Saturday, June 15, 2013

009 : Cache Adventures : Stan Hywet Hall

I was doing laundry last week and checked my geocache app to see what I could grab while I was out, and I noticed that Stan Hywet's geocaches were available. I had read of their plans back when I visited earlier in the spring. They mentioned it in their brochure, and I thought the reason I couldn't see them is because they were premium. It turns out, they just hadn't been published yet. Once I finished my laundry, I headed up to geocache the grounds.

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The first cache, in the apple orchard was pretty fun and easy, as were three of the other caches; Clock Golf, Tennis Courts, and Teahouse Changing Rooms. It was fun, looking under bushes by the mansion and looking through the ivy by the lagoon. The first four caches gave a pretty nice little tour of the grounds. There was a wedding happening, which we had to avoid. But the caches were cute, well hidden, they had little info cards inside them. Everything was cool, until the fucking puzzle cache...

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So, we're in the back part of the grounds and decide to start on the puzzle cache. I really don't like puzzle caches anyway. I find them totally annoying, having to look around, answer questions, find coordinates. I just really like finding a container, signing the log, and moving on. But, we were close to the first way point and decided to go for it.

It was actually cool, finding a survey marker for the land the Seiberlings owned. I mean, at the time they built the mansion, the owned a fuckton of land...and the mansion and grounds are still pretty big. Learning about how they surveyed the land was cool, until we went to the second way point. The second point was in the rose garden. We were looking for one of three markers. But there were no markers. So, we looked for what seemed like way too damn long, and then I just got frustrated and took off. We had the northern coordinates, so I just went there and decided to guess on the western coordinates. I found out my guess was right, but even deciding that, I still wandered along the front wall. The hint was "rocks" which doesn't help when you're looking along a rock wall (that was behind a fence anyway).

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I ended up logging a "did not find". I made it pretty detailed, explaining that the second way marker was not where it should be. I received a lame response. It had the coordinates for the final cache, which turned out to be the ones I was following. But it also had some excuses about how hard it is to let everyone on staff know about geocaching. Seems to me that an e-mail with some photos of the cache locations would've informed the staff...especially those who have regular contact with visitors.

At the end of the day, I don't like puzzle caches and probably shouldn't have even bothered. But Stan Hywet should've been more prepared, especially since anyone caching has to pay admission to be there.

Like my recent visit to Stan Hywet, I found this aspect of the museum to be a total let down. I would not advise that anyone pay to cache there. I just don't have nice things to say about the place and can't recommend it at all.

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