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Monroe Cache Machine, June 22, 2019

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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.


(Link to dinner event cache)


Monroe: Named after the president, it's home to the Evergreen State Fair and the Monroe Corrections Center (so behave!). The Ring and its sequel were filmed here. And there's a bunch of geocaches.


So fill up the tank, grab your gear, toss down some breakfast at way-too-early o'clock, and start on the route at GC876XA, Fortunate Son. From there, move at your own pace and get as many as you can.


Dinner's going to be at the Route 2 Taproom, 19837 US-2, N 47° 51.552 W 121° 57.912. Kids are welcome, but parties with kids may be seated in a slightly different area of this small restaurant. 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 "MCM" 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 Monroe Cache Machine FAQ:


When is it? 

Saturday, June 22, 2019. Start time is 5:15 a.m at GC876XA, Fortunate Son.


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 Mi Tierra, 19480 State Route 2, at 7:00 PM on Friday, June 21. The official event dinner is this event cache.

There's also rumors of a lunch stop during the machine to hosted by WSGA 48N. More to come on that, if it happens.


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).


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The first draft of the route is up, here. I already see that I need to swap stops 4 and 5. If you see anything else I've done incorrectly, like making you ford a river, climb a glacier, go on a long hike, or drive down a non-existent road, please let me know. And if you know the area or caches in the area, I'd love to hear any other tips you'd like to share.

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Potential problem caches:


018 - Dipper Crazy #3 -

4 posted DNFs since June 2016, with 1 questionable find in Aug 2017. Before that, last find was May 2016. DNfs indicate that if it's there, it's buried in a massive blackberry thicket. 


019 - Sky River Sasquatch

3 DNFs; appears to be missing. Last find Oct. 2018.


029 - His Cache

Hasn't been found since May 2014; DNF in April 2016 questioned if it was still there.


044 - Up there Somewhere

DNF (1/19) says recent tree fall may have buried cache; hasn't been found since Sept 2017.


045 - Sterling

Apparently there, but buried deep in a thicket (Scotch broom, blackberries?).


085 - Hoot!!

Recent NM note says "Yellow ‘Caution’ tape strung across stepping off point to bushwhacking section; unclear whether placed by park owner or others."


089 - This Is Progress

Four recent DNFs, but in between there's a log from April that says they replaced the log. 1.5D...may be there, or not.



Edited by hydnsek
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#21 - Forks of the Sky - Picnic Bend Trailhead - this is actually the trailhead for both caches Forks of the Sky - Picnic Bend (#20) and Picnic Bend (#22).  It's an easy flat trail to both caches.


Stops #24 - WaStatePks100: Forks of the Sky - Index Town Wall, #25 - Forks of the Sky - Blocks of Granite, and #26 - Forks of the Sky - Boulder Field are all short walks from the same parking area which is at N 47° 49.061 W 121° 34.283 (posted parking coordinates).  Note that to reach stops #24 and #25, you have to cross the railroad tracks and walk alongside them (there is a fairly clearly marked roadway, which you can see on the map).  Please add that note in the description - if you follow the trail all the way to the wall, you'll find that there is no trail and the terrain gets much rougher.  Once you get those two caches, you walk back the same way towards the parking lot, but then continue on the trail to get #26.



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Report on today’s activity:


Dipper Crazy

Only item anywhere near with the “warning” text is a sign at the parking area 500 ft away; couldn’t find anything there.

Possibly sign moved or parking added since the hide was placed.  Or coords are just wrong; but no such logs have I seen.


Sky River Sasquatch 

New replacement cache placed yesterday!

Sandy, the proprietor of the snack shop, has been maintaining/ replacing the cache for several years, even though she’s not a cacher.

“CO” has 221 finds, this is the only active hide; not logged on since 2015.  Unless they cache under a different name; that’s doubtful.

Sandy was very supportive of the Cache being part of CM.


His Cache

GZ is an erratic, intended hide appears to be on top.  Should be T4 at least, as far as I’m concerned.  Beyond my climbing ability.


Up There Somewhere 

Intriguing old growth stump just down the bank from the road, but too steep with unsure footing for me today. Sent message to Ms Marvelous who logged it relatively recently; no response yet.  Checked other possible hiding spots but found nothing.



Access is easily seen in satellite view, not direct from the road; no path that way that I could see.  Not a thick blackberry bramble, but mixed with thick Scotch Broom; soaking wet and weighted down from last night’s rain.  Two stumps near GZ; one might be what’s hinted; but I found nothing. Or possibly there’s a way around the Scotch  Broom thicket to the  north and east.


1 for 5 today, not my most successful day caching.

but about what I expected, considering the task at hand.

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I checked on the coordinates for my lunch event cache (updated!) and my own five hides (#20, #21, #24, #25, and #26) which were all in good shape today.  In addition to that, QuigQuay and I looked for a number of caches that I hadn't yet found out on that leg of the intended trip, and I have a few comments on some of them.


#16-17. These two caches are right at the start of the very popular hiking trail up to Angel Falls and Lake Serene.  When we got there just after lunch today, the cars were parked about 3/4 of a mile down the dirt road.  I think these caches are fine ones to get, but they should stay early in the route (currently at 7:30am which is great).  If you get there late, there will be a long walk through crowded cars to get to GZ.


#18 - Dipper Crazy #3.  I'm pretty sure this cache has been gone for a long time.  It's been three years since the last legitimate find and there were a lot of DNFs on it (just one iffy found it log from a novice cacher).  It's rated as T1 and there is no possible spot for a T1 cache to be anywhere close to that spot.


#28 (Shelby's Cache), #29 (His Cache), and #30 (Her Cache) - I think these should be dropped from the route.  They all are on the same trail system (trailhead at N47 50.700 W121 37.642).  It's about a half mile walk from that spot to Her Cache which is the first one you get to.  That cache is actually there (we found it today - the first find in nearly five years), but it's really the only one of these three that is possible for a CM.  His Cache (#29) is almost certainly missing.  It's a fairly significant climb to get on top of the big rock (which is where the hint says it is), but QQ was able to do it and there is no cache on top of it.  The last find was five years ago and we're pretty sure it's long gone.   Shelby's Cache (#28) is another mile or so of a walk from Her Cache.  We found that one today (first find in almost four years) and it is in a cool spot, but the terrain is rougher than advertised and it's a long walk on a cache machine just to get one cache.


#42 (Somewhere Out There), #43 (Stuck in the Middle) and #44 (Up There Somewhere) - all three of these should stay on the route.  We looked for and found them today (the last one had several DNFs before we found it today.  They are all there and in fine shape.  The walk getting to them is pleasant and the caches are all fun to find. 



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The second draft is live: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1JB3EiUuTKtbnanbPsTbR1awhYKsRuveY


Thanks, Hydnsek, PIR359, and crs98 for your desk work and legwork on this. I've made these changes (numbering is likely off due to removal, addition, and shuffling of caches):

  • #3, Dot GS Trp 43758, is disabled but it sounds like the CO is going to have it up and running shortly.
  • I'm moving stop 4, GCRK3V Monroe Parks: Lewis Street Park, to a later spot in the route, as it's right next to the lunch stop.
  • Dropping 18 (Dipper Crazy), because everyone seems to think it's gone. I do, too.
  • #19 (Sky River Sasquatch) #85 (Hoot) and #89 (This is Progress) have been maintained or found in the last few weeks, so they're staying on the route.
  • I consolidated the trailheads for #20 (Forks of the Sky - Picnic Bend), #21 - (Forks of the Sky - Picnic Bend Trailhead), and #22 (Picnic Bend).  
  • I consolidated the trailhead for #24 (WaStatePks100: Forks of the Sky - Index Town Wall), #25 (Forks of the Sky - Blocks of Granite), and #26 (Forks of the Sky - Boulder Field) and added trail direction.
  • Dropping 28, 29, and 30 (Shelby's, His, and Her Cache, respectively), per crs98's suggestion.
  • Dropping 34 (Greenway), as the direction we're traveling makes crossing the highway to get it too dangerous.
  • Adding road entrance to GC1T768 "... a snake a crystal and a beaverpond." and GC1T75Y "Sterling".

I've also added:

  • GC88GQJ Little White Church 
  • GC88WT7 Drive On In
  • GC8841J Gold Bar
  • GC88WPZ Freddies and Beyond 2
  • GC88J4V WSGA 48 North Picnic Event (!)
  • GC88W1Q Park and Ride
  • GC7611H Just Not Fair 

There's probably some other tweaks I've made and forgotten, too. This is the last draft; I'll post the final route on June 17.


Still to do: I'll be contacting local prolific cache hiders this evening and into tomorrow to flush out any objections to specific caches being included.

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I meant to add this to my previous notes from last weekend, but parking at the Serene Lake TH for Serenity Now and Talbots Tools (stops #16 and #17 on the most recent draft) do require a NW Forest Pass.  I don't remember if some of the other stops along the Skykomish river require a Discovery Pass, but it's likely that at least one of them does.

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I've just posted the final route. Any changes after this point will be announced at the pre-event dinner on Friday night and here in this forum after that dinner. Not much has changed since draft 2. I've added stop 68, Spark, and I've added some additional call-out instructions on the map (including a Lord Hill focus page), but that's about it. See you all this weekend!

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Me, to the restaurant four days ago: “As of this morning, it looks like we have 30 people who have RSVPed their attendance for Saturday night.”


My mailbox, a dozen times after that: “[LOG] Owner: XXXXXXX will attend Monroe Cache Machine Dinner (Event Cache)”. I count 18 additional attendees 


This will be... interesting. 

Edited by travisl
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Route updates: none.


For dinner tomorrow, parties without kids should sit in the patio, so that there’s enough space for parties WITH kids to sit inside. 


And, fine, if you really want a route update:

  • Stop 3, “Dot GS Trp 43758,” GC7B23G, is still disabled. 
  • Stop 5, “River Rocks,” GC7888P, may be missing, but the cache owner says it’s ok if someone wants to replace it tomorrow. 
  • Stop 44, “Sterling,” GC1T75Y, has a lot of DNFs and probably isn’t there.
  • I probably should’ve swapped the order of stops 69 and 70.
  • Stops 80-84 in Lord Hill Park are a longer and steeper hike than you think.  
  • Stop 89, “Freddie’s and Beyond 2,” GC88WPZ, is near a homeless camp.

See you dark and early tomorrow!

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