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)