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Busted in Boston (WARNING)


Guest Quella
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Guest Quella

Just a general warning to all people looking to place a cache. We received an email to pick up our cache from a ranger station in the Boston region. We were told to pick it up within the week or they would destroy it. I went in thinking nothing of it, being this was our first placement and all. Until the Fish and Wildlife Police met us in closed doors and took our personal information and we also had to sign for the evidance (cache) collected. Today we received a $50.00USD ticket for breaking two laws as stated by the police. The first was to do with abandoment of items in a federal place, and the second had to do with treasure seeking on federal land. Anyone else have this happen? We enjoy the sport, but it will be in seeking only mode from here on. If this leeps up the sport will have to go underground.

 

Just a warning

 

Quella

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Guest jeremy

You should definitely try and get permission before placing a cache. Many have done this with success, and the park services thank you for it.

 

With that said, however, the "treasure seeking" portion of that fine is a bit suspect, and a pretty huge stretch of the imagination. You were not "treasure seeking" in any sense of the word (is there a law against placing treasures?).

 

Depending on the type of person you are, it would be worthwhile to contest it. But like most introverted people like myself who play the game, it's sometimes difficult to fight back.

 

I keep thinking back to the "Skateboarding is not a crime" stickers when I was on my board in the late 80's. Now we have fantastic skate parks all over the place. Times and attitudes change.

 

Jeremy

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Guest bunkerdave

IM(Not so humble)O, that is just BullS--t. For a number of reasons. First offense, willingness to comply, etc. Jerks like that are the reason so many people distrust the government and the people who work for it.

 

I am all for checking and getting permission and what-have-you, but that is just what I said it is.

 

Enough Said. mad.gif

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Guest k2dave

Thanks for the warning - if I were to get such an email, I'll just ignore it and archive that cache.

 

Also if you got the time and are willing I think you should fight it - at the very least you should be able to get the fine reduced.

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Guest threelanes

Maybe we should start a Legal Defense Fund?

 

I have mentioned Geocaching as my reason for entering a couple state parks in Texas to the rangers collecting the users taxes (park fees). So far, they have expressed positive interest and one even lowered the amount of the fee. From now on, I'll keep my mouth shut.

 

 

------------------

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Guest Cache-potato

legal defense fund...excellent idea...I volunteer to be the treasurer. Everyone e-mail me $20 USD and I will put it into an interest bearing account!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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Guest Cache-potato

legal defense fund...excellent idea...I volunteer to be the treasurer. Everyone e-mail me $20 USD and I will put it into an interest bearing account!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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Guest John Swarey

quote:
Originally posted by sivad:

I work for the state parks in Mississippi. So here is the imput from a state side. Most of the time there is no problem with people placing a cache. As long as you ask first. I know this will differ wich each state. But alot will depend on the manager or ranger at that location. They do like to be informed about it first. I have placed a cache on our park but I did ask first. I guess what I am saying is to use common courtesy and ask. You wouldn't want someone putting something on you property with out asking you? For as federal land that is another question. I backpack and our rule is leave no trace. Pack out what you pack in. And that is what is asked of us from the federal parks.

Also the words "treasure seeking" might mean one thing to alot of people but something else entirely to others. To us at our park when you leave something behind without asking is called littering. Not tring to upset anyone just my view from the otherside. So please uderstand our point ov view.

 


 

I just want to point something out here - there is a big difference between private property and parks. The parks belong to the public, not the park managers. Private property is just that - private. So please understand the point of view of tax paying citizens.

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Guest Buzbon

Don't let this incident stop you from placing caches. You just have to ask permission first in a national park. I checked with the authorities for placing a cache at Alcatraz but it is part of the National Parks with a no geocaching policy. Oh, well your local regional parks should be ok. Remeber just check first and you can't go wrong.

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Guest Lou C

of their bikes behind? I think it looks worse to see a busted up bike part in the middle of a path than it is to see (if you can find one) a well hidden geocache.

 

I really do not think the official who fined the original poster above really knows what geocaching is all about. I would think the fine would be dropped if contested. What I am taking from all this is that I should ask before planting. But I think before I ask, "hey is it OK if I leave something secretely in the woods?" I would try to explain exactly what geocaching is.

 

My question to the original poster is "how did they locate your cache?" Was it so obvious they could spot it easily? If so, it may look like littering. It's probably unlikely they took the coords off the web, found the cache, then e-mailed you. Did they follow you when you hid it? If so, why?

 

Hmm, maybe instead of calling it "treasure hunting" we should call it "global coordinate verification expeditions" :-)

 

Lou

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Guest sivad

I didn't mean to upset anyone with my post. I just thought I would point out that you should always ask before you place a cache. But from the e-mails I have gotten I must be wrong. And yes I work for the people and the park belongs to the taxpayers. But there are rules that you still have to follow. You should see what happens to the parks when people think they can do what they want to because it is a public park paid for by the tax payer. And I thought in this game /sport most people would understand. I can see now I was wrong. I will be removing my post and the cache I have hidden from geocaching.com. I guess you can't be on both sides at one time. icon_frown.gif

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Guest sivad

I didn't mean to upset anyone with my post. I just thought I would point out that you should always ask before you place a cache. But from the e-mails I have gotten I must be wrong. And yes I work for the people and the park belongs to the taxpayers. But there are rules that you still have to follow. You should see what happens to the parks when people think they can do what they want to because it is a public park paid for by the tax payer. And I thought in this game /sport most people would understand. I can see now I was wrong. I will be removing my post and the cache I have hidden from geocaching.com. I guess you can't be on both sides at one time. icon_frown.gif

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Guest wildman

Let's face it. It won't be long, and may already be occurring, park officials will check the geocaching sites for caches left in their areas without permission. There are no secrets here. So best bet to avoid problems is to get permission, or we should get used to seeing more virtual caches. I agree it's a sad situation to get busted for leaving a cache, but it is hardly worth making a big issue out of it.

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Guest Lou C

quote:
Originally posted by sivad:

I didn't mean to upset anyone with my post. I just thought I would point out that you should always ask before you place a cache. But from the e-mails I have gotten I must be wrong. And yes I work for the people and the park belongs to the taxpayers. But there are rules that you still have to follow. You should see what happens to the parks when people think they can do what they want to because it is a public park paid for by the tax payer. And I thought in this game /sport most people would understand. I can see now I was wrong. I will be removing my post and the cache I have hidden from geocaching.com. I guess you can't be on both sides at one time. icon_frown.gif


 

Well sivad, I for one did not e-mail you, but rather posted here. I also hope you feel I can understand your situation. So I hope you do not think I am one of the bad guys. I am not sure how I feel about those who e-mailed you instead of posting a reply here. Am I angry that they do not have enough GUTS to share it with others? Or am I glad they kept their hostile comments private? I am unhappy you were offended.

 

Like a police officer, you are hired by the public to enforce the rules they basically approved. If you are doing your job, just as you were hired to do, then the public cannot complain but rather should be glad. If the rules are wrong, we should change THEM and not argue with you.

 

I will not beg you to stay on the forum - you will do what you feel is best to do. I am very glad you posted. You were the only one to let the rest of us know the park employees view, and I appreciate that a lot. You are basically a bridge between geocachers and the park system. You can be a good bridge, a bad bridge, or no bridge at all - your choice. We (the geocachers) need a bridge. The parks need to know who we are and need to work to help us. We need to obey park officials and to obey park rules and possibly even try to change them. Let's learn from the biker folks. Who would have ever allowed a bunch of speeding bikes on a hiking path several years ago? Somehow they got things changed to help and even favor them. I would like to ask you to stay on and be a good bridge for the sake of all of us. I am sorry I mentioned the "us" and "them" in my last post - not a good way to think.

 

[This message has been edited by Lou C (edited 01 August 2001).]

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Guest Lou C

quote:
Originally posted by sivad:

I didn't mean to upset anyone with my post. I just thought I would point out that you should always ask before you place a cache. But from the e-mails I have gotten I must be wrong. And yes I work for the people and the park belongs to the taxpayers. But there are rules that you still have to follow. You should see what happens to the parks when people think they can do what they want to because it is a public park paid for by the tax payer. And I thought in this game /sport most people would understand. I can see now I was wrong. I will be removing my post and the cache I have hidden from geocaching.com. I guess you can't be on both sides at one time. icon_frown.gif


 

Well sivad, I for one did not e-mail you, but rather posted here. I also hope you feel I can understand your situation. So I hope you do not think I am one of the bad guys. I am not sure how I feel about those who e-mailed you instead of posting a reply here. Am I angry that they do not have enough GUTS to share it with others? Or am I glad they kept their hostile comments private? I am unhappy you were offended.

 

Like a police officer, you are hired by the public to enforce the rules they basically approved. If you are doing your job, just as you were hired to do, then the public cannot complain but rather should be glad. If the rules are wrong, we should change THEM and not argue with you.

 

I will not beg you to stay on the forum - you will do what you feel is best to do. I am very glad you posted. You were the only one to let the rest of us know the park employees view, and I appreciate that a lot. You are basically a bridge between geocachers and the park system. You can be a good bridge, a bad bridge, or no bridge at all - your choice. We (the geocachers) need a bridge. The parks need to know who we are and need to work to help us. We need to obey park officials and to obey park rules and possibly even try to change them. Let's learn from the biker folks. Who would have ever allowed a bunch of speeding bikes on a hiking path several years ago? Somehow they got things changed to help and even favor them. I would like to ask you to stay on and be a good bridge for the sake of all of us. I am sorry I mentioned the "us" and "them" in my last post - not a good way to think.

 

[This message has been edited by Lou C (edited 01 August 2001).]

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Guest Big-Bird

Well there is another side to this too. As soon as something ugly happens we may see it become illegal period. The ugly? As a friend of mine pointed out someone may set someone up and rob or worse when they arrive. With the nature of people today it would not surprise me to see such a thing happen.

And having hunted on federal lands a lot here is their posistion on it. The refuge and park systems are formed for the benefit of wildlife, and all other use is secondary. If it does not interfere with the main purpose then it MAY be allowed. But all it takes is some biologist to say its interfering with the ????? species and its over. Been there seen that.

Rick.

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Guest sivad

o obey park rules and possibly even try to change them. Let's learn from the biker folks. Who would have ever allowed a bunch of speeding bikes on a hiking path several years ago? Somehow they got things changed to help and even favor them. I would like to ask you to stay on and be a good bridge for the sake of all of us. I am sorry I mentioned the "us" and "them" in my last post - not a good way to think.

 

First I would like to thank you for this post. I agree we do need a bridge. I just ment to say it doesn't hurt to ask first. And to make sure the area where you want to place a cache is not a protected area. Some places in the parks are trying to be restored. At times there might not be signs posted stating this. I really love doing this sport/game.

The rest of the park where I work at thinks it is a great idea and a way to get more people to come to our parks. Our park is the second one in the state to have one hidden in it. Also because of this sport I am thinking about starting up a class on using a gps and a compass by placing caches in the park to help kids learn about navigation.

So I am sorry if I upset anyone. My position at the park is the Maint. Sup. And without being informed about a cache my people will pick them up if they find one. It is their job to dispose of anything that does not belong there. By being told we will leave it alone. I know what a cache might look like but they don't.

So the main thing is I am not against it.. and most of the parks are not.. just ask and help keep us informed. For this is a new thing to most people.

I hope I have made scense on this.

 

I also didn't mean to open up a can of worms on this subject.

 

 

[This message has been edited by sivad (edited 01 August 2001).]

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Guest PneumaticDeath

quote:
Originally posted by Big-Bird:

The ugly? As a friend of mine pointed out someone may set someone up and rob or worse when they arrive....

Rick.


 

Well... this particular one seems unlikely. It's too much trouble just to take a wallet, keys, GPSR, etc. After all, it requires the thief to post a cache, and then wait for somebody to show up (It's not uncommon to have a cache sit un-found for weeks.), And when somebody does arrive, they're likely to arrive in group.. Naw.. the person who wants to steal you wallet is most likely a junkie who needs a fix now. The thief who plans a heist for weeks has bigger fish to fry...

 

-- Mitch

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Guest RCharlier

This is a very interesting discussion and one that I have been somewhat concerned about after reading various discussions on the permission topic and negative feedback from park authorities. I have started to place caches in various city, county, and state parks without requesting permission first. I have done this against better judgment and also for a lack of time to go thru the hassle of trying to come up with a good sales pitch to give to park authorities. To date I have had no problems, but I have been wondering if an information packet could be created and made available for people to use when formally requesting the placement of caches. I for one am not a good marketing person, but if I had some sort of formal presentation materials I would first attempt to work with park authorities prior to placing caches. Much like the standard Geocaching letter included in almost every cache, could a high quality document (including pictures) be created, and made available off of geocaching.com website. This document would then be used as the starting point for discussions on cache placements with park authorities. I would expect this document to include what is Geocaching, its history, benefits, and how environmental concerns are addressed, etc. This might be an excellent topic for another forum topic. Does anyone what to take this topic and run with it?

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Guest summitcacher

In the west most of the public land is managed by the Forest Service or BLM. Who should we get permission from? The local Forest Service or BLM office? If there's no official policy, I bet you'd get a different answer from each person you asked in these offices. Can't we simply get blanket permission from these agencies?

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Guest Ttepee

RCharlier

 

Check out this thread http://forums.Groundspeak.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000376.html a few people worked on a form letter but then the thread kinda ended. I am in the same situation as you. When I first started geocaching a couple of months ago I was so excited about it I just wanted to get some out there and worry about getting permission later... it's later. I feel the need to start getting more responsible about this.

 

Ttepee

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Guest nlazarus

what have I learned from this

1. If you are going to place a cache in a national park, get permission.

2. If you don't get permission, make sure the cache can't be traced back to you. If you want people to e-mail get e-mail with yahoo or a similar server. AOL knows where you live.

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Guest Ttepee

I should also add here that my first cache has been found by the park rangers... From what I'm told they signed the log book and replaced the cache. I would like to talk to them about it and I certainly will when I get back there (3 1/2 hours away).. I am somewhat embarrassed that I did not ask for permission prior but feel it would be best to admit my haste and thank them for their acceptance.

 

In general it's so hard to get addresses and phone numbers of contact people though. I have tried emailing the state parks service and they refered me to another webpage that looped me back to them.

 

Ttepee

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Guest Jebediah

The NP/NM and Wilderness Act protected lands are fearsome entities. Once land becomes so designated it becomes extremely difficult to get permission to do much of anything. It's far faster and easier to list what's still permitted rather than what isn't. Even water caches to allow thru-hiking are banned on most NM/NP lands. The NPS is very top-heavy with bureaucracy, much more so than BLM or USFWS, and is adding administration at an alarming rate.

 

A word of warning here. Geocaching is a brand-new activity without any built-in pre-existing constituency (like horseback riding, birding, or hiking). Those of you who plan to do it on public lands have more to worry about than the Federal government. Those who belong to various powerful private environmental advocacy groups might consider coming up with ethical guidelines and enlisting support among your members early on before the knee-jerk reactions start in and federal land managers are persuaded to ban the activity.

 

Once an environmental group or bureacracy has set itself on a policy towards a sport or activity it's extremely difficult to change - regardless of scientific impact studies, logic or anything else. Mountain bikers found out the hard way that facts don't always work with bureaucrats or glassy-eyed fanatics.

 

 

[This message has been edited by Jebediah (edited 01 August 2001).]

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Guest carls_pub

Those that say to get permission: thinking you can actually get permission that means something seems futile. There are so many different levels of beaurocracy overseeing a park at any level that even if you can find someone that would say it's ok, there's loads of others above him waiting to differ, just to show that they have the authority to give others a hard time.

 

See:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000633.html

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Guest wildman

Well, carls_pub, while it may seem to be a futile effort, it is an effort which I believe must be undertaken. We are beginning to see the results where caches are placed without permission. There is no secret where they are placed, we put the coordinates online, so anyone with a GPS can find them, including the land managers. Did anyone think they wouldn't object? I think it's a great game. If we want to continue to play it, we'd better be responsible. If it means we wind up with fewer caches, well then, so be it. At least we won't have people getting fined or worse for this simple child's game. It ain't worth the hassle. Besides, I believe permissions can be obtained, certainly not in all cases, but enough to continue the game.

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Guest emrldjetta

Well geez, I certainly would contest those tickets. It was in a park right? What do they think the park is there for if it's not for the citizens' recreation?....Kyle

 

------------------

It's always something.............

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

This happened within a few miles of the Minuteman statue that represents our nation's struggle against tyranny 230 years ago. To respond in good faith and THEN be fined after the Feds used geocaching to locate the cache sounds like entrapment. I wonder what our 'founding fathers' would say

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Guest chrome

One way to work around problems with physical caches is to create a virtual cache. Todd Svec here in KS has been submitting quite a few of these lately. You have to go to the coords to see what around so you can figure out the password to a passworded Virtual Cache Certificate MS-Word Document that he has posted on the cache page.

It' almost as much fun (except for the kids)and you aren't leaving anything behind that would require permission.

You can check one of them out here:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=4475

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Guest jbwcpa

Quella was definitely dealing with a couple of jerks. It's really BS that he got penalized for doing the right thing. But what really bugs me are people who think that just because you pay taxes, it gives you the right to do whatever you want on "public" property. Yes, the parks do belong to you (and about 280 million other people), but let's face it; not everyone is going to be responsible for what they do in the park, including some (gasp) geocachers. Its the rangers' job to preserve the park for everyones benefit. Because of this, they probably look at everyone with a skeptical eye. Just look at all of the crap we've found while out in the woods. The rangers have to worry about not only litter, but destroyed flora, damaged facilities, and most importantly, dangerous areas and actions that might result in injury to others.

 

Now I know that most geocachers keep in mind that they will "do no harm". But it only take one idiot to screw it up for others. Yes, I think we should use the parks for caches, but I think we should tell the authorities that were doing it. Hopefully, by not sneeking the cache in, it will be a good experience for both the park and its rangers. Secondly, they just maybe able to give you some help on a good cache location while keeping you out of danger.

 

[This message has been edited by jbwcpa (edited 03 August 2001).]

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Guest PneumaticDeath

ere see the resemblence to the story of :"Alice's Restaurant" as sung by Arlo Guthrie?

 

"Yes officer Opie, I put that envelope under the half a ton of garbage!"

 

and

 

"I figure that there was one of two things that office Opie coulda done when we got down to the po-lice station. He coulda give us a medal for being so brave and honest on the telephone--which didn't seem likely and we didn't expect it--or he could give us a ticket and tell us never to be seen driving garbage around here again--which is what we expected..."

 

Where there 27 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of eac one documenting the "scene of the crime?" ;)

 

-- Mitch

 

 

[This message has been edited by PneumaticDeath (edited 03 August 2001).]

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Guest CaptHawke

quote:
Originally posted by PneumaticDeath:

I'll admit, it does seem a little harsh, but does anybody else here see the resemblence to the story of :"Alice's Restaurant" as sung by Arlo Guthrie?


 

Imagine sittin' on the Group W bench, playin' with the pencils, and the the meanest father-raper of them all comes over and asks, "What were you arrested for, kid?". And you reply, "Geocaching.....and creating a nuisance." Friends, they may think it's a movement.

 

Mitch, do you realize that half the people here don't even remember the draft, much less

the Alice's Restaraunt Massacree. Probably scratching their heads wondering what the heck we're talking about. Thanks for jogging my memory and sending me searching through my pile of vinyl LPs.

 

C. Hawke

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Guest T-storm

Now you know that those NPS folks are just concerned that every last one of us is going to show up with "...the shovels, and the rakes and the implements of destruction...," worse, probably while singing hastily and poorly penned odes to our love of riding "motor-cicles" while crashing down onto their official vehicles from the heights of a nearby cliff....

 

T-storm

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Guest PneumaticDeath

quote:
Originally posted by CaptHawke:

Mitch, do you realize that half the people here don't even remember the draft, much less

the Alice's Restaraunt Massacree. ...

C. Hawke

 


 

I hate to make you feel old cap'n, but I was born right about the time Alice's Restaurant was written, but I've been a fan of Arlo Guthrie since college. I *did* have to register when I turned 18, but the closest we came to war was bombing Libya.

 

-- Mitch

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

BINGO !!!! Arlo as a spokesman ! T day caching ! whole family, and Arlo gets on the tube 9,8 central

right next to the Minuetman..

Call your congressman, senator, local officials !!!! ( be nice)

'you can get any thing you want, at geocache restaraunt'

(excepting Alice)

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Guest prv8eye

quote:
Originally posted by Big-Bird:

The ugly? As a friend of mine pointed out someone may set someone up and rob or worse when they arrive.


 

There are enough joggers, campers, hikers for some nutcase to jump without the time, hassle and risk of setting up some type of trap using a computer and waiting and waiting on the chance that someone may show.

No thief with any brains robs people hiking in the woods. How much can he expect to get?

As a former Colorado deputy sheriff I can tell you that such a case would be EXTREMELY rare. More likely someone is burglarizing your house while you're out in the woods.

Some people let fear stop them from having any fun. Their first thought is always "what if something bad happens".

There's not much you can do with people like that. Even if you convince them to try it, they'll be constantly looking over their shoulder in fear.

I'm not putting cowardly people down. Different people have different personalities for various reasons. That's just human nature. Someone who has no fear walking city streets may be very nervous in the woods and vise versa.

I'd like to see some caches placed in the cities so people uncomfortable in "the sticks" could enjoy geocaching too.

 

Gus Morrow

Oceanside, CA

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quote:
Originally posted by CaptHawke:

Imagine sittin' on the Group W bench, playin' with the pencils, and the the meanest father-raper of them all comes over and asks, "What were you arrested for, kid?". And you reply, "Geocaching.....and creating a nuisance." Friends, they may think it's a movement.

 

"... so I started 'jumpin up and down sayin "cache in trash out, cache in trash out" and the park ranger came over to me, pinned a small trinket on me and said "You're our man"

 

Originally posted by CaptHawke:

Mitch, do you realize that half the people here don't even remember the draft, much less the Alice's Restaraunt Massacree.


 

Their loss (uh, about the Alice's Restaurant Massacre I mean). Yes, we indeed are showing our age. Gosh, will geocaching ever get as bad as Kent State University? :-)

 

Lou

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Guest Vagabond

quote:
Originally posted by Lou C:

Well sivad, I for one did not e-mail you, but rather posted here. I also hope you feel I can understand your situation. So I hope you do not think I am one of the bad guys. I am not sure how I feel about those who e-mailed you instead of posting a reply here. Am I angry that they do not have enough GUTS to share it with others? Or am I glad they kept their hostile comments private? I am unhappy you were offended.

 

Like a police officer, you are hired by the public to enforce the rules they basically approved. If you are doing your job, just as you were hired to do, then the public cannot complain but rather should be glad. If the rules are wrong, we should change THEM and not argue with you.

 

I will not beg you to stay on the forum - you will do what you feel is best to do. I am very glad you posted. You were the only one to let the rest of us know the park employees view, and I appreciate that a lot. You are basically a bridge between geocachers and the park system. You can be a good bridge, a bad bridge, or no bridge at all - your choice. We (the geocachers) need a bridge. The parks need to know who we are and need to work to help us. We need to obey park officials and to obey park rules and possibly even try to change them. Let's learn from the biker folks. Who would have ever allowed a bunch of speeding bikes on a hiking path several years ago? Somehow they got things changed to help and even favor them. I would like to ask you to stay on and be a good bridge for the sake of all of us. I am sorry I mentioned the "us" and "them" in my last post - not a good way to think.

 

 

[This message has been edited by Lou C (edited 01 August 2001).]


 

Well said Lou I agree 100% I hope sivad stays around

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