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I DNFd a virtual

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I was in Washington DC a couple of days ago and had a two hour break in between meetings so walked over to the mall just to sit on a bench and enjoy the weather.  When I got there I decided to check if there were any caches nearby.  This was may log:

"Yes.  A DNF.  I had a break in between meetings so walked over to the mall just to sit on a bench and enjoy the weather then checked for any nearby caches.  I saw this virtual just .1 a mile away so walked over.  I decided to walk through the Smithsonian first then figured that it was as good a place as any to grab a sandwich.  I sat down to eat and a  DC Park Policeman came in and told everyone to get out.   So I grabbed my sandwich, went out the front and sat  at a park bench to finish my lunch.  When I was done I wandered back over to the statue and read the cache listing, only to discover that the answers to the required questions were inside the building.  The policeman with the rifles standing out front pretty much meant I wasn't going to complete the virtual.  I still have no idea why the building was evacuated and what caused the heavy police presence in the area."

What's your "best" DNF?

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Not sure "best" would be the way to describe it but,, one of my most irritating DNFs was on an event cache. It was being held in Houston, about 70 miles away, on a Wednesday that i had to work. Its start time was 1830 hours so i figured i'd just have Chicken meet me and we'd take off from work.. Well of all days for it to happen, and right at the end of my shift, a problem came up in the building that required me to stay and help repair. Worked as fast as i could while Chicken waited in the office and ended up finishing about an hour before the event's scheduled time. We jumped in the Jeep, floored it, and were about 10 miles down the freeway before i realized i didn't have any of my geocaching supplies. What could i do? Couldn't show up looking like some kind of geocaching amateur :o so i made the U turn and went home. I figured it just wasn't meant to be.

Back in those days, the log came out as "Didn't Find" and that's the log still showing today. 

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My "best" DNF was a multi. We planned to meet at a rather unknow hut for lunch and I deceided to take a longer hike because of said cache. The first stage was "hidden" in an entry in the guestbook of another hut, the rest were physical stages hidden along the small trail leading to the the goal. Most waymarks were destroyed because of some dispute between the few people living there, so the cache description was my only guide.

At the third stage I couldn't find the container with the coordinates for the next stage and had no idea where to go. Lots of logging roads beneath me and I spent so much time looking for the container that I lost sight of two or three people heading (presumably) to the same hut. So I called my girlfriend and tried to explain the situatiom:

"I can't find a stage and don't know which way to go."

"Where are you now?"

"Well, in the middle of the woods. I don't know how to describe my position otherwise than telling you the coords."

To my luck the guys I had seen before already had arrived at the hut, and since they knew the trail I was able to describe where I was, and they told me which way to go. I really earned that delicious "Schweinsbraten" that day.

A few weeks later the hut was closed and the owner announced that the cache will be archived because of that. I offered to remove the containers since I still had to settle a score with that cache. Guess what, I couldn't find stage three again, but it was fun picking up the other containers. I returned them to the owner at a hiking event a few weeks later.

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Wow, there have been a lot of them!

Maybe the most memorable was a virtual that had been moved. It was very large and very pretty. After my dnf the following logs showed up:

One claimed a find because he "knew where it had been."

Another claimed a find because he "Knew where it went." (He was wrong.)

I later came across it by accident and claimed a find because I knew where it had been AND where it was currently...

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Reminds me of my DNF on an earthcache last year. :) The earthcache involved visiting a mineral exposition in a town hall of a small town I rode through. The visit is free of charge BUT during lunch break the staff goes out to eat and locks up the entire building. And yes, I came right in the middle of the lunch break. :) The CO had not mentioned that in the listing. Unfortunately I didn't have time to wait so I ended up with an EC DNF.

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We felt dumb as could be logging a DNF on a virtual during a vacation. I'm sure we looked like idiots walking around in circles, wondering how in the world we could miss something that everyone else figured out?  A little later I checked the cache listing and saw that someone else had logged a DNF on the same cache earlier that day, and they were as stumped as we were. Until then it never occurred to me you could log a DNF on a virtual, but now I see it happens to others, for various reasons.

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12 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

What's your "best" DNF?

Depends on the definition of a "good" DNF ;) .

I once DNF'd a puzzle cache, because I searched at the listing coordinates. It was on holiday, and I had solved a bunch of puzzles in that town and loaded all of them to my GPS. However, on one of them I had simply forgotten to correct my personal cache coordinates. Unfortunately, the listing coords pointed to a somewhat plausible location, so I didn't notice it when searching the cache. Only after I had written and submitted my DNF later at the computer in our flat, I browsed through the older logs. Some descriptions didn't fit my search location at all, so I re-checked my puzzle solution. And then I saw my error with the uncorrected coordinates - man, did I feel stupid :D! I didn't delete my DNF log, but edited it to note my mistake.

Another memorable one was the DNF of a large(!) cache in the woods. The cache is a D5, and named "DNF", so we were warned. But we were three cachers, with a combined find count in the 40000+ range, so we felt rather confident. 90 minutes(!) of search later, we gave up. We were certain to have pinned down the exact cache location to area less than, say, 15 square meters. And it was listed as "large"; and there was no reason to believe that it was not at least a big "regular". We still didn't find it. The only consolation is that we are not the only ones ;) - the current stats for the cache show 501 finds, but also 115 DNFs.

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14 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

What's your "best" DNF?

Dominican Republic is a vacation paradise, right?

Yeah whatever, just show me the caches please.  So after a few days of hanging out in kite-surf town Cabarete, I hopped a minibus for the far northwest corner of the little country, where a lonely FTF was waiting.  It was an all day trip, and fascinating because an election was happening.  In the towns we passed through, happy people were waving banners for their candidate, we drove right through rallies, and our bus population cheered them on.

The bus conductor, el ayudante, liked my sunglasses, so he took them gently off my face and wore them through a few towns.  I got them back eventually after I asked.

The place I hoped to stay, close to the cache and about the only half-decent place nearby, was completo, full.  What?!?  I ran outside and grabbed the motorcycle taxi before he drove off, and I had to settle for a distant second choice.  Somewhat farther away.

Next day, I walked that somewhat farther distance to the park and the coordinates.  Hot day, not enough water, I'm getting frazzled in the sun (while most of the other people on my plane, no doubt, were sitting back and sipping drinks with little umbrellas).  Nothing at the coordinates, and those coordinates looked dubious at best, very dubious.  Turns out the coords were way off, and although I did notice a likely alternate spot late in the search, I was already pretty much done.  Get me out of here, I need shade.

And adding irony to insult, one of the few actual finders marooned a TB there that belongs to buddy of mine.  What are the odds?!?  (He asked me to go back and get it.  I laughed at him.)

Lost cross in Montecristi



That was my second-best DNF.  I'm sure I've already mentioned my best DNF (and apologies to the old-timers for the repetition), but what the heck.  I went to Nicaragua to find "First in Nicaragua" (translated), but even with the help of some machete-swinging friendly Sandinistas, we couldn't find it.

Primero de Nicaragua



Edited by Viajero Perdido
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Mid last year I was looking for D2/T4 caches to qualify for a challenge needing 24 of them (I think I had about 15 by then) and noticed a stretch of coast south of Sydney where there were five of them along about a kilometre of "beach", four traditionals and an EC at the northernmost end. Preferring not to drive across Sydney unless I have to, I took the train down from the Central Coast to Sydney, a second one to Helensburg and then a third local service down the escarpment to Wombarra, about a kilometre south of the string of caches. Travel time each way was about three hours.

To cut a long story short, I did find the earchcache, but the other four ended up as DNFs - three have since been disabled as missing and the fourth was still there but just eluded this blind Freddy. The three missing ones all had the really helpful hint "stone pile" on a beach that was just wall to wall piles of stones. My humour wasn't improved much by the thick decaying layers of kelp covering the stones along the final kilometre to the EC and by the time I reached it I was half expecting there to be no access from the south, but the caching gods must have taken pity on me at that point and I was at least able to get one D2/T4 find for the day.


Edited by barefootjeff
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Not a DNF, but had we shown up a couple hours earlier it probably would have been.


About a year ago, my son and I were visiting Salt Lake City for a competition he was in.  After practice on Friday morning, we grabbed some lunch, and since we both like touring State Capitol buildings, we headed up to it.  Found some nearby parking, and were walking up to the Virtual in front of it when he pointed out how unusual it was that there was nobody around.  Usually, something is occurring at a capitol building—school field trips, protests, government workers on their way somewhere—but it was pretty quiet.  We gathered our info/picture for the virtual, and went in the building.  There was no one around telling us we couldn’t --it was practically deserted in there, too.  We gave ourselves a self-guided tour of the building and then headed back to our car.


That evening, we learned that there had been a bomb scare at the capitol building earlier in the day.  By the time we got there, the State Police had determined that what was thought to be a bomb was not, in fact, a bomb, and they and all the media had left.  Of course, most of the workers had been evacuated earlier, and, since it was such a beautiful Spring day, very few had come back.

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