I for one think that most of you know where I am on this one, several of you may actually understand and grasp what has been said in the past.
As for the question of what "caching in Maine - the way it should be" means, I think the question asked is a fair question.
It is true that all of my caches have not been done here. I have cached in 11 or 12 states and Canada. Caching in most of those places is really no different than it is here with the possible exception of cache density.
What I do see here that you do not generally see elsewhere is a certain feeling or attitude that most everything is right or well here. Let me state again for the record that things are no different here than anywhere else for the most part. In many respects things here do not measure up to other states. The ammo can is starting to get the attention it needs here. With the extremes of weather and temps here they are IMOHO the container of choice. Very very few of the plastic containers I have found cut the mustard. Cracked from the elements, wet inside, lids that no longer go on and seal properly. It is a bigger problem here than elsewhere I have been. Cache maintaince here is another subject that needs to be addressed.
Out caching this week most of the plastic containers are compromised. The exceptions are the lock and locks that Kaching Karen put out in Augusta. Most plastic out there is doomed to failure and along with the failure of the container comes the waste of wet logs and wet mildewed stash.
As I have said before, a nice walk is one thing, but if at the end of the nice walk with the nice view the cache container is lacking it does not speak well of caching in Maine. Hiking the way it should be? Yes, I guess so, but last time I checked the cache needed a container and a log. Stash for me is optional, but most of the caches I have been to really do not have much for the younger crowd. Also, the folks caching here do not seem to trade the way others trade. There is a lot of junk in cache containers. I was alway under the impression that we should always try to leave better than we take.
Here's a list of such junk that I have removed from caches I have done here in the State.
popsicle sticks, candy wrappers, rusted toy cars, mildewed plastics, plastic bottle caps, broken cassette tapes, x rated magazine pictures, broken shoe laces, water soaked and mildewed patches, logs so wet you could not write in them. The list could go on.
I do have a question, what are these bags of bark I find that someone is leaving? A signature item? A joke? A statement? Beats me!
I have also left new log pages and books where needed (I always carry a spare or two with me) and always an extra pencil or two.
As you all know caching is more than taking, it counts what you give back.
I do not think John was putting anyone down, he was just trying to get people to stop and think. His comments were not personal in any way.
As for the personal slant to the last post pointed towards John, I really don't think that type of post is needed here. It borders on a personal attack. Maybe I am wrong with that. If you don't want folks to respond honestly with a fair question then lets just close the discussion.
Some can continue to say it is the "way it should be", but the other side of the coin also has to be looked at. There are many places that things could be greatly improved. It is good that questions are being asked. Would that we would all look honestly at the whole picture. Someone has said it well, "Sometimes you just can't see the forest for the trees".
As for the concern about where things are going, the increase of micros will surely happen. It is the natural progression of things. It is all the more reason for each of us to be interacting in a positive fashion with people. It's easy to point our finger and make the comments we do. It's something different to be out there putting the "Good" caches out there. Surely there can be honesty in our log entries. Have you ever said "nice cache" or something similar when you were really thinking something else? Maybe we should try and find a way to say that things could have been done in a better way. Food for thought!
If all this exchange causes us to stop and think then maybe it is worth it.
I'd really rather not cache, but I am helpless in the grip of my compulsion!