View Full Version : A Confession



Mainelyroses
08-29-2006, 01:59 PM
Iíve been trying to figure out how to word this confession for a very long time, but never seemed to come up with the right way to say itÖsoÖ.Iím going to just say it any old way it comes out. Iíve been a member of the geocaching community for about a year now. I only have 12 finds so far (which, to some of you, means Iím a newbie) but I just want to say Iíve had the time of my life doing the ones I did. MOST of them required some help, and ONE of them I didnít actually find myselfÖ.I pointed my husband and granddaughter in the direction my gps said it should be and they brought the cache back to me so I could see the goodies and sign the log. (That one was the Jay Rec cache)
You see, Iím disabled and have to find my caches using my mobility scooter. Unfortunately the scooter can only go so far on a trail..and I can only walk very short distances. I have only found one this year (that was Fill Ďer up) because I got impatient and tried to go across a field too early in the season and got bogged down in the mud and wrecked my scooter. Iím hoping to get another scooter soon( I found a sort-of offroad scooter that looks pretty neat)Öbut THIS year doesnít look too promising.
Anyway, what I am hoping to accomplish with this thread is that our local geocaches (meaning Midcoast Maine) have some sort of note as to whether it is wheelchair accessible.
The very first cache I ever found was Donít lean on the railingÖand I did it all by myself on my scooter. Iíve kept it on my watch list, and it makes me feel really proud of myself when I read the logs that said how scary it was. I just tootled right on across that bridge with my scooter.
I know Iíll never have the kind of numbers a lot of you have, but every cache I find is a major event for me!...and I really, really love this game. I wish it had been going when I was younger and healthier. For now, I enjoy hearing all of your stories about your adventures.

Rose:) :) :)

MoxieMan
08-29-2006, 02:08 PM
Rose,

You rock! Keep up the good work!

Dave

tat
08-29-2006, 02:47 PM
The 101 Dalmation Series caches have many that are handicapped accessable.

It's not about the numbes!

WhereRWe?
08-29-2006, 03:09 PM
Anyway, what I am hoping to accomplish with this thread is that our local geocaches (meaning Midcoast Maine) have some sort of note as to whether it is wheelchair accessible.

Actually, any cache that has a difficulty/terrain rating of 1/1 is supposed to be handicapped accessible. Too bad so many cachers don't understand this, and you'll find that a vast percentage of 1/1 caches can't be reached in a wheelchair or motorized scooter.

But let me give you a few caches in this area that can be reached:

South Solon Meeting House Micro (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=8c22d97e-d733-47bb-a9ff-f03f7808e2ca)
Big Box of Books (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=e03c908d-be69-47b6-94e2-d4abc177b2be) (You can get within a couple of feet of this one)
X Marks the Spot (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=8df1602c-5f8a-400a-949d-27be68d6e34a)
The Puzzle of Bens Bum (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=9c3f6b66-8c75-4163-a5a5-0f30df48d029)

And there are very many that you canget VERY close to, but you just can't put your own hands on the container! LOL!

Good luck!

team moxiepup
08-29-2006, 03:16 PM
While you're waiting to get your scooter, maybe some of the folks in your area could suggest some caches you could do without it. Perhaps they could even hide a few that you could access :D .
Hopefully you can get your scooter soon.

firefighterjake
08-29-2006, 03:27 PM
Here are a few possible caches in the Greater Jackson area that may be do-able . . .

Before Lizzie Borden
All Gave Some
Benton Riverside
China Lake Micro
Acer Saccharinum
Outer Limits
Fort Halifax

Also Cameo released a dalmatian down in Northport that was a 1/1 rating.

brdad
08-29-2006, 03:30 PM
Your story is a good example why the numbers don't mean much when comparing them between users. Kudos to you for challenging yourself and having fun along with the rest of us, as well as being a part of our online family.

If you're looking for someone to swap mobility-challenged geocaching adventures with, try contacting Pyewacket (http://www.geocaching.com/profile/Default.aspx?guid=8994d66b-efe3-41e3-98c3-e3ea495472ba). She used to spend a lot of time in the national Gecoaching chat and always had interesting caching adventures to tell and seemed very nice. I'll bet she'd share some with you as well.

There is a web site, Handicaching.com (http://www.handicaching.com/), which allows caches to be rated for accessibility. I'm not sure how many Maine caches are rated with this system, perhaps we should try to promote this. Check it out and see if you think it would help and let us know.

This is also a good time to remind people that a 1 terrain is supposed to indicate that the cache is wheelchair accessible. Many caches are rated as a 1 terrain and there is no way you could get to them in a wheelchair.

Cache Maine
08-29-2006, 03:46 PM
Rose, thanks so much for sharing your story. I hope it inspires more people to cache!

Cache Maine
08-29-2006, 03:48 PM
Also Cameo released a dalmatian down in Northport that was a 1/1 rating.

Yes, Damien (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=69369978-21d8-4d97-b118-8540dd89b9cb), that bad dog! He is a 1/1!

Haffy
08-29-2006, 05:07 PM
Well ,from looking at some of the caches listed by Jake and Bruce I wouldn't say that some of them are 1/1 at all. In fact most of the ones that were listed I don't think could be accessed with a scooter or wheelchair. I guess that's where the interpretation of the 1/1 comes into play. For me I would think that the cache can be attained by the person who is handicapped, is this true? I suppose if you could leave the scooter or wheelchair and crawl to the cache then yes it is 1/1 but otherwise they are not accessible. To me 1/1 is where you can reach the cache from the confines of the chair or scooter and most of those that were just listed can not be reached from the apparatus. I think you are an inspiration to us all and hope that maybe others who live in your area can make an attempt to place more of the kinds that you can access. Thanks for your story.

WhereRWe?
08-29-2006, 05:58 PM
Well ,from looking at some of the caches listed by Jake and Bruce I wouldn't say that some of them are 1/1 at all. In fact most of the ones that were listed I don't think could be accessed with a scooter or wheelchair.

Haffy -

I was QUITE careful to list only caches I though could be accessed from a wheelchair. Yes, a handicapped person may need some help actually putting hands on the cache - some of which require bending over or reaching out as they are on the ground - but I think that each cache I mentioned is about as accessible as you can make a cache.

MainelyRoses stated that she could "walk very short distances", which I took into consideration when I cited the caches I did. Let me reiterate:

"The Puzzle of Ben's Bum" is within 1 foot of the wheels of a wheelchair.
"The Big Box of Books" is 10 feel from where you can go on a wheelchair - and I mentioned that it was "a couple of feet" away.
"X Marks the Spot" can be within 2 feet of a wheelchair. Yes, someone may have to stand up to get to it, but no walking is required.
"South Solon Meeting House Micro" can be accessed from a wheelchair - if it can go across 20 feet of lawn.

And as for the caches Jake mentioned:

China Lake Micro is definitely wheelchair accessible.
Fort Halifax? Well, you have to reach down but the cache is within 1 foot of a wheelchair
Benton Riverside is 2 feet from a VERY nice recreational trail
Oter Limits? Well, you have to be able to stand and reach, but you do not have to walk.

Sheesh! We're trying to be helpful and you're being critical. :confused: :confused:

brdad
08-29-2006, 06:04 PM
I agree, Haffy. And it does not have to be a 1/1, it could be a 5/1, since being in a wheelchair only affects the terrain.

My Old 470 cache is a good example, if not for two dang steps it could easily be a 1 terrain.

Haffy
08-29-2006, 06:15 PM
Not trying to be critical at all Bruce it's just that some people's 1 rating is not another person's 1 rating. In my opinion a 1 rating means that the person can ACTUALLY reach the cache from the wheelchair or scooter and I can't see where that is possible in a couple of the ones that you mentioned and most of the ones that Jake has mentioned. Especially Acer which is my cache and doesn't have a 1 rating and where the bank getting to and getting off the trail certainly isn't handicapped accessible. Just trying to make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as ratings are concerned that's all. Sorry if I hurt your feelings regarding the caches that you listed.

dí76
08-29-2006, 06:22 PM
I agree, Haffy. And it does not have to be a 1/1, it could be a 5/1, since being in a wheelchair only affects the terrain.

My Old 470 cache is a good example, if not for two dang steps it could easily be a 1 terrain.

Lets put a ramp there

dí76
08-29-2006, 06:22 PM
Not trying to be critical at all Bruce it's just that some people's 1 rating is not another person's 1 rating. In my opinion a 1 rating means that the person can ACTUALLY reach the cache from the wheelchair or scooter and I can't see where that is possible in a couple of the ones that you mentioned and most of the ones that Jake has mentioned. Especially Acer which is my cache and doesn't have a 1 rating and where the bank getting to and getting off the trail certainly isn't handicapped accessible. Just trying to make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as ratings are concerned that's all. Sorry if I hurt your feelings regarding the caches that you listed.

I agree Acer is not a handicap cache.

tat
08-29-2006, 06:25 PM
No need to feel sorry. Handicap rating is hard because most of us have never been in that situation. I placed a cache (Dinasaur II) recently that is on a crushed gravel and dirt path. The path is very hard and I don't think wheels would sink in but I have no experience so how do I know?

I would love to hear from a local cacher about how we should rate caches to help handicapped cachers with the right information.

Rose, what makes a cache accessable?

becket
08-29-2006, 06:27 PM
rose, i am so glad that you shared your story. it is truly inspiring and reminds me not to take things in my life so lightly. thank you!

Haffy
08-29-2006, 06:43 PM
I'm pretty sure that www.handicaching.com will be able to answer anyones questions regarding the rating of caches for the handicapped.

Mainelyroses
08-29-2006, 07:23 PM
Thank you to everyone who has responded. It would be absolutely impossible to be able to precisely rate all caches for everyone's abilities.....even the degrees of disabilities are variable. For example...I can walk about 10-15 feet. If I can get my scooter that close, then there's a good chance I'll be able to find it. Other people are unable to walk at all, so theirs would have to be even more limited. All of the caches mentioned by Bruce and Jake sound like ones I could do, and I will definately try them at some point.
You don't know how much I appreciate the information you've given me.
I don't want to be treated differently than anyone else (that's why I never mentioned this before) but at the same time I want to have fun doing as many caches as I can..and it sounds like that with your help that's exactly what is going to happen!! THANK YOU!!

Rose:) :) :)

hollora
08-29-2006, 09:53 PM
Rose - thank you for sharing. It is heart warming your enthusiasm about the sport. Your willingness to help us all learn is appreciated. Thinking about accessibility is a challenge. I hope to make some of mine accessible to more folks in the future. Cache on!

Beach Comber
08-29-2006, 10:27 PM
You go! Your enthusiasm and interest is obvious. I appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts and insight. I know that my perspective has changed and I will be much more aware of ratings, etc. I am going to look at my caches and make sure I have them indicated at appropriate levels

vicbiker
08-30-2006, 05:22 AM
Very inspiring story,thanks for sharing it with us.If you are caching in the Abbot area and need a push let me know.:)I also would stongly recommend not doing Deathwish #1 or #2...:D

WhereRWe?
08-30-2006, 07:24 AM
Not trying to be critical at all Bruce it's just that some people's 1 rating is not another person's 1 rating. In my opinion a 1 rating means that the person can ACTUALLY reach the cache from the wheelchair or scooter and I can't see where that is possible in a couple of the ones that you mentioned

I understand that, Haffy. But my comments were intended for MainelyRoses, not a general commentary on 1/1 caches in general. I fully agree that most 1/1 caches cannot be reached by someone in a wheelchair, but the ones I mentioned I still fully believe are suitable for someone with MainelyRoses' limitations.

hoys
08-30-2006, 07:49 AM
The "suggested standard" that Geocky adopted a few years back is that a cache is a minimum 1.5 difficulty if it cannot be reached from a wheelchair or scooter on paved or hard level surface.

Not saying that's a standard/suggestion that Maine wants to adopt, just an idea that worked out well.


When I placed a cache under a small foot bridge in a park in Lexington, I magnetically attached the logbook (in a waterproof military surplus match holder with a magnet attached) separately to the upper portion of the bridge . This kept it within easy reach of anyone in a wheelchair or scooter, or anyone who could not reach the main container. That kept the cache at a 1/1 rating.

firefighterjake
08-30-2006, 08:08 AM
Well ,from looking at some of the caches listed by Jake and Bruce I wouldn't say that some of them are 1/1 at all. In fact most of the ones that were listed I don't think could be accessed with a scooter or wheelchair. I guess that's where the interpretation of the 1/1 comes into play. For me I would think that the cache can be attained by the person who is handicapped, is this true? I suppose if you could leave the scooter or wheelchair and crawl to the cache then yes it is 1/1 but otherwise they are not accessible. To me 1/1 is where you can reach the cache from the confines of the chair or scooter and most of those that were just listed can not be reached from the apparatus. I think you are an inspiration to us all and hope that maybe others who live in your area can make an attempt to place more of the kinds that you can access. Thanks for your story.

I agree with some of your points. To me a 1 rating for terrain means it should be easily accessible to anyone in a wheelchair which is why almost all of my caches are rated 1 1/2 . . . even for the grab and go caches.

However, like Bruce, I was tailoring my response specifically to MR based on the caches she has found in the past and fact that she can walk a short distance. Perhaps Acer would not be an appropriate cache . . . honestly I forgot about the walk up the hill at the start and was thinking mainly of the nice hard packed trail down to the cache and how it was located right next to the trail.

As for any other point of contention . . . I think Bruce pretty well expressed my views and opinions to a T.

WhereRWe?
08-30-2006, 08:12 AM
As for any other point of contention . . . I think Bruce pretty well expressed my views and opinions to a T.

Wow! Cool! I always express MY views and opinions "to a T", but to do that to someone else is great! LOL! :p :p

Anyway, I hope MR gets out there and attempts a few of those caches. :D

attroll
08-30-2006, 11:17 AM
Thank you MainelyRoses for sharing this with us. It has caused me to go back through the caches we have an make sure that they are all correct. I did what Hoy recommended and if it was not wheel chair accessible I made them at least a 1 1/2.

LaughingTerry
08-30-2006, 11:39 PM
You can actually do my "Right in Plain Sight IV" without getting out of your car. My "Right in Plain Sight III" is disabled right now but I think it too could be reached from the seat of a car. My "Outer Limits" is actually up a few steps or down a few steps so that would be tough to do. On "A cache for TJ" you would be able to see the hide as it is only a few feet from parking but you would have to have someone retrieve it.

I have a red and a yellow rose with your signature card. I really like them and was suprised to hear you have so few finds. When I get home from the road I will try to place some very accessible caches. Oh, Oh, I am getting an idea for a new series.............. This could be fun. All called "Stay in your the car"

Mainelyroses
08-31-2006, 12:10 AM
Oh, Oh, I am getting an idea for a new series.............. This could be fun. All called "Stay in your the car"

Sure sounds like fun to ME!! From what I've read about your hides though...I just MIGHT get my first DNF.. LOL..that's ok though..I DID say I wanted to have the same fun as everyone else:D

Thank you for your thoughts!:)

Rose