For many geocachers, there are a few places on a “bucket list.” That list could include Groundpeak Headquarters, or a GeoWoodstock, or some amazing cache that most people will never get to.
For many, the list also includes Mingo.
Mingo – or GC30 – is the oldest active cache in the world. It’s in the Northwest corner of Kansas and was placed on May 11, 2000. That means this May, Mingo will celebrate its 15th birthday.
I’ve wanted to hit Mingo for many years. From everything I’ve read, it’s not the most awesome, amazing geocache out there, but historically speaking, it is pretty amazing. It has withstood the test of time and it’s something to connect the start of the game to what it is today.
Plus, it would be one hell of a road trip.
Here’s the one issue – it’s nearly 1,400 miles from me. Sure, I could find a flight, rent a car and do it, but where’s the adventure there? I want to road trip this. I always envisioned a long trip out to Kanasas, caching along the way and grabbing as many historical and top-favorited geocaches that I could. Then driving back a different way to collect a few more states.
Then comes the issue of … how do you do this? Your own car? A rental? Somebody else’s car?
I lease, so tacking on 3,000-plus miles might not be a smart move. I’m already way over where I should be, so would doing that be smart?
Maybe that means renting a car and splitting the cost between a few people and going on a cannonball-style road trip. That would be fun. Just take off, hit those cool caches on the way out and back and do it within like four or five days.
The issue I’ve noticed? Apparently some rental companies give unlimited miles east of the Mississippi River, and then charge you when you go beyond. So I need to look into this more to see what it would actually cost me in a rental to do it. It might just be easier to take my wheels and hope I can get a month or two where it doesn’t move that much.
This would be a travel dream, though.
No worries about being a tourist or anything. This would be travel with a purpose. A couple of maps and planned out geocaches for the route, and maybe even try and set up an event or two for the trip. Some stops for a few photos, decent food, and awesome geocaches.
Old-school travel. A road trip to be remembered.
I am sure other geocachers have done this before, no matter where the road trip is taking one to. I have gone on some geocaching travels as well, but there’s something about this trip that has interested me for a while. Maybe it’s the adventure of going somewhere I’ve never been before. Maybe it’s the idea of traveling with one main purpose and nothing else. Or maybe it’s just the idea of the unknown.
Years ago, a couple of us were going to the center states based on something I had worked on for a newspaper. We were traveling with little money, no planning, and in a day when there were no cell phones and Internet.
Though prices back then were much lower than they are now, I think it could have been a disastrous trip.
We got about four or five hours outside of the home area and my car wasn’t acting right. We stopped a service station and the guy was nice enough to peek it over and not charge me. Turns out my four-cylinder was running on about three or three and a half. He advised us not to do the trip.
So we didn’t.
Instead, we stopped at a rest area and ate. We talked about the plan. Made a few calls (pay phone) and headed home.
It was probably a smart choice.
That being said, I’ve never done a trip like that. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do and geocaching gives me the perfect chance. Just a destination and a purpose and a lot of open road between here, there, and back again. Something tells me, there’d be many awesome caches, too. And several new states added to the total.
This is definitely some travel I’d like to do – geocaching style!
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