The waymarking game was established in September, 2006. This cache that’s dedicated to it will provide you with an opportunity to get up close and personal with nature, as I did when I first checked this place out.
It’s secured via a lock so you’ll need to locate the key inside a waterproof match container at the base of a metal sign post just west of the cache. You’ll find that this baby is a bit of a trick to get open; surprise, surprise. The cache is, in keeping with the Space Station theme, like a space ship -- and guess what, it has a room for a (real) captain at its base!! You’ll have the opportunity to try to see and feed him too! Make sure to read the red lettering below!
Now about the waymarking game. As stated above, it’s called International Space Station Sightings. It’s designed to promote an interest in space and science. One requirement for getting a waymark is to be one of two or more people that see the ISS fly over one after (or before) the other. Each participant must be a minute or more ISS travel time apart. One minute, that’s not much you say? Well consider this! In that amount of time they move across about 300 miles of ground. Three hundred miles is indicated by the radius of the red circle in this image. The drawing of the contiguous United States shows two different paths that the ISS moves along if it passes directly over the cache. I made that drawing to go along with my new ISS Sightings Waymarking Game TB. For the game, my challenge is to locate players along the diagonal lines. The likelihood of finding a player that could see the same pass as I could is greatest along the red parts of the lines.
To find a player I first go to Heavens-Above.com and find a 45° (or higher pass) over my area. Then I find someone else at least 300 miles away in the general directions the ISS will be traveling. I use the ground track available at Heavens-Above and geocaching.com to locate caches (and or waymarks) that have owners living fairly close by. I ask them to participate. If they are interested, we make plans and I for one pray for good weather!
So how did I find the location for this cache? I think it was serendipity. On one good pass back on Monday, Dec 18th, 2006, I raced out to a relative’s place and got a picture of the ISS with the Shuttle Discovery attached. The two together were very bright indeed! As they passed through the asterism called the “Great Square of Pegasus,” I took the time exposure you see here. Notice that I marked the asterism with a faint green line. Click on the picture to get to the larger image.
Just in 1/19/07. Take a look at this new NASA Reference Guide to the International Space Station!
I wanted to photograph the event at a location where I could leave a cache. As I was looking for a spot on the edge of my relative’s land I found an uncannily fortunate place. I stood on my tiptoes and peered into the cavity with flashlight in hand and whoa, no more than 6 inches from my nose was a cute little bug-eyed deer mouse looking up at me! We were both surprised. Here’s a picture of the cute little bugger just as I saw him right before I left.
Not wanting to ruin his quant little home with a PVC pipe set atop it, I decided to make him a new home, a drier one at least. I made the cache like a spaceship and gave the deer mouse a captain’s quarters.
You can even try to see him at home. To do this, when you first arrive notice the foothold. Stand on it a sneak a peak into the cache hole. Immediately press down on the aluminum square until it stops. That’ll be about an inch of travel. That will close a little opening to his home. When you lift the cache from its place, look through the window and see if he’s there! When you return the cache and lock it back in place, make sure to fully lift the aluminum tab. If possible don’t invert the cache. The bar that locks the lid in place has a hooked end that can be used to fish goodies from the cache. The log is in a match container with a magnetic lid.
Before you go, find the bottle of food nearby and feed him his allotment. The instructions for where to place the food is attached to the key needed to unlock the cache.
Consider playing the game! One last note: a few days after I took a picture of the ISS with the Shuttle leading it, both as they entered the Earth’s shadow. On 12/23/06 it was featured on SpaceWeather.com! It’s the top image here.
Listed below are the latest Visitation Rules for the ISS Sightings Game. Simply read the steps beginning with both number ones and go to whatever step it tells you to go to next.
1 You observed a *community pass (distance is irrelevant in this case) Go to 2.
1 You observed a pass that **has no waymark established. Go to 6.
2 You already own an ISS waymark. Go to 5
2 You do not own an ISS waymark. Go to 3
3 The ISS passed over your location at or above the minimum altitude requirement. Go to 4
3 The ISS passed over your location under the minimum altitude requirement. Go to 6
4 Feel free to make a visit to the nearest waymark established for the community pass you also observed. [[[There is no real need to contact the owner of the waymark.]]] You must list (1) the date, (2) the time of your local maximum altitude, (3) your maximum local altitude and (4) upload a Heavens-Above image of the ground track past you position. NOTE! If you have a GPSr and a digital camera, please post a photograph of your GPSr next to the printed ground track image. Take the picture at the location from where the observation was made.
5 No matter what the altitude of your pass you may visit the nearest waymark made for a community pass that you also observed one or more orbits after you made your waymark. See 4 above for more details.
6 Sorry but you cannot claim a visit.
*Community pass: a pass that was observed by ***two or more players that were at least 293 miles (472 km) apart. This pass must be in accordance to the altitude requirements set forth in the game rules.
**Watch for this! You may claim a visit to a waymark made for a pass that you saw but only sometime later learned was made into a waymark.
***In the rules there is a provision that will allow a single player to make a waymark if the other/s were clouded out.