My first Mega geocaching event was the Allegany State Park Geobash . It was the fourth year of the event in 2009 and it was quest to get that Mega icon.
More than 500 people were at the event and 413 geocachers logged an online find. It was quite cool to see so many geocachers in one place. There were vendors and trading of pathtags/coins and everything else you could think of It was quite cool.
I attended the fifth and sixth years of the event as well, but then unemployment hit and heading out for those two years would have been hard to pull off. Instead, I stuck closer to home and hit the first two Berkshire Geobash Mega events, which were held in Massachusetts, but at the same time much closer.
This year, ASP was back on my schedule (along with Berkshire and the hopeful NYC/NJ area one in November). I am glad I had the chance to get back to ASP as I’ve always enjoyed the event. It’s in a nice area and it’s not a bad drive. In fact, for the second, time, I went down and back in one day, sandwiching some geocaching in between.
The weather this year wasn’t a lot of fun, though. It was chilly and rainy, but that’s what can happen in the middle of May in the Northeast.
Still, it was nice to head out there.
It’s always nice to meet a Groundspeak Lackey, and it was neat to do some of the lab caches, which are apparently only at Mega events. They actually count on your statistics, but are not permanent caches.
The only crappy thing is I was just at the end of a cold, so I wasn’t in the mood to do any longer hikes. It was still OK as we did some fun caches on the way down and on the way back from the event.
With everything, though, there are good and bad things. One on the negative side of this event is the lack of vendors. This year there were like five. And while they were all decent, it doesn’t give people a good choice of things to look at. Especially when you consider only one of the vendors was a true geocaching “store.” The other vendors had connections to geocaching, but not the type where you could get coins, or pathtags, or containers etc.
Talking to some in charge, then note they try to get more there. It doesn’t seem like it would be a cost issue, outside of getting to Allegany State Park. But these vendors travel to other places. Do they fear those at this event won’t buy enough to make it worthwhile? I have no answer. But it seems to me that if you have a spot with more than 500-750 people, and all in your niche, it would be smart to try and get there. I had gone down with the hopes of buying a few things, but didn’t find what I had been looking for. That is part of life, though.
I do enjoy the event and next year is the 10th anniversary of the ASP Geobash, so I plan on being there. My hope is to hit 3-4 Megas, including GeoWoodstock next year. I’ve been to one GeoWoodstock and have wanted to go again I plan on trying to find some hotels soon (it’s in Maryland) so I can start planning accordingly.
But no matter what, ASP Geobash will always be a special event for me and as long as they keep having it and as long as I can get there, I plan on going. Hopefully the event will continue to grow and vendors will realize there are geocachers there who would be looking to spend some money, so it would be worth the coming and setting up a mobile shop. I can hope, anyway.
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