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Whidbey Island Cache Machine II


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

 

(Link to dinner event cache.)

 

Whidbey Island: From the stores and marinas of Oak Harbor, to the frothy waters churning beneath the Deception Pass Bridge, to the windswept isolation of Ebey Bluffs, this will be a cache machine to remember. Let's go back.

 

So fill up the tank, grab your gear, toss down some breakfast at way-too-early o'clock, and start on the route in Oak Harbor at GC3T3GX, Please Return!. Sunrise on Saturday, January 2, is around 7:30 a.m., so we'll start then. From there, move at your own pace and get as many as you can.

 

Dinner's at 5:00 p.m. at DH Buffet, 551 NE Midway Blvd, Oak Harbor (N 48° 18.162 W 122° 38.628). It’s listed as an event cache, GC67ADY. 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.

 

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 Whidbey Island Cache Machine II FAQ:

 

When is it? When is the start time?

Saturday, January 2, 2016. Start time is 7:30 a.m. at GC3T3GX, Please Return!.

 

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

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

 

Is anything going on before, during, or after?

  • Friday, January 1, at 6:30 PM: An informal pre-event dinner will be at a location TBD. Last-minute changes will be announced here and in the Groundspeak forum.
  • Saturday, January 2, at 7:30 AM: Cache machine begins!
  • Saturday, January 2, at around noon: Ubie is hosting coffee and cookies at the Coupeville Library. Details forthcoming.
  • Saturday, January 2, at 5:00 PM: Dinner will be at at DH Buffet, 551 NE Midway Blvd, Oak Harbor (N 48° 18.162 W 122° 38.628). It’s listed as an event cache, GC67ADY.
  • Sunday, January 3: Nothing's planned, but there's a 32-cache power trail outside of Coupville 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 5:00 p.m., why does the route go to 7:30? Is this a two-day event?

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

 

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

Then come laugh at us, 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). Yes, Ebey Bluffs is a long 3.3 mile round trip hike, but the nine caches out there are so worth it.

 

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. *NEW* There's lots of deer on the island. Drive accordingly. I mean, they're not like the moose in Maine, but they'll still do a number on your car. *NEW*

 

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.

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

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Local 'gossip' about accomodations - third hand info. Just so you know... Oak Harbor: Queen Anne at one time housed long term residents, monthly live-ins, etc. Kind of run down. Acorn Inn: refurbished hotel, it was closed down before because of Meth issues (biohazard clean-up). It is open now, but you might want to be aware. Tyee Motel/Restaurant (12 miles from Oak Harbor) is a nice alternative, in Coupeville (Mom & Pop style motel). Coachman Inn & Candlewood Suites all ok.

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Local 'gossip' about accomodations - third hand info. Just so you know... Oak Harbor: Queen Anne at one time housed long term residents, monthly live-ins, etc. Kind of run down. Acorn Inn: refurbished hotel, it was closed down before because of Meth issues (biohazard clean-up). It is open now, but you might want to be aware. Tyee Motel/Restaurant (12 miles from Oak Harbor) is a nice alternative, in Coupeville (Mom & Pop style motel). Coachman Inn & Candlewood Suites all ok.

Good intel! Travis and I both booked the Acorn Motor Inn a few weeks ago. $55/night. Has good reviews and apparently good management.

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I know that puzzles are often bypassed on cache machine routes because they are not always something that all cachers can solve. Having noted that, I want to call out one particular puzzle cache that is actually on the route for those that are interested. Colonel Ebey's Time Capsule http://coord.info/GC13DA is the oldest active puzzle cache in Washington. If you haven't already I found this cache, I strongly encourage you to solve it and find it while going on this cache machine. Despite the 4-star difficulty, it isn't that hard to solve and it will be well worth everyone's time to grab this classic EraSeek cache.

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Local 'gossip' about accomodations - third hand info. Just so you know... Oak Harbor: Queen Anne at one time housed long term residents, monthly live-ins, etc. Kind of run down. Acorn Inn: refurbished hotel, it was closed down before because of Meth issues (biohazard clean-up). It is open now, but you might want to be aware. Tyee Motel/Restaurant (12 miles from Oak Harbor) is a nice alternative, in Coupeville (Mom & Pop style motel). Coachman Inn & Candlewood Suites all ok.

Good intel! Travis and I both booked the Acorn Motor Inn a few weeks ago. $55/night. Has good reviews and apparently good management.

We always stay at the Acorn Motor Inn. Great value with very nice rooms. Only drawback is the breakfast. It is right across the street from a large Safeway Store. Whidbey Island with its open areas and wonderful bays is our top place to visit. Being an old time Naval Aviator who flew biplanes we even enjoy the roar of the jets. We are not able to join you but best wishes on the Cache Machine. Dick & Arlene

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I'll be posting the final route on Monday, December 28. A few updates that will make it into the final but which you may want to know about now:

- The Friday pre-event dinner (not an event) will be at Island Cafe, 32070 SR 20, Oak Harbor, 48.29622,-122.65432.

- The lunch stop is now a coffee/cookie stop (GC number pending) at the Coupeville Library, drop in between 11 AM and 2 PM. Much appreciation, Ubie!

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The final route is up. Any further changes will be announced on Friday, here and at the informal pre-event dinner. Here's the link.

 

Somehow, the forecast is for temperatures 31°-40°, with no chance of rain or snow. For early January, that's gotta be a mistake.

 

Thanks for all the updated information. We've made reservations at the Navy Lodge as Pete is retired Navy/Air Force. Looking forward to this and the better weather is certainly just fine with us. Should see some of you on Friday evening, and then during the day on Saturday and Dinner Saturday night. We appreciate the hard work of TravisL and all others that may be involved in this. Now to get the bookmark list transferred to my GPS. Does the bookmark list (as revised on 12/11/15) need to be updated further? Probably with the coffee/cookie stop, but haven't scrutinized for any other chances. I see map modifications (thank you very much!!) but unsure if any caches have changed. We have found three on the list so will not have to do them (two State Parks caches, and the Earthcache at Deception Pass). See ya'll soon.

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Now to get the bookmark list transferred to my GPS. Does the bookmark list (as revised on 12/11/15) need to be updated further? Probably with the coffee/cookie stop, but haven't scrutinized for any other chances.

 

The bookmark update hasn't happened yet. JHolly will get to them when he gets to them, but if you need it now, I think the only changes are the addition of the coffee stop event (Book-It to Coupeville) and the removal of JJ's Awesome Cache. There may be a couple more, but that's what I remember changing yesterday.

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Boy, I cannot stress how THICK the deer can get outside of the towns on Whidbey during early morning & evening hours. Especially north end & central. It's like they're magnetic & attracted to cars. I've had to dodge them numerous times when I lived on Whidbey. They're smaller than mainland deer, but they'll definitely put a dent in your insurance premiums. They're stinkin' fearless...keep an eye out.

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Finally done with power outage and Thanksgiving, back to caching.

 

Good choices again, only found two on the route. :)

 

#3 GC3KB6J - may be missing according to the last log.

#63 GC32H5G - just a note, needs tool, looks like a jug of water

#64 GC5A6VR - previously noted, archived.

 

Bookmark posted, web page updated.

Thank you so much for the work you do on these. Looking forward to your updates :)

Edited by Lizzy
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Now to get the bookmark list transferred to my GPS. Does the bookmark list (as revised on 12/11/15) need to be updated further? Probably with the coffee/cookie stop, but haven't scrutinized for any other chances.

 

The bookmark update hasn't happened yet. JHolly will get to them when he gets to them, but if you need it now, I think the only changes are the addition of the coffee stop event (Book-It to Coupeville) and the removal of JJ's Awesome Cache. There may be a couple more, but that's what I remember changing yesterday.

The update is planned for later today.

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Since he's not posting it here - I'll give you the latest from WatchdogsMike - he has decided to leave the Ft Casey State Park cache on the CM so that people can get their passport stamps during this weekend. So kind of Mike :) We appreciate him leaving it on the list. So the Ft. Casey State Park cache is available for hunting! If he changes his mind, I'll leave it up to him to update the forum - it feels weird for me to do that... I'm deleting my original forum post about that to prevent confusion.

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Bookmark has been updated

Thanks for doing this. You probably don't realize how many people use this, but I've gotten several e-mails in the last 24 hours -- "is the bookmark list up yet?" -- so know that your work is appreciated by many.

 

WatchdogsMike [has] decided to leave the Ft Casey State Park cache on the CM so that people can get their passport stamps during this weekend.

I'll mention it on Friday, but I'm also saying it now -- keeping this cache on the route was a marginal call. Please tread lightly around it and the other state park caches.

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Bookmark has been updated

Thanks for doing this. You probably don't realize how many people use this, but I've gotten several e-mails in the last 24 hours -- "is the bookmark list up yet?" -- so know that your work is appreciated by many.

 

Yes, indeed. There would be no life without the your bookmark and the clever GSAK route numbering macro which allows us to rename the caches with the route number leading the name. Very cool. B)

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Bookmark has been updated

Thanks for doing this. You probably don't realize how many people use this, but I've gotten several e-mails in the last 24 hours -- "is the bookmark list up yet?" -- so know that your work is appreciated by many.

 

Yes, indeed. There would be no life without the your bookmark and the clever GSAK route numbering macro which allows us to rename the caches with the route number leading the name. Very cool. B)

Thanks for the kind words. After getting a number of comments over the years I was aware the bookmark was poplar. Glad to hear the numbering data and macro is useful. That was the only way I could figure to do it without breaking the TOU.

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I am planning on attending this event, I have never gone to one before. I am driving up from Pacific. I am hoping that I could get someone to either ride up with me or once I get there, to ride with me and help me out. Hopefully someone is interested.

 

David

 

I will be coming alone and would appreciate partnering with someone. I have a few of the caches on the smiley list already but not too many. I should be there by 7:30.

Joel

Mobile: 425-344-6078

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Last minute changes and announcements:

  • Watch out for deer, especially around sunrise and dusk. I encountered four of them this evening between Coupeville and Oak Harbor.
  • Watch out for black ice. Even at the height of the day, shady areas will still be slick.
  • Please tread lightly, but especially so around the State Park caches.
  • Stop 3, Thorn Berry, is likely missing. The thorns were mowed, and the cache likely was, too.
  • Way ahead of schedule? I'm told that the three off-route caches along Madrona Way (after stop 25 into Coupeville) make for a beautiful drive.
  • Front Street in Coupeville is one way -- the wrong way. Do stops 32, 31, and 30 in that order.
  • As noted above, stops 73 and 75, Flintstone Folly and Two-timer, are disabled.
  • One of the caches on the "do not hunt" list is actually available to hunt: GC3VK23, Cachers Vs Muggles, is near the last few stops on the route. Note its unique logging requirements.
  • For dinner tomorrow, we'll be in the party room in the back of the restaurant. Tell them you're with Travis.

 

See you for a chilly Machine tomorrow!

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Video of our hike @ Ebey Bluffs on Friday

 

Very nice! We couldn't do this walk either this CM or during WICM1 because of ankle problems. In between, the problem got solved but then got unsolved again last year. (Sadly, the problem initially happened during the two-day 2004 Portland CM with all those steep park trails.)

 

We plan on doing this hike some warm spring or fall day in the future. Thanks for this inspiration.

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