Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Geocaching: Butterfield Canyon

For larks, when I stumbled across a geocaching website, I punched in the address for Snowbird Headquarters. To my surprise it listed 162 caches within a five mile radius and 495 within 7.5 miles!

I'm going to give you the link to the site because it probably is a worthwhile site for an offroader to occasionally use; but, it'll be down at the end because, to me, it's one of those sites designed to milk the public for all they can — and do it by selling you back other peoples work.

Geocaching is a hobby where people “hide” a cache [ammo case, Tupperware bowl etc.] somewhere along a trail they have been on and publish the geologic coordinates for others to find. The “finder” is supposed to sign a log that they’ve been there; and, if they take something out, put something back in its place.

Honesty: the best of all the lost arts.”
Samuel Clemmens

"Geocaching.com" commercialized the effort online so you can list your caches with them for free (except registering); but, you have to pay $30/year for the “privilege” of easily, actually using the caches you find.

Oh, they will show you what they have (mostly) for free, but they make it incredibly difficult to actually use the data except by handwriting them down.

I know whereof I speak because, without intending to, I spent nearly an entire day cussing their disgusting software, deliberately written to make it impossible to automate and full of errors.

I wanted to show some geocache’s on one of the rides dad and I took last year — and I hate to quit in the middle. It was an incredibly difficult task (with needless barriers) and probably won't happen again; but, here is the Google Earth file for our ride up Butterfield/Middle Canyon's to the Kennecott Copper Mine Overlook.

You see several caches along the trail. If you click on them it will open up a description box. In the box there is a link which will open the “official” description online.

Two of the links are “virtual” caches – which basically are “sights to see” but located somewhere either impossible or illegal to “litter” a cache somewhere. Geocaching.com used to accept this type but found that they could “spin it off” into another site (yep, which requires an additional payment) so now refuse to accept them entirely.

If this type of stuff interests you, the way I would do it is to sign up at geocaching.com but just punch in the coordinates for your intended trailhead and ask to see those within a few mile radius. It should be easy to hand-enter a few in your GPS device.

Interested in learning something new?

Many years ago I heard a talk in church about using lessons from rock climbing in everyday life. Now, noted climber Matthew Childs was asked to speak at a TED conference and he chose to use a similar theme "9 Life Lessons" learned from rock climbing: http://www.ted.com/talks/matthew_childs_9_rules_of_rock_climbing.html


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