Jump to content

Shelton Cache Machine, December 29, 2018

Followers 2

Recommended Posts

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.


(Link to dinner event cache)


Shelton was once the Christmas Tree capital of the world. Perhaps it still is. This was a community built on logging, dependent on the rails its people laid to move logs from the woods to the shore. It's the core of Mason County. Let's go caching.


So fill up the tank, grab your gear, toss down some breakfast at way-too-early o'clock, and start on the route at GC7ZJHX Knees?. From there, move at your own pace and get as many as you can.


Dinner's going to be at Sister's Restaurant and Sports Bar, 16 W. Railroad Ave., (N 48° 32.088 W 117° 54.288). 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.



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 "SCM" 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.

5) Be gentle. Some cache containers are fragile, delicate, or weather sensitive. Take your time, double check the cache description, do it right.

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 Shelton Cache Machine FAQ:


When is it? 

Saturday, December 29, 2018. Start time is 7:30 a.m at GC7ZJHX Knees?.


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. If you want to go off-route to find letterboxes, Pokémon, portals, or Starbucks, well, you do you.


Is anything going on before, during, or after?

An unofficial informal they-don't-know-we're-coming pre-event dinner will be at Smoking Mo's, 203 W. Railroad Ave. at 7:00 PM on Friday, December 28. The official event dinner is this event cache.


Hey, there's a cache *right there!* 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. The route is built around highly-favorited caches, so some just didn't make the cut.


A cache on your map shows the wrong place to park. // Hey, that road doesn't exist! // That's a long hike! // What's with making us ford the river?

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


Why does the route go way past the dinner time? 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 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 dozens of 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. ? Or find something on the way.


Rain? Snow? Heat? 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 park a car for a short time (usually a trailhead).


  • Helpful 1
Link to comment

The event cache page is live, and here's a first draft of the route. It runs long, so I'll need to pare it down a little. I'm a little concerned about the "local road" between stops 38 and 39, in a lighter shade of teal, between Bulb Farm Rd and Cloquallum Truck Trail. That might be... interesting... in December rains. If you know about this road, or if you have any other suggestions, as it says above, please let me know.


My next step: contacting local cache owners to make sure they don't object.

Edited by travisl
Link to comment

Scanning through the list (thanks, Jim), I flagged the following:


 003 - Addiction Cache #21: Gentle Dove

 - 1 recent DNF, Sproutter reporting one of those painted rocks possibly replacing the cache.


022 - A river runs through it

 - looks like this requires water shoes and wading, and it will be really cold Dec. 29.


027 - Skokomish View

- 2 recent DNFs.


029 - --VERTIGO--

- 2 recent DNFs plus a note that the cache is likely missing.


045 - Thanks Guys!

- archived (as Jim noted).


056 - WSHS 125 - Squaxin Island

- 1 recent DNF


057 - Nordquist Quest

- 1 recent DNF




  • Helpful 2
Link to comment

WOW!!!! Thank you for including one of my caches! Especially one I adopted to keep it alive. 


#55: Rock of Ages III  : My only comment would be that hopefully by the time people get to this one, that the group sizes are small, due to minimal parking and a trucking business being just up from this cache. People need to park completely clear of the road and keep in mind these are dump trucks loaded with black rock. I will make sure I put in a bigger log book to handle the influx of cachers for that run. 

  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
On 11/16/2018 at 4:06 PM, travisl said:

I'm a little concerned about the "local road" between stops 38 and 39, in a lighter shade of teal, between Bulb Farm Rd and Cloquallum Truck Trail. That might be... interesting...


I met with a local cacher yesterday who suggested this route might well be closed or a gate could be open at one end and closed at the other...  and that the first gate could get closed after people enter.   He said he would not drive that road and he drives a lot of those back roads.  He did give me the names of the two lumber companies that control the gates.


Suzanne and I will take a drive out there late this morning to check it out.   

Link to comment

The Cloquallum Truck Trail is definitely off limits so that cutover will not be possible.  Will post a photo of the sign when we get back home.  The route could continue on the Cloquallum Road until it meets 108.  We drove back to Shelton that way.



Edited by Team Sagefox
  • Helpful 2
Link to comment
On 11/17/2018 at 9:42 PM, hydnsek said:

Scanning through the list (thanks, Jim), I flagged the following:


 045 - Thanks Guys!

- archived (as Jim noted).


056 - WSHS 125 - Squaxin Island

- 1 recent DNF



We were able to check out these two even though the archived cache was not in play.   


The Squaxin cache is back on the table.  We replaced the container and this is a great cache site.  There is only one place it could be hidden and it was empty.  Some snacky type trash tells me that someone stumbled on the cache during their woodland picnic. 


I removed the Thanks Guys container and will contact fellow Olympia area cacher Austin to get it back to him.  

  • Helpful 2
Link to comment

Since I found them a while back, I can say that caches 15-19 on the first draft are located on logging roads and are not accessible via car. You have to park at the parking coordinates which are at N 47° 16.465 W 123° 07.142 and walk to all the caches. However, the pullout is small and probably can't handle the amount of traffic coming through. All of the caches on these logging roads are very creative and worth checking out though. I just don't think it's wise to have them on the route. 

  • Helpful 1
Link to comment

Draft 2 is up! Thanks to several folks whose input has improved this route significantly:

- OhJoy, CloquallumGuy, and Yellow1961 for your suggestions and tips. Those trails and gates northeast of McCleary were quite the challenge to figure out!

- 2nutsACKs, for more routing advice. Knowing Simpson 800 Main Line is almost definitely going to be open gave me some additional routes of exploration.

- Team Sagefox, for doing some on-the-ground route inspection -- this second draft avoids the Cloquallum Truck Trail entirely.

- Hydensek, for checking the list against recent DNFs.

- Terrible Ts for the bookmark list, yet again. You've got mad skillz.

- BLundeen10, 2nutsACKs again, and one other cacher for their advice about what I'm calling the "blue ribbon trail" off of Brookdale (caches 15-19 on the previous draft, 15-20 in draft 2). It's now a 2-mile round trip hike, with "only" 6 caches, but they're rated so highly, it's worth it. This far into the route, I don't imagine there will be a lot of cars at the gate all at once, and even if there is, Google Street View shows tight but adequate parking on the other side of the road.


Just a caution, which is kind of alluded to in the "rules" page, but I'll make it explicit here: there's logging roads on the route. There's gates. If you go through a gate, you could get locked behind it. You could encounter active logging operations an heavy equipment. You could end up 10 miles down a road, find a gate, and have to backtrack 10 miles. That's the chance you choose to take when geocaching.


Edited by travisl
Link to comment

It's two days early, but with Christmas Eve and Day on Monday and Tuesday, I wanted to get this out. The final route is up!


I've eliminated the southern loop. There's a lot of caches down there, but the batch that I was hoping for the most turned out to be a 45-minute hike behind a locked gate, and just wouldn't work for this kind of event. I had the route running five hours past dinner, so it just made sense to cut it.


I also added the two caches Jester mentioned above. Thanks, Jester!


Note that some of the route is, I believe, on dirt roads. Should be fun! I'll see you Friday night, December 28, for the unofficial pre-event dinner. Any last minute changes will be announced there, and then late Friday night I'll post those changes right here in the Northwest forum.

Edited by travisl
Link to comment

I wanted to give heads up for those coming down John Prairie Road to Hwy 3 from #6 to #7.  This is  weird intersection with  limited eye sight to see traffic coming from Shelton (heading north) especially if you don't get the right angle unless you have a super good passenger watching out for you. 


Edited by SeabeckTribe
  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
16 hours ago, SeabeckTribe said:

I wanted to give heads up for those coming down John Prairie Road to Hwy 3 from #6 to #7.  This is  weird intersection with  limited eye sight to see traffic coming from Shelton (heading north) especially if you don't get the right angle unless you have a super good passenger watching out for you. 


Lucky it's early in the morning. Google Street View shows how hilariously bad this is, and apparently how much traffic can get backed up here. https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2472605,-123.0467822,3a,75y,57.3h,57.7t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svOPJHBbjfV03cQMVRr7azg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


Link to comment

On the final route:


032 - --VERTIGO--

- 3 DNFs plus a note that the cache is likely missing. Most recent DNF is Dec. 24 from Ms. Marvelous. Hasn't been found since Sept 2017.


052 - Seahawk Home SB

- several DNFs interspersed with questionable Find logs.  Hard to tell if it's there or not.


053 - The Swamp

- several DNfs with one spurious find by a teenage n00b. Last confirmed find was Sept 2017.


Edited by hydnsek
  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
21 hours ago, travisl said:

Gonna be a wet one!


Definitely a wet weather caching day ahead of us all.  The National Weather Service's forecast for Shelton on Saturday is:  

Rain. High near 52. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 13 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Link to comment

Thanks, SirKarp. With that, here’s the route updates:


#13 Home Sweet Home (GC5KAPK). Note the parking coordinates. Might be a longer hike than I thought. 


#32 VERTIGO (GCGCY2). Lots of DNFs. Probably gone. 


#52 Seahawk Home SB (GC7JPEZ). Multiple people DNFed it today. Almost certainly gone. 


#53 The Swamp (GC6A87B). Found today!


#66 Shelton Travel Bug Museum and Hotel (GCT9X5). Museum is closed for the holiday season. You can see the cache through the window, but that’s not gonna get you a find. 


See you you all tomorrow!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Followers 2
  • Create New...