A few months back, a caching buddy of mine and I decided we wanted to tackle the "The "Lil" Devil Made Me Do It Challenge!", a 5-star difficulty and 5-star terrain cache that requires that you find and log all the caches within the boundaries of Mount Diablo State Park. This is one of the most scenic parks in the San Francisco Bay Area, and also one of the largest, covering about 20,000 total acres. It also contains some significant elevation changes, ranging from a few hundred feet at the base, up to 3,849 feet at the main summit.
Even though we knew this challenge would require multiple trips to the park to grab all the caches within, we decided we were up for it. When this cache was first published in 2007, there were only 43 total geocaches in the park. As of this writing, there are now 78; which means the longer this takes us, the tougher it gets to finish. Since our first visit back in January, we've found 28 caches on three separate outings (plus 3 others I found a couple years ago before this challenge came up). I use a pretty simple means of monitoring our progress, both in tabular and map form, which I'll describe below, step by step:
- The Lil Devil cache owner created, and updates, a bookmark list of all the caches in the park, and made the list available on the Lil Devil cache web page. I created a pocket query from the bookmark list, which you can do for any bookmark list
- I load the pocket query file into GSAK every time I receive a new one (2 or 3 times a week). I could create a separate database for these records in GSAK, but I like having all of my data in one main database. Then I use the powerful filtering feature to pull out the data I need.
- In this case, I used the "UserData4" field and labeled all of the caches for this challenge "Diablo". Then, I created a filter that only displays "UserData4 = Diablo".
5. I then save that file from Google Earth to my desktop (using the "Save Place As..." command) as a KML file. Once you have your caches saved in a KML format, you can load them into Google Maps using the built in My Maps option. Click on My Maps, Create New Map, then Import. Find your KML file, and load it in.