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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year Resolution: Going for a 1:10 ration of found-hidden caches





The New Year brings lots of resolutions. I think it is the same with geocachers too. We set milestone goals, new goals for states, provinces or countries where we wish to cache in the coming year and more. For me, my resolution is to work towards a 1:10 ration between my geocache finds and geocache hides. Maybe if I lived in a cache-rich environment I wouldn't pursue this but here in Ecuador, and Latin America in general, there aren't that many caches. I do enjoy finding caches more than hiding them. But since we don't have many here, I've found a lot of joy in placing geocaches for others to look for. Sure, I wish more geocachers living in Ecuador would hide more caches. If they won't then I will. Right now I'm behind in my goal of achieving a 1:10 ratio. I'm committed to working on that. If we all did something like this we'd create a cache-rich environment. Today sumajhuarmi and I went out and contribute a little towards this goal. We drove out of Quito to the east into the Valley de los Chillos. We passed through Cumbaya and Tumbaco, bedroom communities for the capitol city. Up we climb from sunshine into the clouds to hide a cache on the continental divide (also the provincial border between Pichincha and Napo). When we arrived at the GC we were in the clouds with wind and drizzle. We parked at the small chapel along the main highway. Sumajhuarmi headed out to place the cache a short distance away and out of site of muggles. She was in a hurry as the climb of more than 6000 feet from the valley floor had resulted in about a 32 degree drop in temperature. It was cold! Be on the lookout for the High Lonesome cache, GC1KBMT. Cache placed and off we went back down the mountain. Soon we were back in the sunshine and working our way down the winding road towards into the valley. In Ecuador the government paints large blue hearts on the pavement wherever someone has died in a traffic accident. Along the road we passed two curves with over 20 blue hearts. This was a reminder of how dangerous it is to pass on a curve. In Ecuador many drive with a "que sera sera" mentality and therefore put many at danger. Not far from the last group of blue hearts we came upon an accident scene. Someone had driven off the road and over a cliff. The police and a large crowd were there so we didn't stop. It was a straight stretch of road so how they went off the cliff remains a mystery to me. Soon we were in Cumbaya again. We decided to drive around the town a little. This is a nice town with nice suburban communities. All of a sudden we saw a sign to the reservoir. I immediately recalled having looked down from the Metropolitan Park over Quito and seeing this large water reservoir so I was eager to visit it. The Cumbaya Reservoir is open to the public. There is a well-maintained trail around the reservoir. Sumajhuarmi and I grabbed our swag bag and headed out. It was a pleasant, peaceful walk with great views of the valley and the eastern mountain range where we were earlier. What a great place to hide a geocache! Yet, it is private property and I didn't have permission. If it were public property that would be a different story. As we walked a long I saw numerous great locations for a cache. Maybe I can approach the governement water company to seek permission in the future. As we were about through with our circuit we came upon an immediate solution. Bordering the reservoir is a public park. Perfect! We were able to hide the Cumbaya Reservoir Micro (actually in the ajoining public park). Be on the lookout for CG1KBK7. This was a good New Year outting! I'm a little closer to my ration goals too. We had to go celebrate with ice cream!
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