Australian Power Trails

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caughtatwork
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Australian Power Trails

Post by caughtatwork » 14 November 11 5:08 pm

http://wiki.geocaching.com.au/wiki/Power_trail

Australia seems to be getting its own power trails. One in SA, Vic and NSW (that the wiki knows about anyway).

I've done part of the Woodlands power trail in Victoria. I walked to 31 caches in the trail over the time 11:35 to 14:20. Of course walking back to the car was another 40 minutes. In the pleasant spring weather on that day it was nice to go for a walk through the park. I'm not sure that getting through the whole 100 by foot is doable without a lot of pain at the end of the day, so I stopped where I thought I had had enough fun for the day. Bike would be better, but wherever there is down, there is also up. :mrgreen:

This series is only 15km from home, so another couple of visits for me is nothing in terms of travel time. I might take the bike next time just for funsies. I'm not sure at the height of summer this would be fun, nor at the depths of winter (the wind blows across the open plains and can be damn freezing).

I enjoyed the 31 that I found. All the same, all hidden in similar manner, but rather than the numbers (which of course I enjoy), I also had fun. Probably more fun than the same number of caches spread around local parks. I got to see a number of roos and other walkers / riders and ran into 4 cachers and there were two others in the park the same day, but didn't see them.

What do we think of the power trails so far?

Are they just a numbers game (if you've stopped having fun finding them)?
Would you visit the area more than once to get the whole series?
Do you feel obliged to get them all in one day?
Are they pointless?

I'm interested in a discussion on them and to learn whether others find them OK, not OK, boring, fun, etc.

So let's have a chat.

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Team Wibble
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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by Team Wibble » 14 November 11 5:22 pm

I'll bite (I probably shouldn't).

For starter's, there's more than one "powertrail" in SA.

I know that several cachers assert that just because caches are part of a powertrail then they are automatically crap caches. I think this is patently false.

I think each one should be judged on its merits. I've done one trail by bike where all the hides were nothing special, and very similar hides (ie, not great caches on their own). However I had a ball. It was a fun exercise and encouraged me to ride along a route I would not have challenged myself to do otherwise.

The Wandering Heroes powertrail is made up of individual caches that I think would stand up on their own merits if they weren't part of the trail. I've tried to achieve the same with my Riesling Trail caches - with each hide I have considered "would this cache be worthy on it's own?". I don't know if I've achieved that - I've had people tell me these caches are automatically crap and "geolitter", but then again, no one who has actually found the caches has told me that.

The new one in VIC looks like a lot of fun. I think if a trail is along an interesting route, or made up of quality caches, it's a good thing. I'm not sure I'd enjoy a series of similar hides along a straight highway that has nothing going for it otherwise.

It goes without saying that any trail, to be enjoyable, also has to be well maintained.

Just my 2c.

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caughtatwork
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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by caughtatwork » 14 November 11 6:02 pm

The wiki probably needs updating :lol:
I've added the Riesling Trail.

Oh, this is not intended to be a slanging thread where people call the caches shit. I'm interested in the experience and the fun, not an open place to slag other peoples work.

I wouldn't say that Woodlands is crap either. They're all the same hidden in similar fashion, but I've done heaps worse individual caches. It's a bit expensive to go 100 ammo cans.

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by gmj3191 » 14 November 11 6:19 pm

What exactly defines a Power Trail?
Is the Lady Talbot Trail series a Power Trail?
There are 20 of those, and all would stand alone as reasonable to excellent caches, including an ammo can, but mostly small sistemas with a few micro containers.
There are a couple of other Rail Ride, Rail Trail series around Melbourne too, that are of good quality, especially the recent Rail Ride series along the Glen Waverley line, which has a number of original and brilliant hides.

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by Yurt » 14 November 11 6:31 pm

They are growing fast! I thought the PM series was also considered a power trail before but I guess they are further apart than a 'true' power trail.

A while back I might have slagged off the concept but I can see how it could be a lot of fun. More than about 30 might get a bit tedious unless they were particularly different.

I've been contemplating putting one out (for a minute or so) but I can't see what I'd be adding to the geocaching experience. Also I don't eat that many mints and I use a digital camera! :mrgreen:

What do placers get out of placing such a trail I wonder? I saw this question asked on the GS forum too.

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by Cheesy pigs » 14 November 11 6:49 pm

There's a 20 strong powertrail on the gold coast I managed to get half of over 2 days, and would quite happily have completed if other commitments didn't exist. I am also now looking at a similar concept for Hobart.

I think it would bring people to an area more than once to complete them, I'd only ask that similar concepts exist as for other caches, rather than just a powertrail try to make each cache interesting in some way

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Marcus Vitruvius
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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by Marcus Vitruvius » 14 November 11 7:25 pm

Having done the Albany 100 in WA (now archived), ACT, SA, and a few other minor ones across Australia, I can safely say I enjoyed the Wandering Heroes series in SA far more than any other, simply because it seemed to have a better purpose and more thought put into (no offense to the others). It's basically pays tribute to various cachers, and a lot of caches in the series have a fairly unique container relating to that cacher or caching team. I was actually looking forward to getting to each subsequent cache to find out what exciting container I might find next.

I think that if a bigger power trail were to be put together, it needs to be more than just a simple drive by pick up for micros. While something like that might help your numbers...it's still pretty boring. There needs to be an edge about it...an attraction. The ET power trail in the states, while fairly straight forward, is a challenge in itself due to the sheer size of it. I think that Australia has the chance to put together a unique power trail that offers both numbers to those who want it, and a new experience of excitement and fun with a theme at the same time...At least that's how I would go about it.

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by Bronnie_1990 » 14 November 11 8:04 pm

This is my favorite power trail of ALL time! (JUST KIDDING!)


As a powertrail owner (of a mere 6 caches along a hill..), i made it because:
1. I can now do a maintanance run of 7 caches up that hill...instead of running up there for just one, i have a reason! Check on them all!
2. Mine isnt a driveby or anything, it's on a fire-trail up a hill, leading to a trigpoint. (technically you could grab 10 caches going up the fire trail!)
3. I'd like to share that area with others.
4. That area was looking a little bare of caches.... :-"


On the other hand, i'm sure the owners of driveby eclipse-tins on the side of the road owners have their reasons as well..

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by rbirtles » 14 November 11 8:09 pm

I recently did the one on the Gold Coast and although it being a power trail I did it by foot from the start to the 2nd last one (did the last one two days later) - running out of time. Long walk back to the car though as not all caches are exactly 160m apart.

I enjoyed the walk in the morning with the fresh air and believe that this trail was long enough to keep my interests up.

The last of the trail ends in a lovely scenic area overlooking the beaches and from where you have come and I believe is well worth it for a power trail effort.

Cheers!
Rob.

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by Philipp » 14 November 11 8:12 pm

caughtatwork wrote:I'm interested in a discussion on them and to learn whether others find them OK, not OK, boring, fun, etc.
I think the main purpose of a power-trail is to find a lot of caches in a short period of time and I disagree with the wiki that they are "a way to highlight an area" >> They are for the numbers*.

And this is why so many people like them: The count finder is the most obvious statistic on the GC.com website. You see it in every log, it's the first thing you see on the profile page and it's the only thing the groundspeak-banner spits out. It's the number how a lot of cachers define themselves and others> more kudos / experience / karma / whatever. Most of you (if not all) reading these lines probably disagree with that way looking at things.
The good thing ab
out power-trails is that you know what you get: You're barely the first so you can rely on other's people opinion and if you are the first you get a lot of FTFs. It's not the random crappy micro-cache in your PQ while out on the tour where you ask yourself "Why the hell did that cache get placed?" From what I heard so far, Robmc's Woodland series is pretty good - even if you are not after the numbers.

Power-trails are an alternative for random grazing in the subs.

* yes they do attract more cachers than single caches and highlight areas this way

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by caughtatwork » 14 November 11 8:22 pm

gmj3191 wrote:What exactly defines a Power Trail?
Is the Lady Talbot Trail series a Power Trail?
There are 20 of those, and all would stand alone as reasonable to excellent caches, including an ammo can, but mostly small sistemas with a few micro containers.
There are a couple of other Rail Ride, Rail Trail series around Melbourne too, that are of good quality, especially the recent Rail Ride series along the Glen Waverley line, which has a number of original and brilliant hides.
I don't know whether there is a definition. I think any long(ish) series, say 10 or more of the same series / trail could be construed as a power trail.

Rail Ride Trail is now in the wiki too.

If you want a series in the wiki, add an appropriate public tag (try and make it unique for the trail) to each of the caches.
Make a public query.
Check the "Show 3rd Party Caches".
Add the unique tag (say like rail ride trail) to the tags box.
Add it to the wiki.

Or if you give me the GC / GA numbers, I'll bulk tag them.

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by caughtatwork » 14 November 11 8:32 pm

Philipp wrote:I think the main purpose of a power-trail is to find a lot of caches in a short period of time and I disagree with the wiki that they are "a way to highlight an area" >> They are for the numbers*.
You could update the wiki. I would try and keep controversy out of the wiki page, though. We don't want to start an edit war #-o

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by The Tardis Trio » 14 November 11 8:52 pm

On the wiki page, why is it that the "view as map" and "view as list" links do exactly the same thing? :?:

Also there is the Northern Expressway powertrail in SA. All SA caches with have a name that starts with "NXY " if you're looking to bulk tag them.

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by caughtatwork » 14 November 11 8:54 pm

Cut and paste booboo.

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Re: Australian Power Trails

Post by PrincessDiala » 14 November 11 8:59 pm

Having recently completed the Woodlands 'power trail', yes, it is about the numbers, but damn, I had to put in A LOT of work in for those numbers, not like the ET power trail when you drive to each cache. I think there is a different type of fun when you actually have to put some type of physical effort (walking/cycling) into completing them. Not just having enough coffee to stay awake whilst your being chauffeured around.
I wouldn't had had as much fun if I did it on my lonesome, so enjoyed lochb's company of this adventure. I guess we also pushed each other to keep going to complete it, and the other couple we found in the reserve. On my own I doubt I would have done more than 30, if that.
I enjoyed bumping into the other cachers on the trail too. Generally, unless there is another event in the area, or a FTF up for grabs you wouldn't come across another team.
We chose to find them all in the same day just for the challenge of it.
Pointless? Well I think there are various reasons that you cache. If you do it for the social aspects or to get in touch with mother nature, I don't think its pointless. Even claiming 100 smiley's in a day for your most-caches-found-in-a-day-challenge has a point.

With all caches you have a choice to go and find it, or just ignore it and find something else. No one is forcing you to claim a find on any cache!

PS:
Philipp wrote: From what I heard so far, Robmc's Woodland series is pretty good - even if you are not after the numbers.
Lets make sure we acknowledge ALL the members from Team Woodland for their efforts in this series, it took a team of people to make this come to life. =D> =D>

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