Monday, August 23, 2010

Geocaching, Now and Then

We started geocaching in 2002, when the sport was just two years old. We hadn't done much in the last couple of years, but decided to hit a few on our recent trip to Utah to break up the monotony.
I was surprised to see it has changed a bit in the intervening span. Where there used to be only a couple within a mile or so of our house, now there are more than two dozen. 
Instead of large ammo boxes loaded with interesting nick-knacks that the kids loved to sift through, now they are mostly "micros", just large enough to contain a log but no pencil. People are able to hit 100 caches in a day! It has gone from a treasure hunt to a ticket-punching commodity.
We hit a couple along the freeway, but even those large enough to contain the type of treasure the kids love were sparsely stocked. It was a way to stretch our legs, but it was on the whole pretty disappointing.
There was one bright spot, however. There is a new type of cache called an "EarthCache". Instead of a physical stash of goodies, you have to go to the coordinates, take a picture, and find clues about the natural features. We learned about geology in Idaho's City of Rock and Oregon's John Day Fossil Beds. I always enjoyed the fact that geocaching took us to areas we would have never visited otherwise. With EarthCaches, we not only get see nature at its best, we get to learn about it as well. I guess that is the true treasure.

Oh, and for those going for 100 in one day, it took us eight years to get our 100!


Gail said...

"Like." :)

Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

An educational hobby

Sweet Polly Purebred said...

It is a shame that the rest area geocaches were so bare. All takin' and no givin'.

And yes, geocaching does take us to some pretty out of the way places. I doubt I would have ever visited the Durkee Cemetery.

One lesson I learned...wear sturdy closed toe shoes when geocaching. We encountered cheatgrass, cacti, and scat just to name a few.