On Saturday, at 9:00AM, we will have a semi-competitive, somewhat organized, get lost in the woods, geo-fun kinda caching activity (Please see the details about The Gauntlet below.). After the caching activity, we will be serving cooked animal and ice cold drinks. Please feel free to bring a dish of some sort (baked goods are always welcome!)
The posted coords are for Farles Prarie, which is a fee area. There is a charge of $3.00 per vehicle.
We have placed a series of caches along a beautiful trail in the heart of the Ocala National Forest. The posted coords are the "End Point" where there is parking available. Teams should gather there and will be given the necessary information and coordinates. Teams will then be taken to the "Starting Point" and abandoned... er, I mean, dropped off.
From the Starting Point, teams will hike back to the end point. Along the way it will be necessary to find all the placed caches (which will be activated after the event). 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 special items 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 special items 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 The 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 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 two Jeeps, which can each seat a driver, plus 3 adults, semi-comfortably for a short trip. We can probably squeeze in a few kids (literally) on top of them. In any case, the drivers will be comfortably seated. Transportation to the starting point from the end point will be provided. You only need to worry about getting to the posted coords, which is easily accessable in any 2wd vehicle. It is on a well graded gravel Numbered Forest Road.
Please post the name and composition of teams on the cache page.
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 trail is mostly firm and dry. There will be little if any bushwhacking involved. For the most part, it's an easy well marked trail.
Time/Distance - The total distance will be approximately 5 miles but that is still being finalized.
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. Besides, weather should be viewed as part of the adventure.
Starting Coords - If I told you that I'd have to kill you. They will be provided at 9AM at the posted coords on the day of the event.
Prizes - We are assembling a selection of prizes. There will likely be geocoins involved.
Trophy - The Best Cacher In the Land - Traveling Trophy Will be awarded to the winning team. We hope the team that won the trophy last year - Sea Trax aka FootSea - will return to defend the trophy.
A prize will awarded on a Team basis for the best Geo-shirt. To qualify for the best team shirt award, all members of your team must have the same shirt (or shirts of a similar theme).
The campground at Farles Prarie is reopening and will be available for camping on Saturday, November 4th. It is first come first serve so get there early.
I am not sure how many were wanting to camp on Friday night (I know I am planning to). According to the Forest Service, for some stupid reason, the camground does not reopen until Saturday, so camping will not be allowed on Friday night. The person I talked to seemed somewhat tentative about that. If you are wanting to camp on Friday, you may want to try to get a more definate answer by calling the Forest Service directly. While I had hoped we could get the group camping area at Buck Lake, the Forest Service is behind schedule getting that going. I am going to try to get further verification of availability for Friday night and will advise if I find out anything more. If it is vital for any attendees to camp Friday night, please contact me an I will do everything I can to help find accomodations in the area.
This cache was placed by a member of the
Northeast Florida Geocachers Association