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Who's The Gatekeeper!.....


GeoRoo
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I was out Friday afternoon to place several new caches near Monroe. The northern section of the Markworth Forrest is void of any caches and a area that I know well. The road I would go in has a gate, but the dozen times I've been in there or by that gate this year it's always been open. There are NO signs that say it's subject to closure, not a No Vehicle Access, or keep out or ANYTHING sign. Not thinking much of it, I drove up the road about 6-7 miles and found a great spot for a cache. Great view to the east and west and 1500 ft. above the Sky River. On the way up the road about 2pm I passed a guy in a Chevy 4x4 truck, I had to pull off the road to let him by and I waved at him. I placed the new view cache and a micro at a very peacefull pretty lake. I'm on my way home about 4pm and the gate is LOCKED!.....Ok, check the gate maybe he left it closed but not locked. Nope.....the $%&. Friday late afternoon on a holiday weekend. Ok think. There is a Cingular cell tower about 1/4 mile up the road, so maybe I can get a Cingular person to let me out. I don't have a cell phone, but I did have my FRS radio. Knowing that they don't transmit too far I race back up the road to get some elevation. There is logging going on way up the mountain, so I thought there might be a watchman. Up up I go, into snow and went as far as I trusted my car before I got stuck. Walked another 1-2 miles up the road looking for a watchman. Nothing. I passed 3-4 loaders and a D-5 cat. dadgum!.....back down to a clear shot to the valley and called for help on my FRS radio. Guy in Monroe comes right back and turns out he lives right down the road from me. Tells me a combination that will work on the DNR locks. Back down the road I race and no combo lock!....Ok, back up the mountain I go it's already dark now and snowing hard. I get a guy in Sultan and I ask him to call the Sheriff. He gets the dispatcher and it takes me 15 mins to get my location figured out. I took a waypoint at the gate and give them my cords. but they can't figure that out???? I have the cell site ID, so they ask for that and then know where I am. So the Sheriff dept. doesn't use GPS's?????? I told them it would take me about 20 mins to get back to the gate, so down the mountain I go. I sit at the gate for about 30 mins and a Sheriff pulls up. First thing he says is....."Sorry, but you are SOL" They called the Forrest Service, DNR and everyone they could think of and no one has a key. The Cingular people wouldn't help unless it was an emergency!.....I could not belive they have no access in this area. So what happens if someone is hurt or needs help, he tells me that's why they have helocopters. Oh brother!....I had my mtn bike in my car and wasn't about to leave that, so I'd ride the 15 or so miles home in the pouring rain!......I wasn't a happy camper leaving my car parked there till monday. I drove back up the road to a pull off and was about to get my bike out and up the road I see 2 lights coming. Hmmm, who the heck is that? I get out and ask who are you. Guy and his daughter on mtn bikes in the pouring rain? HUH?.....ok, nice to see you. Do you know anyone with a key? Guy says....Yes, we are going to visit a friend up the road by the lake and he has a key. WAHOO!....Ok, what can I do for you? I load their bike in my car and he throws the other one off the side. They pile in the front of my Honda and off we go. Their friends are off a side road about 3 miles up the road. We find the sideroad and it's all overgrown nasty alders and blackberry bushes. My car is so trashed from geocaching that I don't care. We crash up the road about 1/2 mile to a clearing and tent. What did I get myself in to? It's all dark, so we get out. Homeless people?.....I think so. We wake up a guy about 50 and a younger woman. He has a key is all I care about and he turns out to be a nice guy. We swap some fishing lies and info. He drives down and lets me out. After 5 hrs I'm free!!!! I pulled the geocache I placed up on the mountain. I don't want anyone to go through what I had to. It would be about a 12 mile R/T walk or bike ride to the cache from the gate. I did place a micro at Lake 16 that I left. It would be a 5 mile R/T hike/bike if I decide to activate that one. What do you think? I now know someone with a key to all the gates in the Markworth Forrest, so if someone gets locked in I could be of some help!.......:lol:

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I have had EXACTLY that situation happen to me but luckily the 2 gates that I got caught behind were the chain around a 8" post type to tie the gate shut type and I was able to use a handyman jack to lift(more like bend) the gate up so that i could release the chain without breaking out the bolt cutters.

 

I made it out of my jams in less than 20 minutes.

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I think I'll put that emergency stick of dynamite back in my truck.

You can bet I was thinking along that route. Sorry for the long post, but hopefully it will make you think twice about driving through those many gates out there in the Markworth Forrest and other areas. Most of the ones I've seen have numerous signs posted, so if you get stuck then it's your own fault. I wonder if that is even legal locking a gate without at least a sign posted considering how large that area is?

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Ack- scary! I'm definitely not going caching alone in places like that! Sounds like you stayed calm and clearheaded! We did just get out of a park on Whidbey on Friday before it was locked- we just got back to the car as he came to tell us he was locking it. Whew! It's this northern latitude in winter I blame! <_<

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Ack- scary! I'm definitely not going caching alone in places like that! Sounds like you stayed calm and clearheaded! We did just get out of a park on Whidbey on Friday before it was locked- we just got back to the car as he came to tell us he was locking it. Whew! It's this northern latitude in winter I blame! <_<

That reminds me....Mrs. Wienerdog and I were caching up a storm one day last July and pushed it by going into a park near closing time. We found the cache...incidentally I foudn a Palm 5x in that one... and got back to her rig and saw the ranger lady there. She chewed us out a bit saying the gate is now locked. She said she'd tried calling us wiht the horn but apparently Donna and I didn't hear her. The lady unlocked the gate for us and we left.

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One thing that I do when I fear being locked IN an area is carry a lock with me and lock the gate so that it can't be locked closed.

 

you can do it on 99% of FS and BLM gates out there. Never have had a lock cut off but hopefully it will make somebody think twice before locking one behind me.

That sounds illegal to me. I'd be careful about doing that.

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One thing that I do when I fear being locked IN an area is carry a lock with me and lock the gate so that it can't be locked closed.

 

you can do it on 99% of FS and BLM gates out there.  Never have had a lock cut off but hopefully it will make somebody think twice before locking one behind me.

That sounds illegal to me. I'd be careful about doing that.

I remove it when I leave, if there is a chance of being locked behind a gate what do you think is more illegal...

 

1) temporarily locking the gate open so you don't get stuck

2) cutting their lock with a pair of bolt cutters :ph34r:

 

I'll risk option 1 <_<

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One thing that I do when I fear being locked IN an area is carry a lock with me and lock the gate so that it can't be locked closed.

 

you can do it on 99% of FS and BLM gates out there. Never have had a lock cut off but hopefully it will make somebody think twice before locking one behind me.

I could see maybe getting away with that on those gates with the couple dozen locks already on them (open range land gates), but I'm not sure the Forest Service would take kindly to someoned putting a lock on a single lock type gate <_<

 

I guess I'd rather try my luck with the handy dandy "Criminal Extraction Tool":

8d2bf789-c0ea-450a-8302-9aacae583984.jpg

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One thing that I do when I fear being locked IN an area is carry a lock with me and lock the gate so that it can't be locked closed.

 

you can do it on 99% of FS and BLM gates out there.  Never have had a lock cut off but hopefully it will make somebody think twice before locking one behind me.

I could see maybe getting away with that on those gates with the couple dozen locks already on them (open range land gates), but I'm not sure the Forest Service would take kindly to someoned putting a lock on a single lock type gate <_<

 

I guess I'd rather try my luck with the handy dandy "Criminal Extraction Tool":

8d2bf789-c0ea-450a-8302-9aacae583984.jpg

LOL!!!!

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The land barons around here use some ingenious, heavy steel containers to isolate the lock and connecting hardware. Pretty much defy bolt cutters. Short of extreme means, like the dynamite suggestion or an oxy/acetylene torch most casual explorers are stuck looking for another route. Guess we'll toss in that battery operated sawzall and metal blades.

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