Life as a Geocacher

Caching and Reviewing

This is made up of stories from my caching and my reviewing.  It is a collection of those along with comments and thoughts.  Photos, and maps of some adventures and lists of some of the oldest caches.

Filtering by Tag: Powertrail

ET Returns

Well after the sudden demise it looks like the ET Highway is on round two.

With the listing of a new event, and a google doc explaining a few things, the ET powertrail looks to be returning.   There were a number of issues with the first one, and possilby some misunderstandings, that led to the archiving of the ET Powertrail. 

Now that those issues appear to be worked through the trail looks to be returning in the next few months.

How it came about

It came about after a trip to Geocoinfest here in Utah about two years ago.  On the trip they decided to do the Shakespear/McGuiver powertrail.  (Now expanded a few hundred caches to the Seinfield series as well that makes up about 400+ Caches).

They had so much fun they decided to do their own powertrail. So for their eight hour trip home they planned and worked out the bugs for their own powertrail.  So after a number of months they finally got things finished and the cache placed.

International Visitors

Like our local series there was an explosion of travelers.  Even more than we saw here.  The appeal of 1000 caches drew people in, from all over the world.  It is interesting to follow one cache in the trail and then look at where all the people are coming from.

In fact the Nevada powertrail had so many visitors that the hotel that normally lays people off and has few  visitors during the winter months was still busy.  That was the ideal time for people to go and avoid the head of the summer.

Problems and Archival

As with everything a few people can ruin it for everyone else.  We know those, people that destroy and area to find the cache, or tear things up for fun.  The same was here.

NDOT was having many problems.

  • Cachers not pulling completely off the road
  • Cachers not paying attention and pulling out in front of traffic
  • Cachers stopping IN construction zones while work was be done
  • Caches in blind spots or not optimal viewing for approaching cars
  • Caches in/on/near guard rails and mile markers. 

There was a stretch of highway that went through a pass that didn’t have a long clear view of the road ahead.  When we placed the caches in this area, we were careful to make sure cachers could safely pull off the road and not to put caches on blind corners.  This was fine in the summer, however; in the winter, this is a much different story.  Due to the elevation, highway 375 gets snow.  The snow along with guardrails, windy roads, made a small stretch reason for concern.  There was an incident where a cacher’s vehicle and a snow plow had a close call in this area.  I received a call from the supervisor of NDOT telling me of the incident.  We archived the caches in that area within hours of the notification.  However, the supervisor also notified Groundspeak that day or the next...The day after I got the phone call, caches were being archived.

New update

They have had a number of complaints from geocaching, and the local businesses about the archival.  Leading NDOT to issue a statement that they had no issue with the trail they just wanted to solve some of the problems.

So late august be ready for the arrival of 1500 caches.  They have worked with NDOT, County commissioners and the community to place these, safely.

So those that want to go... enjoy and have fun.

and be safe.


Update 6/7/11

If you are interested to place a trail.. some hints are in this story.


Goodbye Geocaching ET Highway

Well after a long time the ET highway was archived today.

The statement placed on caches...

This cache is being archived after a request from The Nevada Department of Transportation. The Cache Owner, Clay4&whtwolfden, has received additional information and is responsible for physically removing the container from the location. The same applies for all other caches in this series. Drive safely.

Several Reviewers and Lackeys have teamed up to take all the necessary steps to archive the series and so you will see different usernames taking action on this series of many caches.

Groundspeak thanks everyone for their cooperation.

Sorry for anyone that had plans to go down for the cache run. I have heard a number of people state they had tickets this spring/summer to fly into the are to actual search for the caches.  I saw the note earlier today when reviewers from around the world were asked to help archive the huge series.

I have heard a number of reasons in the forums.   No shoulders on roads, people driving through the brush on the sides of the road and not on the road, and people stopping on the road to run for the caches.  Apparently there have been a number of close calls and accidents, and others just foolishly ignoring the world around them when placing the caches.

Some thoughts if you decide to do something to avoid issues.

  • Make sure you have permission.  One cache may not be an issue, event fifty.  But once you place 400, 500, 1000 caches there will be an impact.  some looking for numbers in a one hour period will completely ignore the environment to do it in a hurry.
  • Place them where people can park, and not on blind turns, where there is no shoulder, etc.  If you have to go to 800 feet or 1000 feet instead of 550' please do so.
  • From a reviewer perspective, remember that your GPS may say 530' from the last one, but the GPS error at the start and at the end may mean you are 470'.  Ask the many that place power trails on walking/driving trails, I will ask them to move it if you are closer than 528'. 
  • Avoid High Voltage power lines.  Those were an issue somewhere else.  The power corridor is no places for people driving around.  Makes the tower owners nervous.

I have heard of plans here in Utah, and in other places.  Contact your reviewers up front.  Let them know what you are planning.  They can help you get it going and point out possible issues beforehand.

I have done a few here in Utah (200ish), and I am cured.  Of course with the right friends a drive is always fun, and the long runs are more that I am interested in now. Of course I say that every year.

Other trails are out there.

Here in Utah the Mcguiver/Shakespear/Sienfield road is around by Utah Lake (300 caches I think)

Musical highway down by Cedar City (200 caches about)

Kokepelli southwest of St. George a hiking pattern in the desert 100+ caches

Heart of the Desert north of I-70 west of Salina

Scout Series just south of Payson Utah 60-70 caches (hiking)

And a number of smaller runs. 

New hiking trail series and a Scavanger hunt.

There has been much happening in the last few weeks. Some interesting and some not.

Groundspeak has added a few new features and a few things have happened locally to make things a little interesting.

bikephotog finished a power trail.  One up in the mountains north of Vernal and Roosevelt.  You will not have a regular time at it however.  All 150ish caches are a hiking series on the trail up to Eccentric peak at 12200 feet.  Quite the experience it looks like

BlueRajah's Scavenger hunt

Those who are interested in waymarking, there is a new game available. Waymarking has instigated a scavenger hunt.  You can run a little program that will create list of waymarks from an area that you define. 5-10-15 mile radius, and then send people on a hunt to find them.

You can select a start day, and everyone can start the hunt together. A fun game perhaps for activities.  As people complete the scavenger hunt they can upload pictures online to prove that they completed the hunt and giving them a running total.

I created a 50 waymark scavenger hunt and will be giving a prize out to the winner.  I will start with a geocoin, and add one every so often here.  We will see how long it takes to get a first to complete the challenge.

You will have to upload a picture of yourself at each waymark. So make sure you plan ahead, and if it is yours, you will have to revisit the location, and post a photo.

Make sure that you sign up on the waymaking site and track the progress of the others. 

Busy Busy

I have had so much to do in the last few week that I have not had a chance to do anything.  Despite having the plan to sit down and pound out a few notes, thoughts, and ideas, I never had (took) the time to sit down.

I have had a few really good caching trips this last week.  It includes a run through the new Sienfield road about 200 caches that run from Payson to Mona and back up over the mountain to link with the Shakespeare/McGyver road caches.  I think that makes a string of nearly 400 caches in length.  Peanuts Parents is the cacher that spent a lot of time getting it all put together.  It took me about a week to get them all done, working them in with others so as not to delay them all.

I went with family and was going to place a few caches in the Richfield area, but never got around to it.  But never really had time.  I wanted to place one on the peak, but did not make it.

I came back from a break to find well over 100 caches for me to go through.  Lots of new people with problems.  So I do not know how many will actually be listed.

If you sent me an email I have not really gotten to it, likewise if you had problems with your cache it may be a little bit before I get back to it.  I will work throught the new ones before I stop and really go through my email much until that point.  So hold on and I should get through it today or tomorrow, and start dealing with my emails.  I know if you have an issue that can be annoying, but bear with me.

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