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    You know.. I love sharing and hearing stories.  I love to sit and hear the stories from peoples caching.  So after all the time involved I thought I would share some of what I am experiencing with those around me.

    Saturday
    Oct112014

    Earthcache O'Rama - Saturday Afternoon

    Arches - Park Avenue GC337QWWell after the event....

    This is part of a three or four part series from the weekend where we went to the UTAG event. This is the second part of that weekend.

    I had a good time visiting with all the people at the event.  Any event that is bigger and I have the regret that I do not get around to everyone.  So I am sorry if anyone feels like I was stand offish.  People will come and say hi, and at that point I will start talking and get trapped.

    I brought three coins to the event. An old Cito coin that I had never been activated and had been sitting in a corner, an BSA 100th anniversary coin, and a simple coin that I had made for myself about five years ago.  I was hoping that maybe they would get $25 our of the three.  You never know with auctions. I think in the end that got about that much for each one of them.

    Whats next?  We might move forward with a UTAG coin now.  We have about that much.  So we may start the look.

    Looking West through the park

    And it begins - Earthcache #2 & #3

    So we headed up and out of Moab, and into Arches National Park. I had already found one Earthcache Early that day.   I was not aware that the entrance to arches was so close.  Well, after 45+ years of living in Utah I finally made it into the park.  We stopped driving up to find The Moab Fault.  It was a quick stop.  Salt Valley - Not the Earthcache site

    The second stop and Earthcache #3 was higher on the hill, and it was really impressive. Arches National Park - Park Avenue.  My kids did not want to get out of the car, at least my teenager, who was listening to music and sleeping. I was admiring the view.  It is actually the upper part of a hike that goes down to another stop.   I should have taken the walk, and let my wife drive down. This was a really cool cache that talked about the different stone that is in the park, and was great as an entrance to the park to get an idea of how the park was formed

    Sand Dune ArchEarthcache #4 and some overloooks and other arches

    The next was mixed into a few other stops.  We stopped to look over Salt Valley - Arches National Park and drove over to a few other trails as well.  There were some really cool trails.

    We drove by a pothole arch that was high on a hill. Then we went and hiked up the a trail to the coolest arch that we visited during the trip.  Sand Dune Arch.

    Sand Dune Arch is just off the trail.  It is up between a few of the large fins that are sticking up. so you walk through the fins.  Rather than the soil that could be found outside of the arch is a lot of sand between.  My daughter kicked off her shoes and walked the entire route.  Tucked back between the rocks is a little arch that you can walk inside.  A hole made in a fin. It was much cooler that outside the fins.  They were blocked at one end and very narrow.  So no wind moved through the shaded channel. I am not sure it would ever get more sun for more than a few minutes.

    On the way out we saw a small rattlesnake.  Rolled up and sitting on a hole in a log.  I pointed it out to a family with a lot of kids.  I thought I was doing the responsible thing so that no kids ran over into the shade near where it was.  I thought the lady was going to have a seizure.  I told her long before she got there.  Her panic almost made her freeze.  I wondered if I had been irresponsible.  I think of my terror of spiders was at that level, I don't think so.  We showed the kids the snake, kept them away, and told them to keep walking about.  

    I had decided to do an Earthcache here.  It is one of the locations that I sent a email about.  So I will cross my fingers and wait to hear from the park.

    Pine Tree ArchEarthcache #5 and Pine Tree Arch

    This one was very cool for me.  Landscape arch is another impressive arch.  However I expected to see cool when I went to Landscape arch.  The hike was a ways over, but the arch that was cooler in my mind was Pine Tree arch.  Mostly because it was one that I was not expecting to be as cool.   You walk over, past some cottontail rabbits that were running off through the bushes. We walked by another arch, and it was nice. 

    You then walk over between two fins, and when you come upon the arch it has a great view through it.  It was fantastic.   The sun was going down and things were just getting quiet.  There were not many people in arches today so we could walk to different places without fighting crowds.

    Earthcache #6Delicate Arch

    And the run goes on.  I really did not have a desire to go after Delicate Arch one for a lot of reasons.  However, the biggest reason was the fact that it is on everything Utah.  Where some may want to see the cache because it was a Utah icon, I did not want to go because of that.  Plus a long hike with loud kids would not be pleasant.

    Well in looking at the map there was a shorter hike that would not require the long long hike, but went to a spot where you could see something. 

    Well, the hike was nice and the kids were good, and we made it to the overlook and the view of the arch was really impressive.  Once again there were not many people.  Actually there appeared to be far more people up the hill at the arch than there was down by us.

    2014-10-04 19.02.53

    EarthCache #7 and Virtual #2

    We headed are way quickly to the next cache.  We headed to the windows section at arches.  I did not think much of this location.  For some reason it was an afterthought.  We headed this way when we realized that there was enough light.

    This was a cool location, there were a lot of people here, and the regular parking lot was very tricky to find a parking spot. The view of the sunset was great.  We did not make any hikes here, it was getting that late.  The picture above does not really do it justice.  The sunset was awesome.  The two caches here.  The Earthcache Windows Section: Arches National Park and the virtual Arches National Park - The Arches

    I think we would have stayed a lot longer at this location and hiked to a few points but we decided that it was time to move on with the sun going down.

    Earthcache #8 and Virtual #3

    Balanced Rock

    So now we are heading back.  This was another that needed a quick stop as the sun was going down.  Two final caches the EarthCache Balanced Rock: Arches National Park, and the virtual Arches National Park - Balanced Rock.

    It was dark or almost dark.   My pictures may be a bit grainy but it was just after dark.  I was balancing the camera, posts, and anything else I could find to get a picture.   It did turn out, but not as good as I had hoped

    Then darkness fell, and we took an hour drive back to hotel for the night.  All in all it was an amazing day.  Thanks for people that made me come down here and experience this first hand.

    Friday
    Oct102014

    Moab Memories - Saturday Morning

    This last week my family and I headed down to Moab.  We were heading down to the Utah Geocachers Association fall meeting, and to spend some time in a place I have never been. 

    Ok, I have to take the time to admit to the world that I am from Southern Utah.  I grew up two hours from Bryce Canyon national park, and I was only two and a half hours from Arches national park.  My high school used to compete with Moab in many sports.

    Yet in all my life (well that I can recall) I have never been to Moab. We got close, every year we went to Lake Powell.  Also I saw a lot of red sandstone at my home.  So it was just never on my list of things to do.  As I got older, I just found other places to visit, many people took trips down there and I never did.  So it was about time.

    I was exited when Moab came up as an option and I pushed for it for two reasons.  The first was the chance for me to go there, and the second was that UTAG had never had a meeting there.  It was time to go see another place.

    I thought for a while I might be going alone, there was some waffling on the part of me and my family.  In the end we decided to go.  Actually it was pretty late, two days before we committed to go.  That also meant that we needed to reserve a room.

    Gah, just for your information, do not try and get an inexpensive hotel room in a tourist town a few days before you plan on going.  So we found a place an hour away in Green River.

    We headed down to Green River Friday night and crashed at the motel.  The kids went to the swimming pool and I crashed.  :P Long day, a few hour drive, some people love those things, i don't.

    Dino Track

    Goal #1 - Dino Tracks

    I did not want to spend the entire day driving, so I tried to schedule things with a stop here and a stop there.  The geocaching event/lunch was not until noon, so we had some time.

    The first stop on the adventure was to the Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracks.  This was actually one of the early Earthcaches that were published in Utah.  I had seen it on a map for a number of weeks, and it was on my list.  Isn't a dinosaur track one of things every kid wants to see?

    Well this was one that I was sure the kids would like. We left the highway and headed off road to the cache site.  We were in the car and it took a little bit of work to drive around the ruts in the sand from the recent rains, but we made our way to the trailhead.  The hike up to the cache site was pretty easy to make.

    The kids got exited when we got to the site. You could find the actual tracks pretty simply.  People had taken small stones and surrounded the actual tracks.  They spent a lot of time poking around, and we walked a bit up the trail until we got the nice sign saying "Stay out of old mines, they are radioactive".  So we headed back.  It was a nice start to the day.

    Wilsons Arch

    Goal #2 San Juan County

    San Juan county of course.   Actually not just the county but I needed to grab Wilsons Arch.    The arch is right by the side of the road.  Of course the trip to Moab from Green River is normally 45 Minutes.  We turned it into a three and half hour drive with the few stops. This was the first arch that we saw for the day, but it would not be the last of them.  I took a walk up into the hill nearby, then took a moment to snap some photos.  the light was not actually very good, but I got the information that I needed.

    Goal #3 Virtual and a TraditionalMy Daughter waiting for us to return for the hunt through the weeds.

    Yep I had to grab another cache while on the day. Actually a few caches.  The first was at a home that had been carved out of the canyon side.  At first I thought it would be stupid to build a home in the stone, until I thought how it may always keep it a little cooler than a house.  So to each their own.  The cache was called Holes N the Ground.   Then around the hill to a traditional cache.  That one did not turn out as well as I thought.  The walk was a ways through the weeds and I found the wrong way. 

     

    Goal #4 - Event

    My favorite part of most caching days is the event.  I am a social person that drives my kids nuts.  I took all the coins that I had mine and many that lyonden_ut had given me a while back. 

    He gave me many of his coins on the condition that I made sure that I take them to events and share them with other people.  So here they came.  There were about 15 that were given to me from him, and I have about 150 to 180 coins by now, and I have a bunch of pathtags.  I seem to get one or two every month on average.  I need more containers to share them with, I have a few books that make them easy to share, they are far easier than the plastic sheets.  I used them and I seem to drop them all over and loose them.  So I moved to the other books, they hold them better.

    That is it for the morning.  I will write up my arches trip all by itself.

    Monday
    Oct062014

    Other Bloggers Doing the Washknight Interrogation

    I took the moment to read through some of the other cachers that did the Washburn Interrogation.  Just in case you were interested here is a list and the links to those.  The link to the original Washknight site.

    Wizard Prang's Ramblings

    Sun and Cake

    I are Geek - Geocaching Geek

    My Geocaching Adventures

    Memfis Mafia

    Geocaching Spotlight - Mud and Nettles

    Bisquits and Blogs - The Washnight Geocaching Interrogation

    travelgypsynz - My secret life as a geocacher

    Travels with the Halls - Twenty Questions from @Washknight Interrogates

    Geocaching UK - 20 Geocaching Questions

    Meandering with Marcus - 20 Geocaching Questions

    Geo-Mumma Kel - Washknight’s Interogation

    The Muminator - 20 Geocaching Questions

    Newly Added - October 10th

    Thoughts from the Big Rice Bowl - Ernpu bhg; Ernpu haqre



    Thursday
    Oct022014

    The Washknight Interrogation

    Oh the horror of it all

    At the request of Washknight and his blog http://washknight.wordpress.com  I was asked to do a survey and answer a few questions.   So here I go.

    1. When and how did you first get into geocaching? 

    I wandered around finding the few in my neighborhood. Then i got more and more exited.  I dove in and went nuts.  Every little micro was a new adventure.  In fact i found 130 caches in my first month.  I think I had a dozen hides at that point as well.  Getting the logs from cachers was a bigger thrill than the find.   I still think so.  I hate with a passion the logs that are TFTC, and even more the ones that say "I will log more later".  I have 250 active hides, so I do not go through every cache page to read my logs.  I read every email i get with a log, so if they post something like what I mention above I do not go back and look.

    2. Do you remember your first find? 

    Yes It was a tenth of a mile from my house.  It is gone now, but I remember hunting two or three times for the cache that was hidden in a guardrail.  yep.  http://coord.info/GC17484 Who would have though that someone could hide something in such an amazing and original place.  At the start everything was cool.  I was using the piece of crap Magellan Triton.  Quite possibly the worst GPS ever made.  Ok, lets be honest.  It was the biggest POS that anyone ever thought of making.  Constantly crashing, it would freeze, and I had to unscrew the back, then pull the batteries, then put them back in.  It froze every hour, at least.  About one in twenty times, it would loose all the data it had when it rebooted.   What garbage.  I just started to like them again as a company until they fired a friend.  The guy that traveled the country and sold them to people at mega events.  So I hate them again.

    3. What device(s) do you use for locating caches? 

    Android phone and Garmin Oregon 400.  I only drag the Oregon out for bigger trips. I load all the caches in an area on my phone now.  So I do not usually use anything else.  I have used three or four apps.  My first app was c:geo.  Like so many I dove into that.  However I hated when groundspeak updated the site c:geo broke.  Not because of groundspeak, but because the writers of c:geo were to stubborn, and refused the use the API (the quick and easy groundspeak connection).  I found myself out and about and could not load the cache.  They blamed groundspeak, I knew better, and decided that they were crap.  So I jumped to geosphere, cachesense, and eventually found my way back to the official app.  I did not need all the bells and whistles.  Most apps were like jumping in a rental car, there are a thousand buttons, switches, safety features, but in the end i just need something that gets me from point A to point B. The extra stuff was stuff I did not care about.

    4. Where do you live and what is your local area like for geocaching? (density / quality / setting etc)

    The area is very cache heavy. 18000 caches with 100 miles of my home.  Tons of micros and a number of small power trails.  I love the variety.  There are a ton of Letterboxes, a number of wherigo, many puzzles of all types, challenges for those that want them, and very few multicaches.  Stupid multis, I hate them almost as much as I hate puzzles.  Early on in my reviewing someone accused me of cheating on a puzzle, every since then I have dispised them, it took the fun out of solving them. So I rarely do them anymore.

    5. What has been your most memorable geocache to date, and why?

    My most memorable is Freedom  Cache Page I took the drive myself and I hunted for the cache by myself and on a great day. The cache was a great surprise, and huge.  I love the work, and I was very impressed that he could drag it clear up the hill.  It had to have weighed a hundred and fifty pounds. 

    6. List 3 essential things you take on a geocaching adventure excluding GPS, pen and swaps. 

    Camelback backpack, crazy ideas, and the stupidity to get me into some horrible spots (see later description).  Actually I will change that last one, the intelligence to get me out of the horrible spots my stupidity got me into.

    7. Other than geocaches and their contents, What is the weirdest thing you have discovered whilst out caching? 

    A lady drowning in a river.  Provo Canyon Drive By

    This one was an adventure. There was a police officer that just wrote a ticket next to it. I went over anyway and took care of it. Then as he drove off I could hear someone shouting down at the river. It got louder and louder before I realized it was some girl screaming help over and over. I ran off the hill over the tracks and scrambled bushwacking through the mess till i could see her. She had lost her tube and was hanging onto a fallen tree. She was cold, tired and in a panic. I went in and dragged her back to the bank. Just then her friends showed up, and were struggling to get from the other side of the river over to her. They had either been upstream or had walked up from below where they had waited for her. Mostly she was cold, tired and panicked. but it made for a wet day of caching.

    or my next one... Slappa da Bass

    You suck.. I hate this cache.. It was truly the spawn of some evil multi legged devil spawn and Satan. There were thistles about to poke my delicate skin. Evil little weeds that imbedded themselves in my sweet silky smooth socks, that would poke me and distract me from my search. Wire with rusty barbs to injure me as I performed my assigned task at this location.

    Then As I was about to leave I rolled over the clever disguise that was camouflaging the container. The lid was slightly askew. As I removed the cache aaahhhhhhh, a spider fled from the confines of the wee container and ran up my arm. The container flew across the fence and into a nice patch of thistles. After I completed my "anti-spider dance" I began my quest to retrieve the container. In the process I spilled blood, was stabbed by vile sock weeds, and thistles, only to have to return across the devil wire fence that I mentioned above.

    When I opened the container again.. Aaaaaaaaahhhh. It was full. Not of stamps and logs, but a spider home. Not just any spider home, but the spider home of momma spider (that obviously had fled). However inside that wee container was a conglomeration of webbing to protect the mass of wee spiders that proceeded to flee in all directions. By all directions I meant all over me. Masses of wee spiders crawling about my shirt, hands and gps.

    Once again the anti spider dance was done in earnest. I took the wee container to the back of my truck and grabbed a handy brick to mash the spiders, pull out the log, stretch it out, clean off the webbing of the vile creature, and then clean out the cache that had previously been the home of the demon arachnids.

    As I was carrying it back, a couple more spiders apparently had taken to hiding from my brick by going under the container. They now scattered up my arm, and once again the anti-spider dance was performed.

    I know now that this was a trap, Cold1 had to have placed the spiders there breeding and multiplying, waiting for my eventual arrival. #*&$ you cold1, I will hunt you down, and gut you like a fish. Only you could have thought up something as devious as this. And all I have ever done is been kind to you.

    Other than that, this is was an everyday simple cache.

    8. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is I am obsessed by numbers and 10 is I am all about the experience and the quality of each individual cache. Where do you put yourself?

    Shouldn't the higher number be obsessed about the numbers?  lol  I average in the middle, right now I am more about places and cool spots.  I found 1000 caches last year, I am guessing a few hundred this year.  I just have no desire to hunt for a bunch of micros .  A lot of it has to do with my vehicle. I have no real desire to drive a truck around and park in front of places, or on little pull outs to grab caches.  It is also just that I do not have as much interest in everyday caches.   I am hunting for stuff that interests me.

    9. Describe one incident that best demonstrates the level of your geocaching obsession. 

    Hunting for a cache multiple times.  I refused to get a hint because i thought it would me more satisfying if i found it on my own.  New people were finding it, I could not.  I finally caved in and asked another cacher for a hint.  I spent a year going through that.  I still feel foolish for asking.  I should have stayed strong.  I am weak, and a looser. I will be strong next time.

    10. Have you picked up any caching injuries along the way? Scrapes and scratches. 

    I sprained an ankle so bad, i was sure that I had broken it.  I was alone, and it hurt so bad it brought tears to my eyes on the 500 foot walk to the truck.  It hurt so bad my vision went black for a moment.  Good night that was awful.  I am having phantom pains just thinking of it.  I sometimes get phantom pains thinking of Cold1, I am sure everyone has heard of him.  He is a friend and a local nutter.  If he reads this.... stop following me, and i can see you outside in the bushes, don't make me have my dog attack you again. He is my biggest caching injury.

    11. What annoys you most about other geocachers?

    • Micro Logs
    • Cache thieves
    • Liars
    • Fake logs
    • People who complain about a cacher cheating then cheat themselves. 
    • If you have found 5000 caches it does not mean you are better than the cacher with 500.
    • Bad hair
    • Crappy crappy containers.
    • Not fixing caches when i warn them, then being mad when I archive them for not taking care of the cache in a month.
    • Sending vulgarity laced emails.  It does not make me want to publish your cache when you call me a F^&*(*&  A$%&*()
    • Those that cannot follow the rules, and then say, "never mind I will publish it on another caching site."  That is fine if you do not want any visitors, but i place my caches to be found. 
    • Trackable hoarders
    • Coin thieves
    • The freaking moron that took my trackable, hauled it into a wilderness area and placed it in a new cache, got it denied for being well within a wilderness area, then refused to go pick up my trackable because he was mad at the reviewer.  What a douche.  Sorry, I am getting mad again typing this. 
    • Stalkers
    • People that make long lists about what annoys them

    12. What is the dumbest thing you have done whilst out caching?

    One of two things.  I was with Jac0b and we saw a cache only a half mile away.  We said "how hard could it be"  We had two water bottles.  Two hours later we finally found the cache, an hour after that we were so exhausted from climbing the mountain ridges we separated over a dispute of what would be easier to get back to the jeep, straight over the mountain, or down the draw (the correct answer was my way, it was the longer route through the draw)  we were out of water, and exhausted in the hot summer sun.  I thought my life was over, I saw the ending.  What a miserable walk back.

    Second, was saying yes to groundspeak.  Proves i am not smart.  To make it worse I did it three times. See how dumb i am.  ok I do not regret my decision, but It was not the brightest thing.  "Hey would you like to review caches in Utah?  It will take an hour or two a night, not to mention maintenance checks."  Then later, "would you like to review EarthCaches?"  why of course i would, that would be lovely.  "Oh would you like to be a moderator in the forums"  ........How hard could it be.  It has been a great experience but a ton of work. I did get a plastic trackable paperweight/trophy for my five year anniversary of reviewing, ok, well it said it was for my five year anniversary, but they sent it a year early.

    13. What do your non caching family and friends think of your hobby? 

    They think I am nuts.  My 20 year old kids just think I am stupid.  However that may not have anything to do with caching, just that I am crazy.  I was not so bright and when I took them to their first cache it was a lamp post, and the second, and the third.  I should have stopped when I was ahead.

    14. What is your default excuse you give to muggles who ask what you are up to or if you need help? 

    I pretend I am taking pictures.  No one cares about that.   I often have my DSLR with me. Give someone a camera, and if it looks like they are doing artsy stuff people leave them alone.  I can also bring Cold1 with me.  He mumbles and twitches.  He is just crazy enough people stay away from him, or he chases them away and I have the area free.

    15. What is your current geocaching goal, if you have one? 

    • Stay alive.
    • Don't fall over and pass out from exhaustion
    • Avoid Cold1 more
    • Publish more caches
    • Review for at least 10 years
    • Not make Jeremy or Bryan hate me. (sorry about beating you at bowling soo badly, of course no one noticed because there was food in the back) but I noticed.  I took a picture as proof, but it was fuzzy, honest I did win by a lot.
    • Get a moun10bike version 1 coin, actually any would be good.  If he turns his head i will slip out the back with 001 if he is not looking.
    • visit HQ
    • say hi to all the Volunteer team that I annoy
    • Get Challenges as a cache type.  I keep trying.
    • Did I mention cold1?  Stop him from living under my porch, or in my bushes.
    • Are these caching goals?  close enough
    • Get a few other coins that mean something to me. Dhobby1, a few of the older lackey coins.

    16. Do you have a nemesis cache that despite multiple attempts you have been unable to find?

    Cold1, oh wait a cache not a cacher.  Yes, one near me.  I hate it, once again i refuse to have hints.  So I will not say what it is, someone will spoil it and give me a hint.

    17. What 3 words or phrases best sum up what geocaching means to you. 

    Adventure, sightseeing, friends.

    18. What prompted you to start blogging about geocaching?

    First was to vent, in a constructive way.  I was reviewing, and was frustrated with the cachers that never listened.  Hopefully someone learned someone.  Then to make me happy.  Oh to make fun of Cold1.  To record and share fun experiences.

    19. Which of your own blog entries are you most proud of. 

    http://www.firennice.com/journal/2011/10/23/how-to-annoy-your-geocache-reviewer.html  is my favorite entry.  It is the common things people do to annoy their reviewer.  Some have no idea that they even do it.

    The other is not really a blog page but a list of the oldest active caches, and a map people can use to zoom in on them, and see their location.  http://www.firennice.com/oldest-active-geocaches/  it recieves about half of all the hits on my site.  I am always happy when i hit the forums and someone asks and someone else links to it.  It makes me feel that i am contributing.

    20. Which other geocaching blogs do you enjoy reading? 

    I followed more at one time. Most stop blogging, and  others drive me nuts.  I feel some are out there to toot their own horn, I guess some may say that of me, but if it is too bad I stop for a while. 

    http://geocass.wordpress.com/ geocass is the one I read regularly, and the other is Udink udink.org  he is the single best photographer, cacher, hiker in my area.  I love to read of his adventures.  Less caching than he used to, but still a lot of fun to read and see his awesome pics. oh and groundspeaks blog.

    Hopefully that works.

    Friday
    Sep262014

    How To Get Your EarthCache Permission.

    Sadly this seems to be one of the hardest things that people go though when they are submitting an EarthCache.  The rules of when permission is needed can be different in different countries.  In general you should plan on it, especially if you leave tht paved roads that have a lot of access.

    Why?

    I hear this a lot.  It comes in a few different forms.  Why do I need permission?  It is public land why should I get permission?  Those seem to be the most prevalent.

    First, lands may be public, but they still have a land manager.  They have specific tasks.  Protect the park, create tourism, explain the area to guests, keep the area pristine;  these are all examples of some of the things they have to do.  Usually by law or rules from their bosses. So they review what goes on in their area of responsibility.

    Over the four years I have been looking at EarthCaches i have seen a few reasons for denial.

    Sensitive ecological area - Plants, animals, areas that may receive damage from people moving on them.  They may be tasked with saving an endangered animal,  dropping an EarthCache that drags visitors into some nesting ground does not help.  A few caves have been declared off limits to protect local bat populations.

    Historical Sites - Many sites are protected by obscurity.  They do not publish where native American artifacts are located.  You may not even know they are there, but they do not want people poking around that area.  Of course if they had more money they could do something, but lacking that they just try and keep people away.

    Culturally Significant - The one that comes to mind is Rainbow Bridge National Monument.  Every year I get a submission for that monument.  It is sacred to the Native Americans.  As such the park does not advertise or push the monument much.  A discussion with the park management told me that they had no intention to approve anything there because of the sacred nature to the native Americans in the area. 

    Protect the local minerals/fossils.  A few sites have been denied for this reason.  Dinosaur bones in the desert are left alone.  Letting people know about the site can cause people to gather them up when they visit.  I have seen this for sites in national parks where obsidian or petrified wood is located.  Rangers do not want these to walk away.  It happens.  A national park  Fossil Cycan National Monument was one.  Everyone pilfered the park, and it was removed.  

     

    Here is my step by step process.

    Find the topic.

    1. Write up basic information.
    2. Find out about other caches/EarthCaches in the area.
    3. Contact park educational outreach with the information info.
    4. Get Permission.

    Know who to ask. 

    Many parks and properties have a number of employees, a

    nd each one has  their own duties and responsibilities.  Going to the wrong one can cause you unneeded grief, or can just piss someone off.  Some cachers have been very rude.   I have spoken with over two dozen land managers, and with managers of over 15 National Parks.  Most have the same issues, and concerns.

    If you walk in and demand to see the park manager you may find success or miserable failure.  Remember these people are working, their jobs have seen a hu

    ge increase in workload in the last few years.  Budget cuts and hiring freezes have wrecked havoc on many land managers.   

    Some parks are huge.  They manage a large number of employees and contractors that come into the parks.  Interrupting  their important work  of hiring, repairing, dealing with problems, animals and people to deal with permission for an EarthCache and annoy them.  

    If you walk in and talk to the National Park Ranger over enforcement you may get a completely different answer and reception that the ranger over education.  One is trying to determine if you are violating any laws, if this is prone to cause problems, or cause damage.  The other will look at this as a way to educate visitors about the park, and about the content.

    Do your research to answer questions.  

    These are the most common questions that I see:

    Where is it?  I am shocked that many do not know how to read coordinates.  The simplest way I have found is to find it on Google maps, drop a pin, then there is a link to your little map.  Give them as much info as you can.

    What are you teaching?  Simple, give them a copy.  They may ask for corrections, or you to change some information.

    Is it near a road or trail?  Many parks are worried about damage. Take a moment to let them know how far from the trail, and what trail.

    How many visitors do you expect?  This is usually pretty simple.  I find the caches nearby, or EarthCaches, and can tell them.   "Cache X is a mile away, it gets about 15 visitors a year"  This usually relieves the worry that you are setting up a site with 1000 new people showing up and tearing the area apart.

    The contact

    If you are nearby try make an appointment or go in person.  Talking with someone, if you are not interrupting or causing problems,  goes a long ways.  Be ready for a long wait if you are only doing the email thing.  Remember that if you send an email you might be buried.  Questions will be slow to come by.  Sometimes it works well, other times expect something slow.  Consider the phone, but be respectful.

     

    Hopefully these help just a little.