Yesterday I got a call from my friend Cacher_Roy. He'd just returned from a week-long caching trip and wanted to tell me about it:
"Hey, Nylimb, you like strange numeric patterns, right?"
"Of course, who doesn't?"
"Well, I was just looking at the stats from my trip, and I noticed one. I wrote down how many caches I found on each day, and saw that on my second day I found exactly twice as many caches as on one of the other days. On my third day I found exactly 3 times as many as on another day. And so on, all the way to day 7, when I found 7 times as many as on another day. Isn't that weird?"
"Yeah, very weird. Of course, if you found zero caches each day, you'd have that result. I hope that's not what happened!"
"No, I found more than a hundred caches during my trip."
"Great! Any first to finds?"
"Yeah, on my second day. Someone hid five caches along a hiking trail and I was first to find three of them. Hey, remember Alice and Bob? I ran into them on the trail; they'd started from the other end and were first to find the other two."
"It must have been nice to see them, but disappointing at the same time... I know you were hoping to beat your record of 25 caches found in one day. Did you do that?"
"I did it twice, on consecutive days. The second time I beat my previous day's count by exactly one cache."
"Sounds like it was a good trip. You know, your stats might make a nice puzzle; is it OK if I use it?"
"Hmm, I might even be able to solve it. Sure, go ahead."
So I did:
Figure out how many caches Cacher_Roy found on each day of his trip. Define:
N1 = the number he found on day 1, ..., N7 = the number he found on day 7
R = the first digit of N4+N6
S = the last digit of N1+N5
T = the first digit of N4+N5
X = the last digit of N2+N7
Y = the last digit of N1+N6
Z = the first digit of N3+N5
The coordinates are: N 40 51.RST W 124 03.XYZ
I recently discovered the Sunny Brae section of the Arcata Community Forest, and decided to hide a couple of caches there before someone else claims all the good spots. The listed coordinates are for the trailhead: Walk up the stairs and follow the trail past the water tank.
It's hard to get good GPS readings in the forest, so I recommend that you check your coordinates with Certitude:
If your coords are correct, Certitude will give you a fairly complete description of how to find the cache. You can also see who else has solved the puzzle. Note: You can remain anonymous if you want to; incorrect guesses are always anonymous. (Puzzle makers, you can create your own Certitude links here.)
A flashlight is recommended, even during daylight hours. The cache is a small SnapWare container. There's a dollar for the FTF.
Congratulations to the first certified solver, gallaghd, and the first finder, hidegoseek.
On 3/19/2015, this puzzle was