When I’ve explained geocaching to people before, I’ve often gotten the look of them asking me if I was crazy.
“You do what? You look for plastic hidden in the woods?”
Simply put, geocaching is another hobby. Some people do other things. I like to go find things people have hidden throughout the world. Sometimes it can get boring and old. Other times it’s crazy and fun.
And even other times, it’s probably downright insane.
This past Saturday ranks up there with the insane part of things.
These challenge caches require you to do something else to be able to claim the cache. In the case of the one we were working on, it’s the New York DeLorme Challenge.
Basically, DeLorme’s New York Atlas is broken up into 80 squares. To be able to claim this final cache, one must find a geocache in each square. A few years ago, I got it to the point where I had 17 to go — 11 in the North Country and six in the Northwest corner of the state.
I kept saying all along that I needed to make a few road trips to color in those boxes. In the post I did not too long ago, there was an image showing what I needed.
This past weekend, I finally made one of the trips.
About a month ago, I talked to a few others about making the trip. With three others on board, I started the planning. When going on a trip through the North Country and looking for square filler and everything else, it’s not too easy. After all, we’re looking at several hundred miles, so long hikes wouldn’t work.
In the end, I made a list of more than 70 caches.
I went over the list several times and kept an eye to make sure things weren’t disabled or hadn’t been found. Still, you can never plan perfection for a day. Things will always take longer. Or, something could screw things up — such as a DNF.
The day of the trip was interesting. I needed to wake up at 3 a.m. I had tried to hit the hay at about 11 p.m., but was wide awake. See, I’m used to going to bed at 3 a.m., not waking up at that time.
Needless to say, I got about a whopping 45 minutes of sleep. I set out at about 3:40 to pick up one member of the crew and to go meet the third member by 4:30 a.m. From there, we stopped for a few other caches before meeting our final member at about 5:30 a.m.
The sun was coming up and we were already geocaching!
The day was filled with many things — laughs, geocaching finds and memories. We found some really amazing caches — creative and well-hidden. Depending on the person, we crossed off anywhere from one to 15 Delorme squares and covered many a county.
It was worth the trip.
We covered more than 700 miles that day. I left my town at 3:40 a.m. and arrived back at 3 a.m. the next day. All on 15 minutes of sleep. (It’s a good thing I wasn’t driving the whole day — I might not have made it).
Besides the counties and DeLorme squares in New York, we also managed to nab three caches in Vermont.
Throughout the Adirondack Mountains, there were some amazing views. And a lot of trees. Oh were there a lot. We hit one pretty crazy rainstorm.
One of the highlights for me was the Jay Covered Bridge. I’ve long wanted to visit each historic covered bridge in New York State and I honestly wasn’t sure when I would be able to visit this. When I saw we were going past here — and that there was a cache here — I made sure this was on the list!
Geocaching.com has a feature where you can give a favorite point to caches that you really enjoy. On this trip, I handed out five favorite points and at least one of those caches is, by far, in the top five caches I’ve ever found when it comes to favorites.
This trip was fun. There was no craziness. No bickering. Just a lot of fun and a lot of caches.
In the end, we all had a different amount of finds. I finished with 55 (a new record in a day for me). Of those finds, two were mystery caches, two were virtuals and one was a webcam, of which there aren’t many left. I filled in 11 DeLorme squares (six to go) and colored in, I think, four counties (five to go for that challenge).
This is what geocaching is all about. Good times with friends and a bunch of find. I’ll look forward to planning the trip for my final six squares in the hopes of getting the DeLorme final for my 3,000th find, which is fast approaching.
Hopefully, it will be just as fun!
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