I know recently I have been a bit negative with my geocaching posts.
Don’t think I’m done with that — yet! I have one or two more on my “passing me by” posts that I will still be writing. Today, however, I want to share a good story. One that made me smile. And, it showed there can still be good things in geocaching.
In late March, I received a message from a fellow cacher telling me one of my caches was missing. But this wasn’t an ordinary missing situation. Not only was it missing, there was an index card in it’s spot.
It seems the park people had taken my cache for lack of a permit!
Now, if you are from, have cached in or know anything about New York State Parks, you need to have a permit to place a cache in a park. And I know that and am fine with it.
However, this cache was placed outside the boundaries of the park — at least when I placed it. And maybe when I placed it, it wasn’t. But, looking at a map showed the land was not state park land. The further part of this is the state park in question doesn’t have its own office, so one needs to travel elsewhere etc.
I never thought much about it as the park expanded some.
Then came a note from one area cacher, followed by an e-mail from her with visual proof.
After that, I disabled the cache, as any good geocacher would do. My plan was to figure out A) what I wanted to do with the cache; and B) how to get my container back (it was, after all, a great lock-and-lock)!
I knew at some point in the near future I would be heading to Gilbert Lake State Park to do some caching. There were many caches there I hadn’t touched and I wanted to get ’em on a nice day.
That day arrived last week.
Of course the first thing I did was venture into the office and ask about my cache container. (Side note: another local cacher had e-mailed me noting that the cache was at Gilbert and on the counter).
So I asked.
The person there couldn’t find it. He looked all over and had no idea. He tried to call the ranger on the walkie talkie and couldn’t get him. Nothing. No cache.
So, he took my name and number. And that was fine.
The kicker to all this was the e-mail I got a few days before going to Gilbert. It was a notification for the cache, automated by geocaching.com to the owner (me) of the cache. Inside, it said:
Still there easy find thanks for the cache
I knew for a fact the cache had been gone. So I e-mailed the cacher. I didn’t hear back for a few days, but he described the location and the cache perfectly. What in the name of holy heck is going on?
At that point, I had to find time to get over there. That happened yesterday, when I was waiting for an 8 p.m. meeting. I met up with another local cacher and we went and checked it out. As we got to the spot, we saw the remnants of what used to be a wonderful hiding spot.
As fellow cachers will tell you, an old, downed tree can usuaully make for a great spot. However, this was interesting the way it had fallen and such. At the end of the tree, two of us had built a fort of sorts. Using a lot of fallen trees and debris, we built a house for the cache. The idea was so it was fully hidden from every angle.
When two of us arrived yesterday, it was a wasteland of sorts. Everything was thrown aside. The “fort” was gone. This is part of the issue with this game anymore. People don’t take the time to find the cache right. They just dig, throw a couple twigs on top after quickly signing and run.
That means the cache is open to the elements — people, weather, animals — whatever.
Still, I wasn’t worrying anyway. My idea when going here, honestly, was to grab whatever was serving as a cache and archive it and be done with it. Alas, that would prove to be impossible.
As we got to the spot, sure enough, there was my cache. Out in the open and sitting on a few branches, but it was there anyway. So the park people had put it back. But as I looked around and was tryingto figure what to do, Peter (the local cacher who had gone with me) noticed something interesting — there was a state park permit on top of the cache container!
That means the park ranger had given it a sticker and placed it back where it had been found.
This showed me a couple of things (that I had known before, but this re-enforced it):
- State park people realize how good caching can be for the parks.
- There are good people working locally at these parks.
At that point, I figured I better leave this cache here, at least through the permit’s date next year. Way too cool. I’ll need to get over to Gilbert Lake soon and chat with the people there and thank them for this surprise.
I, obviously, re-activated the cache when I got home and it’s not ready to be found, again. It’s hit often enough because it’s a quick on/off on a highway and a pretty easy find, so it’s a good spot if people want to move trackables or get out and stretch. The park also has some great trails with other caches on it, so someone could get a walk in to stretch out if they are on a long ride, which is nice.
So, before we left, I built a new home for the cache. I made it work very well with its surroundings and Peter helped find me some good logs/sticks and bark that made it a nice spot. As long as future finders don’t throw things aside, the cache should have a nice and secure home and remain a good find for many more people.
To date, the cache has 131 finds on it and hopefully there will be many more.
It’s stories like this that make caching fun. To know that people are good enough to help you out is a good thing.
On another note, I did start my archiving process that I covered in a recent post. I had a mystery cache that didn’t get hit too often, so I decided it was time to let it go and open the area up to other caches. I was disappointed when I grabbed the cache to see how it had become. It was a solid lock-and-lock, but was wet and grimy inside. There was barely anything in there and all now bad because of water. The log was OK, but, as expected, there wasn’t much written. Ahh well, not everything can be perfect.
There are still good and cool things, though,and that’s pretty sweet.
Fundraiser: I am, again, trying to raise money for the Relay For Life. If you donate to me — even a small amount — you will be entered to win a super-sweet quilted scarf. Click here for all the information!
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