"When you go to hide a cache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot.
If the only reason is for the cache, then find a better spot."
.... Briansnat


Monday, March 31, 2014

Maker Madness - Waterproof Ammo Can

You had to go noodling for this ammo can which had been waterproofed and hidden below a ledge at water's edge.

Hidden ammo can

Revealed hidden on a ledge below the water.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Maker Madness - Cemetery Fence

Just a simple color-matched, fake bolt on the gate of a cemetery.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Maker Madness - Little Free Library Cache

The Maker Madness events were meant to be a forum for the best hiders to share their ideas on making a great hide. I wanted to use this blog during the Maker Madness window to highlight the best of the best. One issue with creative caches is the often stray outside the guidelines. That won't happen with those posted here. Enjoy the best we've seen.

Little Free Library cache...

The cupola on top of the library unit is an owner-added addition.

A hidden latch releases the roof of the cupola...

to reveal the geocache hiding location.

Friday, March 28, 2014

GeoTrail Fail in Marietta

We've been to Marietta, Ohio before and had a great time. In 2013, the city was running a geotrail with a trackable geocoin for those completing the trail. It sounded like the perfect way to spend a day in a town with happy memories. It wasn't. Marietta has no idea of how to treat tourists if you want to be successful at promoting tourism.

Throughout the day we struggled with lousy coordinates, missing caches, and just plain undesirable places to hunt caches. Some of the locations were interesting, but I really didn't want to hunt a cache in the bushes near boat ramps. Guess what fisherman do when it is too far to walk to the restroom? Why would a tourism bureau place a cache in that area? Better yet, why would they place a cache with lousy coordinates so geocaching tourists had to spend even more time hunting a cache in this fishing potty and trash dump? Oh yeah, the cache was missing.

Guess what returning boaters do in there where the cache would have been were it not missing?

So too, was the one at the library where it appeared some landscaper had removed all the bushes.

The cache by the historic Fearing House would have been an interesting find if the posted coordinates were at the rear of the house where the cache was supposed to be instead of the front of the house where this historical marker is. It didn't really matter since that cache was missing too.

The walk along the river was pleasant, but like so many other caches in the Marietta GeoTrail the cache was missing.

The one near the sewage pump house was there, but the coordinates were so bad, if you made the wrong guess of where the cache was, you got to hunt the cache while smelling raw sewage...YUCK. Does Marietta treat all their out-of-town guests this way, or do they see geocachers as a bunch of easy to please yahoos?

Don't take any deep breaths when near this sewage pumping station.

The worst slap of all was Marietta had given away all their coins; had no intentions of buying more; and didn't bother to tell anyone.

To me, a city treating geocaching tourists this way (lousy coordinates, undesirable locations, missing caches, broken and/or locked restrooms in their parks, deceit about the coins...) needs to step back and decide what their goal is from a GeoTrail. If it was to sucker geocachers into spending an evening and cash, they succeeded. We paid our hotel bill. We ate twice at their restaurants. In the end, I will cross the Ohio River and stay in West Virginia the next time we visit. I'm surprised the city was so clueless and treated geocachers so poorly. It was like they were mocking us while taking our dollars.

We ended our day on a happy note by caching our way south in West Virginia. We made some nice finds along the way and were sorry to see our caching time in West Virginia run out. My only regret was I convinced Ali to waste most of a day of our life in Marietta. I won't make that mistake again. To me it was made worse by the visitor's bureau not even contacting us when we complained about the GeoTrail. We've been lucky in life and have the dollars to make these trips and can get by when our money is so totally wasted as it was by the Marietta Convention and Visitor's Bureau. What we don't have is time. For taking time from my life that I don't have, I will never forgive the city of Marietta.

They could learn a huge lesson by talking to Marion, Ohio where we completed a geotrail and had a great time earning a geocoin or by talking to the Athens County Visitor Bureau where we went caching and had a great time and were aware before we visited that there were no coins remaining. Both towns blew away the weak effort of Marietta in terms of finding interesting locations for their hides, communicating with geocaching tourists, and making an effort to make us feel welcome. Marietta earned a solid F for its performance.

I try to use this blog to share our fun times with other geocachers. I would much rather have written a post about the great tourism time we had in Marietta. I hope this warns off future cachers and they take their hard-earned dollars elsewhere. (Hint: Athens would be a great alternative).