Always Blame The Bear

While I was in Flagstaff camping, I got to check up on all the caches I placed last August. I was really excited to see how they had fared after a winter of snow, wind, and rain.

I haven’t hid that many caches (13) so I’m not really sure how often I needed to check on them. The ones in Flagstaff are kind of tricky, since I live about 2 hours from them; not really practical to scoot over to check after the first DNF!

The first cache we checked on was The Quiet Zone. This cache is a favorite of mine, but I was concerned about the container; the prior three people searching for it had been DNF. As I drew closer to the cache, it was clear to see what had happened.

A bear had made off with the cache!

I found a better location and replaced the container. I was rather disappointed that the original contents had disappeared as well but there was no way I was going to argue with the bear!

The other caches: Mom’s BirthdayCousin Trees, No Cows Here, The Groaning Gate,  and Mud Bug Haven,  all fared fine. All the caches were in good order with dry contents and plenty of swag.

But I did have to wonder about No Cows Here. It’s just off a trail bordered with tall Ponderosa pine trees. It is just off a main road so a lot of people look for it. But, for some reason, No Cows Here gets a fair share of DNF. Now, I’m pretty sure that has to do with bounce (the GPS signal gets interference from the trees) but I don’t feel I need to point that out. The cache seems so obvious to me — hidden but under a rock pile that just seems to scream: Here’s the cache!

See where The Queen Mother’s walking stick is pointed? Yeah, the cache is under that huge rock! Geosense or give-it-away hint?

So, what’s your take? Post a hint that the trees might interfere or leave it as is and trust to people’s geosense?

And for Cousin Trees, I changed the altitude of the cache just a bit. (I moved the cache from UNDER the tree to being IN the tree.)

You can totally see the geocache in the tree, right?

Do you think that I need to explain that in the hint? I think saying something like “YBBX HC!” would be too much of a giveaway. What do you think?

To decrypt that hint, use’s decryption key.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H |  I |  J |  K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

Readers Weigh In:

  • How often do you check on the caches that you’ve hid?
  • Do you rely on people’s geosense or do you try to make your hints obvious?
  • Do you like hints that say if the cache is under something? (A rock, tree, etc) What about hints that say the cache is in a tree?