So, I just found out that one of my hides had been "replaced" by a "helpful" cacher. It is a Bison Tube hidden magnetically on a railroad trestle. Not the easiest cache to find, but that's kinda the point. I got an email from the last finders of the bison tube with a photo attachment showing the log, missing signatures of those who logged the cache between 11/10/11 and 04/27/12.
I know the last cacher whose name wasn't on the log so I emailed him. Got back:
Ah I remember it well....it was my second trip back to try to find this one. This time I was accompanied by barefootgal who had a vague recollection of it. I searched from the deck of the bridge with no luck. Then I climbed down the rocks on the left side nearest the Pizza Barn. I searched the abutment of the bridge then started searching the beams. I finally found a magnetic "Hide-A-Key" stuck to an I-beam almost halfway across the width of the bridge. It was up pretty high and maybe ten feet from the end of the bridge. I believe the beam angles towards the center of the bridge. There were several other names in the log as I recall.
Here's the thing that really bugs me: According to the cache description, "There is no need to leave the decking." I thought about hiding the cache down below, but due to the icy grade around the bridge abutments leading into the sometimes fast-running, frigid river, this would be an extremely
dangerous cache to attempt in winter, and since this rail-trail is primarily used in winter, I went for the hide reachable from the safety of the bridge deck. Also, why did I never get a note from whoever hid the hide-a-key? "Oh, hey, we couldn't find your cache, so we hid a new one!" And finally, there are about a bazillion potential places this cache could be hidden. Why on earth would you throw down a cache when you can't be sure the cache is still there? The Bison tube out there now is the 3rd container in the life of the cache. When I first got the pic showing missing sigs, I assumed that they had somehow stumbled across one of the older containers that I managed to overlook due to cache migration. If I can't be certain I'll find the cache, how can someone else!?!?
Last summer, I had another cache get hit with a Throw-Down. The logs now only exist in my email notifications, but here they are:
Great morning caching with *** today...
Path is now a road, *** replaced the cache as we were thinking it may have been plowed under
OH MY new WIDER trail now, in the past couple days... GZ was a bull dozed mess. Replaced cache with New container. TFTC
First off, if they read past logs, or even cache descriptions of the surrounding caches, they would have realized the caches were along an old woods road. There was no widening of the trail, they graded the potholes out of the road! They had managed to pull the grader over far enough to make a tree lean towards the cache, but that was about the extent of the damage to the hide. Next, if they had looked at the cache Title or Description, they would have read that this cache is a "Bison Tube." The description says "Hope you enjoy this hide, it's a bit different from your average Bison Tube Hide." Apparently, they took "different" to mean they should hide an Airborne Container. Actually, different means the container is a toy American Bison with a hole drilled through the body so a preform would fit. Here's what I thought about it at the time:
Too Tall John performed maintenance
Monday, 15 August 2011
With reports that the area had been bulldozed and that the cache had been replaced by the last two seekers, I set out to check for myself. Since the point of this cache is the "Bison-Tube-ness" of the cache and I don't currently have the necessary materials to replace it, I planned on archiving the cache if it was, indeed, missing. Gone or not, I needed to come back out here. If it was gone, I needed to verify that for myself, and remove the throwdown before archiving the cache. If it was still in place, I needed to remove the throwdown before someone else got confused by finding it instead of the real cache.
It was not missing. Cache was in place, I almost knelt on the throwdown when I retrieved the original. The road might be a couple feet wider than it used to be, but for the most part looks the same as it has since I first ventured out. Well, minus a few potholes. I must say the cache was just feet from destruction, but it was, and is, quite findable.
While I appreciate the sentiment of the two cachers who decided to replace the cache, I am a bit baffled at why they thought an Airborne container would be appropriate, especially when the cache is named "Bison Tube" and is described as "a bit different from your average Bison Tube Hide". Different it was, but it followed neither the spirit nor the letter of the cache description.
So, I'd say thanks for bringing me back out here, but I had other nearby caches that I haven't found yet that I didn't go after today so that I could come fix this one.
So, back to the title: If You 'Gotta' Leave a Throwdown...
- Be sure the cache isn't there. Can't be sure, DNF it.
- Read the cache page. It might have information that might not only help you hide the cache in an appropriate manner, it might help you find the cache!
- Let the Cache Owner know what you did. Your container could be potentially confusing for other cachers, or even placed in a spot the CO avoided for good reasons. Their name is now attached to what you did.
- Think again. You don't 'Gotta' Throw Down.
- DNF It's helpful to CO's to get DNF logs.
- DNF There is no shame in a DNF log.
- DNF Even if you feel ashamed of DNF's, nobody but you can pull up the full list of your DNF's. It's really ok.
...So, other than perhaps a couple extra "DNF"'s, what else did I leave off this list?
(In the interest of full disclosure, I have "Thrown Down" a cache. Sort of. I had the cache owner on the phone, who verified that I was looking in the right place, and as it was a location that wasn't easy to get to, he asked me to replace it. So, now that I think of it, not really a throwdown at all.)