geocache rally here in california?

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geocache rally here in california?

Postby drofrockology » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:59 pm

hi all:

betsy fessler (the buggy bunch) and i spent sunday scouting-out a rally course for the central california coastal area.

you heard right: i'm planning a geocache rally for california!

unalike the rally i used to produce in nevada this rally will not be the exclusive territory of 4-wheelers. in fact, several times during the scouting trip that we took yesterday, betsy said: "this road would be great in a sports car!" indeed, the roads we traveled on would be great to tour in a sports car, roadster, street rod, sedan, truck or even motorcycle.

the new, as yet to be named, rally will be similar to the rally i used to produce in that it will be geocaching-based and will be a friendly competition. but, instead of being a navigational rally, each turn of the route will be given to every team. the challenge in this rally will be finding the caches.

now, before you die-hard off-roaders think the cheese has slid off of my cracker for producing a strictly paved rally: hold on!

did you not see that betsy of the buggy bunch was part of this operation?
there will be a section of 2-star dirt road with an alternate paved section for those who may not want to rip the underside out of their bugatti veyron (most geocachers own a veryron, right?) out from underneath them. both paved and unpaved sections will have caches of equivalent value.

there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to pull of an event like this, so keep an eye out for future announcements.

at this time we are looking at a mid-march date, but that may change as we look at what's on our plate.
it will also be a while before we can begin accepting entries as we do not know what we are going to have to charge for entry fees; we still need to find out what insurance is going to cost us, what porta potties are going to cost, etc.

we also need to find out what gc.com is going to require from us since this is a new rally, not one with a history.

what we do know: the giant compendium of rules used in my previous rallies is not going to be used. look for the rules to fit on something slightly larger than the head of a pin. there will be rules but they will not be difficult to understand and have a great time. most rules will be regarding motor vehicle rules and how the rally is scored.

we also know: even though this rally is going to be much simpler to run than my previous rallies, we are still going to need a handful of volunteers to make it run smoothly. one such volunteer we need is somebody who can score, or create an easy to use scoring software, for us. since the rally and rules will be much simpler, so will the scoring.

we still have a lot of work to do but a lot of time in which to do it.

i just wanted to put this out there and let you know what is on the horizon.

and to whet your appetites for adventure: i have uploaded a few pictures to my online photo album.

oh, and here?s a little tease: we are already looking at a route much closer to the bay area for a second rally. and since this type of rally is much easier to prepare and produce, we are even discussing doing two events a year; one down around the central coast and another up around the bay area.

i hope you will be able to join us!

monty wolf
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Postby Nazgul » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:46 am

Road rallies don't excite me as much as offroad ones (what's the point of having the Veyron if you have to drive it an average of 23.4mph to the next checkpoint?) but this doesn't sound quite like a conventional rally anyway... Maybe more like a guided cache tour, rally, competition, thing.... Yeah.

Whatever box it fits into, it still sounds like a fun geo-event. :) I'm looking forward to more details.

(I was wondering why we hadn't heard from Betsy lately.)
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Postby drofrockology » Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:47 am

Nazgul wrote:Road rallies don't excite me as much as offroad ones (what's the point of having the Veyron if you have to drive it an average of 23.4mph to the next checkpoint?) but this doesn't sound quite like a conventional rally anyway... Maybe more like a guided cache tour, rally, competition, thing.... Yeah.

Whatever box it fits into, it still sounds like a fun geo-event. :) I'm looking forward to more details.

(I was wondering why we hadn't heard from Betsy lately.)


well, to be honest with you, i'd much prefer to do an off-road adventure than one on pavement. but, there are very few options for roads in northern california (you get on one road, stay on it for an hour or more, get on pavement, stay on it for an hour, get on another dirt road, repeat, repeat, repeat.). so, i have spent the last year trying to come up with something that would be enjoyable and challenging.

but, the scenery of this rally is going to be very stunning!

the competition is going to be fun, exciting and challenging!

i do have a few words of warning: if you are prone to car sickness you may want to pass on this adventure as the bulk of this route is has more curves than marilyn monroe!

i believe that i may have left out a link for pictures that we took on our sunday adventure. sorry for that.

take a peek at these http://picasaweb.google.com/montywolf/CourseScouting92108#
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Postby Nazgul » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:05 am

Ah yes, I recognize the location. We had a small group do a caching trip down there, and we even placed a cache along the way. That's a fun dirt road. I once saw an old 914 slowly driving along towards the southern end, so clearance shouldn't be an issue for most. :)
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Postby drofrockology » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:18 am

Nazgul wrote:Ah yes, I recognize the location. We had a small group do a caching trip down there, and we even placed a cache along the way. That's a fun dirt road. I once saw an old 914 slowly driving along towards the southern end, so clearance shouldn't be an issue for most. :)


it is certainly not impossible to take in a car with a low profile, but i'm not sure i would want to take my taurus on that road. not so much for ground clearance but there are a couple of steep sections on which i wouldn't want to start spinning my tires and shred them to pieces.

that said: i will tell you that when i took the route with willybee, heading south on this dirt road, we had a late 90s mustang pass us while we were stopped taking pics.

monty
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Postby bthomas » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:38 am

well, to be honest with you, i'd much prefer to do an off-road adventure than one on pavement. but, there are very few options for roads in northern california (you get on one road, stay on it for an hour or more, get on pavement, stay on it for an hour, get on another dirt road, repeat, repeat, repeat.). so, i have spent the last year trying to come up with something that would be enjoyable and challenging.

That's the problem GBA4by4 has, so we occasionally drive to Nevada to do a rally.

Coast Road and Nacimiento-Ferguson Road are wonderful on the Big Sur coast, though Hwy 1 can be trying because of traffic. There are backroads, in Monterey, and SLO, and San Benito counties too. Carrizo Plain has backroads. Suppose you could rally in the grid of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley, but after you've seen one almond orchard...
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Postby drofrockology » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:56 am

bthomas wrote:
Coast Road and Nacimiento-Ferguson Road are wonderful on the Big Sur coast, though Hwy 1 can be trying because of traffic.


my boss keeps telling my horrible the traffic is on rt. 1 but i have not seen that to be the case in the dozen or so trips that i have taken down to big sur in the 15-months since i moved here. the traffic issues seem to dissipate as soon as you get way from the monterey peninsula.

i'm sure, however, that traffic can be slow moving on a holiday weekend. i don't see that as an issue in march.

right you are about naimiento-furgusson and the coast roads. they don't get more stunningly beautiful than that!

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Postby WalruZ » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:16 pm

Could someone please post (here) a 25 word "what the heck these sorts of things are all about, for dummies (like WalruZ)" - ?

Will it be Minivan friendly?
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Postby cc » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:24 pm

:evil:
Last edited by cc on Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mjp303 » Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:03 pm

WalruZ wrote:Could someone please post (here) a 25 word "what the heck these sorts of things are all about, for dummies (like WalruZ)" - ?


Not 25 words, but this will probably help...
http://www.gbesgeo.org/rally/howitworks.php
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Postby Marky » Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:08 pm

I'm down for the street version in my Saturn Sky.

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Postby drofrockology » Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:48 pm

mjp303 wrote:
WalruZ wrote:Could someone please post (here) a 25 word "what the heck these sorts of things are all about, for dummies (like WalruZ)" - ?


Not 25 words, but this will probably help...
http://www.gbesgeo.org/rally/howitworks.php


thanks for the assistance on this but this website would probably be the worst example of what this rally will be.

the original rally the i created and produced in nevada was a "geocaching and navigational rally" that was intended to challenge people to get the full potential out of their gps-receivers while scoring a glut of caches in an atmosphere of camaraderie and competition in a scenic area of nevada.

well, despite having turn-by-turn directions for the first 90 minutes of the 2007 night rally, 80% of the teams only followed the pointer to the nearest cache instead of following the route, which was intended to be a guided tour and was the most expedient method of traveling the course.

following the pointer only served to get a lot of people lost, aggravated and put them way behind schedule.

this new rally is only about finding the caches!

this rally has been planned using the kiss (keep it simple stupid) method:

there will be just a handful of simple, easy to follow rules that will be mostly about how the rally is scored and motor vehicle laws.

the route that betsy and i plotted the other day will require just 5 or 6 well-defined turns. this will probably increase once we secure start and finish line locations, but only by 3 or 4 turns. so, nobody is going to be confused by anything.

the night rally will have a slightly different format that i'm calling a scramble.

now, as i mentioned in my original post, this rally is still in the planning stages. but, here is a nutshell version of what you can expect for this rally:

teams will arrive in monterey at a local hotel on friday afternoon. the hotel will serve as rally headquarters.

we will secure rally discounts for this hotel. you are welcome to stay at this hotel another hotel of your choice, your motor home, tent or trailer or home if you would like.

teams will check in and receive a download of caches and other important waypoints for the 2-hour night rally. when the download is completed your gps, jump drive, memory card, etc., will be sealed and returned to you. you will also be issued a start time for both the night at day rallies.

at this time every person of legal age to drive will have their drivers licenses, vehicle registration and insurance card sealed in an envelope and returned to them to keep in the vehicle. if a team is pulled over for speeding in an effort to get from one cache to the next faster than the other teams, they are going to have to surrender the envelope to the police officer and he or she will have to have that envelope opened. unsealed envelopes will earn that team a disqualification for that particular rally (friday/saturday)

a meeting will be held about 45-minutes prior to the friday rally to go over the ins and outs and answer your questions.

following the meeting all teams will get in line in numerical order and the first team.

x-minutes prior to the first car leaving (between 5-10 minutes, which has not yet been determined) each time will be allowed to open their sealed gps-r, jump drives, etc., to acquire satellites and begin to plot their strategy. every team will be approved to open their memory devises on a one-minute interval.

the first team will leave the starting line at 7pm, followed by the second team at 7:01 and so on until all teams are out on the road.

you are then on your own to find and log as many of the official rally caches as possible before that team is scheduled to reach the starting line.

each cache will have a log and a codeword. you are scored for finding a cache by entering the correct codeword on your cache log.

the first team, which was scheduled to leave at 7, needs to cross the finish line by 9pm, and so on. late arrivals will earn penalties.

the next day we will meet at a fraternal organization for a pancake breakfast and a chance to talk with other teams about last night's experiences and bench-caching. we will also give you a fresh download and have another team meeting.

i have not yet decided on a start time for the saturday rally. but, for the sake of explaining the format, let's just say that time is 9am.

the interval on the day rally will be greater than the night rally (somewhere between 3 and 5 minutes).

the length of time each team will have to find the route caches for the day rally has yet to be determined. but, let's just say 6-hours.

so, if the first team leaves at 9 they will need to reach the finish by 3pm, and so on.

the route caches will be designated point values according to the difficulty in finding that particular cache.

some of the caches will be 1-star difficulty and some will be as difficult as 5-star. most terrain ratings will be under 2.5-star with one or two as much as 3-star.

all caches are loggable gc.com caches.

obviously, the 1-star caches will be worth fewer points that the 5-star caches.

so, the object of the rally is: earn as many points as you can by finding the most caches with the highest point value, without breaking any motor vehicle laws, budgeting your time to reach the finish before you begin accruing penalties and having a fun time in a very scenic area.

those who don't care about the competition and just want to play for the fun and find all of the caches are welcome to do so. those teams will not be scored.

saturday night we will have a dinner, perhaps at the same fraternal organization, where points will be tallied and trophies awarded to the winners.

we still do not have an idea on what insurance is going to cost us for an event like this. but we are targeting our entry fee to be in the neighborhood of $30 per team, which is much cheaper that the $125-$150 we needed to charge for the nevada rally.

teams for this rally will be made up of up to 4 people per team.

there will only be one category. so, if you show up with only 2-people on your team you will still compete against those with 3 or 4 team members.

i hope this explains it well enough.

i'll keep you informed of developments as they occur.

oh: yes, the rally will be mini-van friendly!

one thing that has not changed from my days of producing rallies in nevada: i am always available to answer your questions. just ask.

cache you later,
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Postby Touchstone » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:09 pm

all caches are loggable gc.com caches.


Not to be a wet towel, but has Groundspeak said that this will be the case?

My understanding was that the GBES Rally had Groundspeak approval for that sort of arrangement since it would seem to contradict the following portion of the Guidelines, and therefore take it out of the realm of a mere Volunteer Reviewers responsibilities:

In addition, an event cache should not be set up for the sole purpose of drawing together cachers for an organized hunt of another cache or caches. Such group hunts are best organized using the forums or an email distribution list.


Or am I misunderstanding something?
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Postby drofrockology » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:28 pm

Touchstone wrote:
all caches are loggable gc.com caches.


Not to be a wet towel, but has Groundspeak said that this will be the case?

My understanding was that the GBES Rally had Groundspeak approval for that sort of arrangement since it would seem to contradict the following portion of the Guidelines, and therefore take it out of the realm of a mere Volunteer Reviewers responsibilities:

In addition, an event cache should not be set up for the sole purpose of drawing together cachers for an organized hunt of another cache or caches. Such group hunts are best organized using the forums or an email distribution list.


Or am I misunderstanding something?


hi mike:

i'm glad you asked that.

we have queries out to groundspeak as we speak. but, i don't see any issues. i think i have enough organizational help that we can all maintain the 50-some-odd caches i intend to hide. that has been the only concern of groundspeak for the rallies i produced in nevada.

however, i believe the interpretation of the rule you quote is in regards to a caching caravan.

the rule also is in regards to the event itself, not the caches.

attending the breakfast or dinner is all anyone has to do to log the event as a find. so, you do not have to participate in the rally to log the event.

therefore, the intention of the "event cache" is camaraderie.

a cache approver a few years ago suggested that if groundspeak has an issue with the rally as an event that we just name the event "breakfast and/or dinner in (in this case) monterey" and make it an all day event.

i anticipate no problems.

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Postby Nazgul » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:31 pm

Please keep us posted as things progress. I'd anticipate that this rally would be a ton of fun!
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