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Is parking part of it?


Nurse Dave
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So new as we are I'm wondering if just finding the parking area is supposed to be part of the search. There are a few caches we have been to that either could have or were a lot longer because there was more than one enterance to a park or the access could have been from one side of a river or the other. I see some people give a suggested area to park while many others don't.

 

I think it is a little frustrating myself. I'd rather spend time hiking and enjoying views than driving down every side-street or missing a cache because there was a different parking lot I was supposed to start in.

 

---I will stand out, I am a raven in the snow.

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I'd have to agree with you that finding parking spots before heading towards the cache can be rather challenging. It seems as if I always find the worst places to park while finding caches. Can anyone maybe post some strategies as to how they determine where to stop?

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I think that some cachers expect their GPS to do all the work for them. I recently got a message from an unhappy cacher who expected me (the cache owner) to post the coordinates of a parking area at a trailhead. It seems that he didn't find the trail and ended up on a bushwhacking expedition.

 

I say "boloney". In most cases, hints about appropriate parking areas can be found by quickly consulting Mapquest or Topozone. Many cachers need to prepare more and not just get in the car and head out to the woods.

 

Part of this sport is about learning land navigation. Including maps and compass. Overdependence on the GPS can be disasterous when some poor soul gets lost in the woods when his GPS batteries die.

 

----------

Brad Myers

Jackson, Michigan

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Yes, very much so. Parking is part of the search. Parking, finding the right trail, deciding weather to take a 'short cut' straight up the hill or hope that the trail eventually leads closer than it is now, figuring out if you're on the correct side of the river.

 

It's all part of the game.

 

george

 

Remember: Half the people you meet are below average.

5867_200.gif

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The owner of the cache may not have intended for parking to be that much a part of the hunt when he hid it. We know our way around usually when we hide one and dont give it a second thought. Its been a bit on the frustrating side on a few of our hunts because we couldnt find the right place to park, but i figure its all part of the challenge!

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Parking should be part of your research. Keep the description in mind...if it says, "in a local park, wildlife management area, etc." then the parking part should be easy, but still always look at mapquest or topozone or some map with the cache spot marked on it so you can get familiar with it's exact location and the best approach to take (and the best parking lot to park in).

 

For really rural caches, I print out a closely zoomed in map with exact surrounding street names (or dirt road numbers), and a larger overview map that has the nearest interstate or whatever. I drive as close as I can, following the map, not the gps, and if there's nowhere to park, or I'm on the wrong side of a river, mountain, etc, I use the map to get to the best parking spot. I don't really trust the gps until I'm out of the car. Even then, trails that twist and turn are kinda tricky when you only know your direct distance. I hiked over a mile once and the whole time I was .2 miles from the cache. Too far to bushwack, and too close to give up [icon_wink.gif].

 

Parking coords or driving directions are nice when the cache is WAY back there, but you can do it without. And everyone's got their own system, just give yourself time to develop yours.

 

-pizzachef

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Parking should be part of your research. Keep the description in mind...if it says, "in a local park, wildlife management area, etc." then the parking part should be easy, but still always look at mapquest or topozone or some map with the cache spot marked on it so you can get familiar with it's exact location and the best approach to take (and the best parking lot to park in).

 

For really rural caches, I print out a closely zoomed in map with exact surrounding street names (or dirt road numbers), and a larger overview map that has the nearest interstate or whatever. I drive as close as I can, following the map, not the gps, and if there's nowhere to park, or I'm on the wrong side of a river, mountain, etc, I use the map to get to the best parking spot. I don't really trust the gps until I'm out of the car. Even then, trails that twist and turn are kinda tricky when you only know your direct distance. I hiked over a mile once and the whole time I was .2 miles from the cache. Too far to bushwack, and too close to give up [;)].

 

Parking coords or driving directions are nice when the cache is WAY back there, but you can do it without. And everyone's got their own system, just give yourself time to develop yours.

 

-pizzachef

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Back in the olden days, when I was a lad, we had nothin' but the coordinates to work off of. You loaded the points by hand into your GPS and went off through three feet of snow, uphill, both ways.

geezer voice>

 

Unless there is a specific hazard involved with parking somewhere incorrectly, I think that parking coordinates are a manifestation of "dumming-down" on caches.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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I really hate when no coordinates for the parking lot are given and I have to drive a stickshift car with one hand out the window holding the gps looking for a place to park.

 

With my cache, I not only gave directions to the park from the nearest hiway, I also gave the coordinates of the parking lot. In my opinion, I believe it is best to get the Geocacher to the beginning, maybe even point then at the start of the trail, and then let them enjoy the park and the search for the cache.

 

My 2¢.

 

Loomis

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Sometimes I think parking cordinates are important. For example, times when people may unwittingly be tresspassing because mapblast takes them there since it's the closest. Or because certain areas are restricted etc., the kind of things you can't find from maps. I don't list parking spots for all my caches but for most I do, for these reasons.

 

"...Not all those who wander are lost..."

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Getting there is the most fun part, and in my opinion that includes getting to the best spot to ditch the car and rely on the legs.

 

As mentioned before, a lot of the aimless driving can be avoided with some research of the maps. Sometimes we do this, and other times we go out with nothing but coordinates.

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Get a two way radio for your Chauffer, you can be left off and when you are done call for a ride home. Or ask the Cache owner to go and place Yellow Ribbons for a route to the Cache, and dont forget to have them reserve a parking place for you, and send you a trip ticket from triple A, lest you get lost when you leave your abode. Maybe even ask for parking spot with some shade and don't forget to ask for some refreshments when you are done!! icon_eek.gif

 

If you need to know where a parking spot is I ask you this one question. Who is going to give the Cache Creator directions when the Cache is being placed? Nobody is, the owner had to do the research and you should have to do it your self.

 

The only instructions I have given for a parking place are quite clear, go 8 miles south of Estes on Rt. 36. If you can't read the mile marker you should stay home. icon_razz.gif

 

The "Bushwhacker"

needs_a_shave.gif

Exitus acta probat

>>--->

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Get a two way radio for your Chauffer, you can be left off and when you are done call for a ride home. Or ask the Cache owner to go and place Yellow Ribbons for a route to the Cache, and dont forget to have them reserve a parking place for you, and send you a trip ticket from triple A, lest you get lost when you leave your abode. Maybe even ask for parking spot with some shade and don't forget to ask for some refreshments when you are done!! icon_eek.gif

 

If you need to know where a parking spot is I ask you this one question. Who is going to give the Cache Creator directions when the Cache is being placed? Nobody is, the owner had to do the research and you should have to do it your self.

 

The only instructions I have given for a parking place are quite clear, go 8 miles south of Estes on Rt. 36. If you can't read the mile marker you should stay home. icon_razz.gif

 

The "Bushwhacker"

needs_a_shave.gif

Exitus acta probat

>>--->

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Some cache owners list parking as a courtesy. Others make the search for parking part of the difficulty. Cache owners are under no obligation to make their caches easier by listing parking.

 

I use MapBlast or Mapquest, then print an aerial of the area, which often shows parking areas not shown by street maps.

 

25021_1200.gif

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I can't think of a single urban cache where parking is a part of the hunt but there are plenty of suburban and rural ones where it is. IMO, if there is only one safe or legal way into the area then the hider should post the coordinates of the parking area to eliminate the potential for unsafe or illegal access by hunters.

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quote:
You were going to drive to an unfamiliar town to hunt for an urban cache. Would getting there then be part of hunting for the cache?

 

Is getting there part of going grocery shopping? Is getting there part of going to work? In the case of geocaching, getting there may be part of the cache experience but again, I can't think of a single urban cache where that is the case. "Whee! Look at that tract house that looks like all the others around it!" "Look, two Circle-K stores at the same intersection."

 

Getting there doesn't really have much to do with the topic of providing coordinates for parking.

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Im an old geezer, can't walk real far some days, I hide my first cache at the end of a 1/2 mile walk.

I'm pretty proud of myself. I walked a little over a mile and didn't die.

 

Get my first 3 finds and it turns out that if you park at the end of a certain street, your about 60 ft from the cache. A fact I had failed to look for. Silly me.

 

O'well I put that on the list of things I learned doing my first cache.

 

Parking directions should be left up the the cache hider. Some will, Some wont.

 

Lapaglia icon_cool.gif

"Muga Muchu" (forget yourself, focus).

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Im an old geezer, can't walk real far some days, I hide my first cache at the end of a 1/2 mile walk.

I'm pretty proud of myself. I walked a little over a mile and didn't die.

 

Get my first 3 finds and it turns out that if you park at the end of a certain street, your about 60 ft from the cache. A fact I had failed to look for. Silly me.

 

O'well I put that on the list of things I learned doing my first cache.

 

Parking directions should be left up the the cache hider. Some will, Some wont.

 

Lapaglia icon_cool.gif

"Muga Muchu" (forget yourself, focus).

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quote:
Originally posted by Team 5-oh!:

 

You were going to drive to an unfamiliar town to hunt for an urban cache. Would getting there then be part of hunting for the cache?

 

Just curious...


 

Almost half of my finds have been in unfamiliar towns. I will mark parking coordinates if they are given, but I don't always use them since I like to find the shortest distance when I can.

 

Finding the right place to park is part of the fun. On this cache I decided to ignore the parking hint given and find a shorter way in. This other cache had no parking coordinates and I had to use my descretion on how to approach it. Most times I will find an easier way to the cache by not following the parking suggestions.

 

[This message was edited by cachew nut on August 09, 2002 at 09:08 PM.]

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Finding the right place to park, is half of the adventure sometimes. If there was a dangerous area, or private property, where people would think to park then the coordinates for the parking spot could be posted, but otherwise, I think it's fun to try to find a place to park myself.

 

jhwf4

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quote:
Finding the right place to park is part of the fun. On this cache I decided to ignore the parking hint given and find a shorter way in. This other cache had no parking coordinates and I had to use my descretion on how to approach it. Most times I will find an easier way to the cache by not following the parking suggestions.


 

Not sure but I thought thats what I was saying?

 

quote:
Getting there doesn't really have much to do with the topic of providing coordinates for parking.

 

I guess if you have some way to beam your vehicle to the parking lot?

 

Yes parking is part of getting there.

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I prefer to give the parking coordinates. I don't however think that anyone should ever have to give them. The reason I like to give them is because there is always going to be people who don't do there homework first and I feel it is a great way to minimize the amount of bushwacking by the unprepared.

Also now that I think about it. All the map print outs and cache pages etc. add up to alot of paper & ink waste. Add that to the growing numbers of cahers and you have quite a bit of paper and ink. I know it's not much in the big picture of waste but the small things add up.

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Parking on urban caches can be an adventure too. I've cache a lot around the SF Bay Area and there are off ramps and bridges and industrial areas with train tracks and side roads that appear out of no where.

 

I can drive within 1/4 mile of some caches going 70 mph down the freeway but that in know way means that the next exit is the one I want.

 

I've thought I've missed the turn I wanted, gotten off on a different exit and then while trying to find a spot to flip a U-turn I end up finding the right way to the cache.

 

When you get into a big city with all those one way streets it can get really difficult. You think you'll be able to turn at the next street and then NO. Can't turn there. The next one... Nope again. And then there is NO PARKING anywhere near. So I leave the wife in the car while I double park with the emergency blinkers on while I run and try to find the cache as fast as I can.

 

If you think there are no adventures in getting to an urban cache just keep on caching... you'll find them.

 

george

 

Remember: Half the people you meet are below average.

5867_200.gif

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One of my favorite finds is a GeorgeandMary cache that I thought I had to pass on until I found the right route to parking. I learned a lot about the area that day.

 

On the other hand, there's a cache in the Santa Cruz mountains near here that would be pretty much impossible for 99% of cachers to find if the hider didn't give parking coordinates because the actual trails don't show up on any of the maps for the park.

 

I'd give parking coordinates for something like that, but little else.

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I agree with those who suggested that providing parking coordinates is important if the likelyhood of trespassing is a major issue ... like when there is only one 25 ft wide corridor leading from a public area through private property to a public trailhead.

 

But for most caches, I don't need driving/parking directions nor want them. Finding the way there is part of the fun.

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The vast majority of caches are short walks, under half a mile, so finding a parking spot is half the battle. It's most certainly part of the sport.

 

I do sometimes post coordinates for, or directions to, the best parking spot for my caches. I do it if the cache itself is a longish, or difficult walk; or if there are private property issues and I want to direct the cacher to the public access areas. I also do it to to keep the seekers on established trails and avoid bushwacking in sensitive areas.

 

Other times I'll purposefully leave parking coordinates out, just to make an easy cache a bit harder.

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Kell

 

[This message was edited by BrianSnat on August 10, 2002 at 07:24 AM.]

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I'm not that daft. We try to do the research first. We print out a detailed map from mapquest for each cache, but a big green sqaure in the middle of 10 potential deadend streets doesn't show you where the actual parking lots are.

 

Printing the arial photo was a good idea, we will try it with the next few.

 

---I will stand out, I am a raven in the snow.

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I've seen a lot of logs on cache pages complaining that the owner didn't say which trail to follow, didn't specifically say where to park, or didn't adequately explain the exact nature of the hiding spot.

 

What's next, are we supposed to meet potential finders at a pre-designated location to take them directly to the cache and open the container for them?

 

Unless there is something very unusual about the parking limitations or private propoerty concerns, I say leave it to the discretion of the cache owner.

 

Now where did I park my car??????? monkes.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by georgeandmary:

quote:
Originally posted by Nurse Dave:

but a big green sqaure in the middle of 10 potential deadend streets doesn't show you where the actual parking lots are.

 

---I will stand out, I am a raven in the snow.


 

Those are the fun ones.

 

george

 

Remember: Half the people you meet are below average.

http://img.Groundspeak.com/track/5867_200.gif


 

Doesn't even have to be dead end streets. I did a cache last week in an open space preserve. There are approximately 10 places you might park. They're spaced out along the perimeter of the park. Each will get you to the cache with roughly the same amount of hiking and each one is a different adventure. I would't want parking directions for such a cache.

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Finding that little tiny cache located at one spot on the surface of this great big world is all of it!

 

The amount of information (including parking info) that a hider gives you to help achieve your goal is entirely up to his or her individual tastes.

 

Of course, Nurse Dave, you have the right to be "frustrated" if the information provided does not suit your particular taste! icon_smile.gif

 

You may not agree with what I say, but I will defend, to your death, my right to say it!(it's a Joke, OK!)

 

[This message was edited by seneca on August 10, 2002 at 01:34 PM.]

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Finding that little tiny cache located at one spot on the surface of this great big world is all of it!

 

The amount of information (including parking info) that a hider gives you to help achieve your goal is entirely up to his or her individual tastes.

 

Of course, Nurse Dave, you have the right to be "frustrated" if the information provided does not suit your particular taste! icon_smile.gif

 

You may not agree with what I say, but I will defend, to your death, my right to say it!(it's a Joke, OK!)

 

[This message was edited by seneca on August 10, 2002 at 01:34 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by Markwell:

Back in the olden days, when I was a lad, we had nothin' but the coordinates to work off of. You loaded the points by hand into your GPS and went off through three feet of snow, uphill, both ways.

geezer voice>

 

Unless there is a specific hazard involved with parking somewhere incorrectly, I think that parking coordinates are a manifestation of "dumming-down" on caches.


Consider me dumb then 'cause I'm appreciative of parking directions in confusing areas. This is especially true when I'm traveling, like when I did your Cachiversary 1, and when I'm with family or friends who marginally tolerate this eccentric hobby. I can see my wife fidgeting after a couple of wrong turns looking for a trailhead.

 

Nor do I always have the luxury of printing out maps ahead of time, assuming they are accurate. Cache adventures are often quixotic where we have, say, 60-90 minutes to spend while doing something else and don't want to spend it hunting for parking.

 

As an old geezer myself, the thrill of being selfreliant has worn thin. I learned to navigate backpacking 30 years ago and picked up a GPSr years before geocaching. The irony in wilderness navigation is that the hardest part sometimes is finding the trailhead. BTDT. Give me parking coordinates and I'm happy to spend the extra time enjoying the walk.

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quote:
Originally posted by bigeddy:

This is especially true when I'm traveling, like when I did your Cachiversary 1......Cache adventures are often quixotic where we have, say, 60-90 minutes to spend while doing something else and don't want to spend it hunting for parking.

 

...and of course, you note that on Cachiversary 1: Forget-Me-Nots, there are parking coordinates.

 

Of my 104 finds, 6 of the caches would have been or were made better by parking coordinates. Three caches had parking coordinates that actually increased the necessary length of the hike - one by almost half a mile.

 

If people want to place parking coordinates in their description, fine. If there are circumstances that warrant giving parking instructions (an especially long hike, the possibility of trespassing, hazards, etc.), then place parking coordinates.

 

But on those 94 other caches I've found (and more that I didn't find), the parking was obvious once I got the GPS to tell I was at the closest point.

 

All I'm saying is that we don't need more regulations to muck up the works, and that people should use their head: both when placing a cache and giving a description, and when searching for a cache.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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