St. Paddy's Green Gauntlet
We have placed a series of caches along a trail in the very heart of Osceola National Forest. We will meet at the end point where there is plenty of parking available. Once there, teams will be given the necessary information and coordinates and will be taken to the "Starting Point" and abandoned... er, I mean, dropped off.
From the Starting Point, teams will hike back to the parking area. Along the way it will be necessary to find all caches. Also, there will be a list of "Targets" to find to earn "Bonus Points. These will be scavenger hunt type items. Some are existing features and some will be planted just for the event. In addition, there will be a number of "Shamrocks" placed at points along the trail. They will be numbered. Each team will draw a number unique to their team and will need to locate and retrieve the Shamrock bearing that number for additional Bonus points.
Points will be calculated as follows. First of all, it's golf style scoring - the lower the score the better. The number of minutes it takes to complete St. Paddy's Green Gauntlet will be your Base Score. To that will be added Penalty Points for any caches DNFd. From that total, we will subtract the Bonus Points. The lowest score wins.
It is HIGHLY recommended that you form teams of 4 to 6 adults. The trail, while well kept and clearly blazed, has many spots where it is possible to take a wrong fork. If a team has to focus all its attention on staying on the trail it will likely miss a lot of targets. And vice versa. Therefore, there is an advantage to having a larger team allowing delegation of attention. However, due to logistical requirements, all team members must be able to fit in one mini-van. The mini-van in question can seat the driver, plus six adults, semi-comfortably for a short trip. We can probably squeeze in a few kids (literally) on top of them. In any case, the driver will be comfortably seated. Please post the name and composition of teams on the cache page.
Prizes - We are asking all participants to bring a prize to contribute to the prize table. A range of $5 to $10 would be fine. Teams will then select prizes based on their score with the better scores choosing first.
Trophy - The Best Cacher In the Land - Traveling Trophy Will be awarded to the winning team.
What to Bring - Each team will need a GPS and a Digital or Instant Camera. Also, a clip board may be handy as there will be some reading and writing involved. Walking/poking sticks will be a big help. Water is probably a good idea too. There will be one stop along the way where water, fruit and snack bars will be placed, but depending on your needs, you may want to bring more. And bug spray. Lots of bug spray.
Trail Conditions - The Osceola National Forest can be a damp and wet place. With the recent hurricanes it is particularly so right now. The trail is mostly firm and dry. There are some spots that are muddy and there are many places where there are puddles. Most of these can be easily stepped around or over. There is one spot that the trail is under ankle deep water for 50 to 75 feet. However, you can keep your feet dry by bushwhacking around it. Our expectation is that the trail conditions will improve as the event approaches. For the most part, it's an easy trail.
Time/Distance - The total distance will be approximately 3 miles. I walked all but about a quarter mile of it in and hour and ten minutes. Of course, given time for hunting caches and documenting targets, it will take longer than that.
Weather - We are having regular discussions with TPTB (i.e. we are praying) for good weather, but we plan to go rain or shine. I mean, after all, we'll be back at base warm and dry regardless.
Parking/Starting Coords - If I told you that I'd have to kill you. They will be provided at 10AM at the Group Camping Area on the day of the event.
Wearin' O' the Green
A prize will awarded on both a Team and Individual basis for the wardrobe that best exemplifies the St. Patrick’s day tradition of the Wearing of the Green. So don your best greenest get up and don't forget the silly green hats too.
Shamrock, For Real
There will be a special prize for the first REAL Four Leaf Clover found during the event.
This will be a campout event on March 12 and 13, beginning at 11AM on the 12th. The event will include a "trail" rally that will require a distance hike and discussion of our new officers goals for the upcoming year, including a GWIII report.