a few comments I'd like to make.

 

First, you say to "see the map" but you don't give any clue as to where you live. Name of town & state would be helpful.

 

Second, yes in the 'old days" geocaching was about walking/hiking but it has developed into being about the numbers. Unfortunately.

 

Third, nothing will be done on the basis of "safety" and unless the caches are on any private property it is unlikely that anything at all will be done about their placement.

 

Fourth, (and this somewhat depends on your location) it is likely that the number and frequency of visits will decrease over time.

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In almost every case, Groundspeak (the company) has sided with property owners OR UPSET RESIDENTS when an issue arises regarding the placement of a cache. They have several million cache listings, so removing a couple of them, to keep the general public's perception about this hobby favorable is in their best interest.

Look on the cache page of one of the cache listings, preferably the two which are closest to your property, and look to the bottom of the page for the "Published" log. That user is the Reviewer for your area. Click their name and you will be taken to their profile page. There you will find a "Send Message" link to send them an email. Explain your situation to the reviewer. It is possible that those caches will me removed from play and those folks out for a caching run will drive right past your place.

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Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for the input.

 

I did hear back from Groundspeak yesterday. After the long letter I sent they gave me a simple copy and paste "if it's on your private property we can do something, if it's on someone else's private property please tell them to email us" kind of thing.

 

But it's in the road. One on a guard rail and the other in a reflector. And it's not really a specific pattern, it's just a string of them and the roads sort of make an H naturally. She could move it.

 

Sorry about the picture-I meant to add it the other day and forgot..

Well I can't for the life of me figure out how to post the map on here-it wants an URL so I tried posting it on twitter but it won't take it there either and I don't know where else to put the photo so people can see it.

 

I did JUST have someone stop, right in front of my house, dogs going off, etc. so I went out and asked what she was up to. She actually said "I was just looking at your area"... And when I pressed it (because people don't just come out here to LOOK-THAT is what is so weird! And then she said "I'm Geocaching".

So I told her I have a problem with it. She weirdly tried to tell me that this was not the same person and I told her I know EXACTLY who it is, and that they have put ninety of them out here... She tried explaining she is my "neighbor" (about 10 miles away) and that I might like it, it's fun...

 

I guess people just don't understand how WEIRD they look stopping in the middle of no where.

 

But I will read everyone's posts again and will most likely write the person on each cache page so that others can see that I'm not happy. Or rather write her a longer explanation and put a short one on each cache page. I don't have much hope for the company itself.

 

One thing I am going to do is call the county about who owns what in the road and what constitutes "public use"....

 

Thank you SO much everyone for being kind. On so many forums people will just get crazy on you if they disagree.

I really appreciate it!!

 

I hope that link works, no clue how to get a photo up here.

 

Ah try this, if you go to the Geocaching homepage and type in Red Bank, CA and zoom out about twice you will be right on it.

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I know exactly how you feel. People who are used to others parking their car in the street next to their home, do not understand the concern raised by that behavior out in the country. Generally speaking if an unknown vehicle stops along the road near my home they are most likely having car trouble, lost, or up to no good.

 

Edit: removed irrelevant content.

Edited by Coldnosed

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In almost every case, Groundspeak (the company) has sided with property owners OR UPSET RESIDENTS when an issue arises regarding the placement of a cache.

 

This is correct. On private property or off, we strive to be good neighbors first, and geocacher's second.

 

Having interacted with the cache owners, I know them to be fairly active and responsive to issues. I've Archived the Listings in question, and invited the CO to join the discussion here, or if they prefer, they can contact me privately.

 

Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention Aran365. Sorry for the trouble this caused you, and hopefully you won't see any more of the visits you mentioned. I'm pretty confident that the cache owner would have complied with your request immediately, had they known the problems that it caused you.

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K13, sending a heartfelt letter to the reviewer did the trick! He/she kindly has archived the two offending caches.

 

I REALLY REALLY REALLY appreciate all the help everyone here has given me, I hope you can understand how much this means to me. I am really grateful to all of you for the help and I will think kindly of you when I sit in my peaceful garden :)

 

Thank you all SO much!!

 

Blessings,

Aran

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Aran, I'm glad things are working toward a good resolution for you. As I implied, Geocachers are generally good neighbors and try to get along with those around us.

 

And, as the person on the road mentioned, Geocaching is fun. Try it. You might enjoy it. I try to use it for a reason to get out and walk, or at least get out of the house/office.

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Glad it was taken care of! Thank Nomex! If we were the CO we would have archived them if you asked. We don't want to bother anyone with our game.

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Please to hear is all sorted and Aran enjoy your well deserved retirement in peace

geordiell

Edited by geordiell

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Please be patient since it may take a week or two for people to realize these two have been archived. Also the other nearby cache owner has been notified that their bridge hide also needs to go away so as not to cause uneasiness or unhappiness on your part.

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War Ninjas, I DID thank Nomex profusely!!

 

I understand Playcache, and with the event in town it might happen this weekend. The one on the bridge (U) was archived as well as the V one. Both from the same person.

I know there are a few others by two different people in my general area, but none near me.

The other 91 by that same person-although I still feel that's weirdly excessive, are thankfully, not my concern.

 

And K13, definitely a bad way to meet a neighbor, but there we disagree, especially on the use of a car part, but it HAS given me an idea for another kind of caching game...something that involves not placing anything...I might have to run with my idea :)

 

Thanks again everyone

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I am pretty sure caching or cache by definition would require hiding something. If you are just referring to geo-location games, your idea may already exist. If you are thinking about getting GPS coords for unique things and locations check out http://www.Waymarking.com No placing what so ever.

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Hi everyone, 


I need the advice of all you good and kind geocachers out there. 
I am NOT a geochacher (I’m a knitter and a gardener actually) but in the last week I have found the need to familiarize myself with the whole concept. 


I can say as far as parks, forests and other open spaces go, it’s a wonderful way to get out in nature and walk and have a bit of fun in the process.

 

But here’s a bit of background on my story, and my conundrum and I really want the opinion of all of you nice geocachers I’ve read about here.

 

I live in an extremely rural area about 30 minutes from town. There are three other houses in “hearing distance” but I cannot see them and it is extremely peaceful and quiet. VERY quiet. I am retired, so I am home all the time and my daily highlight is the mail, or the UPS man. My dogs know the difference and I know with one bark who is coming up the road. My dogs know when to bark (the UPS man) or at coyotes that are “too close” or when they SEE something (a wild pig, coyote or a human).
 They will bark when a vehicle stops along my stretch of road frontage, mostly because it’s a rare occurrence-maybe once a week. Usually it’s a service vehicle pausing to check directions or someone who took a wrong turn who is turning around in my driveway. But it’s rare.


Sightings of humans on foot are even more rare, about as rare as seeing a coyote in broad daylight. There was the one time a few years ago a guy’s work vehicle broke down, and the rare occasion when the kids up the road have to walk home from school. My dogs bark madly at people, because it’s so rare and because they are warning me. Out here in the country, when someone is visible from your home outside of a vehicle, it MEANS something. Usually, they lost a cow. It has always been thus, and I’ve known plenty of old farmers that would greet the sight with a shotgun. I’m not that way, but I am AWARE ANYTIME ANYONE stops.

I should add that I have problems with anxiety and that being out here is my solace. One might say I’m “hyper-vigilant”, but I like to think of it as being deeply in tune with my surroundings. I also know every bird that flies over, how many hawks live in my little valley, how many eagles I have seen, how many geese live on the pond next door, what time it is by the cooing of the doves, etc.

 

There is another reason that there has been some stopping along my road. I live in a county where the old roads were built along a creek before anyone understood (apparently) how badly the ground will erode during a heavy rain. About every 5 years we get a bad rain and literally parts of the bluffs, sometimes 200’ high will DROP right into the creek. We’ve lost two bridges out here, at least, in the last 20 years. We had a heavy rain recently and when the chunk of bluff slid, it shook my house! Unfortunately sometimes there are roads along these banks and the recent slide was right next to a road-to the point where now the road is being nibbled away. It’s scary. One good rain and we could lose a road, bridge, or life (I know someone who was killed by going over a washout in his truck). 
So now we have a county vehicle that has been stopping once in a while-about once a month, to check on this bit of roadway.

 

So if you’re still following me, all that has been to explain WHY I now know about Geocaching and what my conundrum is.


Someone in the last couple of months has placed over NINETY of these caches in my area. (see the map). By “area” I mean an H shape of road, that covers a total of about 17 miles, or a radius from the center of the H of about 5 miles.

 

First of all DOESN’T THAT SEEM EXCESSIVE?

Especially when the person who did this doesn’t live anywhere near here? 
And I thought Geocaching was about WALKING-but these people are all stopping their cars in the roadway of a dangerous narrow road that has NO shoulder and has many curves. Most are not walking more than 5 ft. The local logging and service trucks and locals do NOT go slowly down this country road. People are putting themselves in danger when they stop. 
Not to mention this is an area that has an extremely high rattlesnake population. We see 4-6 on average per year IN OUR YARD and many more along this strip of road. The neighbor was bit a few years back. They come out onto the roadway at night for the heat that the roadway absorbed during the day. That reminds me, part of this area of caches is supposed to be a NIGHT cache. We have mountain lions, wild pigs, and skunks just to name a few, and the area where this night run is does have a few houses.

Secondly, two of these spots are within close sight of my property (conveniently just over the property line, as if the cacher planned it that way). The first is located close to where I sit out in my side yard-and I sit out side A LOT. 
The spot in the road (at a narrow bridge) is close enough that when anyone stops my dogs bark wildly and I can hear car doors opening, people talking and yelling, walking back and forth in the road and I ALWAYS get up to go see what is going. One group of people was even at my fence line, near my gate walking around looking for something-when we walked out to see what they wanted, they all looked away, turned around and rapidly walked back to their truck and took off. That’s considered strange and suspicious behavior out here.


The second marker has been placed right where the bad erosion spot is in the road. People are not parking in the pullout and walking down to it, they are parking right in the road where the bad spot is (and there are NO signs, NO cones, NO tape-NOTHING [our county is poor]) and so these people (IF they are even in the right spot) are parking right where they shouldn’t and walking up to a spot literally where they could fall 100+ feet (there is one strand of old barbed wire).

 

In the past few days I have been extremely upset, honestly losing sleep over this, realizing that the peace and quiet-the reasons that I purchased this place have now been broken by people on a random 40 minute “sight-seeing drive” into the country playing a game. (Who even does that anymore? Who can afford to waste the gas?).

I have read up on the “geocacher code of ethics” and it seems to me this woman is violating a lot of them. 


 

I could be angry about it, but that won’t get me any understanding. I AM upset. I’m trying to wrap my mind around the idea of being tolerant to this whole new set of strangers who are visiting the front of my property at the rate of at least 3-4 sets of people (usually 3-4, sometimes in 2 vehicles) per week.



I understand that everyone has a right to freedom. And that roadways are public thoroughfares. (Maybe that’s the problem-everyone else is going THROUGH the area). I do not know specifically what the laws are regarding public “use” of a roadway and what constitutes “use” (stopping? throwing a party? camping?). I get that it’s a new era of (some) people who have a different set of boundaries than I do and value their own fun above being considerate of others. 



 

I was thinking of writing to the person ON the page for each marker (so that everyone who wants to go there can see my comment) and explaining kindly that as the homeowner, these two markers are invading my peace and quiet and could she please move them. My only hope is that this woman will move the two markers down the road a bit.

 

And yes I DID write the company. That letter was longer than this one. They said they would talk to her about the “parking” situation. I wrote back and told them that parking is not the issue.

 



Believe me this is the short version of this letter, I apologize for it's length but it's a complicated problem and I'm trying to be clear. I just wanted to ask YOUR opinions, on what I can do to regain my peace. 
Please bear in mind again that I am NOT a geocacher and my point of view is as a homeowner seeking peace and quiet.

 

Please be kind when responding. I know there are those that can be nasty, but I am looking for honest kind help from the geocaching community. Any ideas, suggestions, etc. would be appreciated.

 

Thank you

Aran

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Hi Aran, thank you for your concerns, they are valid concerns and we appreciate you bringing this to our Geocaching Community. I am not the owner of all the caches in and around your area, but I do know them and they are good friends just playing a game. They also live on a ranch but much closer to town and they value everything it seems that makes ranch life something to value. I know that the just love the game of Geocaching and surely didn't mean any harm or disrespect.

That being said, I had one cache close by, it is now gone and no one will be bothering you because of it. You may have one more stop as I go out and pick up the cache (one of groundspeaks rules is to pick up your geotrash ;)) So please forgive me, and maybe someday you will understand our crazy game and join us... Till then, Cali~Bear :grin: God Bless...

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Glad you got it worked out to your satisfaction. For the *most* part, we don't have negative reactions from property owners when caches are placed on a public right of way, but sometimes, as in your case, it happens. As you can see from the map area you describe, this IS what is often called a 'power trail', and so you can only imagine that it would be quite the undertaking for the person(s) placing these caches to have contacted the property owners adjacent to these rights of way all along the many miles of these 'power trails', 'just in case'. Because such issues are not the norm for such caches, we tend to work reactively instead of proactively to such problems as a matter of practicality. But as you have found, when problems occur, the admins do respond.

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Glad you got it worked out to your satisfaction. For the *most* part, we don't have negative reactions from property owners when caches are placed on a public right of way, but sometimes, as in your case, it happens. As you can see from the map area you describe, this IS what is often called a 'power trail', and so you can only imagine that it would be quite the undertaking for the person(s) placing these caches to have contacted the property owners adjacent to these rights of way all along the many miles of these 'power trails', 'just in case'. Because such issues are not the norm for such caches, we tend to work reactively instead of proactively to such problems as a matter of practicality. But as you have found, when problems occur, the admins do respond.

 

I completely respect that and all of the Geocaching community. It means you are all more mature than about 90% of people on the internet!!

 

Thanks again everyone.

Edited by Aran365

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Oh, I dunno. Not all of our threads are this civilized! :blink: Very pleased that this one set a good example!

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