View Full Version : Stargate Cache for Arkansas

07-14-2004, 06:45 AM
I heard about a new type of cache from the Ark-Mo Geocachers forum. It's called a Star-Gate. Basically a TB placed in a Stargate cache with a note stating that it wants to go to Stargate ####, will be picked up by someone and taken to the straight to the Stargate listed. This could speed bugs going cross country. I asked about the feasability of getting one here in Central Arkansas (LR/NLR area). We have 2 major E/W Interstates that meet here, and I thought it would be a suitable area for one.

Anyway, Here's the response I got back from the Star-Gate Project coordinator.


Sorry for the slow response. I was trying to map out the Stargates
near you and have apparently found a MapQuest scaling error. I'm trying to overcome that to see how far you are from neighboring Stargates. I'm not totally stuck on a 500 mile limit, but MapQuest returned less than 300 miles to both the Texas and KS Stargate. But AAA places the drives at near 500 miles, which is closer to my experience. Roads aren't crow flight, but that seems too goofy a difference without any apparent huge detours. I also have some very small national maps (i.e. measurements are very accurate), that still clearly place you over 400 miles from the middle of KS. Please bear with me as I resolve these problems.

Devin (drossdross)

07-14-2004, 06:48 AM
Here's a waypoint for one of the Stargates already being used.


07-14-2004, 09:08 AM
I can see both advantages and disadvantages of this kind of cache. If the owner's only goal for the TB is to rack up lots of miles in a hurry then this would be a way to do it.

Personally, that would not be my goal for a TB. I currently have two geocoins in a so-called "race" one to the east coast and one to the west. What I want to see is lots of stops along the way and lots of logs from the cachers who found them with lots of local color in their logs. Taking two or three gigantic hops and winning the "race" is exactly what I don't want to see.

Which brings up another question: When is a race really a race? I would say that we need to be discerning when reading a TB's goals. People sometimes use colorful language which doesn't exactly spell out the goals. If someone specificly said "as quickly as possible" then maybe a cache of this type would be good.

Of course, if we grab and place TBs with a total disregard of it's goals, then this question is moot.


07-14-2004, 10:20 AM
Cool idea! I'm having a little trouble understanding this concept, however. How does this work? Is a StarGate just a name or designation for an existing cache, OR are the coords set first (such as a certain sequence of numbers), then the cache placed at those coords by a nearby cacher?

07-17-2004, 10:58 PM
Here's the latest I have on establishing a Stargate cache in the LR area. To sum it up, LR, is just a tad too close to KC, and Austin where Stargates already exist. Looks like the next one will be in Chatanooga, TN. IF by chance they decide not to set one up there, then LR will be considered next.

Here's the explanation I received from the Stargate coordinator.

First, let me thank everyone for your interest and apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

When I first planned the Stargate TB Cache network I was thinking of big jumps that would in no way mimic what, could be done by local weekend cachers. I decided that few geocachers were going to complain that we ruined their typical 1000-mile weekend round trip to redistribute TBs. Since then, the Stargate caches have been the topic of a number of discussions. This "big jump" design has been the biggest asset in avoiding serious controversies in the geocaching community. I was not, and am not, stuck on an exact 500 mile limit, but I do need to maintain the original objective so that no action is taken against the Stargate cache network by the approvers. And, at an ethical level, I want to be fair.

I was using a paper map to mark off the Stargate Caches and the area those caches precluded from other Stargate Cache sites. Over a 48-hour period I received interest from geocachers who wanted to set up Stargate Caches in SW Missouri; Chattanooga, TN; and Little Rock/North Little Rock area of Arkansas. I used to live in Kansas and did a good deal of SCUBA in Missouri and Arkansas. When I went to the map I was using, some of the distances I was fairly sure of didn't match my map. I tried MapQuest and got new values that still didn't match what I recalled traveling. Different zooms of MapQuest yielded different distances, which was really disturbing. More maps simply yielded more values. A calculation based on lat and long degree deltas yielded yet different values. This was becoming a mess! For example, the distance from the Kansas Stargate Cache to the center of Little Rock, Arkansas shows as about 280 miles on the national view in MapQuest, about 388 miles on MSN Maps, about 410 miles on Microsoft Maps, and about 430 to 438 miles on AAA paper maps.

I finally settled on the AAA national paper map, which comes close to matching some known distances (like the width and height of states), and comes close to matching maps from "reliable", but more awkward and expensive, sources.

This decided, I looked at the existing Stargate caches and discovered the Pennsylvania Stargate cache is just over 450 miles from the Massachusetts Stargate cache. So relaxing the distance limit to 450 is an unintentional, but established precedent. SW Missouri is solidly less than 450 miles from the Kansas Stargate. By my measure, Little Rock Arkansas is 432 miles from the KS Stargate and 439 miles from the Texas Stargate (i.e., just shy of clearing). I show Chattanooga Tennessee as being over 450 miles from any Stargate geocaches (the Pennsylvania cache being the closest).

So, at this time, I'm going to have to turn down two offers. If the geocacher from Chattanooga Tennessee wants to carry though with a Stargate cache, then it's theirs to set up. If they don't want to anymore, then I'll drop the distance limit a tad to let the Little Rock Arkansas cacher set up a Stargate cache there. At this time, the proposed SW Missouri Stargate cache is just to close to an established Stargate cache.

I'm very carefully investigating the reaction to reducing the Stargate separation limits even more (I advance that few people cache further than 250 miles from their home on a regular basis.). This is a bit like tapping a wasp nest when dealing with geocachers (who seem to be unusually high strung people if they oppose an idea). If changes are possible in the future, I'll give the first opportunities in the opened up areas to those who first expressed their interest to me.

Hopefully this all makes sense and nobody is too mad (disappointed is OK - that would match my feelings of turning down two interested cachers).

Thanks, Devin (drossdross)

07-24-2004, 11:31 PM
Have you heard anything more on this one phantom?