Monday, January 09, 2006

Texas County Challenge

After recently hearing about the various DeLorme Challenges mentioned on a recent PodCacher podcast, I decided to look into doing something similar for Texas. When I first brought this idea to PrimeApprover, he recommended doing a County Challenge instead of a DeLorme Challenge because of the commercial implications of the DeLorme Challenges. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce the first DeLorme spin-off cache - the Texas County Challenge!

What is the Texas County Challenge?
Texas is a massive state with over 268,000 square miles spread out across 254 counties. The goal of this cache is to find or hide a cache in each and every county in Texas! The final cache coordinates can be obtained by successfully finding or hiding a cache in each county and then contacting me via email.

In order to claim this cache, you must first send me a file containing all of your hides and/or finds relative to this challenge. GPX or LOC format is required. I will review the list and generate a map showing their locations in order to verify the list. Once everything checks out, I will then send you the correct coordinates for the final cache! The find cannot be logged until the final physical container is found and the logbook inside signed.
Based on feedback from and incidents seen with similar challenges in other states, some guidelines need to be laid out:
  1. As mentioned above, the posted coordinates are not the actual coordinates for the cache. The actual cache may actually be quite some distance from these coordinates!
  2. Generally accepted rules, guidelines and conditions for logging or hiding a cache apply. These must be bona fide caches listed on that you have personally (physically) found and logged. You may include caches found or hidden prior to the creation of the Texas County Challenge so long as they meet all other challenge requirements.
  3. Placement of a cache in a county counts the same as finding a cache in that county. Any previous hides may count towards completion of this challenge. Remember that any caches placed need to meet the guidelines. Don't place a cache that you can't maintain.
  4. All cache types count as finds or hides for the Texas County Challenge except for locationless caches. We are a friendly state, so even events and CITO events may be included.
  5. While county lines occasionally move and different versions of various maps may differ in exact boundary lines, the county lines derived from the information in the cache owner's copy of Google Earth will be considered definitive. Please feel free to check your GPX file with Google Earth prior to submission!
  6. While you may have others with you when you find the final cache, only those who have fulfilled ALL criteria for this cache will be allowed to log it as a find. Find logs by other cachers who have not completed the challenge will be deleted.
  7. When in doubt ask—we can discuss it or even seek guidance from others, but the final decision rests with the cache owner.
  8. The first 5 cachers who complete this challenge will receive a small commemorative gift at the completion of the challenge.
  9. A Texas County map can be obtained here.
  10. Remember that this is a game and is supposed to be fun!
Many thanks go out to Haicoole for the original idea for this type of challenge cache and to Moun10Bike for advice and assistance with the description. Also, thanks go to Sonny and Sandy for giving me this idea from their PodCacher podcast.

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