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Friday, March 27, 2009

My Early Morning 1/1 Geocaching Nightmare

In the geocaching world there is a rating for how difficult the terrain surrounding the cache site (or getting to it) is and another for how difficult it is actually hidden. The range for both is from one to five. So if you ever look at a geocache listing you will see references like D3.5/T2. The easiest of geocaches to find is a 1/1. Normally a cache of this ease is accessable by wheelchairs and usually is wide open or has obvious where-a-bouts like flashing neon arrows and the like.

So when I saw two 1.1's publish last night my first assumption was - cool, piece of cake. Ever see the comedian Benny Hill talk about the word ASSUME. The punch line is how assuming makes an ASS out of U and ME. Well hee-haw for me cuz that's what I felt like by the time I got home.

Geocache #1. Drove into the parking lot near ground zero and after reading the description I walked over to the geocache site and immediately noticed that the terrain was not correct and anybody with a wheelchair better have 4x4 mode to get there. Not completely terrible but definitely not a 1. That little .5 makes all the difference. Started looking around and was greeted by a host of dense bushes. Thought sure no problem and started looking for the small container, and looked and looked. Bush after bush with nada, zip, nothing. Expanded my search even though there was nothing else around and still found nothing but a good soaking from the well rained on bushes.

Well shoot. Checked out the hint that said "Under RESPECT" which made no sense. I figured a sign or some other clue to point me to this simple park and grab..... and bupkis. Okay fine, I wasn't pleased with myself but hey there was a second FTF prospect and so I would go check that out and come back for a second swing. Little did I know that my temporary grief was going to get worse.

Geocache #2. The second geocache was about ten miles away and even though the early morning traffic was increasing it was not all that bad as I pulled into the parking lot. The ground zero was about 140 feet from the parking lot across a grassy yard and pointed to a large tree. Now again the difference in terrain is only slight but would need to be adjusted in my humble opinion and no biggie.

Walked to large oak tree which had a nice crown in the center and nothing else. Looked around and found nothing. Looked in all the reachable places and nothing. This was another small hidden by the same hider as my first geocache today. A pattern was forming in my head. I looked around one last time and expanded to the fence that was about twenty feet from the tree. Nothing. Eventually I figured that maybe the geocaches were posted before the hider realized that they needed to be in place. Didn't know at that point and started walking back to my car. That's when I saw the blue lights and heard the quick "whoop!" that told me the law was behind me. I turned around and smiled while walking over to the car.

The officer was very nice and asked what I was doing there. I informed him about the geocache and that I was just leaving. He then pointed out the white No Tresspassing after hours sign that was on the outside of said wooden fence. I told him I didn't see it from where I came from and that I hoped the hider had permission from the business owner to hid it here. He said no problem and promptly left but it was just one other thing to have to deal with this disaster.

When I went home I wrote to the first time hider and explained a few things including what had happened. For me I am just going to put it behind me and if anything it once again makes for a good story. I do know though that in the not to distant future I am making a GeoSnippits tutorial on some tips for first time hiders. I am hearing more and more about geocachers who have almost no experience and then trying to do hides without knowing the proper procedures and etiquette's. All part of the fun of the game I guess. Then again I have a twisted idea of what fun is.

Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com


P.J. said...

Two DNFs on 1/1s, eh? Ouch. There was a guy here who did that once or twice with his caches -- approved before placing. It happens.

That being said, I don't think I placed my first until I had found 50. I thought by then I had a pretty good grasp on things. I also still don't have many out there (I figured if I can't take care of 'em, I better not put 'em out there), but I always try and have them be what I say they are.

Hopefully some positive comes out of this. And hey, like you said, good story.

A 'lil HooHaa

Jay said...

I think you mean "bupkis", not "bumkis". It's a Yiddish word that is now part of our vernacular.

Erika Jean said...

boo! that sounds like NO fun to me! Did this first time hider even have any finds!? maybe they had NO clu what they were doing!

Anonymous said...

Great! Even though we have more than 100 finds, I'd love some advice on placing caches. I plan to attend a local event to "pick the brains" of the more experienced cachers there before attempting to place a number of hides in our area.

Lachlan said...

A tutorial would be great, because I am SURE there are people who would have no idea how to ask permission at various places, how to select an area, how to rate it, etc.