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Spruce Woods Cache and Release
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Dragonfreys



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Manitoba-Westman

PostPosted: Aug 31, 2006 4:01 am    Post subject: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Just curious how much interest there might be in a cache and release style event in Spruce Woods. It is practically cache free save for two caches added this year, and it is a fair sized provincial park reasonable driving distance from just about everywhere in southern Manitoba. A cache and release assumes various cachers plant caches a week or two prior and have the reviewers hold them until about 24 hours before the event. Then people go out and find them in that area, and rate the caches in different categories. Sort of a mini focused version of the Blitz. They could be released on a Friday night or Sat morning and the event would be on the Sunday, just an informal get together or perhaps even taking over a group camp. The idea would be to keep it simple and fun. See the Edmonton area Cache and Release Series as an example.



We were thinking early October timeframe, but open to suggestions. Should we wait until the provincial park guidelines are out?



Thoughts?



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candaceandwill



Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Aug 31, 2006 11:42 am    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

As the owner of one of the two caches, I would love to see more people out there.  We love camping at Spruce Woods!  Ideally, this would require folks to drive out twice, right?  I'll have to take a loan for gas, but it would be worth it!

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Dragonfreys



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Manitoba-Westman

PostPosted: Aug 31, 2006 5:40 pm    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Ideally yes, a visit a week or two ahead to hide caches, although it won't take many cache teams to saturate the park if it is some what coordinated. We will have to be careful that everyone is not trying to hide caches in all the same places or it will become more work for hiders and reviewers. Perhaps we can whip up a temporary map of the park and highlight areas hiders have placed or are planning to place caches. The locations would be general enough on the map to avoid people jumping the gun but show enough for other hiders to know what real estate is still open for hides.

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Ztirnats



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 199
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Aug 31, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

You mean like this?



 



http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/spruce_woods/
spruce_woods_map.pdf



 



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slippery_1



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 228
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Aug 31, 2006 7:51 pm    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Will be in Brandon for sure on the 24 Oct. So the weekend before is good for me to attend. Oct 21& 22 perhaps?

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bevro



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 90
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Aug 31, 2006 8:28 pm    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Sounds like a great idea but you may want to hold off until we hear what the provincial parks want to do.  The Ontairo parks people kicked everyone's caches out earlier this year causing lots of disruption.  Why not direct this kind event down to the Brandon hills area?  I'm sure there's room for more down there.

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slippery_1



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 228
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Sep 01, 2006 2:05 am    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

With all the Hunting in the Bdn Hills at that time of the year, are you sure you would want to be in caching amoungst the bush and gullies surrounding those hills. Use caution around these hills as it is a very popular hunting spot.

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Dragonfreys



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Manitoba-Westman

PostPosted: Sep 01, 2006 2:50 am    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Actually the hunting will be a concern with Spruce Woods as well unless you stay in the recreation zones only.



There are several reasons why we think the Brandon Hills aren't as attractive for this activity:





  • There is no facility to have the event at.


  • We have yet to find a decent map of all the trails in the place.


  • It is many times busier than Spruce Woods.


  • There are already nine caches in the area.


  • It is only a quarter the size of Spruce Woods.


  • There is only one good access point to the hills.


  • The two best spots in the hills for a cache are already taken (the Hump and Green Cookie Tin).


In contrast Spruce Woods has:





  • Nice campground and a group campground.


  • Maintained trails and excellent maps as Ztirnats has illustrated.


  • Many unique features and scenic spots, and a river that runs through it.


  • Is closer to Winnipeg, Morden, & Morris (geocacher hotspots)


We'll have to check with a few inside friends in provincial parks in this area to see what their take on the future of caching in the area is. Its wise to know that our cache placing will not be wasted.



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TurdleEggs



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 687
Location: Ste Genevieve

PostPosted: Sep 01, 2006 2:02 pm    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

TurdleEggs are in for early October. Sounds fun.



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Dragonfreys



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Manitoba-Westman

PostPosted: Sep 03, 2006 7:22 pm    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Here's some more thoughts on the whole provincial parks thing. What if we invite the parks people (especially those from parks where there's lots of caches) and have them participate to see what it is all about and meet the community of people that are currently active. They can see that we are aware of the issues and prepared to ensure that geocaching has a peaceful coexistance with the provincial parks mandate.



Perhaps we may even be able to get some people within the system excited about the activity to the point that they work to promote it internally, as some national parks have. What does the MBGA executive think? Perhaps you are already engaging provincial parks in discussions about their policy?





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slippery_1



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 228
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Sep 03, 2006 10:13 pm    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

I know Dani has been to one meeting and I am sure she has more info available regarding the provincial parks rules.



We should see if she would post any updates so we can see about working them to our advantage and so we do not violate any their rules.



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ertyu



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 552
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 03, 2006 10:52 pm    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Here are the minutes from the meeting with provincial parks:

http://www.mbgeocaching.ca/node/72

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Dragonfreys



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Manitoba-Westman

PostPosted: Sep 04, 2006 3:41 am    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Checking out Spruce Woods in more detail with the park land use classification from 2004 and note that it is made up of 4 classes: backcounty, recreational development, heritage and access (along highway 5). There currently is no protection on the land zoned recreational development. Backcountry as you can see is heavily laced with access corridors, and having been on a few of them I can say that they are mostly 4x4 and quad trails (at least north of the river). At any rate there is a lot of real estate that appears geocaching compatible.



Spruce Woods Context and Land Use Map



All the software and data used to make the above map is available free of charge on the internet. ArcExplorer is a downloadable from here. The data was downloaded from the Manitoba Land Initiative, which includes 2 m resolution orthophotos for most of Manitoba. Not quite as good as Google in the urban areas but better than the coarse resoluton imagery for much of the rural areas.



Maybe we can dump it into a kml that can be loaded in Google Earth.



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Dragonfreys



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 364
Location: Manitoba-Westman

PostPosted: Sep 04, 2006 3:54 am    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

This map shows where Spruce Woods relative to everything else in Southern Manitoba. Note that it is less than two hours from just about anywhere in the southern part of the province.





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dani_carriere



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 502
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Sep 04, 2006 7:17 am    Post subject: RE: Spruce Woods Cache and Release Reply with quote

Before committing to a specific time, can you find out if there are bathroom facilities open at that time of year?  I know that here in the city, they closed them down in early October.  Also, I think it may be wise to avoid cache hiding/finding during hunting season.   Unless everyone wears orange vests :D



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