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State Park Geocaches
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1941

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red_Devil35 wrote:
KRedEP wrote:
Sky King 36 wrote:
Rather than all-or-nothing, isn't there a middle ground where a group of cachers, um, say, like a statewide caching organization, make the state park series a joint effort? The DNR provides the program, the marketing, sponsorship... and then experienced cachers near various parks actually work with the local park manager to identify good hide concepts and place the caches?
Wasn't the first year something like this?


Yes. There were volunteers for all of the parks. I helped with Big Stone Lake.

I think this might just be a bunch of people within the parks system that really don't care about the challenge; it is more work for them.


I helped place the Fort Snelling caches for the first 2 challenges and figured the naturalist there had everything well in hand since she had been on top of everything in the past. I found out this weekend that she's now at Afton and the person in charge of it at Ft Snelling didn't know what she was doing and that there were issues. Where did the parks get the geocaching volunteers for their parks? There was no call out for them this time around. I would have been happy to help somewhere else since Ft Snelling had appeared to not need help.
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chokecherry
Geocacher


Joined: 24 Mar 2011

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone know if the OHV Park state park cache is in the OHV park or near the entrance? Typically speaking one needs to enter the park in/on an OHV and it's not the kind of place you can safely hike around if they allow hiking at all. Lots of people worked hard to get that OHV park to come to fruition and honestly I'd hate to see it screwed up or people injured if the cache wasn't placed in an ok area to be hiking (which from the first log on it seems to be the case).
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jicknarson
Geocacher


Joined: 26 Dec 2008

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add to the list, final at McCarthy Beach was a good 40 ft off.

On the positive side, I was happy to find that both Bear Head Lake and McCarthy Beach involved a fair amount of walking, unlike the Wildlife Safari hides. Bear Head Lake was nicely done, with good coords and an actual hiding place for the final. Laughing

Re: the OHV hide. I have my reservations also. Not sure how this will work. I plan on checking it out sometime this week. Hope I don't have to buy a Jeep to fit in!
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 457

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the only one who thinks 40 feet off is in no way unusual for a hide on any given day? Maybe I'm just used to the bad old pre WAAS days?
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Red_Devil35
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Apr 2006

Posts: 3090
Location: Practically South Dakota!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dornole wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks 40 feet off is in no way unusual for a hide on any given day? Maybe I'm just used to the bad old pre WAAS days?


For experienced cachers, 40 feet is nothing. But for the newbies the parks are trying to attract, 40 feet might as well be 400 feet.
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CharleneMae
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Apr 2009

Posts: 45

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red_Devil35 wrote:
dornole wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks 40 feet off is in no way unusual for a hide on any given day? Maybe I'm just used to the bad old pre WAAS days?


For experienced cachers, 40 feet is nothing. But for the newbies the parks are trying to attract, 40 feet might as well be 400 feet.


But if it is 40 feet off and there is a large box with a bird painted on it, I think the beginners will still easily find the stage. (Fort Snelling's stages all have large boxes hanging out with a bird painted on them. Doesn't seem to have any amount of hiding to it at all.)

People also need to realize the GPS won't show 0 ft right at the cache. If you are in the trees, etc. the accuracy is not as good. I don't think it is unusual at all to be off by 20-30 ft. 40 might be a little high but not unreasonable depending on the location.
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essap
Geocacher


Joined: 08 Feb 2011

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Upper Sioux Agency was off by 65 feet on a gravel parking area. Not in the woods, at all. These were laminated coordinates on a sign.
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northtrekker
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Jul 2004

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geesh it seems like a lot of these placements were done sloppily. That's too bad. When I found the final at Hill Annex, I knew the coords were way off. It took me quite awhile to find it before I just turned off the gps and started to look on the other side of the bike trail. Obviously, whoever is placing many of these caches doesn't know what a "good hide" would be, and doesn't take accurate coords. It's one thing to make the hide an "easy" one. I can see doing that to promote family fun, to let the little ones find it first, but geesh, pretty tough for that to happen if the coords are non existent or way off. It's discouraging. I'd like to see a list of the caches that seem to be in order with accurate coords and a good placement! Very Happy
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15Tango
Past MnGCA Chair


Joined: 17 Dec 2002

Posts: 841
Location: St. Paul

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EPMinnesota wrote:
Red_Devil35 wrote:
KRedEP wrote:
Sky King 36 wrote:
Rather than all-or-nothing, isn't there a middle ground where a group of cachers, um, say, like a statewide caching organization, make the state park series a joint effort? The DNR provides the program, the marketing, sponsorship... and then experienced cachers near various parks actually work with the local park manager to identify good hide concepts and place the caches?
Wasn't the first year something like this?


Yes. There were volunteers for all of the parks. I helped with Big Stone Lake.

I think this might just be a bunch of people within the parks system that really don't care about the challenge; it is more work for them.


I helped place the Fort Snelling caches for the first 2 challenges and figured the naturalist there had everything well in hand since she had been on top of everything in the past. I found out this weekend that she's now at Afton and the person in charge of it at Ft Snelling didn't know what she was doing and that there were issues. Where did the parks get the geocaching volunteers for their parks? There was no call out for them this time around. I would have been happy to help somewhere else since Ft Snelling had appeared to not need help.


I helped with Afton during the History Challenge - went out and gave some pointers, then went through a dry run of all the stages before the cache was published. I never heard anything from them for the Wildlife Safari or this latest challenge.
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4nhand
Geocacher


Joined: 28 Oct 2009

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I visited Upper Sioux, Camden and Fort Ridgely last weekend.

Upper Sioux - we got there mid afternoon and the first stage still went to the hollow tree. I expanded the search and found the bottle with coords from the Wildlife Safari still in play. I told the rangers and they supposedly removed that bottle, as well as added a note to the tree directing people back to the entrance where the first stage was.

Camden - overall it was well done. Not too much hiking and all stages were at the coords. Stage 3 was under a rock and 2 little kids couldn't get to the container. I replaced the rock so you don't need to move it to get the container, but who knows. Doesn't seem quite the best design. A couple stages are in very high muggle areas. Muggles told us where to find stage 2.

Fort Ridgely - coords seemed okay, but stage 2 probably wont last very long before it is damaged or stolen. Too obvious for a seasoned cacher and too intriguing for a nosy muggle. And somewhat breakable.

I've heard stories from others, including how most of the SW parks are all park and grabs because some ranger was concerned about the impact on the environment. Hopefully the DNR will get things figured out and get updated coordinates posted soon.
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4nhand
Geocacher


Joined: 28 Oct 2009

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

essap wrote:
The Upper Sioux Agency was off by 65 feet on a gravel parking area. Not in the woods, at all. These were laminated coordinates on a sign.

They fixed it by the time we got there later in the afternoon. Well, the coords were correct anyway - they were still on the sign.
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Gat R Done
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 29 Dec 2011

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been keeping an eye on this posting and have a few comments:

Overall, the new State Park Avian Adventure has started off quite well. There are a few glitch's and it's good that people care enough to mention those here.

This was a big project and many people across the state with varying knowledge of geocaching were involved. Due to the number of people involved, mistakes could have been make. Hopefully everyone in the MnGCA is willing to help out in getting any errors corrected so the new cachers who are introduced to the activity do not get frustrated.

If you are personally aware of anything that needs correcting, please email me complete details and I will forward your message to the person who can make the updates or they will contact park staff to make corrections on-site. Send your information directly to me at gatrdoneMN at gmail dot com. Please include specific information like actual coordinates, stage numbers, etc. Just saying a stage is 40 feet off is certainly helpful, but not actionable. Also, please do not include secondhand information you have read in logs. I think it's best if the information we forward comes directly from someone who has been to that particular location. There are a couple issues recently discussed that I have already begun working on. Greenleaf for one, is currently being addressed.

The volume of email to the MN State Park is most likely very large and they may miss important information via that route.

I know there have been some comments about locations used. That was a decision by the DNR to reduce the impact to the area due to the high traffic these geocaches typically generate.

Again, Thank You for all your support. Seeing postings here tells me that you care about geocaching and the success of the State Park Avian Program.

Gat R Done
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andrewmcc
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Jul 2007

Posts: 996

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gat R Done wrote:
I have been keeping an eye on this posting and have a few comments:

Overall, the new State Park Avian Adventure has started off quite well. There are a few glitch's and it's good that people care enough to mention those here.

This was a big project and many people across the state with varying knowledge of geocaching were involved. Due to the number of people involved, mistakes could have been make. Hopefully everyone in the MnGCA is willing to help out in getting any errors corrected so the new cachers who are introduced to the activity do not get frustrated.

If you are personally aware of anything that needs correcting, please email me complete details and I will forward your message to the person who can make the updates or they will contact park staff to make corrections on-site. Send your information directly to me at gatrdoneMN at gmail dot com. Please include specific information like actual coordinates, stage numbers, etc. Just saying a stage is 40 feet off is certainly helpful, but not actionable. Also, please do not include secondhand information you have read in logs. I think it's best if the information we forward comes directly from someone who has been to that particular location. There are a couple issues recently discussed that I have already begun working on. Greenleaf for one, is currently being addressed.

The volume of email to the MN State Park is most likely very large and they may miss important information via that route.

I know there have been some comments about locations used. That was a decision by the DNR to reduce the impact to the area due to the high traffic these geocaches typically generate.

Again, Thank You for all your support. Seeing postings here tells me that you care about geocaching and the success of the State Park Avian Program.

Gat R Done


Thanks for the constructive sugestion, Gat R Done. We appreciate the helpful comments!
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MNMizzou
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Feb 2005

Posts: 704
Location: Maple Grove, MN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing by the photos I've seen the Jay Cooke cache may be off a little bit, like say, maybe Green Bay by now! Do not envy folks up north right now!
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loneeagle_24
Geocacher


Joined: 17 Jun 2003

Posts: 874
Location: Montevideo

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if there is something that can be done or not on this, but I was uo to Itasca on July 5th. The previous night they had a storm go through with straight line winds. After going to the headwaters to get the coordinates to start the Lasalle search no one mentioned that the rec area was closed, so I made the drive up there only to find that it was closed due to the storm. It would have been nice if the staff would have mentionde that it was closed. Anyway I go back to Itasca to see if I could get a card for the rec area (they have done this type of thing in the past when there has been storm damage), anyway all I get get told is that the rec area is closed and I would have to come back later. I am a long way from home and am not happy about having to go get this card at another time, being I have to get this one before being able to get the regional biome card.


This is about the only thing that agravates me with the whole avian challenge. Thats a lot of driving to grab these cards and then the staff won't help out when an issue like this comes up!!!!
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