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Ditto2001

What was your worst experience with muggles?

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1 hour ago, Ditto2001 said:

So far, I haven't had any.

 

No offense, but 19 finds since '10 kinda puts the odds in your favor.  :)

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16 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

No offense, but 19 finds since '10 kinda puts the odds in your favor.  :)

Yeah, I've been trying to find caches on the regular since Sept 2019, but it being the middle of winter right now really limits the kinds of caches I can find. Yes, I found 3 caches a couple of days ago, but they were all LPCs. 

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Obv only 191 finds but very rare, much more positive comments. The odd occasions have been the "how dare you partake in a leisure pursuit outside my house", but they're the same miserable sods who complain when kids play outside their house on bikes, with football etc.

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I can't recall a "worst" right now...

The rare couple we had were due to no permission by the CO on private property, but we offer to remove it (if they didn't take it already) and notify the owner and/or Groundspeak.

I've done it on a few business properties .  Most were happy that someone talked to them.

 - If the CO had asked for permission from one owner we're still friendly with, they would have known how dangerous the area (that the CO hid a cache for others to visit …) really was.

 

 

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My worst memory goes all the way back to 2004, when I wrote this log on a cache I found while traveling to the second GeoWoodstock.   You don't forget being followed into the woods by a person "looking for company."   I had good situational awareness, so once I knew someone was watching me, I took off at top speed and hid in a thicket.  A few minutes later, he found my thicket.  My exit was swift, and began with the last punch I threw at someone in anger.  It connected.

 

You don't forget muggles like that.

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1 hour ago, The Leprechauns said:

My worst memory goes all the way back to 2004, when I wrote this log on a cache I found while traveling to the second GeoWoodstock.   You don't forget being followed into the woods by a person "looking for company."   I had good situational awareness, so once I knew someone was watching me, I took off at top speed and hid in a thicket.  A few minutes later, he found my thicket.  My exit was swift, and began with the last punch I threw at someone in anger.  It connected.

 

You don't forget muggles like that.

 

I had a somewhat similar experience and I actually had forgotten about it.   There was a cache in a wooded area close to where one of the oldest caches in town had been hidden (in 2001).   I parked on the other side of the creek (it's called a creek, but it's a fairly substantial one...more like a river) and crossed over on the foot bridge.  There was a guy fishing from the bridge and I stopped to chat with him for a couple of minutes.   I followed the trail into the woods, had searched for an found the cache, then when I looked up the "fisherman" was about 30' away and asked if I was having a good day and if I found what I was looking for.   I said that I was geocaching but he didn't know that was.   It seemed odd so I took a different route out of the woods that avoiding him, and he didn't continue to follow me.    I found out later that the woods in that area were often used by gay men to "hook up".   

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That sounds pretty similar, except the person I encountered was sitting by himself in a picnic shelter I walked past, rather than a fisherman on a bridge.  Had the guy not reached out and touched me, my story would have ended like yours did.

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10 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:
1 hour ago, The Leprechauns said:

...  You don't forget being followed into the woods by a person ooking for company."  

 

I had amewhat similar experience and I actually had forgotten about it. 

...

I found out later that the woods in that area were often used by gay men to "hook up".   

 

More or less opposite experience for me.  I was doing a trail along a path beside the river Thames in London one lunchtime. I got to a cache which was clearly behind a hut just off the path, when I went round the back there was a guy standing by his bike, on his phone and I could see the cache right by his feet just under the hut, so I figured he MUST be a cacher otherwise why would he be here? and he must be either logging the find or plotting the next cache to look for.  I said to him, all friendly like, "Hi are you a cacher too?" and it was immediately clear that he wasn't and he had no idea what a cacher is, he launched into a verbal tirade calling me all sorts of names and threatening me and telling me in no uncertain terms to "go away", it was clear he though I was trying to pick him up :wub: I tried to explain what geocaching is but he was having none of it so I backed away and hit the trail and went on to the next cache.

 

I waited down the trail until I saw him ride off and went back for the :) though!

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Muggles walking their dogs at night, off the leash.

 

It happened to me several times, that I was caching after dark, in a park or just outside of town, of course using a flashlight, and then suddenly I hear or see a dog coming closer. Sometimes a growling dog. With no obvious owner in sight, I shouted like "Hello?! Anybody there? Please call back your dog" into the darkness, while at the same time trying to scout my options (like grabbing a large piece of wood lying around). The friendly muggles then called the dog and apologized - but in a few cases, I was yelled at that I should put out my light, because it irritates their dog, that I have no business lurking here in the night, and once even a threat to let the dog loose on me. Needless to say, I wasn't anywhere near private property on these occasions. I admit, that I'm not a "dog person" (apologies to any reviewers ;) ), and unleashed dogs approaching me in a possibly unfriendly way scare the hell out of me. Add nighttime, when I have no full view of my surroundings, and the incident easily qualifies as "worst experience".

 

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Last year I had a strange experience. Long story: 

 

I found a large cache. It was right next to a busy trail. I took it down the trail a little, and up a hill, out of sight. Signed the log and looked through the contents. Ready to return it, I stood up to go back. Saw a man on the trail talking to a fishing man on the bank below. I sat back down and waited. 5 minutes, still talking and it looked like it was going to be awhile. Tucked the cache behind a big log and went for a walk down the trail. (Passed a guy sleeping next to the trail.) Walked over to an outdoor stage behind a school and next to the trail. Checked out the stage and met a man having a snack. Nodded to him and went back to the cache. The men were still talking. So I decided to walk back to my car, get a large plastic bag that the large cache could fit in. That way I could put it in the bag, walk past the 2 men and discretely put it back behind the tree while they were busy talking. On my way back, crossing the bridge, I heard what sounded like kids playing under the bridge, or up in the backyards, high pitched screeching sounds. I'm severely hard of hearing so it's hard to make out sounds properly or where they are coming from. Kept walking, I got to my car, got the bag and when I got back to the bridge, there was the man who had been talking to the fishing guy. He asked me if I could help, there was a woman crying under the bridge and he didn't know what to do. Being 'deaf' I wasn't sure how much help I could be but as a woman, I couldn't abandon her. I thought she might be hurt. She was wailing. I spent about 15 minutes with her.  From what I could understand, a man she loved left her and she was suicidal. She showed me some drugs in her purse and handed me a syringe, she didn't want it anymore. When she looked away I put it back in her bag. I heard the man who asked for my help call down to us, so I went up and let him know things were not great but she was OK. A few minutes later the man I met at the stage, arrived under the bridge. He told me he knew her and he would help her. I said my goodbyes. She had stopped crying by then. She thanked me and I left. Put back to the cache. Walked over the bridge again and could hear that they were still talking and things seemed calm. Got back to my car and went home. Thinking about it later I think it was a dumb thing I did. I should have told the guy to call the police. I told the CO what happened and he told me the area has a problem with drug users. Which actually I do know about. The town is quite beautiful so I tend to overlook the alcohol-and-drug-addicted users that are part of the downtown landscape. That particular area is a nice scenic spot by the river. I just didn't twig.  I wouldn't call it a "worst" experience, just a very strange one, and one I won't do again. 

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Not being able to search because of muggles is the main problem most cachers have, isn't it?

When talking to muggles about what you are doing here I rarely had any problems. Most of them are interested in what geocaching is and you can have a nice chat with them.

 

More problems makes what muggles leave. They don't know that people want to search in the area and some people use it as toilet. :-\ That's not a problem with direct muggle contact but I had to buy a new pair of shoes once.... ;-)

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Last year I had been scouting a place for a cache in a wilderness preserve area in the middle of town. I got excited that maybe I had found a nice little nook but soon discovered a makeshift latrine. A low-lying horizontal branch served as a seat, under which was a small mountain of “brown stuff”, and next to it was an immense pile of toilet paper. I left quickly, disappointed and disgusted and not sure that I should hide a cache anywhere near that area after all. I guess a few homeless folks are camping out in that area.

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Last autumn I drove 70 kilometers to find a specific cache. When I was trying to find it in a stone wall in urban area a couple of Jehovah's witnesses came and raised their literature display right beside of me. I just had to return to my car :wacko:

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My most embarrassing: the cache was supposedly on the

light pole at the corner of a residential neighborhood. We couldn't find it. A neighbor came over to question us, and after realizing we were trying to get FTF on a new cache, said to us: "Aren't you supposed to be stealthy when you look for a geocache?"  Um, yes! Kind of hard considering the location, though! 

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A little over a decade ago, I got rolled on by an undercover cop while he was teaching a kid driving lessons in a parking lot.

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2 hours ago, baer2006 said:

Muggles walking their dogs at night, off the leash.

 

It happened to me several times, that I was caching after dark, in a park or just outside of town, of course using a flashlight, and then suddenly I hear or see a dog coming closer. Sometimes a growling dog. With no obvious owner in sight, I shouted like "Hello?! Anybody there? Please call back your dog" into the darkness, while at the same time trying to scout my options (like grabbing a large piece of wood lying around). The friendly muggles then called the dog and apologized - but in a few cases, I was yelled at that I should put out my light, because it irritates their dog, that I have no business lurking here in the night, and once even a threat to let the dog loose on me. Needless to say, I wasn't anywhere near private property on these occasions. I admit, that I'm not a "dog person" (apologies to any reviewers ;) ), and unleashed dogs approaching me in a possibly unfriendly way scare the hell out of me. Add nighttime, when I have no full view of my surroundings, and the incident easily qualifies as "worst experience".

 

Reminds me... leads can be just as bad.

 

A few months back I was cycling on a poorly lit segregated cycle path having done a cache. There was a man on one side and dog on the other so I slowed down to pass. What I didn't realise was he had an - at night - invisible black telescopic lead which wrapped around the front of the bike. Luckily the dog owner had the sense to drop the lead and I could stop within a few metres.

 

I was telling the story to a friend who said he had the same thing happen except this time the cyclist came off the bike. Apparently the dog owner was laughing at the cyclist until he realised his dog was dead - broken neck.

 

TBH dog walkers seem to be the most anti-social people you encounter around here. I think they're just in their own little world, especially off the beaten track where they encounter cachers.

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My worst so far was when I was scouting out virtual waypoints in a section of national park for a multi I was working on, when a woman drove up with two savage dogs in the back of her car and accused me of tresspassing on her land. It turned out her land was another 3.5km down the road but she was determined to keep everyone out of the park and had even put up Private Property signs. With those two dogs baying for cacher blood, I didn't hang around. The ranger later told me she lives in an isolated property down at the end of the point and has "problems".

 

Sign.jpg.f7aca37f0fdc130f992b70621456dbbf.jpg

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19 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

My worst so far was when I was scouting out virtual waypoints in a section of national park for a multi I was working on, when a woman drove up with two savage dogs in the back of her car and accused me of tresspassing on her land. It turned out her land was another 3.5km down the road but she was determined to keep everyone out of the park and had even put up Private Property signs. With those two dogs baying for cacher blood, I didn't hang around. The ranger later told me she lives in an isolated property down at the end of the point and has "problems".

 

Sign.jpg.f7aca37f0fdc130f992b70621456dbbf.jpg

Maybe this should have gone beyond the ranger and been reported to the police.

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2 hours ago, baer2006 said:

Muggles walking their dogs at night, off the leash.

 

It happened to me several times, that I was caching after dark, in a park or just outside of town, of course using a flashlight, and then suddenly I hear or see a dog coming closer. Sometimes a growling dog. With no obvious owner in sight, I shouted like "Hello?! Anybody there? Please call back your dog" into the darkness, while at the same time trying to scout my options (like grabbing a large piece of wood lying around). The friendly muggles then called the dog and apologized - but in a few cases, I was yelled at that I should put out my light, because it irritates their dog, that I have no business lurking here in the night, and once even a threat to let the dog loose on me. Needless to say, I wasn't anywhere near private property on these occasions. I admit, that I'm not a "dog person" (apologies to any reviewers ;) ), and unleashed dogs approaching me in a possibly unfriendly way scare the hell out of me. Add nighttime, when I have no full view of my surroundings, and the incident easily qualifies as "worst experience".

 

 

Geocaching/hiking on a rocky trail.  First two hours, I didn't see anyone.  All of a sudden, a dog comes running at me, and jumps and puts his paws on my chest.  Lucky he didn't kill me!   "Hey!  Dogs must be on leash!"  "But we seldom see anyone on this trail."

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6 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Maybe this should have gone beyond the ranger and been reported to the police.

 

I'm sure the police here would just pass the buck back to National Parks. Disputes over property ownership are a civil matter. Had she actually let her dogs loose on me it would have been a different matter.

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4 minutes ago, Harry Dolphin said:

 

Geocaching/hiking on a rocky trail.  First two hours, I didn't see anyone.  All of a sudden, a dog comes running at me, and jumps and puts his paws on my chest.  Lucky he didn't kill me!   "Hey!  Dogs must be on leash!"  "But we seldom see anyone on this trail."

:lol: I have been discovered by a dog when caching. I was in a bush signing a log and heard someone approaching along a trail, so I decided to stay quiet and let the person pass without seeing me. Their friendly and inquisitive dog runs up and sticks its head in the bush. Embarrassing.

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One morning I went out to run some errands. I bought a few things I needed and as just out of curiosity, I checked my geocaching app to see if there were any caches close by. There was one listed across the parking lot and about a block down. I figured there was no reason to drive, I would get a little exercise on a nice brisk morning. I put my purchases in the trunk of my car so I didn't have to carry them with me, and walked down the street. Before I even got to GZ a car pulled up behind me and a man's voice yelled out "Excuse me, Ma'am. What you're doing is illegal." It startled the heck out of me. What was I doing that was against the law? I hadn't even started looking for the cache yet, I wasn't poking around in the bushes, or tinkering with any public utilities like a lamppost or electrical box. So I turned and said "Huh?" And the guy, sitting in his car yelling through the window said "Abandoning your car in a public lot and walking away is an indication that you are up to some kind of fishy activity. I am calling the police". At this point, I was more than happy to have him call the police because I felt that a creepy guy in a car stalking a woman walking by herself seemed pretty fishy too.

 

It seemed pretty odd that he would consider what I was doing so "illegal" since it's pretty normal for people to park in a busy shopping area parking lot and visit multiple stores in one trip. Anyway, I calmly told him to go ahead and call the police, and decided not to continue on to the cache. I went back to my car, and he slowly drove behind me the whole time, following everything I did. When I got back in my car, he stopped his car behind me so I couldn't back out of my parking space. At this point, I was getting really scared, but tried to remain calm. Luckily I noticed that the parking space next to me was vacant and even though the strange guy was parked behind me, if I was quick about it, I might be able to maneuver my car and get out of my parking spot anyway. I did this and quickly made for the exit to the parking lot. The guy was right behind me, following very closely. If I had stopped, he would have hit the back of my car. I drove straight to the police station. He said he wanted to call the police on me, so I figured I would make it easy and go directly to the police in person. They could decide which of us was doing something "illegal". Oddly, the guy did not follow me into the building. Humm. Guess he really didn't want to report me after all.

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In eight years I've never had any problem with muggles except maybe cyclists, you know, the Lycra Brigade type whom I sometimes call Whispering Death as you can rarely hear them coming from behind. I regularly cycle or walk a shared pathway where my Fernleigh Track series is located. Cyclists are required to sound a warning when overtaking pedestrians or other cyclists - most don't. The law here requires bicycles to be fitted with a warning device e.g. a bell. All the bicycles I've seen for sale in shops are fitted with one because the retailers are aware of the law. So why do the Lycra Brigade riders remove them? Two days ago I almost collected two who were over taking me, riding abreast of each other, when I went to pull over to take a seat at a rest stop (and to check a cache). No sound, no warning. If they had come past two seconds later I would have got them. There have been accidents of this type on this track, often involving children or elderly (who don't hear so well - self included - I'm 71 and wear hearing aids) yet I have never seen it policed. These LB boys (mostly boys) treat Fernleigh as their own private race training track, all 15.5km/10 miles of it.

Mugglers in Lycra on wheels - BEWARE!

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We were waiting for the light to change to cross Riverside Drive in NYC.  And two bicycles came zooming down the road through the red light!  Bicyclists don't seem to obey traffic laws.

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1 hour ago, colleda said:

In eight years I've never had any problem with muggles except maybe cyclists, you know, the Lycra Brigade type whom I sometimes call Whispering Death as you can rarely hear them coming from behind. I regularly cycle or walk a shared pathway where my Fernleigh Track series is located. Cyclists are required to sound a warning when overtaking pedestrians or other cyclists - most don't. The law here requires bicycles to be fitted with a warning device e.g. a bell. All the bicycles I've seen for sale in shops are fitted with one because the retailers are aware of the law. So why do the Lycra Brigade riders remove them? Two days ago I almost collected two who were over taking me, riding abreast of each other, when I went to pull over to take a seat at a rest stop (and to check a cache). No sound, no warning. If they had come past two seconds later I would have got them. There have been accidents of this type on this track, often involving children or elderly (who don't hear so well - self included - I'm 71 and wear hearing aids) yet I have never seen it policed. These LB boys (mostly boys) treat Fernleigh as their own private race training track, all 15.5km/10 miles of it.

Mugglers in Lycra on wheels - BEWARE!

 

When I was hiking the Great North Walk from Sydney to Newcastle a few years ago (https://barefootingthegnw.wordpress.com/) and doing some caching along the way (BM56Z5Q), I had a cyclist sneak up on me like that. At the last moment I heard something and swung around to look, forgetting I was carrying a heavy day pack and straining a muscle in my back in the process. Not impressed.

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14 hours ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

TBH dog walkers seem to be the most anti-social people you encounter around here. I think they're just in their own little world, especially off the beaten track where they encounter cachers.

 

Dog walkers are frequently naive and entitled. They don't understand why a stranger doesn't find their off-leash dog to be an immediate new best friend, and of course their dog is an angel who would never hurt someone. And you're not a cop so don't you dare remind them the county has a leash law, or that dogs are prohibited in this nature preserve. Besides, this is a service animal so it's allowed to go anywhere!

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I was looking for a cache on the back of a signboard on some stairs going down to a beach. In front of the sign was a parking lot and a guy had parked his motorbike right in front of the sign. I don't know what he had been eating (daikons perhaps) but he let one rip about 6 inches from my nose, so close that I could feel the wind. As for the smell, it stuck with me for the rest of the day.

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15 hours ago, colleda said:

In eight years I've never had any problem with muggles except maybe cyclists, you know, the Lycra Brigade type whom I sometimes call Whispering Death as you can rarely hear them coming from behind. I regularly cycle or walk a shared pathway where my Fernleigh Track series is located. Cyclists are required to sound a warning when overtaking pedestrians or other cyclists - most don't. The law here requires bicycles to be fitted with a warning device e.g. a bell. All the bicycles I've seen for sale in shops are fitted with one because the retailers are aware of the law. So why do the Lycra Brigade riders remove them? Two days ago I almost collected two who were over taking me, riding abreast of each other, when I went to pull over to take a seat at a rest stop (and to check a cache). No sound, no warning. If they had come past two seconds later I would have got them. There have been accidents of this type on this track, often involving children or elderly (who don't hear so well - self included - I'm 71 and wear hearing aids) yet I have never seen it policed. These LB boys (mostly boys) treat Fernleigh as their own private race training track, all 15.5km/10 miles of it.

Mugglers in Lycra on wheels - BEWARE!

As a cyclist you can't win.

 

Half of pedestrians want you to ring a bell, half of them see it as an aggressive "get out of my way" move no matter how slowly you pass them, even if they are walking in a dedicated cycle lane and take exception to it. A minority will then deliberately block the path to punish you for forcing your way through.

 

Not geocaching but a while back I was cycling to the shops along one of those wide paths with a line down the middle. Came up behind two pedestrians and rang my bell. The man froze straddling the line and held out his arms.

 

Because the path was wide there was still room to pass so I cycled past, under a tunnel and parked at the shops.

 

As I was locking my bike this bloke pegged it across the car park and got in my face, shouting that I'd passed him within inches. I explained that there as room to pass and if he didn't like it being so close he shouldn't try to block the path.

 

Next thing I know he is on the phone to the police claiming he's been "in an altercation with a cyclist". Carry on with my shopping when plod turns up. Luckily I think they thought he was slightly deranged and said they were going to keep him round the corner until we'd completed our shopping and cycled off.

 

tl;dr As a cyclist you really can't win, no matter what you do there will be people who take exception to it, and some people take exception to everything simply because you're a cyclist. Now I tend to shout "excuse me" rather than ring my bell, but I don't doubt some people hate that too.

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Playing "who leaves first" with a muggle sitting in his car. Just sitting there for the longest time. lol Wouldn't it be funny if he was a geocacher waiting for us to leave? We finally left, drove around and came back. He was gone and there were no new signatures in the log.

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3 minutes ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

 

tl;dr As a cyclist you really can't win, no matter what you do there will be people who take exception to it, and some people take exception to everything simply because you're a cyclist. Now I tend to shout "excuse me" rather than ring my bell, but I don't doubt some people hate that too.

 

When I used to do a lot of downhill skiing it was fairly common to shout "on your left" or "on your right" to indicate which side you'll be passing a slower skier.   

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1 minute ago, HunterandSamuel said:

Playing "who leaves last" with a muggle sitting in his car. Just sitting there for the longest time. lol Wouldn't it be funny if he was a geocacher waiting for us to leave? We finally left, drove around and came back. He was gone and there were no new signatures in the log.

 

If I am near GZ and see someone loitering nearby, it might be a muggle, or it might be another geocacher waiting for me to leave the area.  That happened a couple of few weeks ago.  I hadn't yet found a cache and had just started to search when I saw a couple of people nearby, one looking at her phone.   I moved down the bridge a bit and they got closer.  Then I stoped and asked if they were looking for the cache too.

 

When caching in Rome, I saw what I thought to be a muggle nearby with what looked be a GPS on a belt clip.  It was actually a muggle with a badge and that GPS was a radio.

 

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4 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

When I used to do a lot of downhill skiing it was fairly common to shout "on your left" or "on your right" to indicate which side you'll be passing a slower skier.   

We get that warning from bicyclists on the bike path. "On your left". One time someone walking by us to get ahead said "on your left". We laughed.

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No bad experiences, in fact we don't have many muggle encounters considering we're close to 10000 finds. We avoid caching around muggles though. That means we'll mostly walk/bike in woods, farmland and very quiet areas. More touristic of busy areas we go to in winter when there are less people around and if there are muggles near a cache, we just leave it for later (or just leave it).

 

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1 minute ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

If I am near GZ and see someone loitering nearby, it might be a muggle, or it might be another geocacher waiting for me to leave the area.  That happened a couple of few weeks ago.  I hadn't yet found a cache and had just started to search when I saw a couple of people nearby, one looking at her phone.   I moved down the bridge a bit and they got closer.  Then I stoped and asked if they were looking for the cache too.

 

When ever we see someone looking down at their cell on the bike path, we automatically think they are geocaching. Turns out only one was. One time searching for a cache, a muggle approached us and asked if we were geocaching. Not the worse experience though, just shocking that a muggle would know what we were doing. lol

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Oh, I just thought of another one. It was when we first started geocaching. We were sitting in the car close to GZ, waiting for the GPS to show us the exact location. A guy pulled up in a truck and asked if we needed help. I told him we were geocaching and waiting for the GPS to download. He pointed to where it was, said I think it's over there but be careful, there's a bomb in it. Sick sense of humor!

 

 

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1 hour ago, HunterandSamuel said:

 

When ever we see someone looking down at their cell on the bike path, we automatically think they are geocaching. Turns out only one was. One time searching for a cache, a muggle approached us and asked if we were geocaching. Not the worse experience though, just shocking that a muggle would know what we were doing. lol

 

I was in Monterey, California about 8 years ago, walking down a sidewalk from one cache to the next with my GPS on a lanyard around my neck.  A group of 4 people were walking in the opposite direction and just as they passed me one of them said, "geocaching?".  

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1 hour ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

When I used to do a lot of downhill skiing it was fairly common to shout "on your left" or "on your right" to indicate which side you'll be passing a slower skier.   

 

Also, Falcons. ;)

 

Off-road bikers (calling it mountain biking in Florida doesn't seen right) will call out "rider up" when approaching someone not attentive. But this is mostly the more serious, experienced riders.

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I don't think I've had any geocaching encounters with muggles that left me concerned for my safety. I've come across some homeless camps, but none occupied. 

 

The strangest encounter was at a park. Just as I was getting out of my truck another vehicle parked nearby. The guy approached and greeted me, and I mistook him for recognizing me from geocaching (I had my GPS lanyard on). A quick conversation clarified he was supposed to be meeting someone there (not me). I apologized for the misunderstanding and went to start geocaching, walking along the park road to a trailhead. He drove up and stopped to ask if I was sure I wasn't the guy he was supposed to meet. I insisted I wasn't,  and held up my GPS and said I was just here to geocache. He drove off, perhaps still not entirely believing me. I assumed he'd been stood up for a gay date by someone who bore a passing resemblance. 

 

I've encountered my fair share of overly friendly/curious off-leash dogs in a decade of caching. No attacks though. When I see one I usually come to a stop with a firm grip on my hiking pole until the owner and dog pass. Nonthreatening but firm and ready to defend myself if needed. I had more bad experiences with unleashed dogs as a kid riding a bike in the suburbs than while geocaching.

 

My worst encounters with grumpy dog owners have all been in non-geocaching circumstances, albeit places where geocaches were nearby. A grumpy fellow with two large dogs (leashed for a change) who insisted they were "emotional support animals" (he certainly had anger issues) which classified them as service animals (it doesn't). Another guy got huffy when politely told in the parking lot that dogs weren't permitted, headed on the roadside sidewalk rather than the trail then from a distance shouted that he used to beat up people like me in high school. Mind you I'm two-decades removed from high school. Both incidents occured with an audience as I was giving guided hikes at the time.

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2 hours ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

As a cyclist you can't win.

 

Half of pedestrians want you to ring a bell, half of them see it as an aggressive "get out of my way" move no matter how slowly you pass them, even if they are walking in a dedicated cycle lane and take exception to it. A minority will then deliberately block the path to punish you for forcing your way through.

 

Not geocaching but a while back I was cycling to the shops along one of those wide paths with a line down the middle. Came up behind two pedestrians and rang my bell. The man froze straddling the line and held out his arms.

 

Because the path was wide there was still room to pass so I cycled past, under a tunnel and parked at the shops.

 

As I was locking my bike this bloke pegged it across the car park and got in my face, shouting that I'd passed him within inches. I explained that there as room to pass and if he didn't like it being so close he shouldn't try to block the path.

 

Next thing I know he is on the phone to the police claiming he's been "in an altercation with a cyclist". Carry on with my shopping when plod turns up. Luckily I think they thought he was slightly deranged and said they were going to keep him round the corner until we'd completed our shopping and cycled off.

 

tl;dr As a cyclist you really can't win, no matter what you do there will be people who take exception to it, and some people take exception to everything simply because you're a cyclist. Now I tend to shout "excuse me" rather than ring my bell, but I don't doubt some people hate that too.

Cycling is one of the strange activities where people will paint every cyclist as bad for actions of a few.  You can be obeying every law, but someone will take out their anger at cyclist who have broken laws on you.  As a performer I've had people say (more or less) "I saw a bad magician once, so I don't like any magic and won't watch it".  Most activities you don't blame the activity for poor actions of person doing it - a poor violin player doesn't get people to say "violins are bad instruments".  But cyclist who runs a red light tends to paint all cyclists as law breakers.  Don't get me started on what some think cyclist should be doing "according to the law (which they don't know)"...

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I can't relate to the anti-dog stuff. I love dogs. I've wanted to take dogs home with me that I've met on the trails. I've never had a problem with off leash dogs but like JL_HSTRE I'm reasonably cautious, let the dog approach and sniff first, no sudden movements like a pat on the head until the dog is comfortable. Once had a wigglebutt friend for about 10 minutes while on a countryside trail, after coming back from a cache. She had gotten away from her owner, probably smelled me a mile away and had to meet me. :) I waited and eventually the worried owner found me and the dog. We had a nice chat and off they went, leaving me a little heartbroken. 

 

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3 hours ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

As a cyclist you can't win.

Preach it. I get that if someone has a scare they can react badly, but how about reflecting a bit on your own awareness of your surroundings and other road users after things have cooled down.

 

1 hour ago, The Jester said:

Cycling is one of the strange activities where people will paint every cyclist as bad for actions of a few.

I swear whenever a cyclist runs a red light, there’s a pedestrian who never jaywalks or a car driver who never speeds and always uses indicator lights to witness it.

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5 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Dog walkers are frequently naive and entitled. They don't understand why a stranger doesn't find their off-leash dog to be an immediate new best friend, and of course their dog is an angel who would never hurt someone. And you're not a cop so don't you dare remind them the county has a leash law, or that dogs are prohibited in this nature preserve. Besides, this is a service animal so it's allowed to go anywhere!


A few years back I was hunting for a new cache that had just been published. It was in an abandoned sandstone quarry with old pits that have now become algae-rich lakes.

 

b98f19d4-4d20-491d-888e-098b5585405e_l.j

 

The cache was on what could best be described as a vegetated slag heap but my GPSr kept leading me to one side of it where ventilation or drainage pipes were poking out with an absolutely putrid smell emanating from them. I couldn't find the cache so I started walking back to the car when I saw a couple of other people approaching. At first I thought they must be cachers but it turned out they were walking their enormous dog which had gone for a swim in one of the lakes. The dog decided I must be its new best friend and jumped up on me, wiping its slimy coat all over my clothes. By the time I got home and was able to throw off my aromatic clothes, I'd totally had it with caching, dogs and the world in general and let fly with my grievances in my DNF log. I later apologised to the CO who really didn't know what hit him.

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5 hours ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

As a cyclist you can't win.

Half of pedestrians want you to ring a bell, half of them see it as an aggressive "get out of my way" move no matter how slowly you pass them, even if they are walking in a dedicated cycle lane and take exception to it.

A minority will then deliberately block the path to punish you for forcing your way through.

 

Wow.    More reason we stay outta cities.       Luckily we have few areas with dedicated bike-only trails.  

I added a bell to my MB, in addition to my "on left/right".     :)

Paths and wide trails there's little issue.   Folks are easily seen.  Issues with "in the woods" trails here seem to be their size.

One near me, the shared, curved, single-track trails are very tight in woods, and because the property is half woods,  sometimes a bike may come off a curve and a walker's now smack in front of you.

When there are more walkers than bikers, we just stay in the open areas, and outer trails that few walkers want to access.

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7 hours ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

As a cyclist you can't win.

 

Half of pedestrians want you to ring a bell, half of them see it as an aggressive "get out of my way" move no matter how slowly you pass them, even if they are walking in a dedicated cycle lane and take exception to it. A minority will then deliberately block the path to punish you for forcing your way through.

 

Not geocaching but a while back I was cycling to the shops along one of those wide paths with a line down the middle. Came up behind two pedestrians and rang my bell. The man froze straddling the line and held out his arms.

 

Because the path was wide there was still room to pass so I cycled past, under a tunnel and parked at the shops.

 

As I was locking my bike this bloke pegged it across the car park and got in my face, shouting that I'd passed him within inches. I explained that there as room to pass and if he didn't like it being so close he shouldn't try to block the path.

 

Next thing I know he is on the phone to the police claiming he's been "in an altercation with a cyclist". Carry on with my shopping when plod turns up. Luckily I think they thought he was slightly deranged and said they were going to keep him round the corner until we'd completed our shopping and cycled off.

 

tl;dr As a cyclist you really can't win, no matter what you do there will be people who take exception to it, and some people take exception to everything simply because you're a cyclist. Now I tend to shout "excuse me" rather than ring my bell, but I don't doubt some people hate that too.

Have never experienced the aggravation  you described. When I ring my bell before overtaking walkers will often move over a little to give me more room (than I need) and, occasionally, a friendly wave. When I'm walking I'll give a wave and a "thank you". Some riders will call "on your right" or "passing". (I just thought of an irk).

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2 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Wow.    More reason we stay outta cities.       Luckily we have few areas with dedicated bike-only trails.  

I added a bell to my MB, in addition to my "on left/right".     :)

Paths and wide trails there's little issue.   Folks are easily seen.  Issues with "in the woods" trails here seem to be their size.

One near me, the shared, curved, single-track trails are very tight in woods, and because the property is half woods,  sometimes a bike may come off a curve and a walker's now smack in front of you.

When there are more walkers than bikers, we just stay in the open areas, and outer trails that few walkers want to access.

A while back on a series of lovely segregated cycle paths near me the council decided to convert part of it to an oval "fitness loop" for cyclists and joggers, with a new narrower track marked with 100m posts and outside gym.

 

They then burnt off the cycle markings on the old path because hey, the pedestrians will want to use the direct route and cyclists should be forced to use the slightly circuitous route... right?

 

 Fine except that it turns out dog walkers really want to use a circuitous route. So now you can use the old path, and risk the ire of pedestrians for not using the cycle route, or use the new narrow path and risk the ire of dog walkers for not slowing to a crawl every 100 metres whilst they get their dog under control.

 

Can't win.

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