It occurs to me that I have never really taken the time to share a love of mine. Please forgive me, I did not mean to keep it to myself for so long. Geocaching is as the homepage explains it; “… an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.”
Think of it as a high tech treasure hunt that takes you places that you would never have otherwise seen or would have known existed. Pretty cool – no? Well yes – of course it’s cool. I have a hard time recollecting the names of all of the ghost towns and forgotten historical places that we, the Evil Chicken 5 (EC-5) have been. It’s a wonderful family activity and as a tee shirt that I once read said, “I use multi-million dollar equipment to find Tupperware in the woods – what do you do for a hobby?”
I’ve been asked, “What do you win?” Ladies and gentlemen let me just say that with geocaching as with life, it is the journey and not the destination. You win the experience of learning about a location, the exercise of a good hike and the breath of clean fresh air thorough your lungs – well that and you get to sign the log book. We (the EC-5) have been blessed along the path to meet several amazing like-minded individuals; modern day explorers and adventurers – no kidding. I know people who have cached in dozens of countries and each found cache is a story unto itself. I know people who have encountered machine gun toting Federales at the base of a Aztec pyramid, had alligator & snake encounters as well as the occasional run in with drug dealers and, of course, muggles (non-caching folk). It’s not as dangerous as it sounds but as with anything, it’s best to use your common sense before attempting anything be it crossing the street or retrieving a cache. If your “spider-sense” is tingling – you should probably listen. The game is in over 220 countries around the world so chances are wherever you go you will not be too far from a cache.
Don't believe me? Well see for yourself. Go to www.geocaching.com and type in your zip code. Don’t worry, I promise it’s not a cult. See how many caches are around you, read the hints, find the cords and off you go. Geocachers the world over usually have an endearing trait that is (for the most part) they are people who know the value of stopping to smell the roses, to appreciate the sunrise as well as the sunset and hit the ground running – after all there are more caches out there; just around the corner.
See you on the trails.