I have to say this a rather hard topic to write about. I have been a member since March 2008 of geocaching.com and did my first find in April 2008. I have tried to play the game and stay within the rules the best I can. If I am not sure I have asked or posted to the forums.
I was asked to write about this because I am one that will almost take on anything if I think it should be. I have thought about this blog for many weeks so here it is.
There are a few basic rules such as don’t claim a find for a cache that you haven’t done unless the cache owner (CO) says it is okay because there are extenuating circumstances. I have only had this happen a few times and one time I was in Florence Italy when it happened to me for the first time. I went to do the cache but could not locate it. The cache page said if you can’t find it go into the store next to it and ask for the CO. I did this and he was sick. I posted a DNF. When I arrived home I received an email saying I could log it because it was indeed gone and he was sick. I really never felt comfortable doing this but I did it. I really wanted to log this cache because of where it took me. The cache MOZART E L’ AQUILA NERA took me down a narrow alley to this small shop and across the street was a old hotel (that was recently made into a national historic site) where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, at only 14 years, had come to Florence to perform in front of the Grand Duke Leopold I of Lorraine in 1770.
Let me put it to you this way there isn’t anything that old in BC unless it ends in Fir and starts with Douglas. So this was a very pleasant surprise for me.
The logging of this cache has always bothered me, why I am not sure. It could be because my name was really never in the cache log.
I had the chance to be back in Florence (Firenze in Italian) in May of this year and I went back to this cache and once again found it and finally logged the cache and then posted a note for the CO telling him I had been back.
When I started to cache I ran into a fellow cacher early in my caching days who I became friends with. During his caching days he has become known for the placement of his caches and the puzzles he has made. He is also known for his FTF record and continuous days of caching. He currently has between 10,000 – 11,000 caches logged according to his stats.
Recently it was learned that he went away to Las Vegas to do the ET Highway with 3 other cachers. There was a problem that surfaced upon his return and that was he logged more than 350 caches than the other three cachers. When questioned he says it was GSAK that caused the problem. Well if anyone that has used GSAK knows you can’t log caches as found unless you indicated they were found in the first place. The problem now is he has been home for some 3+ weeks and removed only a few caches but not near the number of caches he should.
I dropped him an email saying hey there appears to be a real problem here and your reputation is taking a nose dive here. It was only then he removed some caches as I have said above.
In this he has annoyed his fellow three cachers who went on the trip with him and many more cachers along the way. He has annoyed many others including me in all this, why? He has long been thought that he was well above this and a highly respected cacher. I can tell you I have been at a few events recently where this cacher has been trashed and what respect he has is little now.
He logged an event in Seattle in August that he didn’t attend. He has since removed this log after my first email. There was another event cache near Seattle that he still has not removed.
This cacher is currently doing a 100 Day Challenge cache where one caches for 100 days in a row in order to log the Challenge cache. There is one glaring problem with this cache and that is he hasn’t cached all the days he says he has. He has been caught red handed and won’t correct the problem. This cacher is running out of local caches to do and thus has to travel to far off places or wait for new caches to be released. It was noted that he logged 3 caches 3 days in a row in Bellingham Washington. Anyone who knows this cacher knows he just doesn’t do one cache and come home if there are others around to do. It is almost certain that he didn’t drive 1 hour each day to Bellingham to do one cache then one hour home and repeat this for three days. He did all 3 caches on the same day then dated the logs for the 3 days he needed for the challenge.
Back on August 25th he attended the wrap up Blitz Event in Harrison Hotsprings. This drive alone is well over an hour from his residence.
What makes this interesting is there was a puzzle cache released on August 26th in Sumas Washington, a short dip from the highway on the way to Harrison Hotsprings. On August 29th another well known cacher who loves puzzles saw this cache and couldn’t believe it still had no finder and no FTF finder. She was on her way to her place in Washington and decided to do this cache. She went to log it and sure enough she was the First to Find. It wasn’t till she did the library cache near by that she made a discovery, you see our caching friend had logged this cache and dated it for August 28th. Interesting she thought, how could this be? If you ask anyone who knows the cacher how this could happen, they will tell you he was there before the date he said he was which likely on August 25th. I am told by any cacher who knows him he would have NOT left a puzzle cache behind nearby and especially since it was also a FTF. They say not going to happen. So only the cacher knows for sure what happened by the evidence is mounting up on him.
I received a call a week or so back about a couple of caches he did in the Westend of Vancouver. It appears his name is not in the cache and the cache he said he did do has been in the land of the missing. The CO also makes mention of removing the cache.
What makes this interesting is a log that this cacher posted on one of his own cache pages.
If someone chooses to find a cache and log it on a day that suits them just so they can accomplish this challenge,
then that person is doing himself/herself an injustice and morally would have to live with that decision.
There are those who feel that it is a numbers game, and that the find count is important to them.
For me personally each find is important to me, and that is not the destination but rather the journey that is important.
I am proud of my 5000+ finds, and although I have had drive up/finds,
I have not done any of the “drive-up” power trails like the ET Hwy,
in my view would effect my acheivements and stats, all for the chance to get quickly another 1000+ finds in a day or two and boost my count stats.
I am not saying that the power trails are wrong, if the number finds rather than the type of finds is important then this is something to do,
it is just not something for me ( however I do have the right to change my mind )
I know for a fact that on some of my puzzle caches people have logged it as found when they have not signed the cache logbook.
If a person wants to log having found a cache that they have not actually found, I am sure they have there reasons and I am not one to judge why they did that.
What matters is that each of us do what we feel is right, and know of our own accomplishments.
Well I suppose he has changed his mind and only he knows of exactly how many caches he has done.
The problem now is there is a “list” out there of caches for people to check when they are caching in Nevada of the disputed caches and the first cachers with the list have reported back from Las Vegas and his names doesn’t appear in the puzzle caches he said he did on the last night, surprise surprise.
No one is sure who knows him if there is something else in his life that has caused this because this is totally out of character all have said. One of the series he did still remains my favourite series to-date. We all have problems from time to time, it is how we deal with them that makes us stronger.
What now needs to happen is for him to correct this problem and a apologize to the geocaching community here and in Las Vegas.
There have been offers to help him sort out the problem but nothing.
It has been noted that he logged 3 caches this weekend that are over 30 minutes one way from his place. He logged 1 on Friday on 2 on Saturday and none for Sunday but there is a small bet since they were part of a series they will soon get logged and yet likely only one trip has been made to do these caches.
He has been made aware of the problem and yet still goes out and flaunts in fellow cachers faces. This alone is only making his fellow cachers more upset.
Time will tell if he gets back on track or just plays the game his way.
It is a very sad to day to post this. I am hoping that he will ask for help and turn around. I know many of his fellow cachers hope this will occur.