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Texas County Challenge

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Posted · Report post

Hey guys,

My fiancée and I have decided to complete the Texas County Challenge by June 1, 2014. I've searched this site but I can't find any posts regarding best practices, past experiences, and general information from those that completed it. Can someone post some links? I know it's here somewhere, I just can't find it with the keywords I'm using. Thanks!

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Posted · Report post

just get out and drive. thats what ive been doing im working on it slowly but starting to get there

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We haven't finished it, but every time we go on a roadtrip in Texas into a new area we make sure and grab as many of the counties around where we are going and make a few detours to make sure that we don't miss counties that we'll have to travel a long ways again to pick up if we don't take the detour. At some point I'm sure we'll just have to take a roadtrip to West Texas specifically to finish up because we just don't travel that way for anything else.

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Posted · Report post

I don't know of any "hint links".

Here are some from my perspective:

1. Plan ahead. I I used the caching feature on Google Earth to find the right county for cache location. (the OpenSource has counties, too)

2.We chose 3 caches in each county, and tried to get two in each county.

3. Make a destination for each trip, so you are going somewhere, not just getting counties. Doing virtuals usually makes things interesting. It is a good idea to do at least one traditional in each county.

4. Start your bookmark list early (or use GSAK)!! We decided to do the challenge after a few years of caching, and it was hard going back and determine the correct county.. I'm a Mac guy, and didn't have GSAK at the time we did it. THEN I found that there is a macro that generates the county names. We like the state maps with GSAK (we used INATN when we were working on it) so we can see where we've been.

5. Make a gas budget. Double it. The same thing for mileage. If MapQuest says it is 500 miles to your destination, it will be closer to 1000 if you are grabbing counties along the way.

6. Remember: The journey is the reward.

Hope this helps!

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Posted · Report post

You should check out some of the other challenges you might want to complete along the way, like the
, the
, the
, the
, etc. No sense driving 500 miles to get a county only to later find out you needed another cache a mile away for one of these other challenges.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I'm taking note of all of them!

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Posted · Report post

Oh, and it doesn't hurt to get two caches in each county if you can, just to be safe. Especially if one is a virtual or earthcache which might be subject to log deletion if the CO doesn't like your answer. You might want to avoid caches right on the county line, if possible, especially if it's the only cache you get for that county. I've seen one's where the mapquest maps on GC.com show the cache to be in one county, while Google Earth (and the actual county line signs) show it to be in another.

As of now, I have 253 of 254 done and have ONE county left to get -- Nueces down near Corpus Christi. Woo Hoo!

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Posted · Report post

HC, you could finish it off when you go to the Texas Challenge next April if you don't go down that way before then.

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Posted · Report post

I always had a list of the counties I was planning on doing on what ever trip. Listed in order, then as I got that county I would mark it off so I didn't miss any of them.

You will be going to a lot of middle of nowhere places .....so after I all most ran out of gas and the gps said there was a gas station there .... the station had not been there for years,

I made sure that I get gas at half a tank.

HC ... WOOHOO!!!!!

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Posted · Report post

One thing we tried to do is get a cache in the county seat so we could visit the county courthouses. Some of those courthouses are just awesome!!

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Some of those courthouses are also benchmarks.

While out in Armstrong County, we stopped at a scenic overlook where there was an older cache called The Pretty Place. Spotted a familiar name in the log from 8 years ago!

c4886782-6a09-4b1a-9425-55e823477b02.jpg?rnd=0.9259182

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Posted · Report post

I've got a bunch of the caches you logged on your roadtrip on my watchlist. It was fun to watch y'all travel around. Lots of those courthouses are waymarks also!!

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Hey WTT-B2, that's what my fiancée is going to do. That's her official goal now.

So, I get the county caches (and her too), but she is really after a picture of the courthouse now. :)

Major congrats, HC! And congrats to those that have completed it. It's a huge long chore but oh so fun!

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Posted · Report post

Oh, and it doesn't hurt to get two caches in each county if you can, just to be safe. Especially if one is a virtual or earthcache which might be subject to log deletion if the CO doesn't like your answer. You might want to avoid caches right on the county line, if possible, especially if it's the only cache you get for that county. I've seen one's where the mapquest maps on GC.com show the cache to be in one county, while Google Earth (and the actual county line signs) show it to be in another.

As of now, I have 253 of 254 done and have ONE county left to get -- Nueces down near Corpus Christi. Woo Hoo!

Wow! That is pretty good HC!! Congrats to such a great achievement. I doubt he will wait until the challenge...I see him and the Mrs going to Corpus by, er.. today or next week!

Congrats again...lots of miles and a great way to discover Texas.

Are you done with *I've Been everywhere* Texas Challenge as well?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hey WTT-B2, that's what my fiancée is going to do. That's her official goal now.

So, I get the county caches (and her too), but she is really after a picture of the courthouse now. :)

Major congrats, HC! And congrats to those that have completed it. It's a huge long chore but oh so fun!

Have her log them into waymarking.com under the courthouse catagory

Edited by WTT-B2

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Posted · Report post

Are you done with *I've Been everywhere* Texas Challenge as well?

I need Val Verde, up near Temple. I see a weekend roadtrip in my near future!

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Are you done with *I've Been everywhere* Texas Challenge as well?

I need Val Verde, up near Temple. I see a weekend roadtrip in my near future!

Awesome! I am grabbing a few *I've been everywhere* caches by Midland. I have one city near Dallas...Tuscola, which I totally missed while I was driving back home from Amarillo on my last trip. Argh. I saw that you did Alameda, so that will be a weekend road trip for me too.

Good going HC and again, congrats!!

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Posted · Report post

I got a lot of help from Rich & Lola and Kirbydox on this last run. That was a lot of fun!

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I got a lot of help from Rich & Lola and Kirbydox on this last run. That was a lot of fun!

Amen!

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Posted · Report post

I have more questions about the County challenge because I dont know where to begin either.

Is there a challenge cache with rules and timelines?

I have learned GSAK and am trying new things on it. I see there are macros that involve counties, but which one do I use to tell me which counties I have found caches in?

I have just now downloaded Google Earth and don't know where to go from there.

Everything I learn just makes me realize how much out there I still need to learn! :what???:

Thanks for the help.

Sue from Sueand Ron

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Posted · Report post

This is the challenge cache in question: Texas County Challenge

I use the FindStatGen macro in GSAK to draw the map that colors in the counties I've found. I think you have to run the CountryStateCounty macro first to update your database before running the FindStatGen macro, but KeyResults could speak more intelligently about this than I.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I am slowly working on the county challenge. I plan vacations to areas I have not been and create a route through the maximum number of counties that I do not have. I use Google Earth to help locate counties/caches. I pick two caches in each county. One to get and one as a backup in case the first one does not pan out. I always have a destination in mind and often stop along the way for other fun things (courthouses, historic sites, etc.). So I don't just drive from one cache to another. I am seeing and enjoying a lot of the state this way. I use GSAK to keep track but I also use a real printed map and mark off counties that I have done so that I have a good visual with roads that I can reference when creating a route.

Edited by jackrock
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Posted · Report post

Yes, there is a challenge cache. It is up near Dallas somewhere, but I don't know the GC code (but I am sure somebody will).

For checking counties I use a macro called "CheckCounties.gsk" Very straight forward and easy to use. Just create a list of all the caches you have found and run the macro.

Also look at a macro called "GoogleEarth.gsk" This macro takes where caches are in your filter and overlays them onto a GoogleEarth map.

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Again, the challenge cache in question is Texas County Challenge (GCRX6F). The bogus coords are in the middle of Lake Waco, but the cache itself sorta moves around.

For planning purposes, you can use the GC.com maps and choose the MapQuest maps which show county lines pretty well. The county names are displayed as well, but they are skewed to the side a bit, so you have to double-check them.

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I still need 82 counties. I am planning a trip that will get me nearly half of those. I'll also get in some camping and hiking and see a number of interesting sites. Should be fun and it moves me along on this challenge. Just think of it as an opportunity to explore the state in a way that you otherwise never would.

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