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Nanaimo 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. If you think you've seen this all before, focus on the unique-to-this-event information in red. This is in the U.S. Northwest forum (I'm from Tacoma), so it's written from a US-centric perspective. If you're a Vancouver Islander, some of this might not apply.

 

(Link to dinner event cache.)

 

Nanaimo: The Harbour City. We'll be a month too early for the world championship bathtub races, but no matter — we're just here for the geocaches.

 

So fill up the tank, grab your gear, toss down some breakfast at way-too-early o'clock, and start on the route in at GC1VE5R, Stache the Cache #2 on Saturday, June 18, at 5:15 a.m.. From there, move at your own pace and get as many as you can.

 

Dinner's at 7:45 p.m. at Boston Pizza, 5779 Turner Rd (N 49° 13.455, W 124° 02.186). It’s listed as an event cache, GC6GNKH. See its event page for details. Please log your "will attends" on the event page so I can let the restaurant know how many to expect.

 

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 "NCM" is fine for most small and micros. Don't go filling up the logbook just because you want to mark your territory. 50 people's names and dates will fill up most one-sheets. Be kind and bring extra paper to add to caches with full logbooks.

 

4) As with all cache machines, if you find the cache, you'll be the one who has to re-hide it. Hide it as well as you found it. Handing it off to someone else and pointing down saying "it goes there" isn't good enough. Don't be a jerk. The extra 45 seconds isn't going to ruin your day.

 

If you’ve already found a couple of these caches, that’s fine - give us a chance to find the cache, and then we may turn to you for a hint. Suggestions and ''Count me ins'' are welcome on the event page.

 

----

 

The Nanaimo Cache Machine FAQ:

 

When is it? When is the start time?

Saturday, June 18, 2016. Start time is 5:15 a.m. at GC1VE5R, Stache the Cache #2.

 

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, June 17, at 6:30 PM: An informal pre-event dinner will be at a location to be announced, probably a Nanaimo bar... umm, Nanaimo pub, I mean. Last-minute changes will be announced at this dinner and here in the Groundspeak forum.

Saturday, June 18, at 5:15 AM: Cache machine begins!

Saturday, June 18, at 7:45 PM: Dinner will be at at Boston Pizza, 5779 Turner Rd (N 49° 13.455, W 124° 02.186). It’s listed as an event cache, GC6GNKH. RSVP at the event cache page. If there's more than 60 of us, additional seating will be on the patio.

Sunday, June 19: Nothing's planned, but you're welcome to get all of the caches we drove past on Saturday making you say, "hey, why aren't we getting that one?"

 

Hey, why aren't we getting that one?

My standard answer here is that 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. However, for this cache machine, there's nearly 1000 caches within a 7 mile radius, so I'm focusing heavily on caches that have more than 15 favorite points (as of late April). Specifically, I downloaded a pocket query of 1000 caches, marked all the traditionals with 16 or more favorite points, routed between them, and filled in the gaps.

 

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 your fix into the route.

 

If dinner's at 7:45 p.m., why does the route go to 11:00? Is this a two-day event? Is this Spinal Tap?

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 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. Hotels seem to be a little more expensive than normal cache machines. Ferry fare should also be a consideration. BC Ferries from Tswassen or Vancouver is about $75 CAD each way, plus $15 reservation fee; the MV Coho from Port Angeles is about $64 USD, plus $11 reservation fee.

 

Papers, please? What do I need to get across the border?

I'm no expert in international travel, but the MV Coho's site says that for most of you, an Enhanced Drivers License is good enough. Of course, if you bring a passport (or, like me, if your Nexus card comes through in time!), you're golden.

 

Lunch? Breaks? Bathrooms?

There's no breaks in cache machines! Just hold it. :-P Or find something on the way.

 

Rain? Snow? Landslides? Flooding? Really big staircases? Tim Hortons?

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 park a car for a short time (usually a trailhead).

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

 

(Edit: clarifying ferry fare currency)

Edited by travisl
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I've signed up for the "Geocaching on Vancouver Island" Facebook group, so I can warn the locals of our impending arrival. I looked at the Canada forum, but it's overbroad and underused. I also looked at http://www.bcgeocaching.com/community/ and http://vigps.com/forums/index.php , but those forums seem to be very rarely used.

 

I do have e-mails slowly trickling out to about 50 local cache owners (properly throttled by Groundspeak's anti-spam algorithm), so the really active folks shouldn't be caught by surprise.

 

The first draft of the route will probably be up next week. For now...

1) What's a good pub to hold the unofficial pre-event dinner?

2) Any tips on cheap hotels? They all seem rather pricey despite the exchange rate ($1.00 USD = $1.25 CAD)

Edited by travisl
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Just a thought. We booked last Feb. and got a room at the Buccaneer Inn, 3 nights, nothing fancy, but nice and near the marina as we'd hoped. In USD we are paying about $70 a night. So didn't think that was too bad. Don't think that covered taxes yet though, don't recall. ekAggie

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We used AirBNB the last time we went to Canada. It was the 2nd time we used the site and it worked out quite well. They have some pretty decent prices. My app tells me that I can send a referral that will give the referred a $20 credit for signing up and booking something through them, and for myself as well. I've never tried the referral thing before, but if someone wants me to send a link then just send me an email/message.

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I've shared it to the BCGA forums and VIGPS forums just in case it catches someones eyes there.

 

I've never really stayed in any hotels here so I unfortunately can't help on that part. The Longwood Brewpub, like you mentioned earlier, is my favourite pub in town and is quite good. They could potentially host the pre-event dinner as long as it's not too big. I would also recommend their raspberry ale!

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I've just posted the first draft of the route. If you know the area -- or even if you don't -- take a look and provide me with any suggestions you've got. Am I going into the wrong side of a park? Does my old software go down a closed road? Is the low tide still to high to get to the island? Please let me know.

 

And thanks, BCrockCrawler and Wilson/Goat, for the pub suggestions. I'm going a bit off the beaten path for the pre-event dinner at Smokin' George's. The pulled pork poutine sold me on it.

Edited by travisl
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I would make #32 GC67RCB Harbourfront Walkway TB Hotel #28 as it would be easier getting it from the same parking as #27 GC53C4 Newcastle Views. The elevation difference between the road and pathway is quite large at #32's location and to access it from the road requires you to backtrack on foot to some stairs near the bridge you just drove over which put you at the foot bridge that you can take from the parking area for #27.

 

Then bump the next 4 caches up 1 number and continue to #33 and #34. The parking and access for these 2 caches is towards #34.

 

#37 will require minimum 1 litre of water to retrieve.

 

There should be public washrooms available at 40 to 48 and a pit toilet at 50 to 59

 

For #46,47,48, a 1 meter tide at 11:00 should be passable. It is about the 'Highest' Low tide that will allow the crossing without too wet of a crossing. Best to have semi waterproof foot wear though.

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We used AirBNB the last time we went to Canada. It was the 2nd time we used the site and it worked out quite well. They have some pretty decent prices. My app tells me that I can send a referral that will give the referred a $20 credit for signing up and booking something through them, and for myself as well. I've never tried the referral thing before, but if someone wants me to send a link then just send me an email/message.

I'm going the airbnb route this time - got three nights at a home in the historic district of Nanaimo for $165 total. Sweet!

 

This is my third trip with airbnb. I used it for the Quincy CM (cheap place in Quincy) and also for a trip to Lopez Island last summer (not many hotels there, and none cheap).

 

I also can do referral discounts for folks if interested.

Edited by hydnsek
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For the last few Canadian cache machines, I'd used my work-issued phone, which included international services. They stopped that last year. Now that I'm on my own dime, I had to find a cheap way to get data. Looks like https://roammobility.ca/ is the approach I'm taking. $35 for 500MB, as opposed to the 30¢/MB my carrier would charge me. I checked my data usage for Whidbey Island and Tri Cities, and those weekends used about 400MB. I *think* this will work.

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I would make #32 GC67RCB Harbourfront Walkway TB Hotel #28 as it would be easier getting it from the same parking as #27 GC53C4 Newcastle Views.
Excellent suggestion. I'll do this for the next draft.

 

Bookmark posted. Really no comments, except for maybe #118 and nor really sure about this one.
Digging through the logs of #118, GC3CM0Z Be My Valentine Cache, it looks like it's a tough find in the ivy behind these two kids, but it's probably there. I'll keep an eye on it.

87b12b84-7110-4c64-b974-26114ab9e9e6_l.jpg

 

Thanks as always for making the bookmark list and the data file.

Edited by travisl
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For our American visitors: Like most of our neighbouring states, BC has a distracting driving law. However, here it also extends to other electronic devices such as hand held GPS receivers, iPods and mp3 players. (It also can be used for drinking or eating while driving but I have not heard of this aspect of the law being enforced anywhere)

 

You can be ticketed for just holding a cell phone or GPS while driving. This includes use of or holding either while stopped at a traffic light or other control point. My advice is that you have a passenger do all the navigating for the driver while the vehicle is moving from cache to cache. The present fine is $167 CAD but this morning it is expected that the government will make an announcement raising this amount of the initial fine with probably a graduated raising of the amount for repeat offenders.

 

This is a result of an incident earlier this year when the RCMP pulled over a driver for distracted driving and found that the driver had 12 previous tickets. The driver has since lost their drivers license and predicated the review of the present fine.

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Thanks for the warning, BCrockCrawler. Specifically with GPS devices, BC law says that you can use a handheld GPS if 1) it's securely fixed to the vehicle, and 2) it's programmed before the you begin to drive, such as when you're lawfully parked. Being stopped at a red light doesn't count as "lawfully parked". The fine is $543 CAD ($420 USD).

 

Sources:

http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/96318_06

http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/308_2009

http://vancouver.ca/police/assets/pdf/media/2013/distracted-driving-faqs.pdf

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-distracted-driving-law-change-1.3573249

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We are going to try and get some cachers down from the north island. It would be fantastic if you could do a cache machine event in the Comox valley

I've admitted in the past that I put on these events for selfish reasons -- to give me a reason to go somewhere I've never explored, and to have other people help me find caches that I'd probably not find on my own. I appreciate the suggestion, but, selfishly again, I've limited CMs to a six-hour drivetime from my home, and the Comox Valley is outside of that range.

 

Admittedly, I made an exception for Missoula in 2008. It turns out that it's also one of the two CMs I organized that I didn't go to. Everything else has been in this six-hour drivetime zone. I'd considered San Francisco once, but discarded the idea a few months later.

 

I may change my mind in the future, if I cache out every neat community in this area. I have Missoula on the schedule for 2023, but as it stands today, I'm likely to replace it with somewhere closer (maybe Chilliwack) as the years pass.

TAE4ARn.png

Edited by travisl
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No second draft; just not enough hours in the day this week to get it cleaned up enough for general consumption. I've updated my own copy, however, and can tell you there's very few changes:

- I moved GC67RCB earlier in the route as discussed above.

- GC3G2MZ has been archived.

- GC58NZV has been activated, and is just after stop 11.

- GC6H6KZ is a new cache added to the route, as discussed above.

 

The final route goes up Monday. After that, any changes will be announced at dinner on Friday and in this forum Friday evening.

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So xstitcher stopped by Smokin' George's and chatted with George about seating capacity today. He can only seat 35 max. :( Is there anyway to figure out who plans to stop by on Friday? Remember, George's is fairly busy on a Friday night so there may already be customers there

Not a concern. I always play Friday night very loose and casual, and they told me that by the time we're scheduled to arrive for dinner, their Friday night crowd should have died down. It's not an official event, it's just me showing up, somewhere fun for dinner, and maybe getting a few last minute bits of advice from folks who started parts of the route a day early.

 

The pre-event diner is really a relic of CMs from years ago, when people had everything loaded and printed out before they left home, and connectivity was only for those rare few who had heavy laptops and could navigate hotel network cabling. It's much less important now.

 

However, I do appreciate xstitcher checking it out for us. They seat 35? That's six more people than the current number of "will attends" for the Saturday dinner event. I think we'll be fine. Based on past experience, with 29 will-attends 10 days before the event, I think we'll be lucky to have a dozen of us at Friday's unofficial dinner.

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So xstitcher stopped by Smokin' George's and chatted with George about seating capacity today. He can only seat 35 max. :( Is there anyway to figure out who plans to stop by on Friday? Remember, George's is fairly busy on a Friday night so there may already be customers there

Not a concern. I always play Friday night very loose and casual, and they told me that by the time we're scheduled to arrive for dinner, their Friday night crowd should have died down. It's not an official event, it's just me showing up, somewhere fun for dinner, and maybe getting a few last minute bits of advice from folks who started parts of the route a day early.

 

The pre-event diner is really a relic of CMs from years ago, when people had everything loaded and printed out before they left home, and connectivity was only for those rare few who had heavy laptops and could navigate hotel network cabling. It's much less important now.

 

However, I do appreciate xstitcher checking it out for us. They seat 35? That's six more people than the current number of "will attends" for the Saturday dinner event. I think we'll be fine. Based on past experience, with 29 will-attends 10 days before the event, I think we'll be lucky to have a dozen of us at Friday's unofficial dinner.

 

OK. It has been 7 years since we last attended a cache machine and I was unsure on the turnout for Friday nights festivities. Just trying to be a little proactive to make sure there weren't any wee surprises. We are quite familiar with the restaurant both dining in and taking out so it's all good. B)

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Travis, remove #6 GC2ZN03 Beban Needs a CITO by Fregley & Pinky (D:1.5/T:2 Traditional Cache Micro) from the route. It is disabled (it's missing) and I contacted the owner to see if it would be fixed by the NCM and she answered that she was probably going to archive it.

Edited by bcrockcrawler
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Travis, can you advise on location of Smokin' George's, the Friday Dinner location. All I can find is a reference to the name in this thread. Maybe I missed something.... Or I guess I can wait till the final PDF route comes out tomorrow (Monday), I'm sure it will be in there.

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Will there be a gpx file?

No posting a gpx file is against Groundspeaks terms of use. Likely the one posting the file would get their account locked.

 

How ever later today or tomorrow morning I will be updating the bookmark to the final route. You can get your own gpx file legally that way.

 

ETA: The bookmark will be publicly shareable so the dinner event or any cache on the route will have a link to the bookmark. The major delay now is I need ink for my printer and the FedEx truck has not shown up yet.

Edited by jholly
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It’s at 4131 Mostar Rd (N 49° 12.534’, W 124° 2.142), and yeah, it'll be on page 2 fof the final route.

Found a place to stay in Nanaimo before I even bothered to look at the dinner locations. 5 minutes from one, 7 minutes from the other. Totally lucked out.

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Route updates: as noted above, stops 23 and 123 are archived and disabled, respectively.

 

In addition, stop 25 wasn't able to be found today. Stop 25 was also unable to be found, but the cache owner believes it's still there.

 

The Shack Island caches, stops 47, 48, and 49, are only accessible at low tide. There are also some very protective geese with goslings, so use extra caution around them.

 

That's it for changes and updates. See you early tomorrow!

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