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Colorado Geo-Art to be Archived...

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Groundspeak needs to stop publishing power trails.
So what changes to the guidelines would eliminate them, without causing the volunteer reviewers undue headaches?

 

1) You MUST maintain your own caches. Stating or implying on the cache page that others may assist you in that will not be tolerated.

2) Stating on your cache page that Three Cache Monte is acceptable will not be tolerated.

3) Throwdowns are not allowed, even if the cache page says they are. Your log can be deleted for that.

4) Reinstate the wording "Just because you can hide a cache every 528 feet does not mean that you should."

 

That would be a good start, at least.

 

I used the word "reinstate" only on #4, but really, it could be used just as well on the first three, too. Those things never used to be considered acceptable, but permissiveness prevailed, and we are now seeing the results.

 

I see #1 and #3 violated in a non geo art /power trail situation all the time. If you can't police it in a normal situation, how can you enforce it in power trail situations? Number one, in particular is massively violated around my area...can't blame that on power trails. :blink:

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The main problem is with the people of Colorado. The land is treated as GOLD, trespassers will be shot!

In that state you may not even stand in a river that flows through property. Some roads do travel through private property.

You may find a gate across the road, hey it is a public road. Almost but not quite some roads are gated and you may only drive through after closing the gat behind you.

some roads go through private property, no gate. You may not stop at all. I have read of people getting arrested at gun point while fishing in public waters on private land.

In general the land owners are like little two year olds out there. I have said that to the Colorado DNR.

 

It doesn't take too many times of some idiot cutting a fence, driving through a crop, driving on a private lane (especially when muddy), shooting up equipment, leaving trash everywhere, theft, and just disrespecting private property in general to make people hyper sensitive to what strangers are doing in the area. The land should be treated like gold, have your tried to buy any? If you come to a gate that is closed you close it after you go through, private or public land. It is there for a reason. How would you like to have to drive the cattle (that are not always visible from the gate) back to where they belong each time someone who doesn't know better goes through. The land owners (who act like two year olds) could just as easily be saying folks from the city sure have a huge sense of entitlement to what I bought and paid for, and continue to pay property tax on.

 

It may not be geocachers who caused the problem, but I certainly understand their concerns.

 

Thank you. I agree. As I said in another post, some of that land has been in the family for generations. The land is a family heirloom, essentially, and they feel very protective of it. To call then "two year olds" because of that is pretty callous, at best. To them, you are an outsider, and they have a natural disdain for outsiders... and that disdain goes a long way back. You are on their property, whether it is legally theirs or not.

Before I began geocaching, I went on two Elk hunts out there. During one I went into town for supplies.

At one point a local started to follow me around. He then tried to cut me off in a parking lot.

His goal to bitch at me for being in his state. Very stupid of him since I was packing 9 mm on my hip.

Another time I went fishing in the rivers and found that if I were to accidently step on the river bbottom on the wrong side of the river I could be assaulted by the land owner that owned the dry land.

In that state you may not even touch the river bottom with a paddle. People have been assulted at gun point while canoeing a river. The water is public but the bottom is not.

So I stand by my statement 2 year olds. Some have even went after people on BLM lands.

But a very big issue here, I have said it before. Check your easement laws before you hid along a road.

Just because you see a ditch easement does not mean you get to use it. I own land along a road.

I own the land on both sides and the land the road is on. Township owns the easement. Trespass off the road not allowed. Not all easement laws are the same. You need to check first.

I have posted in the MNGCA forums a clip from Minnesota hunting book. It tells about our different rules depending on where in the state you are. As also said before just because you can hide does not mean you should.

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Groundspeak needs to stop publishing power trails.
So what changes to the guidelines would eliminate them, without causing the volunteer reviewers undue headaches?

 

1) You MUST maintain your own caches. Stating or implying on the cache page that others may assist you in that will not be tolerated.

2) Stating on your cache page that Three Cache Monte is acceptable will not be tolerated.

3) Throwdowns are not allowed, even if the cache page says they are. Your log can be deleted for that.

4) Reinstate the wording "Just because you can hide a cache every 528 feet does not mean that you should."

 

That would be a good start, at least.

 

I used the word "reinstate" only on #4, but really, it could be used just as well on the first three, too. Those things never used to be considered acceptable, but permissiveness prevailed, and we are now seeing the results.

 

1. not a problem. If I find a cache with a wet log instead of replacing the log I'll file an NA.

2. How are you ever going to know? How are you going to enforce it? Log deletion will probably not be tolerated by the frog.

3. Film cans are easily available. How are going to know that the film can there is yours or someone else's? And if there were never any DNF's how do you know who did the throwdown?

4. Okay, I'll do it every 700 feet.

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4. Okay, I'll do it every 700 feet.
And that's the source of the volunteer reviewers' headaches.

 

People were effectively hiding numbers run trails even with the old "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" guideline. They would spread them out over time, they would spread them out over multiple accounts, they would follow the letter of the law to obey whatever objective criteria were being enforced. But the end result was a cache every 530ft, perfect for numbers runs.

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This is a shame - the work and effort that went into creating this geo-art was clearly monumental!

 

Personally, I like the idea of geo-art. I like it because it gives me an extra goal to work towards. I like seeing how people use the natural geography of the area to make a picture. I like geocaching when it meets a specific goal rather than just for numbers. Whether you do it straight through or little by little, it's fun to watch your smilies turn into a shape or design.

 

But ultimately, when it comes to people feeling safe or protective versus us cachers having fun doing what we do, we do have to bend to the peace of mind of others. I'm also curious about how the good relations with locals was originally determined, and what happened to sour that. There is a lot of farm area where I live and I'll admit, when I see that a cache is right alongside the road beside a field, it makes me a little uneasy and I'm less likely to go after the cache after hearing stories like these. One CO who encountered problems with an angry landowner just moved the cache to the other side of the road - that is really not helping the situation in the least. I don't think that banning power trails and geo-art is the answer, though admittedly, I don't have a better idea. Power trails get a bad name, too, but they don't always deserve it - there is a hiking trail near me that has caches just about every 528' of its 12+ miles. It's a trail that is meant for walking, as opposed to a lonely road somewhere. Maybe if we stuck with keeping power trails on actual trails like that, they wouldn't be as much of an issue.

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1) You MUST maintain your own caches. Stating or implying on the cache page that others may assist you in that will not be tolerated.

2) Stating on your cache page that Three Cache Monte is acceptable will not be tolerated.

3) Throwdowns are not allowed, even if the cache page says they are. Your log can be deleted for that.

4) Reinstate the wording "Just because you can hide a cache every 528 feet does not mean that you should."

 

1. not a problem. If I find a cache with a wet log instead of replacing the log I'll file an NA.

2. How are you ever going to know? How are you going to enforce it? Log deletion will probably not be tolerated by the frog.

3. Film cans are easily available. How are going to know that the film can there is yours or someone else's? And if there were never any DNF's how do you know who did the throwdown?

4. Okay, I'll do it every 700 feet.

 

1. You should log a NM not NA

2. You'll know if cache 1 has 1 log, cache 2 has 2 logs... or similar

3. There"s bound to be a difference in container and/or logbook/roll. If a cache is gone you log a DNF, you don't replace and log a find. You might just be putting a second ontainer near the original well hidden one.

4. Time for common sense instead of guidelines, rules, laws.... If not by the CO then by the reviewer.

 

I've never seen such extreme measures on high traffic caches, series, trails here eventhough some individual caches have had problems with angry neighbors or landowners. Most of the time it because of caches that are placed on private property which should have happened anyway.

Of course, in a gun happy and lawsuit culture things seem to get out of hand a lot quicker.

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Here is the link to the log that did it -- which has photos.

 

Log with pics

I was shocked to read this part of the log

 

We replaced approximately 300 missing containers until we ran out. Threatening signs are being put up.

He writes that the neighbours are angry, removing caches and leaving angry notes (which includes expletives) but they throw down 300 containers to replace the caches removed by angry property owners. Wow! Gives power caching a bad name yet again.

Not only that, but of the 1,005 geo-art caches, they "found 1013 caches (a few extra that we passed along while finding the GCCO's.)"

 

That certainly gives the impression that, after they ran out of throwdowns, they also "found" the missing caches that they didn't replace.

Really? That's what bothers you?

 

I would say that the type of person who can convince themselves that hiding their own container is the precise equivalent of finding one that someone else hid because it fits with their unbridled lust for numbers, can probably convince themselves of anything that futhers that goal - including it being OK to repeatedly carpet-bomb an area where the locals are so unhappy about the presence of the caches that they'd leave notes with threats of violence in their place.

 

So yeah - it bothers me that people who play the game in an anything goes so long as I get my smileys way are out there, adding fuel to the fire.

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I would guess it was only a couple of people actually taking the time to print out stickers or whatever and also write on the logs. I would guess that they are going to be more mad when they find a replacement there. Those couple of people being mad is all it takes for these to need to be archived. No need to give geocaching a bad name.

I wouldn't say that all powertrails should be archived because of this. We have done part of some that were set up cool and didn't have problems. I see them just like any other cache. Someone could place just one that makes people mad. I find some that I don't think should be at that spot. Then have found power trails that seem fine.

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4. Okay, I'll do it every 700 feet.
And that's the source of the volunteer reviewers' headaches.

 

People were effectively hiding numbers run trails even with the old "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" guideline. They would spread them out over time, they would spread them out over multiple accounts, they would follow the letter of the law to obey whatever objective criteria were being enforced. But the end result was a cache every 530ft, perfect for numbers runs.

 

I never saw any of these organic power trails. Did they suffer the same issues that the power trail of today have seen? If not, why?

 

 

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And I really don't think they are good for the desert, either. Bad for the environment, bad public relations--what's the upside?

 

At the risk of being scoffed at and being called a "tree-hugger", you are right. They are not good for the desert.

 

bootcrus.jpg

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Groundspeak needs to stop publishing power trails.
So what changes to the guidelines would eliminate them, without causing the volunteer reviewers undue headaches?

 

1) You MUST maintain your own caches. Stating or implying on the cache page that others may assist you in that will not be tolerated.

2) Stating on your cache page that Three Cache Monte is acceptable will not be tolerated.

3) Throwdowns are not allowed, even if the cache page says they are. Your log can be deleted for that.

4) Reinstate the wording "Just because you can hide a cache every 528 feet does not mean that you should."

 

That would be a good start, at least.

 

I used the word "reinstate" only on #4, but really, it could be used just as well on the first three, too. Those things never used to be considered acceptable, but permissiveness prevailed, and we are now seeing the results.

 

I see #1 and #3 violated in a non geo art /power trail situation all the time. If you can't police it in a normal situation, how can you enforce it in power trail situations? Number one, in particular is massively violated around my area...can't blame that on power trails. :blink:

 

You didn't see #1 and #2 stated on the cache page. Performing cache maintenance for others has always been done as a favor, but the ultimate responsibility has previously been up to the CO. #2, TCM has never been a part of regular geocaching. And yes, there is no way of policing it, but you can still set guidelines and create peer pressure.

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The main problem is with the people of Colorado. The land is treated as GOLD, trespassers will be shot!

In that state you may not even stand in a river that flows through property. Some roads do travel through private property.

You may find a gate across the road, hey it is a public road. Almost but not quite some roads are gated and you may only drive through after closing the gat behind you.

some roads go through private property, no gate. You may not stop at all. I have read of people getting arrested at gun point while fishing in public waters on private land.

In general the land owners are like little two year olds out there. I have said that to the Colorado DNR.

 

It doesn't take too many times of some idiot cutting a fence, driving through a crop, driving on a private lane (especially when muddy), shooting up equipment, leaving trash everywhere, theft, and just disrespecting private property in general to make people hyper sensitive to what strangers are doing in the area. The land should be treated like gold, have your tried to buy any? If you come to a gate that is closed you close it after you go through, private or public land. It is there for a reason. How would you like to have to drive the cattle (that are not always visible from the gate) back to where they belong each time someone who doesn't know better goes through. The land owners (who act like two year olds) could just as easily be saying folks from the city sure have a huge sense of entitlement to what I bought and paid for, and continue to pay property tax on.

 

It may not be geocachers who caused the problem, but I certainly understand their concerns.

 

Thank you. I agree. As I said in another post, some of that land has been in the family for generations. The land is a family heirloom, essentially, and they feel very protective of it. To call then "two year olds" because of that is pretty callous, at best. To them, you are an outsider, and they have a natural disdain for outsiders... and that disdain goes a long way back. You are on their property, whether it is legally theirs or not.

Before I began geocaching, I went on two Elk hunts out there. During one I went into town for supplies.

At one point a local started to follow me around. He then tried to cut me off in a parking lot.

His goal to bitch at me for being in his state. Very stupid of him since I was packing 9 mm on my hip.

Another time I went fishing in the rivers and found that if I were to accidently step on the river bbottom on the wrong side of the river I could be assaulted by the land owner that owned the dry land.

In that state you may not even touch the river bottom with a paddle. People have been assulted at gun point while canoeing a river. The water is public but the bottom is not.

So I stand by my statement 2 year olds. Some have even went after people on BLM lands.

But a very big issue here, I have said it before. Check your easement laws before you hid along a road.

Just because you see a ditch easement does not mean you get to use it. I own land along a road.

I own the land on both sides and the land the road is on. Township owns the easement. Trespass off the road not allowed. Not all easement laws are the same. You need to check first.

I have posted in the MNGCA forums a clip from Minnesota hunting book. It tells about our different rules depending on where in the state you are. As also said before just because you can hide does not mean you should.

 

Well, clearly I am not going to change your mind, but still want to say that it has nothing to do with maturity levels... it has to do with laws. And if that were your land, you would also be standing up for your rights. And don't assume that the easement alongside a roadway is public property for any use. That simply is not true.

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Groundspeak needs to stop publishing power trails.
So what changes to the guidelines would eliminate them, without causing the volunteer reviewers undue headaches?

 

1) You MUST maintain your own caches. Stating or implying on the cache page that others may assist you in that will not be tolerated.

2) Stating on your cache page that Three Cache Monte is acceptable will not be tolerated.

3) Throwdowns are not allowed, even if the cache page says they are. Your log can be deleted for that.

4) Reinstate the wording "Just because you can hide a cache every 528 feet does not mean that you should."

 

That would be a good start, at least.

 

I used the word "reinstate" only on #4, but really, it could be used just as well on the first three, too. Those things never used to be considered acceptable, but permissiveness prevailed, and we are now seeing the results.

 

+1

 

Good ideas, all!

 

None of those would really prevent a power trail from being published...they would only change the way cache pages are written.

Ultimately it would have to come down to limitations on the number of caches that can be published by any person and in any given area in a given span of time. It would have to be written in such a way to keep groups of folks from coordinating a mass publication or groups of caches slowly being connected over time to create a massive trail. Perhaps the 528 foot rule is just PART of the saturation guideline...maybe it would need to limit the number of caches in a given square mile or along a given linear distance. No matter how it's done, it would have to be a real effort to eliminate power trails, and I'm not sure GS is interested in doing that.

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Groundspeak needs to stop publishing power trails.
So what changes to the guidelines would eliminate them, without causing the volunteer reviewers undue headaches?

 

1) You MUST maintain your own caches. Stating or implying on the cache page that others may assist you in that will not be tolerated.

2) Stating on your cache page that Three Cache Monte is acceptable will not be tolerated.

3) Throwdowns are not allowed, even if the cache page says they are. Your log can be deleted for that.

4) Reinstate the wording "Just because you can hide a cache every 528 feet does not mean that you should."

 

That would be a good start, at least.

 

I used the word "reinstate" only on #4, but really, it could be used just as well on the first three, too. Those things never used to be considered acceptable, but permissiveness prevailed, and we are now seeing the results.

 

1. not a problem. If I find a cache with a wet log instead of replacing the log I'll file an NA.

2. How are you ever going to know? How are you going to enforce it? Log deletion will probably not be tolerated by the frog.

3. Film cans are easily available. How are going to know that the film can there is yours or someone else's? And if there were never any DNF's how do you know who did the throwdown?

4. Okay, I'll do it every 700 feet.

 

For #3, add what I already have added in the first two: You may not state or imply on your cache page that those behaviors are to be tolerated, and put out word that it is bad form to do so. You won't stop it now... the genie is out of the bottle, but at least Groundspeak could stop encouraging it.

 

As for every 700 feet... before the power trail days, it was up to the reviewer to decide when you were "carpet bombing".

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This is a shame - the work and effort that went into creating this geo-art was clearly monumental!

 

IMO, creating "geo-art" using puzzles (container not at posted coordinates) is not really "geo-art" anyway. Any "art" exists simply on (digital) paper. A monumental amount of grunt work, perhaps, but that's about it.

Edited by knowschad

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This is a shame - the work and effort that went into creating this geo-art was clearly monumental!

 

IMO, creating "geo-art" using puzzles (container not at posted coordinates) is not really "geo-art" anyway. Any "art" exists simply on (digital) paper. A monumental amount of grunt work, perhaps, but that's about it.

 

That's where I will disagree with you. I know people who have created geo-art, and trust me...while there is a lot of grunt work, there's also an incredible amount of creativity involved as well. Art truly is in the eye of the beholder.

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Here is the link to the log that did it -- which has photos.

 

Log with pics

I was shocked to read this part of the log

 

We replaced approximately 300 missing containers until we ran out. Threatening signs are being put up.

He writes that the neighbours are angry, removing caches and leaving angry notes (which includes expletives) but they throw down 300 containers to replace the caches removed by angry property owners. Wow! Gives power caching a bad name yet again.

Not only that, but of the 1,005 geo-art caches, they "found 1013 caches (a few extra that we passed along while finding the GCCO's.)"

 

That certainly gives the impression that, after they ran out of throwdowns, they also "found" the missing caches that they didn't replace.

Really? That's what bothers you?

 

I would say that the type of person who can convince themselves that hiding their own container is the precise equivalent of finding one that someone else hid because it fits with their unbridled lust for numbers, can probably convince themselves of anything that futhers that goal - including it being OK to repeatedly carpet-bomb an area where the locals are so unhappy about the presence of the caches that they'd leave notes with threats of violence in their place.

 

So yeah - it bothers me that people who play the game in an anything goes so long as I get my smileys way are out there, adding fuel to the fire.

I agree, but claiming a find without leaving a throwdown is not the real problem here in my opinion.

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This is a shame - the work and effort that went into creating this geo-art was clearly monumental!

 

IMO, creating "geo-art" using puzzles (container not at posted coordinates) is not really "geo-art" anyway. Any "art" exists simply on (digital) paper. A monumental amount of grunt work, perhaps, but that's about it.

 

That's where I will disagree with you. I know people who have created geo-art, and trust me...while there is a lot of grunt work, there's also an incredible amount of creativity involved as well. Art truly is in the eye of the beholder.

 

You may be right about the creativity part, but my point is that the only "art" (or drawing or whatever you want to call it) existed because of bogus coordinates on the cache page, and had little or nothing to do with where the actual container was hidden.

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Here is the link to the log that did it -- which has photos.

 

Log with pics

I was shocked to read this part of the log

 

We replaced approximately 300 missing containers until we ran out. Threatening signs are being put up.

He writes that the neighbours are angry, removing caches and leaving angry notes (which includes expletives) but they throw down 300 containers to replace the caches removed by angry property owners. Wow! Gives power caching a bad name yet again.

Not only that, but of the 1,005 geo-art caches, they "found 1013 caches (a few extra that we passed along while finding the GCCO's.)"

 

That certainly gives the impression that, after they ran out of throwdowns, they also "found" the missing caches that they didn't replace.

Really? That's what bothers you?

 

I would say that the type of person who can convince themselves that hiding their own container is the precise equivalent of finding one that someone else hid because it fits with their unbridled lust for numbers, can probably convince themselves of anything that futhers that goal - including it being OK to repeatedly carpet-bomb an area where the locals are so unhappy about the presence of the caches that they'd leave notes with threats of violence in their place.

 

So yeah - it bothers me that people who play the game in an anything goes so long as I get my smileys way are out there, adding fuel to the fire.

I agree, but claiming a find without leaving a throwdown is not the real problem here in my opinion.

 

Then I guess you missed my point.

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This is a shame - the work and effort that went into creating this geo-art was clearly monumental!

 

IMO, creating "geo-art" using puzzles (container not at posted coordinates) is not really "geo-art" anyway. Any "art" exists simply on (digital) paper. A monumental amount of grunt work, perhaps, but that's about it.

 

That's where I will disagree with you. I know people who have created geo-art, and trust me...while there is a lot of grunt work, there's also an incredible amount of creativity involved as well. Art truly is in the eye of the beholder.

 

We have lots of puzzle Geo Art in Washington but not a single one of these would also be described as a power trail. We have Doctor Who, NUTS, WSGA, The Temple, Peace, etc, and none of them have more than a couple of caches in a row. They are either on a mountain or spread out over a huge swath of area given there are only 20-50 caches. Puzzle Geo Art on a small scale can allow folks to find appropriate hiding spots without having to cache in a spot they might not have if not for the need for that exact spot for the art.

 

Either way, I think its not Puzzle Geo Art that is the problem per se, its the sheer volume of caches put out there and the problems that lie with cachers getting them quickly, its much more noticeable than a cacher coming on a road getting one cache (and leaving the area quietly) vs what some power trails can bring in volume wise and the amount of time it takes to complete them.

 

(Edited to add the word puzzle to puzzle Geo Art)

Edited by lamoracke

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The North Carolina Star is mostly traditionals and off the trails. I'm surprised the park gave them permission to hide so many caches off the trails--all those people tramping through along the star route are surely doing damage to the environment. The ones that are all question marks at least allow for controlling where people walk. It's a National Forest, no less! I did it with friends, and wouldn't do one like that again.

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This is a shame - the work and effort that went into creating this geo-art was clearly monumental!

 

IMO, creating "geo-art" using puzzles (container not at posted coordinates) is not really "geo-art" anyway. Any "art" exists simply on (digital) paper. A monumental amount of grunt work, perhaps, but that's about it.

 

That's where I will disagree with you. I know people who have created geo-art, and trust me...while there is a lot of grunt work, there's also an incredible amount of creativity involved as well. Art truly is in the eye of the beholder.

 

You may be right about the creativity part, but my point is that the only "art" (or drawing or whatever you want to call it) existed because of bogus coordinates on the cache page, and had little or nothing to do with where the actual container was hidden.

 

I agree. Show me a geo-art series where the art extended to the all of the actual containers. They are most often after-thoughts, a means to an end.

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This is a shame - the work and effort that went into creating this geo-art was clearly monumental!

 

IMO, creating "geo-art" using puzzles (container not at posted coordinates) is not really "geo-art" anyway. Any "art" exists simply on (digital) paper. A monumental amount of grunt work, perhaps, but that's about it.

 

That's where I will disagree with you. I know people who have created geo-art, and trust me...while there is a lot of grunt work, there's also an incredible amount of creativity involved as well. Art truly is in the eye of the beholder.

 

You may be right about the creativity part, but my point is that the only "art" (or drawing or whatever you want to call it) existed because of bogus coordinates on the cache page, and had little or nothing to do with where the actual container was hidden.

 

I agree. Show me a geo-art series where the art extended to the all of the actual containers. They are most often after-thoughts, a means to an end.

 

Such a bland outlook. When I see really creative artwork, I like to imagine the work it took to create and the thought of completing it, thus making it yellow with smilies. :)

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It looks like we need to have a rule about the placement of power trails.

Maybe only on forest roads, bike, hike paths. None on public roads or housing communities.

I know this wont go over very well. I have seen some very questionable placements.

I know one CO attacked by home owner dressed in military outfit. He did not like that thing in the sign

in front of his house. The sign was along a public road with public sidewalk. Absolute public easement.

The kind of hide that pisses off the people that live there. He archived the hide. That was an example

of just because he could, he should not have. Lets all stop and think for a bit before making a hide.

Another example fire hydrant hides here are not allowed. Bad idea to hide there Fire dept. Gets pissed

when they find them if they need to use it. They wind up calling bomb squad.

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I agree for the most part. I have no problems with power trails being placed along roads, but care should be taken to place in a manner that will not upset locals. It can be done. I know at the last mega event I attended, there was a nice geo-art placed. While it was being placed, I was told that some landowners did not want it on "their" property, even though it was on county property. As the old adage goes...whether they own the land or not, if angry enough, they own the land! So, other places to hide were found and there were no issues.

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When you place any cache, you are inviting people to visit a location. 100 people visiting a particular lamp post in a busy parking lot might not be noticed. 100 people visiting a fence post on a rural road that normally sees one car a day will be. It doesn't really matter if this happens over the course of a month or a year, the increase in traffic is more noticeable when there was little traffic to begin with.

 

Property rights do NOT begin at the fenceline. In many cities, fences are required by law to be set back 5 to 10' from the curb whether or not there is a sidewalk. In rural areas, the fence may be set back even further, especially along a highway. That doesn't mean the space between the road and the fence is public property and you can do whatever you like there. That land is still private property and subject to whatever rules the landowner wants to make for it. Sorry if you can't play Frisbee or setup a fruit stand on the side of a highway, but those are the rules. Those rules also apply to geocaching.

 

As for power trails, we lost that battle long ago. As others above have noted, people largely ignored the "don't place a cache every 600 just because you can" aspect. They would create additional accounts or have friends place caches to completely saturate a trail or road. Now The Frog endorses Geo Art which is essentially a power trail that makes a design on the map. With the GCCO Geo Art the caches are spaced further apart than a typical power trail would be, but it has become a destination for people to fly in and visit. This traffic has not gone unnoticed and now we are paying the consequences.

Edited by Team GPSaxophone

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Given how far these caches in Colorado were spaced apart how broad of a restriction would be necessary to prevent similar situations?

 

"Caches must be .1 mi (528 ft) apart, but caches by the same CO along public road right of way must be .5 mi apart" would prevent typical power trails, but it has been established this was not a typical power trail.

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Given how far these caches in Colorado were spaced apart how broad of a restriction would be necessary to prevent similar situations?

 

"Caches must be .1 mi (528 ft) apart, but caches by the same CO along public road right of way must be .5 mi apart" would prevent typical power trails, but it has been established this was not a typical power trail.

 

Not necessarily...they'd have to come up with some pretty comprehensive changes to eliminate the publication of power trails. See my post here: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=332209&view=findpost&p=5506637

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When you place any cache, you are inviting people to visit a location. 100 people visiting a particular lamp post in a busy parking lot might not be noticed. 100 people visiting a fence post on a rural road that normally sees one car a day will be. It doesn't really matter if this happens over the course of a month or a year, the increase in traffic is more noticeable when there was little traffic to begin with.

 

Property rights do NOT begin at the fenceline. In rural areas, the fence may be set back even further, especially along a highway. That doesn't mean the space between the road and the fence is public property and you can do whatever you like there. That land is still private property and subject to whatever rules the landowner wants to make for it. Sorry if you can't play Frisbee or setup a fruit stand on the side of a highway, but those are the rules. Those rules also apply to geocaching.

 

 

I live in a very rural area, 3 houses on my side of the road in my 1 mile block. My property line extends to the middle of the road. The county has a 45' easement from the center of the road. The only thing allowed by me or the county in this easement is the road and a mailbox. Nobody either the county or me can place or authorize anything else in this easement.

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This is a very rural area where many of the roads are only used by the local farmers and their guests. In an area such as this, any increase of traffic is noticed. This was not a power trail, the caches were spread over a wide area and were mostly puzzle caches. About 100 people logged them all over the course of the year and many of those traveled in groups. There was a lot of support from the locals, but not everybody.This GeoArt was spread out over nearly 4000 square miles (that isn't a misprint) to prevent this from becoming a 'power trail'.

Not only that, but the Geocaching Colorado board and the cachers who placed the GeoArt did have positive relationships with most of the residents, and there were a few instances where caches were relocated further away from angry locals. My perception of the issue is that over the course of the year since these caches were activated, the few angry ones got their neighbors riled up against caching, and that's what ultimately caused death threats and the caches to be archived.

 

That being said, this is a very rural area and apparently some of the roads are leased to the county by the farmers, so in a sense there were some areas of the art that were on the farmer's property even though the physical cache was outside their fences, which may not have been realized at the time of placement as they appeared to be public propery. After seeing some of the notes and hearing some of the stories of vandalism that have occurred, I would be very leery of setting up any caches in rural areas like this without making sure EVERY resident was fully on-board with the initiative, which GCCO tried to do here and ultimately failed.

 

My biggest hope is that cachers reading this from out of state don't think this reflects on the caching experience as a whole in Colorado. We have two wonderful Geotrails in our state which are run by the counties/parks in which they are located, many fantastic mystery caches, and a very large and vibrant community - and we love meeting people from outside our borders!

Can you guys explain just how the Geocaching Colorado Board determined that it was "good enough for most of them"? Did they hold town meetings and take polls? Did they take out ads in the local newspapers? Send out mass mailings?

I would not be the guy to speak to about that - I'm not on the board and I wasn't involved with any of those discussions. This is what we have been told by the board, but if you really feel the need to clarify you are free to contact the board yourself through any method at geocachingcolo.com. As for me, I am friends with many of the board members and don't have any reason to doubt what they have to say about the situation.

 

To address everyone else in this thread, I don't think you can describe 1,005 caches over a 4,000+ square mile area as a power trail. Vilify power trails all you want (I'm not wild about them myself), but to me, this doesn't qualify as a power trail. It qualifies as art in my eyes, and should be characterized as such. To me, a power trail is where you've got 10+ caches every .1 - .2 miles along a road just because it's there and you can - which isn't how this series was designed or executed.

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And for a piece of "geo-art" in a National Forest, has the impact of said "geo-art" been presented to the Superintendent of that NF? I know that USDA National Forest lands have been "open" to geocaching for some time, but has the additional impact from a de facto power trail of geocaches been described to staff at the respective public land office?

 

From the perspective of a Federal or State lands manager, the original introduction and possible approval of geocaching activities was likely not given with a power trail or "geo-art" level of pilgrimage (use) to those lands. It is irresponsible for geocachers to continue to assume that their activities are all permitted because of an earlier permission. Each cache and cache series should be evaluated by the placer, Reviewer, and even the land manager if we're talking about something the land manager may consider saturation levels above the original permitted level.

 

It's like this: Q: "Can I place a cache here?" A:"Sure; it meets our land use compatibility determinations." ...and then the next geocacher assumes it's ok, and the Reviewer isn't familiar with state or federal requirements for compatibility determinations or conservation plans for that parcel of land, so...we get a bunch of caches placed under the assumption that it's just fine. It's as if someone gave me permission to camp on their yard this weekend, then I invite a hundred acquaintances to camp the next weekend while they're out of town. It just doesn't look good, and it really isn't going to help the gameplay on public lands in the long run.

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And for a piece of "geo-art" in a National Forest, has the impact of said "geo-art" been presented to the Superintendent of that NF? I know that USDA National Forest lands have been "open" to geocaching for some time, but has the additional impact from a de facto power trail of geocaches been described to staff at the respective public land office?

 

National forest lands vary a great deal - some require formal permits (and fees), some impose no restrictions, some allow caching within certain frameworks. The North Carolina Star was mentioned above as being on national forest land. Assuming that the geocaching policy for national forests in North Carolina remain in effect, it would require prior approval and a special use permit should the cache remain in place for over a year. If that was done, then the forest service would have been aware of the placement and impact.

Edited by geodarts

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To address everyone else in this thread, I don't think you can describe 1,005 caches over a 4,000+ square mile area as a power trail. Vilify power trails all you want (I'm not wild about them myself), but to me, this doesn't qualify as a power trail. It qualifies as art in my eyes, and should be characterized as such. To me, a power trail is where you've got 10+ caches every .1 - .2 miles along a road just because it's there and you can - which isn't how this series was designed or executed.

 

Okay. You win. The Colorado Geo-Art isn't a power trail. That doesn't change the fact that a large cluster of caches is causing some significant issues with the non-geocaching public. It's not the first time this has happened and unless the issue is addressed in some manner it won't be the last.

 

 

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To address everyone else in this thread, I don't think you can describe 1,005 caches over a 4,000+ square mile area as a power trail. Vilify power trails all you want (I'm not wild about them myself), but to me, this doesn't qualify as a power trail. It qualifies as art in my eyes, and should be characterized as such. To me, a power trail is where you've got 10+ caches every .1 - .2 miles along a road just because it's there and you can - which isn't how this series was designed or executed.

 

Okay. You win. The Colorado Geo-Art isn't a power trail. That doesn't change the fact that a large cluster of caches is causing some significant issues with the non-geocaching public. It's not the first time this has happened and unless the issue is addressed in some manner it won't be the last.

 

He shoots, he scores!

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And for a piece of "geo-art" in a National Forest, has the impact of said "geo-art" been presented to the Superintendent of that NF? I know that USDA National Forest lands have been "open" to geocaching for some time, but has the additional impact from a de facto power trail of geocaches been described to staff at the respective public land office?

 

National forest lands vary a great deal - some require formal permits (and fees), some impose no restrictions, some allow caching within certain frameworks. The North Carolina Star was mentioned above as being on national forest land. Assuming that the geocaching policy for national forests in North Carolina remain in effect, it would require prior approval and a special use permit should the cache remain in place for over a year. If that was done, then the forest service would have been aware of the placement and impact.

Right. And that policy only applies to those listed National Forests in the state of NC.

 

Has anyone from NCGO checked on those pieces of geo-art since they were first submitted? Have those caches been removed after a year? It's things like that which require a lot more work for Reviewers and cache owners, but often slip through the cracks.

 

These caches in CO aren't much different. If a set of caches (1000+!) aren't being maintained, and there is an agreement of any kind with land managers or property owners, part of the initial conversation includes an assumption that those caches would be taken care of. When people are acting untoward in any way, especially where borders and ownership is a contentious issue already, it invites trouble. I see nothing to worry about with these caches being archived. In fact, that's the best outcome based on what logs and experiences are saying about interactions with adjacent land owners.

 

Yes, people "plan a vacation" to "do that power trail", but they can still visit the area, find some caches, and still enjoy what that place has to offer aside from 1000 geocaches. Finding 1000 caches on a power trail or geo-art of any kind is quite a challenge that many are excited to complete. But that excitement should never trump proper cache maintenance and a solid reputation for the game on the whole.

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Colorado is such a gorgeous place with two July 2000 caches, the mountains, and lots of other great caches and places too go, I've always really scratched my head over anyone spending 3 or 4 days where they put that geoart then turing around and going home. It always seemed nuts to me.

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This is a very rural area where many of the roads are only used by the local farmers and their guests. In an area such as this, any increase of traffic is noticed. This was not a power trail, the caches were spread over a wide area and were mostly puzzle caches. About 100 people logged them all over the course of the year and many of those traveled in groups. There was a lot of support from the locals, but not everybody.This GeoArt was spread out over nearly 4000 square miles (that isn't a misprint) to prevent this from becoming a 'power trail'.

Not only that, but the Geocaching Colorado board and the cachers who placed the GeoArt did have positive relationships with most of the residents, and there were a few instances where caches were relocated further away from angry locals. My perception of the issue is that over the course of the year since these caches were activated, the few angry ones got their neighbors riled up against caching, and that's what ultimately caused death threats and the caches to be archived.

 

That being said, this is a very rural area and apparently some of the roads are leased to the county by the farmers, so in a sense there were some areas of the art that were on the farmer's property even though the physical cache was outside their fences, which may not have been realized at the time of placement as they appeared to be public propery. After seeing some of the notes and hearing some of the stories of vandalism that have occurred, I would be very leery of setting up any caches in rural areas like this without making sure EVERY resident was fully on-board with the initiative, which GCCO tried to do here and ultimately failed.

 

My biggest hope is that cachers reading this from out of state don't think this reflects on the caching experience as a whole in Colorado. We have two wonderful Geotrails in our state which are run by the counties/parks in which they are located, many fantastic mystery caches, and a very large and vibrant community - and we love meeting people from outside our borders!

Can you guys explain just how the Geocaching Colorado Board determined that it was "good enough for most of them"? Did they hold town meetings and take polls? Did they take out ads in the local newspapers? Send out mass mailings?

I would not be the guy to speak to about that - I'm not on the board and I wasn't involved with any of those discussions. This is what we have been told by the board, but if you really feel the need to clarify you are free to contact the board yourself through any method at geocachingcolo.com. As for me, I am friends with many of the board members and don't have any reason to doubt what they have to say about the situation.

 

To address everyone else in this thread, I don't think you can describe 1,005 caches over a 4,000+ square mile area as a power trail. Vilify power trails all you want (I'm not wild about them myself), but to me, this doesn't qualify as a power trail. It qualifies as art in my eyes, and should be characterized as such. To me, a power trail is where you've got 10+ caches every .1 - .2 miles along a road just because it's there and you can - which isn't how this series was designed or executed.

 

I think that the definition of "power trail" has somewhat gotten to mean any grouping of caches that cause people to come from long distances to find all of them. I agree that this geo-"art" (geo-drawing or geo-picture, to my artistic sensibilities) doesn't fit the classic definition, but you have to admit that it has had a similar impact to the standard power trails like E.T. That's what is important to this discussion, I think.

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Colorado is such a gorgeous place with two July 2000 caches, the mountains, and lots of other great caches and places too go, I've always really scratched my head over anyone spending 3 or 4 days where they put that geoart then turing around and going home. It always seemed nuts to me.

Seems strange to me also. While it might look pretty on a map, what you really have is a bunch of pill bottles spread out over 60 square miles while looking over your shoulder for angry ranchers. I find it hard to believe that you would book a vacation for art you can only see on a map when Colorado has much better to offer. I'm sure a lot of work was involved creating the cache but it's part of a larger situation I see evolving in geocaching.

Edited by TahoeJoe

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Here is the link to the log that did it -- which has photos.

 

Log with pics

 

Wow...that's just nuts!

Well...and where were the caches hidden? On a fence post? On the guard rail? :unsure:

 

This looks and sounds to me more like these caches weren't really that well thought out. Found an open road (geocachely-speaking) and placed as many caches as possible for a power trail. If the owner wasn't going to plan on maintaining their own caches when they placed them, people aren't going to log a NM or NA on the cache--they'll place throwdowns and keep trying for the 1000-cache outing.

 

This is a perfect example of cache ownership and use of proper log types. If a cache is in a "problem area" like a homeless camp or on a piece of private property, that cache usually will get a NM or NA log and get "taken care of" by the owner or the Reviewer. When you have a power trail that won't be properly maintained or dealt with when problems arise, we see this kind of black mark on the game we all like to play.

 

Archive them unceremoniously and move on. There's nothing to see here.

To me it was the combination of many factors. I did some that was close to the freeway on my way to and from Kansas. I was alone and so the farmers didn't take much notice of me. Especially when I was also photographing their state bird that seemed to love the cut fields.

I did see some issues. Some of the roads are public and some roads edge on private land. Some of the caches I found were on posts near private power boxes, pumping boxes and some were in the cornfields themselves. The corn stalks must have been cut to the ground when placed but when I was there the new growth was already a few inches high and some of these caches were in the boundary of the fields. Some were poorly placed with only a rock holding them down and the wind was blowing them off GZ.

 

When my friends came through there were carloads of cachers and not all were with my friends just followers. This is the type of behavior that will get noticed. But it must have had groups before them because they have found some of the caches were totally defouled and some missing. Some farmers were trying to follow them to find where the caches were hidden.

So in my opinion I had a feeling this would happen. Even if the CO had permission and warned them, not all the farmers and workers are going to like it when they see the amount cachers that would be coming.

As mentioned before Private or Public, if it bothers the locals, let it be and find an area where no one would be bothered.

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We explained that the icons on the map were not where the caches were and all physical placements were on public roads. This was good enough for most of them.

 

While I'm not a fan of geoart, on the ground it just looks like a mass of generic containers. Frankly, as quoted this is stupid anyway and takes away from the whole concept of geocaching, just a silly picture on a map with no real plan or work into creating a physical reality.

 

Its no loss.

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Its no loss.

 

As the French say: "Les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas" (tastes and colors shouldn't be discussed). Different strokes for different folks. Eventhough I would do this one (I have better things to do on holiday) I do like geo-art as a whole (just did a series last weekend).

 

The hobby is getting too popular which means more people will be out in areas where almost no-one came for years. Series, trails, etc attract even more people and that's bound to give trouble sooner or later.

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Colorado is such a gorgeous place with two July 2000 caches, the mountains, and lots of other great caches and places too go, I've always really scratched my head over anyone spending 3 or 4 days where they put that geoart then turing around and going home. It always seemed nuts to me.

Seems strange to me also. While it might look pretty on a map, what you really have is a bunch of pill bottles spread out over 60 square miles while looking over your shoulder for angry ranchers. I find it hard to believe that you would book a vacation for art you can only see on a map when Colorado has much better to offer. I'm sure a lot of work was involved creating the cache but it's part of a larger situation I see evolving in geocaching.

 

Geocachers exhibit puzzling behavior even without Power Trails. For example, in FL we have a old county challenge. I have heard many stories of folks blowing through the whole panhandle in one weekend, stopping for nothing but food, fuel, and one cache in each county.

 

You can lead a geocacher somewhere new, but you can't make them stop and smell the roses. :(

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This may sound overly simplistic, but I like to categorize geocaching locations into 3 types:

 

1. Caches in heavily populated areas

2. Caches in unpopulated areas

3. Caches in sparsely populated areas

 

Type 1 caches can get muggled, and sometimes the bomb squad is called. But most of the time they don't cause any problem as there are always lots of people around.

 

Type 2 is my favourite; you are unlikely to have any issues unless you get muggled by a passing hiker.

 

Type 3 are the ones which concern me the most and seem most likely to cause issues; especially a place which doesn't normally get visitors.

 

Then you add the dimension of numbers... hiding a lot of caches in an area is more likely to be noticed then just a few.

 

Hiding a lot of caches in a sparsely populated area not used to visitors = high chance of issues.

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Seems strange to me also. While it might look pretty on a map, what you really have is a bunch of pill bottles spread out over 60 square miles while looking over your shoulder for angry ranchers. I find it hard to believe that you would book a vacation for art you can only see on a map when Colorado has much better to offer. I'm sure a lot of work was involved creating the cache but it's part of a larger situation I see evolving in geocaching.

Ditto for me. We now have three geoart series relatively near me. The first series was a mixed bag -- some of the caches were along a quiet gravel road and I did them over a series of days while walking the dog. Not great caches, but at least there was some benefit. The other part of that series was along a busy highway -- walking through the ditch so I could stay off the road? Not so much fun.

 

The second series was published and I decided to go out and do some right away. It was OK while I was meeting up with some other cachers, but once I got to a section of the series they had done and I was left on my own? I quickly lost interest. Not surprisingly, we also had reports of local property owners being less than impressed with the sudden influx of people on their normally quiet roads, especially when those people are going right up to their fences and often in view of their houses. But, hey, why should a bad cache placement get in the way of making a pretty picture on the map?

 

Third series? I can't decide if it will be less tedious to solve all the puzzles and pick them off a few at a time or go through and Ignore them.

 

I'll never understand the numbers crowd -- I'll happily take a cache that shows me something interesting or unique over 1000 micros at the base of a fencepost any day.

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And once the art is archived (and all of it will be eventually, no cache lasts forever)--your smiley bit on the map is gone. I did the NC star--one of them got archived and replaced with a puzzle or something, now I have 49 smileys and an unfound cache on the map!

Edited by Dame Deco

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I think Geo-Art is kind of cool but it pales in significance to the quality of the caches. I've done 4 geo-art series as I recall.

- One was 20 or so caches in the shape of a key

- One was 12 or so caches in shape of a question mark

- One was 76 caches in New Zealand, spelling the letters NZ 4 times

- One was 14 caches making the shape of a letter Q

 

All of these were puzzle caches.

 

On all of these, I have to admit the shape caught my eye. But before deciding to do them I read the logs and they seemed to be good caches (and they were).

 

The NZ one was in a rural farming area. I did meet a couple of locals who were friendly and asked me if I needed help. But then again, I don't think they knew the caches were there.

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Hmmmmmmmmm,

 

Remember the old song "Convoy"

 

Lets get 3,000-5,000 vehicles ... maybe of the deuce and a half variety loaded with personnel and heat and cruise the roads at about 5 clicks per hour and "flush them out".

 

ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE ... ??!! who, me??!!

 

Ohhhhhhhhhhh, heck why not add a few biker groups from Waco, Texas to come along to help out

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Then you add the dimension of numbers... hiding a lot of caches in an area is more likely to be noticed then just a few.

 

Hiding a lot of caches in a sparsely populated area not used to visitors = high chance of issues.

 

You do understand that there is a huge density here of a little more than one cache for every four square miles (1 every 10 square kilometers), right?

 

The art is in an area of roughly 60 square miles, but the actual caches cover an area of 4,000 square miles.

 

Austin

Edited by AustinMN

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Does that matter? It still wasn't enough room. A cache series that draws carloads of people who are probably caching at all hours (even with a "no night caching' attribute and plea on the cache page) shouldn't be put somewhere like that. Groundspeak needs to take that as a lesson learned.

Edited by Dame Deco

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