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A Virtual Question

Zzzoey & illDRIVEuNav

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We've been considering placing a series of virtual caches in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and we're wondering if they'll be accepted by the powers that be... From what we've heard virtuals are getting tougher and tougher to get past the administrators but is that the case when it's in a place where actual caches aren't allowed? There seem to be plenty of virtuals in places like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon...


Our concern of course is that we'll go out and do all the leg work and then get shot down. So would reputable cachers be interested in hunting virtuals in the Painted Hills or in the shadow of Sheep Rock? Please let us know what you think...

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I e-mailed them about my Grand Cache Auto idea, to make sure that it'd be okay (since it involves, uh... stuff), and got the thumbs up. It would have sucked to have gotten it all together only to find out that it'd be shot down.


I'm planning to place the cache soonish...


Anybody from central oregon know of a good wrecked car on BLM land that doesn't already have a cache within 0.1 miles of it? icon_smile.gif


...and yes, I'd definitly hunt virtual(s) out there. I'm planning to go out there this spring/summer either way, so might as well log some finds in the process icon_biggrin.gif


[This message was edited by Mr. Snazz on January 31, 2003 at 10:49 AM.]

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Originally posted by Mr. Snazz:

Anybody from central oregon know of a good wrecked car on BLM land that doesn't already have a cache within 0.1 miles of it? icon_smile.gif

I scouted out these wrecks as part of a multi-stage cache I never got around to doing and probably never will:

CAR1 44 08.294 121 17.313 (best)

CAR2 44 08.351 121 17.535 (ugly)

CAR3 44 08.092 121 16.853 (with desk)

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Zzzoey wrote:

So would reputable cachers be interested in hunting virtuals in the Painted Hills or in the shadow of Sheep Rock? Please let us know what you think...


I'll chase your virts in them thar Painted Hills! I must admit though that I'm a little bummed, because I already had my eye on placing a cache there as it's one of my favorite places in the whole state. When I checked the state map a while back I couldn't believe there wasn't at least a virt there already. But alas I am a Wetsider and those are really your stomping grounds Zzzoey so cache on!


FWIW, as far as the approval issue I had three plans in mind for creating a cache there:


Plan A) First try to get permission from the ranger in charge to place a container. I know that may not be possible but you never know until you try. Ask them for input on appropriate locations for a cache away from sensitive areas, even offer to meet with a ranger and have him/her show you possible hiding spots. If they've got a say in where it goes they may be more amenable to the idea. It may wind up being a micro in the parking lot but so what? You can still make it a multi where the hunter has to gather information that can only be found out on the trails. If you are able to get permission for a physical cache you should have no problem getting it approved despite the fact that it's in a National Monument. At least that's what I was told through email discussions with one of the approvers and that discussion was specifically about the Painted Hills.


Plan ;) Make it a multi where information must be gathered within the Painted Hills NM but the physical cache is a mile or two away on BLM land. This may or may not be easy, I'm not familiar enough with the immediate area to say but it's worth a try.


Plan C) If all else fails roll the dice and make it an interesting virt. In their defense I gotta say the few virts I've done have been far more interesting than some of the tupperware I've found so I'm a little perplexed as to why they've gotten such a bad rap. Be that as it may, if you let Seth! or Moun10bike know that you TRIED to place a container I can't see why they'd have a problem signing off on a virt in the Painted Hills. Just send them a picture. That'll prove it ain't no lame virtual!


Good luck! Congratulations on the camera by the way, looks like a great one.





This message has been edited to fit your TV screen.


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I could've stayed and wandered those trails for a week straight. I am pretty excited to set these up but it may take a few days. I used every last bit of photo memory I had... guess it is time to get some more, since we were thinking Grand Canyon (on a trip to see family in Phoenix) on Spring Break.. and the last thing I want to do is run out. The only other option is a laptop, but we can't afford that right yet. icon_confused.gif


Anyway.. just wanted to give a heads up, and as a word of advice.. if you go to any of the JDFB units and wander the trails, it is BEST to go right after rain (like we did) with the sun out. Absolutely gorgeous! We also noticed, that on some of the trails, you get taller as you walk.. that clay soil, when it gets rained on.. becomes well.. like walking in 4 inches of creamy peanut butter. Poor Barney had blue feet from the blue basin. Looked like he is wearing socks for a few days. But very beautiful when there is water, the colors glow! Keep an eye out, I think these will be fun to find. Also, we are probably going to make them subscriber only, to keep them slightly under the radar for a while to see how it goes. icon_biggrin.gif

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Originally posted by logscaler:

well, I am waiting. icon_wink.gif


Where are they? icon_confused.gif




To help you through this difficult time, I used my timetravel machine to visit the future and check on Zzzoey's new caches. Here's your log entry from one of them:


February 27, 2003 by logscaler (918 found)

2-27-2003 3:50 am


Easy find, saw a lot of nice stuff.


Thanks for the hunt.


TTFRN, logscaler and Red


[This message was edited by Mr. Snazz on February 03, 2003 at 02:15 PM.]

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This darn digital camera is almost more of a pain than it is worth.. OK just kidding. I have two new caches up and ready to be approved, near the town of John Day. These are not THOSE caches. Those caches may take another day or two to get up to snuff. Check out the other two though, hopefully approved soon:


Kam Wah Chung & Co




Fossil Fields Forever


(Chief Paulina will like that last name) These were two very interesting places that I make illDRIVE stop at, everytime we venture to John Day. icon_razz.gif

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The page isn't up yet, but the title makes me assume that somehow the Kam Wah Chung Museum is part of it.

If you look through the book of checks that Mr. Chung never cashed (available in the museum), you'll see one written by my great-great-uncle's cousin, John Devine.


all rights reserved, all wrongs reversed

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I wonder, Oregone- what your great-great-uncle's cousins-nephews-step-brother in law bought there. :-) We still haven't been inside, and I know it may seem cheesy to put a cache about a place we have never explored, but all I read about it fascinates me, and the area was in dire need of a history cache. Because it is so far away, we have set it up that if the cache container disappears, we can turn it into a virtual until we can replace it.


One of the things I read mentioned, in the same sentence, that this was a place for Chinese locals to have religious meetings, gamble and smoke opium. Sounds like my kindof church!

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One down one to go

Another town and one more show..


Finally have this one done to ALMOST perfection, and it has been approved, so I am probably not going to tweak it much more. Can't help but proofread it every two minutes! I am so excited about this cache and hope you guys check it out (it is a preferred member cache for now - until we see how things go) Talk about messy code, please no one look at the source for this poor page.


Journey Through Time: Painted Hills Unit icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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well, they are done.


Where are they?


Now? Journey Through Time: Painted Hills Unit


Now? Yes! Well, as soon as the last one is approved. Please, don't look at the code, I am disgraced (this is Zzzoey speaking and the only html I know is begged, borrowed and stolen from other cache pages....) But regardless of all that, I think the pages look alright, and of course over the next day or so I shall tweak and refine them. The coords have been proofread by illDRIVE so blame him if you get all antsy and try to hit these caches in the next say, 8 hours.




Now? Yes.


Waiting. No need to wait.


Waiting. Well, you kindof gotta sortof wait for Moun10bike or whoever to approve the final cache but.....


logscaler. (will probably find it first... slacker! icon_biggrin.gif)

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Bravo Zzzoey!

I just looked at your Painted Hills page and it's mighty purty indeed. Good Job! I'll be over there huntin' that sucker just as soon as you folks warm up that dry-side weather so I don't freeze my arse off whilst camping. I see you've got Barney trained to snag the fossils for you. Very sneaky young lady!



This message has been edited to fit your TV screen.


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Well it seems it has been approved.. thanks Moun10bike! Here it is Journey Through Time: Sheep Rock Unit


Funny you should mention Barney the rockhound and his insane habit of picking up rocks. While doing the Painted Hills cache, at the Painted Hills Overlook trail, we met up with a park ranger. First off.. he said he had seen Barney's footprints at the Painted Cove Trail when he hiked one of his TWO MANDATORY trail hikes a day. I was interested. Who was this man? Did he REALLY hike each trail in this monument TWICE DAILY? Come to find out he was a professional sub... he was here filling in for the usual person, for a few weeks. He travels all across the country and fills in for rangers who are on vacation or personal leave.. What a JOB!!! How fun would THAT BE? We figured he must be in pretty good shape! We were a tad bit paranoid about him finding Barney tracks, but then when we mentioned the peanut butter clay on the Carroll Rim Trail, and the fact that it was almost impossible to walk through for about 20 feet, he laughed and said "Oh I just walk around that part"... ok.. my kind of park ranger.. a realistic one! He gave Barney a few face pets and some schmuggles.. and started up the Carroll Rim trail. My kind of guy.. and oh if I could have that job.. I'd travel in my RV from National Park to National Park.. wandering the trails and taking pictures and being all authoritative when need be. Some guys have all the luck. When I said that to him he said "you can apply to do this"... ok.. yeah right... not! I would have to be a retired professor of geology or something to fford to do it. Someday! When we are old and traveling about.. for extra income we will scout the trails of National Parks for "dead bodies" as he joked...a pipe dream....

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Originally posted by Zzzoey:

Well it seems it has been approved..

Looks like a good one. How long is it likely to take? (Useful information for convincing partners who are not interested in geocaching.) And how does illDRIVEuNav feel about: "This cache combines the two greatest loves of Zzzoey's life, fossils and geocaching!" icon_rolleyes.gif

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Red and I hit three of the four, Sheep Rock was posted after we left, and did Beta testing for zzzoey.


Fantastic areas. Always have been, always will be. The snow was crowning the Aldrich and Strawberries and was fantastic to watch the sunset on them.


Bigeddy, The Painted hills cache hunt is around 2.5 miles of easy hiking and will take you about two hours to drive to and about three cool hours to hike, if you take your time and enjoy the views. Fossil Fields is another hour -49 chromes - east and a fast easy location. Kam Wah is another half hour - 17 chromes - East and another neat place to take your time. Then it will take about three easy hours back to Bend from John Day. Unless you get a real early start and drop down to Seneca and head back through Suplee - Post area and hit some of those caches.


All in all, a great day out but :

" The coords have been proofread by illDRIVE so blame him if you get all antsy and try to hit these caches in the next say, 8 hours. "


iLLDRIVE needed help with the numbers and we sent that information along. 49 miles to the Painted hills cache from the Painted hills hike ? Not quite close enough, even for central Oregon. Tweaked the numbers and found the cache.


Fossil Fields was right on.


Kan Wah was off a touch so Red and I played with the numbers and found the cache also.


If you have dowmloaded the FIRST cahe pages, Please redo after Zzzoey and iLLDRIVE and I have chated a little.


TTFRN, logscaler and Red.

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I am sorry for all the hassle icon_frown.gif. We are both effectively humbled. I guess since we put ourselves out there, we deserved to get cut down a bit.


We both work full time, and stupidly assumed we would have more time to proof these than we did. No excuses icon_confused.gif, but I think we will stop making caches since this seems to happen so frequently, and our intent seems to be lost when people cannot find the caches, or have to rework the numbers to find them.


We are not drive-by cache placers, and we do actually put a lot of thought and effort into our caches... but we also don't want to have folks be afraid to be first finders. I appreciate your email logscaler, I made the changes you and Red wrote down..and I would recommend NOT going to the Sheep Rock Unit, at least for now. I will in fact put it on temp disable. We were so excited to have the pages done, we submitted them without proofing them. It is easy to get overly excited about creating an adventure in such a neat place, and all that code and cutting and pasting, you really have to go over it and over it again. icon_redface.gif


Fossils and geocaching are a great love of my life, but nothing is more important than my husband and my family (and of course the Barney). So I guess I miswrote that. I also have many other loves, likes and trysts with photography, watercolors, woodcarving, computers, playing absolutely-horrible-beginning guitar, collecting music, travel..etc etc etc icon_razz.gif illDRIVE coaches 7th and 8th grade basketball, heads up track and field, plays drums, and has a pretty full life being a teacher to 8th graders, a husband to me the "creative", obsessive type and a wonderful friend to all who know him.


Sorry for being downers, it has been such a long week and we are both having crapola days at work icon_mad.gif Wouldn't it be nice to be rewarded for five days of work, with five days of weekend? Maybe we can win the lottery and just cache full time. icon_cool.gif Sorry to inconvenience anyone.

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How long does it take? I would say if you walk each trail at a steady pace.. you can do the Painted Hills Unit cache in a couple hours. There is only one longer trail, the rest are fairly short. And they are all located in a fairly localized setting within the monument. Definitely pick up the brochures you find for each trail. Take your time, it will be worth it. Hopefully it is all better now. icon_razz.gif

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Hey Zzzoey,


I did not mean to bring you down at all and I am truly sorry if I came across that way. Red and I have had troubles with cache placement before - who has not ? - and we just wanted to get you informed before the weekend and the great geocaching migration.


It just made the hunt that more memorable.


Besides, People will be heading out that way and need a reason to make the side trips.


This is a good reason for members only caches, that way us mellow people will hunt and help if needed and you will not get hit with a bunch of "hate" mail from newbies.


I learned my lesson a while back and I punch everything into the laptop just to make sure you can get to there from here in the right order. But that only works if you have a laptop and maps, no need to go spend a big chunck of money just to make people happy. Although you could then downloadyour photos to it and empty out your memory cards.


if you need anymorehelp, just let us know and we will try and help out.


TTFRN, logscaler and Red.

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Originally posted by logscaler:

Hey Zzzoey,


I did not mean to bring you down at all and I am truly sorry if I came across that way. Red and I have had troubles with cache placement before - who has not ? - and we just wanted to get you informed before the weekend and the great geocaching migration.


I'm with logscaler. Stuff happens. It's worth a little effort if the result is more well-done caches. You care, which is more than can be said for a lot of folks.


Looking forward to an opportunity to check out your caches in the future.



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Thanks logscaler! We appreciate your not getting mad, getting flustered for a brief time but figuring it out is I guess the "breaks" for jumping in feet first...icon_smile.gif


We need to do some more cache FINDING. Seems like we haven't done enough of that.


Did any of you ever figure out what the brain was? Another Brick in the Badlands???

Big Eddy's Photo definitely shows it in all it's brainlike glory.. I have a hard time thinking it is packrat pee, but I wouldn't know any different. Perhaps one of you naturalists can help us out! One of my favorite parts of geocaching, finding the unusual and/or unexplainable. icon_biggrin.gif

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Well I still think it is rat excrement combined with dust and dirt.


Just think of generations and generations of Wood rats using the same place, for maybe thousands of years.


My younger brother lives in the Silver Lake area and one of the geologist he was talking with was working with some archeologist and they opened up a rat nest that was several thousand years old. It still help parts of sagebrush baskets, arrow shafts, a broken atlatl with weights and other items.


You never know what you will find in a rat or Redtail nest.


If you think about how long man has been here and where ancient man lived, I would think there are thousands of little hiding spots for items out there in then lava fields. Ice caves for water for example.


Wanna go look sometime ??


TTFRN, logscaler.

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Originally posted by Zzzoey:

Thanks logscaler! We appreciate your not getting mad, getting flustered for a brief time but figuring it out is I guess the "breaks" for jumping in feet first...icon_smile.gif


Did any of you ever figure out what the brain was?

I'll pipe up since I've been on the receiving end of Logscaler and Zzzoey mistakes, as well as being confused by Chief Paulina's casual descriptions a couple of times. In all fairness, Logscaler and the Chief were probably getting even for one of my digressions, and I've been plotting a way to get even with Zzzoey ever since! It all balances out. icon_wink.gif


We learn from the mistakes and play off of one another. That's part of the fun. Don't sweat making mistakes but, at the same time, be aware of your limitations. Triple check everything. For really complicated hunts, consider asking another geocacher to run through it before posting. I'm sure there are many willing beta testers. By all means, keep placing caches until you reach the comfort level for how many you can maintain.


That said, not everyone wants or accepts an error-ridden adventure. For example, I generally find unexpected problems to be part of the game but my wife, who is marginally tolerant of geocaching to begin with, has little patience for recalculations, backtracking, and poking under every log and rock. Accurate descriptions, precise coordinates and useful hints are appreciated when we hunt together. I avoid caches by careless owners.


Now, about The Brain. Personally, I think it's the remains of a geocacher who became lost in the Badlands. However, Mrs. I-Have-A-Degree-In-Science tells me it's a woodrat midden or urinating post. A midden is a mass of rat feces, twigs, rocks, leaves, seeds, bones, and anything else the rat has collected, all preserved in crystallized urine. Yummm! The middens can get to be several feet across and tens of thousands of years old. Scientists use them to study what an area was like long ago; we've know a few people who did just that. I'll stick to geocaching. icon_razz.gif


Piñon needles inside a 12,000 year-old midden from Arizona.



Large Pleistocene midden.


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