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Quincy Cache Machine


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.)

 

Quincy: you're virtually here already! The town hosts several data centers for Microsoft, Intuit, Yahoo, and several other companies. There's also a lot of geocaches here, in Ephrata, in Soap Lake, and along the roads in between.

 

So fill up the tank, grab your gear, toss down some breakfast at way-too-early o'clock, and start on the route in downtown Quincy at GC11KE8, Rotary Art. Sunrise on Saturday, October 3, is around 6:15 a.m., so we'll start then. From there, move at your own pace and get as many as you can.

 

Dinner's at 7:00 p.m. at Westside Pizza, 704 F St. SW, Quincy (47° 13.970’, -119° 51.870’). It’s listed as an event cache, GC61B72. See its event page for details. Please log your "will attends" on the event page.

 

Note that some 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 during the cache machine. 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.

 

You may find this bookmark list of do-not-hunt caches useful.

 

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 "QCM" 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. For the WildWest series, the cache owner suggests touch-and-go logging instead of removing and re-inserting the logbooks, which would require a tool.

 

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.

 

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The Quincy Cache Machine FAQ:

 

When is it? When is the start time?

Saturday, October 3, 2015. Start time is 6:15 a.m. at GC11KE8, Rotary Art.

 

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, October 2, at 7:00 PM: An informal pre-event dinner will be at El Agave Mexican Restaurant, 906 Basin St. SW, Ephrata, near stop number 92, GC5CH95 Double Stop 2.. Last-minute changes will be announced here and in the Groundspeak forum.
  • Saturday, October 3, at 6:15 AM: Cache machine begins!
  • Saturday, October 3, at 7:00 PM: Dinner will be at Westside Pizza, 704 F St. SW, Quincy (47° 13.970’, -119° 51.870’). It’s listed as an event cache, GC61B72.
  • Sunday, October 4: Nothing's planned, but there's a power trail west of town that might interest you.

 

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

Hey, that road doesn't exist!

What's with making us ford the Columbia River?

Thanks for catching that! Let me know, and I'll incorporate it into the route.

 

If dinner's at 7:00 p.m., why does the route go to 11? 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. In fact, you'll probably end up skipping Soap Lake altogether. Of course, if you wanted to hit them after dinner, or on Sunday, I'm sure you'll be able to find folks to join you.

 

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

Then come laugh at us, 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. Maybe pass your phone number around for us to call when we get stumped.

 

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. I'm also skipping caches that just seem at first glance to be a little lame, because there's so many caches and so little time. Don't worry, though, I've still got some parking lot caches for you.

 

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

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

 

X cache is in an environmentally sensitive area.

My cache is physically fragile and I don't want it broken.

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.

 

Rain? Snow? Landslides? Flooding? Rattlesnakes?

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.

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We are now win 10 enabled :)

 

Bookmark is posted and my website is updated with data file.

 

Good job picking the caches, I haven't found any of them :)

 

Problem children

 

#1 GC11KE8 - Last three DNF

#5 GCPEAR - Last three DNF.

#35 GC3WWAY - Last four DNF

#36 GC5RY2A _ Disabled

#76 GC4RZZ8 _ Last four DNF

#94 GC5MKEC - Disabled

#107 GC4WAMT - Last seven DNF

 

Jim, It'll be a very long distance cache if we have to go to Corvallis to get this cache in your bookmark list: GC5NEFJ :rolleyes:

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So... Anybody find good hotel deals yet?

 

FWIW, I just booked the Ephrata Inn Motel through Expedia at $60 a night. The Knights Inn in Quincy is the same price, but the general feeling of the reviews I'm seeing for it is "stay away."

I found a place for 15 dollars a night, Dinner and Breakfast are served in the room and Lunch makings are availabele. Of course, you have to supply the bed, floor, walls, roof and food yourself. The RV park at Vantage is a PA member so we can get it at half price! Blooming Idiot and I are in 'discussion' about whether we'll go, but it sounds like a good excuse to use the trailer again...

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So... Anybody find good hotel deals yet?

 

FWIW, I just booked the Ephrata Inn Motel through Expedia at $60 a night. The Knights Inn in Quincy is the same price, but the general feeling of the reviews I'm seeing for it is "stay away."

Airbnb is my friend. I booked a room in a home just outside Quincy for $36 a night. Sweet! Someone else booked their second room at the same time I did - wonder if it's another cacher.

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Comments inline below.

 

#1 GC11KE8 - Last three DNF

It looks to be an easy find, but some folks have had trouble in the past. It's probably gone. I'll keep an eye on it to give the owner a chance to replace it.

#5 GCPEAR - Last three DNF.

You don't find cache owners much more active than this guy. I'm sure it'll be active or archived by the time of the QCM.

#35 GC3WWAY - Last four DNF

A previous finder couldn't find it again. In my book, that means it's gone. Owner has no finds, two hides. I've logged a "needs maintenance" on it, but I'm guessing I'll be taking it off the route.

#36 GC5RY2A - Disabled

Owner says "will check on ASAP." I'll keep an eye on it.

#76 GC4RZZ8 - Last four DNF

And the last finder says they found it on the ground, presumably under a lamp post. I'm sure it's gone. Posted a Needs Maintenance.

#94 GC5MKEC - Disabled

Owner says will "get it up and running soon." I'll keep an eye on it.

#107 GC4WAMT - Last seven DNF

Previous finders can't find it. Phone-a-friends didn't help. I posted a Needs Maintenance, but the owner's already let it sit for three months without comment. I assume that it's going to be archived.

 

Also, GC5RBRD, Roll on Columbia Roll On! is currently disabled, because the last finder decided to move it 50 feet away to a safer location. It's still findable, I assume, so I'll keep it on the route unless its situation changes.

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Travis, I have looked over the route for the Quincy/ Ephrata cache machine and offer some changes that should be considered.

 

Route Changes for the Quincy Cache machine. The following cache sequence locations should be changed to this sequence: 29, 32,31,30

Turn around after finding Cache No. 29… Unless you have a high clearance all wheel drive vehicle. The route noted is the Old Hwy and is bermed up at both ends.

The next cache would be No. 32 Parking is along the East Bound SR 28, and only room for one vehicle to park.

No. 31 would be next. Turn off SR 28 at N47⁰ 14.166’ W120⁰ 02.923’, Road is passable with most vehicles until the berm of dirt. Blocking the road. (4x4 high clearance can drive over it,)

No 30 is beyond the berm and up the hill a short distance.

Cache No. 50 to 57 status is unknown were in the wild land fire area from July, and conditions are not known.

 

Caches on the Old Ephrata Air Base (83,84,85,86) are walks. The streets to these are closed off and are not maintained. Some will be a ½ mile or more of a walk one way depending where you park.

Edited by Mr. Gadget #2
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The second draft is up. After posting it, I realized that stop 32 was out of place (it should be two earlier, to 30), and that I neglected to remove stop 75. That'll be done on the final.

 

Regarding the caches mentioned above:

  • GC4RZZ8 - Should be removed from route. Oops.
  • GC4WAMT - Removed
  • GC3WWAY - Removed
  • GC5MKEC - Disabled, will be fixed soon. Keeping.
  • GC11KE8 - Emailed cache owner. It'll be running for us.
  • GCPEAR - Confirmed, subsequently found.
  • GC5RY2A - Replaced and ready
  • GC5RBRD - Fixed and ready

 

I'll be out of town for a while, and will be scrambling to catch up on work when I get back, so this will be the last draft before I post the final on September 28. Thanks again to JHolly, Mr. Gadget #2, LanSearch, and Sootey for your help. It looks like the wildfires got close to -- but didn't impact -- the caches along the northern edge of the route, so we've had that to consider as well.

Edited by travisl
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For those of you like me who count on cell phone connectivity to do your geocaching, be sure to have an offline system, too. Looking at the coverage maps, AT&T is pretty solid, but T-Mobile is weak once you leave SR-28, and Sprint looks like it'll only have good data coverage between Quincy and Soap Lake.

 

Dinner on Saturday is confirmed. Local law enforcement has been notified. Pocket queries are being loaded. Let's do this.

 

I'm considering scenic routes from the wet side to Ephrata. Anybody know what the zig-zaggy road south of GCR9FN Door #2 near Corfu is like? I'm thinking that my little two-door Pontiac might struggle to get to GCN8P6 Saddle Mountains Overlook Earthcache, but long dirt roads don't scare me. (Edit: here's a Google Maps link to the dirt road I'm talking about)

Edited by travisl
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Anybody know what the zig-zaggy road south of GCR9FN Door #2 near Corfu is like? I'm thinking that my little two-door Pontiac might struggle to get to GCN8P6 Saddle Mountains Overlook Earthcache, but long dirt roads don't scare me.

 

Never mind this question. I've had one cacher who's been in the area tell me "That road is NOT for you. I have a tricked out jeep and it made me nervous." And further search results describe the Corfu switchbacks as "treacherous" and "steep", and that "hardy four-wheelers like to use the road".

 

I need me a helicopter. :laughing:

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Ah crap, you know you just changed Jeff's itinerary, right? :)

 

I'm still not 100% sure I'm skipping it yet. Another cacher tells me, "the road looks good, but I haven't figured out how to get there." But a third says that going in from the south, downhill, shouldn't be a problem if I go slowly in first gear. Hmm.

Edited by travisl
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For those of you like me who count on cell phone connectivity to do your geocaching, be sure to have an offline system, too. Looking at the coverage maps, AT&T is pretty solid, but T-Mobile is weak once you leave SR-28, and Sprint looks like it'll only have good data coverage between Quincy and Soap Lake.

 

Dinner on Saturday is confirmed. Local law enforcement has been notified. Pocket queries are being loaded. Let's do this.

 

I'm considering scenic routes from the wet side to Ephrata. Anybody know what the zig-zaggy road south of GCR9FN Door #2 near Corfu is like? I'm thinking that my little two-door Pontiac might struggle to get to GCN8P6 Saddle Mountains Overlook Earthcache, but long dirt roads don't scare me. (Edit: here's a Google Maps link to the dirt road I'm talking about)

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FYI from dinner tonight: One cachet DNFed the following today: 18, 22, 27, 36, 39, 42, 48, 50, 51, and 62. He found the remains of 25. Number 27 is probably buried in the tailings of the hill. Number 77 is probably gone; there's a bare strip of Velcro in the hunt location.

 

See you tomorrow morning!

 

(Also, I ended up not taking the Corfu switchbacks. Clearance issues.)

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You know what rd had me curious today? Looking at the maps, trying to figure out how to squeeze a ride up Slack Canyon Rd (Douglas Creek). It's just off our cache machine route, but I hear not good except for high clearance vehicles, which made me want to try it more! It's just north of "WagOn" which is on the CM route. Looked really cool.

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My pizza arrived at 8:20, about 70 minutes after I ordered. I assume that most of the folks behind me in the ordering line -- and there were several -- got theirs even later.

 

Just FYI, I made initial contact with the manager, Chris, via e-mail in July, then spoke with him in August, and again on September 30. He assured me that they were ready to handle 50 people. When I did a head count at 7:30, there were 48 of us. I also told him to be ready at 6:30, despite the planned 7:00 arrival time.

 

When I was telling the story to a friend of mine yesterday, he asked if I'd go back if I ever plan Quincy II. At first, I said yes, because it's the only game in town. But no, if I do QCM II, I'll plan to end the route in Ephrata or Soap Lake, and find somewhere there.

 

I've got an e-mail in to him expressing our displeasure. I'll let y'all know what I hear back.

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Can't win them all - good try though Travis. You did everything you possibly could. Looking forward to Whidbey, although there isn't a whole lotta places there that can feed a crowd cheap. Might want to alert base security if you include many caches near the Seaplane base or top of the hill from the main base. Just sayin'

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For those of you who keep track of such things, I've updated the list of upcoming cache machines. A tipster at dinner on Saturday pointed out that Colville has now reached the level where a cache machine is possible, and I've been eyeing that area for years. It will be replacing Wenatchee III in September 2018.

 

I moved up Wenatchee III 6 months to March 2018 (please no late snow!), pushing out Moses Lake II 4½ years to September 2022, and, unfortunately, pushing out Missoula II a year to September 2023.

 

I'll be the first to admit that it's ridiculous to be thinking about CMs eight years in advance (so don't count on it being accurate that far out), but nearly every CM, someone asks, "when will you be having one in X" or "you should have one in Y," and this is how I keep track of the best of the suggestions.

 

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For those of you who keep track of such things, I've updated the list of upcoming cache machines. A tipster at dinner on Saturday pointed out that Colville has now reached the level where a cache machine is possible, and I've been eyeing that area for years. It will be replacing Wenatchee III in September 2018.

 

 

I did a little dance & a cheer when I saw Colville on the list!! But then shed a tear when I saw the Nanaimo CM (much anticipated) listed the week before Geowoodstock in Denver. If you ever consider moving that date - I'll do another happy dance, but I understand how hard it is to schedule these things and please everyone.

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Comment on the cache machine on Whidbey Island - motels the weekend of Jan. 2 might be a real challenge with folks going for a New Years get away. Maybe Jan. 9 would be a better choice? Even for folks in and around Seattle getting to Whidbey is either a ferry ride from Mukilteo or a long drive up I-5 which adds to the length of the day. For me the only practical way is the Pt. Townsend ferry and that time of the year it is a one boat schedule and you really need reservations.

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Comment on the cache machine on Whidbey Island - motels the weekend of Jan. 2 might be a real challenge with folks going for a New Years get away. Maybe Jan. 9 would be a better choice? Even for folks in and around Seattle getting to Whidbey is either a ferry ride from Mukilteo or a long drive up I-5 which adds to the length of the day. For me the only practical way is the Pt. Townsend ferry and that time of the year it is a one boat schedule and you really need reservations.

What Jim said, in spades.

 

And what Lizzy said too. Dang, have to choose between GW and Nanaimo.

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Comment on the cache machine on Whidbey Island - motels the weekend of Jan. 2 might be a real challenge with folks going for a New Years get away. Maybe Jan. 9 would be a better choice? Even for folks in and around Seattle getting to Whidbey is either a ferry ride from Mukilteo or a long drive up I-5 which adds to the length of the day. For me the only practical way is the Pt. Townsend ferry and that time of the year it is a one boat schedule and you really need reservations.

What Jim said, in spades.

 

And what Lizzy said too. Dang, have to choose between GW and Nanaimo.

For Whidbey - look into non-traditional places to stay, BNB, Ft Casey guest houses (cool, stay on park property) share a vacation house with several cachers. I don't think there's a bad hotel on Whidbey. I'm staying with my bestie at her house in Coupeville ;)

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Comment on the cache machine on Whidbey Island - motels the weekend of Jan. 2 might be a real challenge with folks going for a New Years get away. Maybe Jan. 9 would be a better choice? Even for folks in and around Seattle getting to Whidbey is either a ferry ride from Mukilteo or a long drive up I-5 which adds to the length of the day. For me the only practical way is the Pt. Townsend ferry and that time of the year it is a one boat schedule and you really need reservations.

What Jim said, in spades.

 

And what Lizzy said too. Dang, have to choose between GW and Nanaimo.

For Whidbey - look into non-traditional places to stay, BNB, Ft Casey guest houses (cool, stay on park property) share a vacation house with several cachers. I don't think there's a bad hotel on Whidbey. I'm staying with my bestie at her house in Coupeville ;)

Yeah, BNB is not a bad idea if you don't mind popping $150 or more a night. But I suspect the availability will still be a problem, unless the price is what makes them more available.

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Two nights ago, I booked the Acorn Motor Inn in Oak Harbor for $55 a night on Priceline, fully refundable. January 9 is both too far out for my liking (not enough down time between it and the spring CM. My preference is December 19, but that interferes with too many pre-Christmas plans), and I think the WSGA holiday party is typically that weekend.

 

Backing up Nanaimo to June 18 becomes problematic with some school schedules, but I see that June 25 also conflicts with the 2016 Tri-Cities Geocoin Challenge. Changing the NCM to June 18 may be doable. It's crazy to think that events 400 miles apart may interfere with each other, but we're a crazy group of folks.

 

Would June 18 for the NCM be better for most of you?

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Would June 18 for the NCM be better for most of you?

Don't care.

In theory, yes, but I think you should stick to your schedule, cos it's your baby and you know what works best. After all, the TriCities event is right next to GeoWoodstock, as well.

 

Ditto for the Whidbey CM, for the reasons you cited (e.g., the WSGA-PS party is usually the second weekend in January).

Edited by hydnsek
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Would June 18 for the NCM be better for most of you?

Personally, I love June 18 for NCM and would make it doable for our team (I think we're all headed to GW in Denver) - but it is your baby. I never want to presume that you will bend to fit people's wishes, but am grateful that you are considering it.

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While syncing my calendar with my kiddo's school calendar this morning, realized the Tri-Cities CM is Easter Weekend

 

Crapola. That's not good. I wouldn't be able to go, as wouldn't most cachers, I suspect.

 

OK. Tri-Cities III will be March 19. Nanaimo will be June 18. Yakima III September 24.

Edited by travisl
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