2006-04-24

Geocaching - My Clean-up Event

I ran my second geocaching event yesterday. The last one was just a general get-together. This one was a special clean-up event.
The main geocache site, geocaching.com, promotes both regular clean-up whenever caching and a special day once a year for a major international clean-up on Earth day. They call the clean-up a CITO, for Cache-In, Trash-Out.
During my first event, a number of people in the area indicated they would prefer a clean-up event that did not occur on the Earth-day on Saturday. Many people can't make Saturday events. Also by having it on a different day, it would allow Geocachers to do the Earth-day/Saturday event up in Denver on Saturday and then do another one on Sunday.

It took me a few tries - but I got in touch with the parks department. They asked where I would like to clean up. I figured with all the different places that I knew people would be coming from, that somewhere around downtown Colorado Springs heading West towards Manatou Springs would be pretty centralized. They had just the spot - a new trail called Midland Trail, which literally starts at the edge of downtown and heads 2 miles West paralleling the highway that leads to Manatou Springs.
It seems the parks department doesn't like geocaching very much. There is an uneasy truce with the parks department now - for most parks, they pretend that there aren't geocaches placed against the rules. I hope this puts us on better standing with them.

One end of the trail starts at a new park and playground, near downtown. When I checked out the trail it wasn't that dirty, but it seemed like there was some to clean up. It seemed to make sense to start at the other end of the trail and work towards the playground - that way the kids would have something to look forward to. It turned out well, as there was a pavilion that we were able to get out of the sun while we visited and had an prize ceremony.

I planned the event to start at noon - I chose a restaurant - I was in the mood for a burrito, so I chose a Chipotle restaurant downtown a few blocks from the park.
Then I had people meet at 1:30 at the park, to carpool over to the other end of the trail starting about 1:45 - with the clean up starting at 2:00.
I posted that the clean up would end at 3:30 and that would be the prize time. Afterwards people could get a ride back to the vehicles left at the other end.

As usual, I didn't give myself quite enough prep time - and overslept the morning of the event. But my wife helped cover some of the coordination, so I was able to set up the contest at the last minute - by riding my bike up the trail and meeting everyone at the western end right at 2:00.
As I looked up the street, I saw a group that looked at least twice as big as I expected heading for the trail. This was so cool!

I stayed behind to help get the western trailhead clean at first. Then I headed up the trail, with a cooler of water bottles, hand cleaner and extra trash bags - on a luggage cart. I caught up with a rear group of 4. They were spending a lot of time really getting the trail clean. They were surprised at how much the main group had left. I guess my contest backfired a little, as a large part of the group was just going for points. Oh, well - it added to the fun. And it made me appreciate those who worked harder. I had a few points that I hadn't used up, so I was able to place it so the rear guard got some too :)

My middle boy came back to get me and get some water about halfway. I was surprised, as I thought he was with my eldest. But I was glad to have his company. We did some more cleaning and some more points, then we moved on to get to the end of the trail. There was one spot that I wished I could have spent a little more time cleaning small trash - but I was getting hot and wanted to make it back to the park in time. I got to the pavilion in the park 1 minute early - I'd said 3:30, and I was there at 3:29. I was amazed at how well the timing worked out. I'd just given rough guesses for timing - but it all worked fantastically!

I would say that the second event I have run was as big a success if not more. Reading the log entries that people wrote, I was proud and satisfied with how it went.

My geocaching blog entry about the log entries that others made
My geocaching blog entry about the event, and my log entry, with pictures

3 comments:

Garby Doll said...

You may already know about this, but if not, it's kinda cool

Garby Doll said...

ummm. this link was supposed to be in there...

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=9616642&blogID=64979836&MyToken=c443b5ad-b3fc-40d9-8a5c-9c4fd9a2ed9b

Garby Doll said...

BTW, congrats on running such a successful, and politically sensitive event!!! Yay bruthaman!!!