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Thread: What Can A Simple Shortcut Mean - AKA When You Don't Read The Cache Page What Happens

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    ME
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    3,517

    Post What Can A Simple Shortcut Mean - AKA When You Don't Read The Cache Page What Happens

    After spending considerable time to foster relationships and build trust with a wildlife refuge, earlier this year, I obtained permission to place 2 Geocaches on the land of Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Alton Maine. This is an expansive of over 2400 acres which includes woods, trails, fields, ponds, streams, and yes, even Maine's national bird the mosquitos and black flies. But in all that, this area is open through all seasons and we all know the bugs will eventually go.

    Hirundo had not welcomed Geocaching with open arms. There was concern for folks not adhering to the rules. The caretakers were willing to listen, accept my presentation, believed in what I said (that most would adher to the rules as long as they were posted) and then they convenienced the Board of Directors to give us a chance. I was delighted when I was invited to place some caches.

    We (meaning the caretakers and myself) decided to take a cautious approach. One on a trail near their home (on the grounds) and near the proper parking for all access to the trails and the other near the refuge's first sign on Rt. 43 (this being a swift park and grab). Both cache pages defined clearly the rules of the refuge and clearly stated there was one - and only one place to park (parking at Gate 2). Now to stop and grab the "gas saver" near the big sign on Rt. 43 is fine but it is not fine to park there and leave your car. In fact, there are NO PARKING signs and it states cars will be towed.

    The third cache placed (and what may be last cache) was placed further in on their land and near a very pretty little pond. Yes, the coords are nearly straight in from the "Gas Saver" cache. It is just NOT OK to park here folks! Parking is at Gate 2 and there is a parking lot. Gate 1 is clearly marked NO PARKING! So why, would anyone park there for a 1/4 to 1/2 mile hike?

    Now, I don't know why folks do it - maybe they think it won't take that long, or no one is watching - or something - but Lac D'OR (the 3rd cache placed) is being accessed by folks parking at Gate #1, stepping across the cable and walking down the road. In fact, the caretaker called me today about people parking at Gate #1.

    This will seriously compromise the ability to put any more caches out here and/or we may loose these few. There are so many more lovely places to put caches ~ more futher in on trails ~ to be accessed by snowshoes or skis, ones to be accesses by kayak or canoe, one at several boat launch sites - and they have acreage with potential for events.

    Why don't people read the cache pages? Or do they and just ignore what it says on them? I was very careful to post parking coordinates on the cache pages. They have very clearly marked NO PARKING signs at Gate #1.

    So - will there be future caches at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge? Will there be kayak caches there? Will they welcome us this winter? I guess it all remains to be seen.

    If people continue to take shortcuts - and they don't read the cache pages and follow the rules - No, we probably will loose the opportunity to enjoy putting more caches out on 2400 acres of gorgeous land in Alton Maine.

    And to those who parked in the parking lot at Gate #2 - thank you! I am hopeful from a discussion here on this page, people will be more attentive - not only for Hirundo - but for all places where the cache page offers you clear directions of where to park. I know I will be paying more attention from now on.

  2. #2

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    It's unfortunate that some are choosing to park in the wrong spot. I've done the first two at Hirundo and it is an awesome place and hopefully we can continue to enjoy it. Hope everything works out.

  3. #3
    dí76 Guest

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    I can say with a heavey heart that some of the Geocachers will screw this up. I have seen it done time and again. Its only a matter of time before the land owner gets fed up. While many cachers are very conscious of what they are doing and when and how but I feel that it only takes a few to screw it up for the rest of us. It will be someone that thinks it will only take a minute or its 2 am whos gonna see me, The cache pages often say no access after dark or stay on trail or what ever and it never fails people still do it. I did the first 2 caches and have grown up in this area and its wonderful. I hope that everything works out but its happened before. The cache pages tell every last detail but those that will not read the cache pages or not care about the contents will be the ones to screw it up for everyone else. Good luck Hollora.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
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    There have been many times when I myself have not read the cache page or paid attention to parking coordinates when I have read it. It's natural to drive until you get close, and if you see a place that looks like a parking area ,you assume that is the right place. I don't think you can change that habit much in most cachers.

    IMHO the best way to cure the highest percentage of that is to make a multi. Have the posted coordinates be the parking, and then have the final coordinates marked or hidden at that location.

    You'll just wear yourself out trying to change individual cacher's habits. Instead, steer them to go where you want them to go.
    Last edited by brdad; 09-01-2008 at 06:32 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Cape Elizabeth, Maine
    Posts
    391

    Default Parking as child waypoiint

    It took me a while to figure out, but the older Palm versions of Cachemate do not have child waypoints. In the cache description you reference Gate #1 and Gate #2. As a Cachemate user, I would read that but still not know the coordinates in the field. Perhaps adding the coordinates to the cache description for both Gate #1 and Gate #2 will help.

    Perhaps a laminated sign at the gate with a geocaching symbol and No Parking along with the correct parking coordinates could be placed on the cable?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    new vineyard
    Posts
    8

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    its just like any thing, the guy that leaves worm containers behind, the one who has to go off the trail into the big mud hole or short cut across the unmowed pasture or the person who runs across someones front yard instead of the 100yrds down the path to the cache. just one bad apple........., maybe there needs to be some consequences a game camera and a parking ticket the word would get around

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bradley, Maine
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Maybe if there is this much confusion, land owner trepidation, and lack of following the rules, then maybe these caches should be removed. Personally I dont like caching in areas where I feel that A.) my every move could be construed as a "violation" of something, or B.) I am pissing off someone, or C.) there are rules for this and for that and ETC. Seems like all the fun is taken out of it. If the land owners are this jumpy then I would say abandon ship, because you know that sometime soon someone is going to do something to anger that land owner. These people don't sound like the forgiving types. In my Snowmobile Club dealings with landowners there is always a "LINE" that could be crossed if people don't stay on the marked trail, and usually that line is always crossed. We have lost some trails this way. I am glad that we have very patient and understanding landowners that understand the nature of snowsledding and that someone will be a jerk. However if the area is that sensitive and the land managers are that sensitive then maybe it is not a good idea to put caches out in these areas. Just my 2 cents worth

    Where the hell is that thing?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Norway, Maine
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Well unfortunately all of us don't have those $3000 GPS and GSAK programs with so many included maps, it even downloads what the Mars rover is sending back to Earth. It usually takes me an hour to an hour and a half to write down all the information I need for a dozen caches. I quickly read through most of the info but can't retain every little note. Whenever there is parking coordinates, it is written down and noted just are the cache coordinates. I don't write down the hints either. Yesterday we went to Eliot to cache. We did one called Douglas Memorial woods. There were no parking coordinates listed. We drove twice around an approximate 5 mile block of woods trying to find where it was closest to get to the cache which was located out in the middle somewhere. The second time around, we noticed a very small sign hidden next to a grange building. I marked the spot on my GPS to suggest to the cache owner to put these in for parking. When I got home to log I reread the whole page and saw they had suggested parking across from the library which is where the trail started. Publishing a simple coordinate would have saved gas, time, and possible landowner irritation if we had finally bushwacked. Last weekend we did a cache near the Mt Washington base lodge. No parking coordinates listed. We drove up the road until we got next to the coordinates, parked, got out and looked for a path by walking up and down the road for aways, and then just headed in. We had to cross a very cold stream and then came to a path. The first sign we came to on the path said not to go into the woods on the side we just came from as they were reclaiming the vegetation. We followed the path back out after. Reading the cache description at home then said that the trail had started directly across from Mt Washington. Why not put in coordinates saying that? Except for Hollora, nobody on here tried to help me out with the problem I had with Geocaching.com taking away my ability to even get maps of the caches anymore. The best thing everyone can do is if you go to a cache and all the coordinates aren't listed, write the owner and suggest they do it. I did that to someone who placed one on Streaked mountain, a local, hiking spot. If you were from away, you would never find the trail up. It sure would be a long, dangerous hike if you bushwacked from the closest point from a road. Lots of times the people that put out local caches assume that everyone in the country or world even, know where the local cow path is on Dirtsville Road in Jerkwater, USA.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Niskayuna, NY
    Posts
    601

    Post Well put brdad

    There have been many times when I myself have not read the cache page or paid attention to parking coordinates when I have read it. It's natural to drive until you get close, and if you see a place that looks like a parking area ,you assume that is the right place. I don't think you can change that habit much in most cachers.

    IMHO the best way to cure the highest percentage of that is to make a multi. Have the posted coordinates be the parking, and then have the final coordinates marked or hidden at that location.

    You'll just wear yourself out trying to change individual cacher's habits. Instead, steer them to go where you want them to go.
    In the interest of good relations with the property owners it might be best to change the aspects of the cache than expect the finders to "follow the instructions". Too often searchers have to "grab and go" and cannot be bothered to walk a half mile when a quarter mile will do. I like the idea of the multi with the first part at or near the proper gate. This forces the parking to be OK and probably leads to a very nice walk in the woods.

    As a suggestion. If they were my caches I wouls immediately archive the park and grab and make the other a multi. This I think would show the landowner that as a hider I was really concerned about their feelings and go a long was towards promoting good relations.




    A house is not a home without a cat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    6,059

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    Sometimes cachers intentionally leave parking coords out to make the hunt more interesting. And that is fine if it's in an area that is safe to do so. In more sensitive areas, you have to do all you can to make sure cachers will take the route intended.

    Darterkitfox: Check your PMs regarding maps. I almost posted here, but was afraid of veering this topic too far.
    DNFTT! DNFTT! DNFTT!

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