Saturday, November 22, 2008


On my way to and from one of my office locations, there's a newly constructed roundabout that I now pass through. It's so new that occasionally drivers in front of me seem to be confused about what to do so they slow down or even stop before entering. It's all I can do to keep from yelling, "Keep moving!" But I tell myself not to get too excited. After all, it's something new to them. They'll get the hang of it...eventually.

Yesterday I reviewed a geocache that was placed in a roundabout (the first geocache in an Iowa roundabout submitted to that I can recall). Since I had not come across this before, I had to do some research to find out how other reviewers are handling roundabout caches, and to find out if there are any applicable local traffic regulations about walking inside roundabouts. Some reviewers say they use the rule of thumb that if there does not appear to be any pedestrian walkway into the center portion of the roundabout, it would appear that pedestrians are not welcome in the center portion, and therefore neither are geocaches.

Think about it -- how distracting would it be to some drivers if they saw someone poking around in the bushes or rocks inside a roundabout when they're already trying to watch for merging vehicles while trying to find their exit? And it's not just me saying this. The Iowa DOT has a web site that gives advice about roundabouts. (I orignally wrote that previous sentence as "the IDOT gives roundabout advice" but that didn't sound quite right.) The IDOT says this: "Never walk though a roundabout or cross the center island."

Bottom line, unless you seek and obtain special permission for your specific geocache from the local governing municipality, I'm not going to publish geocaches that are placed inside roundabouts .

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Useless hints

As I have previously posted, useless hints are just that -- useless. I was reminded of this tonight when I read a post in the IGO forums complaining about useless hints. Bottom line: When you create a new geocache, if you're not going to give useful information in your encrypted hint, leave that field blank. If not, all you're doing is frustrating your fellow geocachers and diminishing their opinion of your cache.